Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As these photos show, I've completed one three-quarter length sleeve on my Monk sweatercoat. Once I'd crocheted the seams of the 8 squares together I simply picked up 51 stitches at the arm hole and knit in the round to the desired length, as mentioned, three-quarter length. The other sleeve has just been started. What I'd also like to do is knit on a collar, rib knit, that will go down the entire front of the sweatercoat so the opening overlaps a little when worn. Short rows may be involved which means, shudder the thought, Extensive Math Skills to figure out stitches and turns. Suddenly, knitting becomes rocket science. I'm also toying with the idea of knitted buttons and looped I-cord clasps. Something to mull over while knitting the other sleeve. I'd like to wear this finished piece to the upcoming Sheep & Wool ~ provided it's not sweltering in October.

It is this time of year that has me playing with wool a little more. Must be the cozy, fluffy needs that go along with the advent of cooler weather. My favorite seasons are spring and fall, those in-between and tolerable points of the year. Last night, later in the day than I would have usually started, I scoured Wild Apple Hill Farm's Lamb #422, Ava ~ a little over a pound. If I let it sit longer on the studio floor there wasn't going to be much left as Crystal would tear the bag and roll in it in my absence. (Yeah, she knows how to open the garbage bin drawer too. It's maddening.) The alpaca wool bag has been elevated to avoid a similar onslaught. That wool is too expensive for dog rolling, thank you. Aside from deterring bad dog behavior, it's simply time to spin and make stuff. So Ava is drying quietly in the enclosed laundry room waiting to become something wonderful. A gift, perhaps. Sleepin' on it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

steppin' out

We'd had a pretty crappy summer. Dirk and I were engrossed, ground down, by too much Adult Angst which was weighing heavy on the youths (except for Tom who kept busy at the local Rec Center). So, on a whim and a borrowed vehicle, we went to the Sterling Forest Renaissance Faire.

First, Bennie and I got our hair wreaths.

The place is small enough to finally run into #1 son dressed as a pirate and traveling with his acting group. Yarr!

There was much waiting around and map reading.

Ian got to try on this nifty $495 man vest thingy. He thought it would go great with the groovy gauntlets purchased earlier. We thought we'd better put the money toward the next vehicle.

We found the Wizard! Without the Yellow Brick Road.

Heed ye the sign!

This is the Reality we encountered. Sweet ride. Not ours though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the parrot and the golden halo

It's been a quiet day filled with domesticity and its simple requirements. No visitors, no relatives. One injured hen. I suspect the neighbor across the way shoots a BB gun at the chickens who have crossed the road and it's no longer a joke. Disappointing.

Although there were a great many things to tend to from lack of tending, I was able to work that parrot in ~ red and in flight. I'm sure the parrot's image will get more elaborate over time (possibly over night if the spirit moves me). The other development in this piece is the golden halo that's surrounding the skeleton. We'll see where that goes as well, shall we?

Just a little SoulCollage on the way out. I feel like the image on the right needs to be titled Black Tourmaline. I'm not sure why. Maybe there's something grounding and protective about the image which gives me that impression.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

pink stuff

After sweltering in a vehicle lacking air conditioning, I drenched myself in a cool shower then went back to a cool-enough studio. Hence, the results of yesterday's painting thus far. There's something about a parrot needing to be in here somewhere that's nagging at me. We'll see where that goes after Crystal goes to the vet.

Monday, August 09, 2010

creativity brekkers

If you're pretending to be an Artist, you have to act like the only thing that will sustain you is paint and brushes. After making tea and drawing my Carte du Jour from the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot deck (the Empress appeared for me today), I sashayed my way to the studio to continue playing with I started last night.

I've had skeleton images playing about in my mind for some time. Originally, the images had the bones bathed in turquoise blues, but when I got to the easel I went for the magenta paint and mixed it with white. Of course, what happens with this painting from this point on is anyone's guess, but that's half the fun.

Unfortunately, I still have to actually eat.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

studio moodlings

Ah, SoulCollage! Keeps the mind and hands busy. I came up with these two images in the past couple of days. Don't know what they are just yet. Neither one has spoken to me. They are simmering, fermenting, germinating. I will most likely make a host of others and then sit down with everyone at a quiet moment and see where that all goes. On my personal agenda: gather photos of my mother for scanning and Photoshop play to make a SoulCollage card in her honor. Also one of my brother.

The table has received its second coat of pearlescent paint and is now drying in front of the fan. The humidity is merciless today. I'd go to the lake and stay there all day, but we've paperwork to slog through first. And the End of the Summer Boredom is beginning to set in with my youths. Well, not Tom ~ he's been busy all summer at the Rec Center volunteering. Ian sleeps most of the day and then annoys us by staying up late to play video games or watch his Scrubs DVD's until I'm hearing the banjo theme song in my dreams. Enough of that. Onward . . .

I've been spinning this mohair/wool blend in waiting rooms while Dirk has been visiting neurologists or orthopedists or any other variety of -ists to be endured in waiting rooms. When I'm waiting for my Muse to strike, I pick up the spindle (the very first I ever bought from the Sheep & Wool, in fact) and get a few yards done. The color reminds me of some kind of a sporty, eye-searing car. We saw one on a sales lot last spring. A Honda wagon the sales guy dubbed the Limonator. Dirk and I briefly toyed with getting it for Tom. We'd always know where he is. So would everyone else.

The reason I can get any of this done is some semblance of order has been bestowed upon the studio spaces. Now I have plenty of surfaces to make a mess again. The Handy desk is sporting a hermit crab I'm tending for my nephew. We're getting along swimmingly. Bennie is taking care of my niece's Beta fish ~ so innocuous I have to remind her to feed him. That's the thing with fish; they don't ask much.