Monday, August 25, 2008

The best robot store!

Walking around in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I happened upon this robot store. Yes, really! It's a robot store, full of parts, supplies, toys and books.

But it's actually a storefront for 826Michigan, a tutoring center for kids. They help kids improve their expository and creative writing skills. I later found out that there are a chain of these tutoring centers, with locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places. The LA center has a time travel store, and the SF location has a pirate supply store. How clever and wonderful! Check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hello from "the other Hawaii"

That's what my friend Liz calls her town, Ann Arbor. I think there is just a tiny twinge of facetiousness in that statement. But I am really having a nice vacation here.

I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts yesterday, and saw the Diego Rivera industry murals. They took my breath away. The museum has a new thingy - a multimedia box that looks like a GPS system. It's basically a small touchscreen and kind of like a documentary that explains the murals. Wow wow WOWWW! We spent maybe 1 or 2 hours listening to the explanations about the 27 panels that make up the mural. It gave me a greater depth of understanding and appreciation, and it made me "see" so much more there.

On the way home, we stopped in a local coffee shop to search for a fairy door. Did you know there are many fairy doors to be found in Ann Arbor?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Camp Pluckyfluff Recap

I went to Camp Pluckyfluff LA in July. Wowwee wow wow! What a fun time I had. It was so great to be among spinners and have Lexi of teach innovative spinning techniques as well as share her ideas about handspun yarn as art. I got her to sign my copy of Intertwined. Its such an inspirational book!

Lexi at her wheel, and demonstrating tailspinning.

The table of fiber goodies to share. There were some weird and unusual fibers in this pile of treasure!

Our yarns from the weekend! Here are mine:

These were made by Jennifer:

These were made by Juliblue:

I think Lexi's perspective is super refreshing. A couple of points I remember - when she was a beginner and made "mistakes," she asked herself, well, how do I recreate and exagerrate that so it becomes a design feature? (I paraphrased.) I love how she considers handspun yarn as an end in itself. It is sometimes pesky when people (who don't understand!) ask, "Well, what can you make with it?" Well, it just IS. It's beautiful, it's weird, and that's enough.

If you want to hear or read interviews with Lexi, there are several online. You can look up craftsanity (podcast) and studioloo (online magazine).

Want more photos? Go to my flickr account. I'm evonnewee or craftypeapod.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green Things

I woke up this morning and had Dr. Oz's green drink. I saw it on Oprah yesterday and decided to drink this for the next few days and see how I feel. Here's the recipe:

1/2 lemon
1 lime
1 bunch parsley
1 head celery
2 cups spinach
1/2 inch peeled ginger
2 cups cucumber or 1 medium cucumber
2 apples

Blend all of the above. Makes 3-4 servings.

It tasted pretty good. The apples make it sweet, not as green as you might expect. The ginger gives it a little zing and spice. I certainly feel healthy. I am usually very bad with eating veggies, so I think this is a good plan for me.

I think I will change it up a bit, it needs more liquid to blend properly. I'll probably put more juice and less veggies.

In woolly news, I listed some Border Leicester BFL X locks in my etsy store today. I call this color "Violent Green." It's so saturated and deep, it makes you take a step back. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dinner with Annie

I had dinner with my friend Annie last night. She lives right in the middle of Hollywood, where crazy people roam the streets. Everyone looks like a character from a movie. Last night, I saw lots of party girls. Looks like a weekend and it was only Tuesday night. The police there ride on horses! I think it's a new thing.

Annie's building is very charming and beautiful, I think movie stars lived there in the 1950's. Here's the main entryway.

She fed me a lovely dinner of olive bread and creamy buttery brie, healthy salad, sardines, tiny sauteed zucchini from Trader Joe's, tiny pickles and olives from a fancy store.

We ate in the courtyard, so pretty on a summer evening.

Annie makes really beautiful machine knitted and hand finished pieces. She's really talented. Here is her yarn shelf. There are lots of arty and crafty things to look at in her home.

She was telling me about part of her artistic philosophy. She calls it Mission Santosa. In a nutshell, it's her ECO philosophy. Eco this-and-that is such a trendy thing right now, it has become a commodity in itself. But she's been doing this for years, using mill end yarn for her creations. It doesn't make sense to throw out all the previous non-eco materials and suddenly switch to using "eco" materials. Here's the long version, in her own words.
I higly support all the crafters out there who are doing the reduce, reuse and recycle thing in their art and life. It's makes sense to me from an eco perspective and also from a money-saving perspective. I love thrift store finds and vintagey things, too, because they really seem to have a sense of history from their previous life. They have a deeper meaning beyond what you see on the surface.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Etsy Store

I just created a new etsy store. I am so delighted.

Qrious is imagination germination. Qrious items for funky chickens. Conundrums, dilemmas and potential. Items with a story to tell.

Please check it out!

Graffiti Mural in Highland Park

Look at these cute and perfect graffiti-style murals on the side of a building. I love finding unexpected gems in unusual places. The is on the side of Guerrero's Meat Market at 5541 York Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90042. The windows are his glasses! Squee!

Josh's gnome progress

Josh's gnome painting looks very different now. I wish you could see the layers of paint and the texture.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nubs on a spiky plant!

Joanna is an excellent gardener. She likes succulents and unusual plants, like I do. If it looks alien weird, I like it. She recently repotted this plant, and it is happy. So happy that it has made tiny nubs around its base. New arms coming soon! Yay happy plant nubs!

Josh is such a talented artist. Here he is drawing Jim the gnome. I asked him how to get better at drawing. He said to basically keep drawing and experiment with different techniques. Once you get good at something, try to push yourself to the next level. He feels he does well when he is most relaxed and just flows. That makes sense, just keep practising till a technique becomes such a part of you, that it feels like you are not trying, but the art just flows out of your hand. Of course, Josh has been doing this a long time and he is just amazing. Amazing.
He made a nice picture of Jim and a plant pot but he has since covered it in a few layers of paint. he likes to paint right from the tube. It looks a little like finger painting. It was his birthday this past week. Happy Birthday Joshie!