What People Are Saying About Penny

"I like to think of you as a high priced call girl that the unwashed masses can't afford--like Woody Allen's Whore of Mensa. It's not your fault that people offer $10 blowjobs on the street corner. It's not an insult if somebody doesn't buy your art." -Alexandra J Walters

"Once Penny was making her own silk thread, and a midget appeared. Before he could open his ugly mouth, without looking up, she exclaimed, 'Rumpelstiltskin. Now get the fuck out of here.' Fairytale Over."- Beth Featherstone

"Penny can push a needle through a telephone pole without a thimble." -Shane Blaufuss

"When a man asked Penny, 'What’s the meaning of life?' She looked at him for exactly 3 minutes, completely still, until he cried. That man’s name was Steve Jobs."- Beth Featherstone

"A demon from the pits of bitch cunt." -W.C. Hurst

"pulitzer for you too." -John Lurie

Monday, February 22, 2010

Help me pick out a Drum Carder!

I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a drum carder. I really need to start taking better care of my hands, and hand carding pounds of fiber is probably something I could stand to take a break from.

But what am I going to do with all this fiber?!?

So here's the deal, reader. I need help picking out a drum carder. I don't want anything motorized, and I'd REALLY not like to have to put anything together.

Currently I have pounds and pounds of the following fiber-

Wool (Navajo, Finn, Icelandic, BFL, Coopworth)
Angora Goat (Mohair)

Here's what I need to know, If I want to blend Silk and Finn, can I do that on a medium tooth carder? Or can I only use fine toothed carder for blending fine fibers?
Also, Does anyone own the Ashford Wild Drum Carder? I would love something that could handle crazy art batts, but I can't find info on the teeth. Can I card a regular old mohair/wool blend through this? Let me know. And, has anyone used the Fancy Kitty Kitten Drum Carder?

Anyway spinners, What do you use? What do you like? What can I cram fine and medium fiber through and not end up in tears?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Work, New Blog, Old Ideas

I've been doing a lot of shisha experiments over the last year. If you're unfamiliar, shisha is the embroidery tradition of fixing mirrors to cloth using stitches.
Mirrors and Buttons on silk
And then I thought, well that's interesting, I wonder what else can be shisha-ed, and started doing things like this.

Shisha Mixed Media
Mirrors, Buttons, Sand Dollars and Urchin on velvet
And then I remembered how many places that use mirror work in their embroidery, do so because of a spiritual tradition. There are conflicting views based on the region, but often times mirrors are used to attract or repel spirits. Coins can be used in this way too, almost anything that's shiny. Bones, shells and teeth are also good examples of things that are relatively common in traditional needlework.
When I started digging, I also found many examples of seeds being used in traditional embroidery for similar reasons. Sometimes it's just that they make easy beads, and sometimes it's their scent that it used to attract or repel spirits. Sometimes it's just an easy way of holding onto them, it just depends on the culture. So I started playing around with that idea.

Fetish Triptych
Fetish Triptych
Seeds, Elk Tooth, and Urchin on velvet
Then I just started raiding the yard and pantry for anything I could force a needle through.

Seed Stitch

Seed Stitch
Seeds and Husks on silk
I'm not sure where I'm going with these pieces, but I am working on an installation in the style of the last two. There's a lot of weirdness in embroidery. I think that sometimes we believe that what we're doing is highly unusual, or ground breaking, but history shows us that a lot of the themes and materials we use have been common for tens of thousands of years. However, it is thrilling for me to "discover" something I haven't seen before in these traditions, and then reinterpret it.

Also, this is a good time to announce that starting in March, I'm going to be writing for Mr. X Stitch! YAY! My column is called "Needle Exchange" and I will be exploring traditional needlework throughout history, (and often pre-history) and finding it's modern counterpart. So if this little piece came off a bit light, it's because I'm saving the heavy footnotes for Mr. X Stitch. Hope to see you guys over there! (Don't worry, I'll still be here, too.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I know famous people

My best friend Gigi (we call her Butt-Butt) is a hot shot on Etsy!
Here's my favorite quote-
"The best of those horrible names is for one of the many raccoons - his full name is Afrokintaro Kin Kinichi. He's 50% Japanese, 50% dog, 50% African, and part raccoon. He's not as popular as Prince Willis the raccoon, but that's what happens when you're stuck with a name like that..." Click here for the interview!

(She is the inventor of the NOM NOM soap!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Phat Quarter Swap!

If you're a member of Phat Quarter on Flick, we're having a swap! Sign up starts today and is open for one week, so head over and read the rules if you're interested!
Click HERE for the link!

Here's a hint about the theme-
I can't help it

Friday, February 5, 2010

Feeling Stitchy

I am now a contributor to Feeling Stitchy! Yay! I'll be posting things all over their Facebook, and Floresita gave me the keys to the blog in a sweet gesture of trust! I promise to never use them.
Read my intro here!-
Exciting! Here's a sneak peak at what I'm working on now, it's a ball buster.
Johnny Murder holding the Siphonophorae