'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."
Monday, 23 May 2016
I shall leave the last nine years witterings up here, but I shan't be posting any more - it's too much like hard work!
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Sunday, 1 May 2016
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Sunday, 10 April 2016
The last glove! Well, the last big glove, surprisingly the last months have not put me off glove knitting, but any future ones will be a little bit smaller, and come in pairs.
My fabricator is working on the 5th armature (of 7) and next weekend I shall tackle making foam filled hands for those without one. In the meantime, I'm trying to get on top of the paperwork, which is really, really really exciting (not).
By bad planning, I finished the glove in the middle of last night's episodes of the current not terribly brilliant Scandi drama, and of course I couldn't watch it without something to do with my hands. Embroidery was out, because I have to look at the subtitles, so I rushed upstairs and grabbed a tiny ball of luscious yarn to make one of these. This is how far I got.
My yarn is lighter weight and I'm using smaller needles, so the links are coming out a lot smaller. And I have no idea how many links 25 gms of cashmere and silk will make, so I just have to hope it's enough.
Of course, it isn't perfect subtitle-reading knitting, because you spend more time casting on and off than you do knitting, but knitting one link through another is the kind of trick that amuses me. (I'm easily amused.) (I know I haven't attached the link that's on the needles, I shall do that when I add the next one.)
This afternoon, after some 'paperwork' that somehow ended up involving putting away the books I no longer needed for the degree, I plan on finishing off the much neglected hand embroidery of hands. I may not have had my fill of gloves, but I have definitely had my fill of hands. Not sure what will be next, but W. gave me a book about Georgio Morandi for my birthday, so I suspect there may be some vessels, involved, either 2D or 3D. I think Morandi is like Marmite, you either love him or hate him, but I'm firmly in the former camp. I like vessels anyway, and those chalky colours are so beautiful.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Only two items, but for once in compatible sizes - the junk food flier was three times the size of the lawn care card, which was very convenient.
This is a variation of Alisa Golden's 'house book', except that the way I made it, it's more like a chalet bungalow with dormer windows.
In other news, we went down to Walford Mill yesterday, for a nice lunch, to see the current exhibition, and to pick up the two Adam Buick moon jars we bought from the last show.
Here are our his and hers moon jags, with our paloma blanca, a lovely gift from Cheese Major's senora's parents.
We got a right Royal welcome at Walford, as you can see. Paper sculpture by Peter Rush.
The Last Glove continues slowly. I have not had to unpick the last two pattern rounds, but only because I count stitches religiously for every increase and decrease section - and even it's not perfect.
I keep looking at it and thinking:
- I should be using a bigger needle to get a softer fabric.
- I should decrease the number of plain rows between the pattern rows to make it lacked.
- I should switch to a longer needle.
- I am not unpicking it for a third time.
- Given the time and effort it takes me to get 1 pattern row in 8 right, anything less would take forever and drive me nuts.
- This I can do.
One out of three ain't bad!
Sunday, 27 March 2016
Good Friday disappeared, who knows where, although I do remember the sun was shining!
Yesterday Wensleydale was invited to help the VHC and his dad do some plumbing, while his mum, big sis and I had a good discussion over coffee and carrot cake. Although it wasn't very Easterish, it was very enjoyable, just to be able to get together and be sociable, especially as the weather wasn't very inviting. And a new tap was safely installed.
Today we woke up rather later than anticipated, due to a failure to recall that the clocks were going forward overnight. There was beautiful sunshine and a dead calm - which wasn't quite what was forecast. About an hour later, the rain and wind arrived. The sun did come back occasionally, but now the rain seems to have set in now, and the forecast is for 70 kph winds overnight.
So we have pottered around in the house, which is what we tend to do on public holidays, anyway. Living on the edge of popular routes to the south and west tends to discourage venturing out on the roads at such times, especially when you're retired.
