Monday, 7 April 2008

Time for Some Secret Squirrel Sharing

Warning, this is a photo heavy post because I am going to be a show off.

This is the first in a series of secret squirrel reports. He was revived for me by my obstetrician last year who joked about his secret squirrel routes around the hospital. Jen is not the only one who may or may not be expecting mail from me and I would hate to spoil surprises. Oh and I hope I am sounding a little cryptic. I'm hoping to have another secret squirrel report sometime this week, next week and the week after. It does make it hard to post photos of what I am doing.

Okay back to the secret squirrel report. Through Meg's mobile swap, I have met some pretty awesome people, Jen being one of them and we agreed to do a swap. I hadn't seen Jen's blog before until I found her through her flickr badge. That was a late night with a few wines reading most of her blog. She is more art than craft and got me very curious. When My Purple Crayon asked if anyone was up for more swapping and Jen replied yes, butterflies raced in my stomach when I contacted her. Now 2 months down the track, I have a friend. :D

Most of the items I made are fishy because they were the rush of ideas I had when I sent the initial email. If I had of read more closely before I mentally ticked off what I was going to do, I would have included her two lovely dish lickers as well. (There is always Christmas guys.) I also wasn't keen on a mobile because S isn't really into them. It's his girls that do.
Jen mentioned that her job in her profile job so I assumed that she spent a lot of time in an office on a computer, so I immediately thought of a wrist pad. S loved the one I made him. My thoughts strayed to a fish I had seen in ISBN4-539-03489-5 and the fabric mum had given me for Christmas 2006. I modified the pattern, used different fabric, but the basic shape (I feel) still belongs to the author of this publication. I called him sushi because I thought he looked mean. Wouldn't you be if you had such an unfortunate name??
Making the gang
I also thought of the mono-oki, in their original context from omiyage, they are actually purses. I played a lot with the goldfish pattern (the size, the curves, the closures but once again I feel that they are still essentially the author's design if you look at the book). I really enjoyed it and when I can find where CT squirreled away chernobyl's brother, I'll take a photo. The fabric of both mono-oki are recycled.
Saying good byes
Chernobyl's fabric is very special to me. My first host mother gave me a lunch box, lunch box bag and a furoshiki to wrap my lunch box in. When I went through my I-hate-my-host-school-let's-wag-school phase (which my final host family whole heartily encouraged), this furoshiki and I went to lots of places, Kamakura, Ueno (mainly for the pond and getting lost looking at the vintage kimonos), Meiji Shrine, any shrine that I saw in aimless walks. So in a way it was a partner in my crimes.
Chernbyl's contents
I had been wanting to do something special with this fabric for awhile, besides who needs 2 kingyo mono-oki??
Were you listening?
Fudge, was made from a girlfriend's grandmother's kimono scrap I was given. The name?? I made the zip closure up as I sewed along. Well I did sit with the pattern and measure a 'perfect' fit for the top but chirimen is a very forgiving fabric, it stretches as you sew. So I had to pull a bit here, cut a bit here, stick my tongue out there and ease the piece in. S calls this technique, fudging. So the name stuck.
Disaster included
Twirl mobile twirl
The mobile was more what I had in mind for the mobile swap. Well the copper coil bit. I wanted it to twist like on a swivel and create a never-ending coil visual effect while in full flight. I have something for curves and circles, which was lucky for me because Jen, likes them too.
The Whole Gang
The organza thread painted fish (which I like much better than my original idea) came about from my crimes to antique kimono remnant post. These were the fish, that I wanted to hang on the fishing line. But the fabric was too old and frail to sew, even by hand. I am still kicking myself for ruining such a beautiful piece of fabric. The beads were Arab St finds as well as the bell. The Japanese hang furin in windows and on porches in the summer to catch the breeze. One host family even hung ordinary bells, they told me it was to attract the wind gods. I fell in love with bells in Japan. They are very lucky.
Putting together
I needed to share some of my origami papers. I have tons and I am looking forward to the day that CT and I can make origami together. At the moment, the paper itself are treasures for her. But she will watch me make her simple animals and toys. They get loved to death, which is what they are meant for. I sent my favourites. Finally I included a few postcards from Yoshitomo Nara. I really like his non-pc pictures of children and his dogs. Sorry Jen, I can't part with the dogs.

Hmmm more secret squirrel stuff to do now. I am having a lunch box bag break until tomorrow (because I am going to lick these suckers. I want to make one for my best friend Jane too. Her birthday was 2 days after CT's and....). Actually it isn't going too well. I am stuffing up all the corners that I am sewing. So one thinks that they need to go and rethink patterns to something where the corners are a simple and I will be happy with the result. The messenger bag I made has now become CT's library bag (photos to come). She loves it but I don't think wan-chan does. What self respecting dog would want to travel head first in a bag??


painted fish studio said...

thank you so much for everything! i just love reading about why and how you made everything. each time i learn something new. you are amazing! love, me

Anna said...

I love seeing the why and how behind the projects and can't wait to see your future secret squirrel reports!