wayfaringwordhack: (kicking it island style)
As I mentioned in another post, I spent a hectic couple of weeks doing hand-lettered signs to raise money for Egyptian charities.

I rented a booth at a Spring Fair, held by the Maadi Women's Guild, on the premises of St John's church in Maadi. I decided to give 50% of all sales to charities, and I sold exactly enough to pay for my booth and my framing expenses. I sold one more painting after the fact (and gave 100% to charity) and also got some interest to sell any remaining pieces in a store and two requests for commissions. One of the commission hasn't gotten back to me, and I haven't given my price to the other one. I think once I do, though, she won't accept. She wants me to hand-letter an entire Psalms and embellish it with watercolor. I know what a crazy amount of work that is going to be and won't just give the piece away. Ah, the joys of putting a price on one's time and creativity. I think she will refuse because she already winced when I told her (custom) framing would cost $25. That is crazy cheap, especially for the size of are we are talking about, which is 100cm X 70cm.

Here are some samples of what I did (click on thumbnail for larger image):

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 fully intended to post a snippet on Sunday; I had photos taken and everything.  But then Junebug got sick (fever and vomiting), and all plans went out the window. He got better yesterday, but we had a guest over for dinner, which took up my time. (And now I just got back from cleaning up after Sprout, who is suddenly sick. :( )

So, quickly then, I finally decided on what kind of style I want to use for the illustrations, so I played around a bit with different media.  One experiment was doing suminagashi with materials on hand a cheap paper, so not the most stunning results:



The super bright spot on the right is a sun dapple. :P

Then I practiced drawing rats and did more sketches in the two poses I'll need in the book:




For fun, I did some symmetrical drawings, using both my right and left hands simultaneously.


No snippet next week because we are taking a trip to the Red Sea. 
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I worked quite a bit on sketching this week, but I could have concentrated more than I did on the illustrations for my picture book.  I did 18 doodles and only filled one page of my (admittedly large) project sketchbook. I finished the hedgehog, too.  My take-away lesson from the hedgehog is: Planning is important. If I don't plan something, I shouldn't be disappointed or discouraged if the back- and foreground are not integrated.  So, even if I'm doing something to horse around, I might want to think it through a bit more.

Some visuals of this week's work )
This week's goal is to concentrate on the picture book illustrations and do a doodle a day.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I didn't post earlier due to a crazy busy social calender. I swear we've had more visits and outings since Ti'Loup was born than in all the years prior. This is what comes of getting to know people in real life, apparently. :P

This was a pretty busy creative week for me.  I started a Doodle Book, different from a sketchbook in terminoloy only. The point is to doodle with purpose (and from real life), and by calling the work doodles instead of sketches, the pressure of creating something "nice" and "worthy" is relieved.  I got the idea off YouTube. It seems to be working well for me. The only thing is that I haven't worked in my picture-book-dedicated sketchbook in probably more than a week. I need to get back to that.

I also did some pencil reference sheets, meant to help me get a better handle on the brands and types of pencils I have.

And because I had fun experimenting with ink last week, this week I continued that by starting on a hedgehog:



I might forget to check this, so perhaps there is no point in posting a goal here, but in hopes of making more progress on my project, I'm going to declare that by next week, I will have finished this hedgehog and made at least 10 doodles and 10 project-relevant sketches.  There.  I've typed it up. Now I must come through. :P
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:



_______________
* 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: (art journal)
Just a quick word to say I've started sketching again on my picture book. No photo because it is 3 minutes to 9, and I don't want to turn into a pumpkin...or something.  I have to hit the sack.

What creative things have you been up to?
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:

_____________
* 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)
So, it wasn't an April Fool's joke that the repair shop would be open on April 1st, but it did not come to pass. Color me Not Surprised. Turns out they are still awaiting their acreditation from Apple, so who knows when they will be open for business. In the meantime, there is no alternative because the Doki shop was transfered here. The wait continues. To make matters more interesting, J's laptop has been on the fritz for at least a year now, and it seems to be getting even more fickle about turning on and staying on.

Healthwise, we are all doing better, even if this infernal cough is still making me miserable. Oh for a good night's sleep of no wheezing lungs and racking coughs.  Someday...

My bruises have greatly faded, and I feel no more aches from the scooter accident. I've started driving it again but not with Sprout. She has gone out with J, though, and yesterday, she declared she is no longer afraid of it.

On the creativity front, I've been making watercolor mixing charts and experimenting in general with my new paints. I don't have the energy for storyboarding work right now, so this sort of play is the perfect way for me to learn about my supplies without the stress of "producing something."


I began my 8th month on Thursday and have started going through baby clothes to see what we have for Coquille. Verdict: Not much in the newborn department. Only found two onesies for that age. But after the first few weeks Coquille won't be wearing much as temperatures soar.

I have other newborn stuff. But where? I thought I knew where we put it after the move but have yet to lay hands on it. Must continue looking. And I have a couple of things I want to sew. Those projects may be the focus for the next snippet.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
Forgot to post yesterday.

