31.7.08

ebay

For the first time, I'm going to be posting some items on ebay, to sell some things that I don't need/want anymore. So far I have three items to part with, all of which have different levels of meaning to me.

Wool coat: This is kind of a funny story because it was my attempt at wearing something other than gray and brown. It was one of those color change experimentations that just didn't fall through. You know, one of those skeptical purchases where you tell yourself "yeah, I'll wear it one day." Hmn. I remember, I had gone to the mall (which is rare of me) to look for a wool coat. I had always wanted one, but was a little unsure about what color and style I wanted to get. I did see one that caught my eye while passing, so I went in to test it out to see what I thought. Before I could get the coat buttoned up, people passing by me started to "ooh" at my complexion against the ivory color. Normally I get scoffed at for being so fair, but because I wasn't used to the attention, I was embarrassed but quite buttered up. Unfortunately, I was temporarily confident in my purchase, without considering if I actually felt comfortable wearing such a light color to begin with. For months following, I proceeded to keep the coat locked up in our closet for the entire fall/winter/spring. I just couldn't get myself to wear it without feeling silly. Not only does it make me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, I don't quite feel comfortable wearing a light color in the winter because our winters are so sporadic, they can be totally mucky and gross. And so, to face the fact that I'm still quite intimidated to wear a light color, I'm selling it so it can go to someone who can put it to good use. No guilt at all for this one. I just wish I hadn't listened so much to the outside opinions and paid more attention to my own. Still, it was fun to be called pretty.

Laptoppy: This computer goes back to the days when I was in my second year of college. I guess you could say that it was my most expensive school supply. Oh college, how is it possible that people look back at those days of poverty and sleep deprivation and somehow manage to say that they miss it? I certainly don't miss it but I do look back at the days and laugh at the countless hours I spent staring at this screen, living off of caffeine and sugar to keep the batteries powered. My laptop and I had a rough start when I was new to the Mac world, but in the end we turned out to be great friends. I'll never go back to a PC. Having a laptop though was quite handy, especially in that I was able to take it anywhere I chose. I get bored with my surroundings easily, so it was functional in the manner of being able to go sit in another room to work without any hassle at all. This helped a lot in our tiny apartment, during sports season when I wanted to listen to something other than "SCORE!" I have a lot of memories with this silver beast, but because I'm now stationed in my own drawing room to work, I have upgraded to a pretty desktop Mac and am sending my old friend off to a better home. No guilt for this one either.

Beloved: Lastly, I am (possibly) selling my old film camera, NikonF60. I am really having a hard time getting myself to decide if I truly feel I'm ready to part with it. It took a lot for me to even take it off of the shelf and admit that in all honesty, it's not being used. I know someone out there could get great use out of it, as film is still appreciated in the field of photography. It has that 'old school' aesthetic and sense of surprise to it that we don't get out of digital media. And although I'd love to hang onto it so I can take some film shots of my kids one day, I just don't feel it's fair to let the poor thing sit on the shelf for so long. I don't know. I'm just still not 100% sure if I want to part with it yet, so I think I'm going to let myself hang onto it for a little while longer to think it over before I act too quickly. This camera holds a lot of old memories: It was my first big purchase, on my own. I remember eying it up as I walked past the camera display, dreaming of one day making it mine. Like a vicious crush on a camera. This was also the camera that assisted me on my first trip away from home on my own, to Australia. It's like an old friend who was there to watch me grow and move out into the world on my own.. Ah yes, just let me cling for a little while longer.

Oh well, so we have two things up for purchase on ebay coming soon. It's fun to send things off to good homes. I'm interested to see how it works out. Modern technology is so fancy.

30.7.08

moby

I think I've been trying to finish reading Moby-Dick now, for about 5 months, and because I promised myself I wouldn't start another novel until I finish this one, I'm trying my best to get through it. I can't describe my feelings towards the book itself, but I do enjoy the subject matter, perhaps not the style of writing? Not sure. It's just slow moving and I want to get to the end.


