Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fairytale Narratives

FairytaleFairytale1Fairytale4
When Fact and Fable Collide
48"x48" oil on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______Grocery shopping and driving have so many connections they probably met on eHarmony and dated a few times. When you're shopping for your canned foods, baked goods, and raw fruits and veggies, you want to push your cart at a constant speed, yield at intersections, and drive on the proper side of the isle, which could essentially be considered two-lanes sized for two carts to pass side by side, sans yellow stripe. You also don't want to shop under the influence, or the grocery shop cops will swoop down from the tops of shelves, place little yellow wheel clamps on your cart, and force you to use a shopping basket for the rest of your food-buying excursion.

______That being said, don't even try to free the lobsters from their glass prison as you saunter by the ground meat. The grocery store cops will scoff and not be amused. Though the beady eyes of the lobsters glint preciously and plead, "SOS!" it's best to turn away and recall how their brains are but a bundle of nerves comparable to those of a cockroach.

LimeLime2Lime1
Whisking Sugar Lumps 
48"x24" oil on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______Of course, while grocery shopping, you're always going to run into those grocery shop drivers. You know the ones. 

______The ones that take up a whole isle, probably rationalizing that it's an opportune time to tweet about how the Honey Bunches of Oats were moved two cereal brands over, and the struggle was so incredibly real, gosh dangit! And now the world has to know, or at least their twelve followers do, even though nine of them are spam accounts and one is a goat pun account that last updated two years ago.

______Then there are the ones who put their cart in front of the bagged spinach leaves you so desire, only to wander all the way over to another vegetable, leaving their cart, purse, and screaming child for you to frown at until their slow, soul crushing return. 

______Then there's the old couple that slowly surveys each piece of lettuce as if they are picking out a wedding gown. "Oh no," the boisterous little wife says, shaking her head and raising her frail hands in defense, shaking them like wheat crops being struck by Western wind. "These leaves are far too wilted. We need something sturdier, but not too crisp and white as those, nay!" The quiet husband nods in agreement. He knows by now not to argue with his marshmallow haired wife whose skin sags like the floppy lips of a dog. 

CottonCotton2
The Organisms Are Introduced to Cotton Candy
48"x24" oils on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______The robo-zoomer is what I could classify myself as: my movements are intentional and swift as I dexterously zoom from foodstuff A to foodstuff B, like a pirate sniffing gold on the seas. I have a robot-like stare that resembles that calculates the quickest path to my next target, considering the obstacles that are humans and cart road-blocks. I go in. I go out. I occasionally stop to sniff the packaged roses that sit conveniently by the chocolate-covered almonds.

______There's the gazer. They glaze their slitted eyes over the selection hundreds of times like a lecherous man surveying patrons at a gas station even though he or she shops there every week and that same product hasn't moved an inch. It's in the same spot. Really. Your canned mushrooms haven't grown wings and flown to another isle.

______The post-workout chick. She's got her ponytail streaming through a cap, her snazzy printed leggings hugging her perfect gluteus maximus, and her neon Nikes keeping up with her quick pace as she moves the cart with one hand, cradles a small child in the other, and still manages to pin her Otterbox-cased iPhone 6 to her ear and carry a conversation. This girl is going places.

______What kind of shoppers do you notice?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Interior Me

Interior Me
Interior Me
satin fabric, mulsin, panty hose, saran wrap, piping, paracord, ribbon
Drawing Concepts, December 2014

______I keep forgetting that I, Ali the ultra dweeb, am a blogger and must formulate a post every week. It slips my mind like a child slips on a slip n' slide, or rather an adult slips on a slip n' slide, because we all know those are hella fun and not just for tiny humans. Bad metaphors aside, this here was my final drawing project for the semester; it's definitely the most fulfilling thing I've produced conceptually and physically. It's a fabric-based installation piece made of multiple, modular units and various textiles and materials, plus some panty hoes and saran wrap. There was much cutting, gluing, pressing, and tying of fabrics, and I've discovered that I work better in tiny parts like this opposed to one giant overall piece. I mean, it is fairly large (see human for size reference below), but I was able to work in sections that broke down into even smaller sections so the creation of it was more digestible.

