Saturday, January 30, 2010

Artful Thursday

I wanted to do some sewing for my second Artful Thursday. I have a few quilt tops that need to be worked on

However, I didn't get to the quilt tops.  I ended up sewing a small tote bag that I'd cut the pieces for ... erm, months ago.

I have bunches of these - I use them to hold knitting projects and other stuff.  They're the perfect size.  The plaid fabric in this is one of my favorites - I couldn't find much, so I bought all the store had.  The inside pocket's made from a cut off piece of my old jeans.  I really enjoy using bits of old clothes and scraps of fabric I've saved from my mom's stuff...

I also needed to put new belt loops on my pants; I'm short and curvy, so my pants never go in enough at the waist.  I put in a dart at the center back, but that got rid of the center-back belt loop.  I used some of the old jeans fabric and a snippet from the quilt I made for Geordie's mom for Christmas.

They fit so much better now!!

I've found that two things never change in my life.  First, my kitties are involved.

Second, I'm never far from my friends online. 


I've done some more work on the Altered Puzzle I did last week.  I added some other edges and I refined some of the internal parts of the pieces.

I'm not sure I'm satisfied with it.  I think I'll paint the inside of the bottom left corner white, as a spot for a signature.  I like the pieces with shading - I'm thinking of calling it Lost Map and making every piece look like it's from a different part of a map.  I have several favorites, so far.

I'm working on it a little at a time during the week.  I'll post more when it's done.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekend Day

I have a button for the Artful Thursdays, but I'm not sure how to put it in so that it shows correctly. I've tried a couple of times, but it seems like I'm missing something basic. I'll try again.

Artful Thursdays

(That looks right in the preview, but I've found that the Blogger Preview doesn't accurately reflect what a post will look like.)

I haven't done much art yet today - Geordie and I went to the Elephant Bar for brunch, then stopped into the pet store to get a new collar for our kitten (who's removed hers and hidden it) and to look for more, interesting fish food. I did some knitting while we were in the car, but nothing important.

I do have some Cascade 220 to make a quick loose-gauge sweater for myself; as soon as I get past the cast on, I'll put a picture up.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Artful Thursday

I spent a very nice day upstairs enjoying the way the rain clouds made the sunlight flicker and sparkle.

Last night I peeled the paper off the puzzle and painted a thin white coat to seal the cardboard. Today, I started with this:

I started with a limited palette - only four colors.  This gave me a a range of colors that I knew would work together.

I painted the pieces separately, only trying to balance the colors across all of the pieces, not worrying about much else. They ended up like this, but it was lunchtime, so I paused.

After lunch, I started on a second layer - I added white and black, and started adding details and layering colors on top of other colors.

It still needs work - the colors aren't balanced and I don't think I've added enough detail. I'll keep working on it.

What do you think?


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm pretty excited about Artful Thursdays.  It's funny, but I've found that if I don't make something - not just start it, but work all the way through to the end - at least several times a week, I get cranky and irritable.  Clearly, I'm hoping this will help my mood.  *grin*  Especially as it gets closer to the start of Nursing School.

So, in anticipation of my first one tomorrow, I've been dithering about trying to figure out which craft I want to do and how much straightening up my craft room needs (other than more than I can face right now, of course).

One thing I've seen is Altered Puzzles - I really like the way Phizzychick does it.  Yesterday I bought three 25 piece puzzles at the Dollar Tree; I might start one of these tomorrow.  I'll peel the colored paper off one today - maybe even paint it with a thin white base coat, just for prep.

There's so much sewing I want to do as well, but maybe that can wait.

Okay, I'm headed upstairs to make some clear space, organize my supplies and prep my puzzle.  Art for me!  Yay.

Oh, so this isn't entirely photo-free, here's a picture of some abstract paintings I did months ago, when I was feeling less overwhelmed by things.  The set of three if hanging on one narrow wall, but the two curved ones need two more to become the set of four they are in my head.  Maybe I'll finish that today, so I can get that off my mental plate!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holiday Pictures...

Well, I'd forgotten to post these pictures - I finished the quilt for Geordie's mom as well as the shawl for her. 

The quilt is about 55" by 65" or so, and I think I'll be making one for us very soon.  At least, I hope to.

Her shawl is a good size - don't judge its size by the person currently holding it.  I'm only 4'9", so everything looks big on me.  I think it's about 60" across, though.  She's said she wore it as soon as it arrived, which was before Christmas.  (I was very flattered.  Apparently the quilt immediately landed on her bed.)

I just heard about this great thing that The Adventures of BlueGirl XO is doing - she calls it Artful Thursdays.  The idea is that, in an attempt to help clear out her craft room and to finally get to all the fun projects that have been put off (forever), she's going to work on something creative every Thursday and then blog about it.  Not every entry needs to be a tutorial; photos of the action is good enough.

She's got a lovely button, but I'll have to learn how to make it into a link (I'm still learning how much I have to learn about Blogger!).

I really want to do this - Thursdays have been my "day off" for years now, so I'm looking forward to working on something creative instead of filling the day with endless errands.  I'll buy groceries Friday.  Thursdays are now for making things!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Much Better, Don't You Think?

So, I worked a bit (and some of the stuff I just moved to the craft room upstairs to deal with later), and here's the chair now.  The cat is a regular feature of the chair back.

