Tag Archives: random acts of kindness

When Worlds Collage

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When Worlds Collage

So hey, for once I’m not drag-assing in here at the last minute. I made this thing Wednesday and Thursday, and I’m pretty pleased with it.

It’s already been delivered to its destination. It’s a hand-made card made up of 3 collages, announcing to my friend and coworker that she’s getting an official Random Act of Kindness bestowed on her. For those who are just dropping in or haven’t seen any of my previous posts about Random Acts, it’s a non-profit organization that was dreamed up by actor Misha Collins and made reality with the help of people with mad non-profit organization skillz. It encourages acts of kindness on large scale (a trip to Haiti with a couple of dozen volunteers to help out a clinic and orphanage, which is going on right now) and small, and funds various cool things. I’ve sent in a few proposals, and finally got the go-ahead and the funding to do a project. In celebration of my friend, who gives up evenings, weekends and even vacation time to lead a Boy Scout troop and be on hand at the camps, and also hosted an exchange student for the past 9 months (and I never knew what a huge undertaking that is until now), I get to take her out for a day of pampering — mini-spa day plus a fancy dinner.

My original plan was to spring this on her as a suprise after luring her somewhere on the pretense of helping me with something, because that’s another thing about her that I wanted to celebrate too. She’s even loaned me her car for several days when mine was in the shop. But it finally occurred to me, in the immortal words of Boromir, “One does not simply kidnap one’s friend for a spa day.” And saying you need help with something “and be sure to shave yer legs” is just WEIRD. So I decided I must issue a spoiler for the occasion, but make it an occasion. I mulled over exactly what kind of card to make — I already had decided on the wording but needed to figure out what images to pair with it. I’m very fond of making collages, so I played with some images that were suggested by words I was using, and I raided my stash of awesome papers. And I played with fonts until I found a few that worked with each phrase I wanted to illustrate.

Epic Mod Podging ensued.

Page 1 is kind of a semi-private joke. (Which run about half the cost of a private joke, so it was more in line with my budget.)

Surprise!

“Shock and awe” is a great phrase, and I planned on using an image from the first Gulf War (where the phrase originated; it was the code name for the US war effort), but then in the middle of paste-up I started feeling hesitant about using bombing images — and, well, that pretty much WAS the first Gulf War. So I whipped out my trusty art book which I got for $1 because it was damaged (actually I got something like 5 of the same book, because y’know, collage) and started leafing through for images. Lo and behold, I found Martini’s Annunciation, which I saw in Italy and is one of my fave Annunciations. I mean, awe is the expected response here, but there’s such an air of pissiness in that look between Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, and just WHAT.

Why the stink eye?

So I pasted them onto the bombing photo (which I guess qualifies as actual photobombing) and did a little more leafing through the art book until I found a picture of two little boys peeping at people in a park. I gave the trees a bit of a trim (ahem) and put them in prime gawking position. There’s kind of a lightning bolt thing, too, which is the remnant of an apocalyptic painting on the reverse of Mary and Gabriel’s page. Decisions, decisions.

No shocker jokes here.

I had thought about grabbing some suitably bizarre picture(s) of Misha Collins off the internet for page 3, to go with Random and Awesome. But my printer was running low on colored ink, so all that came out was Misha’s shirt. I’m nothing if not adaptable, so I rummaged through some scans of Victorian ephemera I had made for a GISHWHES project. The Victorians were not only random but really kind of creepy and disturbing, and lo, I found this weird baby king with a duck on his head holding court with these two other babies with … something … on their heads.

We told you it was a random act.

The last little bit is one of my last pieces of Kinukinaya stationery (it’s this humongous Japanese bookstore in NYC, which has pens and stationery sets to DIE for) tucked away in an envelope, describing what the Random Act is all about. Sparkle paint was liberally applied to the envelope.

Then, since I had some tracing paper I had bought for another project, I decided to protect each page with a sheet. Automatic classiness!!! Then I punched holes and tied it together with yarn.

And then I delivered it, and it was appreciated not only for the message but for the weird me-ness of it , hurray. And cutting stuff up out of things you’re not normally supposed to cut up, and then pasting them down, is a pretty good stress-reliever, too.

Man, I miss Kinukinaya. Would love to go through there with an unlimited wad of cash to get my paper and pen freak on.

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FELTBOMBS AWAY!!! for AMOK Project #4

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FELTBOMBS AWAY!!! for AMOK Project #4

So March 4th is the day Misha Collins decreed for “a melee of kindness” worldwide (“march forth” — I see what you did there, Misha.) And since we all do his biddings like dittoheads defend Rush, I plotted my outing. I decided why the hell not blend it with the crafts project, but I wasn’t sure what form that would take. And then I saw a link somewhere (wish I could remember where) to Operation Beautiful, which involves posting little messages, usually on bathroom mirrors in public places, but elsewhere as well, to give a lift to those who see them.

So it all came together in an idea to make feltbombs of kindness. I love the whole yarnbombing phenomenon, where knitters fix “graffiti” made of yarn in public areas. I don’t knit (yet) but I have plenty of sweaters, a number of which resist felting, so what do you do with those? I wanted something that would be a pop of color on a gray winter day in the downtown area, so I dug up a pink sweater that had refused to felt, so I cut off the sleeves and needle felted messages on them.

Disarming messages

Most of the messages were felted onto the uncut tube of a sleeve section, with the cuts at the right and left sides, so I could drape them over a small tree branch. One I felted so that the cuts were at the top and bottom to put over a fencepost at the arts center that has meant so much to me. One last one I cut open and made a sort of baby-bib hanger so I could get the whole message on one side.

State Street feltbomb.

I was already going to Madison today to go to a reading by my friend Renee D’Aoust from Idaho, and so I met up for lunch with another friend from Idaho who now lives in Madison. As I told her about AMOK and Dangerous Crafts for Girls, I showed her m little felties, and suddenly I had a confederate! Woo hoo!

We hung one outside of A Room of One’s Own, the bookstore where the reading was, and it was a perfect spot — there are no trees out in front of it, but ugly new parking meters provided a perfect “neck” for the baby bib. And the message was a nice fit, too.

A random act of awesome.

And here are ones we hung on trees:

This one I hung across the street from a fire station.

On State Street, in view of the Capitol.

Renee’s reading from her book of essays, Body of a Dancer, was terrific — she performs as much as reads, and there were a lot of knowing laughs from people who came who were or are in the dance world, especially in response to her voices of people she studied with. And there was a raffle! And I won it! I got a $20 gift certificate to the bookstore, so while Renee met up with people she’d arranged to spend a few hours with, J and I wandered the bookstore and I found three books, which meant I spent a chunk of money beyond the certificate — which I consider a random act of kindness for an indie bookseller on top of the RAOK of the gift cert.

My last feltbombing was for the arts center. It was the last bit of twilight as I drove up the street and skulked onto the grounds to deliver my little prezzie.

I added a feltie to the already arty painted fence.

All in all an excellent day of kindness and reconnecting with friends and craftiness.

So do you think I should send the remainder of this sweater to Rick Santorum?

No way sweater vests are coming back.

Isadora, watch out!!: Scarves — Project 2

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