Sunday, July 28, 2013

This week I...

... went to a Social Sketch meetup! I wasn't sure if everyone else would be drawing from memory, or if we were meant to be drawing other people in the pub (which I wouldn't be up for, they are not there for staring at), so I brought my little carved tree spirit to have something unobtrusive to draw. I was happy enough with some of the drawings, though handing around sketch pads at the end made me want to crawl into a hole. I wanted to look at other people's though, so it would have been unsporting not to though mine onto the pile, though I couldn't refrain from pointing out that I had only restarted drawing again three weeks ago, after five years of next to nothing.

I have a knee-jerk aversion to the word 'sketch'. When I was in fifth year, my art teacher told the class that from now on, nothing we did would be a 'sketch'. Sketches are rough, incomplete, not a full piece in themselves, and if that is the mindset with which you're approaching your work, you're not putting in the effort which will make you better. From now on, we would only draw. While I've drawn very irregularly since then, I've held onto that lesson. I draw roughly, lazily, badly, but I don't sketch.

... drew some other things with which I was varying degrees of happy! These were on the middle to upper end of the scale.

Reference was this illustration, but a decent-sized version in a book.

"It's what people do, isn't  it? Leave a note?"


 ... made Oreo truffles from this recipe! I can make tasty food, but I cannot make pretty food, and while looks aren't everything, I see something like this and feel shoddy by comparison. (I want nothing like I want to friendship-court that person.) On the plus side, they were delicious.

... took part in the Colour Dash! (More great photos here.) I had been under the impression that we'd be running through a constant barrage of paint dust, but I suppose in retrospect that would be terrible for people's breathing. There was a paint-throwing station at the 500m mark of each kilometre. (The figure I heard floating around as to the amount of paint was nine hundred tonnes, so perhaps my way was logistically impractical as well as unsafe.) It was only five kilometres, but I was trying to match pace with my far more athletic sister for the first two and a half, and even though she slowed down on my behalf my legs are feeling it today! The photos don't really convey the full extent of the colourful paintiness.

 ... finished another pair of Ailbhe gloves! This pair are in a DK yarn rather than aran, so the fabric isn't so stiff, with a seersucker stitch pattern.

... saw Dylan Moran at the Comedy Festival in the Iveagh Gardens! Life goal accomplished, though I'd still love to see him perform a full set. By the time the opening act had been on for a minute I was cringing inwardly and knotting my hands around each other in sympathetic embarrassment (Also, if your shtick or sense of humour revolves around making fun of people who aren't you, I don't trust you. If you think jokes about driving while high are a big lol, ha ha ha you might hit someone or injure them for life and that's so edgy), but by the time Dylan Moran had been on for a minute my face hurt from laughing. It was all new material as well, and really top-notch.

"The truth is, we are all going to die. We are all going to die. And people hate when you say that. Especially if you say it during sex."

... started my October birthday knitting! Will this be the year I'm finally organised for all of the gift-giving occasions in the latter quarter of the year? Hahaha no, Jen, that was a stupid question. But a girl can hope!

A productive week, all told!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Paris Je T'aime

I went to Paris last weekend! Here is some photographic evidence.

Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, and the Eiffel Tower from the wrong end of the Champs-Élysée. I brought my nice SLR camera, but as it uses film it will be a while before I do anything with the photos. Some of the the photos from my digital camera were unexpectedly quite nice, though.

I really love the fact that they have a permanently installed open-air book market along the canal. But not as much as I love...

Shakespeare and Company! It's a wonderful English-language bookshop. Stepping inside feels like stepping back in time, but for the covers on the books. It's like the old Chapters on Abbey Street, but with even more nooks and crannies. It is the sort of shop where a story should unfold. A lovely aspect of it is that they allow writers to stay for free in exhange for a few hours' work.

I took this photo because the title of the book on the far right makes it sound like Louisa May Alcott was writing for Mills and Boone for a while, but even more exciting than that is the fact that the book on the far left is about a haunted yarn shop. My boyfriend bought it for me. I'm embarrassingly excited to read it, but also apprehensive, because how can it possibly live up to that premise?

Go to France, buy English books. In my defence, the one at the bottom of the pile was for my mother. Against my defence, I went back two days later and bought myself another book.

This was written on the inside of the Sherlock Holmes collection, which came from the second-hand box. Hard luck, Matthieu.

The inside of the top floor of the Musée D'Orsay. I like this picture because it looks like some 1930's sci-fi.

This picture does not accurately depict how much this ice-cream looked like a flower, or how delicious it was.

I went to the Louvre and drew some sculptures. This one of Hercules turned out better than my drawings are prone to doing!

I am trying to get back into the habits of both drawing and proper photography (though films slows things down, and I really should join a photography club). Proof of same may start appearing.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The direwolve is back

My friend Steph is going a long long way away - whole continents and time zones! - so I made a going-away direwolf, because I express affection best through food and material goods, and I'm pretty sure U.S. customs are fussy about letting food in. It also means that if she starts to forget me, at least my image will be replaced by that of this wolf.

The tiny animals and creepy dog oven mitt are courtesy of Steph for my birthday. The tiny animals are actually rubbers, but who could ruin their tiny adorableness?

Please enjoy also the pre-detail "I have no mouth, and I must scream" version. Things which should have faces but don't are one of my favourite kinds of creepy.

The pattern is the Direwolf/Wolf Pattern, so it can be read either way, and if Game of Thrones or all of fantasy ever becomes annoying it can go back to being a standard wolf. It's very straightforward (while I was crocheting I didn't think some things would end up looking right, but I had faith, and I think they did) and I like how it turned out. I used DK cotton with a 3.75mm hook instead of a bulky yarn, and given the size this turned out I think a bulky one would have been quite huge. I sort of wish I'd measured its dimensions before I gave it away, so that I could make it seasonally appropriate costumes. Tiny Santa hat, tiny St. Patrick's mitre, tiny pumpkin... something... I just like dressing things up as other things. I'm not well, Harry.