Friday, February 29, 2008

For the win!

I have accomplished the impossible (for me)! Emails/letters: written. I feel happy and exhausted.

It is good to stay in touch with those I love :)

Things I should be doing right now:

1- Write Ms. Marli an email. That has been on my list of things to do since she replied to my last email, oh, two weeks ago. Seriously- every single day: "Email Marli."
2- Write a letter to another friend who wrote to me, hmmm...a month ago, nearly.
3- Write an email to yet another friend who wrote me an two months ago.
4- Stop being such a terrible friend
5- Drawing
6- Reading

Things I want to do right now:
1- Read random blogs of people I've never met
2- Play spider solitaire until my brain starts to ooze
3- Repeat 1&2

The thing about reading the blogs of complete's so weird. I get completely transported out of my own mind and situation and submerge myself in the life, struggles and joys of someone I didn't even know existed. A few days ago I was reading "
Stuff White People Like"*, and then found myself reading the comments** after one of the posts. And then I remembered my secret bad habit of reading the blogs of strangers! There were hundreds of people to choose from from this post alone, so, feeling a little giddy, I clicked on one. I can't remember why I chose this particular person...The mouse just moved and I clicked. It took me to the blog of a young woman named Alyssa. Mandatory semi-emo picture at the top of the blog, semi-emo music automatically started playing, etc. I won't tell you the blog name, because I do feel as though I have trespassed, in a sense, on this woman's life, but I have greatly enjoyed reading her words! Randomly and cool-ly enough, she's a Christian, and she posts like, three times a day, so multiply that by two years...I'll be busy with that for a while :) Anyway, just wanted to tell you all about my fascination with people, despite my introverted tendencies. Maybe that's why I like reading blogs so much- it's like having a one-sided conversation- they just talk and talk and talk, and nothing is ever expected of me. I can just "listen". And when my eyes are crossing from too much time spent "listening", I can just say goodbye and close the window.

Hmmm...I was going to watch "Howl's Moving Castle" tonight, but I'm having more fun by myself than I thought I would, so I don't think I'll need the distraction.

Well, I wasn't planning to write a blogpost*** tonight, but now I can put it on my to-do list and then cross it off! Yay! Accomplishment!

*As if they need more hits
** I honestly cannot think of a bigger waste of time than reading the comments people leave on blogs like that one, or one youtube videos (although those tend to be hilarious), or the like. I like the comments you leave on my blog, though! :)
***It was recently discovered that "blogpost" sounds very much like a Russian word. If you haven't already, I would suggest that you immediately say it outloud with a heavy Russian accent. See? Fun!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Things, and stuff

Well, my dear old interwebs seem to be broken at the moment, but I am not daunted by this, and nevertheless, have resolved most solemnly to compose a blogpost in Word. If my interwebs are ever fixed, you will know because you will be reading this post! (Yay! they're back!)

Anyway, first thing to note- I have sold a drawing on Etsy! Huzzah! Rejoice! Thank you, Pa, for so generously supporting your daughter :) “Night Rain…” is going to a good home in Central New York (where it does indeed rain at night sometimes).

Next, I was reminded of one of my favorite memories from Filoli today while walking to Whole Foods. It’s one of my favorites for no other reason than that it makes me feel good about myself, in sort of a funny way that maybe only introverts would understand. Or maybe even just introverted ninjas :) Anyway, it happened during the two weeks I spent in the kitchen gardens/high place. The head gardener and his assistant in that area are both known for being very quiet, introspective people, and I really enjoyed working there because we never felt like we had to make small talk with each other. One day the assistant and I were working (quietly) in the London Planes*, when the head gardener came back from whatever he was working on and commented, “You know, there’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says ‘quiet people are like slow-moving waters- deep and dangerous.’” I always liked that, though I also often act very shallow and scared. But hey, that’s an ancient Chinese proverb- and we know that those are practically infallible!

Back to things related to Etsy- I have made several prints of two of the recipes I drew up, and in an effort to spruce them up a bit, since they’re just in black and white, I have been adding color. I’m thinking about selling the prints with color added by hand on Etsy, but before doing so, I was hoping to get some input on the experiments I’ve been doing so far. I’m going to set up a new album on Picasa for work in progress/experiments, and I’ll post these there. I also want to post the link to my actual portfolio, which is also on Picasa, but is currently unlisted.

Also stay tuned for info regarding some journals that I hope to have in my possession soon. I have about a dozen paper-back journals, similar to the sparkly blue one on Etsy, but painted with walnut and scarlet inks…but they’re in NY at the moment, and then, before I put them up for sale, I would like to add some drawings to the front covers.

