Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Last year this time I said to myself "I have a feeling that the next year of my life will be special!".
And it was! *^v^*
I started and practiced new crafts: naalbinding and weaving, both I like very much.
I knitted my first sweater (and then more followed this one! ^^).
And we finally worked out the plan to come out of debts - the plan that works! ^^
I took up embroidery again and created the first WordPictures (more definitely to come in the future!).
We decided to face reality and close our online shop, which was the only sensible thing to do under the circumstances and it was a good move that let us move on in life.
I started my first ever art journal and was brave enough to fill it page by page with different things.
I took up painting again, and I love it, and I'm going to stick to it!
And I even sold my first painting on ebay, yikes! ^^
So, generally, a great year behind me, and there is a message for the new year that has just started for me: "This year is going to be even better than the last one, in every aspect of it!"
And today I'm going to a hairdresser, to my mom's for lunch, then we are meeting my friends for champagne and cake, and who knows what the day may bring? *^v^*
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
These two are to honor the great swap with Myriam! *^v^*
Here is my assignment for the SuziBlu's Community - a mandala: it's been created on a green background because green is a colour of hope and I strongly hope for all the things I put here, and they are all connected - so, I need money to pay off all my debts and buy a bigger, better place to live, where I could have my own room - a studio for painting and sewing. These are my current needs.
On the left hand side of my journal I placed all the symbols of my needs on the red background (red being for me a symbol of fulfillment). The disco ball is me being happy about my wishes coming true! *^v^*And it's a funny thing because in her recent email to me Suzi wrote about the place with a disco ball, and here it is - in my journal! Coincidence? No, there's no such thing, it's a destiny! =^v^=
BTW, everybody's doing this so I didn't want to stay behind - I set up my Etsy shop! *^v^*
For now there are two paintings there but I'm planning to sell there my sewn creations and other things created and for creating. More items soon, so stay tuned! ^^
Monday, October 29, 2007
Imagine a room full of canvases, cotton and linen, in various shapes and sizes, painter's boards and passepartouts. That's where I bought three new canvases for my paintings (and started to work on two of them as soon as I got home! ^^). I felt tempted to choose some bigger sizes, but I must remember I am restricted with the size of my flat - I can paint as much as I want but then I have to store those paintings somewhere!...
On Sunday I finished last pieces from the "Girl Loves..." series (there are four in a set) and they are on ebay right now. In fact, the Cooking Girl has already been sold and paid for, awaiting the shipment to the new owner! I'm very happy about that. Partly, because of the money of course. But also because that's a test for me, for my creative skills, for my ideas, for my ability to send those ideas to the world, whether somebody likes what I'm making the way I do.
I think "Girl Loves..." will consist of only four pieces for now, but maybe I will add more if I manage to find the same size painter's board to make them (they were from the old supplies).
So, maybe apart from cooking you also like Cleaning?
or maybe Doing the Laundry?
I really cannot decide which is my favourite, but it's a one housewife's tribute to all the housewives out there! *^v^*
Also I tried to make a video of "paintings in the making" but I cannot force the video editing program to work - I've tried to use Cinelerra, but it doesn't want to cooperate and just closes when I try to load a file, well... (yes, I am a Linux user, no Windows Movie Maker for me, thanks! ^^) Maybe next time, when I figure it all out.
As for the knitting Lucinda - thank you for the words of compassion, I was so sad about the sleeves that I didn't touch it on Saturday nor Sunday, but I picked it up on Monday and kept knitting for about 10 rows. I would like to finish it really soon, because new projects are waiting (maybe this thought will give me the strength to hurry up with Lucinda?)! *^v^*
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Well, she knows best, she works part-time in an art gallery... *^v^*
Maybe if I wanted to attract the attention of the art critics, the name for my art would be a good marketing move. But I don't. This is my vent, my meditation time, my creativity time and its outcome - the paintings. If people like it I'm glad. If they want to buy it - I'm glad as well, because it will provide me with some money for more art supplies (and yarn, let's not forget this one! *^v^*). But let's leave the elaborate names for the things that can be easily put into defined boxes.
