Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend fun

I have 3 little figures that I've been working on - and a bowl. I'm trying different things with this paper clay to understand it's strength's and it's weakness. It can be slumpy, and it will warp if it's too thin. But overall it's fun to use and play with. I did paint the Ms. Em statue and will show it sometime - I'm actually not crazy about it. The painting came out OK - how wrong can you go with yellow shoes and a face, but I just don't know. I haven't painted the dog yet - and might just keep him neutral.

But - this weekend I also made a little PaperClay Book. Just 4 "pages" with painting and things glued on - it was good to rummage around in my stash and find things to use in a little book like this.







And I finished this little hanging plaque.


Home certainly is where the heart is. and where the fireplace is when you just got another 6 inches of snow.

Hope you had a lovely weekend - I've got about 10 little statues in my head so be prepared!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Work in Progress and a weather whine


Sort of reminds me of Pompeii - which is odd to say the least. Major sanding comes next and then the dreaded painting. Well, at least I can say I tried!

At art class tonight I looked out the window and saw blowing snow and drifts and cars driving slowly down snowy unploughed roads. I packed up my stuff and came home in a snit. I don't wish to move time along too fast, and I do enjoy certain things about winter, but really - we've had enough. I'm ready to see the green tips of daffodils, and some buds on the trees. And I've still got two feet of snow in my backyard. Sorry to whine, but really - this winter has been too long. People are depressed and house crazy. Somebody please talk to the weather gods, and fix it all please.

I've been laying on the couch and reading. Trashy novels, good books, instructional books. Anything to keep me prone and lazy. Fireplace on, no need to get up too many times. No knitting. No TV.

And my weekend plans? Sanding and painting. Reading. Not much else.

Spring - help me out here!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Animal Wednesday - resorting to vids again

funny and cute and fishie

Instructional

There are no live animals here in the northeast that aren't hibernating. I swear. Occasionally I think I see a squirrel but it is usually a leaf. I'm resorting to animal videos and papermache animals....

But then again...Miss Em paperclay (soon to be unveiled) does need her doggie sidekick doesn't she???

Happy Animal Wednesday

Monday, February 21, 2011

The first figurine



Small strange little creature.



Dried, sanded, gesso'ed, painted. Not so easy.





The big one is in process.....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paperclay and Inspiration...with an update

Lo - that clever gal - brought over some awesome paper clay work that she had done. I had some paper clay here that I had bought at Michaels, as I had a weird desire to make a little statue of miss em in a canoe. Don't ask me why...I just wanted to give it a try. But I didn't know where to start, so I had the unopened package. After I saw Lo's stuff, I tried my hand at a few plaque type items - eh..not so happy with them, lots to learn (of course). Not finished but thought I'd share anyway.

Then I tried my hand at a sort of Em-ish piece. As it turned out it is NOT miss em but is a funny little person-thing that I will keep working on. Sort of an owl face as I look at him more. Wonder if I can do a fish face?





Then I got smarter and went onto U Tube for a morning of instruction and hints. Now I am starting this guy. His head is a two sided bead that I bought somewhere, and his body is paperclay over a craft egg. Dowel neck. And no - the black behind him isn't hair and just to show that it isn't I tried to erase the background in photoshop as shown below. . (Note to self: take class in photoshop)



I like to try new things - find that doing so always gives me inspiration for drawings. These'll be fun little things but now I need more paperclay so we are heading out to Michaels with a 40% off coupon.

So this inspiration is all from being with a wonderful fellow artist for the day. For me, the morale of the story is that I need interaction! I need to get ideas from others, try new things, branch out. I'd love to be in a studio space with others, or back in school full time - just learning.

Thanks Lo - see besides giving me an awesome painting lesson you've got me started on a new fun little project.

Update: After buying more clay at Michaels, (and we tried to take a walk in the woods but the slippery slidy didn't work well for me) I came home and spent the afternoon working on the bigger paperclay guy. He lost his original head, I made a new one. His arms need some bulking up. His feet are big cause I put some washers in them to weigh him down (hope DH doesn't need that bolt anytime soon). I had SO much fun! Next he dries and I get to sandpaper him and paint.


Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Arty Lunch day and Friday Night Drawing

Arty Lunch
As you know, Lo, KJ and I planned an art day/lunch day this week. I set the table in advance of my guests arrival, prepared a sumptious meal and eagerly awaited their arrival. Before I go much further - here is a little history of our planned meetings over the past few years.



1) KJ and I conspired to meet at Lo's house two Christmas ago. I hadn't met Lo yet, she had just moved back to the northeast, and had also just moved into a new house. I got lost getting to her house, was about 2 hours late, and kept calling KJ so she could whisper (sometimes hissing) me directions. Well, I got there finally and we had a lovely time.

