Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Speaking of doubts and uncertainties, you can watch this space for updates on Upstart Entertainment's Spring production of Doubt by John Patrick Shanley. I'm working with director Andy Tobler as the costume designer. And the following quote particularly hit me while I was reading the play again, next to Lassamp: "I have been longing for the return of my peace of mind. " It is spoken by Sister James, a young nun, who incidentally is a warm teacher and full of educational bravado as only a young teacher can be, about her teaching style, but also something else. I think I was like that once, but not anymore, since the doubts crept in and made me ask if I should really be teaching anymore at all. And now I've said it, what I've been trying to put into words for the better part of a year now. The cat's out of the bag and the horse is still sick. Stay with me readers and watch how the blog unfolds to reveal the real Mrs Crocodile.
Yours, doctoring sick and recently released animals,
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Ah...now that's settled I can get on with the business of life and writing blogs. This week my son dressed up as Santa Claus for St Nicholas Day and went to a friend's house to really play Santa and bring that family some presents. It was completely his idea which involved me sewing a red coat with this awful fake fur that made such a mess when I cut it up I felt that my room had turned into a construction site. I would put a picture up but I think he might kill me if he caught wind of it, so you're just going to have to imagine the cutest and skinniest Santa in the world with a burlap bag over his shoulder, walking off down the street, making every single person he crosses, smile a really big, broad smile. He even rehearsed his Santa voice in the kitchen before he left, but I should mention, he refused to let me and his sister stuff a pillow in his pants.
There is just something about this time of year and lists that go together. Maybe it's because everyone is so stressed, they have no time to write longer utterances so they have to reduce their writings to New Year's Resolutions and wish lists, but here is a another idea from my very dear friend of koo-ki fame. She said she was writing a list of what makes her feel good. It sounds incredibly simple and you know what? It's really nice, one of the things was eating cookies and drinking milk. So I ate cookies, drank milk and felt good. Where is this going? Well, I'm pretending to do some philosophical rambling as my readers wanted, but really, I'm encouraging you to rather than writing a list to Santa, be Santa yourself, since even a 9 year old will tell you, playing Santa is really fun and makes you feel good.
Yours, still thinking about the pillow
Monday, December 6, 2010
Chomp, chomp, swallow, gulp!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Oh last season's style, a garment that never needed to walk down the catwalk and into the street because it was already on the streets and in our homes. As long as you had a boyfriend and your boyfriend was a bit bigger than you, his jeans fit you, as long as you didn't mind not looking in the mirror, the jeans fit you. Oh guys, you have it so easy, for if you take off your tuxedo hose and have nothing to wear, you can always wear your jeans. However, if you are in a no-male-involved-same-sex-marriage and you have to resort to borrowing or stealing the jeans from masculine acquaintances, I feel for you. Oh, but we all know how exciting it is to shop in the opposite sex's department of the best thrift shops and the worst department stores. I know the clothes don't fit, but it's fun dressing up in another person's clothes. Or try this: walk up to a man on the street and ask him to take off his jeans for you. Let me know how it goes.
Well, enough of that, I look around and see so many jeans, so many colors, so many cuts and I remember a time, not too long ago, when breaking in a new pair of jeans was more time consuming than making lasagna from scratch with the noodles you had to cook first. I remember Levi's 501's shrink to fit, it was a gamble if they would actually fit after you washed and dried them as much as your mother would let you and they were so new and so blue you still didn't want to wear them out of the house. An urban myth from the seventies tells of people actually burying their jeans in the earth for a month because it was the best way of breaking them in. A person who inherited a pair from an older friend was a lucky dog. Then there was this interlude of designer jeans when we were in elementary school; they were way too tight to breathe in and firefighters were tired of cutting people out of them, so I guess that's when designers started working on stretch denim. In the middle of the eighties it was "the 501's Strikes Back", probably since they had lasted so long and they walked back out of closets like the clones. But for me the best part is that today, Levi's will take a picture of your rear and customize your jeans for you based on their research and photographs of 60,000 female behinds. Sorry guys. I know it's a far cry from the same company that started making jeans from tent fabric, but they reckon that a woman on average tries on 10 pairs of jeans before she finds the one pair that fits. What they don't say, but we know, is that if you are like most of the 60,000 women photographed, you most likely find that your rear changes after a year or so, due to gravity, Thanksgiving dinner or a sit down job and the customized jeans don't fit anymore. Which brings me to mention this quote by George Bernard Shaw: "The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them." Actually I've been just chomping at the bit to use that quote for a while. So my advice? Can't get an appointment with your tailor? Stay in the boyfriend jeans, you'll be able to sit at the computer longer and read more blogs.
