Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Right brain, left brain

Have you ever done one of those tests to find out if your right brain or left brain is dominant? Mine usually come out fairly even, which is good, I guess.

Actually, I always hope that my right brain will win out. I'm much more inclined towards living an artistic life than conforming to office hours. But I'm pretty good at office work, and that's where my left brain comes into play. I'm organized and consistent and efficient.

Even my hobbies make use of both sides of my brain. So while I am itching to produce art like this


"Loneliness #3"


I'm compelled to produce these diminutive bits of uselessness.


"Cafe Tout Petit"






I suppose this brings the right brain and left brain together. Right brain - I get to create the scene and mix patterns, textures and colors.




Left brain - I figure out how to make tiny things, and I'm somewhat precise in creating itsy bitsy cups out of clay and gluing little beads onto them for handles.




I never wanted to be thought of as a miniaturist - that sounds like someone who plays with dolls, and who owns cats numbering into double digits, and who has a funny laugh and awkward social skills. (If you're a miniaturist, I do apologize, but I'm trying to make a point here.)



Maybe this will produce an income some day; hopefully not a miniature one. But I can't seem to help myself - I'm hooked. I've got a teensy, weensy monkey on my back!

Val

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Good Morning

Our weather forecasters never get anything right. Which is good, since they're usually predicting rain, fog and dreariness at this time of year. But today was surprisingly warm and clear, in spite of what we'd been told. I woke up early and decided to go greet the dawn. I walked down the road to some large ponds, and fortunately I remembered to bring my camera.

some neighbors still have Christmas lights up















these are blue herons roosting






And then I headed home.


my favorite tree in the neighborhood



that's my house with the two lights on


Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.


 Maya Angelou, Inaugural Poem, 1993

Friday, January 16, 2015

Oh, no - not another Altoid tin!

If you're coming here looking for pretty pictures of me in my fantastic clothes and gorgeous home, with inspirational quotes and tips for removing warts, I've given you fair warning. This post is about an Altoid-type tin that I crafted for a custom order for Christmas.

The order was for a little diorama for my customer's mother-in-law, who is housebound. I was given some ideas about the MIL's life and likes, and I went from there. This is what I came up with.




The customer said her MIL likes East Asian art and architecture, so she asked for a temple door and roof tiles.

The interior continues the theme, and includes a passport and map to reflect MIL's travels, the books she likes to read, and the coffee she likes to drink.




The otters in the photo have special significance, too, but the little felt slippers were a last-minute thing I added because the floor needed something. Squee!

I didn't glue down the itsy books, and one of them is a picture book with tiny photos from my own travels.




And one more -

I'm still working on my little Parisian café, mentioned in my last post. It's an even smaller scale, so it's challenging to fit in a tiny café bar, as well as an upstairs bedroom. I think this one's going to take some time! Here are some more in-progress photos.


You know I'm making this because I want to live in a little place like this on the Left Bank.


I should have called it Café Tout Wacky because the scale and perspective are going to be totally wack. I made a stack of espresso cups that are tiny, but too big for this place. Maybe I should add a bottle of absinthe to accentuate the twisting of reality!

À bientôt!

Val

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Je suis Charlie, Je suis Ahmed

Aujourd'hui, je suis Parisienne. Je suis d'accord avec le peuple de Paris, in solidarité contre la violence, la haine et l'intolérance.

Today, I am Parisian. I stand with the people of Paris, in solidarity against violence, hatred and intolerance.


I wish I could write my whole post in French, but my language skills are too-long dormant for a serious post. (I used freetranslation.com to help me here.) To join with the people of Paris, and indeed, reasonable people everywhere, I'm wearing scarf that a friend of mine brought me from Paris several years ago.

scarf from Paris - Pantone color 2013 - Emerald

It's impossible to make sense of what happened in Paris - violence, fear and chaos were the aims of the extremists, so there is no sense. To a generation that grew up in a golden age of progress and enlightenment, this kind of barbarism seems to signal the end of the world. I can't even begin to analyze the various implications of these attacks - and others - to freedom, religion, racism, society, nationalism, multiculturalism, women...


current work-in-progress - a Parisian cafe

Then the stories of the unity of people in Paris, and world leaders setting aside their differences, give me some hope that tolerance will override intolerance and divisiveness.

Source

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Linking up and spreading the love at SpyGirl: 52 Pick-me-up, and Not Dead Yet Style: Visible Monday.

Val

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rock and Roll Saves Lives


Mr. S and I have embarked on a video project. It's low-budget, but full-blown, with camera crew and audio guys (all working for free). We're recording some of the musicians in our area who write and perform original work. There are a lot of bands to choose from around here, and we've met some ahhhh-maze-zing musicians!

We've also worked our butts off, and we're just getting started. We've just been shooting for three and a half days in a row. If you've never been on a shoot, there's a lot of moving cases and equipment in and out. And then moving them all again, and again. There are tons of cables and lots of fiddling while everyone gets lights, cameras and mics set. Then there's a lot of standing around quietly while the recording takes place, and again, and again. Then there's some outdoor shooting where you have to carry a lot of stuff around with you. Eventually, you get to pack it all up and try to squeeze it back into the car it came in, and then you do it again the next day.

After the third day we were shattered, but on the fourth day - yesterday - we still had to record the rehearsal of a very dynamic and funky band. We hauled everything into their garage and spent an hour or two setting up. Then the band started playing. Hard. Romping, stomping bass, flying sticks and a driving beat on the drums, zen-like squeezing of the guitar strings - it was outrageous! I'm not a metal person, but this was funky metal, determined and strong and tight, and just so good that I completely forgot I was tired! No more aches, no more yawning, no more worries. When we got home, my drink of choice was tequila. And I felt great today! I also didn't get dressed until the afternoon - I think a rock-and-roll lifestyle suits me.

I'll tell you more about the project as we go along, but suffice to say that music is magic.

Here's my basic uniform for shoots -

jeans are Lees, shirt is from Target

The vest is handy because it's got bigger pockets than my jeans, and can hold my bundle of keys and fobs, since I'm usually the one who has to run back and forth to the car for the extra things that we didn't bring in the first time. The vest used to have sleeves, seen here in October 2013.




I recently took the sleeves off, and I used one cuff to put a partial belt at the back to give it some shape.



Yeah, I look like an old lady rocker, but who cares? I can head-bang with the best of them, for a while anyway.

What are you listening to?

Val