Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little Dirty Birdie's Feet

After last week's realization that They Might Be Giants had a new album out, I of course had to go buy a copy. I also scored big with a used copy of their compilation album ($9 for 80 minutes of classic TMBG). But the real cost turned out to be getting a very silly song stuck in my head. My favorites ranged from songs about how underappreciated former President Polk is and the all-time classic "Instanbul (not Constantinople)", but my brain keeps humming "Oh the sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace..." Imagine it as if Bill Nye took up the accordion. Gotta love this band... or hate them. I imagine there aren't a lot of people in the middle of those two extremes.

It's an old maxim that birds of a feather flock together. While stitching this last week I completed two motifs with birds dissimilar in feather, but united in their birdie evilness. Once the "dirty birdie" phrase clicked into my head I thought I had a chance of displacing "We need it's heat; We need it's light..." But the Gopher Guts song hadn't a chance.

Now about these birds. The top scene was taken from the local vineyard. I swear that when I started stitching it there were three skinny little birds and lots of grapes. I turned my back for 2 minutes and BAM! No merlot this year. As for the lower scene, if you recall, Don Quixote's hat is actually a metal barbering bowl, so it should rinse clean without much after affect.

If the three little gray stitches (you know which ones I mean) offend you, you can leave them out, but I offer that the J Paul Getty Center thought bird poop was classy enough to use for a major ad campaign. Even the President isn't imune to this natural phenomenon. God, I love Google!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

They Might Be Giants

TMBG - more than just a great band! {Actually they ARE a personal favorite of mine from back in the late 80's. When I looked up the web link, it was cool to see they are still going strong.}

What can be more iconic of The Netherlands than the windmill. Around here, there are two distinct windmill styles: The rickety Old West (left) "Let's water the hogs" style and the modern "Let's make some serious electricity" version on the right. Click the photo on the right to see this wind farm about 60 miles from me - you will want to see it full screen. It is impressive, but not the stuff that samplers are made of. I decided to use the traditional Dutch sampler windmill shape (center more-or-less). And rather than "do" something evil to the windmill, I chose a more quixotic approach.

"Look over there, friend Sancho Panza, where more than thirty monstrous giants appear. I intend to do battle with them and take all their lives ...
As he spoke, he dug his spurs into his steed Rocinante, paying no attention to his squire's shouted warning that beyond all doubt they were windmills . . . Covering himself with his shield and putting his lance in the rest, he urged Rocinante forward at a full gallop and attacked the nearest windmill, thrusting his lance into the sail. But the wind turned it with such violence that it shivered his weapon in pieces, dragging the horse and his rider with it, and sent the knight rolling badly injured across the plain."
-- Cervantes

And for Claire, who asked so sweetly to see how the whole thing was coming along...

About a third of the way done now. I'm really hoping to get the pace picked up now that the kids are back in school and a few competing projects are well in hand. I've also commited to capture some of these blogular ramblings in some form to be included in the chart pack.