I've always been intrigued by the creatures of the deep, as I've mentioned before, and so I thought I'd share these pictures that I took when I went on a whale watch in Australia, in 2001. This was probably one of the greatest moments in my time spent there, as I never imagined we'd get so close to a Humpback Whale. Chances like that don't happen often I'm sure, since most of the photos I've seen of whale watching have involved a couple of blurry shots of a fluke or a fin. I was very lucky. Perhaps whales can smell fear? This whale was apparently quite young, curious but of course cautious, and he probably only stuck around for a few moments at most. He came right beside the front of the boat, stuck his nose out of the water and all at once, sunk below the boat and disappeared. Within that short instant, I remember the entire boat of tourists fell silent, in awe. It's this mystery of the deep that slightly creeps me out and intrigues me at the same time. Similar to my relationship with Moby. I will finish the book!

28.7.08

deforest nation


I will admit that I've caught the grouchies from sitting indoors for too long (by my own choice, yes) but also because I am sad about what I heard on the news this evening. Oh, my animal loving ways can really interfere with things, but that's just how my heart strings work. And as much as I remember the words of a condescending figure I once knew "there are worse things going on in this world" I am also well aware that this statement is quite true. Still, I tend to care more about animals than anything on this planet as they are unable to speak for their rights, and so I was left near tears and frustration when I heard that a baby moose was shot in the Northeast of the city today.

Although a lot of these animal 'intrusions' have to do with the never-ending expansion of the population, it still saddens me to see that the solution to this occurrence is to shoot the animal down and dispose of it. This is happening more frequently while people migrate towards the secluded areas where wild animals are situated, as some, such as bears, can be more aggressive if threatened. This of course has resulted in yet more shootings to 'help' save people from more attacks. One bear was actually shot today because it "fit the description" of one that had attacked someone a week earlier. It was black? and a bear? Let's shoot it? Why aren't people being restricted from invading these areas?

As humans, we seem to be capable of consuming and taking ownership over anything and everything we set foot on because we have say, but yet we don't have an ounce of respect for the boundaries of others, primarily wildlife. I see this as taking complete ownership of ignorance, but brushing it off as the animal's fault alone and not the actual intruder is just too easy for our greedy society. Should we not be doing something to protect the environments of these animals, rather than taking over their land by putting up a condo complex or a running path for more people to ruin in the end with pollutants and noise? I could say that anyone invading these areas are setting themselves up for being mauled by a bear by carelessly invading its territory, but that's just my thought. And that statement could cause a bit of a stir I'm sure. No, no one deserves to be hurt by an animal.. but of course one has to be at least cautious if they're going to set foot on their turf. It's rightfully theirs.


As being a bit of a silent animal activist, I can't help but wish I could be more aggressive about approaching this situation and telling people to back up and give the animals what is and always has been theirs. With the world continuing to grow and reproduce at the rate of a spreading disease, I can't help but wonder if wildlife will even cease to exist in the years to come. It may sound a little over dramatic for those who don't care so much about animals and the threats they may cause, but I do believe there has to be an equal respect for the lives of these animals. They don't have a new house on the hill waiting to be built on the land that they can't speak for.

Because I have such a tremendous soft spot about this topic, I have decided to put in my non-aggressive act of defense, to help what I feel is fair for the animals. When I finish making my stuffed toys to sale, a generous piece of the earnings will be put towards the safety and preservation of wildlife. At least this thought of helping, in my own way, clears some of my sadness. Will keep you posted for those who are interested in purchasing a toy to go towards this cause. I now have a little bit of research to do.


26.7.08

drawing :: 7


Here it is, the last of my drawing-a-day pieces. I took yet another new approach to creating something, and from this I'm really quite happy. Simplicity makes me feel more at ease, so we'll just ignore the frustration I got from attempting to paint today (I need new paint brushes desperately), and smile at the sleeping fox in all of his derived glory. And on that note, I'm off to bed. zzzz.

drawing :: 6


I have to be honest that this drawing-a-day thing isn't as fun as I thought it was going to be. I guess these days I'm still not quite feeling it, when it comes to putting pen to paper. That's just how my creativity rolls sometimes. Some days I like one form of media over the other, and lately drawing just kinda bores me. Oh well, it will come back. I did do some sketches for the last couple of days to at least follow the plan, but nothing I felt was worth posting. So, because I'll admit that I'm a slacker with this 'challenge' I set up for myself, I'll leave you with this two second drawing I did on a photo of Tim.

