Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In my drawers and on my shelves

I am not by nature a hoarder. Everything I own is something I need to have, and it's all very organized.  Well, somewhat organized.  I can usually find a thing quickly when I need it.  Recently someone said to me, "Your studio must be packed with astounding things."  It is, and here are some of them.  

On the Shelves

First, some items which are out in the open.  I collected those Dolls of the World at one time.  I ripped off their tacky costumes their plastic shoes and ratty hair.  Underneath, they are lovely androids, waiting for me to give them purpose.  I think they look nice just as they are.

Various mediums, sealants, textures and grounds.  All I have to do is swivel around in my chair and pick one.  They're expensive, but they last a very long time.  My most recent discovery is Yes! paste.  We're working on our relationship.  
Some of the larger balls of twine and string.  There is also a vintage string drawer, in addition to a drawer for threads, string and cord of all types.  There's just something about string that I cannot resist.  

Miscellaneous artifacts.  These are items that I'm certain will be essential to future projects.  But if they sit there long enough, I will consider listing them on Etsy as supplies.  I'm still inspired every day by everything I have.  Nothing seems old to me, or like it was a bad purchase, ever.  

A bin of electrical parts.  I like taking gadgets apart.  I've recently cleared a lot of things out, because I was never going to use some of the old housings, etc.  Only the giblets, the tender inner bits, remain.  These were never meant to be looked at, and that makes them worth seeing.  

More sundries.  I recently found the vintage flashlight at a thrift store for 50 cents.  I'm thrilled when that happens.  I love the old light fixtures, too.  They are so sculptural.  The plastic bag is full of plastic fingers that used to contain bubble blowing liquid.  Now they're just cool.

In My Drawers

One of my charms drawers.  This one contains mainly body parts - hands, feet, faces, etc.  Some of them are milagros, or miraculous medals used for curing ailments.  All of them are of high quality, because there's just no point in working with low-quality materials.  This is one of about four charm drawers, which are not to be confused with embellishment drawers.  

This drawer is just for rivets, eyelets, and the tools to apply them.  When I'm in a creative frenzy I have to be able to find exactly what I want when I want it.  So Unfrenzied Me prepares the way for Frenzied Me. These are organized by metal color, size, and type.  

One of the "white and clear" bead drawers, of which there are three.  Small white beads are so very useful.  These all started life in vintage necklaces, which I carefully took apart.  Doing this, I know very few if any people are going to have the same supplies.  And it's fun.

One of my "focal components" drawers.  My industrial aesthetic is evident here.  On the left are bits of fossilized bone.  At top are some vintage fraternal organization ribbons.  And then there's an old rubber plug and a British knitting needle gauge.  Something will come of this.

The blue bead drawer.  Beads are classified by color now.  I started out classifying them by material but that was obviously silly.  Again, a lot of these came from vintage necklaces.  But some are African trade beads, which are a fave of mine.  Only a very few are new.

Another focal elements drawer.  I have a thing for vintage Tootsie cars and Lesney, their British equivalent.  They make great focal elements.  Also bits of vintage jewelry, paper (in the wrong drawer!), vintage faucets and industrial elements.  These drawers were not rearranged before photographing them, obviously.  

The Studio

Finally, a work in progress.  Some things have to sit around and germinate for a while.  I got some old radios a while back and I'm letting them sit and stew.  Every now and then I rearrange them, put items inside them, and so on.  One day something will click.  At right is a light tower from a miniature railroad.  This will be great.  

So there you have it - some insight into what it takes to work in many mediums.  I've never chosen between jewelry, collage, and assemblage.  I love working with metal, and glue, and I simply must take things apart.  When I go into my studio I rarely know what I'm going to be doing that day - cleaning up, starting a project, ending one, or just rearranging.  I do know I'll have fun.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Evil Laughter: The Filmette

I've made my first filmette!. In it, with only the aid of my finger, I demonstrate a doll voicebox I have available in the FionaDorothy shop on Etsy.

Having made it, I realized it might have a certain surreal appeal all on its own.  And now many other filmette possibilities are occurring to me.

Today: YouTube.  Tomorrow: Cannes?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Mary Can't Party Anymore

I came across the following when searching for collage materials.  

Forget Madam Ruppert's face bleach.  Madam Ruppert (aka The Masked Woman) was woefully misguided.  Nothing with the word "corrosive" in it should come within five yards of the human body.  Mrs. R probably wishes she'd realized that sooner.  

I call your attention to the ingredients in Micajah's Medicated Uterine Wafers.  This is terrible, bad, horrible, nasty idea.  (Even the idea of a "uterine wafer" is bizarre.)  Forget the bismuth and the zinc.  Never mind the acacia.  Dwell on the mercury and carbolic acid.  And of course a "sufficient quantity" of water.  To do what, put out the fire?

