Friday, March 27, 2009

yard art or I want to be like the Fridays when I grow up

If you have ever heard me talk about my friend Harlow Friday or if I have introduced you to him, I'm sure you have heard me talk about the rhino.He is probably sick of hearing me introduce him as the man who made the enormous rhino off of the Guide Meridian. He made it as a birthday present for his fabulous wife,Anna, and I have seen glorious snapshots of her astride it's wide back. The Friday's entire yard is full of metal art. Anna hates yard work, so they tore out all the grass and gardens save a little patch for their dog. All around their hot pink house sprout exotic grass clumps and rocks and dozens of whimsical sculptures.Harlow trained as a sculptor but then got a desk job (insurance, if I remember correctly) to support his family. Now that he is retired he makes whatever he wants without following market trends or customer requests. As Joseph Campbell suggests, he "follows his bliss." with a welding torch.

Now in their 70s,The Fridays serve as an example of how I would like to age, with quirky grace and a sense of humor. They are comfortable in their own skin.They are fantastic supporters of the arts, not just as serious theater patrons, but actually supporting the artistic lifestyle. Whenever I apologize for something like "Oh I didn't know you were coming over, the house is a mess..."they gently remind me I am an adult and I can live how I choose. Then they ask me about art projects we have going on and I relax.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

just face it

So I finally joined Facebook this week. Just a moment before everyone's mom. Actually,just a moment before Lindsay's mom, everyone else's mom was hip to the 'book before me. It has been fascinating. I've done the look up an ex-boyfriend,an old roommate and a friend from high school thing. I'm feeling a little less popular than Steeb who joined the same day as me. And mostly I am wondering how to use it as a tool.Not just for business but, you know, for the revolution.How to not be gossipy or narcissistic or just a silly distraction,but authentic. How to use it to actually network and support each others dreams.Perhaps I am asking too much of the medium.

There was a confluence of events and conversations that led me to finally jumping into the pool. But the tipping point happened last sunday. I was reading Career Renegade about how to use technology(including things like blogs,twitter and facebook) to build the career of your dreams. As I cross referenced the book with the internet, Ned called. He and Virginia listen to npr while they bind amazing journals.They also recently got into facebook and are "friends" with the KUOW show Weekday. The host of Weekday, Steve Sher, started The Hat Initiative promoting the wearing of locally made hats as a way to stimulate the economy. Ned and Virgie wrote in to the show and gave Moth and Squirrel a shout out. If I had been on facebook then I could have gotten some looks at my profile and links to my etsy shop. So as soon as I got off the phone with Ned I put the book down and signed up.

More about The Hat Initiative. I love this kind of grassroots,goofy,joyful movement. It is simple: Wearing a hat promotes conversation and that conversation can naturally be about the local (or independent) business that provided the hat. Instead of talking about layoffs and ridiculous bonuses we can talk about something growing, creative, tangible in our community. A hat on your head can be a show of support for local artisans and the charming shops that carry independent artists. It is silly and hopeful and keeps the rain off your head. It doesn't have to be passed by the senate and actually contributes to the financial health of governments by taxes collected on the sale of the hat and the profit of the business. Last year my largest category of sales (29%) came from hats, so this idea just makes sense to me. When I see someone in a fabulous hat it always makes me smile. And don't we need more smiling amidst all this talk of recession? You can join the movement by seeking out great hats in your town or shopping on etsy or visiting me at the bellingham farmers' market april 4.

p.s. I am trying to collect photos of people in their moth and squirrel hats,so please send me one if you already own one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

preparing to quilt

I've been thinking about quilts lately. As part of being a grownup lady crafter I went to the La Conner quilt museum with Rachel last week. It is in a victorian mansion similar to the "castle" where Lindsay and I gave tours as teenagers. They had a lovely exhibit of textiles from india and pakistan on the second floor. I am forgetting the names of the techniques. I stood in front of these plain sheets of fabric that were transformed by hundreds, thousands, millions of small stitches. Some of it was fancy like needle lace, but most amazing to me were these simple tiny straight stitches. The devotion to the thread just about broke my heart open.

When I was in Quinault last month I got to sleep under my favorite quilt. The very basic square pattern dances with these charming scraps of fabric. I always forget to write down who made it when. It does have my dad's name(or is it his father's?) on a little tag on the back. When Rachel talks about her granny quilting and I feel like I missed out on something big.I didn't get a chance to learn these skills from the grandmother generation. And my own mother is of the progressive generation that turned away from the tyranny of women's work handcrafts.
Every time Rachel and I look at quilts she is adamant about the importance of hand quilting, versus machine stitching through the layers. And so I am preparing to do my first hand quilting project, a little sampler of sorts. I am intimidated by how long it will take, yet seeing these quilts I feel like it will be a great slow communion across generations and around the world.My hope is that I won't get caught up in the tedious idea of perfection. But it is a fine line, a subtle attitude difference between the chore of fine handiwork and the grace of a peaceful precision. we'll see how I do with this practical meditation.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Art Walk this Friday March 6

Second chance to see this red and pink lady boxer at jinx.

February went so quickly, it is first friday already. The bargain bin still has some screaming deals and just hilariously odd sample hats in it. I have new esther amelia hats(you can see one I just posted on etsy to the left here) Spring animals are being born including baby bunnies and pink sheep. And of coarse Steeb's fantastic art, mini pins sets and coloring books will be up to view and purchase.

1316 Bay Street #208. Enter through the alley. 6-10pm.