Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dia de los Muertos cocktail cup trio

And so it all started when Carla (a friend and fellow appreciator of beautiful things) and I decided we wanted  to host an imaginary radio show called 'TIKI BAR'.
Ok, rewind a bit.
I was sewing away as per usual and going through every episode of 'NO RESERVATIONS' I could find on Youtube. When you work from home, you pick up such wonderful habits!
I came across an episode in which Anthony Bourdain discovers the Das Racist crew in his fridge (fun times!) and so I felt duty bound to forward said episode to Carla.
Later on in the episode, the wonderful/surreal/all-encompassing experience that is 'spending an afternoon in a Tiki Bar' was revealed to us for the first time. We felt like TIKI virgins, parched, in awe, jealous of all of those within walking distance of such a plastic-flower-and-fairy-light-bedecked temple of joy. Every hour is cocktail hour at the 'TIKI BAR' .. we wanted our bar, we wanted a hammock (come to think of it, 2 hammocks would have been more convenient) .. we wanted a cocktail-hour Radio show.

we basically wanted to escape the terrifying run up to 'teaching-practice' and 'meeting a wedding-commission deadline'.

Instead I decided to tackle this little dream in, perhaps, the smallest but, at least, realistically achievable way.
I decided to make some tiki-inspired cocktail cups in the shape of Day of the Dead skulls because (1.) I can, (2.) I am allowed some cross-referencing artistic license, (3.) end of October/beginning of November was coming up and I just love all Halloween-related activities.

So here's the Rita C. Colomba cup ...

... round and bulbous ...

... and fit for the best new teacher on the block!
Carla now teaches rowdy acne/hormone-ridden boys going through their problematic early teens
so  it is no wonder she's left craving some liquid gold (and a cocktail umbrella) after a hard day at it.

Don't you just love a cold and sweaty cup.. I say, spice up your concoction with some chilli, ditch the coasters, sit back in your favourite chair and YOLO-it all the way to the weekend/mid-term holidays!

three cheers for Miss Carla tal-INGLIXX! *hip hip

Second one up .. allow me to introduce to you: Florinda
the entirely fictitious spirit of a miserly grandmother ...
no longer flesh
morphed into clay
re-visiting her estranged grandsons in the shape of a vision at the bottom of their
drink come the 1st of November 

This, on the other hand is the Rancho de la Luna cup
inspired especially by:
 Josh Homme's Dessert Sessions
my persistent 'road-trip through the desert' dream
cravings for tequila based cocktails
the resilient and master-of-disguise cicada living in my barren excuse for a yard

This mustachioed cup has a large white cross and cactus for ears,
a blue cow skull tattooed on the back of its head and a hell of a lot of hearts in between

Ok, so here goes.. it worked once.. let's hope we're twice lucky!

Some months back I posted a short blog post and accompanying photos of a hat I made in honour of the ever so lovely, impeccably dressed Tziporah Salamon. To cut a long story really really short, Tziporah got in touch, and the hat somehow made it to New York. Seeing as I'm a sucker for romantic endings (sometimes, when I feel like it ..) and love knowing that what I make ends up in its rightful place; I want to dedicate this cup to Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.
Some, (and by 'some' I mean my friend Carla who finds this notion amusing to say the least .. bzutt Carla)..
so, where was I.. oh yes.. Some might say I'm pushing my luck here, but come on, is it so unusual to want to give out gifts to people whose work and purpose/role in life you admire. I'll be watching the band live for the first time in Birmingham this November (I'm travelling, I need the break .. and it's not like we Maltese actually have a choice.. in order to see our favourite bands live we have no option but) and I'm really excited about the whole prospect. Will be travelling with just a small carrier bag and crossing my fingers that airport security won't deem this cup 'too hazardous a container for air transport' (pah!).
This cup will keep spinning in its newspaper and bubble-wrap nest until it gets to its rightful owner so all I can do is try. No use waxing lyrical about how much I love Homme's contribution to music here... but if I could (and if I wasn't off my face on left-over wine) I definitely would, because I've listened to very little else for the best part of the past year(s). I'm really quite tipsy at this point.. so I beg of you, please excuse the hyperbole.

