Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday is farmer's market day! Stood in the corn line for another dozen ears today-- at this one family's stand, there's always this really long line this time of year. People new to the area see us waiting and ask, "what's so great about this corn? Why is everyone standing in this line?-- it's not as if they're the only corn vendors there. Well, then one day you get there early enough that the line is short enough, and you try it to see what the fuss is all about. Then you see. It's the sweetest corn at the market. I buy extra every week so I have 4-5 pounds to freeze to hold me through the winter till the next summer. In mid-February, it tastes even sweeter.

It was also pear and plum week at the one fruit stand I like-- Olde Lane Orchard-- I like to make jam/preserves and give it away at the holidays. (And also eat it myself). I've already made several jars of peach jam, which I do every year (this year, it's triple lemon peach: peach infused with lemon verbena, lemon thyme, and lemon zest). I haven't made pear preserves yet because the pears are always too good and I end up eating them all. I got 2 boxes today, hopefully that will be enough. This time of year I live on watermelon, peaches, pears, tomatoes, and corn.

Lately I've been a bit obsessed with the idea of doing some 2D work-- in particular, dyed paper, mosaic, and calligraphy on gallery-wrapped canvases. It was a bit of a puzzle since I know nothing about things 2D -- such as whether paper will stick to canvas, what to coat it with to protect it, etc. etc. Did some research and finally I bought a little canvas and gave it a try. Dyed paper affixed to a stretch canvas with wheat paste, then coated with matte medium and acrylic varnish. Here's the result! I think it's promising.

My experiment in rust and midnight.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

I know, it seems like every other day here is Friday Cat Blogging. It's an anchor that provides some discipline to this enterprise. I'll do the obligatory kitty picture, then add another post not about cats soon. Really.
I have no stories to tell about the cats this week. They resent their strict feeding schedule. Vindaloo has taken to nesting on my computer desk. Ballyhoo is making some progress on his book. He likes to work on it out on the deck, under the bench.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Well, the vacation really threw me off my schedule for Project Panglossia. I'm so far behind now, it isn't funny. And realistically, I'll fall behind again. Spending hours every other day trying to figure things out in a totally new language is unnecessarily stressful, resource-intensive, and would probably lead to dumb mistakes sooner or later. Besides, I'm willing to bet that nobody cares about the timetable but me. Therefore I reject my arbitrary timetable of one per day, and am going to stick to a revised, more manageable schedule of one language (2-3 pieces) per week.

Now that that's taken care of, here's Somali! In desert colors for our friends in the Horn.

ii sheeg = 'tell me'

dhageysan= 'listen'

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Here's the calligraphy piece I did while on vacation. Not bad for not having any art supplies on me. That coke can pen thing is the best trick I've learned in a while (well, apart from the trick with the spork and the penguin, but I think that goes without saying).

I love this poem.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday cat blogging

I'm back! And slowly getting back into the swing of things. I'm not very quick at recovering from travel. I never did give my friend the calligraphy piece I made for her-- I didn't have any appropriate packaging for it, and didn't have time to acquire any before the wedding. I'll ship it to them eventually (but not before taking a picture of it for here!).

One of my stops on the visit was with my mom in Florida, and her cat, Hunter. He's so named because, um, he hunts. A lot. Which is bad news for the small fauna in the vicinity. He's also a very snuggly fellow. As you can see.

What doesn't come across well in these photos is just how BIG he is. He's even bigger than Ballyhoo, who usually elicits "Wow, that's a BIG cat!" from people meeting him for the first time. Hunter is enormous, with very short hair, and muscular. He's reminds me of a greyhound (except, he's a cat.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

I ended up making a decent 9x12 calligraphic version of ee cummings' 'love is a place' for a friend who's getting married this weekend.  

Later today I'm off to the wedding: Gainesville via Orlando. I haven't been back to Gville in some time, and am kinda looking forward to it. Hope to score some Dixie Lily grits, which Kroger doesn't seem to carry, whether it's the Indiana Kroger or a Tennessee Kroger. I'm hoping Publix still carries them. One needs one's grits.

My cold has progressed apace-- now in the coughing phase. Hope I can get my head cleared out before I have to get on the plane (ugh).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm in lovely Lake Luzerne, NY this week, which is near Corinth, which is near Saratoga Springs, which has horses. 

I managed to get a cold, and have a nice sore throat today coupled with foreshadowings of a runny nose to come. I blame the airports and all the people at them.

Not content to simply relax (or rather, when you're an artist, relaxation and work match up rather nicely), I bought some nice paper and gouache at the art supply store in Saratoga. Now I just need to make me one of those soda can pens, and I'll be good to go.  The art supply store was actually in the back of a ghastly tourist sundries store, which had the most spectacularly ugly hats I've seen in some time. But the art store portion itself was remarkably well stocked, and arrayed like a good used book store-- some digging was necessary, but treasures were there to be found. Nothing makes me quite as happy as shopping for art supplies.

