Archive for December, 2015
Instead of getting anything done ever I am now watching these Vines and giggling at my desk. Did I mention I work in an open floor plan? My co-workers are very lucky to be in my presence.
I think Buzzfeed has run out of ideas. Stop, Buzzfeed. Just stop.
Seriously, call it a day.
Look at this mesmerizing gif of someone pouring mercury into a martini glass.
And this amazing mural in an old church.
And this jaunty festive caterpillar who turns into a slightly less festive but lovely nonetheless moth.
I know I’ve been super-lackadaisical with my posting of late and I don’t want anyone to think it is because I have given up on blogging. That is way far from the truth. It’s because I’ve been so busy, all in positive ways. But I think work is slowing a wee bit and now I can blog at the furious pace (like two posts a week, but still) I had become accustomed to.
One thing I’ve been tackling is my kitchen. Ah, my kitchen. The Sisyphean task I took on, what, seventeen years ago or something? It feels like that. But the last of my glass arrived and now I’m in the home stretch (Hallelujah Moses!). I put the white strips of glass over the white paint I laid down. And just to clarify, but white glass, I mean opaque white, semi-transparent white, as well as very pale brown, yellow and blue. I wanted nuances of white, not a flat white. It looks a bit aged which is pretty cool.
After I finished all of those I tackled the trees. I made trapezoids and rectangles and irregular quadrilaterals out of clear glass with little bubbles in it, rounded all their corners using a grinder and glued them to onto the wall. It took seven hours to do the big trees and two and a half hours to do the small trees. And since I was making up the patterns on the fly I had to stop every two or three pieces and assess how I would proceed. It was a tough process but it would have been infinitely harder if I had planned where every piece was going to go.
After that I made the orange dots that go in the center of the branches. I can’t take full credit for the delightful blobular branches. I realized afterwards that I had totally ripped off another artist, a great lowbrow one named Jeff Soto. See?
I don’t feel bad about it, I’m not making any money off of this project and it’s my kitchen anyway. Where was I? I was making the orange dots in the middle of the branches. I bought semi-transparent orange glass and then I traced circles onto it, roughly cut them out and then ground down any edges so they were round coins. Then I painted the backs with gold paint so they would be opaque and have a faint shimmer.
Then I made the branches a dark red which look like a warm black, very nice, and now all that’s left is for me to do big background squares and I’m done. Done, I tell you! Home stretch!
But wait, there’s more! In addition to working on my kitchen and doing my full-time job I was asked to make the photo op for our holiday party. And, like everything I do I went a wee bit overboard. I designed seven mountains composed of patterns containing our company colors (pink, purple and red) plus gold and silver. The three big mountains are on a background covered in snowflakes but the four smaller mountains go in the foreground, giving the photo op some depth. Here’s a rough mock-up I made so people would understand my vision.
The studio we have (that have large format printers) printed out the back part and all the smaller mountains were printed and cut out. All I had to do was prop them up.
But nope. This is when I got really excited, went to Michael’s, bought $300 worth of crafty goodness and started making glittery, three-dimensional bits and pieces. It looked like it took no time at all but it actually took twenty-five hours or so. Crazy how things take a long time if you want them to be tidy and nice. Totally worth it. It turned out excellent. Here is a lovely photo of me installing the photo op in the space.
And here are some people posing with it. I feel very pleased with myself. *Pats self on back*
Now that those projects are completed (or semi-completed) I shall hopefully get back to my usual schedule of getting things done (and blogged) in a reasonable amount of time.
Addendum: I got some decent pictures of the three-dimensional aspects of the mountains.
The equator! What Ecuador is named after. The equator runs right through and I got to visit it. It was weirder than I expected. We did some scientific stuff standing on the actual line and things did not go how I anticipated. But first, some Quito pics.
A tree in the giant park in the middle of town. The parks were lovely. There are artists along one whole edge with all different styles of paintings for sale.
We went to a market that the locals shop at. It was intense. Everything was out and the meat and fish were fine (meaty and fishy, to be expected) but the vegetable and fruit section, I could have hung out there all day.
There were giant piles of fresh herbs. There was a lady who only sold potatoes. She must have had fifteen or twenty different kinds. And, as with most places in the world that are not the United States, you could bring your dog in with you.
We also went to a authentic sorbet maker. In the olden days a donkey would carry down ice from the tops of the mountains that would be put in a large tub with salt. Now they use regular freezer ice but the rest of the process remains the same. A big flat-bottomed bronze pan with two handles is placed on the ice and fruit juice mixed with sugar is poured in. The the sorbet-person uses the handles to spin spin spin the bronze pan and uses a wooden spoon to move the juice mixture around the bottom. Eventually all the juice freezes and boom, sorbet. The one we saw being made was from local blackberries. It was delicious.
Okay, the equator. It’s actually part of a whole teaching space sponsored by the Ecuadorian government. We learned about the cultures that lived around there. We saw a human shrunken head and a sloth’s shrunken head.
And in the same area was THE WORST TAXIDERMY I HAVE EVEN SEEN. EVER. I started laughing so hard, I felt bad for the guide. I tried to explain that it had nothing to do with him but I couldn’t breathe and had to go sit down for a minute. Here, allow me to share some of these magical creatures with you. The two most incorrect ones were the ocelot:
And the anaconda. Oh dear Lord, the anaconda. Are… are those eyes hot-glued on?
The sideshow creatures were the only sub-par element there. Everything else was beautiful. The landscaping was particularly lovely.
We were shown an ancient sundial which told you only three times a day – morning, midday and afternoon. It was scary how on point it was. It was almost exactly 4:00 in the afternoon and look, the shadow is right on the 4. Amazing.
I didn’t know much about the equator.
I’ve mentioned this before but in high school I took Biology for Football Players and Poets in my senior year. My STEM skills are weeeeeeak. So every experiment the guide did was like a miracle for me. For example, he had a sink that wasn’t hooked up to anything, it simply had a bucket underneath. When he positioned the sink and bucket six feet to the left of the equator (in this case it was in the Southern hemisphere) and poured water into it, the water swirled in one direction. Then he moved the bucket and sink six feet into the Northern Hemisphere, repoured the water and it swirled in the other direction. Finally, he positioned the sink and bucket directly on the equator and the water went straight down. The next experiment we did was balancing an egg on a nail head. You can do that on the equator you know. (I did not know.) My niece Drea was the only one with the steady hands to do it. We were all very proud.
Finally, the guide asked us to walk heel to toe along the red line. None of us could go more than three steps. Apparently that is because when you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere and you walk like that, you only get pulled in one direction so you can self-correct. One the equator you are being pulled very gently in both directions, enough so that your balance is quite compromised. Science!
There you go, the end of my trip. It was scary and exciting and thrilling and wonderful and I’m glad I went. If you wish to do the same trip, here is the company I went with.