Wednesday, July 8, 2009

kitchen invasion.

this kitchen mess is nothing compared to what i am capable of. our incredibly gracious hosts here in albuquerque, christie and shenoah, have allowed us to truly take over for some crafting, sorting and general mess-making. so we have pushed our plans in arizona back by a day and decided to linger and work.

this also means time left for visits with other new mexican friends like mark and marya.

this really is a town of favorite people. marya is my old college roommate (if we actually went to college and not clown school) who has fianlly settled here to immerse herself in jazz and find a reason to make theatre again. she's very talented at everything so i'm not worried that the joy will return. if not, something else will emerge. mark and shenoah are the pajama men, currently eyeballs-deep in making their new show to bring to the edinburgh fringe. we always seem to converge with them while this process is happening. it is such torture to make a show. outsiders rarely understand this and can't imagine any gut wrenching when they finally see the finished project. in the case of the pajama men, the finished product is always something i can get behind - sight unseen. go find them. they will also be flying away with some new buttons made by me. christie is a journalist/editor extraordinaire. we stay up nights trying to build her a new website between buttons squishings and sips of tea.

i finally feel like i can breathe for a minute here. thank you so much guys.

oh, and when you can't decide if you want green or red chilis (the state question), you can opt for christmas (which means both).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

subconscious messages.

i did not mean to take these two pictures back to back.

the second one is of louise. we share a bedroom with her here. i wish louise no harm or ill will.

Monday, July 6, 2009

further along route 66.

today we mostly picked up where we left off. this crossing the continent business has always been a mild ordeal for us. we have friends between the east and west but not a lot of crafty things to do. this translates into long driving days in the hot hot heat. (by the way, if you are a crafty sort along route 66, we want to hear from you. the vague plan for next summer is to set up a small gallery/boutique/trailer park tour along this path to los angeles).

but back to our crossing to albuquerque...

we quickly passed through oklahoma and crossed into texas, reading historical markers about towns that ebbed and flowed with deposits of natural resource. i really like traveling the panhandle along route 66. the towns are pretty and interesting. we were again thwarted by our own timing as we passed through mclean, texas, in the hopes of gaining entrance to the devil's rope museum. i guess we are doomed to just pass through, stare through the glass and leave.

we left texas and entered new mexico where the sun was going down and weather started to turn.

until it really turned into the most white knuckled our drive has been yet. aitor took some pictures as we came through the end of our mountain monsoon outside of tucumcari. my arm was numb from stress.

i considered not posting these pictures for fear that our moms would have heart attacks. but it's okay, ladies; we survived. and look:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

miracles, kicks, route 66. oh, and explosions of possible patriotism.

it's a miracle! the alternator was repaired before i even got out of bed! aitor was a champ for dealing with everything as i recovered from a late night of problem solving. and our hero, rob, well...he holds a special place in our hearts. how did we get our car fixed on the fourth of july? how could we have rolled out of town by noon?

above is a picture from a rummage sale we encountered in bourbon, missouri. everything was half price so our selections worked out to 17.5 cents. we tipped.

i don't know, there is not much to say about driving route 66 through missouri and oklahoma that will do any justice to the experience, so i will leave it to a few pictures:

oh, and there is so much more but it was a big driving day so we couldn't stop as much as i wanted to photograph the remains of america's main street.

as the sun began to set, we turned off the mother road and drove south through oklahoma. while the skies darkened, people in the small towns and places we passed were setting off fireworks. it is so flat out here that when we would hit a small rise in the road, we could see small store-bought fireworks displays for miles. some were tiny colourful pops on the horizon, some were big and startling explosions shot right over the highway from places like roadside sausage factories.

photo by reverend aitor

it was such a beatiful way to coast into muskogee, oklahoma, that i couldn't imagine where i would rather be to witness the celebration of america's big day. maybe a mattress sale?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

so long, saint louis...and stop being clingy.

photo by reverend aitor

today we left our saint louis family with many hugs, plans for crafty exchanges and a strange smell emanating from the car (but more on that later).

