It's the last day of Thing-a-day, and my Thing today is my first draft of an aviator helmet:http://www.virtue.to/articles/coif.html and altered it to fit my husband David's head. I made the helmet from some nice soft faux leather I had lying around the place.It needs to be tweaked a bit, but I'm really happy with it and with the fabric! When I get the basic shape right, I'll add d rings for goggles, some straps and maybe some random brass studs :) More brass = more steampunk!I'd like to thank the good folks at Thing-a-day for opening up the Thing to so many people this year, and to my friend Doug for telling me about it -- it's been a really wonderful experience doing my own Things and reading about, looking at and listening to the Things of others.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
We had a couple of people over the other day to mark David's birthday, and the cats got all excited, as they do, when the dining room table is rearranged for a party. I just got the tablecloth on, and a vase of tulips in place, when all four cats trooped up to check it out.
I don't know if other multiple-cat companions notice this phenomenon, but we've noticed a sort of "monkey see, monkey do" rhythem to their curious explorations. Generally one starts by checking out a new thing, then all the others have to follow suit.
I just sat down on a chair and waited.
First up was Ralph, the youngest and biggest. He got on the table, and then lowered his undercarriage and sprawled, expansively, in front of the flower, as is his wont. Then came Edmund, the elder male, who, typically, barely stayed in one place long enough for me to photograph him!
Then came little Katie, who struck an elegant pose. The only one who didn't get on the table was Emma, which surprised me. She made up for it, later, by sitting on the coffee table and attempting to hypnotise people into giving her potato chips :)
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
This brooch is now for sale at my Artfire studio.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I'm doing some knitting these days, as I plan out some costume pieces I'll need for this summer's Tales of Hoffmann. To that end, I'm making some trial wrist warmers, a.k.a. fingerless mitts ... The pattern is free online here: http://400squareftliving.blogspot.com/2010/09/knitting-marys-merry-wristers.html
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This afternoon I took a class at my local amazing bead shop, Java Bead, in Bridgewater Nova Scotia, where we learned the spiral stitch or DNA stitch. This bracelet combines bronze firepolished glass beads and two sizes of seed beads, with an antique brass clasp and was SOOOO much fun to make!http://thingaday.com
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
These are for sale at my Artfire shop now
Yesterday I was running around, getting ready to leave my lovely friends' house and go home to NS, and I noticed this framed piece: I'm not much of one for devotional phrases, but the prayer of St Francis is a pretty good one to have around, and it struck me that the last five days, in spite of their hectic colour, were truly about this at their core:
- Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
- Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
- Where there is injury, pardon.
- Where there is doubt, faith.
- Where there is despair, hope.
- Where there is darkness, light.
- Where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love.
- For it is in giving that we receive.
- It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sorry this is late!This is a doodle I made during auditions yesterday. I'm directing Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann this summer, and I've decided on a steampunk look which really fits the opera surprisingly well. Here's a sketch of a Lolita/steampunk Olympia, the mechanical doll :)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Today I drove two hours, heard 7 hours of auditions and drove two hours back.
All the wonderful, talented young artists I heard did their own things, of course -- for a performer an audition is a small chunk of distilled stress, opportunity and potential, a brief moment where he exposes himself and his talent in the hopes that the combination will be something that the auditioner will see and value.At the end of my day of receiving dozens of performances by these young singers, I was left with a pile of their photos, resumes and my notes. I was also left with a profound sense of the beauty of lives dedicated to the struggle for mastery over their craft, the struggle to be seen, the struggle to birth their inner artists and the struggle against the general disinterest shown by the wider world for their work.
Here's the only part of my experience that I could photograph :)
Damn, it's been a long day. I'm now in Toronto, gettting ready to hear about 80 auditions for my summer opera program. I visited a great store in Mississauga, Gitta's, and bought some crazy beautiful crewel yarn colours, so this photo of the yarn will have to do for my thing :)
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I've decided to teach myself crewel work (surface embroidery in fine wool), so I've started a sampler. I'm working my way through the twelve stitches taught in Jane Rainbow's Beginner's Guide to Crewel Embroidery: From top to bottom:
- different tries at stem stitch
- chain stitch
- split stitch and satin stitch
- buttonhole stitch
- french knots
- first step of spider's web stitch
I've never done any embroidery before. I learned needlepoint last year -- this is much, much, MUCH harder because there's no guide for the stitch size and there are so many freaking stitches. I can see it's going to take mountains of practice, but that's cool. I do love learning new things, even if I totally suck at them :)My stem stitch, for instance. I just couldn't learn it from the book I was using -- didn't make any sense to me. Then I went looking for a video, and it made it all clear :) Thanks god for YouTube ...
Anyway, that's my thing for today.