W. has been working on armatures for my remaining gloves, and I have made a To Do list, which is a tad longer than my usual three item lists. It isn't very legible in the photo, but you may be able to read the words 'Degree Show'. In two months it will all be over, much to my relief.
But as we have quite a lot of time off in the next two weeks, both from Uni and grandparenting, I want to get on the top of the boring bits like making sure the paperwork is up to date.
I'm glad to say I've managed to check off two things today - the first item ('Make a list'), and one about going through the 3 million entries on the Notes app, for things that need to be added to the aforementioned paperwork. (I may exaggerate about the 3 million. Slightly.)
Tomorrow it will be back to the list, probably following up some of the artists people have suggested I research and I haven't quite got round to yet...
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
comes a deluge - of junk flyers. Well, four. And for once they were all good quality paper or card. All different sizes, of course.
The largest became a 'guest book' - 'Inside', top, and middle left below. I had some difficult working out how to make this, but Google was my friend and let me to a post on Alisa Golden's excellent blog, where she had made a similar, though not quite identical book.
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
' Almost perfect' because, as you can probably see, it would have been better if the larger piece had been stiffer, and the cards were lighter. But the junk mail book maker must make the best of what she is given.
I don't remember making this structure before and I rather like it. It seems to be called 'shutters' which suits it.
Sunday, 13 March 2016
about posting, because I keep forgetting to take a photograph of the one glove plus armature which was actually finished (more or less) about two weeks ago. But as it's at Uni and I'm not, it won't get photographed till later in the week, supposing I remember this time...
However there is this: a nearly finished plain black glove, about a metre plus in height. My plans for this one include 'distressing' it with the embellisher, and then some darning.
Then there's these two: a hand on a three metre rod, and a two metre armature for the three metre hand. (This is for the very big glove which I finished before Christmas.) The armature is still under construction, as my fabricator is devising a system to weight it at the bottom - I'm worried it will fall over on someone at the degree show, although the staff seemed more confident than I am.
And finally, some embroidery. You can probably see that I originally wrote 'February' but embroidered 'March' over it, so you can tell not much happened last month. The half hand on the left is my attempt at needlelace, and the less said about it the better - but I have been reading a book called 'Sloppy Craft'...
Sunday, 28 February 2016
Thanks to the unsurpassed generosity of a member of my family, I have a cold. Not that bad a cold, but combined with my intermittent insomnia, it leaves me lethargic, with little enthusiasm for anything, least of all what I should be doing. (Knit, knit, knit.)
But - taking Eric Idle's advice:
- This time last year I had the 4 month flu, and this is infinitely better. I only cough occasionally.
- I have finished the never-ending cabled glove. No pictures, because it's in the wash, but if it fits over the finished (sort of) armature, that means one more glove down, a number between 1 & 3 to go.
- My crit last week was quite positive, with some suggestions for alternative and possibly easier and cheaper armatures, alternative methods of presentation of at least one of the gloves, and the comment that I had enough to show already - apart from the lack of armatures. And the advice to experiment, experiment, experiment.
Tomorrow is grandparenting, so feeling lethargic will not be allowed - although when the grands get home from school, they do a passable imitation. Eating and watching children's TV will occupy the time till daddy gets home, when mysteriously their energy returns and ours finally runs out...
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
because the junk flyers now seem to arrive on Tuesday. Four today, all different sizes.
1. A boring accordion structure from a flyer so boring I can't remember what it was advertising.
2. I realised this Domino's flyer was nearly square, so trimmed it to make square flexagons. Each of the smaller ones was made from the central square cut out of a larger one. I've never made flexagons before, they were surprisingly easy and fun to play with. (They twist round inside themselves if you open up the centre slit.)
And two nested better quality flyers (in terms of paper, not necessarily product!). Again, I had to trim one slightly, which breaks a self-imposed rule, but it looked odd otherwise.
And here they all are together in our messy conservatory. Allowing myself to make more than one book, without incorporating, hands, is slightly less challenging but more fun.