You want me to put what, where???

Monday, August 10, 2015

More things I'm thinking about

These days, I like to just sit a lot and think.  I'm pretty sure this is what it will be like to be 80, only I won't realize I'm doing it like I do now.  At 70 I'll realize I'm doing it when I'm interrupted, but I will respond in a cranky "you're full of beans" way to any criticism.  Wait, I do that now.

At least now I can usually pay attention to what I'm thinking about and make note of it.  If you like, I'm remarking on what I'm remarking on - or even if you don't like, because this is my blog.  The things that draw my attention are usually visual.

Swing your partner all around.  
Here's a standard dress pattern from the 60s.  It's the kind of style my mother used to wear, and I'm certain she had this pattern or one like it, because she used to make her own clothes and she taught me to make mine as well.  Seen today, with decades of life experience between me and my childhood, this pattern looks ridiculous to the point of embarrassment.  What were the pattern makers thinking?

Did an actual adult draw this woman and get paid for it?  Because this woman is seriously deformed.  Like the Barbie doll, if she were an actual human being she'd be eight feet tall with a waist circumference of 12" - no room for internal organs, but maybe they're under that square dance skirt.  A person who was that tall couldn't stand without external support, especially with proportionately child-sized feet, for more than two seconds before falling over - and of course she'd snap off at the waist.

The layout of this pattern is all wrong, as well.  Is she about to pat the head of that poor tiny woman behind her, or is she swatting her away like a bothersome fly? Is that the very first "Talk to the hand?"  It's hard to believe this pattern ever sold, but I know that it and its equally hideous sister patterns did, because I remember my mother buying them and making them, and everyone else's mother was doing it, too.  Why was this the woman our mothers wanted to be?

Naked canoer
A postcard we just listed in our FionaDorothy shop.  I went through a postcard phase a few years ago, and bought up several lots.  Okay, more than several.  I listed most of them yesterday.  This postcard in particular caught my eye, because it's so over the top.  And I don't mean in an "Oops, we're canoing over Niagara Falls" kind of way.  I mean in a gruesome pseudo-naughty kind of way.  There is no reason for this woman to be naked, or even a little bit unclothed - except that nudity sells.  She also looks more Italian than native American, but it might be racist of me to notice that.  She has baseball-like breasts which are startlingly unsexual.  These led me to look up the definition of "mature content" on Etsy, so that I'd know if I had to label her as such.  Turns out breasts are not considered to be mature content.  Who knew?

The strangest thing about this photo is not the nudity, but the description on the back, which tells us that the tribe this woman belonged to believed the roar of the Falls was the voice of the Great Spirit.  No, they didn't.  They recognized the sound of a lot of water going over a cliff.  The description goes on to say ". . .she and her father still live in a crystal cave behind the waterfall."  No, they don't, but feel free to go look for them.  First take of your clothes, then rent a canoe.

A very bad girl indeed.
For you fetishists, here is Bondage Chicken.  In one photo, we have a combination of so many kinky pecadillos it's hard to know where to begin.  First, there's raw meat.  Someone must be into that, but I don't want to know.  Then of course the bondage.  That chicken looks extremely well-trussed in a painful yet very disciplined way.  And a shoe fetish, with one having fallen off (naughty, sloppy, careless chicken, about to be stuffed!).

There is the cleanliness fetish, because there are obviously chicken. . .err. . .juices on that cutting board, and we all know how dangerous those can be.  Then there's the organizational fetish, wherein some people spend thousands of dollars getting their closets arranged just so.  That hanger is not being used correctly, and that would bother those people.  A lot.

And finally, there's the issue of photographing underage models.  People, this is someone's daughter!  She can't be a day over six months, and she will never get any older.

And if she hangs around much longer she won't be any good for frying.

Jimmy's done it again!
I love vintage ads.  They reveal so much about the fears and hopes of humans in other times.  Sometimes they're ingenious.  And sometimes they are just plain odd.  Here's one from the latter category.

First, were shorts that burst into flame ever a problem for anyone?  If so, was the problem caused by friction, or was someone deliberately setting crotch fires?  Did only boys burst into flames?  And note that these shorts are only "fire retardant," not fireproof.  That means they slowed the fire down.  Presumably to allow for time to throw the kid into the pool.

Second, is it good marketing to put this image in customers' minds? And if the boy were actually burning, would he be standing still?  Wouldn't the wall be on fire, too?  And I can't help noticing those danger shorts he's supposedly wearing are not on fire at all.

This looks looks more like a campfire with legs.  Now that's a scary idea.

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