Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oof.



After seeing the "Architecture of the Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art recently, I was inspired by these beautiful work-clothes quilts. The women of Gee's Bend, isolated in a small town in Arkansas and several hours' from the nearest town, used the materials available to them as inspiration for the quilts that kept them and theirs warm.

I'm using old jeans to make a rag-rug, onto which I will print cotton in bloom. The rag trade was integral (and is) to the lives of immigrants in America, a way where anyone, through hard work, could make a living and rise into the working class. Industry created workers, workers make money, producers become America's best consumers.

But with the rise of outsourcing, the move of the source of our manufactured goods, well, anywhere but here, the rich history of mills and sewing machines, advent of jeans and sewing machines, immigrants camoflaging into American society, and thriftyness of the American households in lean times....these things are things lost to us.

In building my school's sukkah today (yes it's late, don't ask), the topic came up and it occured to me that so few of us ever do without...without food, without music, without information, without something to do or somewhere to be. It's in that spirit that I'm making a rag rug from denim, sturdy and practical, hard-working and reflecting of the working class.

That being said, the denim braid is much harder on the hands than anything else I've braided with, and I'm wondering how big a rug I can really make with the amount of tension I'm putting on my fingers. We'll see!

It sweeps in and looms...

Every year, varying in precise date, something happens to me. My productivity drops. My sleep patterns become anywhere, anytime, for as long as possible. I'm a morning person by nature, I like to be in bed and asleep between 10 and midnight, up with the sun-ish. And then, the SAD kicks in. Long ago, when my family still lived in Maryland, my dad got crankier in the fall and winter, and my mom figured that he had Seasonal Affective Disorder. The man that my father was when we were Marylanders is totally different than the man he is now in southern California.

Ever since I made the move back to Maryland for school, I've suffered the symptoms of SAD every autumn. So, I'm starting back up on the generic Prozac. Every year I forget how tired and lethargic I can get until it's too late, but this year I think I'm starting the SSRI therapy early enough that it shouldn't be too bad.

I think that a lot of people don't even realize that they may have mildly the effects of the changing weather and light at this time of year, that things like exercise, lots of sunlight, even light box therapy (even sitting over the light table in the Fibers department for an hour or two) can help. And the -worst- thing I can do is listen to my sleepy mind, stay in bed, get nothing done, which makes the depression worse. So hopefully this year will be better. Now, to do some homework. Maybe build a hut later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Salvage time


Anyone up for some adventure in Upton? It looks like it's right off the Upton Metro station. No idea what they have there, but it's probably worth a gander. Modern Junk & Salvage Co. 1423 N. Fremont Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 (410) 669-8290.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Elvis leg

Yesterday I went to Loyola to use their climbing facilities with a friend, and the trouble we nearly got in was ridiculous. Luckily, my companion had a friend at Loyola who came and signed us in as guests, we all climbed together for a while, it was nice.

Except I definitely pulled something in my foot, and my studio is across the Howard Street bridge, and it definitely got worse overnight. RICE, anyone?

I have this habit of watching Dharma and Greg in the mornings. Which is inconvenient because it ends at 9 am, when most of my classes and desk shifts start. Something about it's goofy characters and laugh track that makes me happy, wakes me up. Ahh, poor taste in sit-com's.

Just a couple weeks till I get some crits in my classes, unfortunate I've had a lot of time out of the studio, and I need to get a lot of work done in the next couple weeks--maybe calling other desk assistants to cover my shifts so I can get into the studio.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm back!

Ahh, remember the good ol' days when people took "breaks" from el-jay land because of the high drama quotient?

Luckily, there's not been much drama, other than I didn't apologize as much as I wanted to for yom kippur, and I got all kinds of sick and thus my apartment is a mess, etc., and I'm somewhat behind in classes AND super busy this week AND my studio-mate may be replaced by up to three fibers juniors (my studio! mine!), I wasn't able to fast fully, every week whizzes by and I can hardly even see what's going on it's such a blur. Luckily, workload's not killer this semester.

I know my getting sick/being a wuss will generally catch up with me, that I will have to pay the piper for not jumping headfirst into some long-term projects, however, unlike last year where I was trying to do every single job on the planet and having loads of relationship-related anxiety, this year is calmer, easier. Lindsay is not quite Zen-master Lindsay, but with a little bit of tea ceremony and a summer in the mountains, she's pretty different than the Lindsay of sophomore year. At least in experience--YMMV. Where last year falling asleep for 4 hours mid-day may have meant missing the time to get the duty phone or not being able to print because of RCA programming and duty responsibilities, now it just means I fell asleep for a couple hours. It's okay, really.

