Into the Void

Written by Charlene deGuzman & Miles Crawford

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation. ― Jean Arp


Constellations and Peonies

Below are some Peonies I cut from the garden. I think the blooms are bigger than ever this year.

Flea market finds of the day:

 (Framed illustrated map of Cape Cod, circa 1950)

 (Wooden 1950's Photo Album)

(National Geographic Zodiac Map and Constellation Chart, circa 1970)

 There's something lovely about how delicate old documents and papers are. It amazes me that something so frail can survive so many decades. It also saddens me to see so many family photo albums at the auctions and flea markets I go to. I think about the all the history and stories that accompany each of those photos that have been lost and forgotten over the years. Often vendors sell old photos in large piles, some with names and dates written on the back, occasionally a caption. For someone who enjoys collage this is a amazing resource, but it's difficult to alter these images without feeling a sense of guilt. Sometimes I wonder, what if this is the last remaining photograph of this person? It leaves me with a sense of curiosity and reverence for these fragile artifacts.


It's been awhile.

Long time, no update. It's been a busy year but I'm hoping to start posting again, hopefully much more over the summer as I'll have more free time.

Here is a design I created for a good friend's picnic themed Bridal Shower in April. I'll be posting my design for her Save the Date and Invitation/RSVP set soon too. It's so rewarding to be able to design something for someone who helped me so much with my own wedding, hope you love it Betty.

Eventually when I have time, I'd like to focus more attention on creating customizable designs. I can't believe this school year is almost over, time is just flying by but there are so many good things to look forward to this summer I can't wait for June to get here.


Image Archives

I recently came across a really great online archive of public domain vintage and antique images... not sure how I hadn't stumbled onto this site until now. The site is called Vintage Printable. They have an amazing collection of antique botanical drawings and nature studies, scientific charts, book covers, and vintage photography. Great for reference and collage. Another great website to find antique and vintage imagery is the New York Public Library Digital Gallery (they have everything -- from antique textile pattern books, vintage hotel menus to antique images of ocean flower cyanotypes). Below are a few of my favorites from Vintage Printable.







Felted Coat Color Block Tote

I've been in love with the Graf & Lantz color block wool totes since I first saw them on Terrain's website. I've never sewn felt or leather before but I decided to give it a go and see if my little sewing machine could handle it. Luckily, there's a thrift store outlet in my area where you can buy unwanted wool coats and bags for $1/ea which makes experimenting basically cost-free. I found an oversized 80's wool herringbone coat, a white wool blazer and a maroon leather brief case for under $5 total. Just look for 100% wool items, the more material, the better. This project is fine for even a beginner at sewing-- I have little to no experience with sewing beyond a blind hem stitch and I was able to figure this out as I went along. The key is going slowly with the leather, especially if you chose a thicker top grain leather like I did.

(disassembling the leather brief case into panels)-- basically just tear it apart at the seams.

(remove all buttons and lining before felting your wool items)

To shrink the fibers of the wool and make the material more durable and thicker you need to felt it. Felting is easy-- stick the garment in the washer on hot water, followed by the dryer on a high heat setting. Warning-- this process is a little messy. I had tiny fuzzballs everywhere so it would help if you had a large mesh garment bag to eliminate the fuzzies in the washer. Don't forget to clean out your lint trap in the dryer after using as it will probably be full of fuzzies when you are done and you don't want your house to burn down next time someone uses the dryer.

My Version:


I left the side seams rough because I liked that look and so far I've been using the bag pretty regularly and the wool has not begun to unravel at all which I think is due to the felting process. Making the leather handles was easy -- just fold a 2" leather strap in half vertically and sew along the edge, leaving a section at the top and bottom unsewn (this will be where it attaches to the bag).


Zig Zag Pottery

So my latest completely nerdy thing this year is going to the pottery painting place (with a friend...of course) and painting salad plates. I also made a butter dish that I'm quite fond of. Hopefully in October I'll be able to enroll in some community pottery classes and make my own pieces. I never conquered centering when wheel throwing so I've always had some hang ups with ceramics but I'm working on some ideas for slab / hand built pieces.

Here's my salad plate from last week:


Chairs and more Chairs

Went to the Monday auction today. We're currently stripping the wallpaper from the 12 foot ceilings in the second living room/dining room which has proven to be a nightmare. So, meanwhile I'm trying to focus my positive thoughts on the dining area. I managed to grab a set of antique ice cream parlor chairs for $20. I also found a great table/2 bench set of iron hairpin legs at the auction today for $22 (not bad since a new set of legs is between $65-$80 and now I have three sets to mess around with). Unfortunately they came attached to a weirdly patriotic picnic table from the 60's that must have come straight out of the VFW rec room. I thought I would take the legs off and discard the heinous table tops at the auction-- but as life would have it the screws were rusted so badly they couldn't be loosened. Once I got home and pulled the dirty benches out of my now soiled car, I realized that the wood of the tables was so badly rotted that all you had to do was put your weight on the legs and the screws just ripped out of the rotted wood-- fabulous. The entire experience made me seriously reconsider the idea of any type of reclaimed wood, specifically watching all the varieties of termites and wood-eating insects that crawled out of the joints of this ugly table.


The world's tackiest picnic table? Possibly. Not gonna lie, I SORT OF liked the benches but they were too rotted to save.


Last week I bought two vintage school chairs from a church basement for almost nothing and spray painted (I liked the original patina but they were too rusty to be used regularly)... all better now. I'd like to distress them a bit but I've never done that to metal before.