______There are 12 separate pieces to this (those flaps falling to the ground count for five) that separate. Having things in pieces that fold up easily makes it much more portable, too! Like a sandwich, or a dead bird you can shove into your pocket when you find it on the side of the road whilst biking.

______Am I the only one who does that?

Interior Me
Interior MeInterior MeInterior Me

______The imagery is based on the body, and though I could get more specific on what its about, I'm more interested in hearing what you guys see or think about it. I'm pretty pumped about this new direction I'm going in, and my professor said the same and that he would readily do what he could to help me get into an excellent grad school program in the future. So that's exciting! I should probably learn how to sew better though. I think that would help to work with fabric and all.

______I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and snacked on a many delicious thing. Eat, drink, and make yourselves sick on chocolate-covered everythings, my delightful little friends!

Interior MeInterior Me

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tacky 70s Sofa Kimono

Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa

Autobiography of a Tacky 70s Sofa

______I knew I was different from the other sofas at an early age.

______I knew by the way the other sofas glanced warily at me, the way they regarded me with a keen but distant interest, and just by the strange way we locked eyes (and were able to lock eyes, being couches and all). I remember those uncomfortable whispers about me I received on the way to the bus by the parents of the other sofas.

______"Her fringes are so unkempt and distracting. I wonder if her parents realize that," a stunningly ornate couch once whispered to its couch-spouse. Her fabric shimmered ivory, and her husbands a was deep, velvety chocolate.
______"Quite," the husband replied, shivering his seat cushions as if the air had chilled him. "And that gaudy, patterned fabric... Did her parents adopt her from a thrift store?" The two sofas laughed to themselves, but it was more of a heinous squeaking that came from their aged coils.

______It was all seemingly true, what these parental couches described. My side skirts were fringed and free-flowing; theirs were pleated, tightly sewn, and barely dusting the floor. I knew by their preposterously high thread counts, the lack of severity in their patternings, and the assured stance of their square couch backings that they were, in a sense, set apart from me. I was covered in a garish array of blue and red diamond shapes, and my arms were formed from twisting, chipped wood that was otherwise a lackluster orange. My cushions sank low in the center, as if someone had sat there far too long. I looked loved, I convinced myself.

Becoming Tacky Sofa
Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa
Becoming Tacky Sofa

______As I grew, my features and social difficulties only continued to steepen. I was beginning to realize the hardships of being a tacky 70s sofa that my parents had exchanged quiet, concerned words about when I was younger. In middle school, I developed two pillows of velvet in the most jarring zebra pattern. A quilt with squares that seemed to be arranged by absolutely no mathematical formula (or sense, at that) was thrown over my shoulder upon graduating high school: a family tradition I could not avoid. I was quite the eclectic mixture of patterns. I was quite the hideous sofa.

______A day came in college when I was sipping tea (shush, don't ask how couches can do that) at my campus's local coffee shop. A stiff old couch pummeled in through the doors in a hurry, huffing and carrying a briefcase on his pale orange cushions. He stopped immediately at the sight of me and lowered his couch-glasses.

______This has happened before, I thought. Make it a little more obvious, why don't you, you old chesterfield. Outsiders often visited from out of town and guffawed at the sight of me and the extreme juxtaposition of me to my environment. I was especially disheveled today, for it was exam week: my fringes were tangled slightly and some coffee had stained my back padding a few days earlier.

______The pale orange couch grinned wildly, his cushions forming a deep "u." He scooted toward me. I remained calm as a couch, because you know, I was one.

Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa

______"You're it!" the man-couch exclaimed. His briefcase flapped slightly as he jumped in excitement. "You're exactly what we need!"

