‘Artistic Bondage’ – DIY hood and handcuffs turn any sketchbook into a stylish mini-tote

Secret freedoms… deepest passions… strappy high heels… The wording of my first official Blank Canvas Living assignment comes loaded with clues to its criteria.

In order to integrate sketching into her hectic lifestyle, the client would need a way to carry a sketchbook discreetly, protect its pages, and be inspired to let go of her inhibitions and excuses every time she sits down to draw.

The nature of this project, with its almost total creative freedom, is intoxicating. My mind races with ideas. This is the same thrill I felt designing my seismic skirt after burning those horrible ugly pants up on the roof. I’ve craved this level of creative engagement for so long, and I need to prove with this assignment that I can be part of Blank Canvas Living as more than just a tourist.

One idea dominates all the others – a two part sadomasochistic hood and handcuffs protective tote. Is a bondage sex theme too much? Too extreme? I don’t know the client’s history, but those strappy high heeled shoes keep leading me straight back to BDSM. What better way to tempt the client into artistic expression than ‘artistic bondage’? I submit to the process, and get down to work…
Hood
1-Cut calf of sacrificial black leggings to length of sketchbook + 1” (depending on thickness of book)
2-Sew cut end closed to make a pouch

Handcuffs
1-Stretch 3/4” wide elastic around sketchbook to desired tension – cut two of these lengths and stitch ends together to form ‘cuffs’
2-Cut third length (the ‘chain’) with ¾” extra on both ends to fold around ‘cuff’ loops.
3-Sew ‘cuffs’ onto their ‘chain’

Slip the hood over the sketchbook, then slide on the cuffs, leaving enough slack in the ‘chain’ to create a handle. The handcuffs can be used alone (as shown), and will hold pens/pencils securely under the ‘chain’.

This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…

Fun at work with seismic pattern DIY pencil skirt design

…Continued from Previous Post – The ugly pants burn! An old resolution is torched and a new 2012 personal style makeover begins


I tie my sweater around my long johns’ waist for modesty’s sake, and get down to business, armed with a tape measure from the 10th floor (can’t wait until I’m allowed behind the frosted glass!) and my geophysical company’s office supplies. Turns out paper – a material I thought I knew so well – has a grain, a weft that must be respected for it to cooperate with the human form. I coax the curves with a staggered layering of scotch tape (packing tape proves too tacky and final). Cutting the pattern on the diagonal creates the chevron effect, and the fit is tailored with four darts on the front and ten ½” darts on the back – ending at different points to create a lifting effect that perfectly cups my….. Finally, to stabilize the shape of the side seams, I bend and tape in two thin pieces of metal I find digging through old printer/computer parts in our infamous ‘back room’.

Suddenly a revelation hits me; I’m having fun. But more than that, I’m entirely sated by my present, fully engaged in an interactive learning with the material and task at hand. My senses guide me through fluid problem solving with real time risks and rewards. Is this what she wanted me to know? Is this ‘blank canvas living’?

When I ring the buzzer on the 10th floor to return the tape measure, my new friend answers the frosted door herself. I do a few poses and show her my sketches, along with the results of my (trying to be super sexy in long johns, wool socks, and a paper skirt) self-timer, guerilla-style, file room photoshoot.

Her fluorescent pink lips glow even brighter when she laughs. “I had a feeling you were going to surprise me…” she says. “Let’s make an appointment for you to come back and take a tour. You know, I’ve been looking for someone like you for a long time.”

This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…