Monday, July 31, 2006

40 Carat Felt

I was clicking my way through a couple of craftblogs the other day and found myself revisiting the Pincushion Challenge flickr set. Later that night, unable to sleep as usual, I started having pincushion visions of my own and felt compelled to sketch them out. I decided that my simple-girl-self could use a little bling in her life. What better, then, than a gaudy 40-carat diamond pincushion ring.

Since I'm not a very experienced embroiderer, that I'd start with a simple square-faceted version first. I also decided to partially rely on Verybigjen's bottle-top pattern. That's the reason for the chunkiness in the middle, but it did give me a chance to add silly little filigree-type ornament. Don't think I'll use it for the next ring, though, too much bulk for this project. In the end, I feel like I shouda' made the diamond twice as large, despite the top-heaviness, to even out the massive proportions.

Anyway, here's to domestic goddess in all of us or to the little princess in your life who needs some serious ringage to marry her imaginary prince.

First Things First

This a shot of day four and five really. We've been so busy painting the room and trim and whatnot that I haven't devoted much time to my project here. In fact, I feel I spent just enough time on it to fuss it up a little too much. There are certain spots that I will have to paint over and redo, i.e. the large fin area- too much red, not enough definition. Perfectionism is a curse, I tell ya'.*

Days 4 & 5.

*I'm not a true perfectionist, only when it suits me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

In Other News...

Didn't spend much time on "Proteus" today, because we applied our charmingly bland shade of grey to the walls. It works for me. The part about having to put all the crap back into our bedroom....well, that's the part that doesn't work for me so much. But I should be back on track with the painting...of the painting...tomorrow sometime.

In the meantime, here's a shot of our rescued butterfly. I harvested a bunch a basil out the garden and tried to salvage all the excess by plucking, rinsing, and storing the basil in plastic bags for a couple of days in the fridge. As we were plucking leaves, we found a hard, funny-looking chysalis on the table. So I propped it up in the leaves of my anthurium by the kitchen sink, not hoping for too much. As it turns out, he popped right out a couple of days later. Here he is still shaking the dew off. Once he was able to flop around a little, he was given a couple of life lectures on loose women and how not to become a nectarholic, leaving the wife and kids home to pupae alone. Before I left him alone to flop around the garden for bit longer, he promised he'd write.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Saga Continues

Day three of Proteus painting was spent hyperfocusing on certain details. Explaining to my husband why I was squinting at the 2" x 31/2" picture of what I'm painting had little to do with poor eyesight or bad lighting, but rather the deciphering of a watercolor/gouache/ink piece and transforming into an acrylic painting. About ten o' clock last night, I started to wonder why I hadn't started this project on paper. Screw it....I'm all in now and there's no looking back. Enjoy.

End of Day three.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Krewe of Proteus

So....we're finally, two years after buying our first home, spiffing up the master bedroom. The painting plans have been laid; repaint the ceiling, paint the walls a very neutral "silver plum", and round out with some white-ish trim. All very ho-hum. But have no fear, the obnoxiously vivid painting is here! hang over the bed, that is.

It's been a long-time want of mine to paint up a large scale version of one of the gorgeous carnival posters of old New Orleans. The art commissioned by Mardi Gras krewes circa the 19th century is some of the most beautiful...and over-looked, if you ask me....artwork that I've ever seen. So creative, so ornate; it's what keeps the mystique of Mardi Gras alive for those of us locals that have long since grown tired of the drunken street party portion of the season. I go to that parades for the art. OK.....and the beads, but that's just a primal urge to elbow complete strangers, really.

A couple of years ago, I picked up two volumes of Henri Schindler's collection of these fabulous works, Mardi Gras Treasures, of which he has written about and compiled them as costumes, invitations and float designs. All three books are FABULOUS, which made it really tough to pick a work to enlarge and replicate. I finally settled on an invitation for the ball of the Krewe of Proteus, 1820. The colors are rich and varied and I sort-of have a thing for nautical mythology, of which many yearly krewe themes are based. Anyway, it just seemed right.

For kicks, I decided to chronicle the daily advancements of paint job, for my sole pleasure really, but I'd thought I could share the process with you all too. I should say too, that while I enjoy creating my own art from time to time, I love to replicate pieces like this. It gives you a real sense for another painter's process and creative brilliance that goes on inside of other people's heads. It's like a design puzzle worth solving for art junkies, like me.

