wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
Or shall we just call it, "The State of Things." Forgive me, LJ, for it has been awhile since my last post.

_________
I've never tried to put a cut under a cut, so be warned that when I say something vile happened, there should be an additional cut there to keep it out of public view unless you want to read it. If there is not a cut, don't read on, there's nothing more to see. :)
________

In which you can read about the State of Things )Vile Thing )

Anyhow. Did not mean to end on a tirade.SaveSaveSaveSave
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
I forgot to take pictures of this week's creative endeavors,* but I remembered to take one of Ti'Loup's quilt. (fresh out of the washing machine; should have ironed it for the photo. :P )  And because [livejournal.com profile] frigg made me laugh with a comment the other day to the effect of "In my mind, your craft room is a pristine space," you also get a bonus of the reality that is my atelier. I did spare you the mess that is the children's side. In fact, their workspaces so are overflowing with their stuff that they always come to my tables... o.O In fact, I had just cleaned the table on the left to install the new tablecloth and the stuff you see there is Junebug's and Sprout's paintings in progress.

So, the blanket:





Mess:



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* I did some colored pencil sketches of fruits and plants, and two watercolor "exercises". One was an attempt (following a tutorial) of painting mixed media abstract flowers. I kind of failed on the abstract part. I think I'll take another stab at it is this week. I also did a painting of a leaf as an exercise in mixing colors. While I'm not happy about how my leaf turned out, I did succeed in mixing up the colors I wanted, using those handy watercolor mixing charts I made a while back, which you can see hanging on the left-hand wall in the photo above.  Junebug joined in every now and then, but Sprout did both exercises with me, and we had a lot of fun talking color together. It was neat to hear her repeating Quinacridone Magenta and Burnt Sienna to herself. It is amazing to watch a kid making knowledge her own.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
I think I'll have time for just one more project before Coquille is born (we're 37wk3d), so I've chosen to do a summer quilt. A friend is borrowing my sewing machine, but she brought it over yesterday so that I could sew my layers together.

I'm using an old sheet and two pieces of unbleached cotton for it. I have a box of embroidery floss full of floss that I got when I learned to embroidery back when I was 11 or 12.  I think it is time I put it to good use. :P

This quilt is my inspiration (the photo I once saw--and pinned--doesn't go to the homeware site where the quilt was for sale, so I can't link to the proper source).

Anyhow, wanting to use things I had on hand, I have a different and wider color selection, my hope being that I won't run out of any one color, because trying to match skeins I've had for more than 25 years and in another country?  No, thanks.

So this is what I'm working with:


I'm just a couple of inches away from finishing the blanket stitch on the third side. Next will come those runnng stitches. The blanket stitch has been so relaxing to do, and I'm sure the easy monotony of the running stitch will lend itself to the same meditative mood. Just what I need. I'm glad I decided to do this. :D

Snippet

2 May 2016 05:42 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
We were at a family retreat this weekend, and I didn't feel like posting when we got home yesterday.

My project this week was crocheting a lamb for a friend's newborn. I used the same pattern as for Coquille's lamb, but from the below photos, you can see how differently they turned out in terms of size and color and overall personality.* Coquille's lamb is the one with the brown legs and face:

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* For the arms and legs, the difference is easily explainable: I just made them as long as I felt like and didn't have the two to compare.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
As planned, I did mostly sewing these past two weeks. I sewed a cover for our kiddy pool.  It is one of those inflatable affairs that is over 2mx1.5m, so the cover had to be almost 3x2m.

I also made a mosquito net for our king-size bed, not an easy task moving all that netting about!  But I'm not finished with the stuff; I have to make a net "room" (3mX2.8mx1.8m) for our yard, otherwise flies and mosquitos make it too miserable to eat outside.  Man, how I wish we had stocked up on some mosquito nets when we lived in Mayotte. They were huge and, even better, CHEAP!  *sigh*

I'm a little over "big projects."

