Archive for September, 2010

Halloween Sabbath

September 30, 2010

October Craft Sabbath is coming up on Sunday. Once again we will be at the Main Library right downtown from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

You will be pleased or perhaps alarmed to find the vendors in goofy, scary and maybe even sexy costumes. Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe is joining the army of undead that frequents the event. And we may have an uprising of 1980s aerobics instructors who wear very modest clothing.

Fun, quick costumes will be for sale, especially for those who want to be festive at the office, but don’t want to look like a jackass if the big boss shows up for an on-the-spot performance review. Super hero outfits, kitty cat barrettes and even outfits for your squidleigh will be available. Our friend, Amber, who makes nothing but soap will be offering natural fall-scented carpet deodorizer this month and next.

Todd and I have been secretively working on some screen prints for the ghoulish festival, featuring dated images from the mental health system. If you sport one of these shirts or dresses, the ghost of Freud might perch on your boob, while neurons and dendrites creep up your shoulder. And of course, where would our Halloween spirit be if we didn’t include a picture of electroconvulsive shock therapy? We will donate a portion of the proceeds from the day to NAMI Utah, in hope of making the mental health system a little less spooky for everyone.

Halloween Craft Sabbath
Sunday, October 3, 2010
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Main Library
210 E 400 S
Salt Lake City

Nudie the Rodeo Tailor

September 28, 2010

Nudie Cohn & Gram Parsons

Blue Nudie Suit

Blue Nudie Suit

Sure, Coco Channel and Christian Dior have an important place in fashion history. But, neither of them makes the grade as my personal fashion hero. That place belongs to the one and only Nudie, the Rodeo Tailor.

Nudie Cohn is known as the first man to put a rhinestone on a western shirt. Without him, where would Elton John, Johnny Cash, Lonnie Anderson and John Wayne be, image-wise? In the toilet, that’s where! He outfitted them with a combo of F-you attitude, glam and flamboyance that no other designer dared to touch.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Nudie was born in Kiev, Russia in 1902. That’s right, the best western tailor who ever lived was not western, or even American. At age 11, he followed his older brother to the U.S., hoping to leave a difficult life of too little money and food to go around. He settled in Brooklyn and the tailoring skills he had learned in his father’s boot shop were put to good use. However the streets of American were not paved with gold, as he had been told as child. Nudie dreamed of becoming a cowboy like his hero, Tom Mix. A teacher presented him with his only pair of shoes, a mismatched pair of cowboy boots, and Nudie vowed to wear mismatched boots the rest of his life in memory of this gift and his difficult past.

Nudie and Dale Evans

Nudie and Dale Evans

In the 1930s, newly wed to his lifelong partner, Bobbie, Nudie opened “Nudies for the Ladies” on Broadway in Manhattan. His clients were burlesque queens and strippers, and Nudie unleashed rhinestone on the girl’s costumes and g-string. Eventually Bobbie and Nudie moved to California where he became the tailor for Hollywood’s prettiest girls.

Hank Williams

Hank Williams

Nudie and Bobbie had a lot of ups and downs in business. They discovered western wear and Nudie’s flair with yokes and two-toned jackets began to turn a profit. However, life was not easy. Nudie got his break from his continued involvement in the country music scene. He and Bobbie outfitted Tex Williams and his band, and never looked back.

Lonnie Anderson

Lonnie Anderson

Nudie went on to outfit cowgirl Dale Evans, Gail Davis (Annie Oakley), John Voight (in Rhinestone Cowboy), Cher, John Lennon, David Cassidy and Ann Margaret. Lefty Frizell became the first country-western star Nudie talked into wearing rhinestones. George Jones and Tammy Wynette also had their share of custom-made Nudie outfits. Even David Lee Roth posed for photos in a gorgeous Nudie jacket. Nudie’s sense of style was not limited to clothing. He outfitted all of his and Bobbie’s cars in western gear, decorating them with mounted pistols and steer horns.

Nudie in one of his famous cars

Nudie in one of his famous cars

Nudie died in 1984 at age 81. His wife and granddaughter Jamie continued the business for many years, however Bobbie’s retirement at a ripe old age lead to its closure. If you’d like to learn more about Nudie, the Rodeo Tailor, visit nudiesrodeotailor.com

We will offer a prize to the first person who can find out if Ronald Reagan ever wore a Nudie suit.

Hellboy and Mike Mignola

September 26, 2010

Baba Yaga

Even if you are the most casual comic book reader, you’re probably aware of the Hellboy. You might have heard of Hellboy if you don’t like comic books at all. With two movies out now and all, he has become part of popular culture.

I recently read the newest Hellboy graphic novel “The Crooked Man and Others“, and a somewhat related title called “Witchfinder“. Both are really good and reminded me how much I like these stories. Even though I am reading comics again, I pretty much gave up buying them throughout most of the ’90s. Hellboy was one comic I’d still pick up whenever I saw it, even if creator and artist Mike Mignola was very slow to put out new issues back then.

