Detonating the Yarn Bomb

I know I’m over a month late with this, but better late than never, right? I have a ton of yarnbombing photos to share!

For my contribution I made sure to do much of the work ahead of time so that the actual installation would be as quick and painless as possible. It only took me about 10 minutes to get this up! I just pinned the top middle and bottom together on the light post with safety pins to hold it in place and then I climbed up onto the railing and quickly whip stitched the seam together.

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I was going for a vague Welcome to Night Vale theme, so I included the purple eye logo on the front.

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I made a tentacle too. There aren’t really any tentacles in Welcome to Night Vale that I can recall, but it seems to be the universal symbol for “creepy and/or weird” so it seemed appropriate. I also included a handful of red dots for Dot Day. I thought about including a few blue dots as well, but I don’t really know what the consequences might be for such a subversive action. I figured the yarnbombing organizers might be upset if it resulted in an explosion or a black hole or something, so I decided against it.

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That pale yellowish pink thing is my pathetic attempt at a Glow Cloud. There’s silver thread woven through it and I used lots of bobbles to make it look cloud-like. It didn’t turn out as glowy or cloudy as I had hoped. Oh well. I tried.

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The whole time I was making this and thinking up ways to incorporate the Night Vale fandom I was pretty much resigned to the fact that no one would get it. I mean, I know the fandom seems to have completely taken over the internet and any pictures I might post on the internet would probably get some love (and there was indeed a huge spike in views on my Tumblr page), but I wasn’t making this for the internet I was making it for a bridge. Well, someone DID get it! There was a poster board set up to allow people to leave comments about the project and it appears a city council representative stopped by to inspect the yarn bomb.

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I was able to help put together a second lamp post cover on installation day. There was a really cool looking panel of black knitting with a gold spikey detail, but it was just a small section and needed a lot more added to it to fit around a post. I crocheted enough extra black fabric onto it to wrap around the post and added a small panel of knitted black eyelash yarn and gold-ish stuff at the bottom. Then I sewed on a woven piece that was donated and some black feather boas and tied it all onto a post in the dead of night. The next time I saw it someone had added a spiderweb to it which I think really ties the whole thing together.

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Since mine was so quick to go up I was able to help install some of the other pieces. I helped out a woman named Amber with a few of hers.

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There was a person stationed at the bridge most of the day to help out and give directions, but most of the time everyone was too busy to sit down.

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Someone from the local TV station came by to check things out.

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It was amazing how quickly we were able to fill the bridge.

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After all was said and done Spectral Spiders managed to cover every single lamp post on the bridge – 30 in all! I’ve already shown you a few, but here are the rest:

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Apparently we couldn’t stop at just the lamp posts. A few other yarn bombs were found at the bridge.

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It was all up in time for Arts Walk! Unfortunately some of the pieces didn’t last beyond that night. Vandalism is something that happens frequently with yarn bombings, and this time was no exception. By the next day several of the pieces were gone, including Yoda which was a beloved traveling yarn bomb that had graced the streets outside the creator’s house for years.

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The giant octopus was cut down as well, and was doubly painful due the fact that it was made by the same artist who made Yoda.

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It sucks to have art vandalized like that, but that’s a risk one takes when making street art. There was one uninvited guest I found who seemed to really understand what we were trying to do. A tiny spider showed up on one of the spider-themed pieces in honor of the Spectral Spiders.

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All in all it was a great experience! I’m definitely going to participate in more yarn bombings in the future!

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WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Zooming, Bombing, and Sculpting

WARNING: This post contains a ridiculous number of pictures.

Part 1: Zooming

The photo prompt today was “extreme close up,” which is what I frequently seem to do anyway. This time I decided to see just how close I could get.

Staging and lighting: While I was out and about I decided to zoom in on an art installation. It was about 3 pm and partly cloudy. I took the photo about an inch away from the surface of the piece.

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Just for fun, I Instagrammed the full photo of the art piece too. I like it better than the reference photo.