I did sew two newborn hats for Coquille's first day...plus a test-run hat that turned out the perfect size for Junebug's baby dolll. LOL

Next up I have to make a new "diaper" bag and repair the nursing pillow I made for when I had Junebug. I would like to sew something for an Egyptian friend who just gave birth, but I need to find some cute, quality fabric first. Not easy at the best of times and not something I feel like doing while hot, heavily pregnant, and car-less.

On the art front, I made some more color charts, more "targeted" ones, kind of like this. I also sketch cows. I suck at cows. Must sketch some more. Lazy me thinks I should just practice some "cartoony" cows since this book is not about cows. My more studious side thinks I shoud work on getting the real deal right first.

Anyone else want to share their creative endeavors from the past couple of weeks?
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
Haven't done one of these in awhile.

I thought I would share a view of our craftroom. We don't have it perfect--and it probably never will be, so don't hold your breath; I'm not--but it is serviceable and we use and enjoy it everyday.

Those who have been around awhile will probably recognize some of my unfinished work above my desk. Yay, inspiration and motivation. :P The painting of Sprout, at least, will be finished someday.  Hopefully someday will come about this year.



The left side is for my art and the right for sewing and such. [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, you can't tell, but the three photos hanging down the far right wall are of Timor Leste with inspirational quotes between them.

The table along the right wall is where J works on his knives and projects that touch it. He made himself a leather apron, for example.

(The side table in the foreground is a recup/renovation project.)

Then there is the where the kids work:



I really need to organize those shelves...

I've filled a full page in my new sketchbook (dedicated to this kids' book I've been working on) since New Year's day.

What creative endeavors have you been up to these days?
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I lost track of the days. That happens rather frequently to me, but I had not a single oh-it's-Sunday thought yesterday.

Last week, I started crocheting a pair of legwarmers for Sprout.  She can wear them out when it turns cooler here, but I'm mostly making them for her ballet class. With days in the mid-20s (70F) and nights dipping down to 20 (68F) or so, I'm able to handle yarn again without having it clinging to me.

One more week and we can starting moving. But we'll have to deal with some WH--!? business first.  The electric bill collector showed up tonight and handed me a bill for 1007 LE.  Our normal monthly bill runs 110-140 LE.  They are trying to tell me that without using the A/C or anything like that, we have to pay 10 times more than normal? My neighbor, who was paying at the same time, said that his bill looked perfectly normal.  The collector lied to neighbor and said that he hadn't checked our meter in a long time and now we had to pay our "true" consumption rate rather than an assumed total.  He checks the meter every couple of months; and now, after we've been here for 3 years, he's going to tell us all the sudden we've changed our habits and need to make good.  Funnily enough (/sarcasm), two people told me that our landlady probably called the electric company and told them we are about to move so to make sure we're all paid up (because otherwise it will fall on her to pay.  As if we would have left the bill hanging. ARGH. I know other people do it, though; we were presented with the bill from the last tenant). But how did they get from 100 to 1000?  We have to get to the bottom of it. :-< I don't want to pay something we truly don't owe, but I don't want to leave someone else holding the bag, either.

And this shall be a lesson to us: Never trust the meter man again. Always write down the meter number ourselves and verify what he writes down.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
Hold on to your hats, folks. You are going to get an actual writing snippet this Sunday.

Thanks to excessive prodding and no little abuse encourgagement from [livejournal.com profile] frigg, I have dusted off my Witherwilds file, as you may have gathered from my post on insomnia.

About two years have lapsed since I worked on this project, so there is quite a bit of dust to clear off files and out of the corners of my mind.

My plan is to proceed with the rewriting of the opening of book 1, hopefully reach a stage where old stuff can still stand, and then turn my attention to completing book 2.  But more than anything, more than setting goals, lofty or otherwise, the plan is to keep working on it.

Sola’li slipped out of the courtesy lodge before dawn and smiled to find Open City engulfed in mist. She could not have planned a more perfect help to her morning’s business. Patting the low bun she wore in hopes of being mistaken for a songless woman, she peered up and down the street. Overly cautious was better than caught. Movement across the way made her pause, hand still to her hair. She shifted deeper into the shadow of the lintel.

