These Shoes are Made for Walkin’

Feet

I LOVE my crazy socks

This is it…

I’ve been watching the weather for the past 2 weeks – waiting for the temperatures to rise in the morning.

I’ve got a backpack to stuff all my work stuff in, so I don’t have to carry things in my hands.

The iPod will be on the charger Sunday night…

Because Monday, it’s supposed to be in the 40’s at 7am, without the threat of rain.

I’m walking to work ūüėÄ

Funny, how I’m actually excited about this. ¬†Me. ¬†The person who, just a year ago, had serious worries about my heart bursting through my chest by¬†walking A BLOCK to get to my car…is gonna walk over a mile…

in the morning…

before the coffee has kicked in…

and then work a full day, turn around, and walk home.

Who am I, and what have I done with myself????

 

 

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When the Romance is Over

catherines-logo

Something just dawned on me.

**Cue celestial music**

I rifled through my mailbox yesterday, standing in the hall, like I always do. ¬†I pulled out the obvious advertisements and marketing come-on’s, and stuffed them in the recycling bin conveniently placed right next to me, just like clockwork. ¬†Better than having to haul that paper up the stairs so I can toss it in the comfort of my apartment.

Well, yesterday, one of the things I pitched was an advertisement for Catherines. ¬†It’s a clothing boutique-y place in this area that caters to ‘women of size.’

Last time I was in Catherines, in January (I got a gift card), I couldn’t find a thing that fit me. ¬†I ended up getting some socks. ¬†Since then, I’ve been tossing the brightly-colored light cardstock in the recycling without noticing anything other than the name.

In short…I’ve shrunk myself straight outta the woman’s equivalent of ‘Big & Tall’ stores.

YEA, ME!!!      All praises to Ketosis!

Sorry, Catherine(s)…It’s not you…it’s me. ¬† The magic just isn’t there anymore…

 

**should I send flowers?**

The Art Abandonment Project – 2nd Drop

Art Abandonment logo

Soooo…there’s this group of people all around the world. ¬†They’re artists, and their fervent wish is to spread a little beauty around this deeply troubled world.

I joined ’em.

My first drop was around two weeks¬†ago – I went to one of the coffee shops in downtown Waukesha, and left a little dude behind. ¬†I hope he’s brought a smile to the face of whomever adopted him.

 

Whirly Birds

 

This week, I packaged up 4 of my whirlys.  Two were dropped in Brookfield last Monday night, 3.20.17, due to an amazing coincidence with my recent post on hot dogs.

 

 

It’s pretty standard in the human mind, that once you bring a thing to mind, you mull over that recollection for days. ¬†You might have dreams about it, you might want to re-live the entire scenario again in your head (selectively editing the situation in your imagination now that you know better…) or, if the recollection involves food – you’ll experience a fresh craving for it.

Well… I wrote my little ditty on hot dogs. ¬†Mind you, I didn’t want the ketchup-flooded disaster of the past… I wanted some GOOD dogs.

Coarse grind, natural casings, a bit spicy, and a REALLY good grainy mustard to go with.

The kids came home from a trip to the grocery store that fateful Monday. ¬†S announced she NEEDED hot dogs…but not the industrial sausages pumped out by the big food manufacturers…she needed the dogs they sell at our local Brennan’s.

Which just happen to be (yup…you guessed it…) the good dogs.

It was a good night. ¬†Brennan’s always has a bunch of samples set up all over the store – various sauces, fresh veggies & fruits, and cheese. ¬†It’s what they do.

Heart Whirly Bird Abandoned 3.20.17

 

So I got snacks at Brennan’s. ¬†I got Mmmmmm-dogs. ¬†Some spectacular grainy mustards…and an opportunity to stick a whirly on a tree lining the parking lot for the AA Project.

 

 

 

Open Whirly Bird Abandoned 3.20.17

 

Because the Brennan’s is in the same strip mall as Kopp’s Custard, (oh…look at that…I’ve also mentioned¬†them!) I also got a pint of frozen custard for the SQO, and stealthily slipped into the dining area to hide a second whirly amongst their planters.

 

 

 

I like spreading smiles about my area.

 

Stop Dragon my Heart Around

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

I’d like to introduce you all to my new pet, Drags. ¬†He’s completely housebroken, will never dig up the back yard, hork a hairball in the middle of the hallway, or jump on your chest at 3am because he wants his food bowl filled.

I made a dragon out of chainmaille, and I’m bouncing between extremely pleased with myself, and disgusted with the amateurish results.

See – I look at the form, and see the flaws. ¬†The back legs stick out JUUUUUST a bit too much. ¬†The top-most scale likes to stick straight up, giving the guy an almost comical look. ¬†He’s got a little bit of mutt¬†and horse in him – I can see the alternate animal forms clearly.

the feet…are. ¬†not. ¬†claws. ¬†Instead, he has cloven hooves.