Yours, with tuxedo pants on,
Sunday, November 14, 2010
|Patti docked in the shallow water.|
Aloha for now,
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
So today, my point: a lesson is actually much easier to learn when I have already internalized it, in fact when I have already actually learned it. And then I just need some time, a person's wise words or a book's gentle way of opening a world to me, it makes no difference if it is fiction, non-fiction or science-fiction. Because actually we know our lessons. Sometimes of course one does need to be hit over the head and jump into the pool of fears.
Yours, with life-vest on,
Monday, November 1, 2010
Okay, you think I've been away from the blog-o-sphere for so long and now I come out with this: a child's book? Well, one of the perks of motherhood (since they need to be counted and recounted again and again, least the actual work of it all overshadows the perks) is that you get to read all those stories you loved as a child over again and really get into them this time because you kind of understand what they are going on about. Many discussions are spent mulling over the ins and outs of the plots and characters with my children to an extent that I find really very satisfying. I have even been known to read farther into my son's book because I couldn't put it down after he fell asleep. But my point is completely elsewhere. It is with what Aslan said: "Do not dare not to dare". The last bit of that quote I also love: "I am a true Beast". It seems, although this explanation would be daring in its simplicity, that one has to be a Beast (with a capital B) to dare to dare. Since Aslan is about the closest thing they have to a god in Narnia, you are just going to have to take his word for it. And this week I take as my mantra: "Do not dare not to dare". It's a good change from the usual: "I move forward with confidence and ease from Louise Hay. "Do not dare not to dare", which always makes me take a deep breath in, since the sentence when said outloud is somewhat forboding, I'm looking forward to the adventure it brings...
Yours, daring and true Beast
Thursday, September 30, 2010
|Photo courtesy of Upstart Entertainment, by Sascha|
It's been an exciting year costume-wise, not to mention the other activities which have made it so I have not sat down for two months. If you don't know what those are, just use your imagination. So on the subject of sitting and the subject of making costumes, the next most exciting thing I did this year after dressing the girls in the chandelier costumes was to make underwear for a singer/actress in the Café Brel show with "I heart NY" on the bum. So when Mariann Böhler lifts up her skirt while she's singing the Bourgeouis with Nina Meier-Bradlin and Lena Tamini, she gets a laugh from the audience. Oh! did I forget to mention the words to the song are pretty good, too.
Directed by Krista Jacquet and also starring Dany Demuth, Andrew Fernandes and Norman Koeth, they are accompanied by Christine Archer on the piano as they sing their way through the fantastic compositions of Brel, serve you drinks and basically make you feel like it was well worth getting off your seat and out of the house and into the theater again. So it's too bad that the show is only happening for two more nights, and most likely already sold out. No, actually it's wonderful that so many people can see my creations and are ready for a real night out but keep tabs on the upstart entertainment site http://www.upstart-entertainment.ch/.
They are good.
Yours with I love NY underwear on,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Thanks for this picture, brother! Don't eat it!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I like the extremely high heel, could you really even walk out the door in that? Or stand at all? And then on top of the pedestal? Never mind, who needs to leave the house with that reverse snowman chubby tummy look. "Is it about to melt?" I asked. Moving on up from there, it's the mouth which is a woman's mouth but decorated with a moustach on it. And instead of hair, she (or is it a he?) has an enormous eye-lash. I wondered if the whole scalp could bat an eyelash.
I wish I could fit all of life onto this wall and all my musings and cuttings up but I daresay, I censor myself too much, but also there's a whole lot of TMI around here. The nice thing about this collage is although it looks quite precarious, it is not really about to fall. And I daresay that is sometimes the nice thing about life, too. Even wearing flat shoes, you can walk on the edge, but don't fall.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
|The sunset from the new place|
But I'm not giving up. Today I posted a sentence in my little box on facebook which is totally taken out of context. I intend to think outside the box and use many boxes to make a story. Maybe you'll be my follower and make me feel famous, but it's not that really. It's about moving. Most of my worldly possessions are packed in boxes now and waiting to be opened in a newly revised country, a new place. My box!
Yours, from the packing front,
Sunday, August 29, 2010
|Ella and Uncle Thierry|
Or just go to the Kaserne in Kleinbasel and ask around. They open in the evenings.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Oh! I almost forgot! It is of course all about the music so when you go you'll bask in the best voices of Basel and be treated to wonderful special effects, but for me these extras should get all the glory, the team of skilled seamstresses behind them and of course the lighting people who have to check the chargers every night.