I mostly spent last week making some belated Christmas gifts that will be given when we go to France this weekend.  I did sketch a few animals, notably dogs and cows, but haven't touched my larger storyboard as intended.  It is foldable, so I'll stick it in my sketchbook and take it on the trip.

it is going to be a busy two weeks, what with visiting family, scouting out houses, and simply taking time to enjoy nature, so I'm not going to be hard on myself if I don't make any progress on the story.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: book)
I was able to make progress this week after a major "D'uh!" moment.

I wanted to do a book dummy to wrap my mind around the 3-d aspect of images on page flaps when all I had to do was cup out scraps of paper and tape them down on my thumbnail sketches. Problems of recto-verso solved! The whole book at a glance!  I feel like such an idjit that it took me so long to find this simple and obvious solution.  Live and learn. :)

So a little snapshot of what the thumbnails look like:



Two of the pages won't have flaps. The sketches are all rough and need revising, but at least I can now get a sense of the over all flow.

It was a rough week. I hope the next one is better and allows me to get a bit more done. I would like to have some solid sketches to play around with when I get my new art supplies.

Anyone else want to share their week's creative endeavors or plans for the coming week?
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
I kinda sorta failed in my mission to make a dummy this week. I did make one; I just didn't get past the assembly of it. I had hoped for more, but c'est la vie. My storyboard may not have advanced on paper, but my ideas are a bit clearer for some of the pages.

I instead spent an inordinate amount of time researching paints and placing orders to be delivered while we are in France next month. Not a waste of time--it needed to be done--but it ate my brain.

And now I don't feel well--pregnancy-related heartburn and vomiting--so I am heading to bed even though it is not yet 7:30.

G'night, LJ.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
Just a wee bit of sketching this week.  I did one of my imaginary storybook critters and played around more with my watercolor blobs, using them to loosen up before beginning my "real" work.

I dusted off my manuscript, though, trying to tighten up the text and make sure I have good flow. My next step this week is to go ahead and design a book dummy to help me establish (I hope once and for all) if a lift-the-flap format is the best for this project.

I also worked on renovating the side table for my chair in the living room. It is coming along. Maybe I'll have pictures next week.
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
I sketched quite a bit again this week, even though I didn't fill up pages and pages in my sketchbook. I discovered that some of my critters (and even the roosters, to be honest) did not and will not need so much time dedicated to them. So I took time out to do some technical exercises as well as create new things out bits of old art projects/scrap paper and color tests.

Behold watercolor blob fish:


The bodies of the fish are from a sample chart of watercolors I made for Sprout many years ago.  The recipe used cornflour, if memory serves, and so the paint goes on thick and chalky and chips pretty easily. I would have liked to put in my details with pens but didn't want to gunk up the nibs, so graphite it is, even though the lines don't pop as much.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I don't know that I'll keep it up, but I was quite productive on the sketching front this week. By "keep it up," I mean follow the same sort of schedule, i.e. dedicate a whole week to sketching only one animal.  Doing a few calculations, I think I'll run short of time if I don't bring a bit more focus to what I'm doing. I need to sketch (learn to draw) 22 real critters and invent 11. That's 33 weeks just on the animals, and I'll still have to develop two kid characters, do roughs, and draw a couple of actual page spreads for the dummy.

So I definitely need to work faster, or rather do fewer sketches. I think, though, with time, I'll naturally get quicker as I improve my drawing skills.

Here is a compilation from my sketchbook since Jan 1:


I doubt you can read the headings, which are: "reference photos," "ref and drawing from memory," and "illustration references and tutorials."

What is still missing is the page(s) where I work on my own illustrative style. I already moved on to the next critter and will come back to drafting my own roosters once my brain has cleared a bit from other people's styles.
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: (art - pondering)
in which there is no snippet.

But I felt like I needed to report in about creativity, even if I have a lack of creation to share.

That is not to say that I've done nothing--I've sketched some--but I have spent more time thinking and being and accepting. A while back, I posted about my frustration with how stories come to me, wishing I could change the way my brain works.  Thanks to everyone who commented on that entry. I fell down a rabbithole and didn't follow up with people. I regret that. It seems silly to go back to it now, but I appreciate that people chimed in.

Anyhow, I haven't had new revelations, per se, but I've decided I need to be more flexible. I need to accept that sometimes the plan must be ditched; I have to roll with what I'm capable of when a hole swallows me whole or Some Big Thing knocks me off track.  I may not have the brain cells to write at certain times, but I can draw. So instead of clinging to some idea that I must write Just Because, I need to quickly (gracefully) switch gears.  It will save me time, guilt, and needless waffly-wallowing.

We are looking at a move, which means lots of packing, running around, planning and executing plans, in addition to vet visits, renewing my passport, attending a plethora of social engagements, and baking for charities. This is not the time to come down hard on myself for not being able to produce some tangible evidence of my creative spirit.

And this is enough of that. G'night, LJ. :P 

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