Ready, Set, Film: Marimello Spaces Out!

Oh NO! In all our anger and frothing at the mouth earlier about what a crap week it has been we forgot to send out the love for the very cool the 48 Hour Film Project happening this weekend in Los Angeles. If you haven't heard from you film school hottie this weekend, maybe this explains it all. Come out in droves next weekend, when the films will be screened. If you think you're on deadline, or you think the pressure for an upcoming event is too much, then you haven't lived through making a film in 48 hours. These people are indie hardcore!
In a nutshell, the 48 our Film Project is exactly what it sounds like only harder. Participating teams have an infinite time period to put together a crew and cast, but only 48 hours to write, edit and complete the entirely original film. The hard (or fun, depending on your yum/yuck threshold) part is keeping them honest. At 7 p.m. on Friday each team was issued a mandatory set of rules including a genre, a character's name and occupation, a prop and a line of dialogue. Films are due on Sunday at, duh, 7 p.m.
Now, Marimello likes a tight deadline as much as the next journo, but when it comes to crafting, we haven't seen much of this balls out, indie spirit. Just for spite, in the coming days Marimello will post a timed crafting challenge. We just have to think of something accessible and ludicrous enough to make you balk and pony up. Get your sticks out and dig through your most unappealing leftovers. You know that's where we'll be heading first.
Ready, Set, Craft.



Functionality Friday: Wear Black this Weekend

Good news first, or bad news?
Bad news? You sick freak.
JT Leroy defrauded the movie company, a federal court said today. Why is this bad news? Well one, because finding out JT Leroy wasn't real in the first place was, as David Segal said in the Washington Post, "like finding out John Updike is a robot." If that didn't make 2005 bad enough, finding out two years later that the courts now get to decide when fiction is business fraud, is way worse. It's a sad day for creativity and a sad end to a really interesting tale.
Also in the sad news department, indie publishers took a hit, well a while ago, but it's all flooding back with the sort of fire sale over at McSweeney's. Real quick, the distributer for McSweeney's and 130 other indie publishers, Advanced Marketing Services (AMS) went bankrupt back in December. What's so indie about having a distributer anyway? Well Priya Jain puts it simply in Salon."You can't sell a book if no one knows where to find it, and in helping [indie pubs] overcome that problem , PWG [who was bought by AMS] had become indie publishers' most indespensible partner." It's a valuable lesson for anyone looking to expand their audience/market, and we suppose it's the only sunny side to the story; stay indie, stay self reliant, and stay strong. See it as a big lesson on corporate accounting and take a page from Richard Nash, publisher of Soft Skull, who states, "the independents got fucked by the Enron of publishing."

So what could possibly be the good news? Aside from the rather somber lessons to be learned? Well Marimello enjoys a good celebrity sighting as much the next Angeleno, so not to get all Crafty TMZ on you all, but did any one check out the cover of Woodturning Basics? That's right William H. Macy is coming out crafty. How sweet it is.



How Madonna Taught Us There was Nothing New Under the Sun (unless we copyrighted it)

When our outfit ideas started popping up at Urban Outfitters (not the leggings, dears) we thought we were trendsetters, and we were flattered. When our friends asked if they could be cool and tattooed like us we were again trendsetters and flattered. But when Madonna started sneaking into our closet at night and "borrowing" our carefully designed, regulation Marimello work uniform, we were hurt and we cursed her for steeeeealing. We rued the day another celeb would slink out on stage in our gear.
Wait, you think we're kidding?
Let us tell you, it's one thing for a celeb to popularize crafting in a cafe. We are appreciative for the credit a celeb gives our chosen vocation. But it's another thing entirely when Martha come out of the clink wearing YOUR poncho. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, so long as you want to be associated with that. So, with only a few short weeks before Paris exits Twin Towers wearing the patented "Very Effective" model of the Marimello Signature Turban, let's get started!
Just so you know what you are up against, may we point you toward Gallahger's Gallery and Archive. This magazine shop in NYC has been supplying the worlds greatest designers with the worlds best vintage ideas for years people. If you saw it on a runway, it was salted away in a vintage Vogue in this shop first. This is not to say that you necessarily care about your ideas strutting down the catwalk, but we are sure the danger is there if you are publishing patterns. So read your publishing contracts carefully crafters.
Check out the site the government has put together for you: U.S. Copyright Office. It may be boring, but it might save your butt.
Also look into Creative Commons. Especially if you post your brilliance online. It gives you the flexibility to chose the way in which your designs (and words) can be repeated with out credit toward you.
And in a pinch, seal it with a kiss! As one faithful reader wrote in, you can always write something down or draw something out, seal it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. The seal and the postmark date will serve as testement that you had your idea first. Just remember not to open the mail when you get it back. We know how much you love getting mail.



