ten ginkgo leaves

ten ginkgo leaves
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.


You would be excused if you thought I'd done nothing much lately, except it isn't entirely true. I have been so busy on longer projects that I have nothing finished to show off. I did get these done on Monday, I think, I kind of lost track.

I am working on the strange dragony thing that I made the tail for back here (remember the tail? it has a body and a neck!!) I'll check the regulations again, because i can't remember if I'm not supposed to show it to anyone before it is published or shown or rejected. It has to be photographed May 1. Which is soon.


flock of cranes

Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Kind of.

I think it is odd that one of the most compelling things I saw on Thursday was this collection of five cranes working on something near the Allston/Brighton tolls off the Mass Pike. I like the way they stick up.

The circus was pretty nice this year. I particularly liked the woman in the tightrope. She used it as a wire, a high bar, a guitar string, a trapeze bar… it was very different from any wire act I've seen before. The horses were all about trick riding, which was nice but not enough horses. The dogs were having a great time, as was the trainer. I have trouble with flying trapeze because all the tricks look the same to me, and taking lessons with aerialists means that I see a LOT of creativity around various aerial apparatusesses (how DO you pluralize that?) so I am a tough customer for aerial wowing.

We hit the Boston Museum of Science after the show, and toured the frogs. Aerin swore we'd seen it last year, but I think last year was other reptiles (like geckos, I remember the gecko feet). I like the frogs that are kind of squishy and shiny, and fold up into smooth packages. Like this.

I have been doing a small amount of vacationing, and a good deal of knitting. I cast on some socks for my mother (Hi Mom!) which have a very subtle rib and are looking quite lovely so far.

Tomorrow the kids' vacation ends, and we return to the daily grind. I expect I'll have more fiber things to show then.

five of ten

April 22
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

The titles of these posts keep sounding like Borg names from Star Trek. I apologize for being temporarily unable to think of anything more interesting.

I was really interested in looking at variations in things, and I had a set of 10 ginkgo leaves that needed work. They fit into the theme for the month, so I have applied a lot of embroidery to them and here are five of them. I’ll finish the other five soon (although we’re going to see a circus tomorrow [not be in it] and it won’t be then) and post them when finished.

I have some more sets of leaves I’m working on, and this is a good month to finish them. I think maybe maple next. They are almost ready to stitch.

inches left

April 20
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

In a successful lsock completion exercise, I finished these fabulous objects with about eight inches to spare. Those dangling strings are all that was left… I broke it in the center and kitchenered the toes (with a certain amount of wailing and knashing of teeth) and now they are on, and quite, quite lovely. No one will inspect my toes. I figure if I keep throwing myself at the kitchenering, eventually I will attain proficiency. The second sock was better than the first, but I seem to forget how to do it with astonishing speed in between finished socks. 

Technical notes: Socks that Rock yarn, unremembered colorway from 2007 Sock of the Month Club, pattern is Spring Forward at Knitty, on 2mm needles because when I use them I am happy and the socks come out fine.

In depressing news, I realized that running hurts, and the only way to get better at it seems to be to really push my body to ugly desperate places and then do it again. I can hardly bear to think about it. So I am thinking about my socks instead, and going to bed.

Nice news is that my mother is house sitting the house next door, so she gets a small vacation and to visit us and sleep in a Real Bed (which she doesn't get to do at our house – we are very bad with guests) and come over for dinner and retreat to read in bed and brush her teeth in peace. Plus her dog gets to come too, to keep the neighbor dog company. It is win-win-win all around. I am looking forward to having her here for a couple days (Hi Mom!).

fifty, finally finished

April 19
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

This is one of those that looks better in person! the little shells are white, some with subtle light brown stripes, and they are nicely matte against the shimmer of silk rings and depth of the velvet. I needed the orange velvet stripe to bump up the color a little – it was getting very dark-and-brooding without it. And then there are the red stitches. I am So Pleased with the red stitches!

These larger pieces take longer to finish, so I have this feeling that you (my faithful readers!) are sick of seeing something by the time all the bits are done and the finished object is ready to talk about.

Just for a change of pace, I went to see a live performance of Mahler's 3rd today in town. It was the Smith College Orchestra with the massed voices of all the college women in the Valley and two children's choirs. I went to see Abby sing, but it is one of the symphonies I actually kind of know and like. My parents played it a lot when I was paying attention, and it stuck. Everyone did a very creditable job of it, all things considered. I enjoyed myself immensely. The biggest drawback is that John M. Greene Hall has The Most Uncomfortable Seats on the planet, short of actual spikes in the seats. They are hard and small, however, as my father pointed out, at least you won't fall asleep in them.


April 18 B
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

This is looking across the surface of the circled shells stitched to a backing fabric. After planning out the piece with the shells hanging free in an open frame, I thought they looked too much like bead curtains, so I started auditioning backing fabrics. I settled on a velvet with reddish purple nap in a green woven background – subtle and dark enough to show the shells and their surrounding circles off nicely. I like the red stitching a lot – it makes the nice little boinks of color in the cool and dark color scheme. You can see it more clearly in this one:

April 18
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I am practicing running, and I ran outside today, after being on the treadmill for the last month. I keep thinking I am doing it wrong because it hurts and I have so much trouble breathing. And yet, I get a little tiny bit better each time too.

And then I went over to Pelham to ride Penny, the big one. We went out just as the weather thought it might rain. It didn't realy, until we got back. I got lost, and we went for a longish way down a road I thought should be going the other direction, and Penny was Fabulous (although we didn't see any moose today) and I think I need a pocket GPS for thrashing about in the woods on horseback. It would be nice not to have to turn around if the loop I thought I was aiming for was just over the next hill (and it almost always is!).

And after that I made Tax Cake for Al for finishing the taxes. It is a rule at our house. Just because it is a thankless task doesn't mean you don't get thanked.

what was I saying?

Wordle: Untitled

This is what Wordle thinks I talk about. Or to be more precise, this is an artful arrangement of the stuff I've said over the last couple of days. I like that the horses Penny and Ruby show up in it, and the moose is over in the corner. I am surprised there isn't more about fabric, but maybe I don't talk so much about it as I think.

twenty and fifty

April 15 20
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

This is what 20 of them look like all together, and this: 

April 15 50
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

is what 50 of them look like all jumbled up. The next part of the plan is to construct a nice solid frame/whatever to hold them in a beautiful way.

Photographing silk is hard – it is all shiny and reflective, and very lovely and very ambiguous for the camera.

two not fifty

April 14
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I made a little proof of concept piece to see if the strings would work, and the silk rings would fit around the little white shells, and how the beads work with the punched out holes and the other bits… I like the way it is working, but honestly the construction to make the frame for it was pretty intense.

The plan is fifty shells, ten each on 5 strings, and suspended in a frame of some kind. I am thinking the frame might have to be wood instead of interfacing, because I don’t think the interfacing will hold up the weight of many many more shells. I still have to finish all the silk rings. Only about 20 left to go, out of a hundred total. Yikes! I realize too that part of the trouble with these ideas of collections is that they take longer to put together than the smaller pieces. This one isn’t much of a collection, but it does help me think about the larger piece in a much better way.

April 13

April 13
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I fell hard for these little shells mostly because of the variations in the size of the pink line and the zebra stripes. I should take some better close-ups in daylight, and post them tomorrow. Time permitting.