Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tofu Stories

Tofu Stuffed Toy from Taiwan in Jafabrit's Kitchen
Madsilence did a really nice article titled " The Trouble with Tofu" and how Americans haven't been able to appreciate it. Check it out they have some great links for recipes.
I thought I would share a funny Tofu commercial from Taiwan my son sent me about tofu crying if people don't eat them.

Art House Sketchbook Project
Yesterday marked the first exhibition on the Sketchbook Project tour

If you get a chance check out Sheree's video of her sketchbook

Friday, February 27, 2009

Self Indulgent Cuteness

I read a comment on a blog about knit graffiti
"but this also seems a little like littering mixed with self-indulgent cuteness. "
So I couldn't resist sharing these photos of self indulgent cuteness

Okay, so they are painted but heck they are soooooooo cute
and so was the scene beneath out knit knot treePhoto by c. bayrak of a wedding under the knit knot tree in yellow spring, Ohio
That is what we do as artists, indulge in our need to express ourselves

So what little indulgences are YOU guilty of?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Z is for Zip It

I always grew up saying Zed, not Zee as Americans do.
So for me it is
Z for Zed

And this is the final post for the alphabet soup project
I would like to thank C. Southwell at Laughter Minute for inviting me to participate
It has been an interesting journey and one that has pushed me in a way I hadn't expected
One is having to do a blog entry every day, arg!!!!!!!!!
Hum, I could have used zaftig to describe my self portrait, but oh well, I am stuck with zipper now.

I signed up for the Landfill Art Project (an artist reclamation project).
check it out, maybe YOU would like to participate.
I am also working on my second piece for the Eclipse Gallery 50/50/50 Show
I am representing Ohio in the embroidery section

errm, for American readers:
Hum! If you wish to say DAYlick, so be it, but please don't try and correct a British person for pronouncing Dalek in its original form DAR lek.
You say tomayto and I say tomahto

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Y is for Yarnbombing

Men's Throne Room
(also known as the ChamberPot Gallery)
at the Train Station,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yep, the Jafagirls don't just yarnbomb, benches, posts and trees hee! hee! hee!

And NOW for something completely different
Food Porn Generates Passion
On the Menu: should you really photograph that food?
Bet you didn't know there was a term Food Porn? or did you? I didn't.
Well check out Food Porn, great photos from amateur to hardcore.
On Banning Photograph from Restaurants by Serious Eats New York

By the way I find this VERY upsetting
Marmite banned from schools"Some think marmite evil'
graphite pencil on paper

"It has a high B-vitamin content, as well as riboflavin and niacin—and as such is very healthy. (The vitamin-B complex helps prevent anemia.)" Marmite FAQ's

The Foreign Office has denied allegations that British Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were subjected to Marmite.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bad Manners

Are their lives that miserable!
So we are visiting the New Noodle place in the Greenecollective art project by the jafabrit clan
and it's PACKED, but we manage to find a table.
There were only four chairs and we needed one more
Ah hah! the next table has a spare one
So my son asks if we could have it
My goodness, her FACE
As she moved her coat off the chair
she muttered under her breath "jesus christ"

from Mr. Bad Manners himself, Buster Bloodvessel
give it to her baby
Lip it up Fatty
coz you is sad

Suffice it to say mrs. misery guts was but a fleeting diversion
The jafabrit clan had more important things to focus on
like making straw paper happy faces as we waited for our
YUMMY noodles

which brings me to the subject of
Food Porn
Coming Next

X is for X-rated

US activists, who were giving a talk in Turkey about the transformative power of art were criticized for naivete. Hurriyet Daily News

In regards to the US activists, their failure perhaps was not showing HOW art can transform by providing international and national examples. In general I find many underestimate the power of imagery until you start bringing up examples and issues of censorship.
Here are a list of photographs that changed the world.
The Art of Persuasion from the PBS series, How Art Made The World.
Free Government Information website shares info about a book highlighting the case of Dorothea Lange's banned photos of Japanese Internment in America.
The power of Advertizing
Here is a GREAT link list of Social Movements and Art Activism

Naivety is not understanding the power of art.

Talking about Activist Art
Bill Evertson did a blog entry about an interesting exhibit using rice and I had to share a photo of graffiti my son took near his campus in Jhongli City,Taiwan.

Not sure what it means other than trying to dispel a stereotype perhaps.
What do YOU think?