______The couch came closer, and I noticed that he, too, had fringes accenting him. I balanced my tea warily on one of my wooden arms, suddenly conscious of the scratches on them. He quieted down and calmly but expertly explained how he was curating actors for a low-cost horror movie, and how a scene required a specific couch to sit in the corner of a room and be lit from one side in with unsettling orange glow for an introductory shot. He told me my look was authentic, rumpled, and slightly funky, and fit that specificity like a key to a lock.

______I was wary of this pale orange couch, but exchanged numbers with him nonetheless. In just a few weeks, I was on set, filming, poised dramatically in a corner with a light burning so hot on my upholstery that cool shadows were cast beyond me, just as he had described to me before. The walls behind me were a muddy floral pattern, and I felt somewhat at home in that moment. After the first week of viewing of the show to the public, my phone erupted in call after call, and soon I moved from being a mere prop sofa to a stunt sofa to a main acting sofa in a full-blown Sofas of the Caribbean original film series. Little by little, I had climbed my ladder with my clunky wooden arms, and though it took a while, I soon felt I was the luckiest, happiest sofa in the world.

______And that is the story of how I became a famous tacky 70s sofa.

Becoming Tacky Sofa

______(for your information, yes, I am going crazy.)

Fringed kimono: Lotus Boutique (similar)
Polka dot dress: TJ Maxx (similar)
Socks: Target
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell (similar)
Bow ring: Charming Charlie
Chain Bracelet: Charming Charlie
Necklace: Charming Charlie (similar)
Cuff + twisted bracelet: vintage

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Final Stretch + Firmoo

Burgundy + Firmoo
Burgundy + Firmoo

______I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me.

______*swoops in from a rope that descends from the heavens, all whilst donning a black cape and mask that's rather reminiscent of Wesley's attire from The Princess Bride*

______You haven't. I don't plan on leaving the blog world until I'm the wrinkliest old lady in the universe, more wrinkly than an old man's butt cheeks covered in saran wrap. I hadn't realized the extent of my sparse posting until recently. When you're constantly getting fabric pieces, ink, and greasy oil paints all over your clothes, you don't really want to dress lovely, and that art-making flourishes profusely on the weekends, too! I never really want to write up a post unless I put my heart and soul into it. And those take a while to grow back once you harvest and concoct a post from them, you know.

______But in just a week, I shall be able to put my feet up, snuggle with my bearded dog, work on projects at my own pace, and bake a garbage truck-full of cookies. The amount of sugar and butter that will be consumed by the Hval family in the next few weeks will be as shameful as it will be awe-inspiring.

Burgundy + FirmooBurgundy + FirmooBurgundy + FirmooBurgundy + Firmoo

______Firmoo sent me over some spankin' new glasses that make me feel like the lovechild of a turtle and a well-traveled photographer, and I couldn't be happier. I find it incredible that I can receive glasses from online and see better with them compared to ones prepared in "real life." These don't give me that dizzying feeling that larger, rounder frames usually do; it's difficult for me to find those that don't make me feel like I'm a drunk goldfish looking through a twisting, warped world. It's a strange thing to try and describe, but imagine looking through a fisheye lens constantly. Some glasses do that, but these don't, which R00LZ.

______Yeah, I turned my O's into zeroes. That's how c00oo000ol people handle things and stuff in an adult-like manner.

______But yeah, These also came extremely quickly, which is always a plus. Firmoo hasn't disappointed yet! I hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit: decorating cookies, stringing lights about your homes, and sticking reindeer antlers on your car, even though you usually end up forgetting you ever did, rolling your window down, and losing one of them. Sad trumpet noise.

