School is keeping me busy! It's getting to be the time of year for decision making, too, about what I'll do next year once this course is over in a few short months (sob! I don't want to think about it being over). The universities hold open days over the coming weeks, and a group of my fellow students and I are going to one on Sunday - armed with a list of questions, so pity the organisers who encounter us! Stuff like the chances of mature age students, part-time study, any exemptions for study we've done in our current course, possibilities of deferring for a year (I'd like to go into any further study on a steadier financial footing than I'm on at the moment, and will likely have to work next year).
This uni offers a semester in Florence - oooh, imagine studying in Italy!!
I'm looking at a degree in Fine Art, but am dithering about a major. Painting? Yeah, I so much don't paint, but it does offer flexibility in that it can incorporate mixed media, drawing, sculptural elements. Printmaking? From what I've heard from others, this isn't so cross-disciplinary. Sculpture? Maybe, though I've gone off on a drawing tangent lately. Decisions, decisions. By the time I've gone to at least two other open days, I fully expect my head to implode.
I had a productive day today, though. Finished an A3 size drawing in ink over pre-prepared watercolour paper; I wet the paper, dripped red and purple ink over it, swirled a bit, then hit it with a spray bottle. Pretty! The spray makes the ink jump about and create organic branching shapes. It makes a really lovely background for drawing over with black ink (I say draw, but I use a brush - inking? Sounds like a tattooist). I plan to make some more backgrounds like that, with different colours of ink.
Also finished another page in my artist's book, and added some more text to complement earlier pages. I just love the combination of words and drawing, it's very satisfying. Plus made my drawing-a-day in class, and began another page in the book - so far just an outline, but on its way.
Above is the scarf I finished from the UFO pile, now an FO. It is satisfying to see the pile of mending and projects diminishing, at least slightly. It's still a frightening size but progress has been made. Next on the list: mending a shirt cuff where the button placket (if that's the correct term) tore, and resewing the back seam on a dress with a centre-back split that's threatening to come adrift and show rather more of me than I'm comfortable with, even in summer.
Progress on the UFO (unfinished object) pile, which has melded into Mending Mountain. The blue and red scarves I started last winter, and left languishing at the cast off stage. For some strange reason, casting off is my least favourite part of knitting (even weaving in ends is preferable). The third peachy scarf I made from scratch, just because I was enjoying the process. These are really fast to make, knitted on big needles from a single ball of yarn. Mostly I just like the process, knitting soothes me. All three came from stash yarn, acquired from the op shop or the trash and treasure market - I had a great find at the trash and treasure a couple of years ago: a gigantic plastic bag of all sorts of lovely yarn for $5! I'm still working through it.
I've put all three scarves into my Etsy shop - click on "My Etsy Shop" at the top right hand of the blog if you'd like a peek.
I've also finished a stripey scarf from odds and ends of yarn, mostly from little bits left over from other projects (photo next post). It reminds me of Dr Who's stripey scarf, just on a smaller scale. My shrug is nearing the half way point and I think I'm about knitted out for a few days :)
Progress on Mending Mountain! Three pairs of handknitted socks darned. I put the darning off till there's several pairs, then have a blitz - there are still two pairs of bloke socks to tackle. And I reknitted the toes of a stripey pair a few weeks ago, as the holes were enormous and the yarn not the best; it was easier, in the long run, to re-do the toes with better quality yarn in the hope that they'll wear better.
The burgundy pair on the right of screen are the first socks I ever knitted, and my favourites. I was a really tight knitter to begin with (picture my face screwed up, tongue poking out the corner of my mouth, and shoulders hunched as I struggled with two unruly sticks and a snarl of yarn), and the fabric in these is very even and thick. And, even better, they're made from yarn I bought in the op shop (Salvos in Oakleigh) for $2 an enormous ball; some industrious worker had been busy unravelling jumpers. I've never been able to repeat the perfect fit and fabric, later socks I like but these I love. It makes me happy just to put them on :) My toes are warm and snuggly again - don't need slippers when I'm wearing my Favourites!
