Tuesday, February 10, 2009

January 31: Goat ATCs

This was a private swap just between me and one other person who wanted to help me out to get all my 31 swaps in by the month-end deadline. Which, I want to reassure you, I did; it's just the blogging that's late. We quickly determined that we both adore goats, who are just like big cats, only not in the big-cats-can-bite-your-head-off way, but in the want-to-sit-on-your-lap-and-explore-things kind of way. She sent me the amazing goat below, which is getting framed and hung on the wall. I got it before I'd even started mine, and I loved it so much I made her two, pictured above.

January 30: Crazy February holidays

Speaking of Groundhog day, February is chock full of weird holidays. For this swap we were supposed to pick five of them and send our partners presents for those five. I chose:
  • National freedom day (February 1, an Independence Hall magnet - I could've done better)
  • Groundhog day, naturally (February 2, the card above - 6 more weeks of winter)
  • Send a card to a friend day (February 7, four one-ounce letter stamps)
  • National chocolate mint day (February 19, Newman's peppermint patties)
  • Love your pet day (February 20, three tiny little "greenies" bones for my partners extra-small dog)

January 29: Groundhog day cards

Happy groundhog day! Belatedly! I realized at midnight on February 2 that groundhog day is my favorite holiday, because, I mean, wtf? Poor Puxatony Phil, held out for all the world like a bloody sheet. And he doesn't know why any more than we do.

Just-in-time realization aside, I signed up to exchange groundhog day cards with two people. I've always projected onto good old Phil a bit and assumed he's not really looking for his shadow, he's checking out the state of the world to see whether he wants to wake up now or go back to sleep for six more weeks. Do groundhogs even hibernate like that? I don't know. But that's my story and I'm sticking with it. The top card is a day when Phil would go back underground, although what's going to be better about that scene by ignoring it a little longer, I can't say. The bottom card is a day when he'd decide it's okay to go about his beesness.

Incoming: Handmade buttons

Remember the buttons I made that I was so happy with? That I sent to three partners? I only got one set back; the other two stood me up. But I'm pretty sure the ones I did get make up for the missing mail. The wooden ones above are from the heartwood of a yew tree that was struck by lighting in the maker's yard; the linen button she threw in (she only had to send four to fulfill the swap) is in a wagon-wheel style made in her hometown as a cottage industry for two centuries. Now I just need to find some equally incredible button-needing thing to which to attach these.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January 28: Four ATCs of the Apocalypse

Yay! I mean Boo! Apocalypse! I love books about it. I love movies about it. Sometimes I think it's why I'm crafty, so I'll have the useful skill of being able to make things people need out of the piles of consumer goods that will suddenly become so much pointless trash when the infrastructure breaks. For now I also make collages, which don't really do anything but make me laugh.

Here are Conquest:


Famine - that is, being held hostage by industrially farmed monocultures that dictate how we eat and lay wide open the possibility of disease wiping out whole families of fruits, vegetables, animals and grains:

and Death:

January 27: Mini collage

I signed up for a whole bunch of ATC (artist trading card) swaps to give me an excuse to collage, but this swap asked for a collage by name. Here's what I came up with.

Just as this prim couple is about to get down to it, the cat comes along and decides it needs all the attention. Why do they always have to step on your book?

January 26: Home Grown swap

The person who initiated this swap (anyone can on swap-bot, you just write an explanation, wait for people to sign up, then click a button when it's time to assign partners) wrote, as introduction, a diatribe about the wisdom of eating locally-grown foods. How could I not sign up? Being the middle of winter in Philadelphia, I couldn't exactly send a potato or a bunch of kale to San Francisco where my partner lives, but I could send things manufactured here and purchased from the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, both big players in the burgeoning local foods movement here. I had a really hard time not eating the Pennsylvania Dutch apple butter, Ross' chocolate espresso bar made in Kensington (with Fair Trade chocolate of course), and from the bulk candy guy down the aisle from the Farmstand, Goldberg's Peanut Chews.

Here is a 45-page downloadable pdf booklet on why local foods are better for your body, your mind, the economy, animals, and the planet in so, so many ways.