Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Half Year Review

Colors, originally uploaded by flicks galore.

I noticed recently that it's June. The middle of the year. It's half-way through! That's kinda crazy. So I thought I'd revisit the New Year's Resolution-Goal-Thingies that I made at the start of the year in this post. I hate the G-word as much as anyone else, but this activity involves making lists so surely it can't be all bad.

1. Publish 3 zines.
Inspiration has been a bit low lately. I've written most of the text for one, and had ideas for a couple more, though I haven't done anything about them. I had an idea for one only just the other day - it needs some time to percolate. But ideas don't come along every day, and they should be cherished and nurtured and allowed to grow at their own pace. (Except when you have a deadline!) 15% completed.

2.Travel overseas.
This one is practically done and dusted! The trip is booked for September and paid for, all the passports and papers are ready, I've bought a blank book to use as a travel journal - all Boy & I have to do now is do it! Europe, here we come! I would say this one is 70% completed (all the annoying stuff is taken care of), and guaranteed to be completed by the end of the year.

3. Do a 10km walk.
This one has been quite difficult to achieve so far. I got sick twice with extended yucky, phlegmy things, and that set me back quite a lot. Also this winter has been much colder than the last few winters and my creaky bones have been protesting. I'm determined to do what I can though, and that's about all you can do, isn't it? 20% completed.

4. Organise my apartment.
I have two words for this one: complete chaos. Things started very well. I drew up a plan with everything I wanted to do marked on it. Then I lost motivation and the flat was left in a mess of cardboard boxes and half-filled bookcases. Not to mention spare cases of wine. It's baby steps at the moment. 15% completed.

5. Take care of myself.
My body is apparently very high maintenance. It needs to be poked and prodded and checked and scanned regularly, and given tablets and capsules twice a day. Not to mention fed, watered, stretched and pummelled. It's an ongoing, daily activity. The doctors call it being 'compliant'. But there is a pay-off. When I do all these things, I feel much happier and more energetic.It's hard to gauge progress on a goal like this, but I think I can say that out of all the things I told myself I would do regularly this year, I probably do 75% of them 90% of the time. I think that's quite impressive, though there's still room for improvement.

6. Fill [my] art journal.
As I'm sure regular readers have noticed, I love working in my art journal! Unlike most hobbies I pursue, I haven't gotten bored with it yet. I use it steadily and regularly. I don't know if I'll fill it this year, and I'm really not concerned about it. Why put pressure and deadlines on something that should be fun and relaxing? 50% completed and unlikely to complete this year.

7. Submit a zine to Sticky Institute.
I received an invitation in an online forum from Sticky a few months ago to submit zines to them. They want zines - all I have to do is prepare them, price them and present them! Time-wise and effort-wise this is one of the easiest goals to achieve. But bravery-wise, it's one of the hardest. Putting yourself out there and saying, "look world, it's me! Look at what I'm doing!" is pretty scary. I might be able to overcome my shyness in the next 6 months, or I might not. I just can't say right now which way it'll go. So far it's a big, ole 0%.

8. Learn an e-publishing program.
I still want to do this! The how, where, when and how much will it cost have eluded me so far. My dream is to turn my travel journal from my upcoming trip into an electronic publication and share it with the world. How great would that be? Motivation for this goal is at about 85%. Actual achievement of the goal is at 0%.

If I look at the specifics too much, my results so far are rather discouraging. But when I think about it, I'm working steadily on the goals that I think are important right now, and I'm not beating myself up about the ones that I'm not working on. So, all in all, I'm doing quite well.

On with the making!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Two *More* Projects!

This time both of the projects are for other people though, so that makes it all right. Right?

First, Boy asked me to make him a hat with earflaps like the one I made for E a few years ago. This winter has been so cold that his old hat, which only covers the tips of his ears, just isn't cutting it. Back then I used the Jayne Hat pattern. (For your information, it's the hat the mean guy in the movie Serenity wore, if you're not geekily inclined.)

I returned to the pattern page for it on Ravelry [login required: are they ever going to change this??]. I find now that the pattern I used is only available as part of a kit for US$20 (not including needles). Re-affirming my faith in the internet, I found also that there's still a free version on I'd saved a copy of it on my computer anyway. I probably could have re-done it from memory if worst came to worst. It's really easy. I changed the colours, and I'm giving the hat 3 stripes instead of 2, and no pompom. (He's just not that kind of guy.) Anyhoo, here's a picture of the hat In Progress:

Rare winter sunshine: glorious!

I imagine I'll finish it this weekend. Probably in front of the next installment of TV's James Bond season. The second project is a scarf for a friend's birthday.

I already ripped it out and started over again because I wanted to use larger gauge needles. I'm still not %100 happy with the garter stitch look, but I'm not going to change it again. I'm only about a quarter of the way through it, and the birthday is next weekend, so I need to stop faffing around and get knitting!