And somehow, I know whatever comes come graduation in May, I'll be game. So very game.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

I love my job (not)

Desk assistants at the dorms do more work than campus safety associates, who monitor desks at academic buildings, but we get paid less. In addition, campus safety officers don't really like DA's because they only ever see us when there's a problem. There are, of course, exceptions to this. For example, Officer Brown loves me because we did a bust together once where I spotted a piece after they'd arrived. We're colleagues.

Anyway, on the way to the Commons I noted that the gate was still open to the parking lot, and you're paying for secure parking so if the gates are up past the first week of school, if I were paying, that's bull. This is a lot that backs North Ave., where cars get broken into on a semi-regular basis. I asked my boss why they were still open. "I don't know, they were supposed to be closed last week." I call our community safety dispatch desk. The following conversation occurs.

L: Hi, this is Lindsay at the Commons desk. I was wondering why the gates to the parking lot are still up?
CSO: Because "El Director" hasn't told us to put them down yet.
L: Oh, I thought they were supposed to be down last week. Thanks.
Five minutes later, on the radio:
CSO: Dispatch to Unit 31, please put down the parking gates at Commons lot.
Unit 31: Ten-four.
Lindsay: one. Sassy CSO at Dispatch: zero. Obviously the director of reslife e-mailed them and that info got ignored or didn't get passed on to the officers on duty last week. I can't believe no students complained to the right people about the messed up fact that the gates were still up.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Increasing Workplace Productivity

Finally got in a decent 6 hours in the studio today, which was fantastic. There's a yoga class for upperclassmen and grad students only in the studio building on-campus that I think I'm going to hit tomorrow, considering I've made some decent headway for my class tomorrow, so not a lot more to do before class tomorrow evening.

Last night I watched a special on Pepsi versus Coca-Cola and also one on MSNBC with corpses and autopsies. Made me miss the good ol' X-Files days. Going to do some laundry, pick up my room a bit, maybe do some dishes, and get ready for tomorrow.

One bummer today: found out that my local light rail-accessible Wal-Mart is no longer carrying fabrics, and I am having a TOUGH time finding nylons and polyesters to my liking for my projects this semester.

Fascinating...

When I sleep the sleep of a dead woman, I have some strange dreams. Case in point: left the studio late last night (and it's horrible, horrible internet connection) after making a case for my ipod when I say hello and goodnight to the roomie, and I am off to bed. Cut to, alarm going off at 7:30 this morning, I wake up for a dream where I was expeditioning in the snow with Lone Wolf. Seriously? Seriously. With girls (campers). It was pretty fantastic, even though we missed the ski lift we were supposed to turn at (or we didn't go far enough) but that snow was driving.

One hour down, two to go. Oh, desk shifts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Full of tea

I have spent a lot of nights away from my own home, and thus the trash needs must go out, the sink and fridge need emptying, and an awful lot of laundry needs folding. So, after I am through with this class (which seems as if it will be soon), I'm going to head off to Wegman's and Wal-Mart, because I need some fabrics to make technical wear or something, and I need matzo ball soup mix and noodles and soy dogs and some sort of non-processed cheese...Sorry, studio, I suppose I will have to see you tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Part 2: Barfing out ideas

So, where are influences coming from? What fashion products exist already? How is my line different? What market? What price? What materials?

I want it to be well-designed. I'd rather come up short on pieces for the show to come up with truly amazing technical performance garments.

  • Option 1: Make urban fashions with inspiration from high-performance technical gear that respond to questions of survival in urban and suburban environments. Examples are some form of urban bear-bag, a portable chair of some sort to wait for the bus on, and of course garments that are sensitive to connectivity and technology and the risk they bring.
    Downsides: Lots of competition in accessory department, clothing would be high-craft, high-cost, aimed at urbanites with disposable income (i.e. not myself).
  • Option 2: Make high-tech and high-touch garments which are as appealing to non-outdoors-people as hardcore hikers. Each garment has a secondary or convertible aspect to it which intends to make hiking, climbing, camping, scrambling, more convenient and less stressful. It should also be easily customizable and versatile.
    Downsides: Will have to strike a fine balance, keep it simple where possible, to consider what I need to do for the customer, and what they may want to do themselves. These objects will be about home in the outdoors.
  • Option 3: Using nature and landscape as a point of departure, make simple garments and accessories for an active lifestyle that use pattern to create rhythm whether worn in city life or weekend trips. These talk about the intersection of wild and tamed, and also includes the creation of home products that bring nature indoors.
    Downsides: Shallow, just not as exciting.

Tsumura and Orta



So, despite being a fake-hardcore outdoors-woman, there is a lot to think about and learn about outdoor gear.

