Thursday, September 4, 2008

pursuit of craftiness

despite being horribly busy this summer i managed to put together a few fun craft projects. katherine taught me how to make sock monkeys:

i traded her a couple custom silkscreened tshirts for a monkey. she made the one on the top, named tandy, seen here getting acquainted with my collection of misfit toys from thrift stores. in the bottom photo, the one wearing the condom-shaped hat is the monkey i made, named sarsaparilla. i’ve also started knitting monkey accessories, mostly scarves (and the condom hat). my next attempt will be a sock elephant made out of blue rockford socks, or perhaps a socktopus made out of stripy knee socks.

another thing i’ve been working on are these bamboo tile bracelets, modeled here by me and reed:

nikki started the trend with domino bracelets covered in comic book images, like the lovely and amazing tony millionaire’s sock monkey one she made for me. but i’m too cheap to buy the domino beads, so i found these placemats each made with over 100 bamboo tiles for about $5 each. i cut them up and salvaged the tiles, printed out little images for them and put varnish on top, then strung them together with stretch cord.

i made a gnome one for myself, a dinosaurs attack! trading card one for reed, and a nautilus one for his sister. this summer we went to a wedding, and together reed and i designed bracelets for the bride and groom: a compilation of philip k. dick book covers for her, and a tron-themed bracelet for him.

next up, one of the main reasons i gauged my ears:

earrings made out of polymer clay! i stretched out my ears enough that i could wear flesh tunnels and then loop the earrings through the center of those, because i don’t know how the clay or the varnish i coated most of them with would react against ear-holes for extended periods of time. it’s not an experiment i’m eager to try. they’re very quick to make, and i’ve made probably 30 pairs so far, of various colors, shapes and sizes. if i get ambitious i might try selling them on etsy or something.

i made these stuffed animal headphones for reed. the one on the left is a sloth and the one on the right is a rhino. they’re cheapo headphones i bought used at savers, but the sound is surprisingly decent, even through the extra layer of fabric.

this gave me the idea of making a stuffed animal with speakers inside of it. ever since tour de fat 2007 i’ve been trying to figure out a good way to attach speakers to my bike—it doesn’t seem like that difficult a task, but everything i’ve tried so far works for just a little while until the speakers get jostled around a bit, then they start falling off or bouncing around. if i could find a reasonably sized stuffed animal with large enough paws i could run the wires through the arms, replace the paw fabric with speaker cloth, and then have a much more manageable speaker system—far easier to lash a plush toy to a bike than two smooth plastic speakers. i might even make a sock monkey with speaker hands, that way i could really specify the dimensions just right, and i probably wouldn’t even need speaker cloth. plus monkeys have a good armspan, so i could stretch them across the front of my bike basket and have one speaker in each corner.

this is an idea i’m still working on:

i printed out some of my photos in specific dimensions on paper vellum, then sandwiched them between squares of glass and used aluminum tape along the border to hold them together. they’re supposed to be pendants. the tape looks a little messy, and my plan was to solder over the top of it, but i think i need to paint it with flux or something first because i absolutely couldn’t get the solder to stick.

bike chain bracelet, modeled by katherine while we were picking berries down by the river last weekend:

last year i made some of these for nikki, andrea and me for tour de fat, but in a jimmy rigged fashion. this year i actually put on clasps and even soldered the jump rings, unlike before when i just twisted them on with a bit of wire, making them difficult to remove and even more difficult to put on in the first place. this is another thing i might try selling.

other than that i’ve also printed a few tshirts, knitted a couple kitty sweaters, sewed lots of bandanas and cloth bags, made a cuddle fleece blanket, and knitted arm warmers.

some things i have in the works: a bowl made of melted plastic army soldiers, various pendants made out of resin, other pendants made of plaster, scrabble tile pendants, picture frames bordered with bike chain for framing tour de fat photos, and of course the aforementioned sockephant and socktopus.

art in the park starts tomorrow…that means more inspiration, more projects to add to the list. if only i could have a week off just to make things.


eva said...

your blog is well inspiring, i enjoyed this post about all the creative things you do, it made me want to make something too:)

eva said...

oh and i forgot to say that the stuffed animal headphones are amaaaazziiing!!!!!!!

PeaceLily said...

hey, thanks so much. your “inspiration beyond reason” blog is fabulous, what incredible things you find...