Saturday, June 20, 2009

Inspiration

Garden after the rain

Last week, coming home from work after the rain had stopped, I saw the garden and got inspired to capture everything prettily tossed with droplets. I wandered around stepping in the mud with my chunky work-heels, and snapped repetitive photos. I didn't look at the photos again until this evening, and I was pleasantly surprised!

That alien-looking thing up there is a poppy bud. I'm so pleased that I caught it looking like that.



Usually when I try for an effect intentionally, I don't manage to capture it; it's heartening to find that even when I think I'm taking repetitive, predictable photos, I can surprise myself after all.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So close

I still knit, I swear! Work has been keeping me busy all day, and discouraging me from using the computer at home. I may not be cut out for a desk job.

Photobucket

The indistinct fuzzy charcoal-gray mass is Basic Black - nearly finished! I'm wearing it in the picture, though it doesn't have button bands yet. Soon!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Drops in the bucket: 101 in 1001 update

Photobucket
I stood there taking photos of this bucket for ages, and this was the best of the lot. Next time...

Keeping track of my progress for 101 in 1001 has not happened as systematically as I intended, so I'm going to try to do monthly updates like they do in the Ravelry group that I lurk on and rarely participate. I'm also going to write down precise dates of completed tasks in the future. Not sure why this seems like it would help, but maybe I'm just channeling a librarian-esque obsessive need for organization.

In May, I crossed 5 items off the list.

37. Read King Lear (finished 7 May 2009)
74. Go to 3 classical / orchestral / chamber music concerts [3/3] (Evelyn Glennie at NAC, Nov 26, 2008), (Kanata Symphony, 9 May 2009), (Parkdale Orchestra, May 2009)
35. Earn $5500 (as of 27 May 2009)
42. Read something by Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart – May 2009)
75. Get a haircut and donate my hair to a charity (May 30, 2009)

Two of them were cumulative and two of them involved reading. In some ways my reading goals were just an easy way to fill a list, but on the other hand it is encouraging me to read things I didn't get around to reading before for whatever reason. On that note, my first completion of June was another book goal:

33. Read Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon (June 2009)

I'm not really inspired to tackle any of my goals at the moment, which is unfortunate but I'll get over it. The most inspiring ones right now are knitting, but I expect they are appealing because I'm trying to let my hands recover. Oh woe, etc etc.

Friday, June 05, 2009

resting the thumbs

Photobucket

"The covers are rugged hand-laid paper of rice chaff, bamboo tailings, free-range hemp, and crystalline glacial meltwater made by wizened artisans operating out of a mist-shrouded temple hewn from living volcanic rock on some island known only to aerobically gifted, Spandex-sheathed Left Coast travel bores. An impressionistic map of the South China Sea has been dashed across these covers by molecularly reconstructed Ming Dynasty calligraphers using brushes of combed unicorn mane dipped into ink made of grinding down charcoal slabs fashioned by blind stylite monks from hand-charred fragments of the True Cross."

~Neal Stephenson,
Cryptonomicon

This doesn't really apply to the photo, in fact it doesn't apply in the least to my latest crafting endeavor, but I love the passage. Neal Stephenson once more blows my mind with a thoroughly absorbing, complex, and full novel. Augh, it's fun to read. I'm just over halfway through, and I am not anxious for it to end. It makes me wish I understood math, though maybe that would make it all less magical.

Anyway. While resting my hands which have reacted badly to the frantic knitting that accompanies warm weather and the home stretch of a wintery cardigan, I made a book. (No unicorns were harmed in the making.)

Photobucket

The covers are cuts of an Emily Carr print from an old calendar of Canadian paintings. The inside pages are kind of uneven and edged with pencil marks - cutting out lots of identical pages quickly turned into cutting out enough vaguely similar sized pages. It's roughly based on the chain stitch bound blank book from Alisa Golden's Creating Handmade Books (1998). I've made this kind of book a few times before: the binding is flexible and lays flat, so the format is good for journals.

Photobucket

The covers are a little ripply despite intensive action by the bone-folder and several days compression under a stack of songbooks, but I don't really mind. It fits with the texture of the painting.

Photobucket

I'm a little worried about the condition of my thumbs - they seem to get sore after only a few rows of sleeve knitting, lately - so finishing Basic Black will have to wait for a little while. But I'm so close! Just sleeve-cap shaping, button-band knitting, and other finishing details left.

Just in time for July, maybe. Weather being how it is, I may get some use out of it even then: the other day it hailed, and about half an hour later I saw my first hummingbird of the year.