Friday, August 31, 2012

The ninth doctor

I have a new tablet, and it is wonderful. It's a Bamboo Create, and loads of fun. It certainly takes some getting used to - what with having to draw on one surface while it shows up on another! I'm slowly learning my way around this new technology - including what I can do with the software that came with it.

So here's my first finished piece:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Etsy shop is open

As of yesterday, my Etsy shop has re-opened! Everything that was up there before I moved is there again. I've also been working on some new crochet projects. It gets a bit chilly in the evenings here, and makes me want to work with yarn again - a welcome change from 95 degree weather when I don't even want to think about having a lap full of yarn. So I have a grey and purple striped hat, made partially out of yarn I spun, and a matching set of hat and wrist-warmers in a soft green wool-blend. Pictures coming soon!

They will also be up on Etsy for sale soon.

Oh, and also, I got to raid my grandmother's yarn stash!! Granted, it was living in her basement, and there were quite a few manky bits (not to mention one small box I *think* a mouse had a nest in at some point).... BUT it was still lots of fun. There was some fun wool yarns, one small skein of alpaca(!!), and a couple bags of this cotton/linen/acrylic blend that's part matte and part satiny, and rather soft. Some of the skeins are white and some are pink - I think I like the white ones better.

I'm thinking I'll have to learn how to knit lace, and maybe make a shawl out of it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Road trip: North Dakota

This is the first of several posts about my moving/road trip with M. We spent seven days driving from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon. It was really cool, and great fun to see so much of the upper midwest - an area I hadn't really explored before. There is still a lot that we would like to do, but will have to wait for another trip and another time.

Western North Dakota is really really beautiful. Fields of rolling grain, grass, and sunflowers, and the biggest skies I've ever seen. Especially from the road, I had the widest view, and we watched storm clouds chase each other across the sky. I saw where they were raining, where the lightning strikes were, and kept an eye on the storms that seemed to be moving in our direction. 

Of course, we also crossed through much of oil country. There were oil rigs everywhere along the road, pumping away. Many of them also had open flames on site - to burn off byproducts?  Some of the flames were really fascinating - I could see them off in the distance, really bright against the rest of the dusty and hazy summer landscape. They also kind of reminded me of the signal beacon fires in The Lord of the Rings...

Beautiful stormy skies

There were also a fair amount of dilapidated/completely collapsed buildings in fields along the way. I've always been torn in my feelings about buildings like this. On the one hand, it's sad to think that it was once a used, thriving structure that has fallen into disrepair, possibly through disaster or financial difficulties leading to abandonment. On the other hand, the softened curves of bent beams, weathered grey wood, and different silhouettes are absolutely gorgeous. 

A side point: when I was in Ireland, I was told that one reason there were so many buildings falling apart in fields is that the owners would have built a new shed/barn/etc next to the old one, take what they needed and leave the shell to the weather. It's an interesting addition to my thoughts about the subject.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More than I can chew..

As I'm sure you can guess, I didn't get around to finishing that costume. I *way* overestimated my abilities to fit everything into a set amount of time. I did finish the corset (white and pink) and a patchwork-style petticoat, but made absolutely no headway on the dress itself. Luckily, the friend I was going to make it for is the best, and doesn't mind that it's now turned into a I-don't-know-when-I'll-finish-it project, due to us being almost 2,000 miles away now.

Yes, I have arrived in Oregon. M and I had an epic road trip (pictures and stories coming soon), and are now entering the great job search. So I'll try to keep things updated here as I work on projects, but I may be  somewhat intermittent in that regard.