Hellboy's Original Concept Sketch - First appeared @ Great Salt Lake Comic Con 1991

The story begins with the infant Demon of the Apocalypse being brought to earth by Nazi occultists. Allied forces were able to capture Hellboy and raised him as a normal kid. He grew to become a large demon, with hooves, a tail, a huge right hand made of stone (the Right Hand of Doom!), and horns that he grinds down to look more human.  Hellboy was granted the title of “Honorary Human” and, athough he regularly struggles with his demonic nature, his humanity always wins out. He is also the world’s greatest paranormal investigator and regularly fights crazy Russian monks, Nazi scientists, secret government agencies, and other dimensional beings. The blend of horror and science is perfect.

Mike Mignola weaves folk lore, pulp, and mythology into each story. Great stuff! I can’t say enough about how much I like the way Mignola draws. He is famous for saying that all he wanted to do as a kid was draw monsters, and he does is perfectly. Mignola’s art is very unique and beautiful.


Hellboy is published by Dark Horse comics, and you can find more of Mike Mignola’s work on darkhorse.com and artofmikemignola.com. Another series that I recommend very highly is B.P.R.D., and I also liked Mignola’s work on DC Comic’s Cosmic Odyssey.


Amber

September 23, 2010
Irises

Irises

“Yellow is the color of my true love’s hair in the morning, when we rise.” Hey, name that tune! One of my favorite old folk songs. Today we continue our tribute to fall with a focus on the color amber.

Starting off with old fine art. Sometimes in the fall I could almost believe I see the world through an amber-colored Van Gogh lense:

Van Gogh Mulberry Tree

Van Gogh Mulberry Tree

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Van Gogh Chair

Van Gogh Chair

Van Gogh Sunflowers

Van Gogh Sunflowers

Amber jewelry is another favorite of mine. You may disagree, but I believe it goes with everything.

Earrings by LuzDesigns

Earrings by LuzDesigns

Vintage Golden Glass Rhinestone Pin By larenblythedesigns

Vintage Golden Glass Rhinestone Pin By larenblythedesigns

Glass Pendant by Tandi11

Glass Pendant by Tandi11

I have such a soft spot for amber glassware, both vintage and newly artist-made.

Amber Glass Bird by BusyCrowStudio

Amber Glass Bird by BusyCrowStudio

Carved and Fused Glass Tile by MichelleProsek

Carved and Fused Glass Tile by MichelleProsek

Vintage Depression Glass by vnes

Vintage Depression Glass by vnes

And every lady’s wardrobe needs a gorgeous vintage scarf filled with fall colors.

Geometric Fall Scarf by MossmottleManor

Geometric Fall Scarf by MossmottleManor

Enjoy every moment of the beautiful fall Utah weather. If you are not local, drop us a line and tell us about fall in your neck of the woods.

Orange

September 21, 2010

Modigliani

Modigliani

“The thing about orange is that it’s not just a color, but a food and a fragrance.  It’s the only color you can taste and smell,” Stephanie Greenwood, Bubble and Bee.

Orange, yellow, gold, brown. Indirect lighting. Shorter days. Fall solstice. In a tribute to fall, we wanted to share with you some beautiful things that are orange.

Fine, old art – in orange.

Rothko

Rothko

Toulouse Lautrec

Toulouse Lautrec

 

And where would the fashion world be without the color orange? We checked in with our official fashion correspondent, designer Krista Nielson on her opinions of the color, and here is what she said: “Orange is sweet and juicy, but make no mistake – orange has a bite that gets it noticed.  It is one of the strongest colors you can wear, it is a big “pop” color, the visual equivalent of an exclamation point! It is one of the most visible colors, there is a reason they make life jackets, hunting vests and prison jumpsuits out of bright orange, it gets you noticed.  It’s the “look at me color.”

Wood Carving Skirt by madewithlovebyhannah

Wood Carving Skirt by madewithlovebyhannah

The Bell Dress by makemeadress

The Bell Dress by makemeadress

Orange and black leg warmer spats by LeshasWorkshop

Orange and black leg warmer spats by LeshasWorkshop

Swim With the Fishes by divisionoflabor

Swim With the Fishes by divisionoflabor

Vintage Button Necklace by Button Soup Jewlery

Vintage Button Necklace by Button Soup Jewlery

The 70s and 80s brought us wonderful orange housewares. I’ll never get used to the fact that that ribbed lidded tupperwares of my childhood are already vintage!