25.7.08

ruby


Well, here's my third ted to add to the shelf of toys in need of a home. I have to be quite honest about this one and say that at the start, I had a really strong dislike for this one. Strong. In how I describe my preferences for color: each color has a level of voice in how it 'speaks' to me...and red? Well, it speaks to me very loudly. I prefer the silence of neutrals and earthy tones, so this is quite the clanging of pots in my color scheme of things. Sure, I don't mind a nice, deep red, or a hint of it (like how it is used as a subtle touch of warmth in Love Actually) but Stop Sign red, like this little bear, is quite obnoxious.


After taking some shots of it, and trying my best to get the red to work in the light (it's so bright it radiates) I actually began to like this strange little piece and decided I liked it better in thinking that it resembled a tomato or a strawberry instead. Let us move away from that topic though, before berry/beary puns start to make an appearance. It's too easy.


As well, in assembling her, despite what I may have said about being more comfortable and relaxed with putting the pieces together to the final product, like I did a few posts ago, her head is crooked, as well as her mouth and eyes. Could have been the fat chunky yarn that I'm not used to? Or the fact that my eyes were on fire in the process of putting things together? She's just a bit of a mess if you ask me, but cute somehow. I also notice that her mouth is way up high on her head, but that part was actually intentional. Most Amigurumi crocheters do this placement with their characters and I thought I'd try it out. It's a bit different from what I normally do, but not entirely. And so, after taking a little bit of time, I accept this new little imperfect vegetable/fruit inspired creation with open arms. I'm sure someone will love her and take her home eventually...I hope.

24.7.08

drawing :: 5

Drawing on photos is a lot more fun than I actually anticipated. And so, here is drawing 5. I quite enjoyed making this one. We'll call it Collecting Gossip.

poppins

So, as of last night before bed, I finally took the plunge of putting the first hole in our walls by hanging a picture in my workspace. Ian and I have both been kind of reluctant or more so bewildered in a sense about what to hang on our walls. We both appreciate artwork, and although many visitors to our place have asked why I don't bother making my own paintings to decorate the walls, I just somehow feel arrogant in smothering our walls with things that I've made. So, the synopsis is clearly that my inner critic is the culprit to keeping our walls bare and boring.


To explain this cute little picture (now hanging beside my crafty closet) is an illustration that I took from my Mary Poppins storybook. I've been an enormous fan of Mary Poppins since I was a kid and also couldn't resist the charm and grace of Julie Andrews. I remember being so young, looking outside my bedroom window on windy days, hoping she'd somehow land on our doorstep. For a tea maybe?

After having given up hope in waiting for her arrival, I eventually took matters into my own hands and went outside with my own umbrella and stood with it above my head (probably for a good hour or so, determined.) Thank goodness we lived in a small community, as it must have been a sight to see me standing at the end of our driveway, feet facing outwards, waiting for the winds to scoop me up into the skies. I'm no nanny, that's for sure. At least with so many silly memories, including times spent singing in the bathtub with my mock Dick Van Dyke accent, I couldn't help but pay tribute to a dear childhood friend.
"Practically perfect in every way."


rosy


So I've completed one of my many bears who are patiently waiting, on my closet shelf, to be assembled. I have begun to notice, from experimentation and practice, that I'm becoming a lot more comfortable with the assembly process, which is a nice relief. I have another assembly line in order, of cats, so we'll see how those turn out alongside the progressing line of piggies and ducks. I should be known as the crazy crafting lady in the neighbourhood before too long.