ONE more Etsy-thing. The beaded ornaments. I love them, and am surprised that, from the number of views they have received, no one else seems to be interested in them. I’m not sure if I’m charging too much (though based on the labor involved, I am not- they take a good 4-6 hours each), or if the pictures just don’t do them justice. I have to say** that they have a lot of tactile appeal. They remind me a lot of Oreos, for some reason, and have a slight cushiness to them, not to mention being fun to just hold in your hand. And come on! They’re shiny and sparkly…Maybe I’ll un-list them and keep them all for myself…my preciouses :)

*Platanus x hispanica! I remember!
** Though from what I gather, my readership is at least fifty percent male, so you may not care at all :)

Edit-- two new linkies!
Kristin's Portfolio (no borrowing or stealing images, please)
Works in Progress

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday morning cARToons

Well, I never posted those arty things yesterday, but I'm going to post them now, so hopefully you'll be able to find it within your heart to forgive my delinquency....Actually, I'm only going to post one picture. To the left, my progress on the crayoning. I'm beginning to have some nagging doubts about it, but will continue to plug away anyway, and maybe I'll start to like it more. The other two things I was going to post can be found on my etsy page, because they're two pen and ink drawings that I have decided to put up for sale. I like them- drawing with nib pens is fun, and it was nice to do something a bit more colorful for once.

You might want to wait a while between looking at my work on etsy and looking at this next website. Well...I kind of want you to wait, or better yet, not even look at all...because...this girl is goooood. I am highly impressed, and...dang. I have a lot of work to do. I'd never want to copy her work or style, of course, but I think she's nailed a lot of the pieces that are missing from my own work, like the element of spontaneity/chaos. Now, that isn't missing from all of my work, and really, it's not even missing from most of my work, since a lot of what I draw is completely unplanned. Anyway, I don't feel like writing about that, so here's the website. Man, if I could combine her and Marian Bantjes, with a healthy dose of Harry Clarke and Yoshitaka Amano, in my work...Wow...That would, cool. AND I would know how to paint! Linky-

I think I may go walk and think about this stuff for a bit. Toodle-pip, as it were.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

15 Minutes

Sometimes, when I'm having a hard time feeling motivated to do things or when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the things I need/want to do, I set a timer for 15 minutes and work on one thing as furiously as possible for that amount of time. When the timer sounds, I move on to the next thing, and so on, and so on. It's easy to do pretty much anything if you're only going to spend 15 minutes on it. Then you go do something else that's more fun, for 15 minutes, and then maybe go back to something else more mundane, but only for 15 minutes! Usually I end up abandonning the timer, once I get some momentum going, but there are times when without it, I'd get nothing done. Today was one of those days! Up to about...hmmm...7:15 this evening, all I'd done is take a couple of walks, eat a few meals, and play spider solitaire until my brain started oozing out my ears (I hate when I do that- curse you, spider solitaire!- I've lost valuable brains that way). And that's the stuff worth reporting*. But after 7:15 pm, I found the timer on my cell phone (my watch's batteries have been dead for months), set it for 15 minutes, and BAM! Barely two hours have passed and now I will be able to call today a productive day!

I worked on four drawing projects (crayoning, Cincy chili, and two others- all will be photographed and posted tomorrow, when there is good light to photograph them by) and completed two of them, sent some emails, and applied for a job at the Jamba Juice at Whole Foods (now there's an employment opportunity!). And now I'm even updating my blog. Wow.

So anyway, the first walk** I took this morning ended up being quite an adventure! I didn't have any errands to run, so I decided to explore the more residential side of the town where I live. Well. The homes are incredible. Not as jaw-droppingly huge as those in Atherton, but still sizeable and all very unique. It's fun to look at people's gardens or glance (inconspicuously) into the windows...I like thinking about the kind of people that might live there, or how crazy it would be to actually live in a place like that, etc. Well, I wanted to try to stay as far north as possible to be near the mountains, because they are green and beautiful right now, and also because I'd love to discover some trails leading into them! I didn't find any trails, but did find lots of hills leading up and up and up, with lots of amazing views of the valley and the city that goes on and on and on until it fades into the smog. I also found roads that got very narrow and windy, and artsy cottages that were small and carefully crammed into the crevices of the hills. The clouds overhead made everything dim and extra green. There were a lot of trees, and the only sound was that of a barking dog. It was very nice. I took some pictures with my handy cell. If they turn out, maybe I'll post them at some point.

Sorry for the hasty conclusion of today's blogging installment, but it's bedtime now. Goodnight

*Not worth reporting: pages and pages of Lolcats, and Stuff White People Like; feeling mopey, wishing I could have a kitten.
**Ahhh....the joys of being unemployed :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The View from the Edge...

See, it's funny because I live on Edgeview Drive.

I've been lucky enough to be working on a lot of art lately. That's mostly due to the fact that I am unemployed, but so long as I do something to pursue employment opportunities during the week, I give myself plenty of liberty to do whatever I want the rest of the time. Right now a lot of my projects have been focused around calligraphy. I'm working on a recipe and accompanying illustration (think Moosewood Cookbook, times a million) for my beloved Cincinnati Chili, as well as making labels for the herbs and spices that are stored in various re-purposed glass jars at my boyfriend's. It is currently impossible (or nearly so) to tell the difference between oregano and basil, paprika and cayenne. So I have been commissioned to go to town and design the most awesome labels possible. I've been having way too much fun with that, and the labels for each of the fourteen different herbs/spices have been rewritten at least three times. I will post in-the-works pictures at some point today, I hope.

