Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why I Will Never Be Completely Organized, and Sundry Other Random Tidbits

(We'll give this another try. My computer had issues on Wednesday, and I gave up; yesterday, I had allergy issues & stayed home--no internet, but *I now have a laptop!*)

A week or so ago I was the first one at practice, and waited in my car, sipping my tea with the hopes of inducing some caffeinated semblance of energy. I spotted the curbside remains of someone's gardening efforts: the extraction of a venerable lavender bush. I resisted. After practice and final visiting by the car, I succumbed, and rescued the gnarled stump. It stayed in my trunk for a week or so, and now it's on my balcony. But I have to see what I can make out of lavender wood, don't I?

Last weekend was a demo for a Medieval Faire; we had lovely weather, and I got a fair amount of exercise (hee hee), but it is a sad commentary on the level of allergens in the air that I barely felt really awake even for a bunch of full-speed longsword. I fit in some shopping, and landed this fantastic outfit from India--stitch resist-dyed (like shibori), beaded, embroidered, you name it:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Midday, Midweek.

I haven't scanned what I worked on over the weekend, but I will before long.

As part of the ongoing general redesign of my life, I've been thinking more about how to get myself producing Art, rather than randomly messing about (even though that, too, is a valid thing). Kim has been writing about this in some of her recent posts--do all creative people have these same issues? Even though I have no family of my own, I *still* find it difficult to achieve balance, though sometimes I manage for whole minutes at a time.

Pick something to do, and DO IT. Write a list. Make a plan. The thing I have been avoiding most: drawing and/or painting--why, I don't know, but for drawing one factor is that I've been wanting to do big charcoal drawings, and there is no place in my apartment that is convenient. Like all similar hurdles, I need to break it down into steps (paper ready, drawing board heaved into position, charcoal extracted from box) so that when I have time to get into it, it is ready to go. And I have to decide to do it, and then DO it.

Visual artist version of Kim's writing prompts: draw/paint/collage something--anything. I made it through a whole year of Daily Devotions (Kim told me about this--she's a great resource!), and it was really good: produce one complete thing of some sort every single day (catch ups allowed). It would be really good if I would get a whole stack of paper ready, and do this again.

Tonight, I will pick something, and do it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Maunderings.

I am not ready for Monday, but here it is anyway--close to finished, too, which is a relief.

I worked on random things this weekend, mostly non-scannable, like fixing the drape on my fencing mask prior to a demo on Saturday and taking undoing the bit of weaving I'd started a week or so ago. (I'd been a bit impatient & the warp wasn't evenly tensioned.)

The demo (for the Salem, OR branch of the SCA) was fun--even though it was 20 degrees hotter than usual; rather hot to be active dressed like this, but we survived. (Picture by Kim; taken last year at May Crown.) My doublet is getting too small across the shoulders, which I greatly lament. :( I love wearing it, but I did NOT love making it.

After I finally got home on Saturday, and ran errands, and took allergy medication, I sat and read with my cat. Sunday I did work on something scannable:

Well, I've actually avoided maundering, which is something of a feat. Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Serial Update, Part the Third: Bookcase, and Evolving Chaos

My bookcase, which I ordered January 31, FINALLY arrived. Due to extenuating circumstances (namely shopping) I didn't manage to pick it up until Sunday afternoon. It is now installed, and full. And I still don't have enough shelf space--it is a small bookcase and I knew it wouldn't solve the problem, just help. I have plans (literally) for building another shelf to fit another space, and realized I still have one more space for shelves, if I build those, too. These last two will hold Stuff as well as books--jars of seedpods, seashells, pinecones, and the like. Visibility for ease of use and incitement to use up.

Inspired by the potential of having another human being in my apartment, and thoroughly sick of the congestion, I reconfigured the chaos once more. As usually happens, this process did minimally reduce the amount of entropy, which is a relief. Though the visit didn't happen (we had more shopping stamina than I'd anticipated, so there wasn't post-shopping hanging out) I am still appreciating the improved situation.

I haven't done much scannable stuff; a bit more work on the white embroidery, getting materials assembled for some other random project (a large scale embroidery with colors, and another one with exciting colors). I also successfully made a Turk's head knot. I'll need to make a bunch of them for my Purse Project.

Serial Update, Part the Second: Books!

My delightful books from David Brown Book Company arrived. David Brown had sent me an alluring sale catalog which coincided nicely with my annual bonus at work. (Note: I actually spent more on clothes. Whoah.) The Spanish Apocalypse is fantastic! It is a huge book, so the manuscript (reproduced in full) is life-sized. Happy me!

Among the assorted other topics was one that I incorrectly guessed—I was under the impression that it was a catalogue of short excavation reports or something. However, it is actually about filters to filter liquids. It looks to be rather interesting in its own way, and is an abundant source of geometric patterns, which is always a good thing, and I have a general weakness for ancient objects. But it would have been worth the whole $7.98 for this sentence from the introduction: “Hence the containers must be cheap, rather light-weight insofar as the liquid itself supplies the balancing weight, generally porous if coolth is desired, and of an easily stored and replicable shape.”

Coolth!!! I have wanted that to be an official word for years, and am exuberantly pleased that some courageous scholarly soul has seen fit to commit it to print in an official publication. The above citation is from Fustat Expedition Final Report Vol.1: Catalogue of Filters, by George T. Scanlon. The filters are ceramic, and the perforated bases were made in many lovely patterns. They date from about 700 to about 1500.

Update: I was inspired to look in my dictionary this morning. Would you believe it, coolth is in my dictionary? I have had the word in my possession, in print, since I was 12. I can't believe I never looked it up before. I've wanted it to be an official word for years. In any case, there it is. I am still immensely pleased to have spotted it in use.

Serial Update, Part the First: Shopping! (and Food)

I have a good job that pays well, finally. It has come to pass that limited financial resources coupled with a limited urge to shop for clothing have made it Absolutely Necessary to acquire new clothes. (Note: I never stopped buying books. I figured out my priorities years back!)

I also have become aware that I tend to buy things that—well, that aren't necessarily flattering, even if they happen to be comfortable, and it is more than time to remedy that. Fortunately for me, I have my friend Kim. Among her many talents [note: three different links] is a carefully-honed expertise in shopping, and a contagious enthusiasm. We had a shopping spree on Saturday, and as well as assorted shirts I emerged with not one, not two, but THREE pairs of jeans, which actually fit!!! Kim made me try on successively smaller sizes until I reached one that made me say, “No, these are too small, I could barely get them closed.” She gave me a LOOK (inner basilisk?) and said very firmly, “THOSE FIT.”

Those are the ones I bought, even though I was apparently still skeptical, since I was not entirely convinced until I succeeded in eating too much at supper—another friend's belated birthday get-together at Ya Hala in SE Portland. I ate too much and I could still get the pants closed. (Supper was absolutely delicious.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random Tidbits

Here is the white embroidery as of yesterday:

This is an enlargement I made from the picture of the reliquary pouch discussed a few posts ago. (Sarah, on this one is actually sort of possible to see the stitches.)

Doesn't this sample look a bit more like the picture than the tiny embroidery did?