artsy stuff, photography

Tiny Things and Fairy Wings

DSC_7779On Monday we got a surprise snowing here in Chicago. At first when I was up at 4:30 with J to bid him goodbye for the day (and goodnight because I certainly don’t actually get up that early) I was irritated. Then when I got up for the day finally I wasn’t sure how I felt about it anymore and spent a good chunk of the morning staring out the window. This was how my day kind of went.

8:00am: Get up. Stare out window at stupid snow.
8:13am: Walk into kitchen to feed cats. Stare out window at stupid snow.
8:17am: Make tea. Stare out window at stupid snow while tea brews.
8:24am: Eat breakfast. Stare out window across the room from me where I can still see the stupid snow.

DSC_7789And so the morning progressed. The snow started again, and fell thicker and thicker, to the point where it looked like we might even get completely buried.

10:29am: Huddle by fireplace. Stare out window at stupid snow.
12:34pm: Eat lunch. Stare out window at stupid snow.
1:23pm: Suddenly remember I have a macro lens. Dig parka out of closet where I stuffed it on the first day of spring because I’m done participating in winter, pull on snowboots, run outside like a weirdo and start flailing around taking pictures of snowflakes.

snowflake 8
1:58pm: Remember I have a box of fairy doors that would also be fun to photograph in snow. Run back upstairs and pack up a waterproof bag of Tiny Things including the little doors and run back outside.

fairy door 03
…….
3:43pm: Realize I’ve been outside over two hours total. Figure it’s time to go back inside.
4:00pm: Make tea. There’s always reason for more tea.

I took a lot of snowflake pictures. I mean, a lot of snowflake pictures.

snowflake 17I’m only putting a handful of them here, but they are a general representation. I tried a few different methods, too, including catching them on a plastic bag, which you can see above. The flakes themselves were fairly huge but melted quickly because of the warm air.

snowflake 19
This one was one of my favorites, by far. Another plastic bag catch, and didn’t last long, but I liked the way the edges looked.

snowflake 7 (flake cluster)You can see how light and fluffy the snow was in this one, just lots of little flakes piling up in a geometric sort of way. Much less solid than I expected.

DSC_7853This shows you how big the flakes really were. You can see an individual one on my glove!

snowflake 15 (flake cluster)This one reminded me of those little magnetic building pieces kids use. I forget what they’re called, but the snowflakes built themselves up just like that.

So there’s a tiny peek at some tiny frozen water bits. I will post fairy door pictures another day, because they were fun to photograph, too. As of today most of the snow is melted (much to my relief) so I’m glad I grabbed the opportunity when I had it.

 

 

artsy stuff

Feeling artsy: dragons and owls

Dragon sketch postcard

I was going to do a wrap-up of my week, but I really didn’t do much this week that would make a post (that I haven’t already written, anyway), so here. Have a dragon postcard.

The postcard came from a scrapbooking store and I drew the dragon myself. I haven’t really drawn anything much in several years, so I decided to see how rusty my skills were. They weren’t too bad, but I found that I haven’t progressed at all for the obvious reason that I haven’t practiced at all. I did find that I’m a lot more confident with cartoon type sketches, though, and doodled some owls the other day.

Owl with cake

So there you go. I like that he looks a bit worried and also fat, like this isn’t an unusual snack. There were a lot of less-cute looking owls before this one that I won’t show you, but I’ve found a nice little “template” that I can reproduce, which is cool. No use for them at the moment, but maybe at some point I’ll think of something other than simply filling my sketch book.

artsy stuff, food things, geek life, holidays

Egg-stravaganza gets a little Geeky…

So, today I decided I wanted an art project and being that it’s Easter weekend, I decided to color some eggs. After a quick search online, I found some really fun egg ideas, including egg geodes (where you wash out the shells and make multicolored salt or sugar crystals inside of them), but my favorite idea was the easiest– Sharpies to color the eggs! I did a quick search and couldn’t find anything saying the Sharpie would hurt you (provided it was only on the egg shell), but I think I’ll still check them for color before I eat them later…

I also found a new method for boiling eggs that keeps them from getting rubbery and keeps the yolks from turning green.

So then I dug out all of my Sharpies (turns out I have a lot of them) and started coloring… I did one that looks sort of like a little Faberge egg, then one that has a sun and moon (because of a book I loved as a kid), and then… well, then I noticed that I have a coupld of silver Sharpies… and that I could probably make an R2D2.

Continue reading “Egg-stravaganza gets a little Geeky…”

artsy stuff

Doodle kitties

Today has been a long day and I can’t think of anything interesting to write, except that of everything on my “to do” list, the only thing I accomplished from beginning to end was pulling some cash out of the ATM. Seriously, it was that bad. I’m going to have to try again to do most of these things on Monday and I’m not looking forward to it.

I didn’t want to disappoint, though, so you can have the doodle kitties I made for my sister a month or so ago. I kind of like them, especially the Leena one. So there you go.

doodle kitties

artsy stuff

Painting Therapy: Complete!

I finished painting the last of the pots today. Well, I finished the ones I was able to prime (so, 11 of the 13); two are stuck together and I’m afraid I’ll break them, so I’m hoping that as the weather changes, they’ll change size and I’ll be able to unstick them. Anyway, I like the butterfly one the best, but the red monkeys were fun to paint. The tree frogs were harder than I thought they’d be and didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted, but they don’t look awful. All I’ve got left is to put a clear coat over them to make them weather proof and I’m done.

I also found out today that you can buy Starbucks’ coffee flavors (well, some of them), so I got myself a bottle of the cinnamon dolce one. It’s a very large bottle, and it’s not just how they make the cinnamon lattes, but it’s the “spice” in their caramel apple spice drink, which is my favorite non-caffeinated drink of theirs. ^_^ I made one tonight.

artsy stuff

Painting: cheaper than therapy

Not that I need therapy, but painting is very relaxing.

The current project is to decorate about a dozen terra-cotta pots to take to the zoo. They’re various sizes and all need to have some sort of “animal” theme, but really I’ve got a lot of leeway with them. I’ve got half of them finished and just need to add the clear coat over the top that will (I hope) make them weatherproof to go in the browse garden.

Browse garden? Well, zoos are always on tight budgets and one way to cut costs (as well as give animals added enrichment) is to grow your own browse, or produce for the animals. Browse can be sweet potato vine, edible hibiscus, flowers, herbs, and regular veggies, too. The garden by the tiger exhibit has catnip, lavender, eggplant, corn, sunflowers, bell peppers, and had collards but the plant finished its growth cycle already.

Anyway, it gives extra food (i.e. the corn can be part of the primates’ diet) or can be enrichment (i.e. extra stimuli) and also makes an otherwise unused area of the zoo look a lot nicer.

So I’m painting pots to go in the garden.

Okay, so the one with the swirlies isn’t exactly animal themed, but it looks nice anyway, don’t you think? The waterfall is the other side of the tiger-laying-down pot in the first photo. I tried to make it look like some Asian paintings I’ve seen recently. They don’t have to be amazing or anything, but it’s kind of fun to think up a new design for each one. Maybe I’ll do geckos on the next one.