Making of a silk dress with a wing painted on it.
With dye in color blue black.
Realistic feathers placed unrealistically.
A long story told as is.
By artist/escapist Yuko Nagai, currently Miss Sore Thumb in a rural Japanese town
who rambles about random stuff as well.
Read on.
Thank you.

January 29, 2008

born today, fledge tomorrow




as of today i've lived, well, 4 decades plus x yrs
roughly quoting keith richards, growing old is a luxury

no, really


the above photo of resplendent quetzal is from "National Geographic Magazine (june 1998)"


the article at the bottom reads:

“A perilous future awaits a chick on the threshold of fledging. The first challenge is to survive infancy; 80 percent die before fledging, killed by predators or exposure to cold rainwater that seeps into the nest. Among those that leave the nest, fewer than 20 percent reach adulthood. Lore says the quetzal must live free---that it cannot survive in captivity. Though not strictly true, the bird is rarely found in zoos. Conservationists aim to work with local land-owners to save this bird, whose feathers their ancestors valued more highly than gold."
(article and photo by Steve Winter)


so what's your point, birthday grrl???

well...
i think i know the look on the chick in the pic


it reads that the bird
"cannot survive in captivity"

when i was younger and much more shallower
"living free" meant non-committal everything
few decades and defeats later
i've gotten a bit deeper, still water

i'm in my slow-fledging mode
gradually takin off
shifting to the
"solely by inspirations" gear
anything less than that, that's my captivity
the thing i barely survived


by the way,
i share my birthday with the likes of
oprah, leadbelly and tommy ramone
this site will tell you who shares yours

more photos of the above bird and beyond
can be found at the photographer's site

January 23, 2008

wing dress update: lead lessening

it's time to get ready for
dye swatch making


first, i'm gonna clean up
the drawings i've completed a while ago


these are fairly large
start from left, i'd say

(i'm right-handed)



what do i mean by "clean up"?
well,
i've been using pencils in 3-4hb
-soft, lead flying about
inhaling a good portion of it

since i will be tracing the drawings on fabrics
meaning placing fabrics right on the drawings at one point
i wanted to eliminate amount of lead
to keep fabrics clean as possible

so
erase the original lines without losing sight of them
and re-draw them using harder pencils, in hb to b



if these are meant to be "pencil drawings"
i won't bother with cleaning them
messy is better in fact
in process of cleaning them up
the momentum captured in the drawings
would be lost but

i am pretty cconfident that
such momentum will be gained back
at the stage of actually drawing on fabric

i think


below:
right/lower half cleaned up
can you tell?




now both are nice and clean(er)
too nice for my taste but not to worry




then spray the "fix" stuff to set lead
excuse me for the off-focused image
it was 3am, was too cold for me to care


why in the midnight hour?
because

laundries are mostly hang outside in japan
ecological, yes
and is sanitary, too
no room for "fix" spray under the sun though
although i don't think it would actually reach anyone's clean landries

see, that's my practice at
becoming "considerate"
(read: i donwanna hear about it)



a bit about laundries on clothes lines
i know it's not faved in some part of the globe
but
webmaster pomona feels strongly that
it's a kind of sophistication, going a bit dated
humans pretending to not be part of organic system
is a trend that may need to go obsolete

(note: this ain't a nationalistic statement
but is made as a citizen of this planet i love
besides,
japan has a lot of dirty laundries
not unique i know but
in j-land we actively sustain some of them and
remain in pretense of innocence
lookin meak and cute regardless
-awkay, another story)


but hey
what that got to do with clothes lines?
i don't have enough space to
get into that

(((meak smirk)))


now
cut few pieces of paper in 26.5cm square
and trace selected areas using lightbox

26.5 is not a magic number, by the way



like this
on these ones i will
experiment (with pencils) on
how i'd like to paint eventually
using fabric dye



started a bit here



hope i didn't bore you with this
see you!