I also finished draft two of my nonfiction picture book.

Oh, and I made Junebug a pair of shorts. 
wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)




Here is the hooded jacket on the mini model, who is not so mini any more:




I didn't (haven't) put a pompom on the hood yet because I was pretty fed up and wanted to call it done. What do you think?  Should I add one? If I do, it will be the color of the blue buttons.

wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
Finished the sweater!  Woot!

No photos yet because the model is in bed, but hopefully I can post a couple tomorrow.  The pattern, as I've stated many times, needs serious work, and I don't know that I have the time or energy to put into "fixing"* it and making a tutorial to help out any other people who might like to try their crochet hooks at it.  I would have loved to, though. Priorities, priorities.

Glad to have that project off my hands.

Come Sunday I hope to have writing progress to post here.

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* By fixing it, I mean not only make the directions clearer but adjust measurements to fit kids as I know (have) them.  I made the 18-24 month size, and it is understandably a bit long for Junebug, but Sprout, who is 4.5 can wear it. I can barely button it around Junebug's waist, even after adding rows to the buttonband. The sleeves were also too narrow at the wrists. I upped the size to the one for 36 month-olds and STILL had to add rows up the sides to make the sleeves big enough...
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
A day late, I know, but i had a hectic day yesterdy. The snippet was what had to give for me to see to more pressing matters.

Since wrapping up the zero draft, I haven't touched my kid's book.

This week, I worked a bit on Junebug's sweater. Stil have to finish one sleeve and then put it together and make the hood.  Will I finish before we leave for France on Thursday?

I doubt it. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: book)
I accomplished zero draft of my children's book this week. Some of the entries are fairly polished and may make it into the next draft, but many need tweaking.

Revision and further research are in my future.

This week, however, I need to focus on getting Junebug's sweater finished.  I know he will need it in France. I really need quiet and time alone to make progress, two commodities in short supply around here. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
At last, a full week on the creative front.  I finally finised the "Project of the Week" that I've had on my agenda since we got back from our holiday by the sea:  Make Junebug a bucket hat.

I used fabric from my stash, which means one side of the reversible hat is exactly like the last hat I made him, and the other is from one of the hooded towels I made from Sprout before she was born. Nothing like getting mileage out of one's purchase.

The model was not too pleased with having to wear the hat. Naturally.

Photographic proof of productivity this way... )

I also did a lot of research about illustrating children's books--watching videos, tutorials, browsing sites for inspiration--and now I need to get back to finishing up the text.
____________
* Sticky tack is the greatest thing for paper dolls, infinitely re-stickable yet mess-free. Way better than paper tabs that get weak and tear from overuse.
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
This week was a bit of this and a bit of that and not a whole lot of anything in particular.  I researched some, sketched some, wrote some, thought some, crocheted none, and only sewed up an unraveling seam on a pair of pants, making no headway at all on Junebug's hat, which was supposed to be my project of the week.

I am proud of myself for resisting the urge to sew Sprout a last-minute Easter dress, though.

Today, we went to Al-Fustat Potters Village to meet with someone who will give me some pottery lessons. I also dropped by a design school in the "village" to discuss taking some courses come fall for jewelry making.


Never dull moment. Seriously, what is this "boredom" thing I hear tell of?
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
While I predicted this past week would be a wash on the creative front, I secretly hoped it would not be so.  I even took the time before our trip to download a scad of reference photos to my hard drive so I could work on my children's book illustrations.  'Twas not to be, though; I only managed one sketching session with Sprout while Junebug napped on our second to last day.

