frenchtown fiber

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Work on Etsy

For what it's worth, I put a couple of things on Etsy. These items have been finished for months. The art journal work I have been doing is notably darker... in content. Pictures of that tomorrow.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today is a Good Day

For one thing, it is sunny! That's a big deal in NJ right now. I've completed 3 journal pages. I have, I think, 3 more and this journal is done. My journal method is to prepare a set number of pages all at once, but then wok on them until they are used up and then bind the whole thing together. I managed to salvage the messed up journal page, and did 2 more. I am mostly using things from italy: photographs that I have taken, wine labels, cheese labels, pan forte labels, business cards, stamps, etc. I'll take a couple of pictures.

That reminds me. I have 2 items that I need to photograph to put on Etsy. I haven't added anything new in months. (Etsy, charming hobby, right? Is anyone selling anything there? Actually, I just sold a $4 collage. I guess I'd better dig that up and ship it out, too.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

You Women are So Awsome

I blog in spurts, but just the same my followers hang on. And when I manage to post, they Comment!!!  Thanks for the comments coming from the following fellow bloggers: Idaho Beauty,  Kim Hambrick and This Girl's Art.

Thanks for your words of encouragement and commiseration. I guess life is just a bunch of crap most of the time. It's 3 pm at work, 2 more hours and I am out of this hell hole!  I had a little surprise yesterday when I got home. Kate said that social group had been canceled due to the weather. It was raining. I guess it was raining pretty hard, but, it's been raining pretty much since March, so, big deal. I ran with it, though, and did a whole journal page. I desaturated one of my Italy photos, (the angels with the flaming heart. Didn't I post that yesterday?) and I went over it in pen and ink, and journaled over the negative space. When I was finished, I really liked it, but I realized that I did not leave a margin on the side for binding. I hate do-overs, but I think I am going to do this over. Also, I was using an old nib pen, I could not believe how badly it was performing. I kept using it for the sake of consistency. When I was done I threw it out.
Your reward for listening: More pictures! This time, it's Venice. I am posting views from our hotel room. The guy, of course, is Joe.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Try To Do Too Many Things

I was sitting in Borders the other night, (thankfully, this one is not closing) looking through a stack of books and magazines.I often hang out at Borders while I wait for Kate to be finished with this or that activity. Joe and I decided to re do the walkway through our backyard that leads to the garage area. It is made of concrete and it is a broken, sunken-down mess. I was going to buy a book about laying down a brick walk, but decided that the public library is a better bet. So instead of books about walks, I was looking at books about art journaling. I started getting a minor anxiety attack. First of all, I was looking at the books and thinking, what is the point of looking at this stuff? It does not bring me any closer to making my own art, and further more, it tempts me to buy ever more cool supplies for art I don't have time to make. Why don't I have time to make art???

So, I start to play that movie in my head again. I have to take Kate to... everywhere... at least 2 nights per week. My parents come on Wednesday, and I food-shop one day per week. My car is a disgusting mess and I need to clean it. I need to order another seat cover for the driver's seat, because the current one is shredded. (What would the actual seat look like if I had never covered it in the first place?) I've gained 16 pounds and I look fat again. I should exercise more. I need to live a long time and take care of Kate. I like to garden. When I got back from Italy, the lawn was knee high and the various beds were taken over with weeds. I have been trying to catch up ever since. I have some more to do before I am ready for summer. I am trying to re-create the gardens of Italy... mainly artfully arranged terracotta pots. I looked into buying the huge Italian pots I saw. I may as well just save a little extra money and just go back again. My suitcase is still in the living room from my trip to Italy, from which I returned on May 7. I want to sort through all of our trip photos and do something really cool with them. I signed up for another college course. I usually take the summer quarter off, but since I took the Spring quarter off for my trip, I am taking a course, History again. (1815 to 1900)  I drink too much wine. I need new glasses. Our garage needs to be painted. We have an ant problem in the kitchen. We have 2 trees in the front of our house that need to be taken down. My son isn't doing that well. Not awful, but not great. He seems kind of lost and unfocused. He and Joe have some friction. Joe gets mad because my son eats all of the corn chips, I'm worried that he will never get off the ground to real adulthood.

So, I have this movie playing in my head, and I start to quietly freak out. I realize that I can't focus on anything. I guess it is because I try to focus on too much. So, I look at art magazines as the next best thing to actually making art. (I wonder how many people do this?) I think, what thing can I cut out out of my life? I started this "shop from home" thing with my supermarket, but it has become so popular that often times I can't get the time slot I want! I want to pick up the food on the way home from work. Well surprise, so does everyone else! The last time I ended up just doing the shopping myself after all. I am definitely reducing the number of garden beds I have now. I can ask my parents not to come on Wednesdays any more. But I don't really want to do that, they seem to look forward to it all week. I can cut down on Kate's activities. Well, that is her whole life, all of her social interaction. Yikes, I forgot to mention, I am having some health issues! There is a "procedure" in my future. There is something that will clog your brain. Maybe I should stop taking college courses?

FYI these images were taken in Florence

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Was Just in Italy, Wasn't I?

Of course, I'm kidding. I surely was there. I just got dumped awfully fast back into my regular life. Joe says that, ultimately, it is a mistake to do things like this, because it sets up in you a yearning that cannot be satisfied. (At least, not for us. Not right now.) the man has a point, but I don't regret going, even if my life is... not in Italy. I have so much to say about this trip. Mainly I can say it was a visual feast. Rome was our first stop and we were blown away. Joe really summed it up, as we were laying in bed that second night, unable to sleep. He said, "I feel like I am vibrating." 

We would get up every morning, have our hotel breakfast, and start walking. We walked every day from the Trastavare neighborhood in Rome, over one of the bridges to the main area. Every street had some interesting thing. A cool doorway, a door knocker, a statue, a Madonna shrine on a wall, a cafe, a tiny Italian car, a fountain, a church, an alley, I mean, it was endless. And on several occasions, we rounded a corner and were confronted with ancient ruins! Joe and I each had our own cameras. Between us, we took around 2000 photographs. (digital images?) 

The pictures here are from a tiny town in the Chianti region of Tuscany named Montefioralle. We visited a number of these walled towns. Some are big tourist destinations, they usually have extensive shopping. (Radda and San Gimignano come to mind) These towns are fun, but Joe and I visited 2 that were really just small towns where people live. The other town like that we visited was Monte San Sovino. We were enchanted to say the least. These pictures are at hand, so I am posting these now. I am sorting through everything, I've narrowed it down to about 1400 good pictures. Someone at work said they would help me make a DVD out of it that could be "played" on our TV.

There was a long traffic light at both ends of Montefiralle. That was because the road was so narrow, 2 card could not fit. Everyone had to take a turn. The guy on the motorbike is waiting his turn, but he is holding a large branch of flowers.  I just liked him.