Friday, September 30, 2005

The Brothers Bacon

Sometimes I finish a creature, or creatures in this case, and think to myself, Lady, you've lost yer mind. Such was the case with the Brothers Bacon or Crispy and Soggy as they've been christened by their new mom, Andrea.

I cannot tell you what precipitated my decision to make crocheted bacon creatures, but I can tell you that upon reading that Andrea's favorite sandwich is a BLT (as confessed in her Secret Sistahs Swap bio), I knew that Crispy and Soggy needed to move in with her. Little did I know that the boys would get to work doing some reconnaissance for the VLA...

Go check out Andrea's blog for full details. And the pictures? PRICELESS.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Crochet Opthalmologists Wanted

I need a few people to test my Eyeball With Nerve Endings pattern. Remember the ostomy bag I made for Lori? Yeah, well, remember the eyeballs/orbs/ghoulish crocheted balls of joy with the curlicue nerves hanging off the back? Yes? Wanna make a few? Then this pattern testing assignment is for you!

If you think doilies are done for, would rather floss your teeth with thread than use it for any crocheted item? Well, then, I'd steer clear of this assignment if I were you.

So, all you thread-heads out there...please, pretty please, with sugar on top...won't you test my pattern for me??? Eyeballs are crocheted with size 8 thread, but can easily be made from size 10, or size 30 or 40 if you're a

Anyway, email me if you're interested in being my favorite person(s) in the whole wide world at this moment. I'll send you a pdf and you can get started. I will need your comments by the end of next week.

Thank you in advance for taking part in this Monster Crochet experiment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Evolution Of The Doll - Deep Shockra

18 Months
2 Gallery Shows
And A Gazillion Bottles Of Wine...
Evolution of the Doll!

This week's doll star is...Deep Shockra!

Base Artist: Jonna

Artist Background: Jonna (aka THE ORGANIZER) is a sculptor, specializing in mechanical works and using taxidermied roadkill (no, I am not making this up) in her pieces. Jonna is also the queen of spreadsheets and kept the group on track and on schedule, and I mean on track and on schedule, NOW! Also, Jonna is one of my bestest buddies in the whole wide world.

Base Round: Curvaceous muslin beauty with giraffe-length neck. Don't find that too often in nature...

Round One: LadyLinoleum

Evolutionary Change: A little paint, a few felt leaves, some gold thread...Ta da! She a giraffe-necked Earth Goddess...Um, even found less often in nature.

Round Two: Young

Evolutionary Change: Limbage!

Round Three: Stephanie

Evolutionary Change: Okay, maybe she's an giraffe-necked alien turned Earth Goddess???

Round Four: Lena Linoleum

Evolutionary Change: Every girl needs a pet monkey named Coco. But of course!


Round Five: Janet

Evolutionary Change: Okay, so it seems our gal is a giraffe-necked alien, turned Earth Goddess, working nights as a showgirl at the local club in order to pay for Coco's Monkey Crunch. Okey. Dokey.

Round Six: Stevie

Evolutionary Change: Boobage cover for her nights off. Who said style cannot be functional?

Round Seven: Dyane

Evolutionary Change: Okay, okay, forget what I said earlier. Actually this babe is a giraffe-necked alien, turned Earth Goddess, working nights as a showgirl at the local club in order to pay for Coco's Monkey Crunch, who sweats away her tensions Saturday mornings at her local Bikram Yoga Studio. She's nothing if not multifaceted. Don't you agree?


Round Eight: Laurel

Evolutionary Change: Oh, and after yoga class? She has her acrylics filled...

Round Nine: Bee

Evolutionary Change: Chakras got her back! Jeez, she's really into the yoga thing...

Round Ten: Bea

Evolutionary Change: When a woman has chakras tattooed on her back, you can be certain that she's got to have an altar somewhere in her h-OM-e.

Round Eleven: Stacy

Evolutionary Change: Finally a full picture of this damsel in de-stress...She's a giraffe-necked alien, turned Earth Goddess, working nights as a showgirl at the local club in order to pay for Coco's Monkey Crunch, who sweats away her tensions Saturday mornings at her local Bikram Yoga Studio, follows that up with a visit to her manicurist, only to go home and practice a little Hula! You go girl!

Gallery View:

Evolution of the Doll!

Counting down...Seven more to go peeps!

Monday, September 26, 2005

It's The Most Spooktacular Time Of The Year!

