Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 114 and 115: I have been working on this quilt for about five years.  It started out as patching a couple of tears in a comforter.  As time went on, there were more and more tears, and I kept patching them up.  Then it became fun to just put patches on spots that weren't worn out, and to stick with certain colors.  I have cut the patches out mostly from pieces of clothing that became worn or I was no longer wearing, and I have bought some clothing for it from the thrift store.  I thought it might be possible to finish the quilt off as one of my recycled projects.  I sewed about 55 patches on in two days.  There are still a few spots of the old comforter left (the blue plaid), but I did get a lot of it done.  It feels beautiful and cheerful in my room.
Day 116:  Since I only had one pair of shorts, and it is FINALLY warm enough here in Taos for wearing shorts, I made a pair from some jeans.  It was a little more complicated than just cutting the legs off.  This was a pair of jeans I was ready to get rid of because not only were they wearing out, but the pockets had lost their metal rivets and the flaps wouldn't stay flat.  So I sewed new buttons on the pockets, and just sewed the pockets shut.  My legs have already enjoyed one happy day in the sunshine wearing these.

 Day 117:  I really needed a simple project today because I injured my right arm (not too badly, I think I sprained my elbow, it mostly hurts if I straighten it or put weight on my right hand.  I must have twisted it practicing on the trapeze).  Anyhow, I recently ran out of my Panch Phoran spice blend which came in this cute little tin.  I simply glued on a few little pictures.  I like that it looks like one bird is telling the other, "time for a change."  I like change a lot, it's pretty much always time for a change (or an adventure) as far as I'm concerned.  The picture of the nest is on the inside of the lid.  The funny thing about making this was that I was having fantasies of being more seriously injured and not being able to continue using my right arm for making things.  I was imagining making things with only my left arm, or learing to make things with my toes.  That would be an interesting 365 project: "Things I've made with my toes." 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 109:  Okay, so, this is not too exciting, my magazine paper snowflake.  It's not even one of the most interesting snowflakes I've ever made, but I've never made one out of magazine paper before.  I like that part of it at least. 
Day 110:  I decorated a lid from a jar of nacho cheese.  This will also be filled with resin at some point and then I'll glue a magnet on the back.  This project is a little artistic encouragement for myself on my path of singlehood.
Day 111 and 112: I started saving my receipts for all kinds of things back in March, thinking I would make something out of them eventually.  I decided on making a bowl out of them by rolling each one into a circle and then joining the circles together.  Once again, my materials didn't go as far as I expected, and once again, I plan on adding to this project as time goes on.  This is made up of about 63 receipts so far. (I keep losing track while counting, because the circles aren't in straight rows.  Reminds me of trying to count a roly-poly's legs yesterday while it was crawling accross my hand.  It was hard to keep track of them while they were in motion, but I think it had seven pairs of legs.)  I used a stainless steel bowl as the surface for gluing these together so it could take on the same shape.  It is just barely starting to curve up the sides.  The bowl worked great though, the paper didn't stick to it at all.  I like how this turned out and I think it has the potential to be quite stunning when finished. 
Day 113: I found a beautiful branch when I was out walking a few weeks ago, but I was far from my car and didn't want to carry it with me a couple of miles up the road.  I remembered it when I was on the same road yesterday, and I pulled over and put it in my trunk.  I had seen a tree in a magazine that was made out of black and white paper that I thought was very beautiful.  It looked like it was made of wire or some other base, but I thought, why not just cover an actual branch with paper? I like the irony of covering wood with something made out of wood.  I was very engaged in this project. It was time consuming, but refreshing, something I find true about creating trees in general.  It's like an external manifestation of the spirit of growth inside me. At midnight, I looked at the clock and told myself, "I'm almost done, I can finish," but it was close to 1:00 when I finally passed out.  It was like a good book I couldn't put down.  Here I am looking a little gothic (unintentionally), dressed in black holding my white branch:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 105, 106, and 107: I'm going to get a little personal here, only because this project has become such a big part of my life and therefore intersects with other parts of my life and influences them. There are some things I know about myself that I find frustrating, like my desire to be in a relationship but my inability to stick with it.  So, alas, I find myself single again, on the solo path.  I see people who are married or who have been with the same person for a mind blowing amount of time and are still loving and enjoying each other.  I wonder, what do they have that I don't,  is it some sort of internal ability to be able to stay with someone and be happy with that choice, or is it a matter of meeting the right person?  I think that it is both, but which of the two is more the reason for me, I don't know.  I do know that I have a hard time being alone, and as soon as one relationship ends, it's not long before I'm at it again.  It doesn't take much, just someone who acts like I'm something special and makes me laugh a few times, and I'm diving in, but it doesn't seem to last for me.  It's not that things get dramatic or we start fighting or anything, it's just that the desire fades away.  So I had the thought (this is where the project comes in), that it could be interesting, challenging, and beneficial for me to stay single through the rest of the duration of this project.  This seems like a big feat for me, almost harder than creating every day!  I think I could gain some insight on myself and my patterns in relationship if I just step out of it for a while.  So, that's my new goal.  Doing a 365 project can really be supportive for this kind of thing, cause I've already found that no matter what I'm going through in life, I find purpose, comfort, and distraction in the creative process.  I put an exta over the top amount of time in this particular project, cause I was needing something to channel all the emotion and mixed up thoughts into, and through the course of being so engaged for three days, I came up with this new plan of action.  It may be hard to believe, but the tiny little amount of foilage on top of this tree is made out of 508 circles cut from all kinds of boxes: cereal, crackers, ice cream cones, mac and cheese, etc.  I used what I made on day 2 and expanded on it.  I spent about 15 hours making this tree.  I had thought with that amount of time and that many circles, that it would be bigger on top.  I guess I have another project that I'll add to over time, which is good news really, cause it's amazing how fast I accumulate boxes.

