Towse: views from the hill

March 4, 2011

Fundraiser for North Beach Citizens.

Filed under: nonprofits,photographs — Tags: , , , — Towse @ 12:24 am

Missed the opening blowout for the latest fundraiser for North Beach Citizens tonight. 6-9pm at Gallery 28 on Grant. (We were at an event at the San Francisco Food Bank. I won’t even =begin= to tell you the other events that were happening citywide.)

Famous folks with their fundraising art. Less famous folks with theirs. All for a good cause. BUY! SPEND! DONATE!

This, of course, is mine — a collage titled, “Cool, Grey City of Love.” Challenge was to take an LP and create some art on it. The theme was VINYL TRANSFORMATION. You couldn’t do something 3-D but anything else was up for grabs.

This photo of my collage maybe not so hot, eh? But the collage is worth $5, don’t you think? $10? Who will give me $20 for a GOOD CAUSE! HERE, FOLKS! $50?

I haven’t seen what Ferlinghetti, or Hirschman did, and I couldn’t be at the blowout tonight, alas. Check in with Gallery 28 on Grant to see what the other donees did and spend money for a good cause.

Couldn’t make it to the opening reception and want to bid in person? There will be a closing reception on 26 March 2011, with poetry reading and auction.

May 31, 2009

Back to the past …

Filed under: life — Tags: — Towse @ 12:04 am


Posted by Picasa

Reliving sixth grade, age 10. One of my class projects required a pyrographed report cover.

I decided a while back our sign-less (and dead-end, needless to say) path needed some signage, especially with the gang event scheduled for tomorrow.

Scrap plywood. Wood burner. Olde English staining polish. Bob’s your uncle.

(Now to figure out a way to get the sign to stay up in the planters for at least the duration of the get-together.)

Sure to be a hit with ALL the neighbors. Heh.

[Update: Turns out one of the neighbors really likes the sign and asked if I’d mind if he screwed it into the wood retaining wall at the end of the path. He didn’t want to appropriate my private property without my permission, he said. Gee. He likes it! Go right ahead, I told him.]

May 28, 2009

Remembrance of things past

Filed under: life — Tags: — Towse @ 6:56 pm

A taste can do it. Proust had his madeleines. Lilikoi/passion fruit takes me straight back to breakfast in Brazil. The cook would pick fresh fruit off the vines on the back fence and make our breakfast juice. My early grade-school self is still angling for a bit more juice.

A scent can do it. I use punks as incense sticks because the scent of punks takes me back to long ago July 4th fireworks. His nibs bought me two boxloads of punks for Christmas a decade or so ago. He could only buy in bulk. I’m set for life.

I was pulled back to sixth grade yesterday when, for the first time in nearly a century (slight exaggeration, but only slight …), I was wood-burning or, as the swanky like to call it, doing “pyrography.”

We’re having a party here Sunday and our little path off the Filbert Steps has no signage. Had some wood. Couldn’t find the old woodburner in several searches of boxes of stuff, but Amazon came through and for <$20 delivered a new woodburning kit a couple days back. Now I'm in the process of making a street sign soze no one will walk past the turn off the steps.

Yesterday I was fiddling with nibs and brands, heating, cooling, covering up errors with more burning. The smell of the smoking wood reminded me of country reports we wrote back in sixth grade — hand-written on binder paper (no computers avec printers in those days) and “bound” in wooden covers. We burnt designs onto our covers, stained them, sealed them. We cut off a two-inch or so piece from the left edge. Drilled three holes in the two-inch edge and used leather laces to hold the pages. Added brass hinges to attach the edge to the rest of the cover. Voila! a hinged cover!

My report was on Argentina and the Pampas and the gauchos and Buenos Aires and the Patagonia. No mention of Malbec. The design I burnt on the report cover was a map of Argentina. I don’t know whatever happened to that report.

Gee … over forty-five years ago now. But the smoky scent yesterday took me straight back. (And I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. When I continue on with my wee project, I will make sure I sit up-breeze from the smoke.)

