Projects, projects, projects, keeps the insanity away!

Another semester is down and only one left to go! This one was pretty light in the way of work, but the stress was most certainly there. Hit a financial snag right at the start of it, thanks to the actions of a sick individual that I’d LOVE nothing more than to see ripped apart by a pack of starving crazed weasels with rabies. (Karma, come on! I believe its your turn up to bat, buddy!) The ceramics class was fun, frustrating, but cool to play with. I ended up with half a bag of clay left over so I’ll have to figure out what to do with, as well as how to fire it.

Drawing class was extremely frustrating, but I did however get to learn how to use color pencils better and THAT has inspired a massive urge to play with them more. The final assignment was to do a photo copy replica of an image based on other artists who work with color pencils. I picked an image of one of my obsessions, Tori Amos. I discovered her music in 1994, right at a time when I was trying to block out all of things that were tearing me apart. Her music got me through some of my toughest moments; moments when I was so close to not surviving them. Her songs were like the caring hugs that I needed during those times. When I turned 21, I got the piano notes of one of her songs tattooed on my right ankle with her favorite flowers wrapped around the notes. (Side note: Fiona Apple has also become just as important as Tori to me. Her stuff has been the rope I grab onto during dark moments. I plan on getting one of her songs tattooed on the other ankle) So when I needed to do a photo to draw, she was the first thing that came to mind. I chose an older image of Tori from around the time I discovered her to do as I figured it was fitting. It turned out amazing in my opinion. Several people in class mentioned how much they thought it looked good, and because of it I want to do more drawing like it. Here’s the image for all to enjoy. (Or at least those that actually read this blog.)
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I think I did an amazing job, so I don’t care what anyone else says. Its my first time working with color pencils and I got a chance to understand how to color properly. Over the summer break, one of my personal tasks is to do at least three of these so that I can practice.

Speaking of summer plans, the scheduling of projects has begun so that I don’t lose my mind. I think I’m going to actually print up a work schedule so that I can stick to a routine, which always makes for a less crazy Strange Child! I’ve got my parents 50th in July, so I’ve got some crafting decorations to make. The projects I want to work on are as follows:
Finish my four elements paintings
3 Color pencil drawings
Sewing practice
New front door wreath
Eye flower bouquets
art studio organization
Random abstract artworks
clitoris sculpture for cousin

I will have to also schedule in workouts, getting out of the house (maybe even with Daisy), and hopefully some reading. The sewing practice is to help me prepare for the Doctor Who convention that we’ll be going to in February. I need to plan and make my costumes I want to cosplay. So excited for that! Hubby is also going to cosplay! EEEEEEEE! (happy dance) I’m going to have to make a dress form which I’m not looking forward to. (Oh yay, I get to look at a physical sculpture of my fat carcass.) I want to attempt a dress at the very least. I can get through a circle skirt so far, and I’ve got some throw pillows that need to be finished, but if I can manage a dress I’m gold!

So many projects!! Hopefully I will be able to be too busy to let the brain demons attack me. I don’t want to sink, so I’m laying out the ropes before the water gets too high.

Crafty little bitch!

I totally forgot to show off the crafty stuff I’ve made lately! I suck I know. I’ve just been distracted by school and a few life things going on at the moment. Please forgive me! I’ll make a cake if you want. I’ll be better I promise!

Now, onto the crafts! Back in December, I made two head pieces for my outfits for Dickens Christmas Faire. One is a headband and the other is a hat. I think I’ll have to redo the hat as I’m not completely happy with how it turned out. The headband however turned out awesome in my opinion. It was for a Harry Potter invasion we were doing and I needed to sport my Ravenclaw pride people!! I couldn’t quite get the outfit together that I wanted but the headband was my favorite thing as it turned out so freaking cool!! I grabbed an ordinary headband, wrapped a gorgeous peacock glitter ribbon around it, and then glued a collection of feathers and other decorations to the one side to create a sort of fascinator. Took me about 90 minutes to put it all together and a bunch of hot glue.

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Nailed it!!