So to see this skirt in all of its crystal glory, and to experience the cast of about 70 in the open air, get tickets on the Theater Basel web-page: http://www.theater-basel.ch/
There you'll also be able to read all about the story and the people behind this production. I like the web-cam, too, where you can see what's going on there right now: http://camserver.z-online.ch/showpics_01.asp?KundenID=&S=1&OwnPic=1&cam=a11r
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My dear readers, don't worry, the weather is awful, but the day is not so bad, I'm just pondering the un-creation of things, so I can un-do things and re-do them.
"It's a step backwards, " you say. No, actually, it's forwards but it's a little like the song with the king's soldiers, when you're up, you're up and when you're down, you're down and when you're only half-way up, you're neither up nor down. I leave you with that today and now I must excuse myself because I'm off to (un)create something else.
Yours, with two different shoes on,
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Given the choice between being in a kitchen or being, well, anywhere else, I’d choose the kitchen. All the important stuff happens in the kitchen: birthday cakes are baked, wine bottles opened, kisses stolen from the cook. That’s why I like being the cook. Most days.
Then we moved to the Middle East. All the cheesy food I’d learned to make in Switzerland is totally not happening here. Eating melted cheese in the desert is like eating mega-sized Slushies in Iceland. It happens, but wouldn’t you rather eat tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh, even that isn’t what I always thought it was. I’ve tried making tabbouleh in the States and even in Switzerland, which seemed totally out of place since it lacks any dairy products whatsoever, but give me a pat on the back, I tried anyway. Turns out the main ingredient is parsley. In my mind parsley will always be plate decoration. I’m certain that any scientific study would unequivocally support the fact that in the States parsley is most often used to encourage burger and fry eaters to feel better about their choices. I don’t like parsley; don’t like burger and fries for that matter, unless the fries have that slightly dry, slightly smoked taste with almost no salt and a side of catsup, only Heinz will do. What can I say, I’m a catsup snob.
When I made tabbouleh, I searched out recipes that had more bulgar than parsley. While bulgar isn’t on my top ten list of favorite foods, it does have a demeanor of health and is hands down better than parsley. Hop back to the Middle East and here you have it, tubs of tabbouleh. And it’s green. Why? Because it’s made the way the Lebanese intended it to be - with loads and loads of parsley and just a touch of mint. Even the local (French) grocery store gets it right. Turns out if you get it right, parsley has a pleasing crunch to it with a little bit of grind. Addicting. And there’s no need for me to cook it up in my kitchen. That’s okay I’m content to stand there opening plastic containers filled with store-bought tabbouleh and receive stolen kisses.
Even if you don’t like tabbouleh or parsley or bulghar, check out the dance video by GoRemy. Taste that parsley and shake your bum bum. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FaNzrtu0KM
Step right up; cut it up and mix it up.
Monday, July 26, 2010
So my wonderful idea I've been carrying around in my very own head is this: forget the whole sewing it back together stuff, just think, we can cut stuff up at any moment and it never has to be made into anything. You can cut up an argument. You can cut it up on the dance floor. Or you can just cut peices out of the day and hang them on your wall, even if the wall is the inside of your eyeball. So here's me cutting up my day, and the image I've wanted to give you for a week: a blue nylon swatch from the tent at Carpinteria State Beach, a tie-died cotton bit of a little girl's dress, a square foot of sail cloth from the boat my brother sailed, a page ripped out of a journal with slanted backwards writing and so deeply imprinted it is almost embossed, a bit of that cream colored neck brace of my mom's, a silver plastic spoon (I really like that they make plastic spoons that look silver), a pocket from the back of my jeans, a square of sweatshirt that says "shark" on it, a bit of wonderfully hard dry ground and a huge gulp of foggy sea air. You can use your own imagination and emotion to sew it all up for me. That was one of my days last week. What's your day like?
yours, with scissors (which are the allowed length to be taken on an airplane)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Love from the road,
P.S. You could even sew the quilt together with duct-tape.
Friday, June 25, 2010
So later when I started home economics all the kids in the class were lost with their pillows to complete in an amazingly tight time frame of about 8 weeks and when the teacher wasn't looking I jumped in and helped sew almost all of the 15-20 pillows. Sadly I have forgotten the teacher's name, but the impulse to get behind the machine was stronger than I was. I could not stop myself when I saw a fellow pupil and pillow in need. Do you know how hard it is to do someone else's project, you have to physically move yourself to their sewing machine and jump back when the teacher comes back in the room. It was exhilarating. It was my fifteen minutes of fame. Most of those kids still remember how my nimble fingers saved their grades. Two of them became such good friends that they later saved me from the various pitfalls of being a teen. Even today, when I walk down State Street in Santa Barbara and happen to bump into one of my classmates from SB Junior High, the first question is always, "Do you still know how to sew?" Not as I would expect, "Wow! How exciting! Where do you live in Europe?" But never mind, I guess more people live in Europe than know how to sew.
