Monday, November 24, 2008


1. there is a quote. it goes something like, "we are each but single strands, but oh what a tapestry we make"...and i cannot figure out who said it! if i want to use it, but can't find the source, can i use it anyway?

2. how can it be nearly noon? come to think of it, i am getting a little hungry...

Friday, November 21, 2008

1. i have just recently finished some small bags. they have pretty, shiny beady designs on one side and are made from a wool sweater i got from goodwill and felted (a simple magic trick- put a wool sweater in a hot wash and then dry it hot, too, and you get felt! it's very similar to sticking regular bread in the toaster and then magically getting toast in just a few minutes). i had to photograph myself (YUCK) in order to convey to potential buyers just how cool and hip they'd be if they bought one of them. luckily, my house's backyard is pretty and you can't see the inkstains on those jeans from the angles at which i took the pictures, so they turned out ok.

2. dance lessons have been awesome! slightly awkward, but awesome. did i mention that this was a birthday present from my fiance? yay bart! thanks again :)

3. i posted a while ago about a holiday ornament swap i'm a part of this year. i finally figured out what i'm going to make, and made the first one yesterday. it took four and a half hours. basically, i'm making the little beady medallions like the ones on those purses - exactly like those, actually. in fact, the beady things were originally marketed as ornaments, but no one wanted to buy them and i could in no way sell at a price that would fairly compensate me for my time. making the bags didn't take long, and people, i hope, will be more comfortable spending $40+ on something much more practical than just a hang-y thing. anyway, i'm going to repeat the same pattern that i used in the first ornament i made yesterday, so hopefully i can get faster and faster at making them.

4. one more thing about etsy- i had a sale yesterday! hooray, and thank you dear buyer! i think i'm going to make some more paperback journals with the kanji designs at some point soon. those are pretty unique.

5. happy friday!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

le so cute!!

elle est trop mignonne, non? and anyway, everything just sounds better in french.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

1. facebook is dangerously distracting. do you ever log on with some purpose in mind and then find yourself reading someone's wall only to snap back to reality and have no idea why you logged on in the first place?

2. running at 430pm > running before 430pm.

3. my room is like the inside of a volcano: hot, bright and red. except, actually, it's quite dim because i have the blinds closed to try to keep the sunlight that would pour in from saturating the dark carpet with heat.

4. just finished listening to "the stolen child", and for some reason i can't quite articulate, i feel it was a giant waste of time. now i'm listening to harry potter book 4! woohoo!

5. thanksgiving? in a week??! eegads. i mean, yay...but eegads.

6. times new roman. yes.

7. word wars = the king of kong = wordplay. if you can think about donkey kong and crossword puzzles while watching the first one (about scrabble (addicts)), you can save yourself a lot of time. three documentaries in one! ;)

8. the end. goodnight!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

and now for some content

1. venue- CHECK! yay! i feel so much lighter! (it may have something to do with the several hundred dollars i've been "relieved" of...)

2. e. fay jones (1921-2004)- a magnificent architect. he trained under frank lloyd wright, and so their styles are in many ways very similar. when i think of jones, though, i think of taller, somewhat more angular structures- wright, minus the sky-scrapers, tended to make sprawling or somewhat more squat buildings (or flatter rooves). that's just my impression, though. something funny that i just noticed is that i (and several of my readers) have friends who recently married - her last name was jones and his is wright. anyway, the church pictured in the wikipedia article on jones is one of my favorite of his creations (thorncrown chapel). i have a book where they show the interior of the church at night, all lit up. one of the pictures showed one of the walls, with the lights from the other wall reflecting at even intervals in the glass of the wall pictured, and the re-reflection of the lights on the wall pictured that were reflected to the opposite wall and re-reflected in the opposite one again. hard to describe. but it was really pretty, and talk about genius and astounding attention to detail. another funny-ish story: i hadn't heard of jones before finding a book of his work at barnes and noble or something, and i was slightly unsure for a while as to whether or not they were a he or a she, cos i mean, "fay" is pretty much a girls' name, but given the time period, i figured it was probably a guy. things were complicated when i found a picture of the architect with their spouse, who was nick-named "gus". not very helpful. so it turns out that the "e" stands for euine (U-wan, the welsh form of "john"), but that was too much trouble. his wife's actual name was mary elizabeth.

3. the end!

Monday, November 17, 2008

it's mondaaaaaaay

...and i have nothing more to contribute to the bloggering world at this moment beyond that fact.

Friday, November 14, 2008


1- no artist info today again, i'm afraid.

2- no cupcake baking, either.