And…really. ¬†If he’s gonna be a DRAGON – he needs wings.

But I also look at the form, and see something wonderful. ¬†The first time I’ve made an extremely complex 3D sculpture out of rings.

Without a tutorial.

He stands on his own. ¬†His neck and body hold their shape. ¬†He’s much more than a tube of interconnected bits which lay quiescent on a surface until you pick them up and arrange them with your hands.

The scary part? ¬†Even though he’s a prototype¬†with a multitude of errors in his construction – I’ve got friends at work who swear up and down they NEED one …. NAOW.

I do geek well. ¬†One of my favorite geek-obsessions is the dragon. ¬†It doesn’t matter if the form is European or Chinese – Fantasy or Tribal – I love ’em all.

I’m not alone. ¬†I’ve seen a bunch of variations of dragons in maille since I took up pliers and started weaving rings…and what I’ve seen are variations on the same tutorial pattern out there on both the M.A.I.L. website and for sale at The Ring Lord. ¬† Almost all the maille dragons I’ve seen images of on the web¬†are unwired, meaning they flop about like any other chainmaille chain. ¬†Most are completely¬†snake-like without any limbs, although a few people have added stubby little sub-chains¬†to suggest them. ¬† I think I’ve seen one or two where the creators added a fan of scales to suggest wings…but nothing really SCREAMS dragon.

So I did my own thing.

I posted pictures of his construction on Facebook, of course – and everyone¬†there seemed to enjoy his emergence. ¬†So…with that in mind…I’m sharing here how my first boyo came together:

 

20170209_221518

 

I started with 2 identical lengths of Full Persian 6 in 1 (FP).  I attached the two together with a modified European 4 in 1 (E4-1) for the belly, and bound up the top half with shiny silver scales.

THAT…was the easy part. ¬†A tube with scales.

 

 

The head Рis a mess of weirdness.  Small patches of E6-1, box, the same eye construction I used for the face of the Dudes, and various random rings to stitch the piece together and attach to the body.  As I was building the head, I was also taking some good notes.  I should be able to duplicate the head at will.

 

chainmaille Dragon on sideOnce I had the head attached to the body, I threaded a length of copper wire through both the head and the body. ¬†Secured it at the mouth and ass. ¬†No floppy dragons here – he’s gonna be posable.

The tail is a simple length of FP¬†again, with some scales at the tip. ¬†At this point, I haven’t wired the tail, but¬†I’m considering it for future builds.

 

The legs were tricky.

First, I spent a couple of hours playing with the cats (so they wouldn’t suspect I was staring at them) – because I needed to see¬†actual legs -in action- on a 4 legged animal. ¬†I wanted to know how they were attached. ¬†How they were jointed. ¬†How they flexed and flowed and were used for work and play.

I spent additional hours looking at images other people had drawn of dragon legs…but it wasn’t as much fun as playing with the furballs.

Slowly, the bends in the limbs started to form. ¬†The weave I used for the legs is a fairly simple 4-ring bead capture…with some additional ring-weirdness at the joints. ¬†I strung additional wire through the beads (and, thus, through the legs) for stability. ¬†The guy can’t stand on his own with weak legs!

I think I tore off the front legs 3 times.

20170202_112156Now came the toes.  I tried several variations of wire-form feet that died on the craft table before ever coming in contact with Drags, and ended up with stubby toes with the beads shown.  I am still working on proper clawed appendages for the dragon at this point.

His brothers…WILL…have claws.

 

Don’t worry – the design is still in various stages of modification. ¬†Horns, claws & wings are all ideas at this point…as is a full Chinese style dragon.

Stay tuned for more dragon work!

Chainmaille Dragon Final 2

 

 

Attack of the Killer Sidewalk

street_art_march_2012_1

I was accosted last night, on leaving the movie theater (the SQO wanted to see Kong:  Skull Island again) by a patch of pavement.

I think it must have been tired of all the people walking on its face. ¬†I know I’d be irritated if, all day and all night long, there were people walking all over me.

I get enough of that at work, TYVM….

 

I really DO feel sorry for the sidewalk. ¬†It gets frozen in the winter, with just brief glimpses of sunshine to warm its stony heart. ¬†It gets covered in snow, and then rudely scraped of this insulating layer of semi-moisture. ¬†Most times, it gets salt thrown over it, which is allowed to dry out its surface. ¬†And always…feet. ¬†Hundreds, if not thousands, of pairs of feet in boots, soft soles, and the damn stiletto heels pounding on its face over and over and over again.

Summers aren’t much better. ¬†Baked to egg-frying temperatures by the sun. ¬†Rained on. ¬†Sometimes watered in the cool summer mornings by groundskeepers intent on keeping the grass green. ¬†Used (and abused) by skateboarders and roller-bladers, rolled over by bikes & wagons & strollers. ¬†Tickled in the belly by subterranean bugs and weeds determined to punch through.

