Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet Thorax

Today tastes like lavendar, candied violets, and nasturtiums. With balsamic vinagrette and prosecco. It is indeed the height of summer.

The problem with knitting shawls is displaying your finished objects for the eye candy. Wearing them is no problem at all--the stores and movie theaters and malls--pretty much any public gathering place--keep the air conditioner turned down to 72 F. Which is basically late fall/early winter here. It feels good for a few minutes after stpping in from a high over 100 (109 today, down from 113 yesterday). A shawl functions like a horse blanket, easing the artificial transition between seasons.

But blog display, that's another matter entirely. Blocking shots are good if you use a white/neutral light sheet to block on. My blocking shots tend to show all the various colored towels I use, even the stripes on some. A bit jarring--and that's coming from me!

If I ask DH Gareth to shoot me from behind, he tends to focus on his favorite bits, which are . . . not my favorites. Even if they were, it's the SHAWL I want emphasised. And while Gareth worships the needles I knit with, and is willing to do anything to help, he doesn't wear shawls well. He always looks so stiff and uncomfortable. Maybe it's the shoes.

So I put an ad in the paper, looking to hire a model. I wasn't going to be able to pay a lot, mind, I'm doing this for fun. But perhaps someone who was looking to build a little portfolio might work for pictures, right? Or someone who wasn't built for the runway, but entertained some Snoopyesque fantasies ("Here's the world-famous model getting ready to slink down the runway in Milan, when suddenly, diving out of the sun--O, CURSE YOU RED BARON!!!")(ahem)--entertained some fantasies about modeling might be willing to play along.

I was delighted to get a response directly, and we set up a time and date to meet and do a dry run with Veil of Isis, the shawl I'd just finished knitting.

The doorbell rang, and I opened the door to find . . .

Thorax. No, just Thorax, thank you. Like Madonna, or Cher.

Uhm. Won't you come in, Thorax?

So we sat down in my studio (Thorax said she'd prefer to stand, it had been a long drive) and discussed what we each wanted out of this project. Thorax was happy to work for photos for her portfolio, so off we went to the site, fresh batteries in the camera.

I wanted something sylvan . . .

But Thorax was thinking something edgy. "Urban decay," she said, twirling on the swing. "Very deconstructed, post-apocalypse, chaos creeping in contrast to the grandmotherly order and sweetness associated with lace and knitting. Rust to play off the beads."

"It's all about the existential loneliness of the millenium," she called down from the treehouse. "We buy and consume to fill the void that gnaws us from within. These pictures should reflect that essential emptiness at the core of it all."

I'm not sure how that's going to play for Vogue, but it's nice to meet a model with a good head on her shoulders.

We compromised.

Once she loosened up, we had a good time with it. "Pout for me, Thorax!"

"Give me haughty! Enigmatic!"

"Now the money shot . . ."

"Can you look over your shoulder for me? That's IT!!!"

That Thorax. So expressive, with hands like a Thai temple dancer's. She's going to go far.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Own Little Sally Fields Moment

Today tastes like champagne and popcorn, like cotton candied grapefruit, like sugar pickled garlic.

You like me! You really like me!

I'm not a big dog in the blogosphere, and I never set out to be. When I started, I was looking for a project diary, where I could track finished projects and look back at what I had wrought, because sometimes the rows seem endless. However, a lot of me gets tangled in with whatever I do, so this became a mindwipe place, where I could pre-emptively mourn my cat one week, babble about lace esoterica the next, and dabble in surrealism whenever the mood struck me. My posts are often pictureless and convoluted, with a side of word salad in this 'yere Lunchbox. An acquired taste, if you will.

It can be work to get through my prose, and sometimes the joke is subtle.1

Uhm . . . this is not how it's s'posed to be done. Quick frequent posts, often with a purty picture, with broad general appeal.