Talking about graffiti, it is
and I am off to stick up a bit knitting (which was yesterday)
check out what the knit guerrilla's have been up to on grrl+dog's blog for feb 23 (K)NIT UP, woo hoo!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

U is for Under

As in under the acrylic tunnel at
Ripley's Believe It or Not Aquarium of the Smokies
this is a sawfish
alphabet soup U

Photography Issues

you witness something,
photograph it for the student newspaper you are working for and get charged.
For up to date info on censorship issues visit the blog for "The National Coalition Against Censorship" which " is dedicated to protecting rights and principles guaranteed by the First Amendment. We report on incidents of censorship and provide support and resources to people facing challenges to freedom of inquiry and expression."

I saw this on Visual Perspective regarding taking photographs of English bobbies, or rather not taking them unless one wants to find them self in gaol.

Friday, February 20, 2009

T is for Teapot from Taiwan

My son gave me this teapot made out of store receipts (not glued or wired together)

T is for Ticked
The New York Post must think people are stupid

No matter what the original intent it is astonishing that given the history of ugly racist propaganda/stereotypes (most recently during the presidential race) this cartoon could be seen as funny or politically astute in some way.
For more information and protest letter please visit Color of Change.
thanks to Impatient Blogger for the info and link
The Art of Propaganda has a long ugly history and it is always the same when racism is confronted. There are protestations of ignorance, of innocence, but sir it was only a cookie, a joke, a right to offend. Ah people shouldn't be so easily offended.
Why not, that is the intent is it not.
Sometimes it isn't a matter of being offended, it's not wanting to empower those who would demean or dehumanize others with our silence.

"State of Mind"
backstory here

The Ranks of Hate Swell-Southern Poverty Law Center

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

R is for Rock

Graffiti Rock Bike Trail Yellow Springs, Ohio

Hum the need to leave our marks on rocks, walls goes back centuries doesn't it.

Talking about leaving our mark
What is Craftivism
This site describes it as "raising questions about the role and definition of craft and attitudes towards it as well as our relationship to, and implication in, the changing global conditions of trade through everyday consumerism." OR as Wikipedia describes it: a form of activism.

Knit Twits by the Jafagirls
I don't feel like a radical activist, but putting knitting on a tree or a pole fits with craftivism and the idea of redefining how the craft of knitting is seen and used. It is nice to see crafts burst out of the bubble it has been relegated to for so long.

Yesterday I mentioned the New York Times article Boom is Over. Long live Art
On the other hand

Tough Times Call for Shrewd Artists

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Q is for quilt

As in quilted wood
This is a close up of a full size wooden quilt kimono I made based on a vintage 60's fabric one I bought in Dallas Texas many years ago. I did them in sections on mdf board that were then gessoed, painted, cut out and reassembled and then stitched together with coated wire.

The Boom is Over. Long Live Art.
I read this in the New York Times Sunday and anybody struggling with the current economy and the state of the arts might find it interesting. It was the final paragraph that struck me.

"I’m talking about carving out a place in the larger culture where a condition of abnormality can be sustained, where imagining the unknown and the unknowable — impossible to buy or sell — is the primary enterprise. Crazy! says anyone with an ounce of business sense. Right. Exactly. Crazy. "

Yes, I feel like being crazy!
Whether it will be abnormal or not I haven't a clue, that is an unknown and not knowable.
And anyhow what is abnormal???????
Deviating from a standard?
Whose standard?


I don't know many people that knit poo fairy's, but that is hardly an earth shattering deviation into the unknown. No, I made it for a special person who is struggling with the unknown and known consequences of dealing with cancer and the various treatments.
"When life sucks and hands you lemons,
I say beat the crap out of it and demand some Florida Oranges as well"

Professional News
UK DiY chose one of our textile totems (peace pole) as part of their exhibit at the Turnpike Gallery in Wigan England. I love how they describe it as being "bright, gobsmacking, curious, fun, inspiring and so much more." I wish I could be there and see it, looks fab.

Monday, February 16, 2009

P is for Potato

You're reading art by corrine bayraktaroglu originally posted on Jafabrit's Art. 
Thank you for dropping by.
Repeat entry but I couldn't resist since today's letter is P and this made me laugh.
That is really one very sad looking tattie, potatoe, pitatie, spud, solanum tuberosum.

"Mrs. Neighbour" I says. "why do you have a grumpy potato on the shelf above the stove"? "eeeh, what are you talking about"? says mrs.neighbour. I asked her, "you mean you didn't do that on purpose"?. "no, what"? says mrs.neighbour, "I just put the tattie there for my son so he would remember it for lunch"?