It ain’t easy…being a sidewalk.

I’m sure it took my inattention of my surroundings as the perfect opportunity to get even.

dew8azhrazz6o

For those of you confused by my words…here’s the simpler version…I fell down and went boom.

Actually,¬†I clearly recall saying Oh, Shit…but I digress…

 

I scared the shit outta the SQO. ¬†I also frightened two innocent bystanders into showing concern. ¬†Chivalry isn’t dead in this country after all. ¬†The one lady behind me was thoughtful (and brave, given my feet) enough to retrieve my shoe, and the other one helped me gather up my keys (the mass of chain, rings and keys separated into 3 different portions). ¬†Between them, D, and myself, I was once again put in an upright and bipedal position. ¬†I managed to finish the walk to my car, drive home, and go up the stairs to the front door.

Oddly enough, today…I do not have any bruises. ¬†I have muscular aches all along my left leg, and my left palm is VERY sensitive…but no bruises to show for this brutal attack on my sorry self.

And I’ll offer this tidbit of advice for all you carefree walkers out there –

Watch¬†out for those sinister sidewalks – you never know when one is gonna rise up and exact a bit of revenge…

3d-sidewalk-chalk-art-by-nikolaj-arndt-5

Black Mirror

Just this morning, I read a post.

Not Earth-shattering, by any means. ¬†I read a good number of other bloggers out here on the ‘net – sometimes for the laughs, sometimes for the inspiration, sometimes because I genuinely click with the other writer, sometimes because I WANT to know more of the other blogger’s viewpoint.

And sometimes, to be perfectly honest here, it’s for the reciprocal views. ¬†Kind of an unspoken yet understood ‘pact’ between bloggers. ¬†I read yours, you read mine.

It’s all about the numbers.

This particular blogger¬†had mentioned that people who post holiday pictures every five minutes aren’t on a very good vacation…and it got me to thinking of the¬†episode titled: ¬†Nosedive from Netflix’s series ‘The Black Mirror.’

black-mirror

For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it’s a British, Twilight Zone-esque¬†series. ¬†Each episode is a stand-alone, centered around modern society and the unanticipated effects modern technology has wrought/will wreak upon society.

From the show’s Wiki page:

“each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now ‚Äď and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”

Believe me when I say the writers, directors and cast haven’t pulled any punches on how things could go if we stay on our current path.

The episode that sticks in my head, if only because I can see society GALLOPING headstrong and arrogantly down the path which leads to the portrayed future, is Nosedive.

Imagine…if you will…

A world in which every action and interaction you partake in is tabulated in a single, master social-internet platform which society has initiated compulsory attendance.  Anyone not high on the popularity scale is deemed fair play for discriminatory practices by the popular ones.

Imagine your entire life centered around your rating.  Those with low ratings have predatory rental rates, refused services, employment difficulties.

It’s as if the A list from high school (yaknow…the ‘popular’ kids) was put in charge of everything in society, and now wields enough power to actively suborn those they look down upon from their pillars on high.

The episode continues to draw me in – it’s one I’ve watched easily a dozen times already. ¬†Each time I view (or listen, with my nose buried in a chainmaille piece) I seem to catch some new nuance or bit of buried irony I’d missed before.

 

In this bleakly-painted yet oddly happy-pastel colored dystopian future – I know where I’d rate…right there in the same driver’s seat as the old lady in the truck.

If you’ve access to Netflix – I suggest you look up this single episode. ¬†It’s Episode #1, Season 3.

420px-black_mirror_-_nosedive

 

 

The Art Abandonment Project – First Drop

Last summer, I found a project/group/page buried under the political quagmire¬†you find¬†flooding a typical day’s feed on Facebook:

The Art Abandonment Project.

This group has a very focused, and blindingly simple mission:

Make a bit of art …

package that bit of art against the elements …

with a card that says: ¬†FREEEEEEE! ….

abandon your creation in a public place…

That’s it. ¬†No strings attached – No advertising come-on’s ¬†– ¬†No pressure. ¬†Only the project’s name, that they’re on Facebook, and an email address if the findee’s want to let the group know where the orphan landed are included on the FREEEEEEEEEEE!!!! card.

In short – it’s pay it forward, with physical art. ¬†I absolutely LOVE this idea, as it allows the fates to intervene as they will, and place a bit of beauty¬†in the hands of someone who needs it.

The group love to share photos of their abandoned pieces, along with a little story of where they left it, in case those findee’s want to find it on the web.

 

I formally joined the group¬†a bit ago…

 

And today – I’m ready – to drop my first piece.

Chainmaille Dude

I hope the fates put this little fella in the hands of someone who needs some sunshine.

Wish Me STEALTH!