1980s Orange Tukpperware by ReCultivation

1980s Orange Tukpperware by ReCultivation

Retro Glassware by FunVintageLiving

Retro Glassware by FunVintageLiving

Apricot Jalepeno Jelly by Mirasolfarm

Apricot Jalepeno Jelly by Mirasolfarm

And this brings us to miscellaneous orange. Things you smell, laugh at and make yourself. Happy fall solstice. Fall is my favorite season and I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

The Great Pumpkin Dog Hat by BeanTownHandmade

The Great Pumpkin Dog Hat by BeanTownHandmade

Pumpkin Crochet Pattern by NancysLinens

Pumpkin Crochet Pattern by NancysLinens

Bubble and Bee Orange Shower Gel

Bubble and Bee Orange Shower Gel

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

September 19, 2010

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space - 1913

Visioni Simultanee - 1911/12

“Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” by Italian artist Umberto Boccioni has got to be one of the best sculptures ever conceived and cast. The way that it seems to move and glide through space… Perfect!

I love Cubism. Point, line, plane, and form. A very basic description of Cubism would be: a subject is broken up into it’s most basic parts and then reassembled in order to appear as though it is being looked at from multiple angles. The subject is being portrayed from all sides at once in space.

Dynamism of a Soccer Player - 1913

Futurism (which Umberto Boccioni helped found) took that concept, but added motion and movement into the equation. It attempts to portray both time and space. I love it! And “Unique forms of Continuity in Space” is, to me at least, the perfect example of Futurism. When I made it to the MoMA, where it is part of the permanent collection, I didn’t even know that was one of the pieces I would see. Just turned a corner, and there it was. Beautiful.

Umberto Boccioni is also a very well known painter, and I’ve included some additional images for your enjoyment. One of my favorites has always been “The City Rises”. Powerful!

The City Rises -1910

24 Hour Show – Done!

September 18, 2010

Didn’t know if it could be done, but I finished my piece for the Hive Gallery 24 hour show! Actually only took me about 21 hours (and that includes a little nap from 6 – 7:30 am). Don’t normally use the medium or materials, but done with acrylic and collage on wood.

All I have now is the low-rez photo above that didn’t turn out all that well, but you can see the original at the Hive today.

I’m excited to see all of the work the other artists have been doing too!

24-Hour Show
Saturday, September 18
Hive Gallery
Trolley Square
Second Floor
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

24-Hour Show

September 16, 2010
24-hour show, the countdown begins!

24-hour show, the countdown begins!

If you have ever watched Todd Powelson draw, you know it is a beautiful, deliberate and considerate process. And you also know that the thought of him completing a piece of art in 24-hours is laughable.

Now, I have seen him make a poster or flyer over the course of a only few days, skipping the painstaking part of making teeny tiny shapes with his mechanical pencil and instead drawing directly on the computer. But a painting in 24 hours – Ha ha ha ha ha!!

But, when our friend Emily Edmunds at the Hive Gallery asked if he would like to join the 24-hour show, and paint a wooden 12 inch by 12 inch canvas in 24 hours, Todd said “Let me see if I can get the day off from work.”

As of this writing, the painting is still a week away. And he doesn’t know what he wants to paint. Is this MY Todd? Spontaneity is not top on either my or Todd’s list of personality traits. We are more plodders, planners, carefully navigating life and our art work. This IS an interesting development.

Please join us on Saturday, September 18 at the Hive Gallery in Trolley Square when the paintings will be revealed. The artists only have September 17th to make their piece. I’ve already heard Toddy trying to negotiate – “well, I’ll just work on it for 24 hours total.” Don’t worry people, I won’t let him break the rules!

The art will be affordably priced, starting at $25. Put some art on your walls!
Other artists include:
Tagen Towsley Baker
Brendon Baker
Olivia de St. Aubin
Vaopele Tiatia
Meg Dolan
Emily Luerssen
Gina Miller
Eric Himle
and many others.

24-Hour Show
Saturday, September 18
Hive Gallery
Trolley Square
Second Floor
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Evolution of a Crafting Icon: The Cozy

September 14, 2010

Nintendo DS Cozy by BoutiqueID

Crock Pot Cozy by Miss Motleys

Crock Pot Cozy by Miss Motleys

I wish I had a scientific research paper, complete with double-blind control trials and a huge sample size, to present my case on the evolution of the cozy, which I propose is a crafting icon. But I don’t. All I have is my observations. Today, the cozy remains the icon it has been for decades in the crafting world. What 5th grader hasn’t learned to make a macramé mug cozy for their grandmother’s birthday? And this is one crafty item that had kept up with the times.

Tea Cozy -Melsey's Shop

Maybe I should start, especially for the men folk, with a description of what a cozy is. It is also called a koosy or cosy. They are commonly found on beer cans, keeping the beer cold and your hand warm. A cozy is also a quilted floral item found on toasters and crock pots in every well-appointed kitchen in the 1950s through 1980s. I loved Todd’s pithy description of the cozy, ““I’d say it was functional, but you don’t really need it.”

