Friday, June 25, 2010

don't panic.

hello dear readers,

internet has been slim from brooklyn to atlanta (where i am now). i am hard at work but blogging has fallen by the wayside.

fear not! all of our amazing adventures will be filled in - somewhere between here, nashville and somewhere in kentucky, i hope.

i miss you and the blog.

check out the sidebar to see where we will next appear in person and/or slightly more current snippest from twitter. though the internet fails, our bodies persist.



ps - that photo up there is from the magnolia photo booth at renegade brooklyn. they will be at all the rest of the renegades, too. and are available for hire!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

another pitt stop.

after a long, long day of driving we collapsed into the guest bed at pat and al's place last night. when we awoke, everything was perfect - there was soft light coming through stained glass and and offer of blueberry pancakes. it is enough to make a wayward hobo couple feel very spoiled, indeed.

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i love visiting pat and al's home. it feels so comfortable and is filled with beautiful old things. al is the genius mind behind a zine called thrift score and her heyday thrifting finds are all around. they have been working to cull the collection (there is talk of a bargain-basement summer yard sale that i am both relieved and distressed to be missing) so everything in the house is distilling into shifting thematic clumps that seem to sing with the areas of patched wall and original wallpaper that have been left alone through home improvements.

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i always wish we could stay longer here. overnight is not nearly enough. i love this town.

we also learned that on top of chronicling the sad discarded demises of lost toys, al has been spending her summer walking to new orleans two miles a day. the walk is virtual, but wikipedia, google maps, local errands, a pedometer and a good pair of walking shoes can make for a pretty awesome blog.

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tonight we drive to columbus, ohio. it's another great town but i feel our relationship with pittsbugh needs some future investments.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

scenic overlooks of new jersey.

we got to see jenny today. it was a brief visit. more brief than usual, and the rest of the family was out, but a little catch-up session over mint iced tea is a welcome interlude in any driving day. getting out of new york city and into new jersey is hard enough. a moment of pleasant reacquaintance between that ordeal and the ordeal of driving to pittsburgh is a very happy happening. man, those kids are going to be huge next time we see them.

darn it!

attention citizens of columbus, ohio: the revrend and will be passing through and setting up in our favourite local shop, wholly craft, for an evening of revelry and craft attacks.

so what's going on? well, i will be teaching an informal by-donation workshop on darning your holey woollens, aitor will be doing unflattering portraits and we will both have trunks open with crafty goodness for your to peruse and/or purchase. you can also just come down and say hello.

for more information, check out this post on the wholly craft blog.

oh oh oh ohio. we can't wait!

Monday, June 7, 2010


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cramming everything in is an impossible task in the boroughs, so for our last evening in town we had some decisions to make. we chose wisely and met up with dory for a special appointment at the reanimation library. the library is an institution we had just learned about on this visit when we saw proprietor/heap librarian/curator, andrew beccone, speak at the adult education lectures. his talk was great and we immediately knew we were interested in the project.

housed within the greater proteus gowanus gallery and resource project (pictured above), the library was founded to house what had been andrew's personal collection of books. the focus of the library is on books and publications that have fallen out of mainstream usefulness but which possess interesting, compelling and/or strange graphic content. andrew puts its philosophy and purpose much better than i do. we were all just exited to get a tour through some of his favourite weirdness and to discover some on our own.

as it is designed to serve (mostly) as a visual resource, i was entirely overstimulated and took a lot of photos. you now have to look at too many photos, too.

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for a small half-room space, it is certainly filled with material beyond my ability to absorb it. we will need to return. the craft ideas alone were worth another peruse, not to mention ideas on face bandaging, random numbers, cosmetic application and gross cooking.

andrew, himself, is a great man to visit with. he is passionate and articulate about the library and the broader thoughts behind it - and he is funny and nice. we all walked back to the subway together and took the train home chatting about travel and new york and albuquerque and the toxic gowanus canal and other things.

my head is very full at the moment. i suggest you visit this place.

vestiges with a schmear.

finally, on our last day in new york, we managed to squeeze in a visit with our friend louie and squeeze some classic jewish deli fare into our bellies. two kinds of borscht! it's sad that this once ubiquitous type of establishment is disappearing from the manhattan landscape, but it's our good luck that louie knows where to find one of the remaining ones.

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speaking of disappearances, jessica from miniature rhino sent us on the path of the gramercy typewriter co. in the flatrion district (i think). we saw her lovely letter writing service at renegade and started prodding her for ribbon sources. although founded as a typewriter repair company, gramercy now mostly deals in the repair of brother printers. they work out of a small office space but are very knowledgeable about all sorts of typewriter repair. i should have asked to take pictures inside the office but i got shy. i am not used to the close quarters of new york city and felt very much in their space already. we left with some new(ish) ribbon bought out from ko-rec-type. only time will tell if it has maintained its moisture. gramercy will also do things like replace your platens, too. it's nice to know that some old things can still be maintained. i could see a spring in the reverend's step as we walked out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

new digs (or squatting in a brooklyn park).

