September 27, 2008

Adrift

Posted in blogging tagged , , , , , , , at 7:45 pm by czygyny

I haven’t felt much like writing my feelings and doings in a blog lately. My fears for the future of us all is not something I wish to burden others with, although I know there is a time of rejoicing later. I am troubled in spirit.

I have a lot of things I would write about if I could just make myself sit and start typing.

Still…

I have been taking pictures of course, and here are some of my favorites.

The first is my new betta! I have a beautiful cobalt blue female, too, but I couldn’t get a good image of her.

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One of my favorite flowers to bloom in the spare and dry autumn time is Lycoris radiata, a relative of the much larger pink ‘Naked Lady’ lily. These flowers come up from bare ground and get about 12″ tall.

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This is a new banana leaf, unfurling. The three green tones caught my eye, the two shades causing a deeper shadow of color on the bottom.

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The sun came up on the equinox morning, giving a twice a year shadow to my rusty sawblade collection.

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The last one is a stunning green dragonfly that spent the night on my harvest decoration on my front porch. He just sat there in a cold stupor, giving me a great photo opportunity.

September 9, 2008

T-Shirt design

Posted in blogging, drawing, photography tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:05 pm by czygyny

Although I haven’t done much drawing or art in the last six months, I have been painting T-Shirts. I despair of ever being able to sell them, because they take so long to do, and I am not happy with the way the paints handle after a few washes.

Still, I think that it would be a fun and profitable hobby if I can get the amount of time down to a reasonable limit and make sure the paints, dyes and beads hold up wash after wash.

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This is my purple dragonfly shirt: I am pleased at how the flat paint is holding up, but my pearlescent paint cracks and some washed out of the sponged borders.

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 Here is my Flames shirt. This is my second time at trying this design. The first shirt was too large and the paint faded quite a bit. One trick is to get the paint on very thick. The hardest part for me is the heat-set to make the paint more permanent.

This design is freestyle, painted on without any pre-design patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

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 This is the very first shirt I painted with the Lumiere metallic fabric paints by Jacquard. I created the patterns with real oak leaves, using them as stamps.

 

 Here is the detail on the arm, and as you can see, one of the beads has come loose. I sewed them on tightly, but still have some problems keeping them on.

 

 

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Here is my favorite shirt. This cat design I created some time back on the computer, and used it as a pattern, and started embellishing it. I used embroidery floss for his fuzzy mane. I like the 3D aspect of the floss.

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The blue shirt is relatively plain. I used fabric pens to draw curlicue designs on the borders and painted the sewn hem areas. Alas, the paint cracks due to the stretchiness of the areas, but the fabric pen seems to hold up to laundering. Too bad I dislike sewing so much, I think that some sort of ribbon sewn on these areas would be attractive.

 

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I nearly forgot this shirt, I found the pink one hanging in my closet (which is behind where my printer sits, so it makes it difficult to see what is hanging inside) so I am working on a freestyle paisley/swirl design. I plan on using embroidery thread for some of the detail after I finish with the painting.

 

I really enjoy using the fabric pens for this free-style doodling. It is tricky to get an even and smooth line trying to draw on squiggly t-shirt fabric.

September 3, 2008

Tying up loose ends

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , , , at 9:21 am by czygyny

A few months ago, my ex invited me to come and spend some time on a houseboat he had reserved for Labor Day weekend. I remained vague and noncommittal about it since our parting has been less than cordial, with a few obstacles remaining that blocks the finalization of our divorce.

When he called me and told me his father was diagnosed with cancer, indeed the same very rare cancer that his mother had died from a few years back, I decided to go and spend a day on the Shasta Lake and visit him, for perhaps the last time.

It was a bit akward to climb into the boat waiting at the dock. This particular brother and I had our differences over time, but it was nice to be at a point where we could put those memories aside for the day. I sat in silence and watched the wake behind the boat, and watched the ringed shore as we sailed past. I had spent many an hour on that boat in years past.

 

 

I was exceedingly glad to have a photo opportunity with the Hawaii (Martin) Mars, moored at Bridge Bay! All summer long I wanted to get a good picture of this awesome plane in action. There was no action, but plenty of opportunity to get right up underneath it and marvel at its immense size.

 

The houseboat he reserved was a big one, room to hold the extended family. With five original siblings, and the subsequent spouses and children, when this clan gets together lots of room is needed. Thankfully, there were only eight on board the day I was there.

It has been perhaps five years since I have seen these folks. Another brother had his three children there, and I was glad to see them doing well. I particulary liked the youngest, whom was only an infant when I saw him last. He became Mr. Know-it-all around me and seemed to be enjoying the attentions of a newly-found aunt.

 This was one of those moments where he was showing off. Cute kid.

Of course the water level is extremely low right now. We talked about how low it has been (I’ve seen it lower), how fast it can fill back up, and boy, a person with a small boat and some time would find a fortune in lost fishing lures, sunglasses and jewelry in a low time like this.

I found the banks to be fascinating photo opportunities, and managed to find some rocks to bring home. The denuded soil has been eroded away to show the intricate and varied backbone rock structure of the hills.

I found oppourtunity to give one of my eye-glazing geology lessons on the various mountain ranges that converge in our area, of course.

The play of shadow on the concentric rings and the contrast between tree, stone and water kept me snapping images all day.

I spent time with my sister-in-law, catching up on all the happenings, watched the kids play in their canoes and fishing poles. We filled in the gaps of information and soaked up the beautiful weather.

I finally spent some time with my father-in-law. He looked so much more haggard, with that look of knowing in his eye that he stood on the threshold of eternity. Leaving our differences from times past, we just spent silent time looking at waves and hills and sky.

I let memories pass by me like the waves, of all those camping outings where there would be perhaps 10 to 20 family members come together. We’d all have fun until the alcohol would show its troublesome face, and once again the old wounds of family drama would open. I played my part, too. I was not innocent to causing part of the drama. We were all volatile and defensive.

I remember helping to create lavish birthday parties, Christmas banquets and then stand watch with the family when the matriarch left the world after her brief bout of cancer. Then, the frightening agony of the disintegration of my marriage brought the dividing knife between them and me, and I saw them no more.

I was glad that all could come together and put the angst behind us for this time. The day played out, the sun began to sink low, it was time for dinner and then a quick trip back to the dock before darkness fell.

I stood on the bank and watched the boat leave, listened to the traffic whisper across Turntable Bridge,  glad that home was just a few minutes drive away. After watching the gathering dusk, the waves on the shore, the ducks swimming past and feeling the breeze play over my face, I turned to my car in the now vacant, rutted dirt parking area and left the day behind.

This time had stirred up a lot of emotion for me, and it was good to be back up on the lake I love so much. I was pleased to see the next generation growing up like well watered trees, and glad to see the now fading generation before their time comes to pass on.

Although the tree, my part in this family, has been cut down, the tangled roots remain, memories of the past.