Yours jumping out from behind sewing machines,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This time not just yours but wishing you and yours Joy, Peace and Love,
Friday, June 18, 2010
Actually, fresh off the Rhine taxi in Switzerland, before I could speak German I obviously had to resort to other more crude forms of communicating like speaking English and with hand gestures and an annoyingly cheerful American smile, which doesn't always go down too well around here. Mostly because people are thinking, "What is this woman so damn happy about?" I like to tell them that I eat children in the nicest possible way. But this too, is hard to wash down for most people.
The real un-adulterated and not the answer you want to hear is this: There were some neighbor kids that came to my house and not being able to communicate with them, I pulled out a book with nice pictures and a very easy repetitive story and read it out loud to them. Then we played the Crocodile game and ran all around yelling, "Can't catch me!" It wasn't long before the neighbors started calling me Mrs Crocodile and the name stuck. Don't worry, I let the kids go home to their parents.
Today, even though I miss running around with 3-5-year-old kids and trying to teach them some English, I kept it, because everybody started calling me that, but I'm thinking of changing it. But now that I think about it, it just works for the Mrs Crocodile Blog: chomping bits of life up and putting them back together. I just haven't had another name stick for a while, now. But I like to sing while I'm running away: "Can't catch me!"
Yours, from here,
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I looked at my to do list. I couldn't cross anything off. I gave up trying. I hired a secretary. Yes! Mrs Crocodile is now the proud employer of a secretary! You may ask yourself, how is it that this sole-proprietorship can afford to have a secretary? I mean doesn't she work by herself? Well, I like to think of it as a "soul"-proprietorship. Actually I hired myself.
I am still in control of my senses and when I mean I've hired a secretary, I mean I've hired myself for two days a week to do all the stuff I'm not getting to.
Which brings me to this picture. Here is a quilt I made years ago when I was trying to organize the everything of life. And when I say the everything I still believed then that this was possible. I believed that by sewing in a swatch of some shorts I had when I was fifteen, curtains I made for someone, a dress I traveled through Europe in, a shirt of a very dear friend, the curtains I made for my mom's bed and breakfast, well, I thought I could have it all in one handy dandy little place. I called the quilt "ordinateur" enjoying the French word for computer and the fact that I had in some psychotherapy way, got it all down. Now I look back at this cute little creation: for the real story of the memories sewn into it, you are going to have to talk to my secretary and she'll make an appointment with me for a private interview. So, isn't it nice that there are seam rippers in the world and we can tear up all our handiwork again? And start a new blanket that is meant to cover everything again?
Yours, with seam ripper at the ready,
Saturday, June 5, 2010
There is, on the flip side, some one who always gets accepted and the one who always gets rejected, like today when you ordered your coffee without milk, how do you think the milk felt being all left out? And later, when you decided to walk rather than take the bus to work? How do you think the number 36 bus felt? I imagine you must've had the conversation with your feet to okay the subject with them, but did you consult your legs? Someone is quite likely going to feel left out or in.
This brings me to the point: it's never really about being in or out, but it's about how you are when you realize you are in or out. Do you wallow in your sorrows? Or do you spring back? Do you piss other people off when you are out? Or do you smother them with so much they can't take it when you're in?
Well, that's it for now, Springing back me is all the way,
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The point I'm trying to make with this post is that everyone even you, me, the cavemen and women we have inside of us, could use a way to get our aggressions out and our rocks off. This picture was actually taken at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and to be fair, the floor comes from a time after my cave fantasy, when history was already being written. And I fear, it was made by slaves. But I imagine the slave breaking his back, lifting up just one more boulder, seeing the ugly face of the foreman on it and smashing it into bits and pieces.
Which brings me to my next point and a quote I really like by Ms Cherrie Currie of the girl rocker band, The Runaways. As far as I understood from the article in the New York Times from Monday March 22, 2010, she is now a chain-saw artist and no longer involved in the rock and roll world. She says about her sculptures made out of wood: "It's just me, a chain saw and a log and no one's telling me what to do." With those words, I leave you today, because you just can't cut up that quote to make it any better.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
One would think that flowers are completely useless and most things are actually, especially when you cut them up, like me. I mean to say, cutting up things as a fetish is great but, there are a lot of completely useless bits of paper lying around here. But who cares? It was my birthday, then mother's day and I was reminded that all I really need in life is a bunch of flowers and a bottle of bubbly to be pretty happy most days. Try it you might like it. Those of you who have read other blog posts of mine might remember that actually I said I needed other things, like a full fridge, a tree-house, scissors, well, it changes daily, n'est-ce pas?