There's still work to do (omg, lots), but at least I can see the chair seat.  I'll have to find some other home for the stuffed animals, huh?


Photos - some good, some bad

Well, let's start with the horrible one, shall we?  Here's the chair I want to clear off.

The thing is, much of this really belongs upstairs and I haven't figured out how to deal with the clutter up there either.  However, I think if I just pick a place and start, it'll be better.  At this point, anything would be better than this.

Now to show you some nicer pictures, to distract you while I hurry and scramble and work.

First, my fish!  I have two fancy goldfish named Tic and Tac and we just got a herd of neon tetras, a plecostomus, some little gourami and mollies.  They're all very pretty.

This is Tic and Tac, now the Elder Statesfish of the tank.

Here you can see the neon tetras and the plec.  The mollies and gourami swim higher up in the tank, so I'll show you them later. 

Lastly, here's a pretty picture from this past weekend:

The Golden Gate Bridge, with San Francisco in the background.  I love living here.


Working on resolutions

One of the things I'd like to do over the next few weeks is catalogue my In Progress projects.  I know I have more than is ... sensible, let alone finishable.  I want to bring my WIP list down to a manageable level.

(At this point, it's overwhelming and is making me feel defeated before I even start other things, so it's long past time I cleared things out.)

As part of that, I'll be clearing out clutter from the house.  I think that today, while I'm running several loads of laundry (that chore never goes away!), I'll concentrate on the side chair and the area around it.  I tend to toss things I need to put aside while I'm sitting on the couch onto the side chair.  It's way out of control.

I know there have been several photo-free posts in a row now, but I'm not sure I want to start with a picture of the horrible chair.  I should, huh, so you can all cheer me on as I make progress!


Monday, January 04, 2010

Resolutions and a Fresh Start

This is... these are things I've been thinking about for the past few months. I'm not happy with the way I've been sort of drifting through weeks rather than getting enough done. I want to be more productive, less wasteful and more aware of what I'm doing and what's going on around me.

So I have been thinking of New Year's Resolutions and Goals. Sometimes I think I prefer the word 'Goals', but not everything I want to change is a goal - some of them are simply changes I'd like to try to make. None of these come with "failure" attached; if I don't do well at them today or this week, I can work harder at them next week. One of the reasons people (me) seem to fail at Resolutions is that they seem so Absolute: From Now On I Will Never (do something I've been doing every day of my life)!!!

Well, that doesn't work. (Trust me. *grin*)

I've been generating a mental list, slowly and thinkily. If I think of something I'd like to do or change several times, then I try to make sure it remains on my List. What I've got now is this:

I want to have less clutter around me.

(This is something I've struggled with for years.) However, I think I'm in the right sort of place, physically, mentally and time-of-life-wise to actually begin to toss stuff out. I don't need the money from selling every tiny snippet of stuff, so I can donate it or toss it without worrying that next month's rent is going to be short if I do. Plus, I can't do many of the other things I want to do with all this clutter around me. One of these things is that I want to be able to have people over for dinner and for hanging out and right now that's difficult.

I want to be more organized.

This is separate from the above list item because it's not about stuff. This one is about not missing deadlines, or having to stay up until 3am the night before a test. I want to know where things are in the house and not lose paperwork. Even if this means I have to start making lists of which DVD's we have (and then keep it on my computer and in my iTouch), that's okay. I work well off of To Do lists - why not use that ability and extend it? Use a calendar/date book and put things in it.

I want to exercise more.

Again, something I've thought about many times. This time, I do like being on the bike, so one of the biggest hurdles is gone. I just need to develop the habit, and that's simply force of will. Also, I'll need the right gear - mud guards, a head-wrap-thing so the cold doesn't give me a splitting headache... but even without those things, I like the biking. So this time it feels doable. (I hated the gym. It was boring and miserable and I didn't fit in the machines and I never got the endorphin rush everyone talks about. All I got was boredom. Bleh.)

I want to stop spending money on things I don't need.

This is directed mainly at craft supplies. I have an awful lot of supplies; I want to see how long I can go without buying any. I don't mean 'not buying any because I'm not doing any crafts', I mean continuing to make the things I want to, but without purchasing new supplies. This will mean being creative, sometimes, in how I do things or what I can make. That's okay. That's good, in fact, as the whole point of being creative is ... being creative, so if I have to use something in a new, different, unexpected way, that's all to the good, isn't it? (If I put things up on etsy and they sell and I need new supplies for that, no problem. If I've run out of, say, glue, I'll buy glue. I'm not crazy, just trying to "shop my stash".) This will, of course, include yarn! (This will also include Finishing Current Projects, as it's one way to not buy something for a new one...)

I want to cook us better, fresher foods, with a wider variety of recipes.

Self-explanatory, no? (Recording the recipes used and whether or not they were successful should be included here - wouldn't it be nice to have Our Own Recipe book?)


There will be more on the list, but I think this really covers the basics. I know there are short-term goals (and I haven't put in school, because that feels like it goes into a different list altogether, but I will be working on that as well.) Also, there are projects I have in mind that don't go on this list. (Things like: next Christmas, I hope to be buried in the end of my first semester in Nursing school. If I want decorations, I should make them in the next couple of months and set them aside, so all I have to do next year is pull them out for Instant Decorated House.)