One other sidenote, this project is still in progress and I'm taking pictures at the and of each painting day. I do intend to scan the original work when I can, but it may come at the end of the project, so bear with me. Size is approximately 24" in. by 36" in. and it's on scrap plywood, leftover from cutting out hurricane window covers (I love that). But I'll have to measure it out later. Hope you guys enjoy.

End of Day 1.

End of Day 2.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dish Diary: Day One

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You bet your sweet Aspercreme!

Originally, I was just going to post my two favorite advertising taglines, of late. However, when I began my internet hunt for a picture of Aspercreme line, I discovered that I'm not the only person who is sad to see the ad line go the way of "You bet if it's Aspercreme!" *Su-ucks*, if you ask me. The original line was just brilliant, snort-soda-through-your-nose humor and that left me aching for a reason to go out and buy tubes and tubes of Aspercreme.
Anyhoo, the second might raise some eyebrows, but I love it anyway. Have we all seen the new Fruit-of-the-Loom music video ads? The country music one at that? Anybody? OK, well, in case you haven't, the winning line in the whole ad is ....... "You can't OVERLOVE your underwear...." Twangy, tacky, can't get it out of my head. And fortunately for me (and them), I've got no less than four males residing under my roof who really do overlove their underwear. They also overwear their underwear, but that's a whole other thing.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pretty Princess, hat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hello, My name is.....

.....and I have an addiction to cheap cotton yarn. And bags. And, well, lots of other kinds of yarn. And starting yarn related projects, but I digress. I'm only sorta kidding, folks. Twice now, this summer, I've found myself lugging around shopping bags full of yarn for projects that require the full spectrum of the rainbow. Not for the same project, mind you. Again I digress. So, what's a girl to do when she has an aversion to plastic shopping bags holding the precious contents of a works-in-progress? She must halt all further production until she whips up an appropriate and respectable yarn-hauling bag, of course! And, no doubt, you're thinking to yourself, "Isn't that just another project that she's going to have to haul around in a plastic grocery bag?" Indeed. But these are worthy stash-busting bags! Easy-to-make must-haves with hefty purpose and work-hard spirit! And they should be REALLY roomy too. Like I said, they've gotta hold the whole spectrum.

I could/should in fact learn to store said projects and pertinent yarn stashes in plastic tubs, stacked neatly in unassuming corners of my home, but I think that takes so much away from the obsessive nature of a yarn hoarding addiction. I want to see the yarn. I want to be surrounded by all potential productiveness that the bags hold inside. I want to be constantly reminded that if I chose not to finish the blanket I started two months ago, that I have bags of other options just hanging around burdening my conscience. "Finish, woman, finish SOMETHING other than cotton-picking bags you put us in!," they scream at me everyday before I head downstairs for a cup of coffee. Boxes just don't motivate like that.

And lest you think I spend a massive amount dough on my addiction, I'm hear to tell you that once you find yourself skipping meals in order to satiate your junky knit fix, you find that food costs WAY more than handful of $1.25 Peaches N' Cream yarn. Fewer calories, too. Truthfully, I think I've spent more in library fines on knitting/crochet books and the paper I print patterns
on, thanks to a close friend with excessive yarnage. And Ebay too. Oh, and Hobby Lobby...... when Wal-Mart doesn't have what I want.

So behold my collection of on-the-go stash hoarding and soon-to-be-completed projects. It's all I've got until the kids go back to school. Ok, it's this or a week of photo-journaling the dishes drying in a rack. Day one: plastic rainbow dishes counterpoised with steely hard forks; day 2: pot stacking sculpture; day 3.......and you thought bags of yarn were boring?

*Did I forget to mention, I utilize some of my old handsewn bags as well? Made these long before I had a sewing machine and while they lack the qualities required for public exhibition, they make great stashing vessels.
**Just a side note (a little confession, really): This is, in , fact only a sampling of my hoarded goods. The rest is actually sitting in a plastic box in an unasuming corner of my home, where it can't mock my bags.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

I celebrated my thirty-something birthday last Saturday and my dear sweet husband gave me a beautiful new camera. The last camera was on it's last leg and just when I was getting the hang of using it, it stopped focusing...on anything. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to bits. And while I'm still learning all of the in's and out's of the new camera, at least I can put all of my little models back to work.

Research Project*

For my niece, a replacement set of tonsils. Just in case she misses them.

*This is what I was researching, when I came across the bookcover in the last post.