Friday, July 9, 2010

Art Adventures with Yahoo Groups

Yahoo Groups is one of the world's largest of online discussion boards. It is an Internet communication tool which is a hybrid between an electronic mailing list and a threaded Internet forum.

I am a member of several Yahoo Groups. Most of my chosen groups center around arts and crafts and several involve mail-based trades.

In this set of photos I will tour you, dear reader, through one of those groups and one of their trades.

The group featured here is Fiber_Inchies_Swap. It is a 90 member sewing group started the summer of 2007 and we swap 1 inch squares organized around a particular theme.

The latest runs like this:

THE THEME; Cabinet/ Chamber of Wonders, was inspired by an article in Make magazine
(issue #17) about "WunderKammer" These were cabinets, rooms, and occasionally whole
buildings that were devoted to the eclectic collections gathered by the wealthier and
"scientifically" inclined, starting in the 1600's.

Let your mind wander over natural items and curiosities. Rock crystals and gems, bones and
branches, feathers and fur… Drawings of the human form, and other flora and fauna, maybe even
architectural details, …
Since this group started as Fiber Inchies, fiber would of course be fabulous (isn’t it always?)
but not required. I was thinking whatever media tickled your fancy with this idea….well…, so
long as we can get it mailed and such.

So let'er rip on oddments and treasures! Use that idea that hasn’t fit into other swaps…
Thanks for being part of my first hosting of a swap, I am looking forward to seeing how this

My inspiration was an inexpensive necklace of shells. Once, when travel was rare and more difficult and decorative consumer goods limited, a particularly lovely shell was a proud and prized possession. My daughter has such a shell handed down from my great grandmother through my mother to her.

While the necklace shells were threaded on plastic line similar to fishing line, an ordinary needle could not be used to attach them to the beaded 1 inch squares I had prepared.

This is reflective of how intuitive my work often is. A concept arises from the damp creative ooze and begins to take form. I do not make one item to completion to check for feasibility and to detect the design pitfalls. No, that would be much to organized and clever.

Instead, I find myself part way through a project, often with the completion deadline looming and asking "what now?" In this case the rather clever solution was to push a relatively stiff bit of wire past the curves a needle could not negotiate and to wind wire eyes in place that allowed for a sewn attachment. Whew! Glad there turned out to be a fairly simple remedy.

Twelve of us are taking part in this trade, so each of us makes 12 items. They are then mailed to the swap hostess, who sorts them. She them mails back to us one each of everyone's work, often displayed in some special way.

My completed inchies are now with the hostess. Seeing what the other participants have created is delicious anticipation.



  1. What a clever, clever idea. I love how you just kept adding more to these. Very nice.

  2. Love your inchies! Those are lucky ladies to be in that swap with you!

  3. These little inchies are great, thanks for sharing the creation of them! Gigi

  4. Very nice, since I am one of the recipients, I can't wait to see them in real life.