Pack Rat killed Mr. Body in the study with the lead pipe
As many of you know, Pack Rat has recently moved to New Yawk, and I along with it. Getting set up in the new pad has been a bit of a struggle, but who has ever heard of an easy move? As I have mentioned before, we are having a hard time getting internet and with it, cable television. So thus far, I have been watching mostly PBS and the Olympics on static-y antennae TV (which will end this coming February. I’ll spare you all my soap box rant about that whole thing). Well, the other night I caught a documentary on flea markets strangely titled A Flea Market Documentary. What a gas it was! Rick Seback from WQED narrates this road trip through the cluttered tables, decorated tents, and gaudy displays of America’s flea markets. For anyone who loves this kind of second hand shopping, it is a must see. Even though some of the vendors have a significant amount of teeth missing–and even though there’s enough black face memorabilia to make you squirm in you chair–and even though the camera crew goes as far west as Pasadena, CA to the Rose Bowl flea market, but only goes as far east as Pittsburgh, PA (I mean come on, New England has, like, the granddaddies of flea markets), this documentary is totally fun. It’s not only great as a vicarious shopping experience (the rugs from Afghanistan are breath-taking), but it’s also shows an awesome cross section of the people that make up this nation of ours. Like an anthropological study, it gives clear snap shots of all sorts of different people, such as the retired identical twin brothers who sell vintage coke bottles and cans, or the Italian perfume vendor who sings to pretty women to attract them to his booth. And, as a nice surprise, Frank DeCaro makes a cameo as he checks out some of the flea markets with a (boy?)friend. (Old school The Daily Show fans will remember DeCaro from his “Out at the Movies” segments. Yuppier people will know him from his NY Times reviews.) Although the release date claims that it’s original release date is 2001, the camera work and the fashion all suggests to me that the footage was shot in the early nineties. And to me, early nineties fashion in and of itself is worth the price of admission. Even though I may sound a bit mocking here, I sincerely enjoyed it and recommend you all scour your local listings to see when it will be on a PBS station near you. Who knows, maybe I’ll use their route to plan my next road trip?
photo copyright WQED
Pack Rat makes new friends but keeps the old, because one is silver and the other’s gold
When I was a wee Meghan, every weekend I would take my $5 of allowance to the closest, tragic little mall that was more of a glorified parkade. There I would spend hours in a home goods and novelties store called “The Hoot.” Towards the back of the store, right as the fancy-pants, fragile home goods (wind chimes, hand made ceramics, etc.) gave way to the over priced kids’ toys, there was a small, rotating display of porcelain animal figurines. Each animal was glued to a small card with the price printed next to it. Over time, I accumulated a Noah’s ark of these suckers. A crazy cat lady even back then, I had plenty of kitten figurines, dogs, a bunny rabbit, a frog, a horse, a unicorn–the list goes on and on. My favorite was a cartoon looking little dragon. He had a baby blue body, pastel pink wings and spots, and an iridescent glaze that made him sparkle like secret treasure. I use to twist and turn him in the light, marveling at his opalescence and gently touching his sharp, delicate wings. It’s eighteen years later, and I’ll be honest, I still love that little guy. That’s why I can’t get enough of these glass creatures created by Pipyr. Shinier than porcelain, more classy then a figurine glued to a card, and reasonably priced ($25 for my favorite, the Boro Flameworked Dragon), Pipyr’s fantastical creations are the kind of thing that I would love my adult treasure chest to be full of. Bonus: you can wear her menagerie as pendants. (Sad epilogue: As I live my life in a Three Stooges-like choreography of clumsiness, not surprisingly I broke off the fragile wings of my porcelain dragon soon after buying him. That’s $8 I’m never going to see again).
photo copyright Pipyr
Pack Rat is still alive!
Ahoy my little chickadees! Oh how I have missed you. We have unwittingly moved Pack Rat HQ into a building that, apparently, is NOT internet friendly. So we still are awaiting an Internet hook up. Meanwhile, I will beg, borrow, and steal the e-web where I can. Here’s a quick little blog for you Boston folks. The vendor applications for the coming year’s Bazaar Bizarre in Boston are now available at http://bazaarbizarre.org/boston_stuff/app2008/ . Always a fun time, this year the BB will be held on December 7th at the Castle, allowing for more room and hopefully shorter (or even no) lines. A great place to get your wares peeped.
