Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer 2010: The Battle of the Basement

Who would guess that beneath the idyllic exterior of Sans Souci Studios would lie these scenes of horror?

This is my basement. The table in the third pic is my workbench. The cobwebs and white powder all over the table is paper mache dust from my dremelling. This mess has not been cleaned for nearly THREE YEARS. This, needless to say, was one of my major projects this summer.

There was one major obstacle and one major incentive to cleaning the basement. Here's the obstacle:

This is the electric bamboo bike my husband has been building. It lives next to my workbench, and its parts are often scattered among my tools. I would need to pick them up in order to clean my workbench. In a fit of wifely pique I have not touched them, and in a state of husbandly obliviousness the spouse hasn't either. This stalemate lasted for two years. (For more about hubby's bike building adventures, visit idledad.blogspot.com)

Here's the incentive:

This is Skimble, who as a stray suffered severe abuse. She has a huge bald scar on her back from where kids poured boiling oil on her, and she has an inoperable smashed hip, presumably from being kicked or hit by a car. The long and the short of that is, her rear end hurts her all the time. She associates her litter box with pain and does not like to use it. Either that or she just has a bad attitude. In any case, when I cleaned the basement I found she had peed on 1) rope 2) sponges 3) work gloves 4) insulation scraps 5) packing peanuts 6) cardboard boxes and (drumroll please) 7) the snow shovels. One major incentive for cleaning the basement was a much better smelling work environment!

I did make one major materials-related discovery- paper mache dust, like cat urine, glows purple under black light. So, unless the spots were also still damp and smelly, I couldn't be entirely sure if they just needed sweeping or blasting with Nature's Miracle. I wound up washing the entire floor. I figured after three years, it wouldn't hurt anyway.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Elkha Fall/Winter 2010 Catalog

Here's a use for my masks I hadn't imagined before! The following are pictures from the 2010 fall/winter catalog of a boutique men's and women's clothing label called Elkha, based in Melbourne, Australia. The deer mask is an earlier, unpainted version of the one I've been working on this summer.

I love the way masks seem to take on a life of their own and do things I never would have guessed they would once they leave my hands! That's one way that to me, masks are a particularly alive form of art.

For more information about Elkha, click here