Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Trading Tortoise

It's no secret that I am a fan of 
  • art
  • travel
  • exploration
  • spreading the beauty
  • stories
  • documenting said stories, and
  • all things awesome.

If you also love any of the above, I encourage you to watch Monica Choy and Souther Salazar's Kickstarter video, and be inspired.  The duo imagined a way to combine all of the above into a unique experience called The Trading Tortoise.  I love that Ms. Choy and Mr. Salazar created a way to give (both to those who are lucky enough to witness the sure-to-be-stunning installation in person, as well as the pledgers who earn rewards for donating via Kickstarter) and to facilitate giving, among people from communities far and wide, at their traveling trade post.  Not to mention, the stories behind traded items will be a gift available to all on the website.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels The Trading Tortoise is an absolutely necessary project, because their Kickstarter campaign met its funding goal last night, with 17 days to go.  Even though the project has been funded, you can still contribute (and earn super cool rewards like postcards, mixed CD's, and zines created while the Tortoise is on the road!).  Extra dollars will go toward making extra stops on the tour.  I hope they stop in a city near you, so you are able to see the Tortoise and trade something special for something marvelous.

What would you bring to trade?  Would you make something for the occasion?  Do you already own an object you'd like to share with someone from somewhere else?  Just thinking about the possibilities makes me giddy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

That's the spirit!

True fact: I love receiving texts from Alicia.  Alicia tends to text me when she notices awesome things—street musicians with fancy instruments and the like.  As though she's a magic scout, keenly attuned to detect wonderful things, compelled to alert me to the beauty that abounds.  A couple weeks ago, she spotted this charmingly embellished advertisement on a BART train, and gifted it to me.  Behold the Googly Eyed Gnome!      

I believe we should start a movement to make 53% of all texts, messages of this sort.  (The other 47% can be the practical kind, of course.)  Agreed?

Sweet.  The next time you're out and about, I challenge you to 
  1. recognize when you're witnessing something worthy of your admiration,
  2. take a moment to appreciate whatever you see,
  3. snap a photo, and 
  4. send that photo to someone you think will share in your joy.

It'll be like one big, never-ending scavenger hunt for awesome.  We can assign points for various sightings: 25 for spotting an origami dinosaur on a park bench, 50 for a yarnbombed bike rack, 996 for a unicorn noshing on an ice cream cone.  We'll call our game Magic Scout.   

p.s. My cousin Melissa also plays this game.  She found a purty pink-haired gal in San Francisco.  How many points should we award her?

Friday, April 13, 2012

I did it!

One of my goals for 2012 was to read at least three books written for an adult audience.  Considering that I often go on young adult fiction binges that can last upwards of eleven months, planning to read three was doable, but certainly not a given.  I'm proud to say that as of April 11, 2012, when I completed Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, three of the eight books I've read since January 1, were not written for adolescents!  (Insert my happy dance here—which bears a striking resemblance to the twins' moves.)

That said, I want to share a graphic novel (written for young adults) I recently read with you.  Meet the Janes, who are the cast of characters in The Plain Janes, a tale written by Cecil Castellucci and illustrated by Jim Rugg. 

After the main Jane's parents move her to suburbia in the name of safety, our leading lady manages to make friends with three other Janes-of-various-spellings.  Together, they form The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, a secret "art girl gang" whose mission is to create thought-provoking public art, in hopes of inspiring their strip-mall loving neighbors to appreciate beauty.  P.L.A.I.N. = People Loving Art in Neighborhoods.

Reasons these Janes are kind of my kindred:   
  • Main Jane's (far left above) first thought as she stares at the sky from the perfectly manicured lawn in her new yard, notebook by her side, bird chirping overhead: "I'm in hell."
  • And as she enters her new high school, she tells herself: "Remember it's just four years . . . Om, and all that."
  • Jane-with-the-bob (second from right above) puts on a prosthetic nose and recites from Cyrano De Bergerac when she tries out for the school's production of Grease, much to the horror of the "cool" girls running the auditions.
  • "I want her to stop worrying and love the world again." —Main Jane, speaking about her mom.  
  • P.L.A.I.N. projects include: installing hundreds of stuffed animals outside an animal shelter with clever signs encouraging pet adoption; a message bottle tree, with instructions like dance, hug, and skip inside the hanging bottles; and yarn bombing parking meters and fire hydrants with striped cozies. 

No doubt you understand why I would invite the P.L.A.I.N. Janes to help fulfill my birthday mission.  These girls would be all over #s 5, 9, and 12!  

p.s. You're still totally invited to help fulfill my birthday mission, too.  The Janes would be so proud, and I would be impressed, grateful, and a lot of other positive adjectives!   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guest blogger

My Cleocatra can be quite opportunistic.  When I was writing tomorrow's blog post*, I left my laptop open for all of 49 seconds** to retrieve my clean laundry from the dryer.  The sight above is what welcomed me upon my return.  After I snapped this shot, Cleo looked up at me, and I swear, she raised her eyebrows, and with her eyes asked, "You haz a question?".  Oh, and here is the message she wished to impart to y'all.  Profound, no?  

Luckily, her paws didn't click Publish.  Unlike the time she managed to save Google Reader as a bookmark entitled ;/ for me.  So thoughtful, that Cleo. 

*Yes, I'm back!  Until I take my next impromptu blogging spring break, that is.

**I reenacted the whole event in order to accurately report to you how long it took Cleo to wreak her keyboarding havoc.  I am nothing if not dedicated to authentic communication.

Proof I am alive

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Be flattered, J.Crew

I've been eyeing these J.Crew shorts for a couple months.  But, I am simply not willing to pay $60 + tax for a pair of shorts.  A pair of shorts, people!  J.Crew, you are not that cute.  Okay, you are.  You totally are.  Nevertheless, when I can create something similar to what you're trying to sell me at a 75% margin?  With items I already own?  Not willing.  Sarah is my name, and creativity driven by frugality is my game.    

Supplies: denim shorts, pencil with an unused eraser, measuring tape, fabric ink, dish to serve as paint palette, and newspaper to protect the table.

In progress: I didn't care to be perfectly precise, but I didn't want random dots all over the place, either.  So, I used the measuring tape as a guide to keep my dotted rows more-or-less straight.  For the first row, I started at the waist, and placed each dot about halfway between the sewed seams, roughly 1" apart from each other.  Each subsequent row is approximately 1" below the one above, and staggered ½" laterally, too.  See the pattern?

VoilĂ ! 

And, yes, I've worn these in public*, completely oblivious to the fact that the right leg sports a good 1½" more denim than the left. 

*at Disneyland, no less!  See bottom collage.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm still working on my French knots . . .

As promised, I crafted a bit this weekend.  I finished a beanie for Ben (pom-pom included), and a free-form embroidery piece (see above).  This needle work totally counts as my weekly doodle assignment.  A threaded doodle.  A threadoodle, if you will.  

I'm not sure what to do with it, actually.  It's on a flour sack towel, which is enormous, and the embroidery is in a corner, so it's not like the design will be on display when I fold the towel to hang it.  A framed wall hanging?  A throw pillow?  What do you think—what can I Cinderella this into so the embroidery will be prominently featured?