Sunday, 21 February 2016
but not much to show for it.
Apart from a new car, but that didn't require much effort.
As one of those weeks was half term, we went to Manor Farm, which did take effort, but was productive in terms of pleasure and information gained, if nothing else. (I now know how a milking machine works, and, more importantly, so does the VHC. He is very keen on knowing how things work.)
Manor Farm now has a mechanical cow, which I think the kids like almost as much as the real thing.
But in terms of Uni work, despite a lot of knitting, the ^?< €<*} present glove seems to be taking longer than any of the others, despite being shorter. I know that this is because it is much wider, covered in cables, and 'only' Aran weight wool, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I was hoping to finish it today, I even began to cast off, but I've just tried it against the armature and it really isn't long enough. I feel a bit pressurised because it's Crits next week, and I was hoping to have a finished, complete with skeleton, glove to show, but that's not gonna happen. I think I'm still on track to have 'enough' to show in the Degree Show, but 'enough' may be 7 rather than 9.
Can you see the non-deliberate mistake? I intended to make 'mistakes', but this was a real one, a row of cables all crossed the wrong way. But these gloves are all about life's changes, and sometimes life does cross your cables wrong...
I did find time to make a couple of junk books. I got bored with the hand theme, and instead picked up Alisa Golden's 'Making Hand-Made Books' and experimented with some of her suggestions. .
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Only two flyers this week, one A3 and one A5, which was perfect for an idea I came across while researching pop-ups last week. It was in Esther K Smith's 'Magic Books and Paper Toys', which is a book I forget about, until I pick it up and remember it's got good instructions for lots of things I always forget how to do - like pop-ups and map folds. But I digress.
This was an elongated accordion, with shaped pages, cut from one sheet of paper. Smith's was skyscrapers, which was a good choice for practical reasons, but of course mine had to be hands, which were a less good choice. Also Smith recommends smaller, better quality paper, and gives a very clear cutting diagram which I failed to take any notice of. Which is why you may spot some sellotape in these pictures.
The cover was also my idea, which was fortunate, because my use of a big sheet of floppy paper which I had cut too close to the edges meant that the book needed some stiffness if it was going to stand up. (Only book artists want books that stand up by themselves. Or eccentric people. You may judge for yourselves which I am.)
Also, making the A5 card into the cover meant I could use that lovely fox. There seems to be a fashion round here for estate agents' flyers to feature animals.
Despite its imperfections, I'm pleased with this book. I like all those waving hands, and the hand-shaped negative spaces. Next time I think I'll draw the shapes, though, it was difficult enough cutting up a sheet of A3 without making it up as I went along.
Sunday, 7 February 2016
this was going to be a busy week, but it turned out even busier than I expected. In the middle of an insomniac night (the busier I am, the worse I sleep) I worked out that when I was working, I averaged 45 hours a week out of the house (i.e. work + travel) - last week it was about 47. More travelling, less 'work', different responsibilities, even more tiring, I think, because, on the whole, my work was predictable and more under my control. And of course, I'm just a tad older.
So what did I achieve in that time? I drove 270+ miles, attended two tutorials, one lecture and a session on writing a CV, which is not something I really think I need. Then the usual two days with the little guys, and some shopping: one morning buying groceries and one buying a new car. As you do. Then there's the follow up to new car buying - forms, insurance, finding the documentation for the old car, and so on.
Several scary Uni deadlines are about to whizz past, making a likeable noise, so the gaps in my programme have been filled with deciding which bit of the art studios I would like for the degree show, writing my artist's statement for the show brochure, and taking photos of my work for the same. Of course, nothing is completely finished, so the best glove had some of its ends darned in and was yanked over a makeshift framework so it doesn't look too bad.
Sunday, 31 January 2016
And it used up some hand dye and beads from my stash. There's still quite a lot of stash left, mind, but every little helps.
(I have to confess that after the first fauxdori fever struck, I did buy some coloured elastic just in case I
felt like needed to make another one.)