January 20, 2008

wing dress update: resolve and regress, and on "the faces"

i was reading this incredible article on
resplendent quetzal
a long tailed bird in central america
on national geographic magazine (june 1998)


below:
a page from the said article
very inspiring silhouette yes
photographer: steve winter



and before i knew it i was
messing with one of the wing drawings
that i "completed"
awhile ago


i was gonna move on
never to turn back
but look, my resolve
out the window....


so here i go.....

below:
started to add some
faint outlines of
new feathers



then came the
"long tail"



added some more
tail-like thin ones at top
then i realized...



it began to resemble something i've been watching
over and over on my video player



you know what that is?

(((wha???

(i wanted to use this picture here to perfect the post, but the permission to do so may be out of my reach-is pending as of now)

the faces!!!!!

(hint:
some resembrance to their haircut
i call this "subliminal shaggy syndrome")



words most-oft used to describe the band would be
"fun, party, boozy"

(and "underrated"-another story)



now, spending long hellish formative years
as "the most unpopular kid in school" while the band was around
i've longed for one day when i become "fun, party, boozy"

later on i made some serious attempts at "party" and "boozy"
but "fun" part always remained an issue
as an awkard being i'd open my mouth and

deaden

your conversations without even trying to


many years passed since, "boozy/party" long gone but
"deaden" still alive and well
except that
i've learned, instead to...

.....enjoy the silence


((("fun" grin)))


now
would you invite me to your party??




below:
their live footage i am hooked to
cover of the sir ex. beatle song
i surely am amazed, baby

January 18, 2008

photo friday: a cross on a hill



a week gone by swiftly
this week's photo friday theme is
"mountain"

all week long i
looked for molehills in my hood, but in vain
they aren't there when you look for one, are they?
anyways...

thanks for viewing and
have a glorious (or in whatever way you prefer) weekend

January 16, 2008

an eye candy warning: "the planet" (2006)

i just watched a documentary "the planet"
made by a swedish team (charon is their name)

it was on japanese national station tonight,
last night, and for 2 more nights

oops, that's some
unnecessary information for you


yes that is one of those
"we are screwing it up" film except that,
comparing to the other ones i have seen

they are
sooo
styliing


and witty, too

doesn't hurt
to get playful
yu kno


it's a fine mix of
sound, vision and ideas
at times, they'd sample
interviewee's word or two

yup, like those
turntablists would

also their focus has not been
solely on "warming, by bad bad us"
but more to the core and
the whole of the issue

but the film escapes from being preachy
i think because of its stylishness
..and wit




just thought of a film
"koyaanisqatsi"(1982)

"qatsi" was pretty but seeerious
but very pretty, indeed

below:
a clip from "qatsi"
from when it was
less pressing
timewise

January 12, 2008

what i cannot do with apple os 9.2.2

currently, i am using the apple "classic" os
while my other puter with non-classic setting
is at the apple shop

(sounds sweet, isn't it?)

(tech support at apple, in fact,
they've all been very sweet---thanks!)


in a matter of few years,
os 9 had become absolutely obsolete
and i found quite few things re. web socializing
out of reach of a classic apple

like these things:

unable to view/type in properly
myspace
mixi (japanese sns)
indie public
cafepress
my bloglog

and on blogger,
adding links
messing with sidebar


my apology if i am not
respondent

hoping that this helps,
webmaster classic apple

January 11, 2008

my photo friday debut: a swimming pool at family vacation site




this is my first post for the photo friday weekly challenge
their theme for the week of jan. 4th is: passage of time
thanks for viewing

additional note:
i would like to thank the very kind photo friday stuff for adding my link that was submitted (by me, incorrectly, as a matter of fact) at the very last moment.
thank you.

one more additional note:
apple os 9(.2.2, that i am using for now) doesn't seem to succeed in adding the link to the photo friday site. so here is their website address:
http://photofriday.com/