3- it's supposed to be 95 today :-O

4- i have posted two new things in my etsy shop. the theme for the past few months has been blank books, which i love making, but i also like to draw and sew and make cards. i've heard multiple times in the forums on etsy that sellers should narrow their field and work on one type of product. i think i've written about this before. so anyway, i'm working on some sewn bags right now, and they would look kind of odd pictured there in my shop with the books and random cards and drawings, so i'm wondering if i should open three other shops (which i believe is allowed) so that each shop is more streamlined. and it would be nice to sort of work on creating an image for each shop. i dunno.

i made these from pre-existing books that i got from a library book sale and gutted. then i replaced the old pages with white pages and now they're journals/sketchbooks. yay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

oh, goodie. did i not hear anything about this until 30 minutes ago?
oy. the thought of an earthquake (especially this "big one") does not make me feel happy inside.

2. something pretty:

good news! it's for sale in my etsy shop C-;


1. rule number 1 for successful, stress-free wedding planning: do NOT, under any circumstances, read bridal magazines just before going to bed. it is a recipe for insomnia, or at the very least, weird and anxious dreams. not that i'm nervous about it or anything!

2. blah.

actually, replace that with 2. on the plus side, we have a date!! woohoo! today i get to call the church and reception sites about meeting with them one last time to go over the space again and ask after every possible detail (and fork over a deposit? :S ). and then i will have to make a few other phone calls and work on some various designs. wooooo...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

too funny to not post right this second...

ok, i might get in trouble for doing this (though why would i? i dunno- i'm just paranoid), but i found this picture on facebook in the albums of a distant friend of mine. it cracked me up. i had to share.

the caption is, "guess which one just got back from peru?" (hehehehesnickergigglesnicker). if you're like me, you start at the left side of the image, survey the numerous very white faces, start to wonder what the heck they're talking about....and then BAM! ahhh...classic.

speaking of ahhhh...i like times new roman way more than georgia or whatever the heck i've been using all this time.

what does trebuchet look like, again? hmmmm...not bad.

lucida grande? hmmm...

verdana? ooh. ick. well, maybe it's better than arial, which isn't so bad...i just...meh. i think it's bedtime.

the artist who made me want to become an artist:

presenting, harry clarke! i distinctly remember that in seventh (or maybe eighth?) grade i was looking through a book of andersen and perrault's fairy tales that had belonged to my paternal grandfather. it was illustrated by harry clarke, and his wonderful, relentlessly intricate and graceful drawings amazed me. i decided to sit down and make a drawing in the style of harry clarke- i drew a woman in a dress, and the skirt of the dress was filled with lots of intricate "doodles". it'd be cool to find that drawing again- it's probably somewhere in the dozens of sketch books i have from my youth back in new york.

so this blogpost (don't forget the russian accent!) may actually be somewhat informative because i know one or two things about clarke. he lived in the late 1800-early 1900s, was born and raised somewhere in ireland or the uk (i want to say ireland, but i'm not sure and i want to be stubborn and not lean on wikipedia for information on my favorite artist! :) ). he won several awards in school for his art, and trained as a stained-glass maker. i'm not sure how he got into illustrating, but he did the illustrations for several books of fairy tales and some edgar allen poe collections (for which his style is quite well suited). he also illustrated a translation of faust and some other things. he may, perhaps, be most closely compared to aubrey beardsley, who lived and worked at the same time, but you'll definitely see parallels between clarke's work and, say, nielsen (as well as a few others that i may blog about later).

quick note about beardsley- i may post about him, because his work is also really, really beautiful...but some of it isn't, so much. in fact, a lot of it is somewhat perverted and disturbing, so i must warn you that if you decide to go in search of beardsley works yourself, you may be unpleasantly surprised. i know some of you are thinking, "pshhh- how can someone who lived during that repressive victorian era in britain have created 'perverted' drawings?" to which i will reply that there is nothing new under the sun and i'm just warning you. but anyway, there's something about his "normal" illustrations that remind me of yellow cake and white frosting or candy- they are, for lack of a better word, "yummy" :)

back to clarke! here are a lot of images (like i could just pick two or three). these are from numerous sources (i photographed or scanned many of them myself from the actual books), so unfortunately i can't provide my resources, which i would like to do because it's bad form not to but i can't so oh well. i think the two color images are interesting- the one on the left is one of his stained-glass pieces (i think it may be king arthur and guinevere) and the one on the right is an illustration from andersen's fairy tales (i got it from the internet and don't know which fairy tale it's supposed to be). the image on the left is really striking in its coloring, but the one on the right is rather bland...this is how i find most of clarke's color illustrations to be, and it's kind of confusing because, as a stained-glass maker, you'd think he'd excel at using color. and he does, when he makes stained-glass windows...ah well.

toodle-oo. have a good wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

m. c. escher

m. c. escher (1898-1972)- the famed dutch artist known primarily for his "impossible structures". here are some favorite images that may be a little less well-known (please visit the official escher website, which is where i "stole" these images from). the one on the left is "prickly flower" and the one on the right is "three worlds".

