100 Days

The final bookmark.

This refers to the 100 Day Project which I rashly started at the beginning of April.  I think I was made over confident by the success of the Little summer Project I joined and completed last year. (If you go back to my posts in July and August 2017 you can follow my joys and frustrations at the time.) Below is what Admin put on the FB page to get us started.

here it is in a nutshell. this is the 5th year for this project promoted as a ‘free global art project’ that anyone (that’s us) can participate in.
here is how I want us to do this: starting April 3rd and running through July 11th, spend 15 minutes a day tangling. I don’t care what you tangle – you can use our weekly patterns or any others you know. set a timer and commit to 15 minutes daily. when that time is done – – – stop and post what you have. you can post daily here on our wall or save it up and make one big post for Getting Sketchy! don’t worry if you didn’t start on the 3rd, just jump in now and join us.
AND
if you are really brave – please be brave – post your art on Instagram with the hashtags #The100DayProject and #zentangleallaround so we can all see the work from our group. That’s it, create art for 100 days. Then it becomes a habit. There is no hard and fast rule that it has to be tangling. really any art will do, but for posting here remember it needs to have some amount of tangling – even if small.

Anyway, I started a brand new journal to keep it all in and it was quite a good start, I thought. The title was drawn on acetate and then stuck on over the rather attractive cover it came with. That was Day 1 of the Project.  The inner title page was supposed to be days 2 and 3, possibly day 4 too.  well, there were at least three attempts just to get started and then it kept going wrong…

So page 1 became days 2,3,4,5, 6 and 7. at this point, the optimism was fading somewhat.

Not a success, Two versions in this layout found their way to the bin. there were going to be patterns all around the words.

Eventually, this became the title page.  Deliberately left without colour, to concentrate on the line work.

Days 8 and 9 were much more relaxed and I really enjoyed them  Just a little colour in the shading. It was one of those “Quit while you are ahead”  moments.

The zenbuttons were Days 10 -17  (Here are pics of the final three, the others were in my previous post.) and last week’s Diva Challenge was Day 18.

Day 19 was the final bookmark in the series for swapping, which are being mailed even as I write. You can see it at the top of the page.

I quite enjoyed all of these, although of course they all took a lot more than the minimum 15 minutes, but that’s OK, I still count them as a day each, which puts me a bit behind schedule at the moment.

This is not an unusual position for me to be in  and of course, it leaves me with nothing in my journal for those days. I think I’m going to print off copies and stick them in, just to remind myself at a later time that I wasn’t slacking!

So I’m a bit behind but I have actually tangled every day for a lot more than 15 mins so I’m fine with myself. However. I mean a really BIG however. I am seriously fed up of Instagram. You can set up membership on PC but you can’t upload your pictures. You admire and comment on people’s stuff but you can’t post your own.  I don’t want to use my phone or tablet for this – I like my PC, or laptop. Well, to add insult to injury, when I thought to myself “Sod Instagram then, I’ll un-join.” You can’t. Or, at least, if you can, I can’t find out how.

So, all in all, the 100 Days idea is proving to be something of a mixed blessing. Ah well, onward and upward. (Of course it may just be that I am technologically incompetent – it wouldn’t be the first time. But why can’t it be simple and transparent?)

LATER

Sitting on the terrace with a small beer and a big smile.
About a quarter, maybe a third of the way through. So far, so good.

Much later, actually. I missed last week’s Diva Challenge because I was busy packing for our trip to Greece and doing the alterations to my new strappy tops. ( Being a bit of a chunk, but not very tall, I usually have to shorten the straps on Summer tops and vests. ) Not to mention trying to finish off the several crochet projects I had on hand. For some reason, I don’t like to take an ongoing project on holiday but like to start new. This time, I’ve started a shawl in a pattern called Lost in Time, free on Ravelry.com. Oh how I love that website. I’m going to have to live until I’m at least 110, just to do all the patterns I like.  Then there’s all the Zentangle. Oh, and the embroidery. Better make it 120.

I’ve missed a couple of Challenges, as I said but the latest one has made me have a look at some of my old stuff and see how it could be reworked. When I first started Zentangle, almost four years ago, Phicops was a patterns that I just loved, either to see it in someone else’s work or to draw it myself. So I found a tile I did on 3rd of June 2016 and did a new version of it, using colour this time. Frankly, I like ’em both. The new one is not much of an improvement but I’m not unhappy with it.

