Sunday, May 20, 2012

Making progress slowly, but steadily!

Another week has passed by and I have to wonder where all that time went.  Is it not strange that those days, with untold potential, could race by at the speed of sound and leave so little done behind?  I try to make the most of each day as best I can.  Some days, moving around is difficult, so any tasks requiring me to walk for more than a few moments or to stand too long, will be left to deal with at another time.  This past week was one in which I managed to capture some extra time to read, practise drawing, work on braiding as well as deal with the day to day activities that demand my attention.  So, the week was a success in a manner of speaking.

I am watching my little garden develop slowly, but surely.  From what I am seeing, the rosemary plants will need to be replanted as I obviously did not get enough water to them.  This time I will plant the seeds in larger pots which will hold the moisture longer.  The parsley is off to a good start and I should have a fairly generous crop of different types of basil.  No sign of flowers as yet so I might break down and buy a few pots of pansies to lend some colour amongst all the greenery.  One the tomatoes get going I can look forward to splashes of red on the balcony.  Hopefully the naughty little birds that come to perch on the railing mind their manners and leave my crops along.  But, just in case, I have my water squirting bottle handy to reinforce my rule of leaving my crops alone.  Sounds mean, but in another flat, I had some creature toss my plants about, taking them right out of the soil.  I never caught that thief at work, sadly.  So that little garden did not end happily.

The books on my night stand are growing each day as I delve into different artistic pursuits.  Suzi Blu's book "Mixed Media Girls" is definitely a favourite go to book already.  She has such a nice way of giving you the information in stages to help you to build up the skills necessary to draw your own version of how you envision a character to appear.  One of the best tips that I have learned this week is that balancing the positioning of the eyes is key to making your character look realistic.  So, Suzi's advice is to use graph paper to work on and practise placing eyes in the correct position.  My thought at this time is also to practise the different looks depending on how low the eye lid is placed.  It is amazing how just a slight difference in where the eye lid is can totally take your character from appearing bright and eager to slow and contemplative.

"Mixed Media Girls" comes along with an instructional DVD with Suzi giving some lessons on making your mixed media girls along with some great tips on how to achieve some great looks with your mixed media pieces.  Covering the final piece with beeswax will seal and take care of the edges that might otherwise detract from the look.  The warm wax is spread across the canvas and settles around all the edges of material that you may have glued to your piece. Once the wax is dry, you buff it up with a soft cloth and the effect is that of giving a softer look, almost ethereal to your piece.  I am all up for that!  So, this week will be spent in the studio working on my mixed media girls.  And, thanks to Suzi, I have a project in mind that I will share with you once I actually get down to working on it.  For now, I need to perfect my drawing skills and get face proportions figured out.  But, I think with this book beside me, the skills I have not been able to develop just might have a chance to allow me to put together some quirky little ladies.

Of course the kumihimo braiding is still a force to be reckoned with in my life.  I have become addicted to it and I now automatically keep the loom ready to go with the warps in place so that should I sit down to watch the news on television or listen to some music, I can start making another braid.  I tried making one out of one quarter inch ribbon and it turned out very nicely if I do say so myself.  I am going to get some end caps made to finish off the braid and add a pendant to my newest necklace.  Two other braids that I made were done with embroidery floss which makes for a much finer piece of cord.  Truthfully, even though the embroidery floss takes much longer to work up into a braid, I still prefer working with it because of the end result.  The fineness of the braid just is more feminine, dainty and I can envision sewing a few strategic pearls to accent a delicate pendant at the focal point.   Kumihimo is definitely a skill to master if you want to work on something without having to follow a scripted pattern.  Once you get into the rhythm of working with the warps, auto pilot goes on and the braid just happens.  You can be having a zen moment and be totally relaxed by the time you finish with your session.  My problem is, I do not want to stop and have actually spent an entire afternoon working on one of the braids.  Like I said, this is addictive, so be warned if you decide to give it a try.  I still have not mastered adding beads to the warp threads, but I will get to that point.  I think I just need to focus on the braids for a bit, see how the square loom produces a flat cord.  Plus, I hope to try the round loom with sixteen bobbins which should prove interesting.  I picked up an extra pack of bobbins for this reason and will let you know how that little project turns out.  I suspect that once I get into the rhythm of moving the threads and turning the loom just slightly to make my way to the next pair, I will be able to produce braids that should be somewhat thicker, but still maintain their daintiness.  Again, this is something I need to do in order to figure out how it all works together in the scheme of things.  You know, the worst thing to happen would be for me to not like the look of the braid.  That does not deter me from trying since I would still be learning whilst working on the project.  As long as you learn something from what you are doing, you are not wasting time.  

A few friends will be dropping by later in the week.  They were supposed to come last week, but a death of friends father had them traveling in the opposite direction to attend the services.  So, brownies, cookies and something else, not yet determined will be baked off mid week.  I suspect there will be chocolate brownies along with butterscotch ones since one of the lads coming has a particular fondness for that particular variety.  The main thing is that I will spend some time with three of the people I love the most in the world.  We have been friends for thirteen years and just seem to know when the other needs to hear from one of us.  So I will be spending an evening with three of the people I love the most in the world.  Here is hoping that we are still getting together over platters of brownies in another thirteen years.
I hope you have an equally satisfying week!  Take some time to learn a new skill, plant some flowers or read a good book.  Anything that gives you some personal satisfaction and relaxes you would be perfect to get you to your zen place.

Sincerely,  Rutheemac


QuinnCreative said...

Mixed media is such a joy, isn't it? The wax sounds intriguing, I've always means to try it. But I must admit I was completely distracted by the idea of blondies--or butterscotch brownies! You could attract a lot of people to your house with those!

Rutheemac said...

I have to admit, the brownies are a
major drawing card and I bake double
batches so I can send each person/couple home with some of the
The wax intrigues me too! I do have a block of it that I will melt in an
old crock pot that is too small for
kitchen use. Used to do that for glue sticks when I was a flower shop gal. I have already sourced out a supply of wax since I suspect
that I am going to like the effect of it on the finished piece.