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day two of renegade brooklyn, we found a new place to set up. yesterday's digs were a bit too dusty for us to deal with. these are the challenges that face outdoor shows; in the process of doing layout, it is nearly impossible to tell what spots will be in a dirt pile, or by a buggy shrub. speaking of shrubs, you may notice that our new set-up juts out. that is because there was a small tree behind us. i love this spot, though. cramming ourselves in here made this strip of the fair feel like a little village. and we got to visit with our friends from bettula.

i did not find too much time for browsing today. fighting the grime off our my stuff, chatting with people and drinking copious amounts of water took up most of my time. after the small explosion of rain and wind passed through (far less than expected), i did manage to take a walk around. based on the detritus strewn throughout the park, it seems that areas outside of some little patches like our new village were much more violently terrorized by the wind. the craftermath of these shows always gets to me - all the junk leftover and abandoned - but new yorkers have a way of absoring and using it immediately. plus, that boy below pulling a branch apart made me feel hopeful about our post-apocalyptic future in general.

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but back to the point: among the vendors who stuck it out to renegade's sunny and warm conclusion, i found the totally lovely booth of miniature rhino. someone had asked at our booth about a woman typing letters, and our fancies were immediate piqued. i am so glad i happened up jessica at the end of the day. the sense of kindred outlook was palpable (although i find her aesthetic much cleaner than my own and she brings more bespoke work to fairs). check it:

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over on that end of the park, the fair closed out with a country guitar/african drumming sing-along. i now understand that that is how all craft fairs should end.

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donut or die.

the hipster coffee shop by the park (which i hear is awfully good) was closed at the early hour we trundled down yesterday so we went for a walk in search of morning liquids. a nice man with a fresh looking iced coffee directed us towards peter pan, our new favourite coffee shop in greenpoint (we didn't have an old one, but still...). it is a totally perfect donut and pastry shop one dollar coffee (decent by aitor's reports), one dollar tea (again, just lipton) and excellent donuts. they also have a small, winding counter to sit at, a staff of young uniformed polish ladies and a constant stream of police officer patrons (for real). peter pan became our two-day morning tradition while at renegade. our few daily moments at the counter sharing donuts (french twist, toasted coconut, and red velvet to date) and sipping hot, cheap things really takes the edge off the no sleep we have been getting. this place is the best.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

there will be mud.

day one of renegade brooklyn done. day two looming. the forecast calls for lots of rain and storms, but it did today, too.

one small adjustment: we will be moving away from our dust bowl digs of today and nestling up with our friends from bettula. let's hope we can all find shelter from the showers together. come find us! there will be mud.

return to brooklyn.

pictured above are the new tags i made for my irregular button sets. aitor says they make my messed buttons look better than my normal ones. i will have to work on that. these new packs are just one of a few new products i will be releasing in the coming weeks thanks to printing help from my friends at fireball (quality goods made to my obsessively picky specifications). of course, i tried to get as much as i could rolled out for our triumphant return to renegade craft fair brooklyn but this was all i could muster for day one. if you look very close you will see hints at some new button sets. but, you'd have to look very close.

today we stayed fairly hunkered down at the tent (after the early-morning reunions and catch-ups with other vendors, that is). it was hot out and there was much behind-the-scenes sorting to do in spare moments. as the show got rolling, i did manage to make it across the aisle to visit a tent that had been catching my eye for hours.

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veronica + matt's tent was so lovely - filled with graphic embroideries and screen prints. it felt like the perfect thing for me to find on a day when i wasn't feeling up to a big exploration excursion. i ended up with that last embroidery pictured above, entitled 'can opener'. v + m also could not have been more charming to chat with.

oh yeah, and this happened:

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williamsburg and greenpoint.

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i love our early morning pre-fair wanderings - good signs, good fonts and a relative dearth of people.

Friday, June 4, 2010

animal invasion.

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exhibit a:
new custom order for the power plant. attached to an upcoming group show opening june 18, these buttons were made for new collectible sets by fastwürms. i couldn't find any direct links for the duo (pipe up if you know one) but they are an art/witchery collaboration from toronto/creemore. i actually can't believe i don't know more about their work. here's yet another research project for my return to toronto.

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exhibit b:
two new sweetie pie button sets designed by wee aussie and erstwhile/brief co-inhabitant of my apartment, sarah mcneil. entitled cats and other cats, they do much to support the idea that the whole world has gone cat crazy. they also inhabit sarah's very special view of the world in muted colours and austere demeanour.

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exhibit c:
bucking the cat trend, anda corrie has developed a new button set for the sweetie pie press with some voracious alligators on them. anda has a long history with alligators, but more on that later when these sets are released for real. and look at the genius of her sets (below). i can't believe i have gone this long without making buttons like this. this is why i keep genius friends like anda.

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