Saturday, October 8, 2011

One Strange Bird GRAND OPENING!

You heard it here first, One Strange Bird, located at 2515 W. North Avenue, in the wonderful city of Chicago, is having a party for the grand opening of our wonderful boutique!

Check the awesome flyer out below for all the information!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wish Granted

The last post's wish has been granted.  I am scared shitless and super excited to announce that I am officially a Small Business Owner.  Serious details later this week.

For now...

an update on clutch gallery's piece "Island" opening at the beginning of September.

Wooden Skeleton:


Salt Crystals day four:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I need more space...

If only I could be this organized:

Lately, I am really into raw wood and industrial finds.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Dye Feathers Tutorial

Hi, seriously this whole LadyBird thing has really taken off and I can't tell you how thrilled I am!  It is really wonderful a) being my own boss b) getting paid $ to make stuff c) playing with feathers and pretty things all day d) MOST importantly making ladies happy.  I have suddenly been thrown into the strange world of fashion and girly-ness that I am by no means accustomed to.

I have always loved feathers since I only answered to "Tigerlilly" when I was a young fan of Peter Pan, wielding plastic tomahawks and wearing rainbow colored headdresses.  Once I was older, I made myself a couple of amazing bird headdresses for Halloween and defiantly rocked some feather wings at Burning Man in 2001.   In grad school at UIC, I liked sticking giant turkey feathers in my pony tail, when I felt like the man was getting me down. Needless to say, I have always been captivated by this small treasure and I am amazed that other people no longer look at me like I'm a freak-werido when I rock my feathers.

I am totally okay being a bird lady.

I thought that since I've been on an Art with a capital "A" hiatus (because of being so busy!),  I would do a little blog tutorial on how to hand dye feathers.  It took me quite sometime to find this info, but really it is so simple.

Step One: Procure white feathers. I got a serious shipment in last week and I want to roll around in them.

Step Two: buy Jacquard acid dye in hot pink, of course

Step Three: Drink lots of coffee, steal gloves from your doctor's office, and order Thai takeout. Check.  You will want to wear gloves while dealing with these dyes or you will end up looking like me...a strange smurf.

Step Four: Fill your sink with cold water and soak your feathers.

Step Five: Heat water on the stove until just boiling, pour into coffee can, and add dye.  I use about half the dye per coffee can.  (Dyes brightly) You can also add a little vinegar, but I think it is too stinky. 

Step Six: Add your feathers and mix them around.  Make sure they are covered up by the dye/water.  Now wait.....about 30-45 min per batch.  I usually give them a stir every 15 min. or so...

Step Seven: Rinse feathers under cold water (with your gloves on) until the water runs clear.  Pat them dry with a towel.  Lastly, I like to blow dry mine because they get fluffy again.

Step Eight: Make pretty things and have fun!

Here is the Lady Bird headquarters....totally crammed into a teenyweenie little room...

The shelf has saved my life.

notice stack of Nicole Northway originals on your left.  For sale to a good home :)
In the back, my "vision board" because you all know I'm a major nerd and love the good vibes, man.

Feather rolls and wire...a new kind of palette.  

Take care, ride your bike, and have fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors...

I hate writing about my work.  I am currently avoiding writing this proposal by blogging.  Here are my experiments with dry ice:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hand Dyed Feathers

So...still haven't had too much time in the ART studio.  I've been thankfully very busy with the feathery stuff.  I also put together some of the shirts for a boutique in L.A.  yay!

Here are some hand dyed feathers I made this week:

Today I am working on a proposal for the sculpture center!  I will post some sweet pics (yes this will involve smoke and glitter) later this weekend.  

No more sleeping.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Light, Black Magic, Black Tail

So....It has been an insanely long time since I have posted and I am very sorry!  The image above only slightly explains the madness really.  

It all started here: 

I was trying to figure out how to make some money out of something handmade, so I didn't have to wait tables again.  I started making jewelry!

One day I was making a feather earring and got a little carried away with the beadwork.  It them got turned into a hair clip.

Presto: one month later I am a small business owner.  So...needless to say I have been working 12-15 hours a day to fill jewelry orders, hunt down rare rooster saddle feathers, and try to stay on top of teaching and painting....

It is all AMAZING.  You should check out the shop.  It's to your left of this post.

I never dreamed to know so much about fly tiers or rooster bodies:

So these guys are genetically bred to have long, beautiful tail feathers. There are only so many roosters out there.  Before jerks like me, fly fishermen who tied flies as a hobby had prime pick of the Whiting Euro rooster saddle hackle, a glorious explosion of long as hell soft tail feathers.  They used to be around 40-90$ a pack (100 feathers).

Now they are all gone.  The guys that run the fly shops have an incredible amount of personality and sense of humor.  They probably find it quite strange that we want to put them in our hair like this:

or this:

I have become obsessed.  These things are gorgeous and I want to hand dye them and offer them to my customers.  I e-mail fly shops all over the country.  Gone....

I was told by one man that his birds left early this year...saying something about L.A. hairstyles.  At least he has a sense of humor about it all.  Needless to say the saddles are going for 300-500$ on E-bay.  I found 2 smaller ones that I have in my possession and I'm using in designs.  

Ahhh that is all for the birds....

Let's talk salt crystals.  These are some studies (successful?) for a sculpture I can't wait to build for Clutch gallery. 

When I'm not plucking rooster rear ends or growing things in dark, damp places, I zone out under the black light.  I am doing research for a show at the Hyde Park Art Center.  David Shirgley is going to be in it too! I'm so pumped up.

It is a mild coincidence that the feather earrings look amazing in backlight too!

That's all for now.  This is my 5th 15 hour day in row.  

Snore time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thomas McCormick Gallery Exhibition

Hello!  I just wanted to share the virtual tour of the exhibition at the gallery with Michael Hedges.  The show is up until June 4th, so you should come by and see it if you can get a chance.  Tom and Mary are awesome people and great to work with.  (and they both have a great sense of humor!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011