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Ok, so! Spent the morning stapled to the office chair, scanning collages and playing with my hair. No – really.

Here’s the scoop: I’ve been making collage art forever (4-eva!) now, which means that I’ve accumulated a lot of paper. A lot of pretty paper, even. Some of these have graced book covers, some have become postcards at some point, some have even won an award or two. But they’re currently sitting in a bin in my sun room, taking up space.

Taking. Up. Space.

As I read over blogs and journals   between making pretty things, I always think to myself, how good it must be to have one’s work out into the world. And then I think how nice it would be to have my work out in the world. And, you know what? The truth of the matter is that my stuff isn’t out in the world because I haven’t bought it a ticket. I haven’t even imagined an itinerary yet of where it might travel. Which is to say, I’m putting that business up on line, and out for sale.

It’s all up on my facebook, in the photos section. Everything is going super cheap, as to be accessible (between $15 and $20, including the shipping). If you pick one out that you love, you can send me a message either on fb or here in comments, we’ll set it up,* and I’ll ship to you in the next mail. It’ll be osm – my work will be out in the world, you’ll have something beautiful to hang on your wall, everyone will be happy!

So please feel free to share and get the word around – I would loff you forever if you did. It’s time I become a working artist, and it’s time these works see the light of day from the perspective of somewhere not in a bin.

Excited yet? I am – let’s do this \o/

*I love Paypal. PayPal makes things nearly instant – WooT!

Can we talk please talk about Bunny Yoga? Omigod, I stumbled across the site last night – one of the communities put this picture up (see below) without artist attribution, and I fell to, hunting for him. The artist, it turns out, is Brian Russo, whom I previously knew pretty much nothing about, but am now crushing on a little bit artistically.

So this is not the first time that I’ve been brought to moist eyes by a cartoon – I’ll admit it has happened in the past (Mouseguard, anyone?) and unashamedly, too. But this was a different kind of moist eye. When I saw the bunnies in different asanas, I immediately and personally related. The focused expressions, the little round tummies, the little belly roll in forward bend – I immediately though, omigod, that’s me!

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I will admit, it’s been a little hard to blog lately. Every time I open up the page, there’s Serge staring back at me – I miss him terribly, and it’s a little heartbreaking to look at him there in that picture. But also, it’s been everything else too. I’ve been really sad about what’s going on in the world this month, in a hard-to-bear-up kind of way. So in a proactive move toward self-preservation, I’ve decided that I cannot listen to the news for any kind of extended period anymore. I used to come into work in the morning and turn on NPR to keep me entertained while I pushed around the paperwork, but lately that only leads to soggy paperwork. I’m limiting that business to while I’m driving – which means half an hour a day at most.

Which, I think,  is helping. But more than the moratorium on news shows, so is the little stuff that just involves physical doing: getting on the yoga mat for twenty minutes every day, making things with my hands, cooking, cleaning all the things stuff. And trying new things. New things keep my head in the good-space game as much as the physicality of making stuff is soothing by dint of keeping my hands busy. So here’s what I’ve been up to:

For my birthday a couple weeks ago I was gifted with a bookstore gift certificate, so I went kinda hog wild in there – after grabbing some sweet sweet Ursula K LeGuin paperbacks* I headed over to the crafting section and pored over the needlework books. I picked one out for its lovely pictures, only to find out at home that the pictures weren’t terribly detailed, and some of the descriptions of stitches were off. Luckily, I am privileged with internet access, and so YouTube, and dude, I learned some really cool stuff! Look at this pretty thing:

It’s called a broomstick stitch,** and it’s crochet, but it also requires a knitting needle. A huge knitting needle – size 50! So basically, you make loops and hold them on the knitting needle, and then you go back at the end of the line and single crochet them together in groups. I’m kind of in love with this – so far I’ve made two Christmas gift scarves, and a smallish scarf for myself.*** I plan on making a few more for the Etsy shop in the coming weeks.

Also, over the weekend I got busy with bread. Last year (the year before, maybe?) I tried to make a challah, and was unimpressed with the recipe – there were, like, a dozen egg yolks in there, the dough gummed up my stand mixer in a terrifying way, and the finished product was meh with a side of dry. The only redeeming bit was that it made marvelous french toast after everything was said and done. So I’ve been hesitant to make another one. But then the cookbook showed up. Omigod, the cookbook. For Hanukkah, Will Dearest got me a copy of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook , and, seriously Sister, it’s ON.  Deb Perelman  is one of my all-time favorite bloggers, and I cook a lot from her website, so this book has me head over heels.
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I love multi-color batik work, but I do mostly single color stuff. The only reason that I generally do single-color work is that I haven’t found a great way to apply the colors. In the past I have mixed up small batches of the same dye that I use in the tub bath and hand-painted them onto the fabric, but those need a soda ash solution under them to make them colorfast,* and that means that the wax outline has to be applied first, and even then, sometimes the colors travel outside of the lines anyway.