Okay, if I really had to come up with a name, I would call it a neo-collage kawaii! *^v^*
(kawaii is a Japanese word and it means "cute", but you know it, right? Gwen Stefani uses this word A LOT! ^^)
Anyway, yesterday I needed to knit some small quick project (when you sometimes need something really badly, like the world would end if you didn't get it!... ^^) and decided upon the hat - I don't really have an Autumn hat, not too warm but warm enough to keep my head away from the November chilly weather.
So, I took a ball of Exclusive 100% Superwash Wool from my stash and this pattern. 2 hours later I had this - a Pixie Hat.
First, it was a totally different hat, but when I finished it it turned out that it's way too big... so I frogged it and started again, using the Pixie pattern, and this time - a success! *^v^*I added a short crocheted under chin band and a button, because it kept sliding away. And I know it's a child's hat, but who cares? =^v^=
I should also add a big flower onto my hat because, as my friend Kate says, "flowers on hats are hot this season!". *^v^*
This one gave me a real pleasure especially because I had to frog the bigger part of the Lucinda's sleeves last night... Yes, you heard me correctly, I was about at the hight of the elbows when I realized that I had way too many stitches (and still several increases to make). So I checked the pattern description one more time and to my horror I found out that I completely ignored one expression: "increase 1 stitch in every 8th and 10th row interchangeably 9 times". What I did was of course increasing two stitches, on both sides instead of only one side at a time... I wrote down all the rows and increases on a piece of paper, and now I shouldn't make a second mistake.
Today I'm knitting and painting (I received a new set of Autumn colours paints by post this morning, yikes! ^^), so expect new "Girl Loves..." pictures on Monday!
Have a creative weekend! =^v^=
Thursday, October 25, 2007
At first, it looked like this:
(In fact, at first it had a paper around it, with stamps, ect, but I ripped it away, so there was nothing interesting to photograph... ^^). All the goodies were placed in a beautiful box that I'm going to keep and use for my scraps of papers for collages (I'm crazy about all the cute containers!).
Then, I opened the box and found these - some things expected and some - a total surprise!
So, there was IK Fall 07 magazine, that I missed on their website and Myriam was so kind to find for me in her local shop, then the Kool Aids for my wool dyeing experiments (now I understand why you're not so happy to give it to your Little Man, Myriam, the instructions start with: "Place 1 cup of sugar...", brrr....)
and something that apparently you all know from your childhood - the Shrinky Dinks! *^v^* So, lots of experimenting for me!
But then, there was also a perfect size purse notebook in an orange covers (I love orange!), a lip balm in the cutest little cover (I won't be hunting my lipbalms all over the bag from now on! ^^), and the proof that Myriam is a mind reader - a set of Sharpies in funky colours! *^v^* I've heard and read about them from a fellow art journalists, but I didn't think I'll be able to try them out so soon!
I had no idea what to start playing with, so I panicked and opened the lip balm first! *^v^* When I calm down, I'll make myself a cup of tea and read the Shrinky Dinks instructions. *^v^*
BTW, sometimes the smallest things bring you happiness - the Kool Aids were in a ziplock bag, another item unknown here ! *^v^*
To cool our heads down a bit, here are the photos of the current state of my Lucinda cardigan - the fronts has been sewn with the back and waiting for the sleeves, hood and a zipper:
The sleeves keep growing everyday, and as you can see, I substituted the middle bobbles panel with a pearl stitch panel, I didn't like the bobbles at all. Also, the cuffs are quite long here, but I'm going to reverse half of them to get a thick warm pair of cuffs.
One more thing - I can show you now the painting I couldn't show you before, because it was in the swap parcel for Myriam (and this morning she received her parcel). This is called "Knitting Girl".
Have a great Thursday! *^v^*
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I love three designs:
Henley Perfected Connie Chang Chinchio
Citrus Yoke Pullover Katie Himmelberg
Celtic Tote Jennifer Tallapaneni
Do I want to buy this issue? Well...
