March 2009 Archives
From 8:30 to 9:30 this evening, we participated in Earth Hour. We talked in the dark, and then I drew one of our candles.
Inspired by reading about cardboard automata on the San Francisco Exploratorium's website, I decided to try to make one today, using their instructions as a jumping off point. I've always loved wooden toys with moving parts, so it was great fun to invent my own with recycled materials from around the house. I used a small cardboard box, two chopsticks, scissors, hot glue, masking tape, an awl, and a pencil (just for making holes bigger). From the printed information and from practice, I learned about cams and cam followers. I'm still not sure why I made it, or why the bird and flower, but I enjoyed the process immensely, and I think it took less than an hour.
Youngest child has decided to grow her hair.
I wonder if we are observing a kind of population cycle with these covered rubber bands. They appear to multiply on their own, through some kind of secret cellular division when we aren't looking, and then just when the house seems to be at carrying capacity, the population shrinks abruptly and I have to buy more before they disappear altogether. More study is needed to determine the key factors in this cycle. My current working theory explores the idea that such population shifts are related to the fluctuations in the number of unmatched black socks in the household. Other theories are welcome...
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has - or ever will have - something inside that is unique to all time."
Clean-up day in our tiny neighborhood park. You wouldn't think that a triangle of grass and trees behind a brick warehouse could accumulate so much organic litter, but the trees along the sidewalks are ancient gingkos, and in addition to their leaves, they carpet the ground with stinky fruit. The afternoon was warm, and the company congenial. After helping rake for a while, oldest son read beneath a pin oak.
We've been saving flat styrofoam trays from the grocery store, the ones which come with packaged meat or vegetables. Now that it's spring vacation, our plan is to make block prints with them - they are very easy to "carve" with a blunt pencil or wooden skewer. You can dip them in poster paint and then make prints. (This apple is an idea sketch as I think about ways to play with line and shape.)
This big block of graphite was found by a friend when three of us went for a walk along the railroad tracks this afternoon. I persuaded them to let me have it for drawing. It's harder than my other graphite sticks (and far larger). I feel a little as if I'm drawing with a brick, but the enforced clumsiness is liberating. Now I need to get out some bigger sheets of paper...
Happy to be home again, with vacation just beginning. Was moving slowly (night flight plus time change) and decided to map this piece of ginger with my fine point fountain pen. I felt as if I were in a rowboat, bumping up against an uneven shore, as the shape bellied out over me and then receded again.
I am enjoying my conference time. This morning I let myself watch the audience for a while, during one of the keynote talks. I will be happy to get back to everyday routine, but in the meantime am meeting new people, listening and talking, and learning, learning, learning.
Conductive thread and a sewing needle. I spent part of my morning in electronic arts and crafts.
This lemon felt tropical to me today, although we are just beginning to feel the pale warmth of spring. At one point in the afternoon, I was running an errand between the buildings and felt sun on my shoulders. I stood still and let it warm me - just for a moment, probably less than 45 seconds - let my breathing slow down, let my mind list what I could hear. Birds. Distant traffic. Was that a train? A leaf blew across the playground, and I heard it rustle against the blacktop. It stopped. I began walking again, but more slowly.
Today was exelauno day. I observed it by going on a work-related day trip. Hope others also had a chance to march forth. (The beads are left over from an unrelated celebration...)
I'm headed out of town in a few days for a couple of nearly back-to-back trips. I ought to be packing or organizing things... instead, I am sitting on the sofa, staring dreamily at my right hand. The house is quiet. I've already turned down the heat, and I can imagine my soft and warm bed. And I keep looking at my hand... and then moving paint around on the paper.
The first few rows of the next project, a cardigan sweater. I'm knitting with two strands of a black stainless steel and wool blend - after another row, I'll be adding a third strand of dark denim blue raw silk. The stainless blend fiber has a slightly stiff texture, and knit on these larger needles (6s) it has a lacy feel. (Yarn from Habu Textiles.)