Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Little Wing

Several years ago we inherited a sweet dove named Rosie. She was very sociable and loved nothing more than to perch on a shoulder and visit. Sometimes she'd even restyle our hair or forage in our ears with the hope that we were storing sunflower seeds there.

We let her out as often as possible, but her rather uncivilized potty habits were problematic. She also had a knack of flying right by you when you were doing paperwork, sending all the receipts and bills flying.
Her cage was large, but it still wasn't big enough for a bird of that size. When she wanted to come out (which was most of the time) she'd start agitatedly flying back and forth in the cage, periodically letting out a loud and very human-sounding laugh.
It was unnerving, to say the least.

When her original owner returned and expressed an interest in taking Rosie back, I have to admit I was relieved.
Since then, we have discussed getting another, much smaller, bird, but haven't felt quite ready to commit. In the meantime, I repainted this vintage birdcage and got a fine-feathered artificial friend to put in it. I'm not usually a fan of fake friends, but this one is so pretty and low-maintenance that I'm not complaining. I think I need to get her a partner to swing on that perch.

In crochet news, I've completed several more squares and come to the conclusion that I don't think I want to make a pillow. Even with the updated colors, it just seems too old-lady-fussy, and I'm just not sure that I want to push that look any further than I already have. It has been nice to go back to doing a bit of crochet, though, so I may embark on another project shortly. Of course, I still haven't finished Davis' cardigan Christmas present, so I may need to tie up some loose ends first.

Friday, March 23, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things...

Look at the adorable vintage planter I just got.
He's so cute I just want to make doe-eyes at him all day. I have enough knitting needle holders now, so he may become the keeper of the pencils.

Another one of my favorite things lately is staring at socks. I recently discovered Sock-Dreams and I am completely hooked. The socks are really cute, good quality, and reasonably priced. And there's free shipping!
I've already received four orders, and I'm about to place my fifth. When I'm not actually ordering socks, I spend my time trying to come up with outfits that will show them off (or, when I can't, hiking up my pant legs and demanding that people gaze at the glory of the socks), and I even read their sock blog. I know I should be ashamed to admit that, and yet I'm at peace with it.
The photos below are a sampling of my glorious new sock collection (note: those aren't my knees - the photos are from the sock-dreams website).

Oh, and one more favorite thing - Friday Night Lights.
I'm not a sports fan, and I'm extra not a football fan, but this show has completely won me over. The first episode was football-heavy, and I didn't think the show was going to be for me, but by the end of the second one I was so caught up in the characters that I would have continued watching them even if it was a show about....well, actually, I can't think of anything I dislike more than football, and still I love this show. Every episode has something so funny that I laugh out loud and something so moving that I'm often found dabbing my eyes and claiming that the room has gotten dusty. It's one of those shows where I want to re-watch each episode as soon as it ends, and then I start pining for the next one to come out. If you haven't been watching and want to jump in, you can watch all of the episodes to date online at their website.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunshine In A Mag

This time of year I'm always greatly in need of eye-candy, so it was lucky for me that boingboing clued me in to this magazine.

Hi-Fructose is basically a contemporary pop-art mag. It's a little toy heavy for my taste, and they could use someone with a red pen to check things over, but the artwork in there makes it worth several times the cover price. They've introduced me to so many incredible artists that I'm downright giddy with excitement.

The current issue (top right) features the art of Ray Caesar (among many others) with an interview that blew me away. I love looking at pop-surrealist imagery, but I've always felt kind of guilty for it. It's compelling and pretty, but my doubts about the depth of much of it frequently left me feeling cheap and easy. Thankfully, those fears have definitely been put to rest at least as far as Ray Caesar's work is concerned. The story behind why he makes these images is really dark and sad and beautiful.

I read the magazine from cover to cover, and then decided I needed to get the previous issue which featured Mark Ryden, Chris Ware, and ----- wait for it ----- a pop-art View-Master reel! After much searching, I found a copy online and devoured it almost as soon as it arrived. I haven't been this inspired in a long time.

note: Hi-Fructose can be a little hard to come by, at least in these parts. I had good luck ordering from Rotofugi and Last Gasp.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stormy Weather

I was supposed to work today, but a slushstorm has left me housebound.

Yay! A day snuggled up on the couch with crafts and books and a smattering of the Pride and Prejudice box set is the fine stuff of which dreams are made. Of course, I first need to finish the cleanup from the kersploosh of water that came through our roof this morning. That kind of dampened my enthusiasm for the day (pun intended), but I'm pretty sure all is not lost.

I've started playing with some crocheted squares to make an updated version of a vintage pillow I saw at an antique mall last week. Here's one of my practice squares:

I'm actually planning on going with an entirely different color scheme (mostly pastels), but I am kind of fond of this fella.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is Winter Over Yet?

This little guy has had just about enough.
Fortunately, the last several days have been quite springlike, by Maine standards anyway.
Davis went to a flea market without me last Saturday because I had to work (the injustice!). Luckily he knows how much I like penguins, so he brought me home a new friend.
I've been begging for a penguin of my very own ever since seeing this video, and I'm guessing Davis thought a porcelain one who can shake salt out of his head might be a better idea than getting a real one. I don't agree, but I'm happy with this guy for now.
The chilly winterland in the photo is actually made up of toasty warm wool roving.
I was doing some needle-felting the other day, and realized I needed some new colors. Fortunately I had a couple balls of natural-colored roving and several packets of Kool-aid on hand (I promise I only use it for dying and don't drink the stuff!).

A couple fuit-scented hours later:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hoppy Bunnies

My friend and fellow bunny lover Marie sent me a link to videos of show-jumping rabbits. Wow. My jaw completely dropped.

Mine are only trained to run away on command (or, y'know, when looked at). I'm thinking, though, that if we spend a year or two doing some serious training I might be able to get Morris to do this:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

To Every Craft There Is A Season

For me, winter is a time for the mindless crafts that allow me to sit on the couch for hours on end while watching my favorite shows. It's the time for knitting projects, preferably of the sort that don't require looking at the instructions more than twice. Looking at instructions would interfere with my television viewing, and that would be completely unacceptable.
Summer is the time for more active crafts - the ones that require actual thought and movement. I have little patience for couch-dwelling in the summer, so that's when I like to make random constructions, or sew, or just putter about in my studio.
The start of spring* is a strange no-man's-land. Sitting on the couch becomes a bit tedious, and finishing those mindless projects that were once so fulfilling now seems like an excrutiatingly boring chore. Spring energy has a spastic and unfocused quality that lends itself to spinning in circles and accomplishing little. So that's what I've been doing.

I hate have a pictureless post, so here's a photo that I picked up several years ago at a junk shop in Colorado. I love these gals.

*Despite the 8 degrees that the thermometer is showing right now (egad!), the extended hours of daylight are giving things a springlike feel. True spring in Maine occurs for two weeks in early June.

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