Thursday, March 06, 2008

Creative Link Crazy

I have been remiss in keeping this blog current although I never made any promises to anyone about it. It is just one of those ideas floating around somewhere that I should try to post here regularly such as once a month at least.

So if you have seen me on a computer, you probably know that I am a compulsive web surfer. I follow any link that looks remotely interesting. This story starts with a link from the Surface Design Association newsletter's page with suggested links. I read the newsletter more thoroughly than the full-color journal. I am more likely to study the photos in the journal since the articles are in a more formal, academic style.

It all started with this link: which is a great resource, but dangerous because it contains lots of other links to cool websites. This site led me to the Crochet Coral Reef exhibit which is an amazing, fun project on a very serious subject and the site contains info about the serious stuff such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, only a disgustingly large floating patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean - Yikes!

Crochet Coral Reef, with info on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch:

There was also a cool link about sweaters for penguins. I wish there were more pictures. There is one black and white picture part way down the page that will give you the general idea. Apparently people were knitting penguin sweaters to protect them from oil spillage. The project is done now so I guess there is no hope of getting more photos of penguins in sweaters which sounds so cute and silly, but has such a darker history.
At any rate somehow this led me to I'm not quite sure how I got there, but it came from the need to "Do Something!" and of course learn more about how on earth to try to at least stop contributing to things like the increasing size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. is a great resource. Being in the U.S. and having the site focus on suppliers and locations in the U.K. of eco-friendly stuff and recycling projects made it necessary for me to keep looking for more info.

The Green Guide was my next find. It is run by the old favorite National Geographic which I used to study the pictures in when my parents used to get it. So it ought to be trustworthy info if it is related to the National Geographic. At least that's my thinking. It has great articles filled with useful info and what you can do such as help reduce the over abundance of plastic garbage a.k.a. made-from-oil, non-biodegradable, floating gunk.
So have I given you some idea of how crazy I get with web surfing?! The Green Guide site had a great article about photography artist Chris Jordan:
If you go to his site to look at his artwork, I recommend that you sit down before you look at his stunning Katrina photos. They made my stomach drop.

All these websites led me to try to get some concept of how much plastic I use and dispose of all the time without thinking about it. As a curiosity project, I am trying to collect plastics that I normally throw out to see how much it really is and to possibly try to use them in artwork or recycle. I've learned that it is extremely tempting to just throw something out especially when it is plastic covering from a frozen dinner that is covered with tomato sauce or otherwise messy and don't even get me started on the plastic baggies. I use plastic baggies for everything for my lunches, but they get messy and how on earth am I going to manage to keep cleaning and saving them? It's just too easy to toss. There must be a better solution. I suppose it is mostly rethinking how I package things to go and finding nifty new product alternatives such as a reusable sandwich wrap I found somewhere...

To get back to the more thoroughly textile art theme here is a link to Maggie Grey's blog which is fantastic to read. She has written or co-written a number of exciting textile/fiber/mixed media art books including Stitch, Dissolve, Distort.

For my own art I have been playing with part of a photo from my Alaska cruise honeymoon. It's a bit of water that I edited to black and white and simplified in order to make a thermofax silk-screen of it. We were going to have a Thermofax silk-screen class last Saturday, but with snow and what-not we have postponed it and slightly altered the topic to Screen-Printing Play for this Saturday.
Here's the original photo:
and then a slightly edited and cropped version:And for a last link, here is Liz Smith's blog who has posted pictures of our new gallery at Western Avenue Studios for her March 4th entry. You can also see her cool instructions for making felted beads and snowy Lowell:

Next time maybe I'll try not to go quite so link crazy.

P.S. I thought I was done with this post and the links, but Mom saved an article for me from the New York Times and it was about the Crochet Coral Reef! I'm not sure if the link will work, but here it is:
Now I have to go read it!

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