Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another idea to help you stay current...

If you read a bunch of blogs, and you don't want to miss a single episode of any, especially the latest ShoeString post, you can use a tool called a reader.  Probably the fastest and easiest one to set up for most of us is the Google Reader.   Just log in with your Google user account, subscribe to the sites you'd like to watch, and see all the updates to all your favorite sites in one place!  Easy peasy.  

How to's follow after supper.  Maybe even (gasp!) a quick video tutorial!

Happy New Year everyone!

How lucky are we???

Cause we have Schaible posting up a lovely video find, and the Fauxpress with the most excellent followup how-to's plus some, and others cooking up and posting and this is getting broader every day and isn't it fun and exciting to see all the cool stuff people all over the world make and the willingness to trade skills???

Local folks:  we can set up additional tech crunch's and i can step everyone thru video and audio posting among other things if you're interested, let me know via comments or email.  Also, I'd love to do a couple of sessions on the glory of our wiki as sort of giant whiteboard.  The more we use these things the more we can do, in a variety of ways.  And if anyone wants to build up a ShoeStringer Facebook page, have at it.

Here's looking towards a great ShoeStringer year!

Forida Poems :: The Memory of Mornings

With Lenny DellaRocca, Jonathan Rose & Bruce Weber.

I played audio tech.

None of these poets yet have an internet presence.

Perhaps they soon will.

Formats available:MP3 Audio (.mp3)

Embedding Videos

London Effects Timelapse from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

Behind-the-Scenes of Schaible's previous post, HERE. Fabulous find!

Just wanted to show how one may embed videos as well as link to them.

The universal symbol for embed is this:

There's usually a way to access the embed code, either by mousing over the video (as at the Vimeo site whence came this vid) or clicking on an icon somewhere in the video's frame that will open a share menu that will include an option to embed.

One thing that's especially cool about Vimeo for video hosting is that they're one of the first to allow and facilitate the HD format.

Most video sharing sites allow embedding these days.

Embedding makes your site more alive, and it's good if visitors don't have to leave your page in order to experience the media you've collected and want to share.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH SHOESTRING COMMENTS: A thought for the folks who think they want to play in earnest here is to sign in to the Dashboard, go to 'Settings'--> 'Comments' and scroll down to add your email address so that when comments are made to the site, you will be notified by email.

IN TOUCH WITH EMAILS ON POSTS: Similar deal as above. Sign in to the site's Dashboard, 'Settings' --> 'Email' and add your email (an unfortunate maximum of 10 are allowed) so that when someone makes a post you'll get word.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Must Watch

View this... because i really think you should.


enough said.

Join me Over @ Facebook

Shoestringers need a Facebook fan page...

In the meantime, you wanna be my friend?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sidebar note

A few reads, a couple of emails and a new ShoeStringer link is created...  welcome to Karl of We Will Become!  Thanks for being the gateway to the Emerald Island, and showing/telling us about all the wonderful people you come across making interesting things.  

Favorite Website of the Week

from a link sent by ShoeStringer Beth.   Karl's website is not so much a site as a portal to many others around the world who make wonderful things.  Get yourself some coffee or tea, unplug the phone, and hunker down on the next cold, rainy afternoon and give your eyes and mind a feast.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rachael hits nail on head

ShoeStringer Rachael in upstate NY had a great post today, ya'll should give it a look (and Art Bureau too!).  I pretty much agree with everything she said, which may be ironic since I'm spreading the word digitally, but thats how I read and write and communicate, and I think she'd agree there's room for all of it.   The thing is to not be controlled by the tools and toys, but to use them consciously.  

Consume less, make more, share the love.  Back to making postcards from my old skool pen paper and H2Ocolors done in the warm sun today...

Making maps and writing stories...

on a weirdly warm winter day, i went for a long walk up in the hills then came back and sat in the sun...

(origin @ JMS)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Internet Gifties

Christmas Eve morning, cold grey and rainy, drinking coffee and looking around at things enjoying the quiet.

Nigel Peake's little blog makes me feel good. I found the link on "we will become"  which is produced by a friend of ShoeStringer Beth.   It's full of link goodnesses written right into the texts, which makes it like a treasure hunt where you're guaranteed to find gold at the end of the path. 

Finally (for the moment) it's bonus ShoeStringer Pet Day! Lucy the Wonderdog and her faithful sidekick Izzy (captured here in fuzzy low-light snapshots) are ready to go and wanting me to get into the holiday mood, so I'd better get to it.

Happy and safe holidays everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I do when it's 6 degrees outside

draw and write...

looking up words and getting ideas...

thinking about other old/new ways to do things...

