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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Check out this great little bit from the wilds of Shrewsbury Street, GRIME.

xoxox,
Apple

When driving down Shrewsbury street, you’re met with a variety of delicious eateries, a piercing parlor, dozens of coffee shops, and GRIME: an eclectic clothing store housed in a renovated garage building. GRIME is one of the most notorious Worcester spots, known for its funky array of clothing, vintage accessories, and dozens of newly stocked items to please any fashionista. Although GRIME is like no other clothing store I’ve visited, I’ve concluded that its Worcester home is the most fitting city it could possibly be housed in. Worcester residents are tough cookies with the right amount of spunk and free spirit. What better place to represent Worcester’s array of personalities than a store that caters to every resident in the Heart of the Commonwealth? Whether you’re looking for vintage pieces for a fun night out, a jacket to jazz up your style, some staples to add to your wardrobe, or a funky outfit to push you out of your comfort zone—GRIME has what you’re looking for.

GRIME is a store where the hard work of their employees is evident. Not only is the store beautifully organized  and aesthetically pleasing, but their ever present social media pages urge customers to visit and check out the store (and for college students to present their student ID’s on certain days to get a discount). The employees are always thoughtful and kind, and had no problem snapping a few photos of Sarah and I when we tried on some floral vintage pieces and had a makeshift photoshoot in front of the dressing rooms. And even if you’re not there to shop, browsing around the store is comparable to visiting an art gallery with its artfully placed retro décor, dazzling jewelry displayed at the cash register, chalk paint lined walls embellished with cool lettering and phrases, artful posters decorating the interior, and the wide range of patterns, cuts, and washes that are displayed on clothing racks. Everything found in GRIME makes you feel like you’re in the costume design department for an 80’s movie.

GRIME is one of my favorite places to visit in Worcester, whether it’s to find myself some new attire, or to show a visiting friend one of the hidden gems of our city. I can’t even put into words how fun this little store is, so you’ll have to go check it out for yourself. A plus is that if you purchase an item, you receive a free GRIME sticker to decorate your belongings with! I already have dozens adorning my computer, water bottle, and notebooks. GRIME is located at 356 Shrewsbury Street and is open 11-7 Monday-Saturday and 11-5 on Sundays. More info at http://www.grimeworcester.com

~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Check out this great little bit on Clark off-campus staple,  Acoustic Java  (932 Main St # B).

xoxox,
Apple

 

Kelley Square. Wowza! If you’re from the Worcester area you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, chances are your gps will betray you and send you there soon enough. In Kelley Square there are no rules: no road markings, a few yield signs, and a lot of cars.

ANYWAY, lucky for all of us, Kelley Square is also home of the Crompton Place, an old textile mill on Green St that’s been restored and filled with gems. Firstly, Birtchtree Bread Co: you walk into this huge open space filled with the smells of everything from coffee to homemade sandwiches, soups, and pastries. Then, you order the feta toast – life changing – and sit down in one of the cozy booths or communal tables. On Sundays, they have bands play, and it is just the most lovely place to meet a friend, sit and read, or do the work that you’ve been dreading to do (which, of course, you can’t do until you finish your toast ;-)).

Next there’s Seed to Stem – OH HOW I LOVE THIS PLACE! Filled with the most beautifully green plants, sweet smelling candles, and all the cool things you could ever dream of. Literally, I want everything in there. Oh, and they rotate through the greatest set of playlists that I can’t resist singing along to. Badly and loudly I might add.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Crompton Collective. A space where local vendors, craft makers, artists, rent booths and sell their goodies. Once again, the music is always great, and you can easily get lost looking at all the amazing things the craftspeople and collectors of Worcester have to offer.

(Also located in the building is a barber shop and a salon. If I wasn’t bald, I would eagerly get my hair cut at them both.)

In all, as ridiculous as Kelley Square is, there are some fantastic things happening there that you must check out if you haven’t already. Saturday I was at the farmers market in Crystal Park (There is also one held every Saturday in the parking lot of Crompton which is DELIGHTFUL) and I bought honey from a hive located on the rooftop of a building  right in the square. How cool is that?! Kelley Square honey!

