Saturday, October 29, 2011

Craft Activism on CT Style TV show

To learn more about the book visit the Craft Activism Website

Meanwhile back in Yellow Springs it's Yelloween and I couldn't do a post without including a skull.

cough! cough!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stencils in Felt

Mr.Plato is taking a rest from reading craft activism and keeping an eye on the police hanging around the Hairy Art Palace exhibit. ahem!
Doing an exhibit can really challenge you to think of the space and how to present your work within it.I came up with the idea of doing my policewoman (based on a photo of my daughter) stencil in felt because I couldn't spray paint it on the gallery wall. 
Easy to put on the wall too, just a few pins and ta da!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Salon Chat on Craft Activism/Craftivism

Craft activism is a fairly new term and really took off after Betsy Greer joined the two words and coined the word craftivism in 2003. However the act of joining craft and activism  has a long history. An example that quickly comes to mind is the Arts and Crafts Movement in which the focus was promoting economic and social reform.
Nancy and I will be at the Yellow Springs Arts Council Experience Saturday event talking about craft activism, as well as the book we are in (Craft Activism by Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker)

I found a great blog entry by Robin Wood that also compares craftivism to William Morris's Arts & Crafts movement with some great questions.

Some may wonder how on earth this

or this

 fits in with being an activist.
We'll talk about it.

Decorations on a Budget: Halloween Table Decoration

This has to be one of the simplest and quickest ways to decorate with very little and been one of my favourites for years.
Got any spare branches?
Paint them black.

Make little felt flowers or cut out paper bats, or pumpkin ornaments and decorate.

Currently it's part of a display in the "Hairy Art Palace" exhibit, so if you want to see it pop by the gallery on Oct 29th, 10-1pm.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zombie Doll

Not me ;) 
 No, it's for the Public Art Box.

We have zombie walk coming up in Yellow Springs and it seemed she needed to join in.

The Art Box is located on Corry Street

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trying to live the ArtFULL Life, Weird Clouds Over Ohio and sadness in Zanesville

People often think it means being an artist and creative with some medium (well it can be that too), but what does it mean exactly?
I found this lovely site called The Artful Life and here the blog author explains.

I like the idea of doing a goals page like this one in my sketchbook, and I do find I need to kickstart myself. I used the word "trying" in the title because I am facing the post exhibit blues, although not really blue, just kind of blah-ish?   

We had the weirdest storm and clouds last Tuesday in Ohio

Photo by moi
and I wasn't the only one that noticed. Dayton Daily News did an article titled Strange clouds cause a stir.

Don't even want to talk about the heartbreaking and tragic circumstances in Zanesville :( and the movie Elephant in the Living Room predicted something like this would happen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today I wish I could smoke :(

"It Sucks"

Not because I miss smoking, but because smoking was a comforting distraction during times of sadness. 
Instead I will burn incense.
My sadness is not for me, but for those close to me whose hearts are breaking at the loss of a sister, a friend, a daughter, an aunt, a young woman who is now on a new journey.

RIP  Lillian

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gallery Sitting your Own Exhibit: the good, bad and the ugly

can be a really humbling experience, and a  valuable one too. Nancy and I gallery sat the whole day Saturday at our exhibit with a steady flow of visitors. 
The bad and the ugly 
Here is the humbling part, not everyone is going to like your exhibit or some of your work and some make it very obvious.   Some just walk in and out immediately, some display the "sniff" (That "sniff" of derision is unmistakable), some don't smile or speak when you say hello, some complain about the gallery itself (not the work in it), and some make minor complaints that have no relevance to the work itself. Learning how to deal with that with grace, sifting out the useful information, learning how to talk about your work, and accepting that it's okay for some NOT to like  your work is all a valuable part of the artistic journey. Putting yourself out there is tough and developing a thick skin is imperative for your survival as an artist. Here is some great advice on How to Develop a Thick Skin.

The Good
It's wonderful seeing people engaged with your work, liking your work (and buying it of course),asking questions, laughing, making   observations and connections between your work that you may not have considered. Seeing what people doodle or write on our Cloth Guest Book pages is a real treat: We've been asking guests to sign, draw or stitch in our guestbook pages.

Theresa F, did the most adorable drawing that I'm currently embellishing a wee bit. As the exhibit goes along Nancy and I will be embellishing the pages and some of the text/doodles before it is bound and donated to the community.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dogs with Mustaches,Attitude & Indifference

Yep, even Miné (daughter's dog) has mustache envy. I got this lovely card for our jafagirl opening and it made me laugh.


Bailey was totally indifferent, too busy munching on snacks to be impressed with the Dog Art at the exhibit. 

