Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day of Art

I often think of Tallahassee as being a rather nice town, but a somewhat conservative one, even with all the college students around.  But sometimes I realize that there is side that I rarely see (possibly because, as the saying goes, "we don't get out much").  So we had an Art Saturday.

We found out that there was going to be an "Alt" con--a meetup for geeks.  We wandered through tables of writers, artists, costumers, bumping into various pirates, Dr. Who's, Star Wars Storm Troopers, and a lot of characters I didn't recognize but were impressive anyway.

It was, shall we say, "different."  But fun.  Maybe we'll even dress up next year.  Although we're old-school nerds--we're good for Star Wars and Star Trek and Dr. Who, but I wouldn't recognize characters from Game of Thrones or the Avengers (the new ones--not John Stead and Mrs. Peel)
Then we went to a gallery showing of Linda Hall, a local artist whose work I admire (possibly because it can make me a bit uncomfortable).  Her work is striking from a distance, but then as you look closer you see all the details and embellishments.  A lot of her work is made with recycled elements, particularly old quilts.


While I like to make stuff, I don't think I could every officially be an "artist."  I'm no good at artist statements.  And I think they can be overdone.  There was one piece (that apparently I didn't photograph but was vaguely dog-shaped) which gave me a little twist when I read "inspired by the neglected dog chained near my studio."  By the fourth or fifth piece dedicated to that dog, I have to admit that I was thinking that the dog might appreciate a bowl of food or maybe a call to the SPCA more than the artwork.  But that's just my practical side.  I still like her stuff.

Back home, our art is a little more practical--like Bob's garden.  We are eating a lot of greens these days--it's getting warmer and they'll bolt soon.

And this is just a model I made, showing how the scales on a snake's belly works (recycled Venetian blinds).  Smooth one direction, then catch in the other.

And finally, one of our own precious pieces of art, Noko Marie.  She has discovered that the modem for the TV is nice and warm.  Of course, this renders all of our remotes useless because she's blocking the receivers.  We really don't need to change channels anyway, right?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Writing--Woo Hoo!

Meant to write on the 10th--because it was March 10, five years ago, that I did my first blog entry.  I had no idea that I'd keep it up this long.

But "meant to" means it didn't happen.  I have found that out about myself.  If I say I shouldn't do something--I probably will.  If I say that I should do something--then I likely won't.  But at least I've managed to post a few times a month for five years--and I'm sort of impressed with myself.

But today I got an exciting email.  As an avid handspinner, I've written a few articles from time to time that have been published in "Spin Off" magazine (and once in "Handwoven").  Now, to keep a web presence going, Spin Off also has a blog on their website.  Awhile back I sent them an article about how I like to spin while taking my daily (more or less) walk.  They didn't accept it for the magazine, but they do want to publish in the online blog.  That's enough to make me happy (and yes, I do get paid).  And then today I get this from the publisher:

"I’m wondering if you’d be interested in writing for us on an as-needed basis going forward? You wouldn’t be obligated to write a specific number of posts in a certain amount of time; we would give you the option to write something for us with advanced notice. We could assign a topic to you, or you could come up with something on your own"

There's a part of me that's going "they like me, they really like me!"

Heck yes, I'm gonna do it.  Wheee!

[part of this is the wine talking.  Today at the museum I did 3 tours, trained two new handlers, and worked with the hawk.  I was on my feet for 7 hours.  Bob is out with friends tonight, so I made some nice shrimp and scallops in a garlic cream sauce and drank rather a lot of wine.  Maybe I'll respond tomorrow when I know what I'm really saying}

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Cleanup Continues

After I had my workroom looking so nice, I decided not to rest on my laurels but rather to tackle the sewing room.  And no--I don't have any "before" pictures.  Too embarrassing.  Piles of leftover Halloween projects on the table, piles of fabric on the floor--actually difficult to walk into the room.  Costumes and props got put back into the closet (honesty forces me to say "thrown into the closet and that, too, will get cleaned out someday).  Then I tackled the fabric.  I had something like 15 storage bins of fabric, three shelves full, and a bunch on the floor that didn't fit into either space (at least it was on the floor on top of the bins under the table so I wasn't walking on it).  In the past I have folded fabric and put it into the bins--the problem there is that when you need something that's on the bottom all the stuff on top gets messed up.  So I opted to neatly roll and tie everything.

That's part of one bin.  I actually did this for all 15 bins plus the floor and shelf stuff.  The next step would have been to then sort the fabrics into categories and return them to bins.  Instead--I called a sewing friend, asked her to grab a couple more sewing people, and invited them over for a stash dive.  The more they took home, the less I had to put away.  Win-win all around.  I rearranged the room a bit, moved in some more shelves, and voila!

Look down--there's a FLOOR in this room.  I hadn't see that for quite some time. 
And yes--that's a coffin for a bookshelf.  We had asked a friend to make a coffin for the Halloween trail.  Never ask a carpenter to make a prop--he made such a nice one that we thought it would be a shame to leave it outside (there's not much storage space inside at the Museum) so we made it into a bookshelf.
There is a downside to having a sewing room this neat.  I was celebrating having this onerous task done by doing some needed re-working to a blouse I made a couple of years ago.  Well, when one threads a sewing machine, it's wise to do a small sample of stitching just to be sure that everything is sewing properly.  Normally I just grab a piece of whatever is lying nearest on the floor.  But at this point THERE WASN'T A DARN SCRAP OF FABRIC ANYWHERE!  I had to get up and go to the bin labeled "misc. cottons" and dig something out.  I know, I know.  Life is hard.
Pictures of a clean room not really being that exciting, here are a couple more random ones.  First, one of Bob's latest models.  The cool thing here is not so much the dinosaur but the trees.

That's the inside of pine cones after the squirrels have finished chewing on them, topped with dried chive blossoms.  Very Jurassic, don't you think?
And finally--the joys of an unmade bed.
Which is looking pretty good to me as well.  Think I'll go join him.