Something to remember lest we feel begin to feel a pang of guilt about holding this very special Anseriform artwork up for ridicule: it was created by a grown adult human person who seems to know how to use a digital camera, the internet, shops, scissors, thumb tacks and breakfast cereal, but who still labors under that infantile notion that the sky cowers in a thin strip at the top of the troposphere while the sun glows like a thermonuclear dandelion.
I was going to include glue in that list above but even basic adhesion skills seem to have escaped Our Lady of the Construction Paper. Fortunately, another of her projects requires no such complicated equipment. It's a box. I'm sorry, "AWESOME BOX!"
In the best "before and after" tradition, this is how it started:
Pretty plain, huh? But wait! Here's the exciting transformation:
The step-by-step instructions, I kid you not, lead us through the five-step process of drawing some lines with a Sharpie then coloring in between them. We are encouraged also to add glitter and gems and such but we're on our own by this point, given how daunted our tutor seems to be by the intricacies of Elmers Glue.
Back to fine art, though; and if anybody should wish to recreate the effect of a highly incontinent family of gastropods staggering home after a night quaffing prune juice and Purple Drank, then evidently they could do worse than to blow and dribble watercolor paint through a straw, as our next artist -- channelling his inner eight-year-old -- amply demonstrates:
Next week: Potato prints and Picasso's Blue Period.
Happy Super Awesome Saturday again everyone! And yes, I realize it's Sunday, so I don't want to hear it; I'm already well aware that I'm a retard who doesn't know how a calender works. So let's just all move on, shall we?
I'm sure you've all been horrendously grief-stricken this past week, missing me unlike you've ever missed anything before (Don't lie. You freaking know it). I will give major kudos to GHenry, though, for stepping in while I was rescuing orphaned albino koalas in the war-torn regions of Swanscombe all week, and managing to be even funnier than I am. And JK is back too, as you may have noticed with the last couple posts, so I'm gonna give a big "what what" for that unexpected hilariousness. I lovesit. And don't forget, if you like their writing, don't forget to visit their websites here and here!
This week's talented artist is the Japanese duo Mizuta Tasogare and Kato Jado, who, luckily, use their powers of creative genius for good and not for evil. Seriously, anyone who can carve out a pencil leaving only a complicated pattern on the outside and an intact pencil lead on the inside is also capable of a great many dasterdly deeds, like sucking out the filling of Twinkies without ever even opening the package. Which they might do, actually. Hell, I would.
I really couldn't find out much about the pair, to be honest with you, and what I could find out was badly translated from Japanese into English. Which is hilarious, yes, but freaking useless. So I thought I'd return the favour; I'm going to take the post I've written about these guys, translate it on Google translator into Japanese, and then back into English and go with that version instead. So here we go:
I pencil in the selection for this duo - is a natural sculpture. They are intricate carvings and sculptures in pencil Almighty, in many cases, lead, leave it in the middle of the race, has completed the creation of fine art. It's just amazing. intact in the middle. It's truly amazing stuff.
(untranslated: The medium of choice for this duo is the pencil - for carving into, natch. They've perfected the art of creating lacy, delicate, and intricate sculptures by carving into the almighty pencil, often leaving the lead intact in the middle. It's truly amazing stuff.)
Sculpture of a pencil in their talent, they can only say that I saw, it is unparalleled. Also, if more, at the end of the intact heart from the tip of a pencil, to create the illusion of an unbroken pieces with a bear in the segment will have a different impression in the remaining joined. Their work has not really broken.
(untranslated: Their talents in the field of pencil-carving are, as far as I can tell, unparalleled. And it becomes even more impressive when you bear in mind that the pencils are left intact from tip to end, as in, at no point are different segments joined together to create an illusion of an unbroken piece. They really are unbroken pieces.)
This work, for example, my head asplode.
(untranslated: This piece, for example, made my head asplode.)
So there it is, folks! I hope you enjoyed this weekend's "Super Great Excellent Saturday Time". I know I have, and I think I've decided to translate all my posts into Japanese and then back again to really maximize my full engrish potential. High-larious.