December 30, 2008

spool art by devorah sperber

Filed under: art — Tags: , — Towse @ 1:17 am

spool art by devorah sperber


December 27, 2008

A philosophy of life

Filed under: life,shopshopshop — Tags: , , — Towse @ 2:49 am

Had a nice long, ranging chat with Hermon Baker when I stopped in at Yone Beads on Union on my way back from the library and further places afield. (Complete list of stops and purchases on the day after Christmas: Cost Plus: nothing. Even at 75% off there was nothing there I needed, but seems I needed a couple small, blank canvases and a sketchbook (all on sale — total price <$10) at Artist & Craftsman Supply on Columbus.)

Baker and I talked about life and warm beds, the weather and the tiger sculpture that’s allegedly over on the Greenwich Steps. I need to go over and see if I can find it. One of his earlier customers hadn’t been able to. We wondered whether it had already been removed.

We talked about the year ending and his negative view of “top ten” lists for the year. Life is not a competition, he said. We shouldn’t be ranking this or that as on or off the top ten list for the year. Winners or losers. Top ten or not. Don’t.

I left the shop with two beautiful beads I will find some use for and something to think about.

December 17, 2008 Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make!

Filed under: design — Tags: — Towse @ 7:34 am Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make!

You know who you are. Enjoy!

November 8, 2008

Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures at

Filed under: art,design,people — Tags: , — Towse @ 2:48 am

Amazing work.

I’ve written about Lego sculptures and sculptors before, but never linked to Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures.

Well, for one thing, I don’t think they existed the last time I wrote about Legos (in 2002).

Here’s an article on his sculptures from (The media show at the first link is from the same source.)

And here’s Sawaya’s Web site – the Art of the Brick.


October 28, 2008

Singing skull

Filed under: web2.0,yikes — Tags: , — Towse @ 11:50 pm

Singing skull [MAKE magazine blog post on the project]

And a vid of the actual skull singing!

Some people have waaaaay too much time on their hands.

[via a tweet from Make Magazine]

November 26, 2007

TechShop: Build Your Dreams Here

Filed under: design,life — Tags: , — Towse @ 11:52 pm

His nibs went down to Palo Alto today to help MHP get some “stuff” out of his basement and delivered to TechShop in Menlo Park, a Maker’s dreamland, a burner’s heaven.

Never heard of TechShop?

TechShop is a fully-equipped open-access workshop and creative environment that lets you drop in any time and work on your own projects at your own pace. It is like a health club with tools and equipment instead of exercise equipment…or a Kinko’s for geeks.

TechShop was founded in 2006 by Jim Newton, a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster.

TechShop is located in Menlo Park, California, on the San Francisco peninsula 25 miles south of San Francisco.
Anyone can come in and build and make all kinds of things themselves using the TechShop tools, machines and equipment, and draw on the TechShop instructors and experts to help them with their projects. TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level. TechShop is perfect for inventors, “makers”, hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don’t have the tools, space or skills.

If this sounds like your piece of heaven, TechShop is open 9A->midnight, seven days a week.

Cost: Daily pass:$30 Monthly pass:$100 Annual pass:$1200 (except they’re having a sale just now.) The Annual and Monthly passes allow you to reserve time on specific pieces of equipment. The Annual pass allows you to reserve equipment up to two weeks in advance. The Monthly pass allows you to reserve equipment up to a day in advance. If you buy a multiple-months pass, you can reserve equipment for multiple days in advance. e.g. If you buy a five-month pass, you can reserve equipment up to five days in advance. If you buy a seven-month pass, you can reserve equipment up to seven days in advance.

TechShop gives classes on how to use the equipment. Some pieces of equipment =require= you to take a class before you are allowed to use the equipment.

Check it out.

September 19, 2007

Filed under: environment,environmentalism — Tags: — Towse @ 11:36 pm

Crafty, mostly crocheted, bags with directions.

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