Caffeinated Folding Bike Cover

“16. Folding bicycles in protective covers are permitted on all trains at all times…” – Metrarail.com

Bike Cover1 11-4-13My folding bike is named Franklin. Franklin is a Gotham style bike from Citizen Bikes.  You can buy brand name protective covers for these bikes, but I figured I could do better by creating my own.

<===== Cover in action. Pretty in cognito, no?

The good folks over at Headstash Roasting Company offered me several coffee sacks, which served as the fabric of the cover. I decorated it with pins and patches:
Bike Cover Patches 2
The Bomb sock pocket and the “Bikes not bombs” patch were both from The Hub Co-Op in Minneapolis. One pin is from Grid Chicago’s Streetsblog launch party, while three are ones I made at Artica Studios.

However, the patch that I am currently most proud of is the limited edition red one white cycling patch made by Chris Drew of the Art Patch Project. I rather fortuitously acquired it up when Mess Hall was still open. Moreover, I recently had the good fortune of re-encountering the Art Patch Project at Sol Cafe’s Chicago Ideas Week event, where Maria and Natalia were helping people print tee shirts with the city skyline.

Is it just me, or do coffee and cycling go hand in hand??
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Ghost Bike Card

I guess I think about bikes a lot. A long time ago, in 2007,  my grandfather bought me a trek 4500 that looked like this:stock doug

When I moved to the Twin Cities I didn’t have a car, and so I rode, a lot. Eventually, I moved to a new place, and a new bike shop opened up a stone’s throw from my place. It was the U of M branch of The Hub Co-op. It was right on my way to and from work, and (since I was working at Starbucks at the time) I’d often drop by, and give them my free pound of beans. I had a bunch of awesome and encouraging conversations with the guys that worked there, and bought some pretty cool stuff there, too…

Anyway, this year my beloved bike was stolen. I had renter’s insurance, but they required that I provide proof of ownership. Easy, right? Not so fast! The one picture I thought my bike might be in didn’t feature my bike, and I’m pretty do-it-yourself, so hadn’t ever had much “official” work done on it.

In fact, the only “real” work I could recall having done on it was that one time after I’d been hit by a taxi, and I took it to the Hub. So I called them up, and one of the guys found it for me, and thus the day was saved!

I sent them this card, as a homage to my deceased bike.

ghost doug

I’m thinking it might make a good line of sympathy cards. Thoughts?

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California Journalin’

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About three years ago I look a “Book Arts” course, which included some bookbinding techniques. That class prompted me to try my hand at that sort of thing, though I’m driven to use a slightly different assortment of materials than we did in that class.

This book is much more recent, made when I was at my parents’ new house in California. My goal was to use the items I had on hand, which meant a lot of miscellaneous bits of paper from my childhood. The lined and graph paper for the text block were the remaining unused pages from the school notebooks of my childhood, while the unlined pages were from an old address book.

I used the outer part of the address book as bookboard, and covered it with a piece of lined paper painted with some of my father’s homemade milk paint. I finished off the front using a piece of metal that I found locally in my parents’ neighborhood, and bound the whole thing with a piece of fiber rope, which I believe was made from New Zealand flax, known as harakeke to the Maori.

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Cynical Love Pillow

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This pillow has been crafted from fabric salvaged from two different hoodies.

The front of the pillow is from what was originally a blue hoodie. As the hoodie’s life wore down I modified it and patched it using fabric my grandmother had given me – the floral and love fabric seen here. The stencil of the gun was added for a bit of contrast. When the whole hoodie passed on I saved this patchwork piece in hopes of using it one day – maybe as part of a blanket or something.

The back of the pillow is made from the lining of an orange hoodie I found (and disassembled) back in college. The two pieces came together to make the pillow you see here.

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Industrial Sector Album Art, Mid-2008

Album art for Industrial Sector, by Ilam Stone. Around Christmas Peter and I went out to industrial areas of Christchurch, New Zealand for the photo shoot. I may post more of those photos later. While he was working on the songs, I selected images that might work well for the cover.

I used a solvent based transfer method to create the distressed look of the text. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t able to buy a straight up container of acetone, so I ended up using a blender pen, probably a lot like this one. You have to print the image on something that uses toner rather than ink, and you’ve got to reverse the image. And now you know everything about image transfer! Yay!

Now, of course, I would probably skip all that, and just use my typewriter. It already produces text that is rustic and distressed looking.

I also recommend Ilam Stone’s latest album, Splinter Stone.
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