FabMo Pumpkins

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Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that I like scraps.  See SCRAP for a favorite haunt.   I like making use of what others might consider debris.  And I appreciate others using and repurposing things that might otherwise become landfill.

FabMo is a non profit that was started to rescue fabric discarded from designer showrooms in San Francisco and around the Bay area.  This all volunteer, non profit organization has diverted approximately 70 tons annually from landfill and makes the fabric (and a few tile and carpet samples) available for creative reuse.

Scrap Pumpkins  392They hold selection days once a month in Mountain View – a couple of weekdays and one on the weekend.  They’re starting to have selection events also in the Santa Cruz area.

I don’t go every month or my home would be filled to the rafters with scraps of cloth,  There are wonderful swatches to be had! Subscribe to their mailing list if you’re local and interested.

piecedgoods Scrap Pumpkins  394PIJ997CR-2TOctober is pumpkin time.  I sewed and stuffed some pumpkins using fun FabMo fabrics and this pattern from Indygo Junction.

I couldn’t resist tweaking the pattern so after one pumpkin, the pattern and process started evolving.

I settled on using an adapted version of the pattern with 6 sections (vs. the 5 in the pattern) and slightly revised stem.

And now all those orangey fall designer upholstery fabrics have a new purpose.


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@Large on Alcatraz

2014-10-02 at 20-43-06“The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.”
— Ai Weiwei

Ai Wei Wei is a prolific Chinese artist currently under house arrest in China has designed an art installation on Alcatraz Island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.  2014-10-02 at 20-08-59Alcatraz is most well known as a federal prison but also was a 19th century fortress prior to that, and after it was closed as a penitentiary, became a site of a Native American occupation and protest, and is now a National Park.

@large  392Ai Wei Wei has done numerous site specific installations.  Here as with other installations, he communicates ironically through the art. On Alcatraz, the exhibit is called @Large.  The artist was never allowed to visit the site or even leave his country  – all the design and all but the final construction and installation was done remotely.   There are symbols of flight, imprisonment, freedom of speech, and conflict, all installed in the intimidating environment of one of the nation’s formerly most high security prisons.

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Lego  391With the site specific art, there was much more than the thing installed.  The art interacts with the space.  As striking as the installations were of the dragon, the Lego portraits of freedom fighters and the large metal wing (I didn’t get a decent picture of that to upload), in the area called Stay Tuned, 12 individual cells features a different recordings spoken word, poetry, song and music by people who have been incarcerated for creative expression. This cell below, along with a row of others echoed with the voices of freedom fighters.2014-10-02 at 21-44-10In the hospital ward, pristine white glazed porcelain flowers bloom in sinks, bathtubs, toilets.2014-10-02 at 22-12-162014-10-02 at 22-12-20Ironic comfort both pretty and sharp, inviting and not.  All in a severe environment.  Surgery  389Hospital  3902014-10-02 at 21-48-07All within clear sight of a beautiful city on the bay.2014-10-02 at 23-25-56

2014-10-02 at 23-20-57For more about @Large go here.

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Journaling Journey

2014-08-16 at 21-31-58This weekend was filled with making and drawing and eating and art journaling with creative polyglot, Katherine England.  We spent day 1 making the books with birch board covers, 140 lb watercolor paper, linen thread, and leather spines.

Day 2 was filled with how to fill our brand new pristine books with well, stuff.  Arty meaningful stuff.  Or not.  Despite the high level of creativity competence in the room, this was a struggle for many of us, myself included. Perhaps creativity on demand was a tall order. Maybe we were comparing our potential works and thinking we’d never measure up to Katherine’s amazing stash of personal journals.  Stop judging me silly brain!

I know my little brain was challenged with learning a new way of exercising new creative neurons, with every fiber of my normal well worn pathways protesting vigorously.2014-08-17 at 02-36-16I don’t really have a third eye. But I drew the self portraits below with my eyes closed and without lifting the Sharpie off the paper (ok, maybe once).  Then I colored the spaces in..  Then I taped a lady on top of one of them.  And I doodled around.  And then I played with wetting down the watercolor pencil.   It felt like fooling around and there was definitely something awesome about it.

2014-08-17 at 07-50-14There were plenty of other exercises as well.  Draw your hand without picking up your pen.  I dare you.2014-08-16 at 22-44-05I ended filled to bursting with ideas on how to doodle, draw with abandon, write, diagram, and download my messy-filled-up-monkey-mind. At least a little bit.

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