I had a similar problem with the Fall issue - at first I didn't like many projects so I decided not to buy it, and then I saw many designs knitted by you, guys, and wanted to make them, too, and the IK Fall was already sold out on their website (lucky me, Diddlinaknits got one for me in her local store! *^v^*).
There's still time to make up my mind and maybe more projects will grow on me, and I may have some extra money from selling my paintings on ebay (there is one bidder already, hello, my bidder! *^v^*).
BTW, "Russia" and "Underwater" have also been listed on ebay, in case anyone from abroad would like to bid on them, here are the shipment costs (priority mail):
to Europe - 6 USD
to both Americas/Asia/Africa - 10 USD
to Australia - 15 USD
Today I'm recovering from last night's visit to Jeff's American restaurant with Robert's mother (the portions are soooo huge there!...), working on new paintings, continue my Lucinda sleeves (I'm past 1/3 already, and it seems that I'll have enough yarn for the hood, yikes! *^v^*), and thinking about making a video - everybody's making videos now and putting them on youtube, so I might as well! ^^
Monday, October 22, 2007
It's my first sell there, but I have a long history of the positive transactions both as a seller and a buyer on the biggest Polish auction website. I am honest and reliable, and you will get what you paid for, that's for sure! ^^
If you like my art, please support the housewife and provide her with some pocket money for the yarn and art supplies! *^v^*
I love placing more and more layers of paint, crayons, scraps, stamps.
I love shading which results in the shapes emerging in front of my eyes.
I love getting a sudden idea for a painting.
I love the smell of a varnish (I know, it stinks like hell!...).
I love the fact that I'm doing it with NO initial purpose to sell my paintings.
I love the fact that I may put them up for sale, if I choose.
I love to make something and not to judge the outcome.
I love the variety of ways in which I can express my ideas through painting & collage.
This one is called "Underwater", and it says 'One day I will move all my shells so they could live happily in the bathroom.' Which I will. As soon as we redecorate our bathroom next year (now they live on the bookshelves and in the boxes). *^v^*
- 11x16,5" cotton canvas by Talens
- acrylic paints
- watercolour crayons
- scraps from the French edition of by Agatha Christie
On ebay soon! *^v^*
(as soon as I figure out why it doesn't want to upload my photos!...)
And I was a good girl last weekend and finished knitting the fronts of my Lucinda cardi, time to cast on for the sleeves! *^v^*
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Couple of days ago I put on a pair of freshly washed trousers and on the same day I had glue on one knee, and today I found a smear of white paint across my belly, on a black blouse. I am messy with my art and I just have to protect the clothes!
Thank Heavens I'm using acrylics, watercolours and crayons, not oils! *^v^*
I finished one painting yesterday - "Russia" from my "Women" series.
10x14" cotton canvas,
scraps from the Russian fairytale
It will probably go on ebay soon, but I'm still considering this. ^^
I also started the next painting and I hope to finish it this weekend.
Some journal pages:
I invited my Muse for a cup of tea (I love tea! *^v^*).
I'm on a path to some places and I have to decide whether I want to make another step forward or go back.
Just a thought of the day. *^v^*
This weekend I'm painting and knitting. Have a great weekend, guys! *^v^*
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
To put it in a mild sort of way. ^^
I read that you can cover a surface with oil pastels and then smear it with some turpentine, so they become like the oil paints, all mixed together giving this dreamy looks. So I took my oil pastels, and covered the whole page with different colours, and then, very excited and anxious, I took a big cup of water - WATER?!... - and tried to make my oil pastels to run and smudge, and behave like paints. (Good I didn't rub a hole in a page, I rubbed the brush so desperately!...)
What was I thinking?!...
No, I obviously wasn't thinking, I had a moment of a blackout, my brain had a five minute coffee break or something...
Then I took some grocery sunflower oil on a piece of cloth and it smeared the oil pastels beautifully! I must buy turpentine for this purpose. *^v^*
I finished the sketching for the first painting of the "Women" series last night and today I'm working on the background, and generally moving on with my work.
I'll leave you with a quotation from an amazing colourful woman and a great artists,Violette:
"It's just art, folks, don't make a big deal out of it!"
