Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Secondly, there's a pretty map showing how much of each state's total electrical power could be supplied by wind power generation within their state. Talk about going local! There's also a link to the full report about energy self sufficiency. Read it here.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I got my first image from Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page. I also watched her video which gave me really great tips on using the tools and how to make carving easier. Here's the stamp. I've used commercial batik fabric with spirals on it so I was very interested in doing something similar but with my own feel to it. This one started with a 4x6 block of stamp material.
Here's two images from this stamp. The one in purple ink was the first one. That's when I discovered that my eye was used to the lines I use in my silkscreen work and for stamping the lines needed to be thicker and stronger. I also didn't like the straight edges with all those curves so I shaped the edges as much as I could with the material left on the edge of the stamp. The black print is after the modifications. It came out much closer to what I was looking for.
I found this material pretty easy to carve. It's the Speedball beige stuff. Stampeaz mentions in the description they have for it that it can be crumblier over time. I'll try the other 2 materials I have from the sampler pack and see what I think. More about that later, as I get more carving time in.
Then I moved on to the brayer. I got the smallest one, which made it harder to hold onto it while carving. I didn't slice myself up, but I did slip and prick my finger a couple of times. Obviously some work to do here with the technique - probably both the holding and being more aware of my finger being in front of the carving tool's leading edge. Here's the brayer and how it did on paper in one picture. I missed inking all of it, so I filled the blanks in with blue ink so I could see where the gaps were easier. It was harder to ink the brayer evenly. The print pictured here was done with silkscreen ink spread lightly onto a paper plate.
I liked how this one worked to give me the continuous line of image, but the surface doesn't hold much ink so it fades fairly quickly. I will have to experiment to see how to improve this.
Next up, doing stamping with these stamps on fabric. Fun times ahead!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
First and foremost, Meghan says, "suck it up and get some fenders." She's right. Far worse than any downpour is the rain and road muck that your tires heave up onto your legs, face, and back as you ride -- not to mention into the face of anyone unlucky enough to find themselves riding behind you.
Planning your wardrobe is just as important. Judicious investments are key. Wearing technical rain gear can mean getting just as damp from sweat as you would from a light rain, but it can save you from getting drenched in a downpour. Here are Meghan's suggestions as you find that wardrobe balance:
- Wear black. Or brown. Or dark colors and patterns. Black bottoms don't show rain and mud and a black top doesn't show sweat when you get overheated wearing a rain jacket.
- Wear wool if you can. I love my wool tights. They're not cheap, but you can get them in the off-season on sale, and they're totally worth it. Guys, go for wool pants. They're sexier than khakis anyway. Seriously.
- Don't ever wear cotton in the rain. You'll regret it for hours. (The stuff takes forever to dry!) Even synthetics are better than cotton if you can't or don't wear wool.
- If it's truly pouring, I accept that I'm going to get wet and go bare legged. I wear shoes that dry quickly (like Crocs or Melissa brand shoes). I dry off MUCH quicker than everyone else! (If you decide to fight it, try some rainboots. I like the Tretorn ones because they're lined, but you can get any ol' boots and put some sealant on them and they'll do the job.)
- A tight cap under your helmet will sop up rain and keep water from trickling through your hair and down your face.
- Invest in a good-lookin' raincoat! Like the kind you'd wear to walk down the street. You don't have to look like you're mountaineering every day.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I feel it still needs some work to highlight the splitting/openings in the background but I'm not sure exactly how I'll be doing that. We shall see...
My current show is at the Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirkland, WA. The gallery is in the sanctuary so my work can be seen when the sanctuary is open for functions and during church office hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30 - 1:30pm). I learned a lot about picking work for a show and hanging my pieces so this has already been a fabulous experience. I hope to have an artist reception sometime before the show comes down in early November.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This article about bike sharing caught my eye this morning. There's a 4 minute video which is not only pretty to watch but informative. See it here. I'm sure this system works best in areas where there are compact business districts, but I can also see it working where there are large companies with say 35,000 employees (says the woman living 2 miles from Microsoft). Have a few of these racks, and reasonable transit connections, and voila, your employees don't have to commute by car and still be able to run errands or go out for lunch. Fewer parking garages, less traffic congestion, sounds like an overall win to me. The video is about the system in Minneapolis. There are currently systems in Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisc., and Denver. Boston is planning one. Notice how they all have winter?
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I stopped first at the rowing club pond where I was greeted by a Steller's Jay intent on posing for as many pictures as I wanted to take. Another favorite bird and one I needed a picture of for an art piece I'm doing about my son's joining the Air Force and leaving the nest. So I was pleased to get such great shots. Here's one of them.
Then I got to the pond where I was dismayed at the number of trees that have been cut down for the construction they are doing. I had hoped for wood ducks here but had to settle for this lovely couple. And I am once again reminded that I have to relearn my ducks every year. *sigh*
After taking some pictures of the turtles, I proceeded to the main area of the park, and the marshy part of the slough which is often an excellent spot to see swallows. Alas, no swallows, but I did get over a hundred shots of two different herons hunting in the marshy area. One caught something while I was watching but I only got shots before and after the strike, so nothing dramatic there.
It was about 3:30pm so the light was angled and I think the heron shots came out well.
I plan to reward myself for doing my 3x a day exercises by taking short local bird walks and carrying my camera along. So expect to see more pictures in the future on a regular basis.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
here's a link from today's email that discusses exactly how much benefit an electric car will be and in which ways that can be increased. I must admit, I'm impressed by the numbers: 80% of gasoline burned in a car engine is waste heat, while 80% of electrical power goes to moving the vehicle. I still prefer the idea of a hybrid at least until the electrical cars can go further before charging but we're a one car family. (and I promise to go look up asap the commands for hotlinks. That or figure out how to get the composer working...)
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I go in for knee joint replacement surgery tomorrow so today is the final day to pick up all the rugs in the house, and pack my suitcase and whatever other prep I haven't gotten done yet. It's not a bad day to be stuck in the house considering the several inches of snow we got last night. And considering how cute the birds are in the backyard as they land on the branches en route to the feeder scattering snow as they land and launch. I got several nice pictures, and I wanted to share this one of a chickadee. Usually, I see the chestnut-backed chickadees predominate but today it's the black-capped ones. Their coloring is less dramatic, more subtle and I always enjoy watching them play in the trees.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I've recently joined the NWCS, and I'm looking forward to my first show with them. One of my favorite pieces, Hummer's Comfort (shown above), was juried into the show and I'm curious to see how it shows next to the mostly paper collage most of the members do. I'm not sure I'll be able to attend the reception on March 11 because I'll still be in the recovery/rehab phase of my knee joint replacement but I will try to be there. I'd love to get feedback from anyone who is able to see the show so please, if you go, post a comment or email me directly. Thanks!
Monday, January 31, 2011
The second most surprising bird, or actually birds, are the pair of varied thrush who have been in my yard every day since I put seed in the feeder. I saw these birds at our previous house infrequently, at best. Here, I'm seeing them daily, and have only seen a robin once in the six weeks I've been feeding the birds here.
Most surprising is the pileated woodpecker who has been here 3 days in the last week. Pileateds are big, and flashy, and usually like the deep woods so seeing one in my yard a half mile south of the local shopping center is surprising.
I'm also getting some good shots of favorites, like the Northern Flicker who argued with the Pileated about who had priority at the feeder. (The Pileated won, unsurprisingly. )
I'm getting some great pictures, and once I have the knee replacement surgery the end of February, and my back heals, I'm hoping to make some fabulous art based on the photos.