Monday, May 26, 2008

New Digs

Wow. Chickens get big, fast. My dad has put his into their outdoor coop already and since my coop isn't completely built yet, I needed a bigger brooder. We dismantled my dad's old brooder (built out of a cardboard box) and reassembled it for our chirping trio. They are pretty psyched about the added square footage, but seemed most happy to just roost on the edge. We've fashioned a lid out of netting so don't worry, they won't be going for any midnight romps around the computer room.
And I couldn't get a good shot of Kateski because she insisted on climbing up my right arm...so these are left handed shots while balancing a chick on my arm. Still, you can get a pretty good idea of how insane her hairdo is getting.
In craftier news, I've finished the turtle and the butterfly from the Wee Wonderfuls pattern. I have the escargot all cut out and will start sewing it up tonight. Besides the fact that the patterns are pretty delightful, thinking up a fun sewing project that can replace my knitting-in-front-of-the-TV habit = genius. I'm happy with how the turtle came out. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to ditch the crown because, although Andrew and I both agreed that the crown made him super-cute, we knew that if it wasn't sewn on it would be lost in a heartbeat and sewing it would just look messy. I also changed the eyes up so that they aren't in mask form anymore (I needed the turtle to have eyes on the sides of his head since he's prey not predator and because these are the things I need to dork out about), and I needle felted the black part of the eyes on (since a new baby will be around, I wanted to avoid buttons). I'm feeling like the butterfly eyes are walkin' a fine line between cute and creepy, so we'll she if she passes muster with the 3 year old who's getting her.Oh, and I also included the wing cutouts on the back because I thought that part of the design was so sweet and I wanted the back to look fancy too:) In retrospect, I didn't need to do the cutouts on the back of the smaller part of the wing since those are hidden, but the wings are moveable so I guess with some peeking the detail will be seen.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yard Sale Bliss

Despite the fact that I'm still not feeling well, I knew that I'd be getting up early yesterday to go yard saleing. My mother had collated the weekend's yard sale adverts and nestled in there was a location offering a "four harness table loom". OK, now...so maybe for the past two years the idea of getting a loom has been in the back of my mind. And maybe I've done a little research and found only expensive options. So I ask you: should illness keep me from rising at an ungodly hour on the weekend to obtain a loom at a yard sale?
Behold: my greatest yard sale find yet. A four harness table-top loom, bought for a song (haggled a bit, no less!), and totally worth the fact that I feel like total poo today (even after 12 hours of sleep). It had one broken leg, which my dad is remaking for me, and I'll have to learn how to use it...but these are all just details:)

After the glorious yard sale victory, I was feeling very crafty but needed to be in bed. So I finally got out my Wee Wonderfuls hand sewing projects. There's a new baby coming to the family in a short while and I needed to get cracking on a baby gift. I also feel the need to make something for the siblings, so I'm going to make the turtle, snail, and butterfly. Here's the current turtle I'm working on (one-legged and blind, at the moment):
OK, back to bed!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crunch Addicts

Apparently, Andrew and I only like crunchy food. This was my discovery today after taking a sick day for a sore throat that kept me up most of the night. Why do we not have a tub of ice cream in the fridge like every other American household? Why do I have to insist on making my own soups from my own chicken stock so that I can't just open up a can when I don't have any fresh soup made? There's only so far that cottage cheese can take you, I'll tell you that much.

So I spent the day mostly in bed, with the occasional walk up to the craft room to get supplies. I had some 3 x 5.5 inch scraps of that wonderful grade-book paper left from the stationery sets I created and I decided to make little books out of them. I brought some cardstock and my water colors into bed (my trusty breakfast-in-bed tray table - which has never seen a plate of food due to the mountain of beads and fabrics that it's usually under - made watercolors + bed a doable equation) and had fun painting rainbows.

Here are the pre-assembly shots:
And after binding:I used the Japanese stab technique, but just tied the cord off at the bottom because getting it to pull through to the middle of the book was a pain. And because I don't bind enough and I always forget how to start, I looked here to get the technique into my head.
I originally made these with the intent to put little drawings in the corners so that there was a bonus flip-book aspect to them. I'm going to put them in the shop ultimately, but I need to decide whether they must be decorated further. I've never really been good at knowing when a craft is done.

I also photographed the poultry paper stationery sets and will get some up in the shop, pronto. And if I'm in work tomorrow, Nancy...I'll bring some by ♥

Monday, May 19, 2008

Portraits of the Ladies

Now, look: how could you not love this face?Kateski's pouf just keeps getting bigger and more unruly and every time I look at her I think of a really bad case of bedhead and it cracks me up.

I tried to do a little photo session with waning light, dwindling batteries, and subjects that were, well, chickens and here is the result.