I don't know 'bout you all, but I LOVE Autumn! Okay, okay, we don't have real seasons out here in sunny So Cal (constantly reminded of this by my East Coast buds), but I'm a native so I don't know any better. Ignorance is definitely bliss. Anyway, Autumn! Love the chill in the air, sitting all bundled up in front of the ole gas log, knitting, crocheting or sewing away, getting the urge to actually enter the kitchen and cook (my hubby drops down on his knees thanking the Lord-y above for this Autumnal ritual) and I love, love, love the fact that ORANGE is one of the primary colors of the season. Orange rocks peeps...very underrated color IMHO. Now, add black to orange and what do you get? No, not just a darker shade of orange, but the school colors of one of my favorite holidays...HALLOWEEN! Wooo hooo!

What do I do to ring in All Hallow's Eve for the ENTIRE MONTH of October? Decorate, of course! However, not just any decorations will do. No. My decorations lean toward the boned variety. Yep, I love skeletons! I know, it's weird. But I do love them. I collect AND MAKE skellies throughout the year. The hubby thinks I am a bit disturbed, but names our newly acquired or created bony buddies as they arrive on the scene.

So far I've made two life-size skellies. One set of bones is a skeleton antimacassar, filet crocheted with size 10 white thread. This good buddy can be attached to your favorite chair with twisted upholstery tacks for good measure. Sorry for the poor picture quality. This thing is IMPOSSIBLE to photograph well.

As I said above, when all doilies are combined this skellie is life-size. I charted each doily by hand on graph paper. The entire project took several months.

The second set of bones was created by using a combination of sewing, applique and embroidery in felt. Oh, and each and every stitch was done by hand. Again, this bone momma is life-size, reversible AND articulated! As with the filet skeleton, I worked on this piece for several months before finishing it to my liking.

Your standard white and black...

Reverses to a lovely green version...

BTW, the larger black spaces on the feet are embroidered. That is not applique. It is thousands upon thousands of embroidery stitches! Yep, I'm a bit anal retentive. Like you hadn't figured that out after looking at the filet skeleton!

Currently, I am knitting a life-size fair isle skeleton. This one, like it's embroidered predecessor, will be reversible. I knit quite fast and I am using my dog-eared filet charts from the antimacassar as the basis of my fair isle pattern. So I do not anticipate this skellie taking many months to complete like the last one. Patterning (which takes up a lot of time) is already taken care of. Yay! I'll show pics of this baby in another post.

In addition to my handcrafted skellies, I also purchase interesting skeletons when I see them here and there, throughout the year. Here are a few from my collection:

Wire Skellie...

Wood Skellie...

Nutcracker Skellie...

Jack Skellie...

When I accumulate a little disposable dough I am definitely going to buy a life-size skellie here.

Now, it's not all about skeletons over here. Oh no, I like to add other delightful decor to the hallowed halls of Linoleum Halloweendom as well. Also part of this theme are my Nightmare Before Christmas (jeez, this movie is 12 years old already???) figures. Just started collecting these. So far I have the Mayor of Halloweentown and Jack Skellington (shown above). These guys sit on my mantel and actually stay there until Christmas due to their dual-themed nature.

I finish off my decor with tons of pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn (sorry guys!). It's a family tradition to hit Lombardi Ranch every year and load up on fall harvest treasures. If you're in the Los Angeles area, this family farm is a must do for any Halloween/Autumn junkie. They have a HUGE scarecrow competition every year, a bazillion pumpkins ranging from infant to Godzilla size, live music, square's a rip-roaring good time! Highly recommended.

Here's a few more Halloween decor sites to peruse at your leisure...

For eminently stylish Halloween decor and ideas, try Martha Stewart. Don't have enough time to grown your own pumpkins, make your own carving tools and dip your own candles to light your very industrious jack-o-lanterns? Try Plum Party for a fun array of Halloween-y decor. Are you more of a vintage Halloween decor aficionado? Take a looksee at Dragonfly Design Studio or get a few Victorian Halloween decorating tips here. Who says you cannot have a Halloween tree? Why should Christmas be the only holiday with dedicated flora? Need to put your mad scientist lab together stat? Go here, now, before it's too late! Maybe your Halloween inspired decor goal is to the scare the pants off of the neighborhood kids. Yeah? Well, pay a visit here for ideas, advice and products to successfully erect the creepiest haunted house in your hood. How about a little Edward Gorey gear to darken your October domicile? Create your own Halloweentown with crafty goth creepies from Elizabeth McGrath's dark dominion. Don't want to shop for October decor at all? Rather craft your own bats and vamps and skellies and pumpkins? Here's a bloggy community you'll love! Halloween crochet patterns galore here. Amazing Halloween craft kits that will spook up your house and keep your kids occupied for hours here. Check out the Graveyard Garden! No list such as this would be complete without the Halloween overload superstore, Oriental Trading Co. OTC has more plastic crap than you can shake a stick at. If you've never visited OTC, it's worth a jaw-dropping looksee.

