Friday, June 10, 2011

movin' on up

New format! My personal blog, with a dose of meme:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

btw, we had a royal wedding party.

When your boss is from England, and you have time on your hands, you cut elaborate celebratory banners.

You eat scones with clotted cream and jam, and so many cucumber sandwiches.

And even the dog wears a tiara. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bakery (Needlepoint)

For my second needlepoint project I wanted to try some decorative stitches. I couldn't tell at this point whether artistic needlework or efficient, regimented stitchery was more my style. (I've since discovered that I'm more the regimented type, unless the content relates to a decorative texture better.)
This canvas came with a stitch guide, which I mostly followed. For what I've completed, the window is Continental, the gable trim is Cross Stitch, the white trim is Straight Gobelin, the gable is Brick and the roof is Milanese in ribbon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Of Elephants and Roses

(The first of many catch-up blogs from the seemingly lightening-fast Spring)

I finished up my book cradle work for the APS exhibition in March. The books in the show are super interesting and it was a blast, though a lot of work, to quickly make cradles for everything. Certain books came from Bibliothèque Nationale de France and other museums and had to be chaperoned by a courier. For those, I would quickly take measurements, okay my plan, make the cradle, then the books would get strapped in and locked into the exhibit cases. Fancy. 

The most challenging books were the GIANT ones that needed wedges to support them instead of cradles. These books are larger than briefcases, and super heavy, fragile and tired. For these I would take measurements, cut pieces out of binder's board, and glue them squarely with weights.

Finished, they're like the monolith from 2001. Lastly, I sand them then cover each with cloth from the installation cases. 

In an effort to work more experimentally and not address only the support of the book, I made this cradle for my last book. It's sleeker and slimmer. If I had had more time, they would all be so classy.

Besides books the exhibit includes prints, "fossilized mastodon teeth sent by Thomas Jefferson from the White House to French scientist Georges Cuvier, the founder of paleontology," a giant stuffed black swan, and "the score for a revolutionary song played for two elephants in the Paris menagerie in an attempt to make them breed." Amazing.

Of Elephants and Roses review on Geekadelphia
Exhibit page at APS

Friday, February 18, 2011

a very Sampson holiday

I've had one last cold with the final gasp of winter around here, so Valentine's Day did not go as planned, but better. I was scheduled to make cradles at APS, which I postponed to next week. I made Ian buttermilk biscuits, scrapple hearts, and eggs over easy (like my love). He had to pick a building for this semester's historic preservation project, so I agreed to an architecture walk. The day was so warm and promising it made my soul feel better, if not my sinuses. 

I just noticed this string of abandoneds around the corner and fell in love. I want to buy them all, turn a couple into houses and the rest into our printshop, Gambrel Press, for their gambrel gables. I also found a few more great ghost houses (like ghost prints.) The second one even still has a fire place!

Our real destination was The Woodlands, a cemetery and mansion about a mile away. Hidden behind UPENN hospital nonsense and up on a hill, the cemetery and mansion have a strange view of Philadelphia. Most of the city is new superimposed on old, like the gambrel buildings. The view from the top of the Woodlands is like the new and old in relief, you can look across the Schuylkill to see busy highways and oil fields. 
Our walk around the grounds was quiet, like a hollow in the noise of the city. Though it was in the high fifties, there were charming, harmless piles of snow sparkling and winking at me. I thought maybe I do like winter.

The rest of the day was spent playing Carcassonne and watching SG-1. A very
Sampson holiday.