For class tomorrow I have to present three seperate "fashion line" ideas for my experimental fashion class on design & production of fashion shows. I am looking largely at the work of Lucy Orta, who uses high-tech textiles, trims, and silkscreening to talk about social issues (homelessness being a big one). The part I identify with in her work is that it's functional-looking (though the chief function is to illustrate an idea, not actual survival) and talks about transformation, shelter, personal space. I feel very much like a nomad in my existence, and despite that nomadicism I still have physical needs, desires, creature comforts...

The piece on the left is a Lucy Orta piece, the one on the right is Kosuke Tsumura's "Final Home" jacket with 44 pockets which can be used for storage or stuffed with newspaper for insulation (comes with Final Home bear, which fits in one of said pockets).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's the little things that make all the difference.

In design, life, room arrangements, way you slurp your tea, relationships. As a kid, I don't think I was alone a ton. I was a tagger-alonger, the pesky little sister (I think). I mean, with a twin sister, there's not a whole lot you do by yourself. I think until we were 11 or 12 we even had our doctor exams in the same room. My studio is becoming a haven, it feels like home and I do love it, love how it's got my re-finished table with the red edge, and my fabrics that I've made and my sculptures and my rag rug and all mine mine mine.

I guess I'm just a social creator, I like to roll ideas around in a circle 'till it's gained mass and momentum. I'm at the crux, the starting, of a few projects, and would simply really love to roll some ideas around with my graphic designer significant other. But off he goes to a tea party and here I am, toes frigid, trying to understand what the hell I'm doing for these couple of (related) projects. And blogging about it. Ninety percent of the time I'm fantastic, I can work on things alone, but I hate making work in a bubble, you get this stuff that's great in your eyes but when you put it out on that severe white pedestal and under them fluorescent lights it just doesn't hold their attention (in a good way).

Just had to get that out. I don't really imagine myself ending up in a relationship where we only exist together in rest. I need to be engaged and fight and argue (in a positive way)! Guess I'm just a little bit contrite. Ahh well, nose to the grindstone! I also think I'm just feelin' the end of the week, sipping my Italian semi-dri red and eating cold pizza and just thanking G-d that shabbat is nigh!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Studio!



W00t! I got my senior studio assignment, which is in MICA's "studio center" on North Avenue, quite a disapointment compared to being in the station last semester because of my independent study. But you know what? I'm happy to be in a building with massive amounts of space and people who are not fibers majors.

People leave lockers, tables, stools in their studios at the end of the year, so I found an awesome table, except for how it was covered in paint. But, an hour or two of belt sanding and I had a table ready for re-finishing. I also re-arranged ad-infinitum, I must have moved the table seven times, but I just want everything in order for starting to work. My bedroom is much emptier, but I still have to put up my curtains, put my books up on shelves, etc. It

It's truly strange to think that I don't know where I'll be living or what I'll be doing after MICA. I know I want to get my WFR, work outdoors, so do I plan for that or do I go the optimistic route and try straight for grad school? And do I do my WFR this January or do I wait to work for a place this summer who will pay for it? Oy.

Just the pictures

Recently uploaded Vedauwoo pictures. Enjoy!

Double rainbow, Jyoti and Magpie as the pink and yellow rangers, me on belay at the crack on the rat brain, and the Ames Monument, which is an old railroad monument which was near the tracks till they got moved towards Laramie, and some intrepid climbers put some bolts on that thing (I hear people use it for bouldering horizontal routes). The stone is the local Sherman granite at Vedauwoo.





Busy living life, I suppose.

My friend Eric (from my year at Thousand Oaks High School) recently graduated from UC Irvine and interned this summer in Washington, D.C. . Eric and I were going to go to the Maryland State Fair, but it was like being inside someone's mouth outside, so instead we...okay, I can't really recall. Oh, right. Grabbed dinner in Fells' Point, had a beer at Bertha's, saw the new Hairspray at the Charles Theatre (it was pretty fantastic, but no longer a John Waters work.) The next day we caught the last day of the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit , which was pretty fantastic.

I found out that I don't like margueritas or tequila, but I did enjoy some form of Baltimore brew, all I can recall is it's located off of Pratt Street. The best part of the 24 hours with Eric though was where we ate dinner: Arcos Restauraunt. Inside is nice enough, we got off the 13 just in time to get inside before the skies opened up, but when I asked if their outdoor seating had cover, they said yes, so we sat on their rustic patio. I cannot even describe how awesome it was for the winds to go through as we partook in fresh guacamole and tortilla chips. And the food was beautiful and affordable.

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