January 9, 2008

a mother for your mind: "coin locker babies" (1984)

coin locker babies is a novel by ryu murakami
blew me away the first time i read it
and it continues to deepen
every time i pick it up


there are no "book worm geekiness" to the novel
not that i see anything the matter with that


the writing has a rhythm, a beat
like "on the road" does, but it is
a different kind of beat
with a distinctive urgency, like
as if
if you don't tell this tale now
you are gonna...pop

or, "take off", as told through
the 2 "world's forgotten boys"
-the main characters, i meant


found several "reviews" on the net, and you know
there are more than a few, since the film's been in production
but reading them i could not help but wonder
if they are playing "broken telephone"

yes, it's the story of 2 boys that were
discarded into coin lockers at birth

(there really were some cases as such back in
early 70's here in japan, i remember)

but they are not on revenge against their mother
nor are they (mostly) in search of their biological mother



no!!


violent, yes, but that is only on the surface
such manner of representation's in fact, a vehicle that is to
take you for a ride through
things exaggeratedly human
and concludes in a...



i think i should shut up

(((book-wormy grin)))




i ain't no critic, never desired to act like one
i donwanna say what i think it is about, because
you know, that's
your business

but


i

urge

you


if you haven't read it


to
set aside

ready-made labels
pre-made assumptions
and the hype building around the film

(if you got any of that, that is)



and
go for a ride


below:
shinjyuku highrise-the "toxitown" in the novel,
viewed from backstreets of tokyo
right before dawn, may 2007

January 8, 2008

mama's got a brand new pouch: making of a "brush stroke" purse

today, i am posting the
making of process for
a red purse for my momma

she had a birthday just recently


since i am using
apple os9/ icab/ ie to post
(and it's a bit of a struggle, really)
my words aren't flowing right

(you may not notice....!)

excuse me
for that
please




below:
a red wool vintage dress
from circa mid 60's

very tight around armhole
when worn, it would make you feel like
you are in a "ward"


so i removed the sleeves

now,
(just so that you know)

i am not being stingy
using the used fabric for a pressie for my ma
but
there really ain't no
fabric stores round here
(besides, it really is a nice fabric...)



laying them out and....



cut them up...

the sage fabric, that's for the lining



fast-forwarded, the bag done
(bag fairies did it!)

i wanted to add something
like a pattern
that would make it special

thinking of employing "applique" method
a roll of paper is the
double sided sticky sheet for that purpose
and little testing i did, you see on
small pieces of fabric on right

i was thinking floral at first
the printed fabric is my
antique store find



then i thought, hmmm
maybe...calligraphy

since that's one of the things
my momma does

so started lookin through mags



below, you see the
progression of the design

i tried to keep it very
simplified

(simple design=easier life=cleaner finish)






design done, fairly quick

tracing the design to the
applique sheet....



of course i gotta "ooops"
do it again on the right side



heat-set on
red silk chiffon....



decide on
general placement...



and struggle a little to
place it right



now
heat-set onto the bag
but it can peel
right off without....



...stitching!!

here my
tweaking ability
(non-chemically induced)
comes in at
full force

nothing against
chem-tweaking
by the way

but non-chem's usually
*lower at cost
*ensure clearner finish in many cases
*arguably sustainable, long run

(am i talking nonsense?)



it kinda look bumpy but...



steam ironing can
take care of that



below:
the completed

(i think
ma liked it)

January 4, 2008

wing dress update: wings drawn-plus the dawn of 2008

2 drawings for my "wing dress"(to be)
are now completed



(wing dress is a project of
making a dress with
a wing painted/ dyed on it)


so here they are!!


(((phew)))




my deadline for the dress completion
was set at about 4 days ago
of course i didn't make it

but i compromised and
completed the drawings for the dress

i've gotto work around my own speed



slow and steady finishes the dress


(((hahaha)))



completed, in this case means

i said

enough!!

to myself

there really is no point in perfecting these drawings
(you'll see why as i move on to the next next step)
except for mingling with my reluctance


changing the subject

on new year's day i
went down to the beach at dawn
watching the first sunrise is
kind of a japanese thing

or...is it so?


once upon a time
there was a direct link between
sun-god-woman


or so i think i heard


have you made your resolution?

i haven't, not as of yet
as a matter of fact, i'm gonna
as soon as i remove me from blogger

but one of them would be to

let
myself
go
and go
and go


right into the
pure dynamo

(((hey)))


can't wait to
see that happen


below:
images of the first sunrise,
my take on it