And on that reasonably happy note, I’ll bid you a fond farewell. Until we meet again, world, be good – ish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fitting it all in.

Well what a busy time we have had,  but not in a good way. Three funerals in eight days.  All three were old family friends, of my parents really,  but still precious links to my youth.  All were over 85 and tired, but funerals, you soon realise, are not for the dead but for the living. Only one member of that group is still with us and he attended all three, looking frail and, of course, seeing his turn getting closer.

And now we, their children, are the older generation, no buffer zone of grannies between us and the final frontier. (Well, yes, I know that’s space, if you’re a trekkie but it avoids using the D   word.) Does that mean we are revered for our wisdom  and advice? Hmmmm. Not yet, it would seem. For our bank balance maybe. Cynical but sadly accurate.

And funerals do seem to be drab affairs. I don’t expect it to be jazz bands and New Orleans, dammit, we’re British, but how lacklustre it all is. Two of them were non religious ceremonies and, believe me, ceremony is NOT the word. Once upon a time it was the local vicar talking about someone he knew. (And one of them was still like that and quite moving.) Otherwise,  it’s a professional ‘celebrant’, you heard me, who reads out the words the family have given.

The two we witnessed were

a. Dull and clearly

wishing to be elsewhere, or

b. Sanctimonious beyond belief.

So I’m going to write my own eulogy. It’ll be full of really long words, like fundamental dichotomy or onanism, and Latin or French quotes. Semper in excretum, solum profundum variat. That’ll make ’em earn their money.  Unless one of my children feels up to it… I’ll do an easier version for them. Maybe.

The thing is, what’s the purpose of the eulogy? It’s not for the deceased – he or she is long gone to whatever final destination he or she believed in – so it must be for us. To fix in our minds a lasting image of the absent loved one to keep us going until we are able to remember them naturally, without the barrier of grief. Or is it just a convention that we daren’t fail to observe?

For those of us without religious conviction, it is the gathering together and sharing memories, comforting each other over our loss and fear of the inevitable.  I think I might set up a company for alternative funerals. Get rid of the mouldering corpse unobtrusively and let the mourners get on with the rest of it… a nice meal, some music, a comfortable place to sit and be together. Maybe a slide show of old photos.   Perhaps get everyone doing a bit of Zentangle. Do a mosaic of the deceased’s name?

LATER

You know, sometimes I read back over what I’ve written and I worry about what goes on in my head. I mean, I have very little control over it; the words just spill out. Still, better out than in, as my Dad used to say when he burped. That’s it, of course, it’s a sort of mental burp. Well, I’m glad I sorted that out.

You will see that there are pics scattered throughout this post, none of them related to the text in any way but just me keeping you in touch with my “artwork”.(Bit pretentious calling it art but there you go.) They are the Zenbuttons that I’m doing for the latest swap on FB and also for the 100 Day Project. The swap asks for monochrome – linework and shading all in one colour, which was tricky for me, as I started them while we were away last time and only had several black and one red pen with me. So the red ones were done in sunny Tenerife and the others in rainy England.

In an attempt to emphasise the shading, I prepared a couple of tiles with ink first and then did the patterning.  By the time I’d finished the brown one, you couldn’t see the original colour work! I’ve not finished the blue one yet but here it is, with  both versions of the brown one .

 

 

 

 

I’m not finding the 100 Day Project all that rewarding to tell you the truth. I finally gave in and created an Instagram account on my PC, because that’s what I use for posting. (I use both tablet and phone for other things but i like the big screen and proper keyboard best.) So then I discover that I can’t post pictures from my PC, which was the whole point of the exercise. (Apparently, if I download another app, give them all my personal details, dance naked by the light of a full moon and send my bank details to a nice man in Nigeria, there is a way round this but I really couldn’t be bothered.) So bugger Instagram, I’ll just do the 100 Days and not show anyone!

At which point, I checked in with the Diva and there she wasn’t. Because of her younger son’s health issues, if she doesn’t appear one week, thousands of Tanglers across the world go into panic mode in case there are problems at Casa Diva, and I’m one of them, Hope it’s just a national holiday in Canada or something.