This is a view of a succession of terraces at our hotel as seen from our terrace.  The perspective was so cool that I started to do a very precise sketch with pencil and then realized I wouldn't have time to finish something accurate and detailed. I defaulted to a charcoal stick. Sadly, I had only my "cheap" sketchbook with me; its smooth paper doesn't have any tooth to hold charcoal so it is very smudgy and loose:


I also planned to make headway on Junebug's sweater but I had to rip out the rows I had on the sleeves (again) and start over because I'm sure they will be too small. I still have hopes of finishing it before May, though. :P

Today I did some doodling* with the kids and broke out the sewing machine to fashion some eyeholes in a sleep mask for Sprout, who wanted to pretend she was a Mousquetaire (Musketeer).
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* I set it up as a Double Doodle activity, but Sprout soon started doing her own thing. And of course, give a one-year-old markers and "do your own thing" is the de facto name of the game. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I just spent an hour on the phone with an internet tech in order to bring you this passionate post about my creative endeavors of the week past.  I'll wait until your beating hearts still to continue....  OK. That should be good.

First bit of news is that I spent a lot of time writing up text and reading it to Sprout.  When she wasn't saying, "Yeah, I know that, Mom," (because, obviously, I share and she listens when I discuss things with J), she seemed to be enjoying it.

I also figured out something that seems really obvious in hindsight. All this time I've been wondering what kind of style I should do or how to approach the (possible) style disconnect between an absurd creation and a real creature; and I started trying to suss this out by drawing the absurd when, in fact, I should have started with the realistic stuff.

This brilliant realization had to take backseat to another project, though.

Junebug's hooded sweater*:
junebugs hooded sweater

I found someone to help me figure out the pattern.  If I can complete the thing, I just may make another and do a photo tutorial because the posted pattern causes (has caused) a lot of people problems.

________________
*It's almost too warm for a sweater here, but he'll need it in France in May.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Is anyone on my flist a crocheter?  I started making a hooded jacket for Junebug (before Christmas) but petered out on in because of (to me and obviously a lot of other people, judging from the comments) unclear instructions.  I need help understanding something and would appreciate it so much if someone could make sense of it for me.

The excerpted instructions are as follows:

Shoulder:
Place a marker 9:11:13:15:17:19 sts in from armhole edge to mark inner edge of shoulder seam leaving 14:15:16:17:18:19 sts unworked at front opening edge.


Here is what I have so far, to which I should apply the above instrustions:

hooded jacket copy

Where do I start counting from? In which direction? Any ideas?
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
I was a sketching fool this week, so much so that on Thursday I thought it must already by Sunday and time to post something.  I also pinned a ton of reference photos and sketching exercises to help me work on a style that will appeal to kiddos as well as myself. I have never excelled at "cartoony" illustration and I'm not sure that I will this time, or even that I want to. Whatever I come up with has to be me.

As usual, I didn't get around to taking photos, even though I have some stuff that is non-spoilery and would have worked for a snippet.  I, however, take a photo of a craft I did with Sprout and will share that instead:

Behold, unicorns:

IMG_6561
IMG_6565
Sprout is very into unicorns at the moment (in fact she just used the magic in her horn to transform me into a unicorn, too), so when I saw this craft on The Artful Parent from the book Happy Handmade, I knew I had to do it with her.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I keep saying I'll take photos of what I'm doing so that I can make a decent snippet post, but we've taken other pictures of late, which I'll include under a cut.

On the creative front, I've been crocheting a sweater for Junebug.  Given the shortness and mildness of Egyptian winters, I'm making for 18-24 mo, but I don't know if it will be big enough next year. I've also been doing some sketches, working on a suitable style for a picture book idea I have. And baking: galettes, pizzas, bread. Baking counts, right?

So photos:
family time )
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* Sprout was 14 mo in the photos in the link; Junebug is 10 mo. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (art: christmas quail)
Well, I don't know about the dollar, but I am late for my snippet.  'Tis the season for creativity chez moi, so there has been a lot going on.  I haven't had the camera out for most of it, but I did make a point of photographing the "first ornament" that I made for Junebug.

I liked the look of these, so I drafted my own copy, using, yes, a dromedary* instead of a fawn.  Needed something to remind the wee fellow he spent his first Christmas in Egypt:

IMG_5678

IMG_5682

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* It does look like a dromedary in real life...I think...and less like a Great Dane with a humpback. And it looks more circular, less lumply.  Ah, nothing like a photo to make something look fat and full of flaws. :P

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