If Modest is Hottest, then what are you doing with that shimmery silver key-chain bauble, you brazen harlot? Back in the day, a real lady kept her keys swaddled in muslin, wrapped in burlap, and folded into a sturdy manilla envelope that was then sealed with wax and imprinted with her oldest male relative's insignia ring. Tramp.
Hoorah and huzzah! I bring good tidings of great joy. Julia is returning today. My thanks to her for foolishly trusting me to steer this blog in her absence; and to you, dear and faithful readers, for your patience.
I am relieved to note that I have managed, I think, not to lose her any followers at least, and a few foolhardy souls have even signed up. Hello, there! I can only imagine that they found and were swayed by our hostess's brilliance in earlier posts, like this and this and this, which are worth us all revisiting.
Meanwhile, a collage:
To make this "Women Collage", you will need:
1) Lots of old newspaper.
2) Several pictures of seemingly random women.
3) Some crap you found on the beach.
4) Two or three stars cut out of ... what is that? Old cork board?
5) And what's that coiled up hairy stuff top right? I'd rather not know.
6) Oil sticks in various colors.
7) Just a stick.
8) Plenty of the glue that the fevered finished article would clearly suggest you have already been sniffing.
What is it with this apparent zeal for handcrafted representations of foodstuffs? What am I missing here? Has Martha Stewart, say, had a damascene conversion and designed some crazy new diet which demands that instead of baking and eating that delicious tray of cup cakes you now instead knit it?
There are bountiful examples so I shall limit myself today to that most humble but comforting of comestibles, cooked bread.
Here's a genial and sexy looking slice of toast, made, it would seem, out of leopard skin. In a lacy tutu, if you please:
The caption excitedly asks us "Don't you just love toast???"
Why, yes. Yes, I do. That's why I eat the freaking stuff rather than wasting hours of time, yards of felt and vats of glue making an anthropomorphic wholemeal doppelgänger.
Toast with a face is a recurring theme. Say hello to the woefully unimaginatively named 'Mister Toast':
He looks a bit glum; but an understandable lack of enthusiasm for the project prevents some people sewing on any sort of visage at all, making it all the more pointless:
How about a delicious pat of butter to spread on that lovely, er, grey bread?
Again with the face. And I think it's wearing blusher. (Blusher for butter = blutter. Perhaps).
Here's some handiwork that was called an 'owl'. Right. I'm guessing that it was another felted slice of toast that went wrong, with some big old owly eyes and beak hurriedly stuck on:
Even so, it still looks more akin to burnt bread than to anything strigiforme.
Unless ... unless all the rest are a succession of owl crafts that went so badly awry they had to be called toast. Either way, I'm not buying it. In more ways than one.
Julia is away again, on her covert mission to save third-world orphans from hideous crafts and Madonna.
She is being disconcertingly nice just recently anyway, and so until she makes an appointment for a new injection from Doctor Cruel's huge syringe-full of lime green snark, it falls on me, G. Henry, to humbly serve for another couple of days as your chief steward on the airline of risible handicrafts.
So buckle up and have your sick-bags handy. It might be a bumpy ride.
I promise to get away from crochet and canines next time, but I hope that your patience will not be overly taxed by one more visit to this menacing dual world. I offer you a slight diversion today, anyway; this is not dogs wearing crochet, it's dogs as crochet.
Here are some acceptable examples of the Japanese art of amigurumi, which translates, I guess, as 'making cute woodland and domestic creatures out of yards of yarn and stuff to annoy cynical b*stards who would like to deride them but have no justifiable excuse thereto':
I can't really say a bad word about them, can I? But they are not my cup of tea, to be honest, and I hanker for the days of the original but more callous art of live amigurumi, which, as it name might suggest, was more like origami: 'folding cute woodland and domestic creatures into the shape of a swan'.
This was more easily achieved, of course, if you actually had an actual swan to crease and manipulate, as long as it did not fiercely object and break your arm while you tried to perfect that tricky petal fold on its beak.
Here's another amigurumi penguin. I'm probably supposed to say 'adorable':
And this is a perfectly reasonable dog:
This, however, is a perfectly unreasonable dog:
Here it is again, in case you missed it:
What the hell is going on? And I use the word 'hell' advisedly. To be fair to the crafter, she/he does admit to its demonic shortcomings and declares that this 'crocheted amigurumi dog [...] turned out kinda zombieish looking ... it was really difficult for me because I can't read patterns, so I winged it'.