Soon I'll be starting on another project for a wall (a very large, very blank wall) at Mr. Boyfriend's as well (oh, let's just call him by his name: Bart :) I'm always so paranoid about keeping everything anonymous). It will be what I like to call a "crayoning", basically, a crayon drawing. And then we'll be able to use one of the giant frames my housemate rescued from work to make it look like real art, and hang it above the fireplace so that Bart and his housemates look like really civilized gents (which they are!). No matter that the drawing will be in crayon; anything can look like "high art" when you stick it in a big black frame, behind glass, and put it above a fireplace!

Picture time, fun with layout (for the lose).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Geez! Four months?! What a slacker...

Daily Manna from the 'Net for Friday, February 15, 2008:
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: 'The LORD's right hand has done mighty things! The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!' I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. Psalm 118:14-21 NIV

Passage from today’s devotions:
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25, 33-34.

So…the above verses are incredibly pertinent to some thoughts I was having last night. I was praying, telling God I wanted to love him more, and I felt like I was told to read my Bible more. I have the freedom, really, to spend all day reading my bible, which is something I’ve told myself I’d do…someday. So I was told to spend today reading my Bible. Specifically, I felt, the Psalms. And I told him, well, if I remember first thing in the morning that I am to do this, then I’ll do it. And I remembered. And the passage from psalm 118 was today’s daily manna. The only reason I even read that passage is because I was going to use that site to read the chapters for todays installment in the "read your Bible in a year" series. This stirs in me some fear, to be sure. And a little annoyance, but that’s just my flesh wanting to not read my Bible, and I will do my best to ignore it. That passage is pretty celebratory, though, and it’s hard to not get excited and feel like I really WAS talking with God last night! He heard my prayer! Let this be a testimony to me for the rest of my life, when I feel like poor me, I’m too wretched for God to hear my prayers, he doesn’t love me... So today I am going to try to be faithful and pursue God a little bit, hopefully grow in love for him, learn more about his ways and how he works, and maybe hear a little bit more from him about my current situation. Maybe not that last part, and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not just doing this to look good; God and I don’t have some sort of agreement- if I do this, he’ll do something cool for me.

The second passage is just good because I have been worrying a bit about my situation- no job, no income, mounting expenses…and no matter how hard I try, I can’t make people buy things from my etsy shop, so that’s discouraging…but it’s not fun or productive to feel all depressed and sad and anxious about that stuff. I am going to spend today doing some things like emails, job searches, walking, and drawing, but I hope mainly to read through all of the psalms. I don’t think I’ve ever really done that before…or if so, it’s been quite a while.

Oh, another thing I am dying to do is get back into blogging. For many reasons! I have a lot to talk/write about, and I like the idea of talking about God’s work in my life in a format that’s like talking, but allows me to choose my words and communicate through written language. There’s also a layer of safety, which may or may not be a good thing. It’s a lot less awkward blogging about spiritual matters (for me) than talking face to face. This has the benefit of making me bolder in my testimony, but there’s also definitely an element of being able to “hide” behind the computer screen. Also, I think blogging, and being involved in commenting on others’ blogs is a really good way to let people know I exist. I’d love to drop a note to feanne, cake+pie, cupcakes by chockylit, that one girl who took Prof Maryatt’s book art’s…Becca Durnin, foodbeam, and others. I’ve been reading those blogs for a very long time, all of them. So I’d like to tell them that, tell them how much I enjoy their blogs, and then also have a convenient link to my etsy shop on my blog, that they’ll hopefully visit when they try to figure out who this freak-girl Kristin is :) So my motives aren’t completely pure. Meh! By the way, here's that link: I'll probably post it three or four time a day, just in case you forget what it is :)

Also, it is important that I tell you about those children who are wearing the finger puppets!! Right before last summer, I gave four finger puppets (made by artists in Chile, brought the the farmer's market by an awesome elderly gent, and bought by me as I unsuccessfully tried to restrain myself) to my friend Molly who was going to spend the summer in Uganda working at an orphanage. First, I have to say that when I gave Molly those four finger puppets, I didn’t know that the orphanage where she was going to work would house exactly four children, so they all got one! I thought there’d be more like 15-20, but it would have been sad if there’d been 5…God provides! So anyway, that’s not even close to being the good news! This is the good news!!: ALL FOUR CHILDREN HAVE BEEN ADOPTED! YAY! So now they’re all in the States, and two of them are even living in the same city. That is cool. (Left to right, the puppets are penguin, owl, alpaca, and monkey with baby monkey.)

I will be back later to blog. If not today, then in the NEAR future. I may also start posting images of my daily drawings and/or other stuff. I kind of like showing off what I'm working on, because I often really like what I'm working on. :) Oh, and apparently I've finally grown up and started using proper capitalization. Yay me?

PS - :-D