Thursday, March 31, 2016

Social Media - How Many Frontiers?

Since I've started to paint more seriously, it's been difficult to decide the best way to show off what I'm up to. Honestly, it is really tempting not to show anything at all. I feel like such a beginner again. But after reading Austin Kleon's book, Show Your Work!, I know that I need to show the paintings. All of them. Even ones I can see mistakes in. (Which would be all of them. But I don't think any painter is truly satisfied... ever.)

I have determined that I don't want to show every painting on this blog. If feels a little spammy to me. So instead I've opened up a tumblr account and I've been posting my work there.

I'm still figuring out how this blog and instagram (my other haunt) will work in the grand scheme of things. Questions like how much cross posting do I want to do and how much time do I really want to spend online are being puzzled out.

How has everyone else decided what to share and where?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gotta Catch Them All

The kids next door lost their TV privileges last week, so knowing that they enjoyed art too, I showed them some things I worked on when I was their age. One of the kids has really taken to drawing and is writing a story about a kid brought up by two wolves. Not sure if that is representative of how he feels about his life....
Anyways I thought I'd share with you all what I shared with them. I made miniature Pokemon cards. I remember spending hours on this. Actually, during my childhood, all the neighborhood kids spent summers drawing comics and making miniatures.

Here's a detail shot. I used a 005 micron pen to draw the tiny lines.

We also made little medallions out of scraps from a hole puncher. Mum bought the finished medallions from us, but we had to give her 10 medallions per payment and there couldn't be any repeats. (Good one Mum. I'm sure you had the most peaceful summer when you thought of that.)
There are 109 face up medallions in this picture. We were quite industrious.

We had little jelly roll pens at the time, and boy did we use them.

The neighborhood kids also came together and made Pokemon badges out of clay that could be baked. We must have all had Gameboys with a Pokemon game and the usb link that let us battle each other at that time. If I'm remembering right, each kid pretended to be a gym leader and you had to beat them in order to earn the badge.

It's fun to see how into Pokemon we were. It inspired quite a bit of creativity.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

We're All Mad In Here Redux

Could it be? I have a FO? After being stalled on all sorts of projects and finding motivation in none, I decided that every day I was going to knit one more stripe in these socks and eventually they would finish themselves. 
The heels match, like usual. I don't care if they laugh at knit night. I'm sure they are just jealous of my self-striping heel matching prowess. 

I've knit these socks before. We're All Mad In Here color way was the first Canon Hand Dyes I ever knit with. Unfortunately they faded. 
The sock on the left is the faded one. It almost looks like it is in shadows compared with the new one on the right.

Here is a close up of the damage. I've since been re-fixing all of my socks to help them resist fading. These were far from the only pair to fade, but because they had been neon, the contrast was much more stark. Luckily the old socks won't go to waste. Mum has found that she not only likes hand knit socks, she likes them even better when they've been worn in. Apparently they are more cozy. That works for me.
The sock on the left is in the Oscar base. The sock on the right is ion the Charles base.

Of course finishing my on-the-go pair of socks meant I could start a new pair. I didn't realized I had been so starved of a new project until I started knitting  this one. I blinked and I'm already at the heel.
The yarn is from Opal's now discontinued Little Prince series, the color is The Geographer, and there is a mildly embarrassing story as to why it needs to be knit now. I bought the skein back in November of 2013. After that I carted it around everywhere I went. I think it even came with me to New Zealand in 2014. Wei Siew saw it and was enchanted, so I found a skein at Stitches 2015 and sent to her. The embarrassing part is that she knit up her socks with her far newer skein before I got around to mine. So I'm knitting them now.

Progress has been steady on my other WIPs. I got more yarn for the shawl I'm designing. I had to unravel a few rows so I could blend the new skein in better. It took some time, but the shawl is now ready to be knit again. The Pucker sock is growing slowly but surely. I am ready to put in the toe on the first sock. (Finally!) I just need some quiet time to figure it out. The toe is a little different than my usual one because the mosaic pattern is 72 stitches around and I need it to be 64 stitches early on. I'm glad I have my Geographer socks to keep me sane while I work on the other two projects that need brain power.
There is one more thing in that photograph that I want to share and it also has a little story. I was reading Alicia's blog and saw a delightful bag. (See the second picture down.) I lusted, but decided I didn't want to buy a kit I wasn't interested in for the bag. The same day while reading Monica's blog that I saw a second bag and lusted over it. (See the third picture down.) After a bit more research I realized that those bags were both made by Jenna Rose. It was going to be a birthday present, but the bag accidentally got sent to our old address. We tried to get it back, but it was long gone. (I hope whoever stole it likes it a whole bunch.) So we ordered a second one. It became more of an anniversary present. It is my new favorite. It sits open really well and, well, I love that Jenna dyes and screen prints the fabric herself.

So that is what is going on in my knitting life. I'm still painting and learning all I can. It is exciting to have a new area in which to be creative.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

To My Husband On Our First Anniversary

Dearest Connor,
We did it! We made it a whole year. It was about right now when we said "I do." You asked me if given the chance, would I do it all over again. I can easily answer that there isn't a unit of time quick enough to describe how fast I'd say yes.
That time you taught me to sail in the Florida Keys. Your Mum kindly loaned me a loose shirt after I got burnt while kayaking... despite reapplying sunscreen.

In this last year we have had tough times with housing, car troubles, and illness. But we've also had amazing times with fun surprises, sharing hobbies (like knitting, snorkeling, and hiking), and traveling. You even earned yourself a new nickname: Mr. Bear Ears.
That time we went to Point Reyes for the day and did the Cowgirl Creamery cheese tour.

Speaking of traveling, did you know that since we've been married we have been to 4 states: Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Oregon (twice). We've traveled all over California, too. Starting with the Honeymoon, we've been to Big Sur, Twin PeaksJoshua Tree/Salvation Mountain/Disneyland, Point Reyes, The Valley Of Fire/ Hoover Dam/ Las Vegas, Florida and the Keys, Fort Point, Angel Island, Shasta Caverns/ Crater Lake, Bumpass Hell and Mount Lassen, and Dunsmuir. I always said I wanted an adventure buddy. I can't believe how lucky I am to have gotten exactly what I had wished for.
I'll be honest, I chose this photo because I thought I looked good in it. Also, I really enjoyed this tour. I'm glad we made it just in time.

By the way, you win at being the best pirate this year. 
Can't get more pirate-y than by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland

I woke up, wandered into the dining room and saw this. I was surprised. The card was really good. You earned tears. I also decided that I'll have to try harder to surprise you next year. 
Of course we all know that surprising you is an impossibility. I get too excited and I give you things early because I can't wait. 

Thank-you for this wonderful year, Connor. I'm glad I got to spend it with you.
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