Of All the Useless...

TTD sounds like something your mother might tell you about in a hushed voice. Maybe as part of the "beautiful cycle" conversation. But it is highly unlikely, in the event that your mother paid for your wedding dress, that she will give you any hint at all what TTD might be. So get this. TTD is Trashing the Dress.
Trashing. The. Dress.
The how-many-hundred-dollar-dress.
A couple of days ago The New York Times ran an odd, though not particularly authoritative piece on this popular new post-wedding trend. To us it seems almost as odd to us as paying $2500 for a dress that is only worn once. And while we are inclined immediately to point you toward any number of donation links in an effort to stop the wanton destruction of couture (oh yes, we have been known to support a closet's right to contain an article of couture or two), we are also wondering if this is not another example of a message getting lost in artistic translation. If you are really feeling so anti-wedding after the main event, why include the parts of the main event to which you are opposed? (We are guessing TTD has something to do with resenting the dress and the tendency toward intense dieting before the wedding, but we aren't going to go there today.) Why not make the main event more personal and a celebration of the new life one couple has chosen for themselves?
Now tawk amongst yawselves.
Modern crafters, of all people, are familiar with modifying traditions. If not because they are currently subverting tradtition with their crafts, then at least because crafting is intrinsically rooted in personalization of patterns. So here's a couple of ideas:
Though the contest may be over, but there's a lot of inspiring ways to use toilet paper, yes toilet paper, at Cheap Chic Weddings.
Or pick up this month's issue of Ready Made (our sometimes petty bitch target) and check out Todd Oldham's column, Hot Toddy for a super cute pattern to make yourself.
This is not to say that we think keeping the dress, however clever, in a box that looks as if half the woman is still wearing it is not equally odd. Check out The I Do Foundation, Making Memories, and let any brides maids know about The Princess Project.


Figuring the Feminine: The Great Crochet Reef

What better homage to the disappearing Great Barrier Reef than to crochet a new one? At least that's what The Institute for Figuring's (IFF) Christine and Margaret Wertheim appear to have thought four years ago when they started their project. The reef is composed of hyperbolic crocheted and for a history of hyperbolic crochet, you needn't sweep aside the brain cobwebs for high school memories of geometry class. Quite simply Euclid, father of geometry put forth five axioms: four of which were easily proved and one of which was not. This fifth axiom has to do with the nature of parallel lines and how they interact. If you have one line and then draw one point outside of it, Euclid said that only one other line could pass through that point and NOT intersect with the first line. Well there's just no way to prove that is true. Geometers tried for 2000 years and pretty much threw in the towel around the 19th Century. It turns out that infinite hyperbolic lines can pass through the point (remember that bell shaped line from geometry class?), still be straight lines, and not intersect the other straight line. The type of space defined by these lines bends away from itself and creates the sort of lettuce leafy structures we see in nature.
Um, so where's the crochet come in you ask. Well no one could build a durable model to demonstrate this idea until 1997 when Daina Tiamina, a mathematician at Cornell University finally figured out how to make a model of hyperbolic space that allows us to hold onto and tactilely explore the properties of this unique geometry. The method she used was crochet.
Voila! Somehow when you look at the image to the right, all the stuff above makes much more visual sense!
And while it's interesting is that feminine handicraft solved a very old problem in a very male-dominated field, it's more interesting that this is the mathematical method by which the Wertheim sisters are building the Great Crochet Reef.
Henri PoincarĂ©, one of science's great philosophers once wrote that no geometry could be considered more true than any other, only more convenient. To which Daina Tiamina says that "Euclidean geometry is convenient, but that doesn’t mean it’s what nature uses." By using hyperbolic forms, the Wertheim sisters' crochet reef not only accurately represents the natural way in which the real Great Barrier Reef was created, it also hints that the the solution to the Great Barrier Reef's degradation might have a solution as revolutionary to the environmental movement as hyperbolic geometry was to mathematics.

Currently part of the reef are being exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, PA. We here in L.A. have to wait until 2008 when the whole reef is exhibited at LACE.