Sunday, 31 January 2016

Drawing Draft

So after thinking a bit, I have decided to continue on my Milton-esque search for a minimal style and this is the sketch/plan for my new drawing.

This is supposed to be an outdoor setting, so I need to get the house faccade more grounded and add some brickwork to the chimney, indicate space to the right behind the house.  Not sure about it yet.

Also I decided to update my picture of my very slowly evolving fox paws project. I'm adding a new color (top of image)which is a rich purple (and not black) like it looks like in the picture. There is black along the bottom.  This pattern is kind of a pain to do so I am considering two repeats and then a ground of some other color and then two more repeats to make it a border. We'll see.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Having problems with a new Knitting Pattern

The prong of yellow in the righthand tree is clearly in the wrong place. I can not figure out this pattern for the life of me!!

Not enjoying this pattern (Fox Paws) much (yet!)

Finally Drawing Again

We had to do an exercise on perspective and of course I will be nailed for not paying as much attention to the perspective as to other things on the drawing, but here is my first drawing of the season. (Feels good to be drawing again - although it took a number of cuss words and bad starts before it started to feel good! ;-)

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Universe is Calling

Sometimes the universe can be so cruel and other times it is gentle and loving. Not too long ago I got an upbraiding from someone I "met" on the internet and I went crying to my spousal unit, who characteristically (in his oh so laconic way) said that perhaps it was the universe sending me a wake up call. This caused me to reexamine my eating habits, health practices, and sedentary ways and has sent me on the road to taking better care of myself.

Today I got another call, but it was a loving nudge at a time when I really needed it. My thyroid and hormones are definitely off-kilter and stress has caused me to feel extremely tired. Last night I had had great difficulty staying asleep and when I awoke this morning it was -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Centigrade) outside and although I had been in bed almost 9 hours, I felt completely exhausted and I was having a horrible time dragging myself out of bed. Seriously, as sad as it sounds, I was lying there telling myself, "You really are going to put a foot on the floor and stand up." (over and over again).  I kept thinking about my long list of things I had to do today, fill out travel receipt requests, clean out the hall closet, pay bills, vacuum, write to some friends in Germany to whom I owe letters, readjust some syllabi that refuse to accept proper ordering, etc.

So, I finally staggered out of bed and had barely pulled on my pants, when there was a knock at the door. (Yes, the universe was calling).

The postal carrier had brought me a package.

Remember those friends in Germany I had to write? Well, one of them had promised to send me a pair of socks she had knit for me. That was something worth getting up for! I was thinking that maybe they had arrived. The package was too light to be my grapefruit order, and it certainly was from Germany, but it was far too large to be a pair of hand-made socks. Now I felt curiosity and delight. Upon opening I discovered a variety of holiday gifts in brightly colored paper.

My friend Heike had outdone herself and sent far more than the promised socks. Look at all the amazing things I received and at a time when I was struggling. Smiling is one of the best defenses against stress and high levels of stress hormones, and oh how I smiled!

New years are a time for review and renewal, and I had certainly been sent a reminder from the universe about how important friends are.

I feel so much better now, so its off to accomplish the things on my list. But I am going to rearrange my priorities! Is it really important to have an orderly hall closet or a dirt free floor? l think I'll have a cup of tea and write those people in Germany first! Then we'll see. I've got a new hat and warm socks! Maybe I'll go out and play in the snow! Thank you Heike!


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Afghan for Mom also Off the Needles!

A million years ago my family members (my sisters in particular) started a knitting project to give to my Mom for her borthday (I think).  We bought some Noro Kureyon that we loved that had popular colors for the time of turquooise, burgundy and mustard. (See it was a REALLY long time ago!!) Each sister took a different solid color to add to the variegated Noro squares and was supposed to produce enough squares to make a nice warm afghan. Even my spousal unit learned to knit and picked up needles to do a square or two.

Well, we got sidetracked (for years) and although the topic caem up repeatedly we never seemed to get going on it agian until this year when my enterprising sister decided, like it or not, we were going to finish the afghan. We were all commanded to put everything else aside and knit squares.

Amazingly enough we did ity and even finished weaving in the ends in time to give it as a holiday gift.  YOu can't really tell, but each square has a pattern or motif from Barbara Walker's pattern books.  Here is the finished item:

And here is Mom with her gift.

Red Shawl Off the Needles

I don't love this shawl. I never liked the way the yarn knit up.  It actually looks okay folded on my chair but it is a funny shape and the "swing"/short row patches are not volutuous enough. Nonetheless, it is mostly finished (Still have to do the ends)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Syrian Migrants on Austrian-German Border

 In September I found myself caught in the closing of the border between Germany and Austria.  (I evidently forgot to publish this when I wrote it.) It was a day of difficulties. Thousands of migrants had been filtering north from Syria through Hungary and on to other European countries, but Germany was frustrated that there hadn't been any kind of structure implemented. They wanted the EU to meet and decide how to handle the situation. The only way they seemed to be able to make the EU pay attention was to close the border.

Holiday Pop-Ups

My sister wanted books on Paper cutting for a holiday gift and while I was perusing possibilities on Amazon I happened upon books on making pop-ups and before long I was hooked.  So of course I made pop up cards for holiday gifts.

I tried to do one suited for each couple I was gfting.  I made this one for my mother who is a professional artist. It was supposed to be artistic, but it turned out sort of weird.

For my sister that got the paper cutting books I did this one with pigs.


For my niece and her husband I did a Super Mario themed portrait. There is also a mystery science theater element I added to the front.

For my spousal unit D. I made a portrait of our family. 


We are sitting in front of our front window watching the woodpeckers on the suet feeder. It is hard to tell, but there are four layers.