Monday, December 29, 2014

vintage knitting instructions

This great old paper was in an old composition book I bought a couple years ago and just never looked all the way thru. Most of the dated items in there were from 1895 so this Normandy Lace knitting pattern is prolly somewhere right around there. Amazing that it's survived.
She gives abbreviation explanations at the bottom but I'm not sure what "n" means. Looks like she wrote "narrow." What does that mean in knitting?? I'll have to ask Senor Google.
Love the spidery fountain pen writing. I'll use it in a collage or maybe a journal page about my own knitting.

Long time, no blog

Ugh. December is not my friend most years and this one was no exception. Sick all month with a variety of things, long distance Alzheimer FIL finally hospitalized and died Christmas Day morning (unbelievable timing, it should be against the law to die in December), and busy at work means I haven't blogged in weeks.

FIL passing is a good thing so don't wring yourselves dry in the comments. Been a long year of his wife ending up in a wheelchair after neck surgery and him going downhill quickly. It is a good thing he's gone, for himself included. He would have hated the burden he'd become.

Anyway, made a batch of gelli prints for a swap. Always fun to do a gelli session and this one happened while Rhonda was visiting. I'm leaving them small here cause there's so many but just double click to see them large.
Love the color change in this one. I put blue on one side of the plate, orange on the other and rolled them together a bit in the center, then printed thru a stencil onto a green background.

Love the crazy cheerful colors in this one.

This one is much cooler in person.

This one positively glows.

Another fun one. Background and two layers of stencils.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

altoids tin

Ran out of fruit to draw so did the Altoids tin. Need to move on to flowers or at least stuff from outside cause it appeals to me more and I take more care.

Monday, November 17, 2014

gelli print swap

Doing a gelli print swap with most of the same ladies who did the Art Journal Round Robin with me earlier this year. This is a batch going out to the next person on the list. Click or maybe double click to embiggen.
This is the only one not done like the others.
There was a lot of paint on the stencil still so I
misted it with water, then brayed the hell out of it.
In person it has a bit of a watercolor look to it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

sketching a la Jane La Fazio

I signed up for Jane's sketching book class and lesson two was yesterday, painting fruit. Didn't have time till today, then got a lot done.
I do enjoy painting persimmons. This one is not bad.
Shadow is too big, didn't occur to me to cur it off with the frame.
Shadow really was that big, from the low morning light.
Wrote a haiku. I ate tons of persimmons last fall but this year
Got a rash around my mouth and it's the only new thing I'd been eating.
It's an unsightly rash, so I'm laying off persimmons just in case.

Next up was a lime, which didn't excite me from the start
cause there just isn't much happening with a lime.
The cross section is better but now the pulp areas look too dark.
Ah well.
So then I tried a banana and I'm really pleased with it.
Was using the overhead light so the shadow is tight and dark.
Coming up with a type face for the words and drawing
a fun frame are as enjoyable as the fruit part.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

almost scarf time

It's almost getting chilly enough for a scarf in the mornings, and once the weather cools off even a little, I start getting the itch to knit or crochet. Mostly crochet cause it's quicker and I'm better at it. I have a ton of Noro yarn and am determined to make things with it before I die, so I chose a pretty Silk Garden Lite and made this simple scarf. Love those color changes. I have another in the works already, a diff pattern using Noro Sock, thinner than this yarn and different colors.
Just getting to the colors I like best,
the grays and aquas.
All done, took about 5 days of working on it when
I was waiting for other things to happen or
watching the boob tube.

Didn't bother to block it cause it's pretty flat already
and I didn't want the edge loops to be all pointy.
It's about 6" wide, 4.5ft long

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We have a colony of feral cats on our back lot. I think I've mentioned them but honestly I instagram so much that I can't remember if I also blogged about them or not. Anyway, I feed them and trap them as I can and get them TNR'd so that ta least the kittens quit coming fast and furious. But about a month ago my lot guy called my cell and in a very soft voice said, "There's kittens out here by the service gate."

I muttered a few bad words on my way out to see what was up. I can't do bottle feeding kittens, and when they're too old you can't catch them, so I wasn't sure what I'd find and could only think that it was just more damn cats on the lot to sort out.

Well, there were four 3.5-4 week old kittens playing in  little pile by our big dumpster. They seemed oblivious to us so I slowly walked right up to them, then bent down and snatched one of them up. I grabbed another one and hissed at Jesse to go get a box. When he came back I dumped the first two in the box and grabbed the other two. Got them inside and ended up taking them home to raise cause they were at the perfect age to switch to solid food and not miss their mom at all.

I came home for lunch every day just until today, to feed them, but now they can get thru the day with a bowl of kitten crunchies to hold them from breakfast till dinner. I spend a lot of time with them, getting them sweet and lovable, introducing them to the stupid dog, who sniffs them up one side and down the other, leaving a trail of damp ruffled fur. They don't much care about her unless she gets too wound up.