This is my first bear that I've given a smiley mouth to, as well as rosy cheeks. I quite like the cheeks but I don't know about the mouth yet. He will most likely be up for grabs when I get my other bears underway and am all set up for (undecided as of yet) either a yard sale or a local craft sale that I can get involved in. I'm a little intimidated by the public so we'll see. I might just have to be bold and test it out, and mingle among fellow crafters for maybe some possible tips and tidbits. If all else fails and shyness prevails, I will definitely put my toys up on Etsy before the holiday season. Until then, the pile of toys begins to grow.

23.7.08

drawing :: 4


I've actually been keeping up with this drawing-a-day thing but because I do tend to bore easily I chose a different approach to keep things a bit more lively. This is, of course, a polaroid from our San Francisco trip, in May. I just decided to add a little something to make the mysterious, hotel chair seem more inviting.

22.7.08

drawing :: 3

I didn't forget. I was just too sleepy to fire up my computer and post my drawing before I went to bed last night. I've done my drawing for today already but instead I'll post yesterday's and keep going from there.

This little ditty was an obvious inspiration from an old 80s movie, ie: Teen Wolf. I actually haven't watched it in a while so it was a very random thought, which is amusing within itself. Ian guessed it right away, so that made me smile, despite the strangeness of it all. I suppose he knows better not to question my drawings.

Note to self: the lighting of this photo was really bad because we've been a bit overcasty all day. At least there wasn't too much of an issue with pens this time.

sale

The Work/Life exhibition is coming to a close (already!) at the end of July. If you'd like to purchase work from the show, for example my framed logdriver piece which hasn't sold yet, go to UPPERCASES's site here and take a peek at some pretty bits to hang on your wall.

20.7.08

drawing :: 2


Here is drawing 2 for all to see. I would guess that it's a sleepy bear waking from a nap? Not sure. I had more fun with this one than the last one, as abstraction and I tend to get along. The multiple limbs are something I tend to do to irk the eye. Funny when I get asked "do you know there's a third arm?" Cute. As well, I seem to be into drawing a cleat on one foot..? Interesting.

Note to self: this pen was bad too. This time too dry.

19.7.08

room


My poor room is so boring and blank I've began to plot out what I want to do to make it more inspiring. So far.. it's a lot harder than I thought. For now, pictures and canvas sit against the wall on the floor. I wonder if they'll figure themselves out for me?

drawing :: 1


Because I'm a pro at over-thinking things to the point that I can't put a pen to paper for the luxury of drawing without reason, like I used to, I've decided to throw a little exercise at myself. A-drawing-a-day. Yes, 7 days of drawing. I can do this at any time of day, preferably before bed when my mind is most at ease, but the task at hand is to at least complete one drawing before I call it a night. I've really began to slack in the drawing department, thanks to the distraction of crochet, so this could really help get my creative mind back on track.

So, here is day one. I have no idea where this came from, but after sitting back and looking at it.. I sense that I have a bit of a strange reaction to people who cough/sneeze without covering their mouth. ?

Note to self: use a better pen. This one was too globby.

18.7.08

rain rain

It has certainly proven to be a bit of a gloomy summer so far this year. At least with that damp around the edges feeling, I can now cozy up in bed with some yarn, Tim and a good movie.
I love date nights with Tim... though, he may not display the greatest impression of how much fun I can be on a Friday night. Oh well, at least it's cozy here together.

17.7.08

crafting

I finally picked up a pen and some scissors, and made myself a couple of cards.

sign


Seems my trip to the zoo with the family was so inspiring that I only took one photo. To be honest, zoos depress me, but I did my best to keep an open mind and admire the little creatures as we passed. I just don't agree with the entrapment of animals for personal entertainment as children scream and bang on the cages and parents flash photos in the faces behind the glass. Ah yes, to be an animal activist, I am such a pain.

Aside from my narrow-mindedness, the giraffes were my favorite, but there wasn't enough light for me to get a decent shot of them without using my flash. I did however find a sign that caught my curiosity.

tim update


Seems we're up to (not just two) but four visiting cats on our doorstep these days. Tim is pretty much in his glory, as he hardly spends much time sleeping as he used to. He's always sitting in his chair, staring out the window, flicking his tail at any sign of sudden movement. I've never seen him so alert. Oh the exciting life of a suburban cat.

