Cool Stuff Friday.

Bamboo coral. Credit: Rob Zugaro.

Gorgeous red spiny crab. Credit: Rob Zugaro.

Last month, a team of 58 scientists from around the world embarked on 31 day oceanic voyage to research the ethereal life forms living at the bottom of the ocean off the Eastern coast of Australia. On May 15, the Sampling The Abyss team set out from Bell Bay in Launceston, Tasmania. During their month aboard the Marine National Facility research vessel, appropriately named Investigator, the crew visited seven different Commonwealth Marine Reserves, which are essentially National Parks for sea creatures, before returning to port in Brisbane mid-June.

The expedition was initiated by Museums Victoria in partnership with the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub, and a government research organization called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). The goal of the trip was not only to document undiscovered sea life, but to research how they have adapted to harsh living conditions two-and-a-half miles below the ocean surface.

Check out a daily blog about the voyage here, and check out more videos on the Marine Biodiversity Hub’s YouTube Channel.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

For years Westerners have experimented with wearing traditional Japanese clothing like the kimono and jinbei. The results have, at best, been mixed. Let’s just say that it takes a certain type of non-Japanese man or women to wear a kimono without looking out of place. I for one, have never even felt the urge to try, that is until my recent encounter with the T-Kimono.

Check out the T-Kimono, a truly great alternative to the uptight Western suit.

Anyone who questions baking as an art form should look no further than the cookies made by Okashi no Kobito. Professional cookie artist Nobuyo Toyono began this enterprise creating edible masterpieces out of Osaka after graduating from confectionery vocational school (yes, there is such a thing). Using all-natural ingredients, Toyono designs, bakes, and ices each and every cookie by hand.

According to her website, Toyono pledges to “put her heart and soul into making colorful iced cookies that will make you smile.” Most incredibly, the eye-catching colors she uses in the icing are made from natural pigments: beets (red), spirulina algae (blue), beni imo potatoes (purple), gardenia (yellow & green), and cocoa (brown). Her creations are intricate and whimsical and so beautifully made that it’s almost a shame to eat them.

Check out her Instagram for even more examples of her confectionery handiwork.

Via Spoon & Tamago.


Absolutely check out all the amazing work of Ribbonesia! You can see and read much more at Spoon & Tamago.

Aficionados of Microsoft’s Clippy can now have an enamel pin. The Creators Project has all the info.

Succumbing To The Unpickening.

Until now, I’ve avoided unpicking on the tree quilt, which has been so very nice. In my early haste to start the foliage, however, I fucked up. I hadn’t picked up the flow yet, and now that I have it, that first section jars, badly. I’ve left it be, telling myself to give it a chance. It keeps drawing my eye, and leaving a bad taste in the brain, so it must go. Every needlesmith on the planet knows the feelings when you meet up with the unavoidable unpickening. Unpicking knots is not as bad as unpicking, say, a raised satin stitch, but it’s not fun, either. Eh, that wasn’t so bad. At least I didn’t rip the fabric!

© C. Ford, all rights reserved.


Working on the foliage. The trunk was all Candlewick knots, which are much too small for the foliage. Even French knots are on the small side with the Perle 3, so I’ve combined the two. I get to keep the in front, half infinity movement of the Candlewick, with two wraps added. This gives me a bulkier knot, with the added plus of keeping movements which are now automatic. I usually work with thread lengths of 65 to 85 inches, because it takes very little time to go through that length of thread. Click for full size.

© C. Ford, all rights reserved.

SaveArtSpace: The Future Is Female.

Elise Peterson, “Grace Meets Matisse.” All images courtesy the artists.

From hawking sports cars to hamburgers, advertising has always relied on the objectification of women to market products. But starting June 26 SaveArtSpace, an arts organization that transforms advertising spaces into canvases for public art, is reclaiming New York City billboards for the female gaze.

SaveArtSpace: The Future is Female will showcase work by female artists on advertising spaces across the city. The exhibition includes a variety of media and styles, ranging from cartoon sketches to puppet-like sculptures. In one piece, titled Grace Meets Matisse, artist Elise Peterson has photoshopped Grace Jones’s iconic Island Life album cover onto Matisse’s La Danse, distorting the painting’s dimensionality in certain ways but contributing to its overall sense of movement.

Lissa Rivera, “Boudoir” from the series Beautiful Boy.

You can see and read much more at The Creators Project and at SaveArtSpace: The Future Is Female.

More Color, More Pride.

There’s a new Pride flag in the wind. If the people behind the MoreColorMorePride site had bothered to make their video shareable, I wouldn’t have had to go to youtube searching for it, and would have missed all the people who are extremely upset by this inclusive move. The upset isn’t surprising, but the bigotry and pained ‘reasoning’ employed, well, I’ll just say I expected better of queer folk. I’m not sure why I expect better, being bi and having dealt with all the nasty views in that regard over the years. I guess I remain more hopeful when it comes to queer folk.

I think it’s a fine idea, an in your face reminder that inclusiveness matters, and a rather gentle reminder to always check your privilege.  You can see and read more here, and download the art to make your own stuff.

NSFW: Female Gaze at The Museum of Sex.

Amanda Charchian, Celine, 2016.

The exhibit starts tomorrow!

Artists include: Aneta Bartos, Anna Biller, Amanda Charchian, Nona Faustine, Monica Kim Garza, Rebecca Goyette, Joanna Grochowska, Koak, Natalie Krick, Natalie Krim, Joanne Leah, Kristen Liu-Wong, Pixy Liao, Maidenfed, Shona McAndrew, Sophia Narrett, Polly Nor, New Level of Pornography, Taira Rice, Erin M. Riley, Amy Ritter, Lissa Rivera, Scientwehst, Tschabalala Self, Marie Tomanova, Brandi Twilley, Paula Winkler, Jessica Yatrofsky.

You can read more at The Creators Project, or just head over to MoSEX for tickets.

The End Brings The Beginning: The Great Upside Down.

The trunk and branches of the tree are finished. Took long enough. Now, to get the immense span of foliage done. To do this in the frame, I have to do it upside down. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem for anyone else, but while I’m not dyslexic, I am prone to transposing, letters, numbers, spaces, and directions. I just know I’ll be humming along, all pleased, then it will hit me, “fuck, it’s backwards!”, and I’ll have to like it, because it’s not like I’ll be willing to rip it out and redo it. Current Hours: 1,169. Skeins Used: 183. (That’s 1,464 meters of thread, or 1,592 yards.) Click for full size.

© C. Ford, all rights reserved.