Oh, and the photo at the beginning of the post? It's a chocolate I got last night from Robert, the dark one, my favourite! *^v^*
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Go and have your breasts checked, girls, is there a better month to do this than October, the breast cancer awareness month?
Also this morning I received my latest art supplies order:
- the cutest colours ever, Aquamarine and Flamingo Pink, for my new painting about the shells and underwater creatures
- the oil pastels - I've never used these, only the dry pastels, so new experiences - here I come! ^^
- I also bought two cotton canvases, 10x14" by Windsor&Newton (for the first painting of the "Women" series I have in my mind) and 11x16,5" by Talens (for the Underwater painting), which has an amazing texture and this company may be my favourite!
I can also show you my first work that is very dear to me, being a housewife. I call it "Girl loves..." series, and for now I have the cooking girl in love with her cooking! ^^
(8x8", acrylics, scraps of paper, stamps, varnish, on painters board - a canvas stretched on a piece of MDF)
The last photo shows the painting I made for a friend, but it's a surprise and she's going to receive it in the mail some time soon (I hope), so I cannot reveal it yet! *^v^*
Sunday, October 14, 2007
So, another post about making art (and listening to music! ^^).
I found something very interesting and mind stimulating on the blog by Deborah Gorr aka bee creative.
She writes about the interview with the artist Keri Smith, and she refers to her words:
"She writes about the process of creating as being important. This is one of the things that I work with everyday. Part of my work with one year old children is often to explain to parents that children this age have no sense of product, that it is all about process..."
That's what I partly seek in knitting and that's what I would like to understand about my painting. No sense of product, just the process. This is also connected with not judging myself and my work, because what's important is the process of making a drawing or a painting which should give me some pleasure or teach me something, not the final result that is a genius piece of art (who says so?) or a crap (again, who says so?).
I would like you all to meet the works two talented artists:
- my artistic friend Marti - Marti presents. She paints the incredibly beautiful women and dolls (she loves the Japanese and Korean dolls and owns a few). She is the one who went through a process of looking for the favourite media and style, and she still evolves. She is a great inspiration for me, so go to her site and have a look, if you have a moment. ^^
- the second artist is Paulette Insall - you may know her from YouTube art videos, she is painting beautiful women in my favourite technique - many layers, glued and painted. I love her paintings!
And one more thing - I'm listening to jazz! *^v^*
That's something new in my life, about a year ago I discovered Jamie Cullum and now I'm writing this and listening to the latest cd of Stacey Kent. I know, these are not the great classics, but I feel they will come to me eventually.
I need to jazz up my life a bit! *^v^*
Saturday, October 13, 2007
No, on to my art journal.
What I learnt while using my new Talens watercolours?
That the best tools are essential. By this I mean, the brush I got together with the set of paints. I have a mug full of brushes bought on a supermarket sale, and they are okay. But they loose their hair (which can be an interesting feature while creating the backgrounds, but still...), behave unpredictable and often leave the lines where I wanted a clean page. It may be fine, it may add to the artistic flavour of the page, but more often it is annoying, because it spoils the effect I wanted to achieve. I would even risk a statement that for an inexperienced painter like myself the more professional brush - the better, because it could help my untrained hand to paint what I envisioned in my head.
The Talens brush is perfect - smooth, wide but with a tip that can lead a precise 0,5 mm line, it's a pleasure to work with. And I'm not saying that I'm suddenly buying a whole set of highly professional, expensive brushes, but next time I'm buying some art supplies, a brush or two are definitely on my list!
Some pages from my journal:
Here I played with letters.
What a nice statement! ^^
Talens watercolours at work plus crayons - it's all about the stork, and how it could become the symbol of Poland (just as the moose is in Sweden, for example, you can see it everywhere!). I scanned it beyond the side of the page because I wanted to show you what I stapled onto it, just to be able to quickly find the next page.
Self portrait in watercolour crayons and pencil crayons, with some stamped border in acrylic paint.