My hobby room My and Boy's hobby room has a new addition, which you saw glimpses of in the previous photos.

Herbs! And an ornamental chilli! We're going to have lovely fresh herbs! I'm so excited. We're leaving them alone for a few weeks to let them get settled in. The parsley looks pretty at-home already though, don't you think? Yum!

P.S. Thank goodness the baby version of the Jayne Hat is available for free. Here is a picture of it on Flickr being modelled on a long-suffering cat. Sorry I can't post it here because it's copy-right protected. What it also is is pretty cute! Today is bad-grammar not-carey day. Whee!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A Finished Page and More

I finished an art journal page in my main journal last week. It was one of the pages in my (seemingly perpetual) Unfinished pages post a few months ago. This is a refresher of what it looked like then:

This is the finished page:

I'm calling it the Curlicue Page for obvious reasons. As I wrote previously, I hated the page at first. It grew on me though and now I quite like it, despite its flaws. Yeah, the composition is a bit wonky, but I like the collage elements and colours. I enjoyed drawing the swirlies with various pens so much that I couldn't help but love the page by the end of it! A few weeks later I 'finalised' it, 'branded' it if you will, by writing down a statement that had been swirling through my head for a few days previously. Then it was finished.

The materials I used were: gesso, acrylic paint, glaze medium, wrapping paper, magazine fragments, sugar packet, chopsticks packet, used & franked stamps, lolly wrapper, backing from a sanitary pad, rub-on, embroidery thread, deco tape, ShinHan Art Touch felt pen, Sharpie pen, Sakura gelly roll gel pen, pen & ink (Noodler's brand).

Here's a detail of the top left corner:

For good measure, here's a doodle / mandala thingie I drew last night while I was watching The Man with the Golden Gun. Apparently James Bond inspires. Originally I was going to colour it in with watercolours, but I like it better this way:

And a trip to the health food shop last weekend yielded this:

Sprouts! There are enough there to last Boy and I at least 2 weeks, if they don't go off by then. Perhaps we'll add less seeds next time.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Extra Fast Speed Blogging

Ohmigosh!! I must have this! I'm getting all dizzy!


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Etsy Eye Candy: Things I Wish I Could Afford

Today's goggle-inducing themed mosaic is Things I Wish I Could Afford. Some of them aren't that expensive really, but I'm in extreme savings mode at the moment for my forthcoming trip to Europe (did I mention that? woohoo! I'll try to not mention it in the next post.)

Column AColumn B
double ruffle necklace by lilian asterfield."Knit 2 Tog" painting by shoofly.
Metta Zine by ihanna.sushi bar diorama by cattleyasminis.
"mini cats in space" painting by bellydance costume by theora's dance costumes.
journal with knitted cover by mumblepeg. chased silver bangle by hiwahiwa treasures.

Previously In This Series:
Egg Cosies

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Quick Update

Hi! I'm just quickly sharing two craft projects that I've been working on lately. The first is a cosy for my printer. You're thinking "nuts!", yes? Well, I noticed that it was starting to get a lot of dust on it. Nothing ever comes with a bag, box or cover to keep it in these days. I guess companies think that the item will break down and you'll be buying a new one before it gets the chance to gather dust!

You can see in the picture that I'm crocheting it from the middle out. It's big enough now to cover the top of the printer. I just want to make a few more rows so it goes down the sides a bit. Interesting choice of colours, you may think? I was going for a really cheesy, 70s, retro feel. I think it worked. You can also see a little bit of the gorgeous lovely knitting project bag that I got from Avonlea Designs [link to blog]. Unfortunately she's closed down her Etsy shop for now. I do hope she starts up again one day. I love the colours and patterns she uses in her sewing and it was very well made.

Prospect Number 2 is my very first Entrelac project! I'm using This Pattern [links to Ravelry: login required] which is a tutorial for a rectangular piece. Then you can continue to make it as long as you like. I'm making a headband/headwarmer thingy. It'll be quite wide, but I think I'll be glad of that when I'm on my trip to Europe in a few months. (Yes, you heard right!! Wooohooo!) I'm sure it'll be finished by then. Really sure.

A lot of people say that Entrelac makes them want to gouge their own eyes out with a pair of 10mms, but I really like it. Sure, it's kinda fiddly but - unlike Illusion Knitting - the results make me go, "wow, I made that! That's so cool!" (If you love Illusion, fair enough. Your kilometreage may vary.)

The yarn for both of these projects was sourced from my enormous stash. It pains me to admit it, but I actually don't think I'll need to buy yarn again for a while. There, I said it. Ouch!

More of the whats and the hows and the whys when I'm a bit further along on both projects.