So I’m banking this post until she reappears and then I’ll add the Challenge tile too.

LATER

She’s back and health was the problem but all seems to be pretty much ok now, much to the relief of her followers.

Weekly Challenge #361: “Amanda Day – Earth day YEAR 7!!”

If you have been following the blog from the beginning you may remember that when Chewie was just a wee boy, we were talking about Earth Day and he asked me if the Earth had a name, and i said yes – it’s Earth.  He didn’t think that was good enough, and so he re-named it Amanda.  And hence forth, Earth Day has been forever known as Amanda Day here in my home and on the blog!  So, for this week’s Challenge – try to use some recycled material for your tile!

This year i used a Pizza Box, and as an added challenge – or an alternative if you don’t like working on tan coloured tiles, you can make your string a “Sunshine” string.  It feels like it’s been winter here for sooooo long, and the sun this weekend was so amazing that i made my string into a sunshine and it was super fun.

Well I sort of did it, maybe. I didn’t recycle so much as up cycle.We had some table mats and coasters in faux leather. (Alright, plastic.) And rarely use them because they seem a bit dull. So I took a coaster, a Posca 0.7 pen and got going. The shading uses a Promarker pen, with which I had to be careful because the alcohol ink smudges the rest if you linger too long. The white is just a Uni pen. I’m going to spray it with a coating in the hope of “fixing ” it.

Coasting along on Amanda Day. Dragonair, Curved Rain, Frickle and a couple of others whose names escape me.

And that, world, will have to do. Hopefully, we’ve done with funerals for a while and can get on with being thankful to be alive. Until next time, world, be good-ish.

 

Surprises and the Death of a Vacuum Cleaner

It was my birthday on Saturday – we’re not going to discuss numbers but it was between 66 and 68. The loved one and I had planned a family lunch for our son, wife, youngest  granddaughter, daughter, boyfriend, and old family friend and our son’s in laws. (Ten in all.) So when our youngest daughter, husband and son – Ben of whom you may have seen me write previously – arrived unannounced on the doorstop on Friday evening, I smelled the proverbial rat and discovered that I was the only one unaware of this visit.

The buggers had been plotting behind my back. It was not a quiet weekend.  (We are not a quiet family, truth to tell.) But we did have fun. There were two birthday cakes and enough food to feed an army. Both young ones were impeccably behaved, given their ages, and the rest of us weren’t too bad either.

However, it did mean that the blog didn’t get written, the journal was not completed and the 100 day project is already falling behind.  And you know what? It doesn’t matter, because I had my wonderful family around me for my birthday and we all had a jolly time.

The three surprises went home this morning and the family joke is that, as their car goes off the drive, the loved one has the vacuum cleaner out and ready to go. Instead, he started by cleaning all the infant finger prints off the glass doors, as well as the smiley faces Ben had drawn  by licking his fingers and drawing on the glass. (Very popular with the loved one, that was.) So, when they stopped for a break half way home, my daughter called to make sure we were missing them and casually asked how the Hoover (vacuum cleaner for all you transatlantic types) was bearing up under the strain.

You may imagine the glee with which she received the news that it had gone off with a bang and is now defunct. So the afternoon has been spent researching new vacuum cleaners on the internet (The loved one) and stripping and remaking the beds. (Me)

One of my presents was a couple of index card boxes of a size perfect for storing swap tiles. (Well, one for swap tiles, one for Diva tiles, eventually. ) I started organising the first one of these, lost interest within minutes and made a cuppa instead. Not looking all that promising at the moment but I will get round to it. No, really, I will.

And then I reaslised it was monday and the Diva Challenge, so I had a look at her blog.

Weekly Challenge #359: “String Theory: Finger Stringer”
This week’s challenge is a String challenge – and that being to trace your fingers in interesting ways and to use that as your string.

Well this didn’t particularly float my boat but on the other hand it didn’t repel me either, so I gave it a go.  I drew round the ends of my fingers from three different angles and then selected patterns beginning with F for fingers to fill in the spaces. I like the string it made but am less sure about the patterns I chose. New to me were Flevo and Flec, then I added Florez and Frunky too. It’s OK but lacks definition.