  Burgundy + Firmoo

Glasses: c/o Firmoo (exact here)
Top: Know Style (similar)
Skirt: Know Style (similar)
Booties: Kork-Ease (exact)
Tights: ASOS (similar)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Ionicus

Ionicus

______Many years ago, before the time of dinosaurs and instant oatmeal and the familiar word "hashtag," a being named Ionicus roamed this vast land. Ionicus was a strange crustacean-like creature that scuttled over and through the lava of ancient volcanos. It was blessed with hearty appendages that shot from its rocky body that was curled like two lovers entwined, two burritos gently eloping, two bendy straws bent to the max. Ionicus was seemingly indestructable, for nobody dared enter the lava realm in which it dwelled. The lava glowed a fierce red like the demonic eyes of a rogue chili pepper, and was hot as hot sauce at a strip club full of bearded men wearing kilts.

______Whew. Anyway, Ionicus could handle that heat. Ionicus had it going on.

______One day, the Overseer decreed that all the creatures within the land must meet yearly to discuss the annual budget, tax laws, and most importantly, the quality of styrofoam cups. Deperately wanting to discuss the matter of styrofoam cups (since they melted oh so quickly in the lava springs, and something more durable like stone or a metal encased in rubber would be more conducive to meal-time), all but two of the Ioinici left the mighty volcano to attend this meeting. Those two Ionici were fast asleep and dreaming heavily, and one knew better than to disturb a sleeping Ionicus.

Ionicus
Ionicus

______The Overseer seemed to be a pretty chill guy, becususe he wore slick leather pants and guy liner, and so the brave leader of the Ionici approached him with no fear that his cup-related request would be rejected. 

______"My dear Overseer," King Ionicus declared after clearing his throat, "It would greatly assist our future endeavors if thine outstanding creator could provide us with different cups, opposed to the styrofoam ones we currently utilize." The Overseer rotated his head, which was fairly difficult since the Overseer was actually a banana tree, and ruffled his banana leaves in response. King Ionius immediately bowed his allegiance. 

______"Are your styrofoam cups not appreciated by the Ionicus Clan?" The Overseer questioned in a voice that could frighten small children, or cause plants to stop growing and shrivel into the ground. 
______"O great and mighty Overseer, I am merely suggesting a change. It is not that--"
______"Silence," the guy liner-wearing banana tree bellowed. "I see what we have here. We have a little bitch here. Is that what we have here? A little bitch?"
______The Overseer waited impatiently. A banana fell from his tree. King Ionicus regarded the curved yellow object nervously, knowing that the only weakness to the Ionici was indeed such a fruit. It was a silly looking fruit, though, and perhaps he should not fear it, King Ionicus thought. Tempted as he was to make a dick joke, he kept his professional demeanor. 
______"I would like to propse-" the King began, but he was quickly cut off.
______"Silence, little B." The Overseer's voice was more shrill than Prince's when he made that sound when doves cry. "I have heard enough of this. What do you think this is? A democracy? Wrong. I am a banana tree, and the only one left in this land, which makes me like five hundred times cooler than you. That's like, ice cold, and means I rule you and stuff. Goodbye, Ionicus clan."

IonicusIonicusIonicus

______The Overseer began to sing "Hips Don't Lie" as he shook his leafy body. With his booty poppin' game strong and his vocal game even stronger, all the bananas from his branches loosened and fell atop the Ionicus clan just the way a dump truck would dump rubbish. The Ionici screeched as the bananas made contact with their rocky bodies and disintegrated before the demented Overseer like those crumbly Nature Valley bars.  The area suddenly went quieter than a Calculus II classroom during a final exam, and the other creatures of the land quavered and immediately bowed to the Overseer, unquestionably submitting to his most mighty banana fruit power. 

______Meanwhile, back at the volcano, the two remaining Ionicus finally woke from their deep slumber. Many days passed, and they soon realized they were the only two left of their kind. Their culture lacked proper sex education, and too young to understand the art of reproduction on their own, the two stayed wonderful friends until their bearded, wisdom-filled rocking chair days. Eventually, the two Ioinici passed away, perfectly preserved as delicate little fossils in the volcano in which their clan once thrived.

______And thus is the tragic tale of the Ionicus Clan.