Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Transcultural Traveling Scarf

Does it get any better than floating polkadots?

This piece incorporates bits and pieces of textiles found, foraged and gifted over time. The base is part of a thin muslin sari from India. The polkadots are made from cloth scraps from West Africa, Guatemala, and both London and Oakland thrift finds.

The technique used to create polkadots involves making multiple circular shapes out of card stock. A scrap of fabric is then rough cut to extend about 1/2" beyond the card-stock template. The cloth is then ironed over the template to create a neat polkadot. The template is removed before stitching the polkadot down, and can be used again.

Creating polkadots

Ironing down the edges

Finished polkadot backside

The polkadots were attached by pick-stitching around each edge, working from the back of the scarf.

"Invisible" pick-stitching from back

As this is being written, the scarf is winging its way to London  - and from there to who knows where.

Ready to hit the road

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pimp Your TV: The Flatscreen Version


Mixed assemblage: "Waiting"

When my clunky, decades-old tube TV finally bit the dust and I reluctantly replaced it with a flatscreen version, it took exactly 13 days before I simply couldn't stand having a soulless hunk of technology in my environment. Clearly it was time for Pimp Your TV #4.

Vintage typewriter keys, wood detail from antique Chinese lantern

Tiny model railroad figures painted copper

Magnetized test tube vases for growing herbs

The happy result

Recycling the Old TV

What to do with the clunky old tube tv? It has been through a lot of iterations during the Pimp Your TV series over the years.

The musical extravaganza version

The pink flamingo version

"Forbidden TV" version

After so many years of service throwing it out seemed unthinkable. As a temporary solution, I have turned it into a hallway nightlight, with plans to scribble artwork with a black felt tip marker across the screen at some point down the line.

Hallway installation: daytime view

Nighttime view

About Those Magnetized Test Tubes

The magnetized test tubes used in this version of Pimp Your TV have become one of my household standards, and I can't enthuse enough about their usefulness and versatility.

Magnetized test tubes

Simply glue small magnets to test tubes. Note that it is critical to use two magnets placed a distance apart on the test tube. Using one magnet will result in your test tube full of water spinning on its axis at the slightest vibration or breath of air, dumping its contents all over your decor. I use clear auto marine sealant (Dow Corning) to attach the magnets. Once you are armed with magnetized test tubes, the sky's the limit!

Below, magnetized test tubes take a basic metal desk lamp from ho-hum to boy howdy.

Growing rosemary and basil


You will find you start eyeing your environment for likely metal surfaces, like the metal brackets holding these window shelves in place.

Metal shelf bracket placement

And of course, there is always the refrigerator.

Here's hoping this has provided some inspiration on how to entertain yourself during the dark days of winter. Grab some glue, sort through your junk stash, and go hog wild pimping your own decor.

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