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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome to Utah

After leaving California, I flew to Salt Lake City to visit a friend that is near and dear to my heart. She moved away from the Portland area three years ago, and I've made it a point to visit her at least once a year.

On this visit, we decided to take a road trip to Idaho, to visit her brother's newly opened restaurant. We spent the night at her parent's house, and then grabbed some Pickett's Bambinos for the four hour drive back to Salt Lake. The bambinos make for a wonderful meal on the go. A deep fried, cheese filled scone that is stuffed with an assortment of toppings... would be on a short list of things that would make me go back to Idaho.

On the drive back, it was decided that I should tag the "Welcome to Utah" sign on I-15. I wasn't able to measure the pole, so I decided to go with a net-type band that would stretch if my guestimate was off. And, it was.

I sewed the tag in place, while my friend snapped some action shots and semi-trucks honked. I was lucky, though, that even with a limited supply of yarn (orange and turquoise blue) the colors complimented the sign really well. After getting the tag in place, I pushed it as high up as I could... if anything, so that it might stay a little longer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Emeryville Public Market

My brother decided that if I am to continue yarn bombing, I need to have a signature tag, like most graffiti artists. So, after getting back to his apartment after bombing the Capitol Building, I whipped up a new tag using "kb" for knitblade. I don't know that I like it, but I'm still playing around with it.

With my new tag, I felt the need to tag something else in California before I left. On our way to the Oakland International Airport, we got off of the freeway in Emeryville to get something to eat. We went to the Public Market, where they have vendors serving an international variety of food.

After eating a very yummy sandwich that was loaded with avocados, we went back to the car to grab my camera and the tag. I sat on a bench next to a wonderful handrail and began sewing it on. Again, my brother kept watch and told me later that we only got funny looks from people rubber necking as they drove by. He snapped some action shots as covertly as he could, by placing the camera on his lap and aiming it where he thought my hands would be. It took him three times to get a good shot.

I can honestly say that before this trip, I didn't know that this place existed... but now it will be a place that I have to visit again. If for no other reason than to see if my tag is still there.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Capitol Building

After staying with my brother in California for a couple of weeks, I decided I needed to tag... something. I had been working in Sacramento for two weeks, and the only place of interest I could really think of was the Capitol Building.

I had driven by a week before putting the tag in place, to look for potential targets. Old Town Sacramento seemed like a possibility, but there were signs everywhere threatening imprisonment for defacing property... Since I'm still a baby when it comes to yarn bombing, I have not yet developed the confidence or knowledge that I'm not going to get in trouble for my works of.. art.

Anyways, I decided to knit a small hand rail cozy to tag the capitol building. My brother and I went to a fantastic mexican restaurant close by (Tres Hermanas) and waited for it to get nice and dark. After food and margaritas, we headed over to the Capitol Building. After parking the car and eyeing the news van that was parked in front of the building, my brother started to lose his nerve. We walked up to the steps that lead to the front doors, with the aforementioned hand rails, and spotted the security cameras. Trying to act nonchalant, we continued walking and talking back across the street.

My brother noticed the stop sign before I did, and suggested I tag it, in plain view of the news van, some lady with her camera and everyone driving down Capitol Avenue. I pulled the tag out of my pocket and began to sew up the seams as quickly as I possibly could. My brother kept watch, and took an action shot for me. All in all, we were done in less than five minutes and back on the road to my brother's apartment.

I have no idea how long the tag will stay... but I can't imagine it will be for very long.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Multnomah Falls

After leaving her house, my accomplice and I decided to go on an adventure. Since it was Valentine's Day and neither of us had anything better to do, it was decided that we should go on an adventure. After the first bout of mischief, we had worked up an appetite and decided to stop in Troutdale to get something to eat. We discovered a fantastic little Italian restaurant in what I think was Old Troutdale. I would whole heartedly recommend this place to anyone -- Ristorante Di Pompello.

After filling up on delicious Italian fare, we continued on our journey to Multnomah Falls. It tends to be an attraction for tourists, and rightfully so. However, as Portlanders, it had been ages since my friend and I had seen it. We arrived at the falls around 3pm, giving us enough time to hike the 1.25 miles uphill to the Larch Mountain Lookout. I put the tag with a pre-threaded needle and a pair of scissors in my pocket, and we set off up the trail to face the switchbacks.

Long story short, we made it to the Lookout and I was able to put the tag in place in broad daylight without any attention from any of the tourists that had also gathered at the lookout. Smile. It's all about confidence.

Being Valentine's Day, I felt that a heart was appropriate... even if it's really not my style. I don't know how long this tag will stay up there, but it kind of warms my heart to know that I put it there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

On a Saturday afternoon, I had some time to kill and ended up at Powell's book store in the craft section. As part of my 2010 New Year's resolution to teach myself how to sew, I was looking for Sewing for Dummies. I got a little distracted by the rest of the books in the craft section- books on woodworking and mosaics and other hobbies I can't afford to explore- when Yarn Bombing caught my eye. I pulled the book off of the shelf and started flipping the pages.

After reading and laughing for half an hour, I fell in love with the concept of turning a domesticated craft into an art form. The wheels in my head started turning with all of the possibilities- clothing for statues, cozies for bike racks and fixtures, sweaters for trees. As excited as I was at these prospects, I knew that I had to try it. I had to yarn bomb.

After leaving Powell's, I went to my best friend's house and told her and her mother about my new project and how excited I was. Her mother stood there in the kitchen, with a confused look on her face saying, "well, that's... interesting." She was so wonderfully supportive, even if she didn't fully understand my excitement for knitted graffiti. It was in that moment that I decided she would be my first, ahem, victim.

Yesterday afternoon, a week after learning about yarn bombing, I showed up at my friend's house with the completed tag and pre-threaded yarn. My best friend came outside to help hold the tag in place while I sewed it together, forming a cozy for the top rail of her mother's back porch. We got it done in a few minutes, snapped some pictures and hightailed it.

According to the book, the first tag that a new yarn bomber does should be meaningful to them. I wanted to create something that someone would appreciate. I wanted it to be unique and organic. I wanted it to reflect not only myself, but the beauty of the women who live on the other side of the door. I especially wanted to do something wonderful for the mother of my best friend, both of whom fully support me in every move I make, whether or not they understand it.