Whew! I haven't even begun to talk about costumes yet. Oh yeah, you know I dress up...This year I'm thinkin' about orderin' some costume-y delights from here.

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Arizona - Home of Ye Old Craft Books

Southern Arizona, land of red clay mesas, saguaros, ocotillos, friendly locals, wonderful eateries, antique boutiques and used book stores aplenty...Oh, and it is also the home of my little sister Natasha! Natasha, a soon to be 20-something woman who could care less about antiques, reading or crafting, but nonetheless, a kick to hang out with. Tash is young (19 years old), gregarious, excessively opinionated and uses the f-word as noun, verb or adjective in almost every sentence she utters. Not at all like her big sis. *wink* Aaaahhh, but I love her, f-ing flaws and all.

At any rate, my mom, my sister Stephanie and I traveled to the Phoenix area to (i) visit Tash and see where she's been living since having left the Golden State about a year ago, (ii) use the opportunity enjoy a little girl-bonding road trip, and (iii) to get the heck outta Dodge for a couple of days of R&R. What we didn't anticipate were all of the amazing antique and used book stores we would happen upon in Tempe! Awesome!

I made out like a bandit, lugging home two paper bags worth of books. Most of this stash happens to be of the crafty variety, but I did purchase a few serious diamonds in the rough as well:

For the Hillbilly Knitter in me, two Foxfire Books:

Here is Amazon's description of the first book in the series (there are twelve in all):

In the late 1960s, Eliot Wigginton and his students created the magazine Foxfire
in an effort to record and preserve the traditional folk culture of the Southern
Appalachians. This is the original book compilation of Foxfire material which
introduces Aunt Arie and her contemporaries and includes log cabin building, hog
dressing, snake lore, mountain crafts and food, and "other affairs of plain living."

I also purchased the third book in the series. From this masterpiece of DIY Appalachian lore I should be able to muster up a few currently non-existent skills such as:

Volume 3 of this series covers animal care, banjos and dulcimers, wild plant
foods, butter churns, ginseng and more.

Everything I could ever want to know about hog fixins, banjo playin', churnin' butter and tendin' to my other affairs of plain livin'. I'm set! Seriously though, these two books are amazing and the images are fascinating...I think I need to buy the other ten books as well. God only knows when I will find myself in Appalachia with nuthin' but the clothes on my back and my banjo hung o' my shoulder. Moving right along...

The third non-crafty bound gem I purchased was this beauty, CIRCUS TIME! How To Put On your One Show:

Because one never knows when one will need to stage a circus at any given moment.

Now for some crafty goodness:

The Weaving, Spinning, Dyeing Book by Rachel Brown, hardback, library copy.

I bought a drop spindle (before my move in July) that I've yet to unwrap and start using. I figured this book would give me the little nudge needed to git goin'. I love, love, love hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn. Actually this is my fave for making garments. Are you listening peeps? Yes, I HAVE ACTUALLY made garments (read functional items) in past and I would like to make a few again...using my own homespun. Wouldn't that be neato??? Methinks it would be.

Next up, Erica Wilson's Quilts of America!

This baby is chock full of quilting techniques and patterns. I really enjoy hand-quilting and applique so this libro was a real find.

Also I found two fabulous stitch bibles!

The first is an encylopaedic wonderland of embroidery stitches, Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. Another hardback library copy.

The second one is a needlepoint extravaganza, Handbook of Needlepoint Stitches by Mary Meister Walzer. Yet another hardback, library copy.

The best part of this haul, IMHO, were four mint condition McCall's Needlework mags from the late 50's, early 60's! Totally takes me back to sitting in my Nana's sewing room when I was a child, perusing these babies for project ideas. God only knows whatever happened to her ginormous piles of these mags...

This one, oddly enough, is making me crave candy canes. Go figure.

