>only in boston can it transpose from a balmy 58 degrees one day to a fah-reeesing 15 degrees the next. the snowflakes, seemingly mischievious, twirl wistfully towards your reddened, wind-swept self. this is a day where you don’t want to be caught wearing a skirt without winter tights, my friends. i speak from experience.

still under the weather *the tissues know well my honnnnk* but enjoying a fun, restful weekend. yesterday, after the johnnie’s adventure, i went to beadworks in harvard square to exchange some beads.

a little explanation is in order. i wanted to proposed an idea (well, i actually submitted two, more on that later) for the next collision collective show, c9. collision is a technology-interactive community art group that puts on two exhibits a year and fosters a collective spirit of like-minded creatives in cambridge. i’ve been to several of their events but wanted to take this chance to enter the upcoming show.

ave maria was conceptualised as a rosary-like object, for which i would need to get a bunch of good-quality beads. my proposal reads: “the created object is a variant on the rosary. conflating the cultural ubiquity of the iPod, the rituals of religion, and life-improving technology, ‘ave maria’ is a rosary constructed of an iPod shuffle (resembling the crucifix) and a representative necklace form with shiny white beads and pristine construction. loaded onto the shuffle will be the rosary prayer, yet spliced into its consecutive words and phrases. if you listen to it in ‘order’ mode, it is the prayer as correctly performed. in ‘random’ mode, the prayer is shuffled into a familiar but disorientating sequence. the audio is the rosary chanted by the monks of adoration. the questions raised include gadget fetishism, the philosophical significance of ‘sequence’ and ‘order’ in religion, and the dichotomy of fashion object and private ritual.” this pic portrays its construction in progress, gleaming with solid crystal quartz beads.

turns out that the collision curators actually liked my second proposed idea, of which you may be humoured with a teasing glimpse to the left. come see what i (as well as a crew of insane creatives) made at the c9 show at art interactive in central square, the three weekends from jan 28 to feb 12. the opening is on friday night, january 27, from 6-9pm. for those who can attend, hope to see you there. all i will disclose is that it requires a bit of craft and quite a bit of current. bzz bzz bzzzzzz.

so anyway, back to beadworks. the crystal quartz orbs weren’t necessarily without expense, so i ventured back with the intent to make a store exchange. i’m not nearly as enamoured with beads as i am with yarn; the feeling i get at places like beadworks and others is that beading just seems so tedious and fiddly and fringing on the gaudy or the pretentious. very costume jewelry. so i tried to get my task done in there as soon as possible. i made a very clean exchange (i only owed 32 cents!), and left the store with a piece of jade (it’s under my assumption that it’s real; it was sold with that understanding), and a bead-stringing kit with a box of various seed beeds, crimp beads, a silver finding, packaged in a reasonably attractive burgundy organza pouch.

here’s what i made of it today.

as you can probably tell, beading is not my forte! hee. though i attempted to be a tad adventurous and follow my asymmetrical fancies. it’s reminiscent of petals or leaves, but it’s probably more an instance of fug in the lifelong experiment of working with string. perhaps it has its place, but i was definitely brought back to my days as a middleschooler, making beaded daisy necklaces with efficiency and aplomb. something i learned at camp, you see. but i did learn about crimp beads, which you can make out in my little diagram. pretty elegant solution; you string them on like beads, and then squish them to death with pliers. in the squish, you secure the ends at the finding. much entertainment in the deathgrip.

and here’s the jade piece, simply tied with some black DMC embroidery thread i had lying around at home. i like the ribbon bowtying for closure in the back, it’s very minimalistic and fluid. i know jade has special, desirable properties, and most chinese people wear some form of it on their bodies. plus it can cut glass! i’m very happy that i found this piece (it was the last, and the other jade beads in the store was really gross and faceted and fakeylooking), and it fits my aesthetic extremely well.

since i was in the square, i ventured in the harvard coop and browsed through the awful selection of leftover 2006 calendars and amused myself with the very amusing tickle the duck, a children’s book that infuses the pat the bunny classic with a wise-quacking duck (sorry, i couldnt resist) and a generous dose of reverse psychology. it’s twisted. i did see two books on display that probably should go on my wishlist: sew easy by sixth + spring, and denyse schmidt quilts by chronicle books. the sew easy thing is almost a kit, with lots of patterns and tips and step-by-step projects for learning to sew. i can technically sew, though i sort of do little constructive hacks along the way instead of having a formal approach to the whole thing. i’d rather learn from the essentials up, with *pictures* and *hand-holding*, especially for putting in zippers and understitching. i’ve done it before, but it’s always a rollercoaster and a lot of praying. and the quilts books is impressively modern. there was a scarf pieced together with mens tweeds and vintage kimono, and a luscious shantung silk coverlet. it seems incongruous, but the styling was like quilting meets anthropologie. might there be a resurgence of this old-fashioned-seeming craft within the young generation? only time will tell.

some knitterly updates (though i haven’t really had time to do much in the last month or so) include:

jess, my friend and fellow member of mit stitch ‘n’ bitch, asked me to test-knit her upcoming pattern for a cat toy shaped like a steamed dim-sum bun (inspired by the wonton and eggroll variations on knitty.com). of course i happily obliged, and constructed the red-bean version. :) check out her blog in the coming days for the final pattern, but it was quick and fun to knit, especially thinking about yummy dim-sum in the process! roland and sjenka will be the proud owners soon.

a fleeting glimpse of the james coviello jacket from vogue knitting 2005, in lion brand thick + quick. it’s miles and miles of stockinette, can you tell? :) and on the right is my subway project, a scarf using the yarn i got from niknak’s aunt for christmas: luscious louisa harding kimono angora and kimono ribbon. i’m using the railroad knitting motif and will run the kimono ribbon through the dropped stitches when it’s complete. the angora yarn is ridiculously soft. am tempted to post a photo of an angora bunny here, but feel free to do so on your own time. :)

i think i should take more photographs of my food, especially those which i create. a favorite homecooked dish that i looked forward to sunday mornings for my mom to make, egg fried rice. dan chou fan. so simple and so good.

p.s. for a future post, but last night niknak and i watched me and you and everyone we know, which is hardly a ‘hilarious and heartfelt’ comedy (as purported on the dvd case) but rather an indie, more digital-culture-inspired version of american beauty. a superb movie and immensely disturbing.

3 Responses to “”
  1. Jess says:

    >Ooooh, those necklaces are pretty! I’m sorry to hear the ave maria didn’t win, but I love the idea. It kind of reminds me of those incredibly ostentatious jeweled rosaries, which were as much a symbol of wealth as faith.

  2. >I LOVE your jade necklace. Can’t wait to see it in person. Remind me to tell you about a series of sewing classes in March.

  3. Isabel says:

    >please post any problems you run into with the James Coviello pattern: I’m trying that one as soon as my wool arrives!

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