'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Sunday 28 February 2016

Always look on the bright side of life.

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:

  1. This time last year I had the 4 month flu, and this is infinitely better. I only cough occasionally.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Tuesday is the new Monday...

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

Two weeks gone...

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

Do Foxes Have Hands?


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

I always knew...

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.

All this is why, despite their arrival on Monday, this eclectic collection of flyers didn't become a book till an insomniac Friday night/Saturday morning. This week there was another pamphlet, containing 'Water Hand Information', so I repeated last week's idea of pop-ups between the pages. Four of them are hand shaped, but as you can see, one wasn't, as I couldn't bring myself to cut up these handsome fellows.
I'm hoping next week is a little quieter, as I have only one session at Uni, but it is filling up quickly.