Despite this disarming (although wholly redundant) honesty, I have few qualms about pointing and laughing because a) it was wilfully and deliberately posted, without appropriate warning, where it can frighten small children, and b) because it has BUTTONS FOR EYES. And BUTTONS are never an acceptable shorthand for EYES. Well, not since that traumatic incident with the knitted bear and the cannibalized cardigan when I was three.
Speaking of small children, I'll finish with a couple of amigurumis (is that right?), which although technically correct are also technically creepy. I present the amigurumi foetus:
Now with added placenta:
Put the needles down, people, and back away slowly.
Welcome back, everyone, to the second installment of Super Freaking Awesome Saturdays, a weekly homage to crafts that I actually like (as unimaginable and unlikely as that may sound as clearly we're all pretty aware by now that my heart is a shriveled black hole of mockery and despair. Let's be honest.)
This week's talented artist is Rob Ryan who created all these beautiful and poetic images entirely by cutting up single sheets of paper. (Click on pictures to embiggen)
With what I'm sure must have started out originally as a fabulous waste of time he's managed to turn into a folksy art style with a level of craftsmanship that, frankly, makes my Attention Defecit Disorder want to cry.
As far as I can tell each one of these pictures is entirely connected; as in, I believe these are not made of individual pieces of paper and then put together. As in, if you picked them up by their corners they would get lifted as a whole. As in, they're made of pure awesomeness and win.
So that's it for today's Super Freaking Awesome Saturday! I hope you likey. Tomorrow, of course, I'll be back to trying to make ugly crapfts and small children cry, which is really what I do best. Frankly, trying to be all nice-like is making me feel itchy. Itchy and cold.
***UPDATE*** Rob responded to my post! I can't believe it! He wrote: "Hey Julia, Thank you for featuring me, I'd forgotten I did one of those pictures !!! luv Rob" Wow. I'm honoured. Honoured and humbled. Thank you Rob Ryan!
What, gentle reader, do you suppose this is? Apart from 'drab', that is?
A doily? An unfinished place mat? A woolly representation of the first nanosecond of the Big Bang?A knitted protozoan?
Good guesses, everyone. It is, however - I shit you not - a dog collar. A crocheted dog collar. For that really thin-necked canine in your life. Moreover, the maker entitles it "Elegant Dog Collar" (elegant!) and makes the fanciful and egregious claim that "It keeps your dog really warm!-♥-"
Really? Really? Do you think that your little heart -♥-wingding there ameliorates the bald-faced extravagance of the lie that demands we believe that this scrap of wool could possibly have any thermal qualities whatsoever?
[The website from which I gleaned this beauty, by the way, claims to be 'Fueling the Crochet Revolution'. Forgive my ignorance of current affairs but I wasn't aware of such an uprising. Is it like Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution?]
It's a laudable ambition to keep your pet warm, I suppose, but the ends have to match that aspiration. We are told that most heat and light (well, possibly not light - I'm no scientist) is lost through the head, and this mutt-ly millinery at least addresses that issue (thanks to David D):
The problem here is that the dog is supposed to be a noble creature. This beast merely looks goofy. As does this Yorkshire terrier:
Alright, some people might think 'cute', I'll grant you; and we have a stylish hat and coat combined. What should a Yorkie in a hoodie be called, though? A Yordie? A Hookie?
Here we see man's best friend in an alarming collection of jerseys:
A warm dog should be a happy dog. These, palpably, are not. I feel particularly for the plus-size young lady in the lower picture. That's not a flattering look, and she knows it; and she had no choice in the matter.
The Maltese at the top looks terrified, to be honest. The crafter says "I used a size J crochet hook!" On the dog?
Here, though, surely is the pièce de résistance of today's canine couture.
It's a 'crocheted dog leash'. Or that at least is the claim. That thing is not going to 'leash' even the most sickly chihuahua; perhaps not even the plush puppy on which it is displayed. Mind you, it might go nicely with that collar with which we began.
Hello, there. G Henry here, from Goldfish Broth (that's the inevitable site-pimping out of the way), typing to you from the same place Julia does, with, I'm afraid, some bad news: your hostess is incommunicado for a couple of days, and has asked me to fill in with a couple of unworthy efforts of my own until she can return on Saturday.
