Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar night

At the last minute last night I got an invite to a fabulous Oscar Party at Charlie and Sarah's house from my friend Wendy O. The idea was to dress for the red carpet. Wendy (O) took pictures of the guests at Charlie and Sarah's fabulous house.

What could I wear? Somehow, with all the clothes I have, I don't have a formal, and really, nothing else will do for the red carpet. I did have a pair of 4" pewter strappy lizard skin heels, which would've looked wonderful with something as long as I didn't have to walk very far, but I had no dress.

I looked in my teenitesy little closet and saw my hand-painted black velvet circle skirt with thousands of sequins. I've had it for nigh on to 25 years, and I think it was probably pretty close to that old when I got it, so it is an ancient and venerable thing. And ancient and venerable and very flashy thing. It would certainly do for flash, but no one in their right mind would really wear it to Oscar night...

Unless they were the Best Foreign Film of 2008. So that's what I went as...

Of course, since I was wearing my Taxco skirt (that's what's painted on the border; apparently it's a scene from Taxco), I could wear my cowboy boots, which meant I could walk like a human.

ps. Wendy O - very smartly - went as the Press!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

chicken tamales

Oh, I do so adore chicken tamales. I had a craving for them last week. My faves are the Oaxacan Tamaleo ones, wrapped in banana leaves. But you have to go to the farmer's market to get them, so I occasionally buy ones in stores. I bought some at Central Market recently mostly because they came in a little cloth baggie. I'm a sucker for things that come in little cloth baggies. So, of course, you have to figure out something to do with the baggie depués, and I thot, why not turn it into bookcloth and bind a book with it? So that's what I did.

Perhaps you can guess what the problem is when you turn a baggie into bookcloth: the baggie determines the size of the book, unless you want to run the design over the edges. I didn't want to do that, so I measured and then cut some boards to get them to fit the back cover. It had more type on it and so was the determiner of the size. I wanted to have some thickness to the book (it's blank, 80# Strathmore writing text in soft white), but couldn't have too much because there wasn't much room between the front and back of the bag.

I could've done a few more signatures, but I just wanted to get started binding. First I had to sew a headband. That's the thing that peaks up on the spine of the book - usually a piece of cloth just glued on, but in this case it's a sewn headband.

And then, of course I had to come up with some endpapers, so I found some images of a chicken and an ear of corn and made up a couple sheets in InDesign, and ran them off on my new Epson printer.

And, that was basically it, in terms of design, anyway. The hardest part of binding books, for me, is letting them dry in the press overnight. They really should dry a lot longer than that. I actually let this one dry about 36 hours before I had to take it out and show it to someone because it was just so darn cute!

And now I'll have to figure out what to do with it.