we stopped in on circa, belleville illinois' best boutique as far as i am concerned. sorry, other shops, but andria is the only one who carries my stuff in town. why do i never take pictures there? i honestly do not know. it is quite a lovely shop with an equally attractive and charming owner.

after departing belleville, we drove into the big city and stopped to visit cranky yellow, a shop run by some excitable artists we met last year at strange folk. their store and gallery spaces occupy a very specific and loud aesthectic of plastics, kitch, humour, eyeballs and crochet afghans...and more. or, as the title of their current window display expresses so pointedly "crap glued to other crap." there is no slight in this. it works. and i was very happy to add a collection of sweetie pie press commissioned artist sets to the miasma of colour.

angelo pointed out how well my outfit morphed into the store as a whole. he also said i looked like the mayor of papertown. fair. and flattering.

i was also lucky enough to be entirely bought out of loose buttons (once again) by avalon exchange (formerly rag-o-rama) in university city.

if only my mayoral magic could have prevented my alternator from dying as we alighted hopefully onto route 66. but luck and trouble always seem to run in a tight circle for me. we made it as far as a walmart parking lot in sullivan, missouri. i never thought i would sing the praises of a big box store, but ridiculously late hours on the eve of a civic holiday sure served us well in locating a mechanic who seemed optimistic about his ability to get us rolling again on the fourth of july.

now we sleep in a fancier hotel than we should be in (read: can really afford) with hopes that this year's breakdown will end better than last year's canada day debacle.

Friday, July 3, 2009

gateway city getaway.

photo by reverend aitor

yesterday was spent with important missions into saint louis (we are actually staying just outside of the city in southern illinois). the observant among you will notice that we not driving our trusty station wagon, boris. this is because our gracious hosts felt that break-ins were imminent with our stuffed vehicle so shannah was kind enough to lend us her car for the day. air conditioning and a reclining seats! we felt our own ages for a moment. okay, we are easily impressed but also, madly grateful for a day's escape from our own greasy lives.

the wax museum that melissa keeps emphatically touting was "closed for renovations" and slated to "reopen the first week of july." when i pointed out that it was the first week of july, the fellow on the other end of the phone got cagey. maybe next time. this narrowed down our decisions, anyway, and we ended up going to the equally touted (but for other reasons) city museum.

the museum houses an impressive display of interactive sculpture and hidden curiosities. i particularly liked the collection of things found in old saint louis latrines and the display of architectural adornments.

i was less enthusiastic about the kiosks trying to sell trinkets or food at every turn and the employees' lack of desire to be of any help. even the keen lady at the info desk told me that the museum is exploratory and that they don't have any exhibits. she did this in front of a sign for the architectural exhibit. i get the idea that this is a place for adults to feel like kids but we are not as small as kids and i don't feel like 'discovering' what size tube i will get stuck in. maybe i was just hungry. aitor was getting annoyed at my lack of whimsical zeal. what can i say? when the clock is ticking, i want more scrimshaw and less slides. call me a jerk.

...not that slides aren't fun in their own gross ways.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

size matters.

ladies and gentlemen, please bestow a warm reception to the first two 3" buttons to come off my brand new machine. yes. three inch buttons. so now when people ask if i have anything bigger than 1 inch buttons i can say "yes, i make three inch buttons."

i told you there would be announcements after my last visit to usa buttons.

i have a couple of projects in the works related to this new machine (yup, this one puts ribbons on buttons if desired). you will hear more about that soon. but first, i have photographed the first one off the press in proximity to a child's face (for scale). thank you, max, for your ultimate cooperation. the artwork on the button below is a collaboration between the two of us.

now, off to explore saint louis.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

craft my ride.

thrift store afghan + shredded bench seat = crafty answer to style and function.

apologies to xzibit and crew, but we haven't filled the trunk with plasma tv's and woofers yet. we need that space for crafts. besides, it's a station wagon.

i love how this aesthetic mess looks against the backdrop of our equally daring kansas city motel. i should have taken more pictures of the filled-in pool. next time.

hey, happy canda day. let's go to saint louis!