~Sarah

 

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. Check out this great little bit on Clark off-campus staple,  Acoustic Java  (932 Main St # B).

xoxox,

Apple

Acoustic Java is a cozy, small, local coffee spot located on Main South. Here you know the coffee will be strong, food delicious, and the playlist great. Some days they even host live musicians.

Alli and I go to Clark University therefore making Acoustic, as we call it, a popular spot. Last week, when we were all hit with blistering heat (after having to bring back out our snuggies a few days before), we decided it would be a great idea to share this gem with you all. Inside there are about 8 small tables, and an ever-changing array of local artists’ work hanging on the walls.

Just recently they even started carrying lavender syrup – a few pumps in a big iced green tea was the best thing that happened to me. Also, they make smoothies with various options of milk OR orange juice which personally I enjoy a little frequently.

A big thank you to Henry for taking the time to speak to us and we hope that you check the place out!
~Sarah

 

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

doll20parts_zpsoei23o2mSo… Looking at this project from the front and kind of far away, without anything in hand and just the paper dollies stop-motion trailer from last year under my belt, it looked like simply A Good Time. A little closer up, sitting on the orange rug in the office, surrounded by ripped open bags of secondhand Barbi, Bratz, and a variety of other unidentified dolls* from the thrift store, it still looked like fun, albeit somewhat complicated fun – there was a problem to solve, and I generally like a problem to solve, especially when it involves clay, dictionary pages, ink, and glue. And over the course of a few weeks, with the generous application of all of those (delicious) supplies** our models emerged at last, rabbit-headed and incredibly tippy,*** but creepily darling in their own right.

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And then I had no idea what to do about it. Because that’s kind of how I work, right? I write novels without outlines,† I push things into motion sometimes (ok, often) with only a general plan, and I have been known to go on a spending spree at the craft store just because I want to touch all the things to find out how they feel. A friend once asked me what I thought my defining drive/emotion was, and for me it came down to Curiosity. This is to say, my inner critic is strong, but she also often gets squashed down by my inner six-year-old, who just wants to know How Things Work.

Ok, so I had a clue: I knew that Picasa would crunch pictures for me once they were amassed. I knew that we would need something stable to hold the camera while we took a brazillionty†† pictures for Picasa to crunch. I knew that lighting was going to be A Thing. And I knew that keeping track of two figurines, specifically, which leg of which figurine was going in which direction during micro-movements, was going to be a little tricky.††† I also knew that we were going to need to build a set that not only looked nice, but accommodated some really top-heavy movie stars.‡ And so, armed with an idea, we dug in to make a trailer.

Here’s how it went, bullet-point style:

– We opted for the iPad to take the pictures, because it does a better job than my phone. Also, I do not own any high-end camera equipment.

– We moved two six-foot tables into our space – one for the set, and one parallel to it for a workspace & camera. There was about a foot and a half between the two. We masking-taped the floor around the feet to mark the tables in case any of us bumped them, so we could move them back if need be. Also we duct taped a couple of the feet down and prayed it wouldn’t pick up the finish upon removal. (We got lucky there \o/)

– Books books books. And tiny birds. And dominoes. And the tiny model trees I had always wanted to buy but had no reason to buy, and a birdhouse, and some bitty paper apples. Dictionary paper, a watch key, and a bunch of fat produce rubberbands, cut into strips, to keep the slidy stuff in place – we built a set. A really cool set \o/
PRO TIP: Take reference shots. Things will move as you move all the, well, moving parts. It’s really good to know where they were before they moved. Also, if you have cats where you work, reference shots are invaluable. (SPOILER: we have 3 cats. We also employed a barricade overnight because Gunther likes the way Barbi hands feel against his fancy fancy teeth. Project board worked really well. G’bless the science fair, y’all.)

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– We set up lamps. We broke a lamp. We agreed we needed more lighting. We bought two cheap clip lamps (cheap clip lamps are The Best! Just, you know, make sure you have something to clip them to.) and a pack of 100-watt bulbs from HoDo. We moved in a couple power strips. We adjusted and adjusted and adjusted, and sighed and decided to humor one particular set of shadows in favor of dulling a big shiny reflection on the pretty green wall. In retrospect, we probably could have benefited from a string of LED Christmas tree lights taped strategically behind the set.