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Anyway, back to the actual challenge photo…

Instagram edits: Lux, Mayfair filter and border

Computer edits: cropped, enhanced, increased definition and sharpness to the max

edited with iPhoto

edited with iPhoto

It’s hard to go wrong with something this abstract, but for the Instagram version I went with the filter that gave the biggest range of colors without darkening the photo. For the computer edit I wanted to bring out all the cool bubble shapes in the glass, so that’s why I pumped up the definition and sharpness. They both turned out awesome!

Part 2: Bombing

You may have noticed that for once my challenge photo is not in my house or my backyard. The reason I was lured out of my cave in the first place was because I needed to do a fitting for my yarnbombing. I have a whole section seamed together at this point, and many more pieces pinned together, but I needed to actually put those pieces up on the light pole to see how they all might fit together and how much more I need to do.

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The main section I have seamed together fits on the lower part of the base quite nicely. I just need to smooth out the edges.

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I purposefully did not seam together enough pieces to fit all the way around the pole yet. I needed to figure out where I would stitch up the piece when installation day comes. I think I will stitch it up along the corner to the right of the tentacle.

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So now I just need to add about 7 inches worth of pieces to the other end of this section so it can reach the tentacle corner.

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This strip of swatches should help pull the bottom section in tight around the middle of the base and prevent it from slipping down.

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I had another strip of swatches that I wanted to use for the top of the piece to hold the whole thing up, but it didn’t quite fit around the rounded section I had initially intended it for.

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It fits perfectly above the rounded section though, and it should help hold the piece up even better with that lip in the way!

Part 3: Sculpting

I made a LOT of progress on Ducky this week! I worked on filling in the holes around the left cheek.

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Then I smoothed out the shape of the cheek.

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I filled out the head shape some more and started building the brow ridges.

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Then I attached the brow ridges and filled in the eyeballs. And with that, the sculpting of Ducky’s head was FINISHED!!!

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I started coloring the nose and the brow ridges.

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Ducky is really starting to look like Ducky!

Urban Craft Uprising!

Yesterday I made my bi-annual trip to Urban Craft Uprising! Usually I end up coming home with bags full of goodies, but since I’m dead-broke this year I was content to just marvel at all of the glorious hand-made things. This time I came armed with my camera, and I have LOTS to show you. So much that I can’t possibly fit it all in one post. Let me introduce you to some of my favorite vendors from the Winter show.

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Our first stop was Craftwich Creations with beautiful hand-carved crochet hooks making me wonder if those pointy sticks are all they’re cracked up to be.

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I bought a gorgeous shawl pin here at the last show, and it’s now my favorite! (Some people may call them hair sticks, but those people clearly don’t have enough shawls).

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn simultaneously exploited my addiction to popcorn AND salted caramel by offering tastings of their Hawaiian Salted Caramel Popcorn. Holy crap, it was delicious! The popcorn was thoroughly coated with the caramel so it had a satisfying crunch, and the balance between sweet and salty was absolutely perfect! They also had a Tuxedo flavor – caramel corn covered in white and dark chocolate – which in this household is known as “crack.” I avoided tasting that one out of consideration for the vendor. I’m really not kidding about being dead-broke and I cannot guarantee the safety of anyone standing between me and a bag of crack.

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The first geekery of the day was provided by Polymath Design Lab and their wonderful collection of scientific adornments. What self-respecting lab rat wouldn’t want a test tube necklace?

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There were cufflinks for the male geeks.

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There was even a Cthulhu.

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A variety of geeky Christmas ornaments were available as well. My favorite was the chromosome.

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Circle Couture 2

UCU always has at least one booth featuring breath-taking fashions, and this time Circle Couture was the one.

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LOOK AT THE PRETTY.

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Back in tasty-land, I came across Afternoon to Remember Fine Teas and Gifts. You know it’s a good sign when the tasting tray is nearly empty. The Creme Brule Tea Cookies (middle tray) were so heavenly! The cookies themselves weren’t for sale, they were there to entice people to buy their cookbooks. The Creme Brule cookie recipe is in Drop by for Tea, by Amy Lawrence.