Actually, with this bouquet, I'm working on depth in my collages and am attempting to bolster different materials so that they jump out at you. It's all about dimension, perspective and of course cutting things up so they don't look like they've been hurt or been someplace else. Like all of our hurts inside and outside really. My message is to make your scars into something beautiful. It's all about giving new life to something been there. So here's your bouquet, go get yourself a bottle of bubbly and call it a date.
Yours bearing bouquet and bubbly,
Sunday, May 2, 2010
This collage is made out of cut up lips from magazines. I sent it out as a Christmas card, for which I received some fascinating comments to the effect of: "Wow, I didn't know you were an artist". To which I had to reply: "Aren't we all?"
Anyone had any ideas for the plastic whirring carnival lips?
Yours, with lipstick on,
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
1) You readers all of the sudden think I'm an exhibitionist (funny this information is not new to me)
2) You readers I haven't heard from in years are saying stuff I don't remember (but am delighted to hear)
3) You readers I talk to everyday are getting worried (don't)
4) Comment moderation is exactly what this blog is about, cutting stuff up that once was might have been good and putting it back together in the search for meaning (Breathe, woman and comment please, people).
5) I am spending an enormous amount of time here, to the detriment of completing other things like taxes, the dishes, paying bills, writing in my diary, seeing friends in real life, filing, sewing and even cutting stuff up.
So today I have decided not to procrastinate and rather than do the stuff on the to do list, post a picture of myself and revel in the exhibitionism my friends were always warning me about. This is a picture of a top I made recently: the sleeves come off and can be either a skirt or a ruff or sleeves again and the top is just a top. I loved this ruffly fabric when I first saw it and it's really very stretchy. In that vein, it is always fun to pull at something like a rubber band and let it boing back. It is just plain good old fun to have items of clothing that you can shoot around the house when you're not wearing them. If I was daring enough I could even compare that to relationships, because when you think about it, there's always something boinging back your way or you shoot it and it misses its target. Having been daring enough to say that I now go back to the practical: the top was an idea for a pattern that I had in my head for years, but never accomplished till now. And why? Because I found excuses! There are no more excuses, just doing and being and have a great day!! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the trees are greener and fuller and Spring is luscious!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Hope you are enjoying unspoiled beauty today,
Yours and watch out for my right hand,
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Enjoy this for today,
Friday, April 16, 2010
Yours, enjoying the sun yet?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The last post was flimsy in comparison. In this second edition of "Keep your friends forever..", I would like to present to you 'the jeans quilt'. After making this quilt with all of Bernard's old jeans that didn't fit him anymore, I stayed in bed for a few days to recover. But not under that quilt because it came out so very heavy, about ten kilos or about the weight of eight pairs of men's jeans size range from 34-36, long. I don't know everything he did in those jeans and honestly I didn't want to know. But the fun was had in making it. There are at least 12 pockets where you can hide things you want to have access to later, which could come in really handy, I mean when does anyone have a pocket in bed? And wasn't this invention just waiting to happen?
And this is a side point but probably the most important part of it: I have made a quilt for every major event in my life. I suppose you could call it a kind of personal commemoration. The year I made this quilt was a productive year: I made two. And the year before that I repaired a white one with lots of blood colored fabric and last year I cut one up into little pieces. And now I'd better stop and let him comment on this one before I put my foot in it. Or lose something else in the many pockets or even get crushed under the weight of eight pairs of jeans.
Yours, with jeans on, and it's still Spring,
Monday, April 5, 2010
So, you want to do it, too? Here's the idea of an art project that will also fuel ideas and stories for this blog:
Step One: Find an item in your closet that is dear to you, a representation of enormous sentimental value or something that for some reason, you just can't give away. Be it a hand-bag, a pair of heels, a dress, a scarf, an old t-shirt, old jeans, whatever. It would be easier for me to transform it, if it was once a piece of clothing since I know where to begin with textiles. Stiff materials like wood and metal are more difficult, but you could challenge me. Keep in mind that you don't wear the item anymore because it's too small, too big, too worn out, too smelly, not your style anymore and after I get through with it, you may not recognize it. Step Two: You give the item to me along with a story, written or oral, about the item to be transformed. Step Three: We photograph the new item it has become and I hope and pray that you actually like it. Step Four: we collect our new stuff made out of old garb and organize the event I'm thinking I'll like to organize.
Accepting sentimental stuff now!
Yours, with seam ripper at the ready!