P is for Page in a sketchbook
thought I would cut the paper and stitch it with the same yarn I used on the knit graffiti bench.

P is for Photography
I did the Dirty Footprints blog interview and what fun that was, thanks Connie. Of course Jen's Mimosas helped. Err, yes I know, a shamefully decadent thing to do at 10am Sunday morning. Hum! what has that got to do with photography one wonders. Well, we talked about it on the interview. I am not a photographer but thought it would be fun to take Laughter Minute's alphabet soup challenge. I am not used to planning an image, or trying to find one that fits a theme. It is completely opposite of how I work as an artist. Usually I have an idea that pops into my head and THEN I dip into my art toolbox to see which media will best work to express that idea. So photography is forcing me to work differently and re-see things in a whole new way.
I have to think that is a GOOD thing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

O is for Oops!

I really didn't get a chance to do a photo for O LOL!
so instead you got an oldie pic titled "art snobs do me in"

Meanwhile somewhere in Ohio a new street sticker lurks

A posterized version of my felt anatomy piece

Well, err I am giving a blog radio interview today over at Dirty Footprints, EEK!!! Wish me luck :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

M is for Mouse

"give me the cheese"

Gosh who knew there were so many felt mice, they are just adorable.
I had two white pet mice once, my gosh what smelly little things, but very useful for releasing and scaring aunties' and babysitters.
My fave kind of mouse is a dormouse.
We had one that used to pop up his head behind the sink and watch mum wash the dishes when we lived in Hetton-le-Hole. Wasn't scared at all, just sat there and watched.

M is for Mum

For this page I collaged a photograph of my mother, stitched mum on some felt and soaked the felt with her favourite perfume, Safari by Ralph Lauren.
I have a bottle in the house and take a whiff now and again and then feel sad.
I wish we didn't live so far away from each other.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

L is for Lung

"it sucks"

I call it "it sucks" because I used to love smoking and had to quit cold turkey quite a few years ago. Yes, a disgusting habit but one I enjoyed on occasion.
It is a soft sculpture wall hanging and still a work in progress made out of felt (filled with fag ash and rice to weigh it down). At the top I will be adding lips for the felt fag.

Textile Art
I found this at the Wooster Collective

Anna's Textiles

TRADITIONAL WORK: I learned to sew at a young age ( I think my mum has my first sewing project from kindergarten LOL) and took to embroidery like a duck to water. I learned all the basic stitches and a few of the more complicated ones over the years. I did this piece about 20 years ago and is based on a vintage design kit I got from Dutch Company. I chose to do many of my own stitches rather than follow the pattern (except the wavy stitch on the vase and basket weave on the strawberries). I LOVE doing satin stitch most of all. I can't say I enjoyed the cross stitch as much, not my thing. My favourite style is Elizabethan /Jacobean. Here is a little history of samplers for those that might be interested. Anyway don't be surprised if you see a wee bit embroidery sneak into some of my art in the future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

K is for Knitting (of course)

Knit & Textile Graffiti for Elaine's bench by the JafagirlsCorry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio
Nancy did the felt flowers and I did the knitting.
Took us 2 hours to assemble it and during that time we had a lot of folks drop by and ask us about it, share their thoughts and thank us.
Talking to people and seeing their smiles was wonderful.
alphabet soup series K

This is our contribution to grrl+dog (k)nit up

and what a delightful yarn it is too, called "I knit, therefore I am" on a blog called Calamity Kim.
Check it out, she has managed to weave a lot of wonderful knitted images into the story.

Textile Graffiti
Oh and you just have to check out these cool "deeply superficial people" .
They do some really fun, interesting work.
It would be great if a video camera was located near the hand
and see if anyone gives the hand a high five.
Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

J is for Jail

Of course when I was growing up we spelled Jail the British way, Gaol. Not sure if it's still in common usage although I see the BBC still uses that spelling. This is now a private residence (up for sale if anyone is interested) but it was once used as the local jail.

