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19 May 2010
Card Catalog Card Blinds

I'd been threatening to make these for years, and the new apartment was just the push I needed to make it happen. These are from a now defunct card catalog from Columbia University, as delivered to me a few years back by my friend Virgil, who carried them to Brooklyn in two huge bags full of a multitude of charmingly gift-wrapped bundles of cards.

18 May 2010
Three tints of Champagne

It can be so hard to choose the best version of each photo.

But it's like Yamamoto's concert in The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt.

Pages 176-7:

For the next seven and a half hours Yamamoto played Op. 10 No. 1 in D minor, & sometimes he seemed to play it exactly the same five times running but next to the sound of a bell or an electric drill or once even a bagpipe and sometimes he played it one way next to one thing and another way next to another. Some of these sounds were produced at the time and others were recordings, and after six and a half hours he stopped stopping to start the other sounds: a tape began to run & he kept playing. The tape was of traffic and footsteps & people talking and he played Op. 10 No. 1 nine times while it ran, and naturally you could see that you couldn't really hear how he was playing it or even how he was dealing with the two phrases. At 5:45 the tape came to an end and the piece came to an end and there was silence for 20 seconds or so, and then he played the piece so that you heard it after and over the silence. This went on for six minutes and then he stopped and there was a moment of silence and then he raised his hands to the keys.

You expected to hear Op. 10 No. 1 in D minor for the 60th time, but instead were shocked to hear in quick succession Op. 10 No. 2 in D major, Op. 10 No. 3 in B minor and Op. 10 No. 4 in B major, and you only heard them once each. It was as if after the illusion that you could have a thing 500 ways without giving up one he said No, there is only one chance at life once gone it is gone for good you must seize the moment before it goes, tears were streaming down my face as I heard these three pieces each with just one chance of being heard if there was a mistake then the piece was played just once with a mistake if there was some other way to play the piece you heard what you heard and it was time to go home.

18 May 2010
Sewn cowls

These two cowls are made by sewing yarn instead of knitting or crocheting it. I really love the way it preserves all the texture of the yarn, and the way I can hook strands over my ears directly to keep them warm!

The top one is made of my handspun yarn, and the bottom was my prototype with storebought yarn.

Instructions: I wound the yarn into a good cowl circumference, then basically spread out point of it between layers of tissue paper. Pinned it down, sewed a long line perpendicular to the yarn. One more on the other side. Tore off the tissue paper. Done!

17 May 2010
The Queen is Free

Sometime between Thursday and today, the bees released the queen from her cage on their own, eating through the candy plug entirely. They even built some burr comb (wax comb that is out of place) on the side of the cage, and filled it up with condensed sugar syrup! I took the empty queen cage home with me as a souvenir.

Yes, I did stick my tongue into the burr comb to taste the sugar syrup. Wouldn't you?

The bees have done a great job of building up lots of new comb over the past week. I'm seriously impressed. In a week or two, I'm going to go back in to check for evidence that the queen is laying eggs properly, but for now, this is the good news I'd hoped to see.

(Both photos in this post are better when seen large! Click on each to get to the large version.)

17 May 2010
Me & Cat

Cat asked me to spin a me-and-her yarn for her, and this was my attempt. If you know us, it's pretty easy to see where I was going with this. Her long, gorgeous, silky black hair mixed with my wild and erratic curls, icy beads to accent thread-plied in, and wrapped with red thread to bind us together as in her latest novel, Palimpsest.

64ish yards of superwash merino, unknown curly locks, commercial thread and tiny beads.