14.7.08

spent

With family visits at an end, it's time to catch up and pick up the pieces to get myself into order. Ah, the joys of reality. At least this week was spent well and we had a lot of laughs and good times shared.
Mom showed me the basics on my sewing machine, and to me, this was my favorite part of spending time with her, despite how intimidated I may be of the machine. She seems to glow when she's asked to share what she knows and from that I know I'm in good hands when I have a question. It was nice to hear her advice, see what it is that makes her hands happy, and just smile as she confidently explained her craft. I don't get many moments like this with my family, so I took it in while I could and am grateful for the lesson I was passed on. Artistry within my family is such a nice reminder of where I come from.
As for the rest of our visit, we spent a lot of time in and out of the house. It can be a bit much for a hermit like myself, but I take things in at my own pace. I can be a bit of a grouch, but that's what happens when you're an introvert I guess. Most important is that they enjoyed themselves while they were here. Thanks for keeping the house warm with love.

13.7.08

blue pig

So, I said I wanted to add some more variety into the mix with my crocheted animals. Move over teds, it's a blue pig. A blue pig? That's right.
This fabulous blue yarn came to me from Ian's parents' ranch, Verandah View. The wool was wonderful to work with, soft and smooth in assembly. I still have quite a bit of wool left so we'll see what other pretty blue animals are yet to come. Should be fun.

12.7.08

yellow


Lately, it makes me smile.
Credits at Flickr

catch up

This week has been quite eventful with the visiting of family. I don't get the opportunity to spend much time with them, due to distance so this has been quite a treat to share what goes on in our day to day lives. The quiet moments spent, chatting, sharing and catching up is what warms my heart. Today I will be catching up with some unfinished projects, to get my teds up for purchase online. With about six on the go at the moment, I've surprises myself with this burst of productivity. I'm venturing into some different patterns for something other than the teds, as I get bored quite easily. Ducks? Pigs? A cat maybe? We will see. First I need to top up on some colors and we'll be set for more fun to come, with yarn and family. Will keep you posted.

9.7.08

self building 2

Being cooped up indoors, searching for the answers can certainly make one feel a little cluttered in the brain. I'm a bit bummed but I'm trying to remain positive in this new branch of discovery, in finding my niche in the industry of creativity. It's only been a few days, that I've been at home, and already it feels like I've been sitting in the same spot for months; staring at my computer screen, searching for the answers I want to hear, hoping it will magically unravel in the process of whining. Goodness I loathe conflict, but I know in time the pieces will fall together.
As I've been sitting and reflecting on the things that we've accomplished in this last year, it's almost amazing to see how far we've come. This moment of growth, with Ian, has been a definite learning experience. We're learning and growing and discovering pieces in ourselves that we never knew we had. The weight of time and expectations can be tricky to hold on the shoulders, but we gain our ground and push on. In the process of gaining such a balance, I can't help but go back to San Francisco, over and over again, where I find myself smiling at the moments we spent together there. With so much worry and stress going about in our day to day schedules, it's true that remembering SF is a great reminder that there's a world of discovery out there.
I remember our first couple of days in SF being so scary and intimidating to me, as I tried to figure out just why Ian brought me there in the first place. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the unfamiliar, but when I can shut out that voice of reason, I begin to enjoy myself. After a few days, I began to see the bits and pieces that were hidden beneath the noise. Beneath the kitsch, there was always a symbol, a sign, a building with a painted picture totally preserved, as a reminder that creation is what makes this world unique. We're all driven by something.
In reminding myself of these things, I feel less intimidated by entering the 'real world' and testing the waters, maybe feet first instead of head first. I'm cautious, I'm reluctant, but inside I'm stubborn and I know it can be done. Where to start, where to go, where to venture next? It's hard to be certain. I need to approach it in much the same way as I approached and experienced San Francisco. It may be unfamiliar and kind of questionable at first, but my mind needs to open up more. Free expression, appreciate the things around me, feel I can be a part of it. Meld. Mesh. Move forth.

