edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Wrote a tiny story (742 words) as an entry in the 2017 John Mosedale creative writing contest, which is run by the Loon (the annual newsletter/directory of the Star Island Protective League). I then ran it past Vicky for approval, since although the starting inspiration was my recent obsession with maybe purchasing a tiny fruit tree for my kitchen, it then veered into some stuff drawn from conversations I've had with her this past year, and I didn't want to just throw that out for anyone to read if she'd be uncomfortable with that. But she said it was cool, so I submitted it.

2. Shoveled my front steps and sidewalk AGAIN, because when I got home from work on Friday they were buried under a foot and a half of snow and ice, which had taken advantage of the lovely sunny afternoon to depart the roof en masse.

3. Baked brownies!

4. Helped Miss Cactus decorate the rental office counter for spring:

paper flowers and leaves on a black background . paper flowers and leaves on a black background

The leaves are leftover shamrocks from our St. Patrick's Day display, which I did not bother to photograph since it was not terribly exciting. Miss Cactus and I reused them rather than cut out entirely new leaves to go with the flowers. Most of the flowers are colored paper with a bit of Sharpie marker in the centers to make them look a bit livelier and less monochrome, but a few were printed on white paper and given unique coloring jobs, because we could and because arts and crafts are fun. :)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

more items under the cut )

And now I think I will go to bed, because I am kind of brain-fried for no identifiable reason, and I figure sleep is more likely to help than staying up for another hour and trying to force myself into being productive.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
One thing Miss Cactus likes to do is decorate the rental office's package counter (and sometimes our cupboard doors) with seasonally appropriate displays. This autumn, we put up a swirl of colored leaves. Currently we have a gentle fall of snowflakes. (We also had strings of paper Christmas lights on the cupboards in December.) Next week we're going to put up a Valentine's display, but her plans for the arrangement are kind of elaborate so we actually made the hearts today.

(Saturdays are very slow, which is how we get away with this much extraneous labor.)

About two thirds of the hearts are either plain red or pink, but for the remaining third, we got a little fancy. Miss Cactus adopted a strategy of drawing patterns over an entire sheet of paper and then cutting hearts out afterwards. I got a little more artisanal and decorated a full sheet individually. (We also added some individual touches to some of the hearts cut from full-sheet designs, since one pattern came out a little plain and needed some jazzing up, but I didn't photograph those.)

I find this sort of artsy-craftsy work very soothing. It's nice because you don't have to decide on any grand artistic vision -- you know exactly what you are doing, and what you are doing is decorating paper hearts -- but you can still have a lot of fun within those constraints. :)

The photos below are my initial designs, and then the final versions after I decided some of them were a little plain and added more colors.

images under the cut )

Our tentative plan for March, incidentally, is raindrops and rainbows over crocus and snowdrops. We will add more flowers as the weeks go by, which should keep us going strong through May. We may need a new theme in June, assuming we're both still working there by then.

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
three pictures in gold frames hanging on a slightly off-white wall . two pictures in gold frames, hanging on a slightly off-white wall

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was stripping and repainting some picture frames as a birthday present to my mom. In the event, I was able to finish five of them before I headed down to NJ for New Year's. The sixth is kind of broken, in the sense that its support wire both snapped and tore out of the frame, so we agreed I'd do that one last; Mom will pick it up in February.

Today Mom sent me photos of the pictures rehung on the walls of the upstairs hallway. I think they look pretty good. :)

(The pictures themselves are various scenic parts of Rome, which my grandparents purchased on a trip around 1950. I am not entirely sure of the medium, but I think it may be a combination of colored pencil and some kind of paint -- watercolor, perhaps.)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Paid my November rent.

2. Bought groceries, including another batch of Halloween candy. I still don't think I have enough.

3. Boiled fourteen eggs. (I have added a hard boiled egg to my standard breakfast of toaster waffles, applesauce, and black tea -- the meal now contains fruit, carbs, protein, and caffeine, which I think is a pretty solid start to a day.)

more items under the cut )

12. Prepped for Halloween. I don't know if I'll be able to leave the office early tomorrow, so I have arranged with Downstairs Neighbor S that I will leave some stuff in the foyer of the house, which she will place out on the porch around 5pm and/or when the first trick-or-treaters arrive. I mixed all my candy into a big wicker basket (which I usually use for collecting empty bottles to return for the bottle deposit) and made a little 'TAKE 1' sign with a picture of a jack-o-lantern on it, which I have taped to the back of a folding chair; the candy basket will sit on the chair seat.

hand-drawn sign saying 'TAKE 1' with pumpkin illustration underneath . candy basket on folding chair, with sign taped to chair back

more items under the cut )

16. Repaired a mug whose handle broke when I dropped it about two weeks ago, and the lid to my casserole dish (which also broke when I dropped it two weeks ago; I was having a very clumsy couple days). The mug is perfectly functional again. The lid is... less so. The ceramic was very crumbly where it didn't have glaze to hold it together, so there's a noticeable missing wedge, and the pieces have very sharp edges.

If anybody knows a material I could use as filler, that would be awesome. It doesn't need to be oven-safe -- I only use the lid as a cover after I've baked stuff, either to keep it warm for serving or to protect the contents in the fridge -- but it does need to be waterproof and preferably mold-proof as well.

ceramic casserole lid, mostly glued back together . closeup of missing pieces with human hand for scale

[[link to Tumblr post A, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

[[link to Tumblr post B, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (sun on the water)
When I went to NJ to dognap Dottie in September, I dropped by the pottery studio where my friend Susan works and made two rather awkward pinch pots for an event/project the studio was doing. My latest dognapping venture (this past weekend) happened to overlap the sale days for those pots (proceeds to benefit two local charities), so I figured I'd buy them if they were still available, which they were. And now here I am with two new pots and no clear idea what to do with them.