Revisiting Wisdom from the Fauxpress Archives: Consume less; buy better. Pay more now and you won't have to pay again later for the same stuff. Buy art not IRA's.

and go to bed at a decent hour for a long winter nights nap...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Go to DC

Today I saw the most beautiful art show I have seen in ages. The Sackler and Freer (Smithsonian Asian Art Museum) has always been my favorite stop for art in D.C. but today was the most breath taking show I've clamped eyes on there yet. The show is called Garden and Cosmos :: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur. The colors and imagery blew me away... the website doesn't do it justice so you'll need to head to the district yourself....

Oh and while in DC make sur
e to keep your eyes peeled for the dozen or so GIANT wheatpastes put up all over town by Shephard Fairey. He had a show at the Arrested Motion Gallery recently and then hit the street. He's most recently famous for his Obama Hope/Change/Etc. posters but I think his work goes much deeper than that...
Shephard's Site


Do you go straight back to the books section when you are at Goodwill? Are you secretly hoping you will find that rare edition of
The Big Golden Book of Biology by Charles Harper at every yard sale you go to? Does paper thrill you? Then take a look at BibliOdyssey, an resource for nerd-dom with surprisingly nice large files, thanks to the Creative Commons License. 
I love it. A lot. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Speak up and don't be shy!

The new header is AWESOME! Whoever did it, props to you!

It's beautiful and shoestring perfect.

Let me offer a new verb to the lexicon: "Shoestringing"

As in designing and putting up a new header, making a movie, writing a piece, making stuff of any sort. To borrow a phrase from Shara:

"we make nearly anything out of next to nothing" (she's an excellent wordsmith, one of her many skills)

I am lucky to be part of such a talented and interesting group.

It's been a good couple of days.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a question that perplexes and, I'll admit, often vexes me sometimes.

why, given my capacity to be a capable and creative, assertive person blessed or cursed with a particular sensitivity for the particular, do I limit myself?

other than that, things are fine. it's christmas time in the city, some sort of bing crosby/someone else duet version. kind of distracting. not enough of a change in dynamics, or too similar in style or tone, I don't know. not enough contrast. or so I say, anyway, with the benefit of no knowledge of musical theory other than it exists, possibly, who knows about that whole existence thing anyway.

but I think I've had enough carols for tonight. I'm starting to look around for the other shoppers, and I hate the mall.

phooey. I want to go buy someone something, or call someone, and I'm on the edge of getting all weepy remembering mass in whatever grade it was they had us first sing adeste fidelis and how my whole suddenly catholic self saw a future as a nun, no, a saint, a beautiful saint, very sad, but beautiful. that, I think, was the romantic appeal of the whole thing, a whole new lady of shalott deal, or was it shallot, no, that's the onion, right? anyway. that whole yearning for the unavailable and only vaguely, briefly beheld thing. and the suffering, oh yes, the nobility of it, the weight.

of course I'd be gracious and merciful (and beautiful) even in the most extreme provocation. and charmingly erroneous sometimes, just for spice.

but anyway. I got all christmas for a minute. it was nice, actually. but I think it's time I got up and did something useful. I've got company coming in a few days and here I am, going on about nothing.

Just do it!

The world needs more of these. Whole populations to shift the mood. Sit by the fire and make some up...perfect for gift giving. And you don't really need a machine, just some scissors, needle and thread...

Make Your Own Sympathy Doll from Bre Pettis on Vimeo.

(via Bre's blog...this guy makes EVERYTHING! He'd be a great ShoeStringer...)

Monday, December 15, 2008


Be sure to look at Mr. Croma's Flickr site. It will make you happy.

So much excitement I'm about to BURST!

Look at all the COOL things happening in the Collective! Huldra Press Marianne has been busy, and Rachael is causing good trouble and sharing the opportunity love! Awesome!

And to complete the trifecta for the the day, we happily and loudly welcome Mr. Robert Croma! Everyone should take a look at his beautiful videos- he's highly accomplished and I think his work is visual poetry at its' best. Robert has been very supportive and encouraging of my many projects over the past few years, and I'm thrilled he's thrown in with us. And guess what people??? Mr. Croma comes to us from ENGLAND!!! Which means that in just a couple of short weeks, The Shoestring Artists Collective has gone international!!!

I love me the internets....

Other news: I have a statcounter built in to the site now, lets see how many people are looking at ShoeString...

holy moly! since Dec 08, we've had 327 hits! and here's the map that shows where they're coming from...

