Saturday, December 31, 2011

a lot of bull

From facsimiles of Sitting Bull's drawings to an 1870s analysis of them, this story is straight from a scanned copy of the Daily Graphic. The piece concludes that Sitting Bull has a great deal of influence with his ["dusky"] brethren because of his artistic skills. Um, maybe, yes, but more probably his ranking in his tribe is because he's a complete badass who knows how to mindfuck the enemy and keeps on coming with a bullet in his thigh and seven in his horse.




Herewith are presented reproductions of extracts from the famous pictorial autobiography of the great Sioux chief Sitting Bull.
     These drawings were presented to Dr. Patrick in 1870 by his friend, Dr. W. West, of the United States Army, who sent them then with the comment that they were the work of Sitting Bull, a Sioux outlaw, who was a great braggart and fraud; that they were ostentatious boasts of that Indian's prowess, who doubtless placed them in the hands of the Crow scout who gave them to Dr. West for the purpose of reminding the soldiers of sundry and several outrages which Sitting Bull had in person perpetrated on the whites and friendly Indians.
     Dr. Patrick sent them to the Smithsonian Institution last Christmas in connection with a very large collection of Indian utensils of war and specimens of pottery, pipes, etc., which are simply deposited, and not given to the institution.
     It must be remembered that these pictures were all drawn by Sitting Bull in color on sheets of common writing paper. He evidently used a fine brush and shaded those parts of the drawings which are filled in with lines by our artist, who has made these copies perfect facsimiles. They are reduced in THE GRAPHIC and are about one-half of the original sizes. The outlines, however, he drew in the same free, bold manner as represented.
     These five pictures are selected from the series above referred to, It not being deemed necessary to use them all, as the style and skill of Sitting Bull is well expressed by the selections given: He doubtless must owe a large portion of his influence among his dusky brethren to this art, which he certainly possesses in an unusual degree as compared with Indians generally.

sitting bull pictograph facsimile, 1876
1. Sitting Bull is represented on foot, with war shield and rifle, defying the power of the troops represented as drawn up in platoons. Sitting Bull, by the dotted line curving on itself behind, calls attention to the fact that though in a hailstorm of bullets and the cannon belching in his face, yet he is unconcerned enough to execute a derisive dance in the enemy's presence. The fire of the soldiers is represented by the cloud of heavy horizontal lines around him, indicating in this way the path of bullets, and the march of the soldiers by the dots representing tracks to the left of the dark patches, which show the compact masses of infantry.

sitting bull pictograph facsimile, 1876
2. The same thing, only he has chosen to represent himself as a buffalo bull on its haunches: the war shield is placed in full view behind the Sitting Bull.

sitting bull pictograph facsimile, 1876
3. Sitting Bull steals three mules from some ranchman's corral. The attention of the whites and their fire has bas drawn to the back of the corral, where a lot of Sioux have been threatening to charge, as shown by the tracks, while Sitting Bull slowly rides around behind, and under the cover of the previous confusion he dismounts, slips into the door of the corral, and manages to get out three mules before he is discovered. The whites fire on him from the windows, but do not dare to come out of the open house door, so he gets away with his plunder.

sitting bull pictograph facsimile, 1876
4. Sitting Bull, single-handed, catches four soldiers out somewhere by themselves, rides around them discharging arrows, which are represented as bringing blood, when he finally gets off his horse, and in the face of a general broadside from the whites gives them all the finishing touch with his war-lance. The bird of victory, an eagle, perches on his head; his body is painted red, with stripes of the same color across his face; his warhorse has its tail clubbed up like one of our dray horses on a muddy day, and has white bands painted around its legs as indicated by the savages brush and shaded those parts of the drawings which are filled in with lines by our artist, who has made these copies perfect facsimiles. They are reduced in THE GRAPHIC to about one-half of the original sizes. The outlines, however, he drew in the same free, bold manner as represented.

sitting bull pictograph facsimile, 1876
5. Here Sitting Bull represents the Fort Phil Kearny massacre. The surrounding of the hapless squad of soldiers and their utter annihilation are expressed by the unbroken circle of horse tracks around the concentrated mass of discharging guns and pistols, for the men fought nearly an hour in this way before their ammunition gave out, when they were at once charged upon and butchered. Sitting Bull, who, with Red Cloud, was one of the leaders and planners of the ambuscade, draws himself here in full costume, with two bullet-holes in his thigh and seven in his horse, from all of which the blood is streaming. Six other bullet holes on the opposite side are depicted by being made in a line just above the horse's back. Although the Indians were well armed with breech-loading rifles, yet Sitting Bull, to show his contempt for the belching guns of his victims, represents himself as being armed with nothing more than a bow and a quiver full of arrows!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not "It" As in "Cousin It"

Though this hand is slight, its flight is not sleight of hand, unless it's meant to misdirect attention from the prestidigitation that conjures a rabbit from the hat...or is it a dove? A bat? Oh: a winged rabbit.

