Sunday, June 24, 2012

Refinishing furniture (part 1 of many)

A few weeks ago I took my birthday off and relaxed. Just kidding. I refinished all this furniture. I spent the (hot!) day sanding, priming and starting to paint a few of these things. I still have to finish a lot of it, but I did complete Harriet's table and chairs. My mom picked this up used when Harriet was born and I have just gotten around to refinishing them now.

I spray painted it a suuuper, bright yellow and then painted the top in a pinwheel pattern. Here are the results. I'm sure I will be repainting the top in a few years after it gets drawn and painted on accidentally.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moebius Cowls

What is the last thing you want to be wearing (or thinking about) on a 90 degree day like today? These things. My knitting buddy just taught me how to knit these recently and I have been loving them. They kind of boggle my mind, yet are so easy. For all you who aren't mathematicians out there, a moebius strip is described here. It is basically knit twisted with a continuous edge.

The pattern for this is easy: 90 stitch moebius cast, then knit 3 rows, purl 3 rows until you like the length.

Regular cowl, based on the other one I made in the herringbone stitch. This one is half the size though. Much quicker.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Northern Spark

This past weekend we hopped on our bikes to enjoy Northern Spark. As I mentioned in the link of the month post this event is basically art exhibits spread around the city with the goal to inspire people and let them see the city from a new perspective. We planned an ambitious route that took us in a 10+ mile loop. With three friends in tow, we started close to home at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Here we enjoyed some pizza, looked through the gallery and made paper lanterns using print relief block images cut out of out of linoleum (above photo). As we left the sun set and it was evident lots of bikers were out on the town. Lots of them covered in lights and some with costumes.

Next stop was the MCAD campus and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Synchronized swinging in the skyway!

Pretty funny sight from outside to see a couple dozen adults swinging in the skyway above.

The MCAD gallery always has some great pieces. This appeared to be a skateboard ramp of sorts made of a collection of colored wood shingles.

Here was a temporary structure build outside the museum made of quilts and ballons. I wish we could have stayed here for longer, but it was at this point we realized we had so much more to see and it was already past 10:30 p.m.

Inside the MIA was an exhibit by artist Eric Rieger a.k.a HOTTEA. He creates street art from skeins of yarn all over town, mostly on chain-link fences. This piece was on a whole different scale. String hung four stories down and made for amazing photos. Above is the view from the second level.

Here is what it looked like on the lower level.

And one last time in all it's glory from below (laying on my back on the green rug seen above) as a panorama stitched together from eight photos. We took a quick look around at some other things including a glow in the dark laser tag course being constructed on the grounds outside. Then we took off for the Swedish Institute a mile away.

The Swedish Institute had a crafts tent set up to help you yarn bomb your bike. We ended up just making yarn pom poms to hang on our bikes. Without the time constraint I'm confident Christina would have started knitting something that would have covered the entire frame of her bike. The event had some crazy live jazz electronica music. We also got to see the new Nelson Cultural Center next to the original castle, which will open on June 30. 

Our bike ride into downtown was pretty interesting. So many bikes. Not as many helmets or lights on those bikes. When we made it to the Stone Arch Bridge, epicenter of Northern Spark, the scale of the event really came into focus. The bridge itself was just a swarm of people. Music everywhere. Lights on buildings and exhibits and art installations on trailers, in tents, and in trees.

It was now past midnight and we wanted to finish our plan for the night, so back on the bikes we went. After a stop at Lunalux on the north end of Loring Park for their letterpress lock-in, we made it to the Walker Art Museum. Here they had a bonfire burning sacrificial wood sculptures and craft tables. The adventure of the day and heat finally took its toll and we decided to look around a bit, then head home close to 2 a.m. Impressed at how much we had seen, we realized we only witnessed a 1/3 of the actual event. There's always next year!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think. Northern Spark is next weekend from dusk on Saturday the 9th to dawn on Sunday the 10th.  The event is kind of tough to explain. Basically there are art exhibits and fun things spread all around the Twin Cities. Traveling between events is best by bike and the goal is to inspire people and let them see the cities from a new perspective. In addition to Northern Spark, next weekend includes the return of Open Streets. On Sunday from 10-4 Lyndale Avenue from 22nd St to 42nd St is closed for only bike and foot trafiic. It was one of our favorite memories last year.