Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Viridian Elephant Mad Sandwich Debacle, is Jiro Defend?

Mangonel immediately captured my heart by being able to hurl large objects, sometimes in flames, quite a long distance where they would land and cause all kinds of damage. Plus Mangonel knew that Pangur Ban means "White Cat'. But I know what 'Blodduydd' means, so HA. (This is where Chaucers Bitch struts onto the scene and blows us all away with her Old and Middle English and a smitch of Welsh fu. Smartass.) I'll do the linkie squinkie thing after I've had some coffee; in the meantime link back through my comments on mangonels avatar. SUFFER.


1. Other children want to be firemen, president, perhaps ballerinas. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a wilderness person. Or, in other words, a hermit. Seriously. I must have read 'My Side of the Mountain' fifty times. I gathered survival supplies like wax coated striker matches, a pocket knife, tinder, first aid stuff, string, boullion cubes... oh yes. I had them hidden all over the neiborhood. I studied the old Boy Scouts manual on woodcrafting, army manuals, hunting magazines; I was totally into it. I was going to survive, man. Raise bees, weave wildgathered mountain goat wool, gather berries and herbs, kill and dress my own game...I was going to build a stone cabin and chop wood and dam a crick and raise trout. I have all the Foxfire books and the early hippie Whole Earth - Shelter publications, and I have them practically memorized. I was totally into biology and animal and plant identification, all that stuff. In fact I was....

2. One of the few, the proud, the Rangerettes. Yes, I was a charter member of Ranger Ricks Nature Club, and I have the badge to prove it. (It was a kids wilderness magazine.) Had I not had the respiratory difficulties I would have happily gone into the Forest Service. Mountain Muk!

3. I have never been arrested or questioned by the police. And that's their fault, not mine. Ahem.

4. I cannot display a picture of a person if the eyes are staring straight out at the viewer because eyeballs creep me out. I also do not display family pictures. When I want to see them, I will. Otherwise I already know what they look like.

5. In 1978 I was solicited to appear in a porno movie.

Nails on the head with a pinecone: Chaucers Bitch, Ziggi, Tom 909, Treespotter and Noshit Sherlock!

Monday, November 20, 2006

this is what i did

...in between bouts of hacking, barfing and trying not to pee myself from all the hacking and barfing. Yes, it's been nothing but refined and tasteful family fun here at rancho FirstNations.

I have mentioned in passing that I like to do embroidery.
Well I do. Like to do embroidery.
It's a perfect sick-person craft. The supplies are small and not too messy and the working of it is fascinating in the best sense of the word; it captivates your full interest.

I taught myself embroidery when I was about twelve or so and by the time I was in high school I was embroidering Levi jeans, jackets and cutoffs for $$bux. Lotsa peace signs, dope leaves, that 'Cocaine' design that looked like the Coca-Cola script, album covers, 'Keep On Truckin', etc. (It was the 'Seventies, ok?) I never did the tea towel and antimacassar thing. I learned to make all these dainty little stitches through heavy denim because I didn't know any better. That and nobody was asking me to embroider 'Things go better with Cocaine' on tea towels. The unexpected side benefit of all this was, I got fast, because I wanted that cash, and I developed a lot of strength and dexterity in my hands.

I wanted to make a quilt out of embroidered patches. In order to keep this quilt from ending up weighing 50 pounds I couldn't use full weight denim. That meant I had to re-learn all my techniques when I started working on lighter weight cloth. I still have a really heavy touch so I have to stitch all my fabric into the embroidery frame or else it warps. Once I do that, though, I can work in fine detail at an even faster pace and use longer hanks of thread - heavy fabric wears thread down to a hair so you have to keep it short if you want your finished design to look nice. I work like lightning now, and thats a new and interesting thing. If you're, you know, sick and limited in terms of outside stimulation.

The stitches I rely on most of all are the split stich, wrapped split stitch, the chain, backchain, buttonhole and modified french knot. I used to work a lot of things in blocked or couched satin stitch, but it doesn't hold up well under wear. Lately I've been using forbidden stitch and although it's ruining my eyesight, the outcome is dazzling!
Every one of the following images can be clicked on and enlarged, in case you are bored enough to want to examine the work closely. So here ya be:

Three kinds of bumblebees that live in my garden, full and fat and all loaded up with pollen. I didn't include the stingers because this is a friendly quilt and maybe little kids might sleep under it, so you don't want stingy bees.

A single wild rose with a variegated petal. This is in honor of my grandmother, whose name was 'Rose', and so it is simple, beautiful and old fashioned.

Here's one for you cat lovers. This marmelade kittys' name is, of course, 'Kells'. He started out plain, but ended up illuminated. I thought this sleeping cat looked very much like calligraphy and vicey voisey, so I hung some from his tail and illuminated that, too.

Everyone always wants to see what the back looks like. So here ya go; the back. Looks like crap, right? Thats why it's not the front.
I tack these patches onto a percale backing which protects the knots and bridges. Sometimes I'll dab a bit of clear nail polish on things if they seem tenuous just to be sure. Another leftover from working on denim clothes; things have to be sturdy.

The Mystic Pontiac 442 Tesseract of Mystery! I thought it would be neat to have the shadow of a fourth dimensional object on my quilt. Drawing a hypercube is a lot harder than you'd think it would be. I was going to make it look all electrical and lightning-y, but I decided to customize it with hot rod flames instead.

The initials of a person who paints like a magician. I hope it doesn't look like he owns the Gas company. It's supposed to be an attenuate painters brush.