Also popped into a couple of galleries, and bought a pair of mugs by Marge Margulies.  Mine is green on the outside and aqua inside, and has no handle. The philosopher picked a dark red one with a handle.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Next language up: Crow, an endangered language of southern Montana. My first try at a Native American language.

Have I mentioned that I'm loving this project? I think I have, but it bears repeating. I get to play with what I love about language, see what kinds of cool things different languages have in their grammars. All just for the joy of it. This love of language variation is what got me into linguistics in the first place. Now instead of writing papers on it, I get to...hmm...write it on paper. Hmmm. And wear it on my sleeve for all to see, instead of having like, all of five people ever read what I've written.

Enough! On to the jewelry, performed for you today in Crow....

'dissikisshih' I'm translating as 'dance your heart out'-- 'disshi-' is 'dance', and the '-kisshih' part is the 'sportive' suffix, meaning to do something with energy and a spirit of fun.

And here's 'listen', diikukkuh.
Of course, I also did 'tell me', and of course, guess what Blogger did? Yep. Turned it sideways. I retook the photo and tried to upload a whole new file, to no avail. So weird. Sorry to keep whining about this but it does it EVERY TIME I upload photos. And that makes me whiny.
You can see the other one here.

Friday cat blogging

One of the things to remember to do when working with resin is to cover the pieces up until they're cured. They stay sticky for a long time, and the last thing you want is bits of dust or small flies or who knows what getting stuck on them. So I cover the tray I the pieces are on with an extra one of my display frames (a picture frame with screening on the back that I can hang things from), and cover the whole thing with a towel. It's been working pretty well, until the last three days when it seems that SOMEONE has decided that that little towel-draped platform in the back of the dark garage is just the perfect place to hang out, watch for bugs to eat, and get away from the pressures of everyday life.

So far two of my frames have had the screens pulled away from the edges form the weight, and I've had to sand the heck out of a few pieces to remove the grid impressions.

I think I know who did it. The only question is, could she have thought of this herself? Or are both cats in on it?

(Actually, the real question is, where can I move the trays to now that this behavior is becoming a habit...?)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The IN Crowd's July drive to donate a portion of our online sales to flood relief in Columbus has ended and was a great success! I don't think we have a final tally yet for the whole group, but I'm happy to say I was able to donate $35. A drop in the bucket given the extent of the flood damage, but haba na haba hujaza kibaba*, as they** say. A big thank you to everyone who purchased from me in July!

* 'little by little fills the pot'
** The Swahili

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


First a correction-- when I wrote about the 'biaaa' ACEO the other day, I incorrectly said that Kisi was spoken in Tanzania. Well, there is a Kisi spoken there-- but not the one I'm using. Apparently there's more than one. This Kisi is spoken on the other side of the continent, around the three-way border between Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

So here are three Kisi pieces:
[Look! Blogger did it again. Picked my favorite piece and turned it sideways. AAAUUUGGHHH!
I'll fix it later if I can.]

tuei 'listen'

dimul ya 'tell me'

bakala-bakala, an ideophone meaning the sound of big, fat raindrops.
More fun from my homemade pen. Just a doodle.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I want to make a new necklace but am stymied by color. Tried for midnight and rust; we'll see how it comes out. May have to have another go of it tomorrow.

Tonight I am drinking some new Darjeeling I got recently. Thurbo Estate FTGFOP1 Second Flush, to be precise. It's absolutely delicious. I'm a huge fan of the long, sweet finish, and this one has it in spades. Unfortunately, I only ordered the sample size, so I only have a few cups' worth.

Also, reading the poetry of Edgar Lee Masters. I hadn't heard of him before stumbling across him in Project Gutenberg, but I think I'm a fan.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I recently stumbled across these instructions for making a calligraphy pen from a soda can, and had a go at it. It's very easy to do and fun to use! Here are mine (they ain't pretty, but they do the job):

They're best for doing BIG letters, I've found, and produce beautiful results when you have room to make a grand gesture with your lettering arm. Unfortunately, not so good for using on jewelry! I made the smaller pen in the hopes that I could get the same freedom and beauty the large pen allows, but on the tiny scale I use in my work. It hasn't worked out yet; even the smaller pen makes only relatively large letters. It makes me want to do enormous wall art!
My compromise was this artist card (ACEO), lettered with the smaller soda can pen. The language is Kisi, spoken by around 10,00 people in the Lake Malawi region of Tanzania. It's an ideophone (kinda like an onomatopoeia) that means 'the sound of rain falling softly'. The marks above the vowels are tone markers, again. The effect is an accent on the i and a gradual falling tone for the a's. Thought it was very evocative.

Some jewelry in Kisi coming soon.

Friday Cat Blogging

Our Vinda Lou, she is so elegant.