My 1+1+1 response to Kal's challenge. I found this funny tape around the flat (Robert bought it some time ago), that you put into a pistol-like device and press out the letters in it, fun! ^^
Robert will laugh at this page, as he laughed at my habit - in my family we all loved broth and we had it every Saturday for dinner! *^v^*
I would like to walk along this street.
Some positive things about myself in a letter stapled onto a page, with me on a top! ^^
Watercolours practice - just wanted to see all the colours and then I didn't want to get rid of it, so I incorporated this page into my journal. Is there a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow?... ^^
I realized I love the fact that my art journal puts on weight and volume, I'd like it to be half-full already! ^^
Friday, October 12, 2007
Yes, I changed the name. It was supposed to be a huge loose cardigan, with a belt, but it's turning out short and fitted. Which is great, but it's a different design that I had in mind, hence the change of a name. *^v^*
As I wrote last time, I skipped the bobbles and I'm happy with it. Today I'm casting on for the fronts while anxiously waiting for the oil pastels I had ordered on Tuesday to arrive, yikes! *^v^*
BTW, I did some watercolour tests last Saturday with my trophy Talens paints, beautiful colours, I will show you the results along with some pages from my art journal tomorrow. ^^
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I so hate the place where we live...
It's very small (hallway-kitchen-diner in one plus bedroom-office-craftroom in one, 42 square meters).
It hasn't been properly renovated for over 20 years so you can imagine the state of the kitchen and bathroom... (we did some renovation on the bathroom when we moved in about 7 years ago but it needs a thorough redecoration).
It's on the ground floor, with a cold beaming from the basement (permanently cold floors), with millions of trees on one side blocking the light, and millions of people walking in front of our windows on the other.
It's close to the main door to the building and almost opposite the lift, so there are legions of people marching in and out, opening and shutting doors, with yapping dogs, kids shouting, ect, all day long.
It's not ours, but Robert's mother's, so we cannot just sell it and move somewhere else.
And now - not far from our balcony there is a small building and there used to be a grocery shop, but now somebody bought it and decided to install there games machines/flippers/whatever you call them, and there is a sign saying "Open 24 hours". How about that?...
I know people live in worse conditions, and I sympathize with them truly, and I don't know why it all just struck me today - a beautiful sunny not too cold day like this - but I feel down about our living space. Yes, we are planning to take a big renovation credit sometime in February or March 2008 and radically redecorate the whole flat, but it won't change the location, it won't change the size, the ground floor.
I so wish we could start somewhere new, the place we would choose and that would please us both. And yes, we could probably afford a two bedroom flat somewhere on the very far outskirts of Warsaw, with a 40 or 50 year mortgage...
I'm just not happy here.
(I'm sorry, I had to vent it somewhere, and Robert is already sick of listening to my ranting about it.)
The new issue of Ulla, the Finnish knitting magazine is on and there are several great patterns to make, for cardigans, socks and gloves, and first of all, beautiful designs by Tuulia. Oh, I wish I knew Finnish!
Anyway, I bookmarked some of the patterns and I'll try to decipher them or at least be inspired by the pretty cables and colors! Tuulia, thank you for your offer of help in translating the patterns! *^v^*
I'm knitting my coral cardigan according to the design from Sandra Oct'07, but I've changed the pattern a bit - I don't like bobbles so I'll skip them and knit the stockinette or pearl stitch instead. I may also knit it a bit longer than the original. I named my cardi - Lucy - in honor of the cardigan Lucy Liu wore in the movie Lucky Number Slevin. It's knitting up fairly quickly (6 mm needles), but I wonder whether I have enough yarn for the whole sweater, it seems to magically disappear (one out of 10 balls is already in this piece)... I may have to skip the hood, we'll see.
I also have the Secret of Chrysopolis Stole on the needles (and didn't add much since the last time I showed you the photo), and I thought I'd start the Secret of the Stole stole last Friday, but... after seeing some photos of the finished hint 1 I'm not so sure I like it. There is a lot of a stole and not much of a lace in it, just several single holes here and there. I'll wait and see what's it going to look like after the second clue this Friday. Even if it's not for me (a Christmas gift for some woman in the family), I don't want to knit and give something I don't like, it wouldn't be fair.