STUFF: Nancy and I put up some knit graffiti (virgil caught us in the act and took a nice pic) stuck an owl in a tree, and saw the cutest little car at the local hardware store.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

G is for Gum

Graffiti Alley Ann Arbor MI
photo by c.bayrak

Yes, there is such as thing as gum graffiti (gum walls)
Here is flickr set that shows how elaborate some can be.
Gum Wall of Seattle
Bubble gum alley in San Luis Obispo, California

Ben Wilson's Chewing Gum Miniature Art

then there is
Maurizio Savini who creates life size sculptures with chewed bubble gum

wwwwwwwwwwwweeell! did you know it was World Nude Day yestereday?
They say on their webisite "it is about setting yourself free". YIKES, in Ohio I think NOT, plus I wouldn't want to scare the locals.
I think I will stick with Nude drawing :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

F is for Face

"austina powers"
I call this my austina powers look and it wasn't intentional. I seriously thought these glasses looked cool and thought I would take a pic (this is from a few years back). AND why didn't anybody tell me I had parsley between my teeth.
alphabet soup F

Sketchbook Project Page

"dead fred"
Actually I didn't know him well, but I knew his skull well.
I called him "dead fred" and he was a real skeleton we used in life drawing class. It was one of those traditional classes where we spent months drawing the skeleton, then muscles, and THEN we got down to drawing from live models.

Hum, did you know too much sugar can cause wrinkles


This month I made a little piece for the art box located on Corry Street in Yellow Springs. I didn't notice this when taking the photograph but there is this wonderful reflection of tree branches at the top that looks like it is coming out of the box. I think I am liking the photo of the box better than the actual box LOL!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

How do Knit Graffiti artists spend their time

I spend my time doing a LOT of things  and  knit graffiti is just a small part of it.
Nancy and I covered a watering can for the Tecumseh Land Trust anniversary auction and celebration of Whitehall Farm coming up Feb 21 (calendar info can be found at the Chamber of Commerce site). As with a lot of knit graffiti and knit projects, most of the pieces are recycled from other projects ( from the Knit Knot Tree or Textile Totems).

The title of the blog entry is in reference to baffling comments that knit graffiti spawns.
Leanne and Mandy are on the receiving end of those comments since their yarnbombing book hit the news. I'm not sure where people get off deciding how others should spend their time, what is a waste and what isn't, and how they should use their arts and crafts supplies. When I picked up the knitting needles 40 years ago I wasn't handed a rule book about why I should knit, what I should knit, who I should knit for, and what I should do with yarn.
Claiming that knitting for any reasons other than some proclaimed purpose is a waste of time is a pathetic attempt to dismiss something you don't understand or like.
Get Over It!

As for Yarn Art
check this out, they are just absolutely beautiful peices of work.
To learn about Huichol Yarn Painting or see some examples Huichol Yarn Paintings

E is for Elephant
alphabet soup for E

Oh no, gosh did you notice there is yarn on it ;)
The Lucky Elephant

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

D is for Doll


My uncle had me convinced that while I slept my dolls danced on the shelf all night long. I would try to trick them by pretending to be asleep and suddenly opening my eyes to catch them in the act. I tried desperately to stay awake pretending I was asleep but always falling asleep. I never did catch them out, I would wake in the morning and examine the shelf and yes they had moved in the night.
I was sure of it.

Alphabet Soup for C

D is for DogAh Toots, we knew her well

and she would do ANYTHING for a piece of pizza
Such a food whore!
Once food was in sight she would became rigid with concentration.
My son bet his sister he could put the pepsi can on her head
long enough for him to go and get the camera.
3 minutes later Tootsie got her reward.

D is for Daft
Peter Was Here

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

C is for Carpet

A Casino Carpet somewhere in Las Vegas
heaven help you if you are palatic and look down
I found the range of carpet patterns amazingly horrendous
Alphabet Soup

Focus on Women Artists
Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757)
"A prominent and greatly-admired portrait artist of the Italian Rococo."
source: Wikipedia

C is for CODE
Photo By Adrian Tokyo Japan
My son tipped me off about Scannable Bar Codes for cellphone users being very popular in Taiwan and Japan. They are used to help tourist with directions, as advertizments, as info for museums, shows, real estate signs, exhibits,etc.
Japanese Tombs Use Bar-Codes to Link With Phones
Interesting article about Barcode Scanning in the Real World

Jafabrit is now Scannable
So anybody viewing the sketchbook can use their cellphone to scan and link to Jafabrit's Art
woo hoo!


Mandy and Leanne who interviewed Nancy and I for their book were in the News.
The Sun also did a little story with a link to their site, with some great pics.
Their book comes out in the Fall, woo hoo!!!
Please do check out their site, yarnbombing
They highlight some amazing work going on around the world
discuss the odd reactions to it.