Day 108: I took a little box from a tiffin I bought at the store where I work, and cut a few inches off the top and then decorated it.  This was both a fun and simple project.  I like how when you make something with pieces of paper that have words on it, you can read it, but not have a clue what it's about. Also the black squares have partial images on them, some of them indistinguishable.  I like that, I find the mystery intriguing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 101: I spent a few hours over at my friend Will's house pouring the resin into the bottle caps.  The job to pour the resin fell on me, because I was the only one not too scared of the side effects of inhaling the stuff.  If I were to do it again, I would definitely wear a better mask (rather than doing it bandit style with a bandana covering half my face), becasue I really don't wanna cause any trouble for my brain cells.  Anyhow I don't have a finished picture of the bottle caps.  Last I saw them, they were laying accross the work table in Will's garage waiting to harden.  So I did a mini project later on when I got home.  I revisited a couple of my earlier origami projects.  I made a mini magazine flower that fits into my gift box from Day 99 (it's a little bigger than a quarter), and I added on to one of my black and white magazine flowers way back from the first week of this project (I think it looks neat with another color in the middle). 
Day 102: I had been wanting to do a portrait of a friend using pointilism, and using circles punched out of magazine paper as the points.  I wanted to just try out the technique to see if it was possible or completely annoying to work with those tiny little dots.  It ended up being completely annoying, but mostly because my hole punch is dull and every circle I punched would hang onto the paper and I'd have to tear them off.  So when I reached my limit with the hole punching, I added on some squares and called it good.  Not that the finished result is in any way something I adore or want to keep (it reminds me of something I would have made in third grade back in the 80's), but it's my creation, my experimentation, my art, none the less. Art is a process of trying and trying, expressing and expressing, until finally something works, breaks through, becomes what you've always wanted to show the world you could do.
Day 103:  I had the idea that I would take this chair and paint it and add some sort of magazine paper design to it like I did with the yellow cabinet.  The problem is, I like it too much just plain green. (Well, the green really isn't plain is it? It almost screams at ya.)  Having an undecorated chair also leaves the door open for another awesome pillow project in the future.  This chair is one of several that were in my house as a kid, from the time I was born.  It might seem a shame to cover up the wood with a coat of paint, but psychologically it can feel good to take something from your child hood and transform it.

Day 104:  I made itsy bitsy magazine paper boxes.  Some magazine paper is just so beautiful, it's just begging to be made into something else.  These pages are from an Adbuster's magazine (quite a work of art in itself) and are exceptionally sweet as little boxes.  The smallest one is about an inch long on each side, and the words are a quote from Ghandi about non-violent resistance.

(and now a little side note... The woman I work for, Sara Basehart, left me a little gift yesterday to celebrate reaching day 100.  She gave me an awesome pair of scissors, which I really needed because all of my scissors are exceptionally dull.  I am easily touched by gestures like this, so there I am at work, discovering the scissors with a little note attached, and then my eyes get all watery...) 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 96:  This dragon has lived on many clothing items.  I bought a pair of pants new and the dragon was on the bottom of one leg.  (This was about ten years ago).  When the pants wore out I kept the dragon and sewed it onto a hoodie.  I wore the hoodie so much that the ends of the sleeves became shredded.  So I undid the stiching and saved it once again.  (That was about three years ago).  Here it is again living its third life on my red tank top. 