Needless to say I had no room in my suitcase for new shoes...

Sending prayers to Drew and Nancy in Houston...stay safe!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Evolution Of The Doll - PSI-A14

13 Artists
13 Dolls
18 Months
2 Gallery Shows
And A Gazillion Bottles Of Wine...

Evolution of the Doll!

This week's doll star is...PSI-A14!

Another fabulously strange title for another fantastically strange creation! Now without ferther ado...

Base Artist: Janet

Artist Background: Janet is a glass artist and a true find. She worked herself into this "old girl's club" like a pro.

Base Round: The eyes have it! Hey, at least this one started with body parts...

Round One: Bea

Evolutionary Change: Okay add a few electronic gizmos to the eyes and what do you get? Two eyeballs and a few electronic gizmos! Um, is parts...

Round Two: Stevie

Evolutionary Change: Form follows function. Those brainiac jumper cables (read electronic gizmos) need something more substantial to call home...a pink and purple paint (yes, it is made completely of acrylic paint and gel medium) brain! Muhahahahahaha!

Round Three: Laurel

Evolutionary Change: I really feel the need to bust out the lyrics to If I Only Had A Brain the way this doll is goin'. Brain, meet heart. Heart, meet brain. Heart is second generation cyborg technology as you may have observed. Notice that this fantabuloso blood pumpin' powerhouse came with it's electronic gizmo already attached? Yep, not sold separately in stores.

Round Four: Bee

Evolutionary Change: C'mon, you were thinking, BOOBIES, right? I know you were. Well, you got your wish with a bonus. These babies light up. Oh yeah, this chick is headed straight for Vegas now!

Round Five: Lena Linoleum


Round Six: LadyLinoleum

Evolutionary Change: All I can say is it's about freakin' time! Body to hold the booty.

Round Seven: Stacy

Evolutionary Change: Limbage. Yes, I made that word up. So what.

Round Eight: Jonna

Evolutionary Change: This doll is top secret so remember not to tell anyone that you saw her on the internet. Thank you very much.

Round Nine: Young

Evolutionary Change: Long-legged limbage...

Round Ten: Stephanie

Evolutionary Change: Kinda like the Pope-Mobile...

Round Eleven: Dyane

Evolutionary Change: Test tubes baby! No, not test tube baby. Jeez.

Gallery View:

Evolution of the doll!

Eight more to go...

Monday, September 19, 2005

VLA Booty Haul - The Final Chapter

Final VLA booty haul is brought to you by Noodle Dude and his cohorts: Ro; her lovely husband; and her nine year old daughter and creative genius, Kitty! Big round of applause for this family of Veggie Worshipers!

So, who the heck is Noodle Dude you ask? Well, he is just the most versatile and Veggie-lovin' Noodle ev-ver! My good buddy Ro describes the nature of our pasta-born comrade below:

My nine year old (just sign her "Kitty Bling!") designed and made Noodle
Dude, a Pasta sidekick for the VLA! Use him as a rope, a lasso,
anything you need, Noodle Dude is there!

Not only did Kitty draw this lovely portrait of our carbohydrate-based Veggie sidekick above, but she actually crocheted a three-dimensional version (shown below)! Kitty, you are amazing! I know I speak for all of the members of the VLA when I say, "SCORE!" How awesome is this guy???

Hold onto yer collective hats because Noodle Dude is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this group's donations! Oh yeah feast yer eyes on this stuff...

A laptop! Going wireless is a necessity for the Veggie on the run, I mean, go...

A sleeping bag! And this lovely bedding for the Veggie on the run, I mean, go, matches the beloved soil from which our fibrous friends were sprouted. Dirt sweet dirt...


Now for the finale...

I was going to have our Veggie heroes model some of the disguises Ro created for them, but I really like her images of these fabulous ensembles. Go here, now, quick, to see Ocho the churro model Ro's couture VLA duds. NOT TO BE MISSED!!

This stuff rocks our leaves and stems!

On behalf of the VLA, I wanted to thank all of the amazing contributors (Heather, Jessica, Lori, Deneen, Ro and her hubby, Kitty, Lena and you too Kari - curse the USPS!) who have helped the Veggies out with their amazing talent and generosity. You guys are awesome!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Wanna support the VLA? Add the button (also made by Ro) on my sidebar to your blog and link it back here. Show the world that you are a Vegetable at heart!