...well, i've been sitting here for some time just staring at the screen, so i think i'm just going to go do some work now. cheers!

...ok wait. i'm doing this this year (finally!) and just got the list of people i'll be sending to and receiving from. soooooo exciting- they used a website to randomly assign people to a group of eleven (and with 434 people participating i'm not surprised!), and i think i may be one of the lucky ones to have a group with five non-US-ers. two from montreal, one from the uk, one from japan and one from iceland! fun! now i just have to figure out what i'm going to make and make ten of them before december 10. guess i'd really better get to work now.

bye now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

not procrastinating...hehehe

every once in a while i like to check google maps to see how much they're paying attention to my family's neck of the woods. hannawa falls, where they officially live, was not even recognized as a town in the US until a couple years ago. i am pleased to note that very little has changed since then. i dunno why, but that makes me proud :) maybe i just like the idea of keeping the north country hidden from the rest of the world because it is awesome ( most ways) and should stay the way it is: untouched. (the image below is at maximum zoomed-in-ness.)

marian bantjes makes everything better...

this is going to be an extremely crazy week- full of phone calls, meeting with people, and questions, questions, questions (wedding planning, of course). i would appreciate a brief prayer here and there when you think of it, because this will be very difficult for me.

anyway, go enjoy some of marian bantjes' extremely awesome work! (and if any of you can figure out how to pronounce her last name, please do tell!) she doesn't allow people to download ("borrow") images from her site, which i can respect, so i won't post any here. just scan through the projects page(s) and click on whatever looks interesting. they're all interesting, so you can't go wrong :) ...and i bet you can see why i think her work is way cool.

i ended up making banana cupcakes on friday. on saturday i frosted them with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, and they are good, but not my favorite. other people seem to be enjoying them, so that makes me happy, and i will be a good sport myself and "choke down" a few or several this week, too ;)

well, i'm too distracted by the other things i have to do today to focus on doing any more blogging, so toodleoo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

one, two, three-and-four, five-and-six

b and i are taking west-coast swing lessons! our first class was last night! it's fun!! ( i not supposed to announce this? hehehe ;) )

for today's artist, i have chosen amy myers. now, showing you images of her work in this blog will probably be worse than not showing you any at all, because in real-life, they are exquisite and irreproduceable, especially when shrunk down to 1/1000 their actual size on a monitor. so you have to promise to imagine these images as 7x9 foot drawings. just occurred to me that i do not know the titles to either of these pieces. that's pretty bad form. well, i know that the title of one of her pieces is "the opera inside the atom", and that'll give you a pretty good idea of the themes of her work. her dad was a physicist, and i think growing up with so much science everywhere made her want to become an artist instead ;) hehehe. actually, learning about all those physics things really inspired her work, so she imagines, for example, the beautiful intricate performances of all the little parts of an atom and these giant drawings/paintings are interpretations of that. in the same vein, her work explores things that are veeeery small by making them enormous, and then in other pieces about outer space she will (obviously) make elements very small. in many ways, her pieces look like they could either be interpretations of something at the atomic level and at the galactic level (is that even a word? mind if i use it anyway?). another thing i remember reading is that she likes to imagine all the elements of her pieces as having this symbiotic co-existence; all the pieces have their tasks to do, and all together they make a beautiful whole. i chose those two pieces to show because (if you click on them) you should be able to see the detail the best.

today is cupcake day, but i am still awaiting inspiration. orange cupcakes don't inspire me...for some reason it kind of grosses me out, actually. i'll have to go to albertson's anyway to get more baking cups, so maybe i'll find some amazing ingredient there. dang- for halloween i should've made something really scary, like lentil-carob cupcakes with kefir-cheese frosting, or alida's vegan avacado frosting. hehehe. too bad, i missed my chance!

have a good wheee!-kend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

yoshitaka amano

it's 7 a.m. and i'm already excited for artist time!

this artist/illustrator is perhaps best known (in the 'states) for his work on the final fantasy game series. so, at the lowest level of artistic quality you have the actual pixel-y characters on the screen, and then next the character art in the manual and generally wherever the characters are published online or in magazines, and then, at the pinacle (in my opinion) have yoshitaka amano's interpretations.

these are both images from ff9- airships (the prefered mode of travel) and vivi, a mysterious and somewhat troubled fella. i forget what he actually is, though i never finished the game so maybe i never even found out. anyway, his figure drawings/paintings are pretty cool, too. his style is veeeery elegant, and just as mysterious and imaginative. you can visit his website to see more (unfortunately, the section on final fantasy is currently under construction- i can show you the above images because i downloaded them long ago). so it seems that again we have an artist who does very intricate, colorful work and who has a mastery of that watery, bleed-y watercolor technique i enjoy so much :) don't worry, tomorrow will probably be different.

