New Fall Uniform

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I started this top last spring, in part as a technical exercise to see if I could begin with a cross, and then work it outward to four corners, sew up the shoulders and end up with a top.  Though I’m really not sure what I was thinking with that colors scheme!   And finally, now, it is done. The problem is that it isn’t something that I would wear. I’m not sure if it is the candy colors or the pop references of the pattern, but I would go nuts if I had to wear this for a whole season.

So how to make a new fall top in a pinch?  Re-inspired by conversations about finger crochet techniques with the Von Tundra Crew when they were here for their event (they made great lamps with finger crochet netting to diffuse the light) I decided to throw together a new top using an organic undulating single and half double finger stitches.  I love the effect that this creates, and was able to make a new “uniform” in just a few days.  The problem was when I got it wet to block it into shape, it totally expanded and got huge, like a big 1070s tunic.  I guess that the stitches were so loose they just totally stretched out and lost their delicacy and complexity.

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So I did something that I hate it when knitters or crochetters do – I tossed it in the washing machine and felted it up (always thought that the washing machine felting technique was was totally a form of cheating).  Then I stretched the still damp result over a dress form and it actually turned out sort of awesome.   Next up will be one in brown done mostly with single crochet stitches to see if I can tighten up the weave a bit, stay posted.

Loot!

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Amy and Wendy Yao hosted another groud-breaking HDTS swap-meet – this year at the Sky Village Swap Meet which is the local swap meet right behind Barr Lumber off of Old Woman Springs Road.  I love their press release so I’m going to reprint some of it here:

“We grew up going to swapmeets nearly every weekend, tagging along with our grandparents at the break of dawn and riding illegally amongst the boxes in the back of their customized white Toyota minivan. Our grandparents worked at the swapmeet every weekend for years, selling video rewinders and novelty erasers imported from Taiwan.  We would help out and watch all the strange characters pass through, everyone buying or selling something.  These are some of our earliest memories: the improvised look of each booth, everything on the go.  If we were good, at the end of each day our grandparents would let us buy one thing from the used book vendor next door.  We would get things like old paperback books published by Mad Magazine, full of jokes and innuendo that we were still too young to fully understand…”

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“The Art Swap Meet has always been an experiment in how an ephemeral, mobile marketplace works within the desert, an environment of extremes where only the fit survive.  It provides a chance for its participants to test ideas, make artist direct sales, create works and experiences that might not be salable, or embrace the absurdity of setting up shop in a location where your customer may or may not show up. In all, it’s a beautiful spectacle where trading posts sprout up at sunrise and then evaporate like mirages…”

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“This Saturday’s Art Swapmeet will be the 5th time we’ve convened to give, trade and sell art and experiences at very affordable prices!  Always fun! Always great bargains and great artwork!! Come early, we start at 8pm and end at 1pm! Don’t miss the mirage!!”

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The photo above is of Bob Carr, the owner of the Sky Village Swap meet – the mothership for this year’s art swap meet.  Bob is an amazing artist in his own right and it is fair to say that the entire swap meet is a really a gigantic, long term, communally based art project.  If you look in some of the shacks you can see his really cool and sort of psychadlic spiders and spider webs that are all works in progress.  And of course then there is the famed crystal cave which will be revealed later this month as Mette and Merete’s HDTS project.

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One of the most amazing things to me are the people who turn out for Amy and Wendy’s events – this year’s participants included David Benjamin Sherry from NYC, Tobias Madison from Zurich, Marlous Borm from NYC Berlin, John Rieppenhoff of Green Gallery in Milwaukke, Rob Halverson from Cool Art in Portland Amy’s MFA students from Arizona State University, and LA’s own local Alice Konitz, Lucky Dragon, Gabbie Strong, Piero Golia, and Erik Wesley (and there are even more) Oh – and of course the “group formerly known as smockshop”

Totally Tricked Out

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Every time Steve came over I used to catch him staring up at two narrow glass windows way up on the wall of the eating room (it’s the room with the table – what do you call that, dining room, breakfast room, table room?)  Anyway, one day he finally offered to do something amazing fabulous and spellbinding to the windows…

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He made these exquisite stained glass windows for them.  I think that the pattern was based on a detail from a Native American sand painting – but I like how it matches with my geometric floor tiles in a way that adds some hippy neo-geo flair to the room.

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I first met Steve when I saw one of his films in an art show at Chris Viet’s cabin, way the hell out at the end of Wonder Valley.  I remember after seeing the strange kooky video called “Desert Pumps” asking everyone around “who made that?!!“.  Then a few months later I got to check out Steve and his partner Glen’s  low slung mid century desert house chock full of cool 1960s and 70s earth inspired art, complete with a pool made out of a huge irrigation talk out back and a 1968 fiberglass dune buggy under the carport.  I’m a huge fan of Steve’s work.  His free hanging stained glass windows have been for sale at the Commune shop at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs – an amazing big round stained glass window is for sale out our own HDTS HQ – and check out his lanterns on their website.