2) We were supposed to meet on the cape with DebraKay for a girls weekend. I reserved a lovely little cottage to stay in. The my MIL got sick with a heart problem and boom - I couldn't make it. They had a wonderful time and sent me all kinds of presents.

3) Again...we planned to meet on the cape this past summer with Marianne this time and again...boom MIL got sick and I couldn't make it. The three of them - of course - had a lovely time and sent me all kinds of presents.

4) YART did work out - just lovely. I thought the curse was over!

Back to this week.

Lo got to my house and skated over my iced over driveway to the door and we hugged and started chatting. We watched for KJ, as we knew she would be arriving soon. Ah yes...there's her car driving into my driveway - so we went out to meet her and make sure she didn't fall on the ice. She get's out of the car and says "I can't stay". I thought she was joking but no - she had just gotten a phone call that her mom had fallen, broken her arm, might be other issues. Ah yes...the curse is on again. KJ stayed for about 20 minutes, getting ready for the drive back, and then left to go back out to western mass. She had no time for my sumptuous lunch poor thing, but we did make her drink a cup of relaxing tea.

And you know what? Lo and I (while missing KJ) had a LOVELY day, and we will be sending KJ some presents.

We'll see what happens next time!

Friday night drawing
My Friday night drawing class this time is not portrait or life drawing, it's basic drawing. Last night we did perspective and I loved it - what a great tool this is! Big brown paper up on the wall, strings for rulers from the vanishing points and off we went.

This is a two point perspective drawing - of course, my favorite type of subject. Tom - the instructor - just laughed when he saw it and helped with certain aspects of the drawing.



Then I tried a three point perspective and while I didn't have a chance to finish it - I started getting the idea. What a great tool this is going to be for the comics! I plan on going back to some of them and redoing a few drawings from different perspectives - what FUN!!


I am learning so much in this class - wish it was longer, it ends in three sessions. But next session I can do comics again, and an in depth class on perspective. Should be interesting.

So...that was my week. Fun, a little disappointing, but good overall.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Animal Wednesday - visitors



I'm having two visitors today - can you guess who they are?

Happy Animal Wednesday!!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Easily Distracted

My muse has abandoned me lately, and - on top of that - I have been unplugged. I got an iPAD and while it is easy to lug around, I am finding that I can't type and post as well as on the regular computer, hence - in my pleasure of a new toy - I've neglected my old faithful computer and have unplugged myself. I'm still here - and miss my regular blogging and reading and am going to revert to my older early morning computer blogging habit.

So what does that have to do with being easily distracted? Nothing really, just something I needed to get off my chest. Done now. Chest lighter.

But as for easily distracted - yes, that's me.


I went down to the basement to organize and clean up a bit for two special friends who are stopping over tomorrow, and in cleaning up I found one of those awful pressed wood tables, with three legs. Really a rough top, all nasty pressed wood and splinters. I think the point is to cover them with fabric and a glass top and make a pretty little table. I got inspired somehow and decided to make the table into something a bit more useful. I put two layers of a heavy packing tissue paper on the top and glued it down. Then I cut off the bits that hung down over the sides and evened it out. Then I took a pretty green paper and cut it into about 1 inch squares and used them as mosaics on the top of the table. The paper was not solid green, it was variegated greens and lighter greens and tans. When it was dried I added the fish cutouts and polyurythaned over the top...painted the legs green and put the whole thing together. I wish I had taken pictures during the process - but didn't.


So...that was what I was doing while I was supposed to be cleaning up. Getting distracted by projects. Thank goodness.


But I did get my fabric organized!

Before...

After!

More pictures tomorrow. Fresh batteries in the camera.


Monday, February 14, 2011

New art blog

A little girl has started her own art blog. Too adorable!,

I have no idea how to "paste" on this iPad so here is the address

Zoemakesart.blogspot.com

Way cute

Go over and encourage her in her new venture

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A difficult question - a delicate answer

This could be a Six Word Saturday heading!


My DH is not usually known for diplomacy, he's too blunt and direct. But over 30 years of marriage has taught his a few things.

Background.

My first seamless sweater, knit in a bulky wool/acrylic blend - more of a test than anything as the yarn was not expensive and I'd never knit in the round before. And of course, I knit loose and forgot to continually check my guage, hence the bulky sweater. Which I made a nice scarf and toasty hat to match with the leftover yarn.

I tried to Shrink this sweater but since it has acrylic in it, it ain't changing shape at all.

My question to him this am.

"What do you think about this sweater"? (I had it on. I know it doesn't look good. Wouldn't you think I'd have learned something after 30 years?)