I tried out dye markers next, for a less complicated way to get the dye onto the fabric, and I love the control that a marker provides. But, in honesty, I haven’t yet found a marker that I really love. All the markers that I’ve tried so far seem to start drying out on me midway through the project, so I wind up with bright colors in some places, and then dull colors where you can see the streak lines in other places.

And then I picked up some markers a few weeks ago that I really had hope for – they have squeezy barrels, so when you start getting that dry, raspy effect, you press them for more ink.** The only problem is that the tip on these dye markers is so wide that they turned out to be impractical for the detail work I was trying to accomplish.

But then I realized something – the tip of the markers actually comes off \o/ Meaning that I could pour some of the dye off and use it to hand-paint the design.*** So let me show you how to do it:
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Do you know about Doublebunny Press? I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever mentioned it here, to be honest >.>

Doublebunny is a little bitty press that I run, doing some design work and book and cd covers*.  For the most part, it’s a layout service, and I do some chapbook and poster work here and there, but there’s also my favorite part of the press, the annual winter holidays card. You might have noticed I’ve been light on posting – I’ve been working hard on this year’s cards!

Much to my delight, this year’s card has penguins!

Doublebunny Press is pleased to offer our limited edition 2012 Winter Holiday Card, with collage work by Sou MacMillan! (Click the image  to see it in better detail). I’ll be making less than 500, but they’re a lovely kind of limited edition: 5″x6.5, and printed in glossy ink on heavy paper. With a matching envelope, natch. They can be purchased them in packs of 20 from Apple Batiks’ Etsy store. The link for ordering is right here =)

Doublebunny Press
PO Box 3094
Worcester, MA 01613

Feel free to poke around the Doublebunny Press site – there’s all sorts of fun things in there, including a big page of collage illustrations. The store isn’t yet up and running, because I’m trying to decide if it’s going to be easier to just seel prints in the Apple Batiks Etsy shop, start a Doublebunny Etsy, or run the Paypal buttons right into the site. As soon as I get a handle on that, um, I’m let everyone know =)

*And used to put out a nifty poetry magazine through, called Omnivore.

From the London MCM Expo – I just love these clips to piecey partses!

1.

I don’t know who made that gif; I grabbed it from this site after following a link from another site, but I would like to thank them for making my morning. Also, Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor, which at once makes me feel proud and makes me feel like there might have been a mistake.

2.
Halls Defense cough drops, watermelon flavor. Dear dog, these are lovely on the tail end of a runny nose/sore throat combo that just won’t give an inch.

3.
The autumn weather gone wild:
Holy, cow, what’s the scoop? Not that I have any complaints – this morning the sky on the way to work was bright freaking pink. Osm!

For reals, I’ll take a helping of that, right alongside the good smells of whoever in our neighborhood has been running a fire in the fireplace, and the leaves coming all undone. Yes. Oh, very very yes.

So my sister-in-law can knit some stuff. Like, for reals, she can knit up a storm, and not just scarves* – stuffed animals, children’s clothing, wrist warmies, socks, even. So when she got a job at Worcester’s newest yarn store, Knitscape, that was no big surprise, right?

Well! I went to the very first open house (they just opened, like this week), and the store was some kind of lovely surprise, let me tell you! As someone who’s been doing all her primary yarn shopping for the last decade at the craft shops,** this was a super yummy treat.

It’s a small store, but it’s packed with shelves of all kinds of yarn that I’m already thinking up delicious projects for – everything from everyday synthetics, to cotton suitable for socks, to alpaca, to the fluff that you felt up into little animals fun shapes. I totally have my eye on some jewel-tone gradated rainbow business that I could not stop touching (so soft!) that’s just inside of my save-up bracket (I will SO be spoiling myself with a scarf around my birthday, I do believe). In addition to the yummy yummy yarn, there were also the bits and bobs that one might want for a textile project: hand-made buttons and closures, fine needles, and fancy stitch holders.***
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When I cannot hold my shit together, which has been known to happen a time or two, I turn into an escapist like whoa. I read books that take place on other planets. I cook things I don’t generally cook. I buy new first person shooter videogames or binge on MI-5 episodes. I watch Serenity for the umpteenth time and then follow that business up with the whole Firefly series over the course of a week. I listen to the score from The Elder Scrolls IV Morrowind while I do anything that actually has to get done. I go through my file folder of torn-out articles about Iceland and get daffy over the fantasy that I will one day actually have a passport* and go there.

I totally collect pictures of places. And when I get stressed out, I flip through them. Hello, Pinterest. This is where I go at least twice a day during the working day – feel free to browse and sigh too. For example:

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…that August has been spent quitting smoking. Which is to say, nearly nothing got done, and yet I feel like I should receive a medal. Which is to say, um, I kinda unintentionally took the month off of everything, including blogging, to gnash my teeth, gain nine pounds,* eat salted cucumbers,** and take up walking in order to convince myself that I need to stay quat.***

The blog will be back the first week of September. I have lots to tell you about, including a couple of 100 Delightful Things Project entries, some recipes, and some WoW screenies, and I do intend to get chatty.

So! Until next week, I’ll leave you with some pretty pictures I got while huffing and puffing along the bike trails with Man Cub.

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todays

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