Thank you so much for all the nice words about my painting for Anna, she liked it a lot and I really appreciate your positive comments! (I think I need them so much because I didn't get them when I was a child...).
Anyway, I've been working on some new paintings, one of which is a surprise for somebody so I'll show it to you later. *^v^*
Have you seen this movie - Big Fish? I highly recommend it. It tells the story of a man with so much determination that he lives his life the way he really wants, he makes choices and sticks to them. The story about the man who perceives his life as a fairytale and it becomes one! ^^
And there's cute Ewan McGregor and Jessica Lange, and Helena Bonham Carter (all my favorites ^^), and many more.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I knit so I am a knitter and I paint - so I am a painter (among millions of other things I am! *^v^*).
My painting adventure started in my teenage years, when I got a box of oils and a canvas from my father for Christmas. He even constructed me an easel. ^^ I had no idea what I was doing, but I painted a picture - a person standing on the beach, looking over the stormy sea.
It was a crap.
I know you are not supposed to judge your creations like this, but from the technical point of view - it was terrible. I had no knowledge of the way to use oils, how to draw human figure, how to place shades on water and the sky... It didn't want to get dry (now I know the oil paints can dry even for 6 months, but then I was just getting more and more impatient with them... ^^).
The painting landed on a closet and I didn't bother myself with oils anymore.
When I've started to create an art journal recently, I thought about coming back to painting. I didn't choose oils, but watercolours and acrylics, as the easier media (for me).
For my birthday present for my best friend I started with an idea in my head, about Anna being so much into Gothic climates, and her beloved dog, and how I'd like to present them both, and what techniques I'd like to use.
I made a sketch first, then shaded the face and the body with watercolour crayons and did all the first layers - the floor, the curtains, the green wall. Then I started to add more layers with stamps and scraps of paper and a piece of lace, and work on the detailing.
Here is the final version:
I learned a lot while working on this painting - how acrylics behave with added water and without it, what I can do with a crayon, how different surfaces show the paints and the crayons, that a varnish does not smear the painting (this was my biggest fear! ^^).
The painting has been done on a canvas stretched over the wooden frame, so I painted also the sides of it.
- cotton canvas on a wooden frame 35 cm x 45 cm
- a piece of watercolour paper glued on the canvas for the hight effect
- watercolour crayons
- acrylic paints (Renesans)
- scraps from the short story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe
- white lace
- self-made rubber stamps for the pattern effects
- date stamp
- acrylic varnish I like the hight effect of the thick watercolour paper I placed over the canvas and I think I'll use it in the future paintings, too. Also the difference between the super smooth surface of the paper and the bumpy surface of the canvas is almost sculptural.
There are lots of colours and patterns, and that's what I like about this painting - it's so vibrant and heterogeneous, being me - I couldn't make anything else. ^^ And I'm really happy to send it away from home because I can feel more to come, so when handing it to Anna tomorrow I won't regret seeing it go.
And yes, I said "future paintings", because I want to paint more, and I even started another piece already. *^v^*
This morning a postman brought me my prize from the art shop - a small box of watercolours - they are too cute!...
They are called a pocket box paints because they really are a pocket size, plus a paper pad and a water bag - how cool is that?!... *^v^*
Now I'll just have to fight my "I'm so scared to start using this because it's so professional and new, and..." fear! *^v^*
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I like the size and coziness of this cardigan, but it has some very simple cables, too simple for my taste, I'd knit something more elaborate here. ^^
This one has a nice waist part that differs from the upper and lower parts.
This one is a strong contender for the coral wool I bought this week! *^v^*
This one I'm knitting next month, irrespective of anything! ^^ I love it in this colour!
This one has a nice shape, fitted at the waist, with bell sleeves. In white preferably.
Very stylish, in white for me.
I have almost finished my painting for Anna, just giving it an overnight break to check whether I want to add anything to it or not, and then the coat of varnish...
I hope to take photos tomorrow or on Saturday, on Sunday is Anna's birthday and she's coming to our place for diner, so she'll receive her gift. *^v^*