7.7.08

hands

I've been keeping my hands quite busy these last few days; crocheting, taking computer tutorials and drawing little story boards for a project I have in progress. I'm not going to say what it is at the moment, as I'm good at abandoning personal projects. I will say that it has me chewing on my pen lately, which is a good sign.

visits

This week my Mom and Step Dad are paying us a visit, to see the house for the first time. I'm really excited to show off our little nest, and to spend some quality time with family, while they're in town. I'm not sure what we'll do for entertainment, as Ian and I are pretty oblivious hosts, but we do have a few ideas up our sleeves; Some catching up, a trip to the ranch, baking, cooking, lounging in the shade, walking about, learning how to use my sewing machine, possible outside-of-the-city sight seeing? It should be a great week for family.

6.7.08

nacho sunday

Whenever people ask me how long it takes for me to make my bears, I have to laugh at myself because my concept of time is based off of the movies I watch while making them. Each bear has a different movie combination in which it takes me to get them completed, which makes them probably as unique as snowflakes.

I don't necessarily watch the movies the entire time, while I work, but more so listen to them instead for entertainment. One movie I totally love lately is Nacho Libre, particularly for its use of color. The bright turquoise blues and reds make my eyes so happy. I'm all about contrast; cool colors or monotones of gray with a splash of red for warmth, so delicious. So many of the movies that I love are based off of their use of color. I will have to post some more about them another time, as my hands and eyes are telling me it's time to stop for the night. At least I can say that it was a Sunday well spent.

5.7.08

animation

video

I found this little animation, which (once again) is something I did back when I was in college. We were told to do a walk cycle; creating a character, to make it walk across the screen. I chose to take the stop-motion route, as I've been drawn to stop-motion since the days of Gumby.

I apologize for how fast the frames per second are, but alas when you're in college, everything has a tight time line. I had a blast making this piece (in one night), as you'll see that it's filled with random bits of potty humor and at one point, cat food. What can I say? When you're sleep deprived and up into the latest hours of the night, your mind will play wicked games on you. Enjoy.

popular

Apparently Tim is quite the popular cat on the block. With two regulars taking up residence on our front step, Ian and I are learning to cope with the concept of outdoor cats. I still don't quite understand it, since dogs don't wander freely into other peoples' yards but I guess that's how it goes in the burbs. Regardless of the nuisances they can be, seeing Tim so interested makes me smile. We are not sure of the names of our visitors (yet), although I did sneak a peek at the white and brown cat's collar (from nextdoor) and the name read "Chloe." As for the brown one, we're not sure if it's a he or a she, but we call him 'Hello Kitty' based off of the fact that he meows in a way that sounds like he's saying "Hello?" He'll do this a few times and then lie on our front step, ignoring frantic Tim as he paces from window to window.
Hello Kitty would much rather catch a nap on our step than bother with Tim, which is funny that he visits in the first place, where Chloe will literally jump face first into our window. It's like a hail storm, as she and Tim have face to face battle between glass for nearly an hour until they give up. I still continue to bite my tongue on the matter of outdoor cats, but I will admit that Tim has never been so entertained.

4.7.08

ted 2

Another stripe-shirted ted to add to the charts. This one went home with my (very pregnant) friend, Dawn, who is expecting her second baby (boy) any day now. I'm actually rather pleased with the color combination of this one, as it was slightly unintentional. And not to mention that making toys for babies is always fun.

I still get pretty stressed out when I put the teds together because I'm still learning how to apply the pieces properly without crooked bits and ugly stitching. For the first attempt with this one, I messed up the ears on the original head (which was the olive green) and snipped a little too close to the edges when trying to 'fix' things. This then resulted in a slow, painful, unraveling of the poor ted's face. Oh well, at least I had some orange yarn left for back-up to save the situation. I ran out of green.

He's pretty cute.