jodi's weblog

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file under: unfinished

Here is another project abandoned around 1998 or so, recently rediscovered.

book embroidery

It’s an embroidered panel designed for a small book cover, for a book roughly 8 by 10 centimetres (3 by 4 inches). Somewhere in the attic is the book it was intended for, probably about 6 signatures of 3 folios each, sewn on linen cords, rounded and backed and trimmed, with endpapers sewn in and board covers laced on, naked and waiting.

The cover’s design is based on 16th century embroidered bindings such as those found at this link. The vertical floral motif in the centre is designed to run down the spine, and the horizontal gold bands will line up with the ridges formed on the book’s spine by the tapes the signatures are sewn onto.

Like every abandoned project in the history of forever, this one was entered into with loads of enthusiasm and worked away at like gangbusters for a good while. And like every abandoned project, the fun parts (outlines, filling in the tiny sections of colour!) went quickly but the promise of a beautiful finished object shone more dimly, from further away, once the tedious background-filling was practically all that was left. Add to that a growing disappointment with the low contrast of chosen colours and this pretty thing was doomed.

Will it ever get finished? Hard to say. The base fabric isn’t nice enough to just leave unstitched, but the dark blue is deadening. It should be picked out and replaced with red, or pale blue, or pink. But the thought of picking out embroidery stitches from a 15-year-old dead project isn’t an enticing one. The book would probably have to be remade as well, since after 15 years in a box who knows if the covers are even on straight anymore.

For now, this little panel is out of its tin work-box and pinned up onto a corkboard in the studio, where it can act as a reminder of every creative failure ever. Also, because it’s pretty to look at.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 17, 2014 at 1.24pm

sketchbook 2014

sketchbook april 9

A portrait in progress.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 15, 2014 at 11.43am

photo

cornbread

My first-ever skillet cornbread.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 10, 2014 at 11.37am

in which a failure to follow through is not a new trait

During a recent partial reorganizing of the attic, Peter and I sorted ruthlessly through two large bins full of fabric and got rid of a whole lot of stuff (like, about three quarters of what was in there) that we are never going to use. Among the things that were spared (for now) was a large bag of little quilt pieces from a quilt that I began and abandoned back when we lived in London.

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

A quilt that I abandoned IN 1998.

Nineteen ninety-eight.

Which explains these fabrics:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

It’s a collection of batik and block printed fabrics gleaned from secondhand clothing and table linens gathered from thrift stores, paired with black broadcloth. Most were bought in the mid 1990s but there’s at least one fabric in there (top left in the image above) that’s cut from a dashiki that I remember wearing in art school possibly as early as 1989. Every single one of them looks like a sarong you would wear to Sunfest while reeking of patchouli oil, eating frozen yogurt, and shopping for those thin cotton blankets printed with crudely drawing Celtic knotwork. I both love and hate each one of them.

There’s quite a large pile of the batiks cut in equilateral triangles and sewn together with a triangle of the black to make a three inch square. A very few of these are sewn together with the batiks butted up to make points. And then there are many, many more batik triangles cut, including some patterns that aren’t represented above. I had a wild idea, once, to sew this entire quilt by hand, and so most of the squares are hand-stitched. At some point I realized this was folly and switched to a machine.

The original concept was to put them all together in a pattern of giant tiled diamonds with tiny diamond centres, like this:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

But now that I’ve hauled the whole thing out and decided to try and finish it, I’m leaning more towards something like this, with arrows:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

Or maybe chevrons:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998
(just offset those little blocks in your imagination, if you don’t mind, so they line up like chevrons instead of like woggly zigzags)

Or tiny diamonds, although I feel like this could get super boring:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

(suggestions are welcome)

So, you may have gathered, I intend to finish this quilt. The look of the whole thing may feel a bit dated, but I still wear patchouli oil, so I’m sure this quilt and I will be just fine together.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 6, 2014 at 5.35pm

small pleasures & tiny progress

knives

This is one of those tiny home improvements that you put off forever, and then when you finally get around to doing the job it costs you less than $20 and 5 minutes of your time and you are left feeling both smugly self satisfied at the positive change you’ve wrought but also somewhat ashamed for your earlier, lazier, willing to put this small thing off for years self. I could tell you about all manner of such moments concerning small repairs in our bathroom, but it’s too embarrassing.

Which is to say, don’t these kitchen knives look lovely all lined up on that twenty dollar, easy-to-install magnet hanger thing? I have spent the past two days pausing, sighing, and smiling at this little tableau every time I enter the kitchen. Those knives used to lie in a jumbled heap atop the chest of drawers, blades facing all directions, just waiting for a hand or a piece of fruit to fall on them and get sliced up.

The next job for this little corner of the house will be to build a little two-shelf open cabinet to mount up above the knives in order to display our collection of 1970s Japanese stacking coffee mugs.

coffee party!

Posted by Jodi Green on April 1, 2014 at 8.33am

fun with scammers

I just had an interesting conversation with one of those phone scammers, you know, the ones who call you up to say that they are going to refund you some money that you previously paid for Microsoft Windows service or repair. When I’ve got the time, I usually try to screw with these folks for as long as possible to see if I can get them to either admit it’s a scam or hang up on me.

