Thursday, February 19, 2015

I don't really have anything to share today.

No pictures.

No works in progress.

No knitting to show off.  I know, I know- then why am I posting?  Because I'm trying to maintain the blog a little better this year.

Well I guess I can show you a bit of something I'm working on for myself:
It's a peak at a digital painting self portrait I'm working on.

I will admit I'm attempting to do more digital painting (I haven't touched that stuff in years).  I'm not very good at it currently, but you know what they say about practice...

I'm knee deep in working on knitted and crocheted goodies for my soon-to-get-here niece.  I'll probably post a sneak peak of those before I send them off.  I still need to get the "baby groot" pattern hammered out and posted, and I have a few more goodies that I'll need to share with you at some point, just not yet. 

I may be out of touch next week, due to family coming to town, but if I get time I'll try to post any progress I have on projects I'm working on.

Hope everyone has a fantastic end of the week and weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

knitting for fun

I come from a family of creators.

My dad has always been into woodworking of some sort and he has created many an awesome item.  In fact, my favorite piece of furniture happens to be the TV stand he made for me a few years ago.  Unfortunately with our very poorly planned out move, that piece of furniture was left behind in safe keeping, but I miss it.

My mom has always been trying new crafts and old crafts for as long as I can remember.  Always opting to make something handmade for presents instead of buying junk made by a factory.  I guess I get that mentality from her.  She's actually a pretty good quilter when she has the time to complete a project.  I'm still waiting for my lap quilt, but I know she'll get to it eventually.

My grandma's on both sides of my family were crafters of sorts, so I guess it just runs in my family.

I've tried quilting and it's just not my cup of tea.  Fabric costs a lot of money and you have to cut the material just so in order for the pieces to go together correctly.  I'm horrible at cutting material- so I'll leave that to the pros (including my mom, who sometimes farms out the cutting of fabric to my dad).  I've tried turning wood, like my dad does for pens, but have learned that I have a pretty severe allergy to "raw" wood.  My hands feel like they're on fire when I try to turn, so I'll also leave that to the pros (or just to my dad, he makes some pretty awesome stuff- but is also allergic to several species of wood that he uses). 

I did however learn to knit back in 2004 (if you look in the archives of this blog you can see some of my previous work).  Gonzo has learned that if he wants a knitted hat or scarf or something he can ask me and I'll figure out how to knit it for him.  A few months ago while out window shopping, he pointed to a very specific machine knit hat by a very famous designer and asked if I could knit something like it.  Since the offending hat cost over $500, I said of course...I often feel bad for people who don't know someone who knits.

While my version (below) isn't 100% the design of what we saw it was recognizable to Gonzo and it fits his head perfectly, so I'll call that a win.
(I'm the one wearing it in the picture, but it fits Gonzo's head better)

I'm noticing that when I am asked to knit something specific, I tend to take my sweet time doing it.  But if I just want to make it for someone I tend to get it done a little faster.  Example: Gonzo's socks.
I started them way back in September of 2012...I finished them in time for Christmas 2014, after having frogged what I had started in September of 2012: 

I managed to complete three other pairs of socks before I finished his.  I didn't actually take a picture of the socks I made for my mom before I gave them to her, so just imagine purple variegated striped socks- completed in time for Christmas 2013...    

My friend Jessica's socks completed in December 2013 (she didn't ask for them):
(pictured while still wet and in the blocking stage)

Jessica's mom Helen's socks, completed in January 2014 (she mentioned that she would like a pair of socks):
(also pictured while still wet and in the blocking stage)

But something is changing in how quickly I will be turning around knitted items.  I'm about to have a niece!  If she wants something it's going to be pushed to the front of the list.  Her mom, my sister-in-law, already requested a few items, which are nearly complete and will be sent as soon as they are finished.  I'll post pictures of the completed items once my brother receives them.  I have a few other surprise items in store for them that I hope my niece will like.

Oh, and I will be posting a pattern, once I knit it a few more times to make sure all of the kinks are worked out...I've searched far and wide and haven't seen a knitted version, only I am working on correcting that.  Look in the near future for a Baby Groot pattern (if you've seen "Guardians of the Galaxy" then you know what I'm talking about).  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

James Dean

Gonzo and I are still trying to get acquainted with this very weird state of California...and the way we do that is by driving to see it.  Since we have been here, nearly every weekend we talk of driving up to San Francisco, and nearly every weekend since we have been here it's been raining either up in San Francisco or where we are at in Southern California (yes rain in Southern California).  Neither one of us really cares to drive in the rain so we haven't really made it to San Francisco yet.

But on February 8th, Gonzo actually had a day off from work and we decided to take a drive up north.  I don't think either of us actually intended on making it all the way to San Francisco but our intentions were to go north.

I'll spare you the details, but let's just say neither one of us checked the weather before we headed out and when the storm clouds started getting darker north of us, we scrambled to find a road that would direct us off of highway 5 and get us closer to the 1.
 I don't want to tell you where we were, or what road we got off on, because it was such a neat surprise to find this road that I felt like some higher power had guided us that way- it would be too easy to tell you which road it actual was (you can do the research yourself if you want to find it...or not, if you just want to one day happen upon it like we did).

We stopped at a cafe, a little ways away from a fork in the road, which just so happened to be a winery as well.  While getting a glass of wine to go with my lunch, Gonzo was busy researching why there was so much James Dean paraphernalia on the walls.

This cafe is located very near the James Dean memorial, which is several hundred feet from the exact place of James Dean's fatal car accident.
 It was an odd feeling realizing we had stumbled upon this place, when earlier in the day I had seen a post of Facebook about it being James Dean's birthday.  We weren't looking for it.  I don't think Gonzo or myself had even thought to seek out his memorial, but we found ourselves there on his birthday.

Even odder, what had started off as a bright sunny day of driving, suddenly descended into rain and then dense fog, while winding on rolling hill roads.  I felt awful that Gonzo was having to endure the driving on this escapade, but if I had been behind the wheel, I would have pulled off at one of the zillion wineries we past and drank until the rain stopped...begging the owners for a bed for the night so we didn't have to get back into the weather.  But Gonzo was driving, so we forged ahead.
 I'm very glad he did, as we were at the perfect altitude to be just under the fog layer as it brushed the tops of mountain peaks, making for eerie pictures to be taken, and my imagination to run wild with stories that need to be told.
 Gonzo and I kept joking about the random rock formations being still ogres/trolls waiting to animate to life once the traffic died down.
 Eventually we made it to the coast which was churning from the storm that was blowing in.  We only stayed on the 1 for a few hours before deciding it was probably safer to stay on the 101 to get home...good thing too, there was a mud slide blocking a section of the 1, which we wouldn't have gotten to until after dark.
So we didn't make it to San Francisco yet, but we definitely fell in love with the area we stumbled upon and will definitely be returning to the small cafe at the fork in the road that is close to James Dean's memorial.      

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


After a long hiatus from drawing, I have returned!

This little cutie eating an apple was completed using a wide range of H through B pencils on white printer paper.

I'm looking forward to sharing this drawing with the littler girls mom, grandfather and aunt, as they are all dear friends of mine. 

I'm on a bit of a hiatus from work right now, so hopefully I'll be able to share some more projects that I am working on.  Or photos of my adventures in California (remind me to share the eerie pictures of our drive on James Dean's birthday).

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