in other news, i have recently discovered about a dozen very decent, half-finished drawings in about five different sketchbooks. some of them i started five years ago, but i hope to finish them soon....or at least bring them up to 75% completeness, and then leave them for five more years ;)

i finished listening to (a very scratched copy of) "reading lolita in tehran" by nafisi. it was good! difficult, but good. i cannot imagine surviving, much less maintaining sanity, in a country like iran with its fickle, arbitrary laws and extreme punishments for the slightest deviance (and sometimes, for no wrongdoing whatsoever). the author was a literature prof, and talked mainly about the authors she taught, such as nabokov (lolita), fitzgerald, bronte, austen, and bellow. luckily, i've just recently read "the great gatsby" and "pride and prejudice", which she talks about at length. i don't mind not having read "lolita". maybe i'll try that one later, but for now i think it's still too intense for me.

now i've switched gears and am listening to "home", an autobiography of julie andrews' early years, read by the dear woman herself. i'm really curious about her life during her acting career- something about her just seems so clean and pure (i mean, she did play mary poppins and maria the singing nun, so maybe that's just her characters talking). so far i've learned that she was terrible at sports, sang for the queen when she was like, 10, and that andrews is her step-father's last name. she didn't exactly have an idyllic childhood (aside from dealing with wwII), but it wasn't so bad as some- such as that of jane fonda, whose biography i've also read (well, some of it). also, it seems to me that divorce and infidelity are nothing new to our society, at least, not among the circles of those who write biographies. i find this oddly comforting.

well, i've spent enough time blogging. time to get drawing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

eyvind earle

big changes coming up here in the u.s. of a! kind of exciting....hopefully. i am also generally pleased with the outcomes thus far of various california propositions- more bond measures than i'd hoped for are passing, which may not be so good, but anyway, enough about politics (sorry).
eyvind earle- not quite certain how i stumbled upon his work in the first place, but i love it. (sorry, i hate having giant chunks of pictures stuck in a body of text, but i don't think blogger has a lot of options when it comes to page layout.)

as you can see, he does beautiful, expansive landscapes as well as delicate and intricate close-up images. the use of color is amazing, and i love the way he stylizes nature. with the landscape, you can kind of see similarities to the cartoony style of animation in the mid-1900s, and this is valid, i think, because he did indeed do a bit of work for disney- "sleeping beauty" was one of his projects (this claim is, in fact, supported by what i just read in wikipedia). maybe that's why i like "sleeping beauty" so much...
tune in tomorrow to see a sampling of work by another artist i admire, part three in a spontaneous series of undetermined length which probably won't be very informative, but will give you a very good idea of the kind of art i would like to own/collect, in case you ever find yourself in need of buying me something awesome. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008


i also like these (among many others, but i will now practice some restraint and not show you all 1200 of my favorites....arrrrgh...*restrain!*):

i was going to go to bed now, but...

i remembered that i wanted to post these images by kay nielsen:

they are pretty! nielsen (i think that's the spelling) was an illustrator in the early 1900's. wikipedia just informed me that he was danish. i wish i could draw like that! love the flat, highly stylized um, style. reminds me of (aubrey) beardsley and (harry) clarke, but softer and more fluid. i also think the use of color is better than in a lot of clarke's work, and from what i've seen, nielsen's subjectmatter is considerably less bizarre than beardsley's (thank goodness). anyway! tomorrow i will show you a picture of how i wish i could paint. perhaps several examples, actually.
this is a pointless exercise, perhaps, but i am the dictator and you my captive audience :) now look at the pretty pictures, and be glad i have thus far resisted the temptation to share certain lolcats that i find amusing :)
ok. goodnight. big day tomorrow.........................


1- i want another cupcake!

2- i found a free bookshelf on the curb this weekend! it barely fit in bart's fit, but we managed it and carted it up to my house where it is now clean and doing a fabulous job of keeping my entire life organized :)

3- it is still cloudy!

4- i have been an emailing machine this morning! still have about a half dozen emails to write (a couple of them longish), plus two letters. i shall reward myself (because food should always be used as a reward!) with another cupcake after finishing the emails, and another after writing the letters, and then another after reading up on election stuff. and then i will be fat! (and almost out of cupcakes.)

5- writing blogposts is a wonderful way to procrastinate!

5.5- i like ending sentences with exclamation points!

6- i should clarify my views on halloween and why it is yuck. dressing up in costumes is fun, getting free candy is fun, seeing mass-marketed plastic things representing the tortured remains of human beings hanging from neighborhood trees is yuck. hands reaching up out of "graves" in front yards, also yuck. i just generally don't like horror, even festive horror. i dunno. i probably take it too seriously. nevermind.

7- there was something else i was going to mention, but i forget what it was. oh well! guess i should get back to stuff, then.