frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mixed Media is a Curse

Check it out, this is how I felt cleaning out my studio this weekend.

I copped this picture from this blog

It started with making greeting cards, and morphed into mixed media collage. I started looking for tools and materials that I had not used or seen in some time. That led to cleaning out the studio. This led to a re-examination of the way I work, and that led to throwing out a lot of things I don't use. It was mostly scraps of fabric. I mean tiny shreds that some people use. I've read articles about people making collage and art quilts using tangled threads... I think they called it thread trash. I looked at the plastic bin of tiny scraps and thread trash that I never touch, and realized that I just don't work that way. I went through it and rescued a few things, but chucked the rest.

This brings me to my subject, that mixed media is a curse. When you are a knitter, you have yarn and needles, maybe some books. When you embroider, it's the same with the addition of the fabric you will embroider on. When you are a painter, you have more supplies; paints, brushes, canvas, easel, some tools, a palette, some chemicals. When you are a mixed media artist, you have ALL THAT AND MORE! You have everything, and you need to figure out a way to store it. Add found objects and upcycling to the mix and it's really over the top. There are entire magazines devoted to it. Cloth Paper Scissors Studio is about space and organization porn. Not only are these studios vast and amazingly decorated, but they are neat! I would defy them to show a messy studio, but I guess no one really wants to see that. We are not interested in reality. We want the fantasy of a neat studio.Or, at least the possibility of it. More about what I did with my studio this weekend in my next post.

New Work

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm Probably ADD

I've always found it hard to focus on just one thing. It's not really a matter of not being able to,. I could be down in the studio for hours working on something. It's more a matter of there being so many cool things to try that I can't stop myself from trying them. Case in point. Over Christmas, a group of local crafts people got together and had a show of their work in a gallery in town. (I'm going to try to get in with these people next year.) anyway, there is a person who was selling greeting cards. She had sewn contrasting paper onto a blank greeting card and rubber stamped something over that. They were very nice, yet I said to myself, "I can do better." So I went home and gave it a try. Next thing, I am going through magazines looking for mixed media ideas. I am looking through piles of supplies that I haven't looked through in ages. Then I started making valentines. Then I was looking online at videos artists made of themselves demonstrating mixed media techniques. So now I'm making mixed media collage. Yikes! My head is all crammed up with stuff, but I am enjoying it.

I was thinking, "Should I sell these on Etsy?" Then I decided, "To hell with that." I'm just going to share them with friends and family.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What Does ARC Stand For?

I only post, like, every 3 months, but I act like everyone who follows this blog remembers the details of my life. Someone asked what ARC stands for, Association of Retarded Citizens. Even though "retarded" has become something of a slur, that is the name of this organization.

I have just finished my college work for the week. I have wised up and only take one class at a time now, instead of two. I'll never graduate at this rate, but who cares? The world is ending in 2012. This term I have American History to 1815. It is an excellent class and I am really enjoying it. I recommend actual university learning as opposed to Glenn Beck "university." What a clown that guy is.

Anyway, I will now work on some mixed media greeting cards! Have a nice Saturday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kate's Yearly Trip

Kate usually goes on a cruise with the ARC every year. This year they are taking a Disney cruise, and it is kind of expensive, but, it looked pretty cool. They were supposed to be seeing Mayan ruins. However, Kate, her boyfriend, and 2 other friends have decided to stage a mutiny. They are doing their own trip. I was a little leary about the whole thing, thinking that the ARC will go on their cruise no matter what (almost), but anything can happen with this private thing. The reason they bailed is that someone they don't like is going. When you have a disability like this, you are kind of forced to get along with some people, and just because they are disabled doesn't mean the aren't capable of being mean and annoying. The real problem here is that this person's mother is coming, too, so that makes it more awful. This mother runs Kate's social group, so there are veiled threats, that if you aren't nice to her child, no matter how obnoxious she is being, you risk being asked to leave the group. That is why they have decided not to go.

But, moving on, that "anything" that could happen to the private trip happened pretty quickly. One of Kate's friend's mom, who was one of the organizers, was diagnosed with brain cancer. I told Kate to forget it, that this would send the family into a tailspin, and this trip would most likely not happen. Then we got word that one of the Moms had dropped out (not the one with brain cancer) I should explain right now that I was never going on this trip. These two families planning it, and if they wanted to invite Kate, that was fine.

So now, one mom has cancer, the other one doesn't want to go. But The daughter of one of the moms stepped up and would take them all to Disney World. We had a meeting at  a restaurant and it turns out that the daughter, I'm guessing her age at mid to late 30's, has been a Special Olympic volunteer for 20 years AND has been to Disney world 22 times. 22 TIMES!!! I went once and I'm good. But anyway, this trip is on, despite everything. So now the fun begins, I have to hustle ID, payments, phone calls, signed forms and whatever else. I expect it to be less onerous than an ARC trip, which requires paperwork you would not believe. I'm taking Kate to an ARC dance in a few minutes, she looks really pretty. Too bad it;s so freakin' cold out there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I haven't been able to post very often, and when I do I find I am less and less able to control the looks of a post. My pictures are all over the place. It just gets harder and harder.

I'm going to post a couple of pictures of neighborhood. I can only post one picture at a time. I post a picture. Then I save and close the post. Then I re-open to post to edit it. Then I can post another picture. It might just be a quirk that is happening today, but it's a pain.

So here it is. These kind of wonky houses are pretty common, but each one is different. I did not use a pattern, I just sewed strips and cut it freehand, roughly square.

Diversity Project: Update

I ended up making 2 different fiber art projects for this assignment. The assignment came from work; we were to make art with the theme of diversity. The corporation a work for makes a big deal about diversity, which I think is fine. However, we are all to include some kind of diversity thing in our objectives. This year we are making a piece of art. Understand that my department is the graphics art department, so supposedly everyone is an artist. My job is more technical and I am not a designer. Therefore, I'm not that wild about creating art on the computer. I'm also not that good at it. I do like using a computer to support the art I make. For instance, printing on fabric from the computer is the best thing since sliced bread. Anyway, I made two pieces of fiber art. I brought them in and got the hairy eyeball. As if to say, what are we supposed to do with that? You should look at my previous post and see what I was thinking of doing, the weird self-portrait. I think I made the right decision by going in a different direction. So here is one of the items:

I guess you don't need to be a genius to figure that all of the different fabrics signify diversity. I took some other pictures of the piece that they may be able to use somehow.