I'm toying with the idea of trying to propagate new jade plants from my big tentacle-y jade plant, and then maybe giving them to people as gifts next year...?

But anyway, two pots! Susan picked the glazes; the designs, however, are all me. The first is just a geometric thing that looked nice to me, with no deeper significance. The second is a simplified variant of one of the infinitely extendable border designs I used to doodle around my notebooks in high school and college. I have included an example (sketched really quick in MS Paint) of the full design for comparison purposes -- as you can see, I didn't try to put the bubbles or the indication of sand/seafloor onto the pot.

blue bowl, side view . blue bowl, top view

verdigris bowl, side view . verdigris bowl, top view . verdigris bowl, slightly different side view

stylized fish and seaweed sketch

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
blue construction paper flag with haphazardly glued red and white stripes and a single white star in the corner

As part of my ongoing decluttering project, I have been sorting through the massive file folders of childhood documents Mom dumped on me several years back, and which have been living, untouched, underneath my coffee table ever since.

It turns out that about 85% of the contents are art projects. I am sure you can imagine what kind of art projects a toddler makes.

If you can't imagine, please refer to the above example, made when I was two and a half years old, back in July of 1984. :)

(Happy 4th of July!)

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The pit of voles is being its usual link-eating self, so I am posting these here for reference and so I can make a single link pointing at this post instead of trying to make this whole damn list appear on my ff.net profile. :/

(Note: I am not sure all of these links are still live. I'll check them some other day.)


Stuff various wonderful people have drawn for my stories! (Plus two of my own doodles.)

from "The Way of the Apartment Manager" and "The Guardian in Spite of Herself"
--mug shot of Ayakawa Yukiko, by me
--mug shot of Tonoike Naga, by me

--Yukiko as a chuunin, by gabriel_chaos
--Naga as a chuunin, by gabriel_chaos
--Uchiha Tsukihime, by gabriel_chaos
--Fuuma Seichi, by gabriel_chaos

--Naga with kimono, before the celebratory dinner in "Apartment Manager," by iponly (ETA 3/6/11 - I am told that this link may download viruses onto your computer. I can't reproduce the problem, but it seems polite to provide warning.)

--Yukiko, Iruka, and Naga, by toki_usagi

--Naga and Nagoyaka Kafunnokaze, by kazeko

--Yukiko and Naruto, by ellenlome
--Naga as a chuunin, by ellenlome

loosely related crack
--Uchiha Crystal Power, Make-up! i.e., Tsukihime cosplaying as her namesake, by gabriel_chaos
--Moon Scroll no Jutsu, Activate! i.e., Tsukihime summons a unicorn, by gabriel_chaos
--Sasuke the magical ninja, from "Lemonade," by gabriel_chaos

from "Secrets"
--Sir Vladislav, by iponly

from "Fixation, and Other Stories"
--the princess and the dragon, from 'Fairy Tales' in chapter VI: Something Completely Different, by iponly
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
Work continues to have slow periods. I therefore continue to play with crayons. :)

The colors on these two scans are more accurate than on the previous set of coloring pages, because I found my laptop's photo-editing program and made them more vibrant and less blue.

spring of rainbow-shaded flowers, colored in crayon

brown and blue vase holding a red rose, a purple tulip, and a yellow daffodil, colored in crayon

[link to original post, for when Tumblr inevitably breaks the embedded images]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
One thing that happens sometimes at Not the IRS is that clients arrive for appointments with their children in tow. Company regulations forbid us to have much by way of kid entertainment in the office, but we DO have a box of crayons and a whole bunch of random line art that I've printed off the internet.

Another thing that happens sometimes is that I get very bored on slow evenings. This is the result. :)

arrangement of assorted flowers, colored in crayon

three pinkish-purple blossoms on a pair of leafy twigs, colored in crayon

(My scanner made both pictures look slightly more blue than they are in real life, but eh. Details.)

[link to original post, for when Tumblr inevitably breaks the embedded images]
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
I finished off my stained glass coloring book listening to three podcasts of varying length, and have started in on my weird geometric pattern paper coloring book. That one is vicious and evil on my wrist, because the shapes are so small and fiddly and colored pencils have much smaller tips than big Crayola markers so they fill space at a much slower rate. I think I may toss that book out after I finish the one pattern I started and print out some mandalas or something instead.

But anyway, pictures!

cut for images )

The first pattern has no particular significance, but the second and third are, respectively, the associated color sets for Nesta of the Waves and the Serpent: two of the Estarian Trinity from my Firsthome stories. (The Star is not represented because his/its colors are white, black, and occasionally gray, which struck me as defeating the basic purpose of stained glass.) Nesta gets blue-purple-gray because she's a sea/water goddess, and red because her other main symbolic association is blood. The Serpent gets green-brown for the earth, and yellow-orange for fire. (Dreams and lies do not have colors and are therefore not represented.)

The fourth pattern is a weird color scheme that I am somewhat ambivalent about, but hey, if experiments all worked out flawlessly they wouldn't be experiments. And the last one is just a classic four-color combo that I knew was going to be excellent, because I wanted to finish this series on a high note. :D

(You can find the previous seven stained glass coloring pages in this post with five patterns and this post with two patterns, or you can look at all fourteen pages at once here on imgur.)


edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

September 2017

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