– We stuck the iPad on a couple books and boxes (and a tiny side table), and strapped that mess together with masking tape.
PRO TIP: I picked up a pack of foam popsicle stick looking things, initially to place between books to keep them from sliding. They were sort of ok for that, but not as good as the rubberbands. What they were REALLY good for, tho’, was as shims – we used them to keep pretty much everything level. And by everything, I mean the camera setup – we slid some under the iPad case, we slid some under the tiny side table, we popped a couple in under a book when the shot looked a little off.

– We applied generous amounts of modeling clay to the feet of our dollies to provide some support. This really worked out really badly. We revised our approach.
PRO TIP: if you want to get something to stay in place, the intuitive leap to modeling clay is great only in theory. Pick up some sticky-tac. You know, the stuff you use to hang up posters without cocking up the semi-gloss on your walls? It is AMAZING in these situations. Truly, I cannot praise the stuff enough for on-set shenanigans – with the sticky-tac we were able to make our models go where we wanted without having to employ balancing tricks; we just sort of, well, stuck stuff to other stuff where we wanted them to be and shot quickly. Hello, I ♥ sticky-tac.

– Team Salli posed the models, ducked out of the frame, and I shot. Pose, duck, shoot, pose, duck, shoot, pose, duck, shoot. Sometimes I posed and ducked and one of them shot. We did that for roughly 250 pictures – Good Times.

– And I let Picasa crunch the pictures: you select your pix from the files, tell it to make a movie, use the time-lapse option around 1/9 (play with it – you may find you like 1/10 or 1/8), and export that business. Afterward I popped it into Windows Movie Maker and added some music and fades, and voila! My friends, we have a trailer =)

For more information about Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, check out www.rabbitheartpoetry.com

Also! If you’re poking around looking for info on making a film with practically no budget, check out the Rabbit Heart Pinterest page, How-To Tuesday for Rabbit Heart, where we’ve collected all kinds of good links for you <6

***

*Some of which were unidentifiable because they were missing a head, or were only a head. The thrift store sells them in plastic bags that seem to have been scooped roughly out of a bin marked Random Doll Parts. Or maybe a dumpster behind a daycare. Anyway, the contents are all mismatched and really ought to be washed down before too much handling. I, natch, spilled them out on the rug and decided to wash my hands really well afterward. Before I vacuumed.

**And paperclips (to hold on the ears). And a multitool (gogo Leatherman!) There’s most of a Skipper doll inside the little bun – some bits needed to be trimmed. Honestly, the most difficult part of the transformation was getting the hair off the dollies so that the air-dry Crayola clay would stick to the doll.
And on that note, I must once again mention (I know you’ve heard me say this before): Behold the humble glue stick. Your materials almost never need to be expensive, they just need to do the job. Stuff we used for this project included wood glue, an $8 glue gun, Elmer’s glue sticks, used toys, a sheet of sticky tack, roughly-used dictionaries, a couple of $6 clip lamps (the bulbs were pricier than the lamps!), and kids’ craft air-dry clay. Stay simple, y’all.

***Some of this is down to the user. I was never a kid who played with dollies. Our interns, Alli & Sarah (whom I have been known to refer to fondly as Team Salli) were able to get them both to stand up with far less stress than I.

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†Admittedly, the last one took me 10 years to complete. I’m not proud of that, I just can’t seem to stick to an outline. In my own defense, I did write four short stories and a chapbook worth of poems that applied to the same universe in that time.

††FWIW, there are easily a Brazillion Portugese speakers on the Ragnaros realm in World of Warcraft. And I have pugged with a fair number of them.

†††This is where having two interns was particularly great – one dolly per intern really helped!

‡Sidenote: there’s a serious riot grrrl rant in here somewhere about how dolls marketed to boys, action figures, stand up better than dolls marketed to girls. But since I did happen to add a shitton of weight & counter-intuitive-balanced ears to the figures (not to mention, encased Skipper in an super unnatural position inside that small bunny), this is probably neither the time nor place.

todays

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