These are three English paper pieced patchworks I made to use as surfaces for printmaking. My printmaking leans heavily toward found and unconventional surfaces, and given my past in quilting (sounds like I've given it up - no, just not enough time in the day at the moment!), it seemed a natural progression to try printing on surfaces such as these. I haven't decided on the images to use here, at the moment I'm thinking something swirling and circular...maybe white ink on the red one, green ink on the pink, red ink on the green, but I'll have to do some experimenting to see what works.
Yesterday it was so cold in the house I had to put on my fingerless gloves to draw because my hands kept going numb. I am stubborn about putting the heating on during the day (for many reasons, not the least of which is if I'm too warm and cosy not much gets done but reading and providing a lap for a cat), but I did relent and turn it on for a while after that!
This afternoon I was pottering around in the garden, tossing some dead potted plants and weeding the long green grass (why are weeds always healthier than my plants?) out of others. Eventually I was forced inside when I could no longer feel my hands and dropped a largish pot all over the laundry steps. Poor pelargonium, the weeds are no longer choking it but the abrupt decant might be the end of it. I stuffed it back into its pot, gave it some extra potting mix to make up the difference (much was still scattered across the concrete, too wet to sweep up), and a drink, so I hope it survives.
Progress on Mending Mountain (if I keep score here, it might inspire me to keep going): 6 garments now back in circulation (three shirts, one pair jeans, one refashioned top, one pair trousers). Though the last item, the pair of black trousers I took in, may need a revisit - the darts are too big and lumpy and not very comfortable in wearing - so I'll likely frog them and try again, smaller and more darts this time.
Progress on Mending Mountain: the third shirt now has its facing sewn down and is back in wearing circulation (or will be, when the weather warms up). Next in line is taking in a pair of jeans (so big in the waist that if I fail to wear a belt with them, they have an alarming tendency to fall down. To my ankles.), a kind of priority because my favourite pair have developed a largish hole in the inner thigh and will require patching as soon as the other jeans are no longer a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. The item after that is a purple top a friend passed on to me - it has a high neck which I don't like (I'm not good with neck constricting garments), so I think I'll slash it down one side and turn the turtle-ish neck into an asymetrical collar. It's a pretty item, though.
I mentioned to a friend that I was busy mending, even though it's one of my least favourite tasks, and was surprised (again!) that she was suprised: "But you like sewing!" Yep, I do, but mending is NOT the same thing :)
Today I began tackling Mending Mountain. Strictly speaking, it's mending, alteration, and unfinished project Mountain, but that isn't alliterative :)
I hate mending.
There were three shirts, all made from the same pattern, where the facing down the front has always annoyed me by flapping around and refusing to lay flat. The last time I used the pattern I solved the issue by sewing the facing down as I was making it, but the earlier incarnations needing revising. It's a simple fix, but somehow I never got 'round tuit. The garments would make it to Mending Mountain, hang around a while, then get put back into wearing circulation minus their revision. Couldn't machine sew the facing as the breast pocket got in the way (and there was no way I was taking that pocket off and reattaching it: we all know that the pocket would NEVER get reattached), so I ironed the facing into submission, pinned it to within an inch of its life, and hand sewed it in place. The cats were happy as this meant I spent quite some time in the recliner and hence a warm lap was available (even though said lap was obscured by a flapping shirt much of the time). I am on the home stretch of the third shirt.
My strategy with Mending Mountain is to take whatever comes next to hand, no picking and choosing or it'll never diminish. Given there are several strata, this could be interesting! I may make a new pile of the things that need serious altering or embellishing, but the simple mending may actually get done...
It probably says something significant about my psyche that I love sewing something new but loathe fixing existing items. I am, however, too cheap and broke to throw out anything that still has useful life left in it.
Update on the green chair battle: I dozed off in the recliner (it's a trap, I tell you!) yesterday afternoon and had a horrible dream about being eaten alive. I woke up to find Bel sitting on the back of the chair CHEWING MY HAIR. From now on, I'm wearing a hat when I feel the slightest bit drowsy whilst occupying the bone of contention. Clearly, that cat's not content with passive aggressive and has moved onto the offensive. Could world domination be next?
I'm 48, female, just finished a two year course in Visual Arts, and am now back in the market for a job (boo!). I worked in the library field for the better part of three decades and two years ago took the plunge from a job that made me unhappy to go back to school. I've loved every moment of it and as soon as I have enough money to tide me over being a poverty stricken student I'm going back for more!