This is a blue frog with a wand of black pussywillow over the top and a wand of staghorn willow on the bottom. I started it 2 weeks before the Goonybird was born; my willows were in bloom then and they'd come on like mad things!
When the Goonybird emerged he was cerulean, shaped small and sweet like a small frog you find in the garden, all curled up and blinking. He changed from blue to pale pink to vermillion like a chameleon, all in the space of five minutes, and then he was in our world.

Ok. Thats the result of seven days work. Next are a few pieces I've done in the past and an overview of the project so far. So sit down, strap in, and keep your head, hands and feet inside of the car while this ride is in motion, kids!

This is very much like a beautiful (dead) moth I used to have (tacked to my kitchen wall with a straight pin). When it fell apart I copied this picture of it out of a book. I did it in full strength thread (six strand floss) using a seed stitch and french knots to represent its' matte, velveteen texture.

Step back; the grooviness is almost too much for mortal eyes to bear!
This is cotton floss worked on a cotton-polyester ground, and the polyester content has made it pucker over time. Had it all been pure cotton all the fibers would have 'come into agreement' after being washed and dried on a flat surface and the piece would have remained relatively stable. All embroidery puckers to a certain extent, though. Just not this damn much.

This is an imaginary spider. Honest. I had Shelob in mind; the first Ring movie had just come out. I had a blast working in the beads and the different strengths and stitches of floss to represent the crustaceous abdomen.

I join different patches together on the backing with an embroidered overlay. This is a fatty-fat little chinese good luck bat and some chinese clouds for him to fly through.

Tree copied from a medieval manuscript. The red fruits are fancy cast glass beads and stand proud of the surface. Those sapsuckers are fastened on like barnacles, too...I used fishing line and nail polish to reinforce them. I ain't fucking around here.

Tree copied from a Persian manuscript. Experimenting with a more traditional look I worked in a very loose stitch here and didn't like it much. It's pretty, but it pulls, and eventually it will come out. Traditional embroidery was more for looking at than using.

My girldog Jett. Although she is black, not blue, and does not fly. Much. I'll sew the patch with the stingless bumblebees next to her so she can always play with her favorite toys and never have to worry about them biting her back. Yes, her head really is that small in relation to the rest of her, poor dippy thing.

A cartoon rendering of my boydog Opie, tatoing.
And farting.
Both dogs are done in contoured forbidden stitch with a wrapped split stitch outline and lettering. Opie also sports a split stitch aura of mystic tatoness.

...And this, finally, is a really bad overview of the work so far; at least the stuff on backing. Theres a whole pile of other finished patches waiting to be pieced and joined. However I intend to spare you.

For now.

Bison Demanding! Surgical Mandate, Chrysler LeBaron!

You are not rid of me that easily!
I am back!

*hackgaghackhackbarfgag ack bleah frap*

Right now I'm at the Stainless Steel Amazons' house watching the Goonybird.

I have arm cars.

A Chevy, a vintageT-bird, a Caddy and I think an Impala.

I was wondering why he kept running back and forth to his room and patting me on the arm. I just looked down and noticed I've been running around for the past few hours with a bunch of car stickers on me.

Taking those off oughta feel real good. Thank you, white people dna, for the fuzzy arms. And for the fuzzy legs, the fuzzy upper lip* the sideburns, and the hairy hobbit toes. Thank God I'm Red. That counteracts the ofay somewhat. Therefore I have the gracious dna of my native ancestors to thank for the fact that, apres shower, I do NOT look like I am showing a Komondor while carrying a Poodle under each arm.

Little Crufts joke there.

I'm ambulatory, but I'm still coughing, and by this I mean coughing until I barf, sometimes. No shit. Of course it doesnt take much to make me blow chow; I even have to be careful brushing my teeth, but still. Not cool.
Ok, maybe a little cool, but it depends on what I've et recently. Say, Oreos. Fuck yeah. Profoundly cool. Black vomit? Come on. Gene Simmons doesn't even do that.

So it looks like I am as recovered as I'll ever be. Seems this last bout of flu fried the fuck out of my lungs to the point I have to go back on a steroid inhaler and a steroid nasal spray too. Now, that has a good side and a bad side...the good side is that I'll be able to breathe and my allergies won't bother me. I'll also have beautiful skin and hair, put on muscle mass with little effort and be full of ambition. The down side is threefold: 1. My face will get round and peachy colored like a goddam alcoholic Swede 2. Merely walking past a person who is thinking about a donut will cause me to gain weight, and 3. I'll be hornier than a three peckered billygoat. Yup. All side effects of steroid use. And I always get 'em. In another week the Biker's going to have to lock himself in the truck to get any sleep.
I'll be standing on the hood flexing my hairy biceps as I try to pry open the cab with a crowbar.
"Let me in, sweetheart! I only wanna talk to you!" WHAM! BASH!

Still, breathing is better than, you know, not breathing. Because not breathing sucks kinda.
Ask me. I know.

Tomorrow I will show you what I spent my week doing. No, not for me this vapid languishing on any bed of pain...mainly because lying down makes my damn lungs fill up with guck; otherwise I'd be on the olympic languishing team, yo...no, I know how to keep myself amused.

Anyway, I have a bunch of pictures to download so watch this space!

Oh. And, a burrito is a rockin' ass combination of a flour or corn tortilla wrapped around some nice warm refries, with maybe some onions, maybe some cheese. Definitely hot sauce. I've done a disturbingly large number of posts devoted to this most perfect of foods, so backread.

*also partially the fault of Catholocism. Check it out sometime; it's a fact. Catholic women are fricken Sasquatches. Even converts. Oh hell yes. When My ex-mother-in-law converted, one week later BAMMO! Barbershop quartet! It's just one of those mysteries of nature.