Day 97 and 98:  I was so excited when we got a new shipment of rugs in the store.  More rugs means more cardboard tubes!  I finished the structure of the sculpture one day, and then began covering it with paper the next.  It may not look too impressive, but to glue all the little pieces of paper, pushing them into the cracks and smoothing them around the curves is quite an endeavor.  I spent somewhere between three and four hours just to get this far with the red.  
Day 99: I decorated a little gift box.
Day 100:  There is something exciting about reaching day 100, even though it's hard to imagine going for 265 more days, it feels like I've come a long way so far.  The project for this day was super fun because I was hanging out with my friend Will, his daughter Harlo, and my daughter Mazi.  They had already made a bunch of these a month or so ago, so it was fun to join them this time around.  We got a little manic, it was hard to stop.  We stayed up till after one, just cutting and gluing. The girls liked adding the glitter to all the bottle caps we decorated. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 91 and 92: I took an old dress that I had stopped wearing and re-created it into something fun.  I enjoy redesigning clothes because I hold onto clothes sometimes thinking that I will wear them again, but there are certain items that I never do.  Then there comes a point when I finally decide that I either have to give it away or transform it.  Either one feels great, because who really needs neglected clothes lurking in their closet?  This project has inspired me to finish going through my clothes that I never wear with the intention of either transforming them or giving them away.  Wouldn't it be nice only to have clothes that you actually wear?

Day 93: I decorated a laundry soap box.  I always buy unscented Arm and Hammer, which I'm sure benefits a project like this because then there is no strong scent left in the box.  I used pictures of Wonder Woman from a magazine article that was written about both the history of the comic and the stereotype it reinforces and creates.  Then I added pictures of women reading.  I'll let you make your own interpretation, but I like the contrast between the images of Wonder Woman and "women who wonder."

Day 94: I did a collage in my "dream book," which is also becoming a place where I put poems, images that inspire me, and things that I think about.  I saved the cover of a Bitch magazine that I loved (by the way, the reason it's called "Bitch" is because it is a statement against times when women get called "bitch" just for speaking their truth, it has nothing really to do with being a mean, hateful woman).  I kept the name of the magazine in the collage because it is a reflection of myself and my opinion on how women are sometimes treated in this crazy world of ours.  I absolutely loved the recycled magazine paper dress on the cover. Trash fashion is very fascinating to me, because fashion itself is such a fleeting, changing ideal that women chase after, and I like that the trash really emphasizes the temporary state of it, and also the impracticality of it.  On the note of fashion, I added a woman wearing a bird and a little girl being wild in her "little lady" attire.
Day 95: I decorated the cover of my Dream Book.  This recycled art was done by a couple of guys from Haiti.  Their names are Cubreus Lherisson and David Boyer, they do art together under the name of Kongo Laroze studio.  I love all the buttons, the forks for the hands and computer parts in the tail fins.  The cover did wrinkle as I glued in on, but I like it anyway.  I tend to see just as much or sometimes more beauty in things that have some imperfection, cause perfectionism can drive a person nuts (believe me, I know), and letting go of perfectionism can feel really sweet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 86 and 87:  It seems like more and more I am taking two days to complete one project.  When I first started I had a lot of excitement and energy about creating every day.  There was more than just one day a week where I found myself staying up into the wee hours of the night just to get a project done, but I just couldn't maintain this (sleep deprivation was slowly taking over), or figure out a way to get my project finished earlier.  So at this point, I'm settling into a routine that I can more easily maintain, rather than choosing to stay up late at night fumbling around with trash, then stumbling out the next morning zombie-like to live the rest of my life.  So basically, even if a project isn't extremely time consuming, but I'm working on it before bed and reaching the zombie zone, I'm gonna stop and finish it the next day.  My first internal response to a shift in the original intention of this project is that I have failed, or that I'm becoming a slacker.  When I honestly assess the situation though, I admit that I am still creating for several hours every day, I'm trying new things, and maybe even having more fun now that I've loosened up a bit.  On that note, I present the capri sun purse I made for my daughter.  I got the capri sun pouches from Luis, the owner of the store next door to where I work, who has a very "capri"cious three year old daughter.  I sewed this all by hand (I don't have a sewing machine at this point).  I like making things for Mazi because it is fun to see her joy in having something mom-made. 
Day 88 and 89:  When I started covering up my cardboard tube table the other day, I got thinking about other shapes I could make out of cardboard tubes and other shades of paper they could be plastered in.  I only got so far before I ran out of tubes, so this is not the finished shape, but I find it interesting so far. 
Day 90: Mazi bought these tall converse look alikes with her own money and soon after the zipper up the back gave out.  It seemed like it would be difficult to replace the zipper, so I cut them down to make them smaller.  I also cut two ends off the long laces and sewed them together in the middle to make a shorter lace.  I think this project is particularly humourous.