 New necklace: Flight of Hand

Monday, December 5, 2011


I cut Mike's hair this morning. It took about 15 minutes. The last time he came home with a less than satisfactory cut, I said, "Next time, I'm going to cut it, so I did, and it looked okay. Today's cut was fine, too. I asked him,"Do you like it?" He said, "Yes." I said, "It'll do." I said, "Hey! That's the name of my hair salon: It'll 'Do." Then I wanted a tagline. Since I've been trying to come up with a better tagline for Millennium General Assembly, I'm fixated on hitting the right balance of information / tone / benefits, etc. So for It'll 'Do, I first thought, Better-Than-a-Bowl Haircuts. Then I went with, Okay Haircuts. You know, haircuts that aren't expensive and look fine. But I didn't want it to seems like a Fantastic Sams. I settled on It'll 'Do: Haircuts That Don't Suck.

It'll 'Do: Haircuts That Don't Suck . . .
like this one

Friday, December 2, 2011


That's the word that came to mind when I first saw this work of art.
corset by Irena Gasha

I was so taken by the artistry and craft that I had to make a treasury in tribute.

Okay, enough with the treasuries;  I need to post these new necklaces to my Etsy shop.

And work on the white balance (!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

treasury blitz

I started looking at vintage and antique book plates--avian, floral, faunal--and I felt compelled to treasurize:

Putting together Audubon prints: Making a quilt with art

Having a field day

No monotony in botany

Sunday, November 27, 2011

quest for the acorn: a work in progress

A fabulous new friend gave me some items to construct a necklace as a gift for her friend: a San Francisco watch chain, a tiny seal, and an agate heart charm. Her friend thought a nice Infant of Prague medal and maybe an acorn could be incorporated. Finding a nice Infant charm was pretty easy. I then went on The Quest for the Acorn. This is what I turned into:

Oh, the number of acorns that slipped from my grasp. I had no idea how precious acorn adornments could be. I thought I'd hit the mother-lode with three Victorian carved moonstone acorn fobs or charms. There was nothing else out there like them. I bid accordingly high...only to be sniped in the last seconds.

Other failed bids followed, on bog-oak-acorn earrings, vegetable-ivory (tagua nut) acorn needle cases, acorn treens. Here, see some for yourself.

In the end, I did find a listing for four acorn treens. I bid on them without realizing it was eBay U.K. and that the people auctioning the treens didn't ship to the U.S. Then I won the auction. The seller was so kind to actually ship them to me. I also found a great brass spring locket. Now to decide which one my buddy wants. One of these? Or continue the quest?

three wood acorn treens; one tagua-nut acorn treen
tagua nut treen on the left is pretty chipped and would be
harder to fashion a bale for
inside of brass spring locket--
springs  keep it closed

I'm also thinking of adding an inner, slightly shorter chain to the necklace with a smaller acorn button or charm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

going once, going twice

I reduxed Toots for my friend Lily's auction for Canyon SchoolI thought it would be easy to make a necklace I'd already made, but because the materials were different, it really wasn't easier--it still took a few hours. But the result looks great. I love the sterling cartouche as a cloud, with its upward whisps. It probably won't garner the "retail value" I placed on it of $150, so, folks (all three of you), if you want a bargain Millennium General Assembly necklace AND wouldn't mind contributing to the education of the future minds of America (of which the daring, darling and dynamic Lily is sure to be a great one, not least because of her amazing, brilliant parents), then bid on this.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pillows, Pillows, Pillows

For Mike’s birthday last year, I got him a custom-made pillow. Now you may be thinking What guy wants a pillow? Well, when did pillows get all gender-specific? I think a pillow is a fine gift for anyone. Especially if they’re made by Rachael at Perpetually Yours. Her pillows are genius. Below are pics of two pillows I commissioned from her: one for Mike of our dog, Like a Moon or a Button (Moon for short); and one for my buddy Polly of her hedgehog, Hero. (And if you like hedgehogs, Polly runs an awesome Tumblr site,

Rachael also has a fantastic new line of pillows, with amazing graphics featuring dog breeds in costumes. Check it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ivory opera passes

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels are being auctioned. Among the glitz is a gold necklace whose links hold antique ivory opera tokens. Edith Head bequeathed the necklace to Taylor. Christie’s estimates the necklace will sell for $1,500 to $2,000. This has to be a typo, as the tokens I found pics of online have price tags in the neighborhood of £500. I think it will go for $15,000 to $20,000.

Rich and important people carried these permanent box-seat tickets.

Elizabeth Taylor's gold and ivory necklace featuring ivory opera passes, circa 18th and 19th centuries, a gift from the estate of Edith Head

The Misses Marjoribanks’ Royal Opera House token, 1879

Royal Opera Covent Garden, 1855

Theater Token inscribed with IIII Nikopolis Roman 100-200 CE (from   

Royal Botanic Society of London, 1857