Earlier this month one of my friends on Facebook posted a photo of some very cute crafts she had received from someone. They were sent to her as part of a Craft it Forward Project. Craft it Forward is based on the idea of Pay it Forward: you make something for other people, and they then make something for other people, who then make something for other people and so on.
I immediately took to the idea. It combines some of the things I like best: getting mail, sending mail, making stuff, and giving people things. So, I signed up at Signe’s post and last week I received my package.
Signe is immensely creative and talented and I love what she made. From left to right there’s a tag with the letter R on it, an empty envelop to put things in (with a beautiful sticker on the back to close it with), a flag of (I think) washi tape, a magnet with Signe’s horse on it, some clay beads to decorate (or keep as is, I think for now I prefer them like this) and a drawing/colouring page.
I’m always especially enamoured with Signe’s drawing skills so I think I’ll have to find me a pretty frame to put it in.
After receiving this, it is now my turn to make something for other people. I already have some ideas of what I want to make. A general shape or outline, but the nuance will depend on who signs up for this. I maintain the sign up at my Facebook because that’s where I have more people, plus the ease of tagging them. And besides, it’s not as if more than a handful of people actually ever comments here.
Once the people are known, and the packages sent I will post photos of what I made and my process.
Dad was diagnosed with severe heart failure earlier this month. After I’d joined the LifeLines project, I invited Mom and Dad to join as well. Mom did so fairly soon, but Dad didn’t until this year. While most of the results from his base line test were okay, the heart graph was off.
To figure out why, he had to go to the hospital where they did another heart graph, which was also off. So last week he had to come back again, this time for an ECG. Then they would have to come back about a week later for the results.
Halfway through the Mom called me (I was watching the dog) to tell me they’d be home later than planned, as the ECG wasn’t good and they would get results the same day instead of later. And indeed, after another doctor came to check on Dad, they brought in the cardiologist who informed them that Dad has heart failure. He was put on medications right away, has to be low active and eat a lot less salt, and had to stop smoking right away.
Last Monday they had to go to the Heart Clinic for a follow up appointment and check up to see how he was doing so far after a week on meds and new regimen.
So, it turns out Dad’s heart has a very low pumping rate, only about 30%, which is like half it should be. He’s getting four different types of medication now: a beta blocker, an ace inhibor, two different ones to help get rid of fluids and something to widen the arteries.
The beta blocker (iirc) has been increased slightly after Monday’s check, and I expect the rest of the meds to be increased and fine tuned over the next few months. So far Dad’s saying that he’s not noticing a lot, eiher good or bad, from the meds. I’m glad he’s not having any side effects (yet?), but I wonder if he should feel different anyway.
Although this could be, of course, because his activity level was low to begin with. So the missive to not do anything intensive is easy, in fact we kinda needed to push him occasionally to do go out and walk or cycle before this. The quitting sigarettes is harder. It went well for a few days but then Mom caught him with a fresh pack of tobacco. She yelled at him and hid the stuff. When I came over Monday to watch the dog again, I then got rid of it.
Mom got him nicotine tablets (afer consulting with the doctor) that he can use if the urge is strong. I’m thinking it’s also just habit for a great deal. He has his set moments where he would go for a smoke out in the garage and that’s his routine. Routines are hard to break.
The Parents were already considering moving house, but this news put that into a higher gear. The yard is really too big for them to properly maintain (and they’re getting kinda sick of the neighbourhood as well). Conveniently, the Housing Cooperation is building new senior appartments in a town nearby. They’d talked about this development before, but Dad vetoed it then. Now, he reconsidered, so Mom called the Housing Cooperation.
Turned out there was one place left, so they immediately signed up for it and were selected. It’s expected the appartments will be ready by next spring, although some sources are saying next January. Since Mom and Dad are the first tenants of the place, they get to pick out the bathroom tiles and what kind of kitchen cabinet doors they want. Dad’s not really into that sort of thing, so I helped Mom with the choices. Fortunately, we agreed on everything right away :)
As for the rest, it’s wait and see for now.
I also made a drawing for Nienke’s birthday in the style of Connected. It has the same basic shape with the focal circle in the middle and the detail panels surrounded by a knotwork border.
I decided to do a drawing after Nien expressed how much she liked Connected. I chose to put a Tree of Life in the middle, with Murphy (her cat) below, except I exagerrated him a bit into a lion so he could also represent her astrological sign.
The panels show various things that are important to Nienke or mean something to her. Below is her name and date of birth. The border features knotwork in blue, which is her favourite colour.
Celebrate!: the process
As I was colouring more and more, I realised the colouring of the letters was off. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first. For a second I even despaired the thing might be ruined. But then I found my silver marker and realised that would be perfect.
Celebrate!: final result, framed
Excuse some of the glare, silver marker doesn’t photograph well in evening indoor light.
