still standing, still lit, still warm

oct 29


ruffled crow

While I did go out to get my teeth cleaned first thing this morning, before the weather really got here, I stayed home the rest of the day and accomplished things, including the crow above and another smallish chicken (sorry, you'll have to go look on Flickr for her).

Sandy let us off easy – a lot of wind, some rain, and probably high water when the rain catches up with the rivers. If you follow any news you know the coast got hammered. I think all that's left now is getting power in and water out of places where, at the moment, the reverse is true.

sugar skulls, work in progress and weather freakouts

oct 28


I'm back at my circles.

It took my back three long days to calm down enough for me to perch on my stool and sew things. Once I could do that, I focused a lot of energy on the largest piece headed to the Crane Estate Art Show and Sale. I always forget the effort it takes to execute really big pieces. Things that are big for me (16×20") make my quilting friends snort with derision – but then they are not covering every square inch with thread either!

I finished a crow, and a very sketchy looking thread landscape on linen which are also at the show and sale. I delivered them on Saturday because there is a Full On Freakout over the projected impact of Hurricane Sandy and something coming out of the west converging on us on Monday. The entire east coast seems to have declared a state of emergency, schools and universities are closed across the state, and it feels like the whole town is holding our collective breath.

I may have mentioned my beloved Bernina sewing machine was having fits. Probably the power supply, but I won't know until I take it to the shop, which i have not had a moment to accomplish yet. I did fix the problem of getting a new machine though, but getting… an old machine. I found an ebay auction for a Bernina 1130, one of the nicest machines they ever made, and I won it, fair and square! So I have a new old machine, probably roughly the same age as my current one, but with fewer bells and whistles, and a less computery interface. I love it already.

I used it to make these two sugar skulls, and I didn't realize until they were done that they still fit into this month's theme of dessert and sugar. So I can work on a few more until the end of the month. They are mentally relaxing for me to make, more doodling than anything else.

If I don't show up for a couple days it will because the electricity is out, hopefully not because I'm broken in some new and distressing way –

all the beads

all the beads


While I do love glass beads and seed beads and all kinds of beads, I think I have decided lampwork is probably not my medium. It takes a lot of practice to produce things that are pretty, or interesting. These were all experiments. As experiments, they are hugely successful! I made beads! I made more than one! I even rather like one of them (the big square one) which was not what I expected at all.

Our teacher encouraged us to lean into the process and not get too attached to any particular outcome. I did my best to do exactly that. I am amused at my attempts, but I think I don't need to do it again any time soon.

Alice walked me over to the bead store and took Red Kate's place when she couldn't stay. Alice made some interesting lumpy things too, before she overheated two fingers and produced blisters. With cold water and an ice pack she'll be fine by tomorrow, but it cut her beadmaking time short by a little. As she pointed out, it was hard to turn the mandrel in the flame when you couldn't use two fingers. She is also pleased to have tried it, and she may be more interested in doing it again.

So – another experiment, another medium I can cheerfully leave to others, many of whom are much, much better than I.

sugar skulls

Instead of any useful information about how I am (better, thank you) or how the large pieces are going (better, thank you) I wanted to think about sugar skulls and the Day of the Dead. A quick googling of sugar skulls produces how to make them, why to make them, and then many many joyful pictures of decorated skulls. Like these, or these.

And then people get silly, and start producing images of the Star Wars characters as sugar skulls, or sugar skull dolls and key caps, or shoes (which I really want, for no obvious reason).

So even though I supposed to be working on landscapes, I am thinking hard about sugar skulls and Dia de los Muertos.

they’ll make a holiday out of anything….

fish fossil


Today, October 17, is National Fossil Day. I give you a fossil fish. It is not recent, but I was very pleased with it when I made it, and the person I gave it to seemed pleased with it.

I'm at that awkward stage that happens with back issues where I can stand up or lie down, but sitting is still problematic. I am also having a minor panic over finishing two large works for delivery to a show and sale on October 29. So I'm working, slowly, but the circles are on hiatus.

out of commission

I am motionless on the couch waiting for my back to get better. I was doing well wnough for most of the summer, but last night something went abruptly wrong, and I just stayed on the couch with an ice pack and some really powerful painkillers.

I'm grateful I am enough better today to hobble around some, but I can't do any work for another few days.

Once I do get up and get going, I have lots of work to finish before the end of the month. The circles might take a back seat to finishing larger pieces, including a commission piece.

apple picking

oct 8


Alice was off apple picking this afternoon, and returned with half of a half bushel or Macintosh, Jonagold and Cortlands. I was trying to convince her to help me make an apple galette; if she'd do the crust I'd slice and arrange the apples. But we are both too tired to proceed further.

I think all desserts sound better in french. Galette is a much better name than "folded over at the edges pastry thing" although I am not sure what the french is for cookie. And cookie is a fairly splendid word too. I can be convinced either way – what do you think?