Finally, we're doing a thing on Wed afternoons called Tech Crunch, where we get a digiprojector and do a show and tell on how to do stuff (blog, pictures, video, etc) so everyone can ramp up on skills. I'm thinking about making some short how-to vids and putting them on our wiki as refreshers or ghetto instructables. Feedback on that idea or any vids that anyone wants to do would be welcome.

That's all for now, be sure to tell your friends and neighbors about the ShoeString site! In fact, leverage the internet and email them the link to this post using the little mail icon just below. They'll be glad you did!

Huldra Press's long neglected Etsy store is now reopened!
And there are many new and exciting things...including jewelry.
So if you have a moment, have a look, here's a few of the goodies you'll find.

Ox Family is still looking for submissions...

Danny and Aliya at Ox Family are making a magic book ( ) and you can still submit until December 17th. I'm trying to get in before the clock runs out...Here's a snippity snip of my almost finished submission...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hard not too, Bigfoot...

Oh jeez this looks amazing... It's called
"Bigfoot: I Not Dead" by Graham Roumieu
and if anyone wants to buy this for me
for christmas, I'm ok with that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I think this book is quite lovely, it's called "Maps" by Nigel Peak from analogue books.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hey folks...
I published my new website today!

New work. New Look.
Check it out... let me know what you think!


Yo shoestringers...
The boy wonder has arriven...

he makes glass and things work.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I stumbled upon this today and think you should check it out.
For a few hours of goodness the page of links is worth snooping about.

From the site...
My whole idea for this site is based on the idea that activism + craft = craftivism. That each time you participate in crafting you are making a difference, whether it's fighting against useless materialism or making items for charity or something betwixt and between. It's about the not-so-radical notion that activists can be crafters, and crafters can be activists.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We got Wiki!

Thanks to the ever-progressive Fauxpress

Go nuts!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Go Robo.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Air Guitar

Wanted to let you all know about this great book that I and other shoestringers have been reading, Air Guitar, by Dave Hickey. I read this in college and then gave it away to's one of those books that you can't help wanting to share. Why is it so great? Because it's just about that, about loving a book or a movie or an artist so much you  just can't help wanting to share it. And it's nice to read criticism that acknowledges that. 

Broadening the scope

I couldn't figure out the best way to present this without cluttering up the site, so i figured the cleanest way was to put up a link. So here's a sharing site of articles I read which plants seeds of other/expanded ideas.

Bucky on groping...

(via keri smith's blog)


Chicago must be the center of the makers universe as well as the center of the country, at least this weekend.

We already know that Claire is there installing a show.

Now Sarah (Seattle) and Marilyn (San Diego) have made the scene to do the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale.

(ed. note: Marilyn has taken all her jewelry to Chicago to show, so her tinyshiny etsy store is empty at the moment...)

And on a local note, a whole bunch of ShoeStringers and friends are participating in the annual TRAC holiday studio tour and sale. There's over 145 studios/artists participating around our two-county radius. Get out and support them and meet some interesting people that make stuff.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One more thing...

This site will be self-organizing (or not), probably rambling and definitely eclectic. Since we'll have numerous and random people posting, style will probably vary wildly.

Awesome, eh?


We have workshops, studios and little showrooms, web sites and storefronts and blogs. We all make stuff, and are always looking for a place to show it, to share it, and get wider exposure and some feedback. A lot of us know each other, but most everyone works on their stuff in relative isolation. A little while ago, we started having informal conversations about what we do and why, and that's led to our desire to do more and get things out in the open. We're not exclusive and hope to add a lot of ShoeStringers to the collective over time.

Want to get involved? Send us an email with your name and a link to your stuff. Let us know if you want to be a poster to the blog and we'll set that up too.

Now, quit sitting around reading the internets and get back to making your stuff!

Who we are and what we're doing...

We're emerging and established artists, craftspeople and makers.

Most of us have small resources, so we tend to do everything on a ShoeString.

We include but aren't limited to: blacksmiths, printers, photographers, bookbinders, metalsmiths, writers, video artists, woodworkers, glass artists, textile artists, performers...

Our collective grows daily.

We're moving outside of the traditional venues and methods for discussing, showing and selling our work.

We're nationwide with our eyes on the world.

The ShoeStringers links will take you to our individual sites and connect you to bigger and broader displays of what we make and what we think. There's blogs and flickr sites and etsy stores galore. We're all cross-linked in many places and supportive of each other.

Take a look. Comment. Discuss. Forward to your friends. Buy real art from real artists if you're inclined.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for interviews, exhibits, videos, photos and stories. This site will evolve.