So now, almost 4 weeks later, my upstairs guest bath is totally trashed, my guest bedroom is stripped of all its knickknacks, and my arms and legs are a testament to just how sharp a kitten's teeth and claws are. They are just adorable and I've taken a million pictures of them and tons of video. I'm going to start giving them away on Saturday and it's going to kill me.
About an hour after I caught them.

Nim, short for Nimbus cause his fluffy fur
makes me think of nimbus clouds.

Muddle, cause his coat's all muddled up
and he's a bit confused most of the time.

This pic and the one below are of Bill, my favorite.
Named him Bill for Bill Murray in the movie Stripes,
cause he's nothing but.

Nim zonked out in my neighbor's hand.
Wendy, the only girl, ignoring Maggie
and about to go pounce on Nim.

Bill again, curled up with Nim.

This is what we do when I visit. I sit on the floor
and they run wild all over me but mostly on my legs and behind my back.
Sometimes they sleep in a pile on my lap, but mostly they play. 

persimmon season

I didn't even know I liked persimmons until last autumn when I tried one at the farmer's market. I loved the solid crunch and different flavor. I ate them two or three a day until they were gone from the market, and missed them, like I miss nectarines when they're out of season. So a couple weeks ago they were back and I stocked up that day and each Sunday since, eating them diced into my cereal, sauteed in butter, brown sugar and chili sauce, and just chunked up as a snack.

I'm taking Jane La Fazio's art journal sketchbook class online and the first lesson was this past Sunday. Not quite as much to it as I was hoping for but I expect it'll get busier and then I'll be complaining that I can't keep up. Never happy. I haven't sketched in a while, since whenever I last posted one, so I grabbed a persimmon and spent about 20 minutes doing this sketch.

This is a sketchbook I made from my mom's old pad of paper, prolly from the early 1940s. I instagrammed the book but don't think I blogged about it yet. The paper is cold pressed and very textured. I had to work to get decent paint coverage.

I'm still pretty happy with my work and hope to improve a bit with Jane's influence and instruction. There should be a fair amount of sketching posts during the next 6 weeks of class.
Not sure what I was thinking when I did the date.
Maybe the British method of putting the day first.
Anyway it was Nov 9th.

Friday, October 31, 2014

f-bomb on a postcard

Read no further if the f word offends you. I used it on a postcard to someone I knew would appreciate it and am showing the card in this post.

These three went off to specific people who should have them by now so I'm posting them.

This went off to a girl I've been friends with since
we were in 7th grade. 48 years! We met the first day
and were inseparable thereafter. Grew up in
each other's houses. Barely kept track of one
another for decades. Now we write back and forth
a few times a year. Not a whole lot to say.

Scored a couple how-to-type books at the library sale and
made this for a typewriter loving person I know.
Hi, Pamela!

I freely admit that I have a crude sense of humor and
swear way too much. That said, it's no wonder I couldn't
stop giggling over this postcard.
I know the recipient will enjoy it too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

postcard re-do post

As I suspected, the photos I snapped with the tablet camera were pretty bad so here are the postcards again but scanned this time, the only way to go with flat items, IMHO.

And since I'm sitting at a regular computer with a normal keyboard, I'll even do some commentary.

These are all available so if you like one, shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll send it off to you. Don't be shy - I made them to send, so claim one if it grabs you.

These 3 elements were all random things that I kinda liked
but couldn't figure out exactly what to do with. Then I came across the
"growing old gracefully" in my words box and the three stages
of a woman's life zipped thru my mind - child, woman, old and gray.
The dog seemed fitting as stage 3 since it's
what I see in the mirror some mornings lol.

The school girls shot was from a calendar and the silly knocked-kneed
lady is from a park brochure my traveling friend Julie-in-SD gave
me a while back. Whistler Canada, maybe? Julie, are you reading this?
I liked the images together and found some words that fit.

These two odd images of men kept turning up as I sifted thru
the box looking for things to use. Normally I like things in
threes - the golden rule of thirds - but I had nothing else that
went with these so did them like this and ended up liking
it well enough. Bizarre words to go with them and
played with drawing frames.

This woman is actually hanging from gymnastic still rings.
It was an add for something or other, no idea now, and I just
liked the long image. Added some color to perk it up
and an enigmatic question.

There was a series in a magazine of this man making various faces.
They all looked about like these and I've used a couple of them
on cards months ago. The newspaper phrase seemed perfect.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Post cards

I've been tearing out images that grab me for years and filling boxes and file folders with them. What I haven't been doing with them is using them for anything, so this weekend I zipped thru a box, used some and threw the rest away. Felt good. I may work my way thru a few more boxes.
Meanwhile here are the cards I made. They're all on cardboard cut from a shoebox I was about to throw away.
I'm doing this post on my tablet using photos I took with the tablet camera, which I think might not be all that hot, so if the whole thing sucks when I look at it on my puter later, my apologies and I'll redo it.

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