And when I say "asked me to fill in" I mean, of course, "inadvertantly left herself logged in so I can hijack her site for a day".
I shall do my level best to approach one tenth of Julia's funniness but realise, as must you, that I have my work cut out. My words are not worthy to wipe the shoes of her wit, snarky brilliance and, let's face it, out-and-out sweariness. Still , I'm sure that if we all gird our loins, summon the sinews, take a deep breath and run really fast we can race barefoot across the hot coals and broken glass of my posting and come out the other side with nary a blister.
So here we go:
This, my friends (see, I'm trying at least to get some of the style right), is a spare toilet roll cover, I'm sure you hardly need me to inform you. It's knitted or crocheted or cross-stitched or hand-thrown or something (see, I lack knowledge about the technical stuff); but overridingly it is startled. A startled what, I do not know, and perhaps neither does it - which might explain its enstartlement. That and the very idea that the modesty of a new toilet roll needs to be preserved.
Let's presume that it's some sort of pixie; here's where it might live, I suppose:
See how subtly the paper curls through the steepled roof, implying a cozy evening for our putative puckish family around their roaring fire of, er, logs. It's either that or something I would rather not contemplate lurking behind that jolly door.
Here's an ineffable something that no bathroom should be without:
Nothing says 'class' more eloquently than a satanic-duck-on-knitted-bricks toilet roll holder, unless it's a satanic-duck-on-knitted-bricks staring with evil exasperation at another knitted-brick toilet roll holder singularly lacking a duck. A saintly duck, perhaps.
Sticking with the theme of domestic creatures (and disturbing ones at that):
Enough said (and seen), quite frankly.
Finally, with 'literal videos' currently raging across the interwebs, I present this very humble meme - the 'literal toilet roll cover':
You know, I found this picture like a month ago and I thought something was just off about the whole thing. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time, but something just struck me as, well, off-putting. Off-putting, and yet, somehow oddly familiar. Oddly familiar, and yet, strangely unpleasant. Strangely unpleasant, and yet, well, strangely unpleasant.
And then, this morning I awoke, took a cold hard look at it, and suddenly knew exactly what was wrong: It looks like a tampon. It looks like a tampon with a blue beaded holster. It looks like a tampon with a blue beaded holster that is meant to be worn around the neck, as jewelery. And there it is. It's a beaded tampon necklace. Which is, inherently, lol-worthy.
This, my friends, is a picture of New Jersey: I posted it there just to remind you what New Jersey actually looks like. You'll need it to refer to. Because honestly, when I first saw this crafter's embroidery version of The Garden State, I thought it was a really rather magnificent artistic rendition of an amoeba.
And, as an amoeba, it's really quite well done. As New Jersey, though, it's pretty much really, well, bad. Like, bizarrely bad. As in, if you had asked me to guess what I thought this was, I'm not sure I would ever think it was New Jersey. Some kind of techno-slug from the future? Sure. A representation of a tear in the space-time continuum? Why the hell not. New Jersey? You have to be fucking kidding me.
So I've been getting lots of emails on the internets about this specific crafter on ETSY, and I have to be honest, I've been reticent to do a post about this item because 1. it's made in a totally ironic and self-acknowledged manner, 2. it's decidedly quite well made, and 3. I actually really like it. I think it's hilarious. I mean, it's a handmade beard for women, for fucks sake. AWESOME. So, I've decided, in honor of The Beard, I've started a new amazingly-awesome theme: SUPER SATURDAYS!!
I've decided that from here on out, every Saturday will be spent showcasing some most excellent craft that I adore, and I'm starting with this beard. Yes, I know its already been featured on almost every craft blog ever written, but it doesn't matter. I don't care. I'm a fucking rebel. I love The Beard, and I don't care who knows it. IT'S AWESOME. Don't lie; you think it's awesome too. So there. That's what it is. On Saturdays, prepare for an awesome crapft, and there's nothing you can do about it. Except, if you find an awesome, or an awesomely hilariouscrapft, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to write about it. If you have a problem with it email Heather at HeatherCherry. It's her fault.