Hyperbole apart,
I'm a big fan and I would like to somehow have this cup reach him in one piece as a sign of appreciation from a far away land.


PS and disclaimer: every skull cup is totally handmade; hand painted in one-off designs and largely improvised brushwork. Should you be interested in anything similar I'd be (time-permitting) very happy to oblige. However I stand by my own word when I insist on never repeating a design (at all costs and in every thing I do, sewing and hat-making included). Repetition bores me no end and I just noticed the first frown line on my forehead..
I guess, what I really mean to say is that I can't help feeling that time is running out really quickly and repeating the same thing quickens said pace further. Creating exclusive items comes easy to a restless mind and I intend to keep that up for as long as I can.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

These are a few of my favourite October things ...

Why bother starting every blog post with a 'sorry, it's been long since..'
I'm not going to excuse myself, I've been busy.

'Busy' is my favourite mode.. perhaps, masochistically so, even 'a little bit stressed' is good.
I like having a full day, when the mind just has no option but to stop wandering and focus FOCUS.. if I relax I do not create.
When I relax, I drink cocktails and eat, a lot, go out, a lot .. there is no way in hell I'm going to be in a right mind to create if I'm relaxed. So, fuck relax.

This is possibly the best looking thing I've done in a long while. Don't get me wrong I love almost all of my commissioned work; I love sketching and making every piece. I'm lucky  because, to a certain extent, in my line of work I can be selective as to what commissions I accept. However, rarely do I get to meet someone with such similar taste and the best figure to carry off the dresses I constantly dream about. I hadn't experimented with simple flat Japanese cutting in a long time so this dress came as a most welcome distraction from other (only slightly) less palatable work. I was so excited about the prospect that the fact that I had to make it out of such delicate silk didn't even worry me one bit.

Just for the record - this is very much the direction I'd want my ready-wear collection to take..
and I hope I'm not giving away too much when I say that.

*thanks dad for taking over the 'throwing' duties since I'm still struggling with that* meh
 And whist my sewing room at home was inundated with scraps of ivory chiffon (more about that later) .. back at my parents' I was getting my hands dirty once more for a wedding gift commission. A rushed order that made me hold my breath and cross fingers several times throughout the process. Making it just in time didn't even come as a relief.. I'm still high on the adrenaline of last week. Proof of that - insomnia made worse by late night teleshopping channel browsing!

I insist .. everyone needs Marilu' (or equivalent) for a friend.. a very very thoughtful friend who commissions the most wonderful (if I may say so myself) personalized gifts. This hand painted 50s themed breakfast set intended for newly-wed couple Mr. and Mrs. Fifty (we'll call them that because from what I can understand, almost everyone else does as well) has a (also hand-painted) dedication at the bottom of each item. Emblazoned with their nicknames and polka dotted all over, let's just say I would have really liked to hold on to this set and *hiss* at whoever touches it! 

Out of the kiln .. we made it just in time!

and whilst I was at it (in Maltese we have the most useful saying ‘kif kont fiz-zifna’ .. I really like this saying by the way) I made a mug I had promised my friend Rachel ages ago. She needed one for work.. one that said ‘ Hey, this is Rachel’s mug and I’m really not into sharing bacteria’. I opted for a teenage-angst-fuelled dripping-graffiti font to ward off anyone who dares disturb Rachel's sacred first-tea-in-the-morning ritual!

Rachel loves squirrels - Rachel does not love sharing mugs

This is one of several sketches I made late one night in a bid to compensate for the fact that, after all, I never became an Egyptologist. When I was younger I had promised absolutely everyone, including granparents, teachers, tea-sets and stuffed bears, that I'll become 'an explorer'. At 25 I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that this, along with many other things I had thought possible in one lifetime, is in fact pretty much impossible/improbable. It's ok .. at least I can sketch these things out to exorcize them. Wouldn't want to wake up in my 40s with my dreams of being an Egyptologist all bottled up and hallucinating about scarabs in my cereal bowl.

So I'll be off for now. Will leave you with a few snapshots of what's going on in my sewing-room at the moment. Of special importance is my recent breakthrough with scallop edging, crafty experiments with some novel materials and just a hint of what Halloween 2013 has up its roomy black sleeve.