Well as they say in Bengali
I got that from the Quack Project

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Black and White Food

That was the theme for our reception table at our exhibit, although I see Nancy snuck in something brown lol! Meg, the arts council intern did a brill job with the faces on the eggs. I am happy to see that my Australian licorice scotty dogs were gobbled up.

to all those that came to the reception, helped out, arts council volunteers, and especially those who bought something and supported us ol' jafagirls.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Colourful Snapshots in the Neighbourhood and Mustache Envy

Art Park in Yellow Springs,Ohio

Ah! you noticed, yes! that sneaky little U in colourful and neighbourhood. Well today my bloggy friends I am baking biscuits for the reception tonight and I don't mean these kind.
Here is a fun American to British/British to English translator

Yea! mustache biscuits done!

I was just told mustaches are a new fad LOL!
There is even a flickr page for it, of course.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doorway to the Hairy Art Palace

It's as jafapal Nancy imagined it, and much thanks to Susan and Talitha for helping put up the drapery.  The nose was made in 2008 and hung over a shop in town for  nearly three years until a new owner wanted to redecorate the front. In the background Mr.Plato is holding a copy of Craft Activism and keeping an eye on the felt stencil policewoman ;)
Reception is tomorrow, eeeeeeeeeek!
Main Entrance to the Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery

Photo by Susan Gartner

Just coming to see the building (a local architectural treasure) is a treat in itself and has been a labor of love by the owner, Alan Macbeth, for 30 years.

Photo by jafabrit

Saturday, October 08, 2011

woolly headed, literally

"Hairy Mary"
Yarn  decorated mannequin

which is how I'm feeling as I prepare to hang the Hairy Art Palace exhibit on Monday. You know, this is what happens when one becomes obsessed with yarn and glue, and garage sale mannequins.  If they are not covered in felt,like mr. plato, they are yarnbombed.

Friday, October 07, 2011

On the Washing Line: Hand Sewn Quilt

Washing line in Northeast of England

It was fun to see a quilt I had so lovingly made by hand back in the 80's for my mother still in use, and still in FAB shape. 
There is a story behind this quilt, a story of a young mother in Texas, whose heart ached with homesickness and wanted the comfort of knowing that her mother would touch the quilt and feel that thread of love even in  a piece of cloth thousands of miles away.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Talking about Surprises & Dealing with Naysayers

Swoon: It's about the feeling about surprise in an otherwise dead space.

Saw this on Craftivism Blog and wanted to share.

Swoon's drawing and what she has done with it is amazing.  Here is some info about her on Bit Rebels.

Dealing with Naysayers
(not talking about people offering thoughtful critiques and concerns).   
I love this quote by Gandhi, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet".  Nobody escapes the naysayers in our lives, and the more attention we get for our work the more naysayers seem to have this major urge to let us know how they feel. I am lucky because my need to create and the joys that come from that are so powerful that I don't care. I don't have time to indulge in letting others leave dirty footprints. If naysayers are bothering you then check out this link, 31 ways to Deal with Naysayers at The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.

"excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible" - unknown

Back in Jafabrit's Studio

Here is our Jafagirl Poster available at Zazzle.The bench at the bottom is the one featured in the book Craft Activism .

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Crafting Hell and the German Connection

The Hell of Handicrafts and one of the questions Alex at the Guardian News asks is, "why do women want to embroidery when they could be reading Hegel?"  Perhaps instead it's because we are listening to Hegel wink! wink!  Fun article! and her 10 rules for happier handicrafters made me laugh. I like rule number one.

My own crafting hell is why on earth did I suggest to jafapal nancy we yarnpaint a whole flipping mannequin. ARG!!!!!!!

I feel like ripping parts of it off, grrrrrr, in fact when I get off here I already see a part I want to change. grrrrrrrr!

I love this story, Not about crafting hell but hell and crafting. I love that this POW managed to sneak subversive messages into his work.   It's also a reminder that sending stitched mail, and subversive stitch is not NEW. check out what he wrote in morse code on one of his embroideries LOL!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Street Art: The Power of Surprise

 People often wonder what the motive for creating street art is. I can't speak for others, but I enjoy creating little surprises that people might not notice at first or wonder about when they do notice it. Thing's that blend in with the place it's placed, or look like it's supposed to be where it is BUT!  A lot of people don't like street art, and some go into an apoplectic dither over a bit yarnbombing/knit graffiti, but they seem to accept the most obnoxious exploitation, occupation and cluttering of public space and ad creep by advertizers. 

Image from Wooster Collective article about the Street Advertizing Takeover.
Such is life!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Angel of the North and Sting

taken sept 2011
Angel of the North by Antony Gormley

It took a long time for locals to like this now famous landmark known locally by some as "rusty reg or rusty rita". There's something VERY comforting going back home and seeing it. I suppose not unlike New Yorkers who know they're home when they see the Statue of Liberty.

 It's Sting's 60th birthday today, and since he's another Geordie, here's hoping you have a canny one pet.

Here's a pic of him unveiling artwork he commissioned for the Laing Art Gallery
image source Chronicle Live
Painting is by Stephen Hannock

In it you can see the Sage (the slug) where Sting has performed.

taken sept 2011