Saturday, May 22, 2010

video of spy girl march-april journal

The ArtHouse Library is located in Brooklyn NY
201 Richards St #16
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Hours vary with each week.
Please check
here before making a trip out to the library!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

making clasp for book

here it is all finished and closed

Did the finishing touches on the Spy Girl sketchbook today and the process was more like some mad scavenger hunt in my house + garage. Since it's supposed to be a secret dossier, I thought a paper button and string tie clasp would be appropriate. Originally I wanted the mini envelopes to have these closures but glad I didn't find them -- it got so bulky with plain envelopes and clasps would have been too much.
My pal Mara sent me a link on "How to make your own button and string closure" which spelled out the process very clearly. (I would have done better if I'd had my printout on hand, but at that point I was tired of looking for things)

Hurdle #1: finding eyelets
I thought FOR SURE that I already had some. Looked in the box with snaps, etc. Found the eyelet setter but no eyelets at all. I could SEE them in my minds eye --AAARGH. Went through likely boxes in the garage. No luck. Found lots of OTHER things I'd forgotten about but no eyelets. Went and bought some. Only silver or gold available (wanted black). Sigh. Thank goodness for Sharpies.

The above link says to use a special large hole puncher -- well, forget that. I traced a penny and cut. I got better with practice. Needing the central hole had me thinking -- a compass would be helpful. Cursory hunt for compass unsuccessful. Good thing I could line up the hole puncher with a dot drawn in center of circle. (You can see below how off-center my first practice was.)

Hurdle #2: I used silk buttonhole weight thread for the string and it was a little wimpy. Beeswax. Where is the beeswax? Used a candle. Never found my sewing beeswax.

Hurdle #3: Button on cover needed to be in center of book because I unaffixed the back moleskine pocket to use as a flap that wrapped to the front. Could not use hole puncher. Exacto, razor blades... WHERE? Found exacto. (Also couldn't use eyelet setter but thankfully the eyelets came with a setter set one could hammer.)

above shows  
on right: first practice  
middle: #2 with string where I forgot it also had to be attached to book
near left: another button
far left: book cover with hole

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Excuse me while I get verbose...

Roz asked me to write about my experiences journaling during International Fake Journal Month (IFJM) -- Roz is the mastermind behind IFJM. I have participated the past two years.

For my first fake journal in 2009, I took on the persona of a Leonard Cohen groupie, journaling as "I" followed his North American tour. I repurposed a paperback of his collected poems - Stranger Music (Amazon aff) - that I had on hand.
In retrospect, I was overambitious. I kept at a fairly steady pace at first. It was inspiring to read a poem and then draw whatever came into my head flavored with where "I" was on the road. I experimented with materials to find I was drawn to colored pencils - they worked the best on the thin, cheap paper of the book. Things started getting difficult when Leonard went into Canada (territory I did not know) AND I hit some poems I didn't like. I remember using Google Maps to plot his route (and likely towns for "me" to overnight in). I used both the map view and the satellite view - to get an idea of terrain "I" was driving through. It became increasingly arduous -- like a bad road trip. (Last spread) "I" didn't journal about Canada. I did the mileage chart (I do that on real road trips too) made some comments and left it at that. (The pages in the 2009 April area are all fake journal. There were additional pages with some nudity which I later removed to open the blog up to a wider audience).

This year's experience went a lot better - many factors helped me in the process. I knew I wanted to try another fake journal, had been pondering what my fake persona would be and Spy Girl appeared under a bush outside my house. It was fate. In addition, ArtHouse (a collective in Brooklyn) sponsors journal projects and launched a "small monthly" project for March/April to go in a black moleskine and themed "this is where I live." I decided to combine the two projects. I used the Spy Girl drawing as fashion template and rendered what I wore. (I tend to dress especially wacky in the spring + summer). Because "I" was a spy, I would place paper evidence from the day in little manila envelopes stamped "CONFIDENTIAL." For media, I used Sharpies, markers and colored pencils - just as I did in my fashion designer days (94-84). I had a blast and the project also inspired me to dig deep into my closet so that I wouldn't repeat outfits too often.

Bonuses from both these projects are the additional blogs. Before April 09, I had one blog - Sketches and Impressions, where I post mostly sketches inspired by Danny Gregory's "Everyday Matters" book and group. The 2009 journal begat The Glutton's Progress which I now use for postings about travel and food. Spy Girl begat this blog which I will use for fashion musings and continued renderings of outfits. I also have a blog on cupcakes and one on surface design.

I am not a "hard core" journaler, indeed, I envy those who are. I tend to start out with the best intentions and then get distracted and fizzle out. I signed on to the fake journal project to help get me journaling in a focused manner ("If it's not really me, maybe I'll work on it more.") The results are mixed, but steadily improving. The IFJM experience is a lot of fun. Go ahead, give it a try next year. If it doesn't work out, it's not you that "failed" -- it's "you".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

spy girl's muse

my Spy Girl fashion figure template,
which I stapled onto the last page of the journal
I scanned, roughly cleaned and resized the original image in photoshop and printed it on card stock.

"I found the original drawing for Spy Girl outside my house under an oleander bush. She became my muse (and template) for this project. March + April 2010"