The nameless Pagan thing is done, and has a name. It is called Connected. Here’s pictures of the process and the end result.
Connected halfway done
Connected: Fire corner
Connected: Air corner
Connected Earth corner
Connected: Water corner
Connected: the end result
Excuse the somewhat crappy quality of the last picture, I hadn’t realised the shot wasn’t very good before now.
Here’s some pictures of Lines III: Dreamscape.
Lines III: Dreamscape (WIP Composite)
Lines III: Dreamscape (Final)
After inking the water painted result I added some more drawings of various pop culture related things that are meaningful to me. See if you can find (and identify) them all?
The last few days I’ve been burying myself into deciding what symbolism and decoratives to use for my latest drawing (which is, as of yet, nameless). It’s fun, I’ve never spent this much time in research for a drawing before :)
So far I’m going on a bit of a Celtic/Norse path with one or two Greek influences. I’ve been practicing making knotwork for the border. As long as I stick to fairly simple designs, it goes pretty well. I’ve only made two mistakes and I think I can hide them once I start colouring. The design continues through the corners, but is mostly covered up by triskeles that I’m putting up there.
The circle in the middle is not getting just a simple circle frame. Instead I’m turning it into Ouroboros/Jormungandr. At the top I’m placing a Goddess/God symbol by combining the triple moon with the horned sun to end up with a circle and three sickle shapes at the sides and top.
The little space that is left between the border and the circle will be filled up with various symbols that have meaning within Paganism (elements, pentagrams, spirals, labyrinths) with possibly some specific additional ones such as Mjolnir or Ankh. It depends on how I feel about it once the border and the middle are both inked and I have a better sense of the left over space.
Nameless Pagan Thing (First Sketch)
Extra sketches to decide on the borders and way of filling
Nameless Pagan Thing (WIP + Border detail)
I’m really enjoying the pencil and paper spirit that has taken hold of me. Lines III: Dreamscape is mostly finished. I coloured it with water colour pencils, then painted over that with water and inked the lines with a fine liner (picture later, they’re still on my phone). I’m considering watering it once more, but not sure yet.
As for Lines II: Earth Mother, I’m not sure yet what medium to use. I know the colours (earth tones and/or element colours), but haven’t decided whether I want to use pencils, water colour pencils, paint, crayons or even felt tips. I’m just going to let that stew for a bit, I’m sure the Mother will let me know once she has decided what her medium should be.
Tonight, as I was browsing through some of the paganism/witchcraft blogs/tumblrs I have in my Google reader I was suddenly hit by an image in my head that I knew I had to draw immediately. So I put the laptop aside, sat down at the table and sketched the image. Just to get the idea on paper so I can properly work on it once there’s actual day light. It only took a few minutes, but I’m already so full of what I’m gonna do with it, mostly in terms of edges and decorations around it. The middle image is a circle with two humanoid figures embracing each other in it. Seeing the context of what I was doing when I saw the image in my head, I’m going to assume they are supposed to be the God and Goddess. I tend to take my pantheons in the Celtic and Norse tastes (with some Egyptian thrown in occasionally), so I think there will be lots of influences from those directions. The circle itself gets a very simple edge, the people take up all the space and are the focus so the circle edge is to frame them, not to detract from them.
For the rest, I’m thinking a border along the edges of the paper, with some connector pieces in the corners and background nature-type things in the space between the border and the circle.
Pictures later, it is too dark now.
I <3 inspiration, and I love it even more when it intersects with my paganism. :)
I finished the Squiggly drawing from last post, took me about 7,5 hours total. I really like how it turned out, and it inspired me to take this tubular, colourful, enthusiastic form further. I named this work Lines I: Tubular and today I’ve been sketching Lines II: Mother Earth and Lines III: Dreamscape. I haven’t decided yet if I’m gonna use the same method of colouring them (aka just regular pencils) or if I want to use, for example, aquarel pencils or even paint or markers.
Lines I: Tubular (Composite of Progress)
Lines I: Tubular (Finished Piece)
Lines II: Mother Earth (Sketch)
Lines III: Dreamscape (Sketch)
For the first time in ages, I’ve been feeling inclined to draw. I first noticed it earlier this week while reading a book in which the main character drew. I got to thinking it had been quite a while and then it started itching inside. Except I didn’t know what I wanted to draw.
Then today, I was stumbling around on the web, and I found this website. I’m not very good at drawing lifelike things, and more abstract designs are more my thing anyway. So I decided to do my take on this thing.
I only spent about an hour and a half on it today, so it will be a couple days before it’s done, but the start is here.
I realised I never posted a Dad picture for Father’s Day, while I have posted Mom (and not just this year). Shame on me. So here he is, picture taken last summer while we were on a bicycle ride. <3
(Frame is from my stash of scrapbook supplies and was made by Raspberry Road Designs)