Apple and Banana Cozy by BeadlesandPins

Apple and Banana Cozy by BeadlesandPins

According to my utterly non-scientific observations, the cozy was first invented for a perfectly logical function. To keep the tea in a tea pot warm. The tea cozy is a fabulous gift, and thus crafters made them in every imaginable color, genus and species.

Later (again, I really don’t know the official timeline), ladies got so stoked on their tea cozies, that they started making covers for their various appliances. I love-to-hate the avocado green crock pot cozies of my early childhood. And I smile when I see the rose and country-blue quilted floral toaster cozies that haunted my jam-smeared breakfasts in the 80s. Oh and remember the Kleenex box cozies? Love ‘em!

Mr T I Pod Cozy by Gogogadget

Mr T I Pod Cozy by Gogogadget

Fast-forward to today. Beer cozies are in vogue like never before. But the trend I love to see now is that every hip young skater, emo, goth and straight-edger is dying to have a handmade cozy. To keep their toaster nice and warm? Hell no, this is one crafting craze that has kept in step with the times. Now every iPod, iPhone and iPad needs a special handmade cozy to protect it from the elements. I’ve seen them made from vintage kimono fabric, old cassette tapes (Oh dear God, don’t tell me my Smiths mix tape from 9th grade is already vintage), and made to resemble pop tarts. Did you know Apple even has a special pattern to make your own cozy for their electronic products? And we found cozies for regular old apples too!

Pop Tart Cozy by Keilantra

Pop Tart Cozy by Keilantra

So, in summary, the cozy lives on, having reinvented itself for decades. I say Huzzah! Long live the cozy!!! Drop us a comment and we will send you a RAD free pattern for a crocheted toilet paper cozy. And if you have real scientific knowledge about the history of the cozy, we want to hear that, too!

Note: and if you must have one of the cozies pictured, just look on Etsy.com. We provided the name of the shop for easy finding.

Recycled Cargo Pants iPad Cozy by MyGreenMonkeyDesigns

Recycled Cargo Pants iPad Cozy by MyGreenMonkeyDesigns

Raggedy Ann iPod Cozy by Keilantra

Raggedy Ann iPod Cozy by Keilantra

iPhone Mix Tape by CrankCases

iPhone Mix Tape by CrankCases

Todd’s Favorite Tshirts

September 12, 2010

Glenn Jones - Prankster

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for really cheesy and funny tshirts. The more off the wall, the better.

I’ve been collecting Ts most of my life, I guess. Before I could drive I would to ride my bike around the city and there was some street vendor who had the funniest shirts. Every so often I’d stop by his step and buy some random tshirt. That is where my fascination started. “Frank Zappa Crappa”, or “Primo Beer In My Ear”. Those were my favorites.

But my collection really started on a trip I made out to Washington D.C. right around the time George Bush Sr. was elected President. I wasn’t much of a Ronald Reagan fan, and when I saw the “Son of Reaganstein” I knew I had to have it. I love the way Reagan is all creeped out in the background and all Bush has to say is “UuAAarghh”. I wore that shirt until it disintegrated off my body. I miss it still.

Communist Party

A few years ago I found the tshirts by the graphic artist Glenn Jones. He made one of my favorite tshirts, and it is called the “Prankster”. I like the idea of some bored alien taking a quick stop while flying through our solar system, jumping out of his space-ship with his handy-dandy lawn-mower, and making a few crop circles just to mess with us. I also own another called “Scrap Metal”, which shows R2D2 after he’d been run through a metal crusher.

Marshmallow Factory

Around the same time I discovered Threadless.com, and I have also become a big fan of that site. One of my favorite is called “Communist Party”, and I also enjoy a shirt I got for Anna a while back called “Marshmallow Factory”.

I sometimes go through sites like Etsy.com looking for tshirts. I recently wrote about an artist we found there named Jose Pulido, and I have since become the proud owner of many of his Ts.

Thor

I also tend to have way too many comic book related shirts. Captain America, the Sentinels, Batman… but my Thor shirt is by far my favorite. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’ve washed that one too many times and it falls apart. Get a new one, I guess.

There are a few shirts that I would like to have. One belonged to my little brother. He found it in Hong Kong and it was nice and random. It had a picture of a hotdog riding a skateboard, and the only word on it in big bold type said “Chocolate”. He doesn’t know, but I loved that shirt!

Earth X Namor

Finally, there is a shirt I regret not getting when I had the chance. This is funny I know, but I really wish I had gotten Alex Ross’ Earth X tshirt featuring Namor. Namor is just pretty cool ya’know, and on this shirt half of his body is on fire, and the other half is a sea-monster! You don’t see that every day! I haven’t seen this shirt for years but it has become a legend in my mind. Oh well, you snooze, you lose.


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