Anyway, it’ll have to do because it’s time for bed and I have another big day tomorrow, Yup, you guessed, we’re going out to buy a vacuum cleaner. Does the excitement never end?

So, for now, farewell, world and be good, won’t you? (Well, good -ish)

The unfinished aardvark

Mr Snooty Tooty

And why “tidy” is a four letter word. I mean, come on, who likes tidying? I like my rooms to be tidy. I like planning a tidy up. I even like starting to tidy. But actually completing the job? I don’t think so.  The tidy gene just passed me by at birth. I start, knowing I am doomed to failure. So many distractions along the way.

Borbz in the middle and I still can’t remember the name of the border. It’s starting to get to me!

There are all those things you find, that you didn’t know you’d lost and you simply have to see if they still work.  Which brings the tidying process to an abrupt halt. There are all those things you bought because you just had to have them and now all you can think of is “why?”. There are all those parts of things that you can’t remember where you put the remaining parts  of them. There are parts of other things that you suspect you’ve thrown away because you’d lost the bit you now have in your hand. Not to mention the guilt trip about A. all the projects you started and never finished and B. all the projects you bought stuff for and never even started.

And there’s never enough space to spread them all out in some sort of order so you can put related articles together ready to put them away. All I ever end up with is a big box of stuff that doesn’t have a permanent home.  (The box, of course, becomes the permanent home.) And for a while, a few hours at best, I can see that my desk has a wooden surface.

 

 

 

 

Heartfully two ways- straight grid and wonky grid.

Please don’t say it’s just me or I shall have to go and throw myself in the canal. And when I’m dead and gone the loved one and my kids will tidy it all up – straight into the dustbin.  I suppose I could cut out the middle man and chuck it all away myself. Then there’d be room to buy some more.

You know what? I’m feeling better already. (And of course, writing in my blog about tidying is the perfect displacement activity for actually doing anything.) Well, I think I’ll just take this mug downstairs and wash it before I start the tidying.

Progress report for Ben – Miss Snooty Tooty. Needs sewing together, ears and a face.

And when I get downstairs I will see the the unfinished aardvark I’m making for my grandson’s “wife”. (He says they’ve been on a date so now she’s his wife.) Obviously.(They’re 8, by the way.) She’s Miss Snooty Tooty – the aardvark, not the wife – because his one, which I made him for Christmas, is Mr Snooty Tooty.  Not Mrs, you’ll notice, Miss. I love 8 year old logic.  It was yesterday that he asked me to make it for her and he phoned this morning for a progress report. Bless.

The collection so far, using odd spare balls of wool left over from other projects.

After making the unicorn and then a doll at Christmas for Isla, my youngest granddaughter, I was told how all the mums at school had been asking if she could get one for their children. My daughter in law, who knows me well, said she thought no, that I only crochet for family and friends.  (Quite right too.) However, it set me thinking and I decided to make a couple of things to be raffled at the school Summer Fair, assuming that we have a Summer this year, of course. I’ve plenty of yarn – no surprises there – so I may make a couple more. And, this is the good bit, it will use up spare yarn and make things a bit tidier.

I have been drawing too. The bookmarks for the swap are going a bit better. I saw Helen Williams’ blog about Gourdjeous and had a go to see if it would make a border. And then, it goes without saying, I watched a couple more of her videos, which led to me using Heartfully on another one and making a mental note to use Ruffles on another.

Filled the middle of this one with a slightly clumsy Mooka.

So I then went on a You Tube expedition and resurfaced three days later with a headache and so may ideas on using patterns I haven’t used for ages. Like Awrop, and Dooleedoo and Frondous and… and… and…

Still haven’t started tidying.

And then it’s Diva Day , which takes priority, of course.

LATER

Well this week’s Challenge is a humdinger and no mistake.

So the past week or so i kept seeing this really great tangle popping up on Instagram.  Seeing as the first Monday of the month is when we use a tangle created by one of you, i thought this week’s challenge would be to use Pickpocket by Tomas Pedros.

It takes a bit of concentration, not one you would just sit down and rattle off for the fun of it but I absolutely loved it. This is a first attempt but I’m not unhappy with it.

A brain teaser of the first order but very satisfying.

So I’ll finish on a high note and go and get on with some tidying. Maybe.

Until next time, world, be good -ish.