Which makes it all the sweeter when I hear from a fan. Nici sent me the above award, and in order to accept it, I need to do the following:

1) Put the logo on your blog -- Done!!
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you -- Thanks Nici!!
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs -- Done!
4) Add links to those blogs on yours -- Done!
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.--Done!

Before my head gets too big to fit through the door to my office, I'm listing and linking seven bloggers who make a difference to me.

Belinda first--she's partly to blame for my mixed media love. I followed her through a gazillion Yahoo groups when she ran 'em. Bless her altered heart and belly. Find her here.

I want to grow up to be Anne Hanson. Gracious, witty, with an amazing sense of design. I've linked a ton to her with the "Flippin' Spades" post, and I'm doing it again. Check out the Little Nothing Scarves. Makes me think about moving where there's winter just so I could wear them more than one day per year.

Maybe I could warm up by being Andrea of Bad Cat Designs. I knit the Veil of Isis (more on that next week) and found it delightful. This was my first beaded project, and now I see little sparklies everywhere.

Ellis Cooke is nothing short of astounding. Just go and look at this. Uhmagah.

I have the world's biggest girlcrush on Patti Digh. Her essays rock my world. Yeah, she has more webawards than I can shake a stick at; yeah, she has a book out, yeah, she doesn't need me bragging on her from this dark little corner of the web, but for the three or four of you who read this and haven't found her yet, go and read and read some more.

And Fleegle. OMG, Fleegle. She can out lacegeek the lacegeekiest folks, and she has the bestest toys.

I would have nominated Braen, my number one fan. She's kept my light shining and reminded me that I'm not just screaming into the void here many times. I can't find her blog though, I get a feeling that Braenstorm washed away. So a candle and a link in memoriam. Go here to see her cards.

I'm still giggling, Nici. You made my week.

1. This is one of those times--a footnote to the blog (complex) and subtle indicators of mischief afoot. Notice how the comma IS NOT a hypertext link. This means there are TWO links, one for each clause. Click 'em both, you don't wanna miss out.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What Does It Mean When . . .

Today tastes like durian fruit, sweatsocks, and day old reheated coffee.

Just realized I hadn't touched this for two weeks. I'm behind on the stories project; working on finishing up June. I wanted to be done with Veil of Isis by July 5, to work on Irtfa'a for the Tour de France. I'm not. I haven't made a single ATC this year except for a private swap group among four artpals.

Things that make you say Hmmmmmm.

It's a chicken and egg thing. Has my production (and joy in production) slowed down because I'm monitoring it? Because I shifted to a goal-oriented list rather than a list of inspiration? Is this a Heisenberg I see, handle toward my hand? Maybe.

Or have I just now become aware of slacking because I started monitoring? Because I set goals up, and now know when I fall short?

Or on the third hand, is it part and parcel of the listmaker's bent, that putting things down on a list makes it seem like EVERYTHING on that list is attainable? "Goals for the year: Win the lottery; lose seventy-five pounds; become a supermodel/actress/ballerina/veteranarian/astronaut; write a world-changing novel; found my own religion." Hey, that's only five things. If I take two whole months to accomplish each one, I'll still have eight weeks to spare.

Well, that way lies the path to the Self-Flagellation MachineTM. Hear it warming up in the background? (should should should should Ought Ought Ought Ought MUST MUST MUST MUST) [ hits off switch ]

So. Groundhog Review Day has been an interesting experiment, but I think it's going in the shed with the other tools that didn't work. I think it might be useful for another application, something with finite boundaries that lends itself better to being broken into chunks and then periodically reviewed.

Oh, you mean like GOALS, rather than PATTERNS. My GOAL is to attend Fashion Institute of Technology and get a degree in Fashion Design. My PATTERN is to design and fabricate knitted articles, both clothing and blankets. My GOAL is to lose twenty-five pounds this year, my PATTERN is to find a fitness routine I can enjoy and put it into practice.

I've been trying to use a hammer as a screwdriver. It works eventually. The key word being "eventually."