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For the French enthusiasts among us, I apologize for the appearance of the words “creme brule” in the blog. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to add the appropriate accent marks in WordPress, and without those the extra “e” looks really weird. It’s not just you, it’s bothering me too.

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My first narwhal sighting of the day was at Cellar Door Mercantile, where they had shirts and cards featuring my favorite animal!

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They had really cool non-narwhal illustrations too!

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Almeda Pottery was absolutely mind-blowing.

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These are the teeniest tiniest vases I have ever seen!

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I mean seriously, look at how small and skinny those are! And the glazing jobs on them are gorgeous!

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HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?! (Pro tip: there are process videos in the link provided above…I still don’t believe it though).

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In case your brain still can’t process the scale of these things, here’s an adult human hand for reference. Rumor has it you can buy some of this miniature pottery at the Seattle Art Museum gift shop.

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This was one of my favorite booths from the last show and I’m so glad Careful It Bites was back for another round.

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I would have killed for one of these as a kid. Hell, I’d STILL kill for one. Who wouldn’t want a severed Sasquatch head?

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This booth is all about the details…bloody fur still sticking to the shears, fresh from the Sasquatch beheading.

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Other monster parts can be found poking out from under the tables. Best. Booth. Ever.

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For your cooking pleasure, Beautiful Briny Sea was back again with more delicious salts! I LOVE these salts and have been spreading them throughout as many kitchens as possible. At home we have three flavors so far: Chorizo, Truffle, and Magic Unicorn.

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While all are delicious, Magic Unicorn is probably my favorite. It seriously goes with EVERYTHING.

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Yarny contact was finally made with Victory Garden Yarn! I had a fabulous time talking with Anna about her crocheted creations. Here she is modeling her super-cozy Wisteria Wrap, which she had available in a variety of bold colors.

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Her booth was piled high with giant color-blocked and striped cowls.

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This sky-blue and orange one really caught my eye, and it was SO SOFT. I was shocked to find out it was an acrylic/wool blend! I know intellectually that there are good acrylics out there that don’t feel like plastic, but it’s rare for me to actually find one! This whole booth made me want to find some super-bulky yarn to cast-on with…

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For more yarny goodness I went to the UCU regulars, Spincycle Yarns.

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I’ve had my eye on their Natural Novelty Yarn for a while now because I am just itching to knit Purlieu. I was waiting for the right color to come along though, and of course the second my wallet is empty, there it is. They came out with a new color called “Fever Dreams” that is the most beautiful purple with tufts of blue and cloud gray in it. Someday, Fever Dreams…someday.

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Finally, I ran into Moxie/Hi-Fiber Needle Felting Kits, which is where I got my needle felting kit that I used to make my test pony in The Art of Stabbing Oneself.

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As usual, there were lots of super cute needle-felted things on display.

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There were even some with lights!

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I spent some time watching Moxie work (without stabbing herself at all, I noticed). She gave me some tips on how to build up a design – in this case a simple ball. She didn’t poke the ball nearly as vigorously as I did, which probably added to the lack of blood-letting. I will try to be less violent next time and see how that goes.

I’ll have many more vendors to show you tomorrow! There are just too many craft artists I’m excited about to fit into this one post!

If you want to help support a developing craft artist, there are still 5 days left to contribute to my Knotty Narwhal Indiegogo campaign! There are many cool perks you can claim in exchange for your donation, including my own needle-felted art! (I promise not to bleed on them).

Sketchbook

Like any self-respecting artist, I have a sketchbook. Since my chosen medium doesn’t involve paper I don’t draw in it as often as other types of artists do, but I do use it to collect ideas and inspirations as they come to me. I’ve been catching up on Downton Abbey, so this is what the latest page in my sketchbook looks like:

I want to get into a habit of sketching more regularly. Do you have a sketchbook? How often do you use it? Where do you tend to find inspiration for your art?