Pack Rat don’t know nothing ’bout history, don’t know much ’bout biology, but we do know that we love crafts.
Here at Pack Rat we looooove books and can admit when we have a crush on a fictional character or two. And one of the most enduring, lovable ficitional characters of all time is that original crime fighter, Sherlock Holmes. More satisfying than all the Law and Order type franchises combined, Holmes stands the test of time as the wiliest, slyest, most clever mastermind in literary history. And as we all know, intellegence is incredibly sexy. So we were psyched to come across these coasters inspired by the Arthur Conan Doyle books. Only $10, the set of 8 by Green Chair Press picture a liquor spritzer and this quote from Watson, “With hardly a word spoken, but with a kindly eye, he waved me to an armchair, threw across his case of cigars, and indicated a spirit case and a gasogene in the corner.” Thus begins Watson and Holmes many adventures together. Deliciously nerdy, these are a must have for any book worm.
photo copyright: Green Chair Press
Pack Rat‘s campaign platform is nothing but crafts.
In this highly charged election year, everyone is gearing up for a major change in the way our goverment does business. Show your support for a candidate, or start your own grassroots movement for yourself by making a vector political poster through Vectortuts’ Photoshop tutorial. Design so good, you could get your dog elected. (Editor’s note: Please do not get your dog elected.)
Photo by Vectortuts
Pack Rat has seen birds do it, bees do it, and even educated fleas do it. So let’s do it, let’s fall in love!
Yeah! another fun recycle craft (our favorite kind) coming at you. This one is courtsey of Elsie Marley. What to do with those large tin cans of soup/Juicy Juice/etc.? Why not turn them into handy around the home organizers? Just whip up a couple of minimalistic cozies with the tutorial that Marley provides. And she offers an assortment of embroidery patterns for both kitchen and art studio designs. You’ll clear your counters and workspace in no time!
Photo by Elsie Marley
Pack Rat is on a Mexican radio
You know we love all things graffiti here at Pack Rat. Public works of anonymous art? That’s right up our ally. Blogger Carina from Feeling Stitchy is branching out into the semi-nafarious realm of graffiti art by taking her embroidered messages out to the public. Not quite comfortable with the idea of leaving behind something permanent (and thereby potentially offensive) Carina “tags”with embroidery stitched on to removable, sticky sheets of paper. She seems to berate herself a bit for not having the courage to do something more permanent, but we here at Pack Rat believe that random acts of creativity are courageous enough in themselves. Stitch on, sister!
(photo courtsey of Carina)
Like Kurosawa, Pack Rat makes mad films…okay we don’t make films, but if we did they’d have a samurai
Today I am craving the Aussie designs of Tabitha Emma. Like the love child of Edward Gorey and Martha Stewart, Tabitha Emma is able to make the most lady-like objects (cupcakes, cups of tea, and little birds) have an edge. I am especially taken with her Embroidered Cupcake Brooch. The prim and proper pinks and florals are shaken up by graphic, bold, black outlines. Feminine and fierce at the same time. For $10 USD I’ve got to have it!
Pack Rat is hot like wasabi when we bust rhymes
Although I am a bit of a sci-fi nerd, I never really got behind The X-Files. And, after what my friend just told me about the hill billy episode, I probably never will. But, in honor of the new movie, which I know quite a few people are jazzed up about, I invite you to make your own “Thing in a Jar.” Created by Drew Olbrich, “Thing in a Jar” combines the mysteries of science, the fantasy of fiction, and the imagination of sculpture to make a creepy looking thing, stuck in a jar. Olbrich provides directions on how to make your own, so you can put it in your cubicle, or on your coffee table and weird out everyone you know. When they ask you what, exactly, is that thing in a jar, you can just look to them and say “The truth is out there.”
Pack Rat dances with the devil in the pale moonlight.
O.K. kids. Hopefully we are back in business, but this move to New York seems to keep taking on new dimensions, so no promises. For now, however, lets look at today’s object of desire. The jewelry by F1nneran is bright and cheerful, with colors that pop and pleasing geometric shapes. You may have noticed at this point that I have a necklace addiction, so my top pick is the Marigold on a Blue Wire Necklace pictured below for $26, but she also sells an assortment of other types of jewelry, including some luminous chandelier earrings that are worth putting on your wish list. Take a gander at the aforementioned groovy necklace below.