Today’s caller went through the usual spiel and instead of playing dumb like I normally do, I went for the direct approach.

Scammer: blah blah Microsoft Windows refund your payment blah. . .

Me: why would I have paid you for Windows when I don’t use Windows?

Scammer: it is for a repair to Windows bleep boop blah. . .

Me: when did I make this payment?

Scammer: it was ah. . . one year ago, ma’am.

Me: and the payment was for what?

Scammer: you were having a problem with your computer, ma’am.

[some back and forth like this went on for a while, me: what payment? him: the payment you paid us. . . ]

Me: I don’t have any recollection of this happening. Can you remind me what the computer problem was that I paid your company to fix a year ago?

Scammer: I will transfer you to my supervisor.

this is a new one. I’ve leveled up!

[background noise, muffled murmuring]

“Supervisor” (in a laughably obvious falsetto): hello?

Me: hi. Are you the supervisor of the person I was just speaking to?

Falsetto voice: yes.

Me: good. Then maybe you can tell me exactly what is the nature of the scam you are operating?

Falsetto: hurrh, uhh, who told you this is a scam, please?

Me: you did. It’s kind of obvious. Do people really fall for this?

Falsetto: uhhhhh

Me: like, how many people, would you say? Just roughly, how many per week?

Falsetto: who told you this is a scam?

Me: do they actually give you their banking information? Is that how the scam works? Or is it a thing where you gain access to their computers?

Falsetto: (in the loudest possible falsetto stage whisper) WHO TOLD YOU THIS IS A SCAM?

Me: YOU DID. It is obvious. Absurdly obvious. So, what kind of scam is it? Exactly?

Falsetto: (now getting quieter) mmmurfffllll THEY ARE COMING

Me: pardon?

Falsetto: (a quieter, yet more frantic, whisper) COMING THEY ARE COMING THEY-

Me: huh.

Falsetto: (quietest falsetto stage whisper ever uttered) THEY (garbled: sounded, bizzarely, like “you’ve got my sugar”)

line goes dead

Huh.

Posted by Jodi Green on March 27, 2014 at 11.20am

toronto trip stats, march 2014

Train delays: one

Glasses of red wine: seven

Breakfasts at Tim Hortons: two

Roll Up The Rim prizes won: zero

drinks diary 2014

Beds slept in: two

Friends visited: two

Dogs visited: one

Whiskey sours: one

Indian restaurant visits: two (same place; once for supper, once for lunch buffet)

Carribean restaurant visits: one

Subway tokens spent: four

Go train trips: one

Thrift stores: one

Movies watched: one

Episodes of “Community” watched: twelve

Sketchbook pages drawn: eight (six in my little journal, plus two Surprise Party panels)

drinks diary 2014

Posted by Jodi Green on March 5, 2014 at 6.56pm

photo

test pattern

Test pattern on the tee vee. I haven’t seen one of these in years.

Posted by Jodi Green on March 2, 2014 at 10.22am

sketchbook: george carlin won the super

Drawing in progress while working the midnight shift at the bingo on “discount books” night.

drawing in progress: working at the bingo

Posted by Jodi Green on February 27, 2014 at 10.01am

i used to live here

birdhouse by frank saggus

Birdhouse by Frank Saggus. See more of Frank’s work here: Wingding Constructions flickr page

This birdhouse hangs outside Jeffrey’s home in Athens, GA. In my first year of graduate school in Athens, Jeffrey and my school chum Jenn lived in a little two bedroom bungalow in the back of a quiet little enclave we called The Compound, a collection of tiny shacks nestled amongst pecan trees and overrun bamboo behind a larger, older shack. I lived in one half of the larger shack all winter, then when Jeffrey bought a house I moved further from the road into the bungalow they left behind. It was a quiet, charmed existence back there, living in what felt like a secluded little cabin, feeling the warm southern breezes through my rickety screen door, paying next to nothing in rent.

Then the aging landlord sold the whole lot to a developer and we all had to move. My little bungalow was sold for a thousand dollars and carted off on a trailer. The main house was torn down. This was in July 2006, and the land never was developed; it still sits empty, the bamboo mowed down but the pecan trees still there.

This little birdhouse is made from salvaged wood from the larger house, the one I lived in for one cold* winter, where I lay in bed every night listening to pecans falling and rolling down the roof above my head (and drugs getting dealt on the overgrown front porch just a flimsy French door away from my bed; it was a rough neighbourhood outside our little Compound). I also have one of the birdhouses Frank made from pieces of my shack, and for perches it’s got the chrome handles off my old kitchen cupboards. I’ll show you that one some other time, once we get it outside where a bird can move in.

*not COLD-cold, of course, because it’s Georgia, but cold in the sense that temperatures were around freezing and it rained the entire month of January and the house didn’t have much of a seal, nor did it have any source of heat)

Posted by Jodi Green on February 26, 2014 at 5.51pm