Flora, the austrolorpe:
And Amelia (she was the first in flight and the most daring and practiced of the bunch), the wyandotte:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Printing Press

I've spent a leisurely morning "watching" my favorite weekend TV show (Sunday Morning) and printing up a gocco storm. With chickens on my brain lately (sorry, can't stop thinking about them), my doodles have often been poultry-related. I burned a screen of a few of my chicken doodles a week or so ago, knowing that I wanted to turn them into stationery. And this morning, I awoke with the memory that I had just the vintage paper to turn into note paper. This lovely bunch of grade-book sheets was found last year at a yard sale. The woman who sold it to me told me that she'd kept it around, trying to sell it each year (with her husband requesting that she just chuck it, already) knowing that someone would want it. It was as if I was adopting her family pet, she was really happy it had found an owner who would turn it into something new. I was thinking about binding some more books at the time, so I thought these would make great pages...but this morning it struck me that I could just cut them up and make stationery sets out of them.So some precise cutting (perfectly soothing activity early on a Sunday....making neat little stacks of paper), a little gocco magic, a latte, and Charles Osgood; and here they are! Poultry Paper Stationery Sets:)

Oh, and I don't know why it's taken me so long, but I just finally realized the beauty of epicurious yesterday. I needed a potato salad recipe that Andrew would eat (no mayo - - it's a wonder I stay with this man) and used ingredients that I already had. Well, when you have 15 pages of potato salad recipes to choose from, you're bound to find what you're looking for. And the fact that someone has developed the technology so that I have the option of printing recipes out on 3x5 or 4x6 cards makes my heart flutter.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grounded

Lately it seems that I've been surrounding myself with flightless creatures. I'm not sure what this signifies, but the connection between my chicks and an art exhibit that I went to see today was quickly apparent.
First, the exhibit. As silkworms have been bred in captivity for hundreds of years, they have lost their ability to fly. It comes down to a bad body-to-wing size ratio, but the results are extremely tame moths that can't, well, get it up. The artists Tera Galanti has been breeding them in captivity to try to reverse this evolution and her exhibit was part sculpture, part textile project, and part science experiment all in one.

She has created hutches for the hatched moths to go in. The females go to the top platforms and the males go in the bottom. The males smell the female pheromones and go into a wing-flapping frenzy, but alas, they can't fly up. Some climb up the sides and manage to get to the females, but the hope is that males will be born with the ability to fly so that they can get up to the females and then pass on those flying genes. As a biology and art major, I always like to bring art into my bio classroom and since we're just getting into genetics, it'll be fun to talk about rates of mutation and whether we can expect to see this evolution occur in our lifetimes. In any event, the exhibit itself was lovely, slightly magical and airy. I knew I'd never be a researcher because I couldn't stand the idea of being cooped up in a lab my whole life, but this kind of research I could do.
And for those who haven't accepted the fact that homosexuality exists in nature: here are some male moths getting it on.
So what does this have to do with the chicks? Well, as it turns out, they actually can fly a bit. I'd argue that it's pretty inefficient (again, that body-to-wing ratio), but my chicks are managing to get some air time lately. Sometimes I hear a commotion and look over into the cage thinking that they're pecking each other to death, when in fact they are getting little running starts and practicing their flying skills. Who knew? Chickens can fly.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goings On

There isn't much to report around here lately, which is why I haven't. Well, there isn't much unless you consider having three insanely adorable chicks to stare at all day blog-worthy news. For fear that my blog will turn into the chick-cam, I've tried to keep the myriad of photos I've taken of them away from here...hence, I haven't been posting.

OK, it's not entirely true that I haven't been doing anything other than staring at the chicks. Sometimes I take them out and play with them, too. No, really...I finally put some flowers into pots today and I moved a hosta from here to there. I swept and organized and fussed over the front and back porches so now I'm ready to be outside more. I also posted another bag on etsy...another vintage patch pouch, but this time I sewed it up with some cotton fleece in the middle to give it some stability. Oh, and the vintage patch punchwork (used to make the totes) that I found at a yard sale a few years ago? The same lady was having a sale this weekend and I found another piece of the stuff, so I have two more patches to sew. I went to the yard sale again hoping I'd find it...when I went two years ago, I tried to haggle her down since I was buying a lot of the embroidery, but she wouldn't budge. Stubbornly, I refused to take it all (instant regret, but ego intact). Well, she got me in the end because two years later, I forked over the rest of the cash for the last bit of it. I know it might seem odd that I'd find it at the same yard sale, but this is a mondo yard sale - - like I think the woman has a serious hoarding problem. Too bad for her, but fine by me because she has some great stuff to look through. I got a cool printed table cloth that will become something tote-like, some fuchsia satin (oh yeah), and another sweet little piece of embroidery with ducks on it. As for the punchwork, I think I might put a patch on a thrifted skirt and save the last one for something else.

I've also cast on another knitting project...another top for me, which is my way of avoiding the fact that I have some baby gifts to be thinking about for the very near future. And I've started burning a few gocco screens. Not sure what'll come out of it, but my gocco has been calling to me!
OK, enough is enough. The chicks are doing something cute...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Chickens Have Arrived!

So, I got chickens. I don't think I've blogged about it yet because it also seemed a little unreal, but there it is: I have chickens. I belong to COOP (you can find a link to the site on my blog) and our order of 50 or so chicks came yesterday. Here are my girls, a polish, silver laced wyandotte, and astrolope, checking out their new digs. I'm having trouble motivating to get myself to school today because I just want to hang out with them:)
The Polish:The Wyandotte:

The Astrolope:

Drinkies:
Face in food:

And my first attempt at adding a video to my blog:

video

made. by k.d.