wish I’d gotten to know her before I fell in love

I’m mixing my references with the title of this post – it is a lyric from a They Might Be Giants song that references Xenia, OH, but I named this dress for a character, Zenia, from The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. The lyric isn’t not appropriate for that character, though! (Listen to the song, it’s great! Read the book, it’s one of my fave Atwoods!)

Zenia Dress for Blythe

Moving on! I’m happy to show you my first ever knit dress pattern for Blythe!

Zenia Dress for Blythe

I designed this dress to fit reverse-cardigan style, like most of my sweaters for Blythe. It’s just so much easier when you can fit her clothing on front to back (or back to front). The bodice has ribbing which gives it a nice fitted look. I think that it works especially well in contrast to the a-line shape of the skirt. I also tried some embellishment on the short-sleeved version I made (the pattern includes both short and long sleeves). I’ve been hoping to try my hand at making silk ribbon flowers for awhile, and I finally did it! These are a pretty basic start, I’m sure, but I’m pleased with the something special they add to this dress.

Zenia Dress for Blythe

Steal over to Etsy, Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy to snag this pattern.

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American Dog Walker: The Art of Bruce Thayer

There is currently a terrific exhibit at the CMU Art Gallery, featuring the works of CMU alum Bruce Thayer, an artist who is heavily influenced by the Chicago Imagist movement.

American Dog Walker: the Art of Bruce Thayer exhibit at CMU Art Gallery

I have to admit I knew nothing about the Chicago Imagists before going in to this exhibit, and I hadn’t heard Bruce Thayer‘s name before. I’m so glad I went, though, as I learned a ton and really enjoyed the art on display.

American Dog Walker: the Art of Bruce Thayer exhibit at CMU Art Gallery

Alice in the Wonderful Dog Walk, 2013

Much of Thayer’s art is political, but some is more telling of his daily life and routines, like this watercolor. (Also: I am a sucker for dogs.)

American Dog Walker: the Art of Bruce Thayer exhibit at CMU Art Gallery

Blame Game, 2013

Thayer was an auto worker for many years and experienced firsthand the struggles of the economic downturn and the effects of the changes in American manufacturing over the last few decades.

American Dog Walker: the Art of Bruce Thayer exhibit at CMU Art Gallery

Working Stiff, 2005

Thayer’s combination of drawing, painting, stamping, and other techniques is very effective, I think, in conveying the anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, and anger that auto workers and others felt during these troubles. Thayer’s ability to combine different techniques and themes reminded me of some of They Might Be Giants’ early music (the Pink album and Lincoln). Both use imagery from popular culture, political themes, and seem to have a sense of humor. I’m not sure I’m really putting a finger on why the one reminded me of the other, but it did.

American Dog Walker: the Art of Bruce Thayer exhibit at CMU Art Gallery

Shift Change, 1989

This piece is one of a few cut out assembly-acrylic sculptures in this show. I like the way that this piece brings the auto workers to life as they appear to be dancing. It seems that the balancing act of being an auto worker could easily have felt like a dance at times (juggling productivity with diminishing resources and increasing demands and trying to maintain one’s self-respect).

This exhibit will be on display at the CMU Art Gallery through November 8, 2014. I highly recommend checking it out.

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They Might Be nominated for another Grammy!

TMBG Here Comes the 123s

Nominated for a Best Musical Album for Children Grammy for Here Come the 123s, that is. Cool! I’ve long ago given up on watching the Grammy shows, because the performers are virtually always boring lip-syncers I’m not interested in anyway. But I’ll still root for my all-time favorites, They Might Be Giants.

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