As soon as the words were out of my mouth I regretted them. I braced myself for the blunt "no".

What I got was " well, the arms are slightly different lengths and without shoulders it makes your shoulders look a bit droopy, and it has no waist so doesn't show yours, but - it's not bad"

He got a kiss.

And the sweater set....might just go to a worthy cause.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Illustration Friday - Sweater



Why do I always knit my sweaters so oversized???

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Mom's new dog

video

This is Scruffy - a three year old Shiz-poo from Small Dog Rescue. My cousin went to get a dog for herself - and saw Scruffy - fell in love and brought it home to my mom. Mom was uncertain for a day or so, but has gradually been falling in love. She adores being greeted at the door when she comes home, and feels that the pooch is "very smart".

I think it's just what she needs right now. I'm a bit worried about an 87 year old with a 3 year old dog but we'll cross that bridge if and when we need to. She's happy with the pup, it "loves" her and it's a distraction. Wonderful!

Happy - late in the day - Animal Wednesday

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Power of Water and Wool


I've been teaching myself knitting for a few years. I've made a few items, most of which I felt were unwearable. The one that is wearable I made in a class and I didn't use wool that was (picture me saying this with my nose in the air) Up To My Standards. In other words, it was mostly acrylic but that's what they sold us for the class.

Last fall I started a new sweater with some lovely purply wool that I found. I've knitted and knitted and FINALLY finished it the other day of the snowstorm. Then I did a great thing. I followed instructions - probably for the first time in my life - and blocked the sweater. I wet it and got rid of the excess water, and blocked it on a blocking board using blocking pins.

O.....M.....G....

It actually came out looking like a sweater. I'm wearing it now, it's warm as all get up. It looks pretty good on. It's not too big and the sleeve don't hang funny.

So now I've gone back to the other purple-mohair sweater that I knit (which looked as if it would fit a monster with arms coming straight out from somewhere between it's shoulders and it's waist) and am blocking that. If it comes out wearable - then Hallelujah - miracles do happen.

You true knitters probably know all this already. I knew it but didn't believe it, but there really can be magic in the reaction between water and wool.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day off work

Tuesday, Feb 2
I was sitting at my computer desk this afternoon - working away - when I looked out the window and saw this image. Do you see him? Easter Island type guy?


I ran out onto the porch and got a closer shot. Do you think I should apply for a miracle status - a tree with a face? Speaking of porches - this is the exit from my front porch. There is a nice pebble pathway under there somewhere, and one steps gently from the porch to the path and can stroll out to the front lawn. NOT!!!

Here is what it looks like in summer. Gorgeous, warm, green.

Yes, summertime is wonderful and gorgeous, but winter and snow agree with my atavistic cave desire. As long as I don't have to tromp around in it in work attire, I really love snowstorms and snow. I love the winter quiet, and hushed woods. I adore not having to do errands, and being able to sit and knit for hours while the snow falls. It soothes something in me - I feel warm and cozy (because I am - lucky person, me), lazy yet inspired. Lots of knitting got done today. Sweater blocked. A book finished. Easy dinner. Balm to a very busy year.

To me, summer wouldn't be half as much wonderful without winter. Deep dark cozy winter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Animal Wednesday - and more snow pictures...what else is there to do???

I know that all of us in the Northeast have been whining about the snow. It's not that this is the snowiest winter that we've had - others have given us more snow - but it's that it just keeps coming with a storm every week! We usually go weeks between storms, but this winter it's days.

So....we do what we can to make silk purses out of sow's ears.

DH and I thought that this icicle looked like a snake with it's mouth open hanging from the roof. I kinda think it's a stretch, but like to encourage his enthusiasm for Animal Wednesday. So here is a cold, icy, snake of an icicle.



Penguins....that's what we should have around here!



And today is Groundhog day! Normally I detest groundhogs. At our old house, we had one who lived up in the orchard that we called Rizzio. He really didn't bother us - there was enough to eat in the orchard. But in this house, we are surrounded (somewhat) by other houses so the GH here eats my flowers and vegetables. So, we don't like him or his brethren.
But I just saw Puxataney Phil on the TV, they woke him up to see if he saw his shadow...and he really looked so cute. Sorta sleepy and "why did you wake me up, but it's OK" wriggley nose look. According to the yahoos who were all dressed up holding the sleepy animal, Phil didn't see his shadow - which means an early spring. BRING IT ON!!!


My back porch disappearance progression continued.

A few weeks ago.


Last weekThis morning

Icicles over my back stairs - watch out!

The back door tunnel - cool eh?
Happy Animal Wednesday to those of you who can actually SEE animals - around here they are under the snow somewhere.