While I was looking for the beads in the (small) drawer of jewellery I made and never wore (I'm a process, not a product person) I found a nice, but too short necklace.
"What a pity I haven't got any more of these beads. Oh, hang on, there's another necklace the same. And a bracelet. I'll turn them into one longer one.
I need to find something to string them on: look in my long neglected jewellery making box. This bit of cord looks about the right length. String some beads - oh, some of them have holes that are too small. Get out the finer cord I just put away.
Some won't fit even on the finer cord. Put them on one side, I've got some even finer elastic, I'll make a bracelet with those afterwards."
"That's all the beads with bigger holes, I'll just try it on. Oh, too long to wear in one loop, too short to wrap round my head twice without a fastener - or use elastic! Unthread beads, rethread beads on elastic, including those with smaller holes, knot and try on. A necklace I will actually wear. Maybe."
However, I didn't procrastinate all day. I wrestled the biggest glove onto the top bit of its armature, and it's now waiting to be connected to the rest. There is a slight glitch in that the rest is a bit wobbly and we have had to rethink it slightly, so I will be putting in another order to the steel rod suppliers next week...
Speaking of procrastination, I finally went to the audiology clinic on Friday afternoon. I turned up half an hour before closing, still waited an hour... But the hearing aid is fixed and I've got an appointment for a fitting for some new ones, as mine are 5 years old and therefore old hat!
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
After last week's dearth of junk mail, quite a lot this week, all different sizes, and including a booklet which unfortunately was glued together, not stitched or stapled. So I had to use it as was, or cut it up.
I chose not to cut it - so the challenge was to incorporate the A4 and A5 fliers. Which led to some head scratching and research into the Turkish map fold, which I can never remember how to do. I also decided I didn't want to cut out hands, so as an alternative I made hand prints with black gesso (couldn't find the black paint...)
I added an extra fold and a hand, made from black paper, having made a mess of a couple of pages.
I like the result, but didn't enjoy making it - I don't like the mess of paint and I'm too impatient to wait for it to dry - which is how I made a mess of the cover.
Notice the images of gloves serendipitously included in the booklet.
Sunday, 24 January 2016
although not as hectic as I thought it would be last Sunday. Then I thought I would have to go down to Uni three times, including a mad dash from Uni (an hour from home in one direction) to school pick-up (an hour from home in the other direction). Fortunately I managed to arrange my tutorial for a different day, so I only went down twice. Unfortunately I lost a crown that morning, so the mad dash was replaced by an hour at the dentist's. I was going to say that was the crowning moment of the week, but it wasn't, despite my lovely Welsh dentist and the supply of 6-month old copies of 'Cycle Sport' in the waiting room.
That was just one of the hassles which made it a so-so week. The others included a Click and Collect order which came late, leading to a trip to Tesco on a Friday afternoon, which is not the time I would choose to go to any supermarket. (And they were much less efficient about dealing with it than Waitrose, but the price was right...
Then, on Friday, one hearing aid packed up, which means a visit to the drop-in audiology clinic next week. Sounds convenient doesn't it? The trouble is that you drop in, and then you wait, and you wait, and you wait. Last time I went the audiologist told me that people arrive anything up to an hour early 'to avoid having to wait'. My solution is to arrive late: last time I went an hour before closing, but it was still quite busy, so this week it will be half an hour - with, of course, a good book. I came across a relevant quote the other day: 'Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are'. It's by Mason Cooley - I have no idea who he is but if you follow the link he said some other good things, too.
The other hassle is that we had no junk mail this week! Well, it's not a hassle really, but I missed my bookmaking.
On the other hand, I did find time to do a bit of this - I decided I'd better, since I like to date it and it's nearly February. The colour is all wrong, due to taking all the photos in artificial life.
And, after pulling this back three times, it seems to be well on it's way. This is the glove I started, because I wanted something more portable than the great white
whale glove. And it is, despite the size of the ball of yarn. It's a an acrylic/wool blend which I bought because it was cheap: it has reminded me how much I prefer working with pure wool.
But the real crowning mom et of the week has been finishing the great white glove. Two kilogrammes, 2.4 metres. I intend never to knit anything of that size again!
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Definitely progress on the fifth glove - if we don't count the ones I made over the summer, which I thought were removed samples but which other people seem to think may be more than that - in which case it' she sixth or seventh. It's got to the stage where it isn't easy to move around so I've started another, smaller one I can take out with me.
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Rather a lot of junk mail this week, and as usual all different sizes, although most of it was A4 on at least one side, which made things a bit easier. The little booklet of money-off vouchers was a challenge, though, but I kept it as a separate book and tucked into a pocket made from the oversize flyer.
Sunday, 10 January 2016
Reading blogs can be bad for you. It can lead to addiction...
For example, I regularly read Liz Plummer's blog. Recently she posted about her addiction to notebooks, and paper and such. OK, I already had that, can't blame her for that.
Then she mentioned something called 'Midori notebooks', and how she made one from some painted Vilene she happened to have lying around.
Well, I didn't have any painted Vilene, but I did have some painted Lutradur I'd been thinking of throwing out.
If you are also addicted to all things stationery, and like making books, take my advice. Don't, whatever you do, do what I did. Do not, do not Google 'Midori notebooks'.
I realise that I am several years behind the times here, and the journalling/scrapping world, who seem to be the biggest fans of Midoris, may have moved on to different ways of doing whatever it is that they do. But if, like me, this is new to you, a Midori is not really a notebook, but a cover for several notebooks joined together. The idea is that you have different notebooks for different things, and when you have filled one you can take it out and replace it. And if you don't want to shell out £40 for a nice bit of Japanese leather and some elastic, you can make your own 'fauxdori', and the notebooks, pockets etc. to go in it. There are dozens, if not hundreds of videos on YouTube (I know. I've watched most of them) showing you how to make them out of all sorts of materials from place mats to solid gold - well, maybe I exaggerate slightly. This is a good one. (A pusher? Me?)
So I made one. Well, to be truthful, I made
No. 1. I FuseFX'd the two aforementioned pieces of Lutradur together to make them stiff enough, then just punched holes in the suggested places, threaded through some elastic, and bob's your uncle. Except that of course I had to make some booklets to go in it, and because I'd trimmed the Lutradur to straighten it up, it had ended up not quite A4, so I had to cut down the paper to fit. That took much longer than making the cover.
However, it fits nicely in the pocket of my big bag, and I can get my odd shaped diary into it, plus my cheque book, as I'm one of those odd people who still carries one.
No. 2. is a sandwich of transfer printed Lutradur and Evolon, and really it's a bit too floppy, so I added a stiff card pocket as the first layer next to the cover. To save time, I made it to fit two Cath Kidston notebooks I already had, and measured their depth as well as height and width. The thingy on the elastic was a tip from a video - it's designed to protect the edges of the cover, as they are soft.
No.3. is my favourite. The cover is scrap fabric bonded to craft Vilene (something to use up my leftover Vilene!) It is A4 notebook size, although I still ended up making some notebooks for it - to use up paper!
I love how fat this is - I always like my scrapbooks when they are so full they won't close properly, and this is getting on that way. Plus I like the buttons on the elastic, and on the end of the bookmark, which you can't see. No idea what I'm going to use it for, but...
Things I've learned:
- Stay away from addictive blogs and YouTube.
- Fauxdoris use up lots of bits - but you end up with lots of fauxdoris.
- If you are going to overfill your fauxdori with stuff, you need to make it much wider than you think you should, or the contents stick out of the cover.
- There are different ways to punch the holes for the elastic. I prefer horizontally paired holes to vertically paired ones, especially with a softish cover.
- Making much more elaborate, embroidered covers. I have so many ideas - but no time...