The hat: I used an old Mickey Mouse top hat Hubby and I got for one of our anniversaries for the base. I ripped the plastic ears off and punched a few holes in random spots of the hat. The intention was to make it look like the hat has tentacles bursting out of it. My obsession with tentacles means that I have an assortment of those finger puppet tentacles which run about $10 for 7 on Archie McPhee, a great source for cheap cheesy stuff! I found a bunch of sea shells, pearls, a seaweed looking sequin thing, a toy octopus, and some feathers to decorate the hat. I punched the tentacles into the holes and glued them down on the inside of the hat to secure them. I wrapped the hat with a striped ribbon and hot glued all the rest of the things to the hat. Unfortunately, the hat is kind of cheap (shocking, I know, as its Disney and they ONLY sell top quality items all the time) and the glue wasn’t sticking to the plastic items all the well. When I finally got the damn octopus to stay put on the front of the hat, the glue was all showing so I just had to take a deep breathe and not throw it across the room so I could go off and berate myself for being such a failure at making an awesome hat. I texted Hubby and he fawned all over it and it made me feel better. I will try to make a better one for this year’s faire along with a better outfit. Just need to plan ahead better. But anyhoo here’s the final result:

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Behold the Octopus top hat!

This week, I finally got around to putting together my creepy kitchen garden with the doll parts that I’ve been collecting from the flea market. Air plants and succulents make up the garden at the moment along with basil seeds waiting to grow up. Making the planters out of the doll heads is pretty easy. Just stuff an air plant in whatever opening available or grab a box cutter and make an opening wider. Air plants don’t require soil so they’re the best things to use. Bonus: the twisted tendrils of the plant make it just look freaking creepy as fuck! Here’s the final results:

I have two more heads to play with but I have no more room on the counter as you can see. I’ll have to get a few more succulent plants for the front yard and I’ll use the heads then. For the time being, it just means that I’ll have to go back to the flea markets to get more creepy doll parts. No, no, please don’t make me.

I will also be using my ceramics class this semester to make some planters as well when I saw a few examples at the Conservatory of Flowers gift shop today that look easy enough to create. Having something to do is making for a better head space these days. I hate the world right now as its becoming a deeply scary place to be in. I need art and craft projects to prevent me from falling off an edge, or at the very least, having daily panic attacks. I make things so I don’t murder the world.

The final stretch of winter freedom

Next week school starts again and my brain couldn’t be happier to be functionally active. Well, other than functioning as the internal voice of Damien high on his own ego and out for blood. Man, I seriously can NOT handle being without something to do!! Hubby being gone last week was yet another shiny example of how I’d fail miserably at being single. I barely left the house during that week. I did work on my elements paintings but I really only got one 95% done and started another one. I’m hoping to work more on them later in the week, but if its all crappy outside and the bed turns into “comfy bed”, its going to be damn difficult to drag my carcass out of the dreamy soft warmth. Well not too hard. Daisy’s dead weight of sleep will act as the forklift of momentum to get up as the pain of her awkward snuggling murders my back. That…….and the need to pee.

I have been making more digital collages lately. I am freaking in love with making these. I’m getting better at understanding how to use Photoshop by doing what I usually do in order to learn a program. A little technique I call “Button Smash”!! Basically, its just me hitting random features a bunch of different ways until I figure out how it works. This monkey doesn’t need expensive books to learn things! Youtube tutorials sometimes, but Button Smash is the best way to understand something complicated!! Poke something repetitively and eventually you figure out how to do it right. Just learn to love the “undo” feature with all your heart and soul, and all will be right in the world! Most of what I’ve done I put up on my Facebook page but like most addictive things, I’ll give the first taste for free.

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Not too bad, right? Not perfect but I think that actually makes things more,………authentic I guess is the word. Like, if these were made from real physical images there would be flaws so having the digital versions being not absolutely perfectly put together makes them feel more real to me. I’m learning as I go along. Trying to build up a stockade of images to use too. Trying to be mindful to use more retro images or stock photos so as to not be a jackass. If I DO get contacted by someone, I’ll amend the image or just remove it all together. I actually prefer the retro/vintage stuff anyway. (its already ridiculous in appearance on their own) I get to build surreal universes!!! A world of nonsense all the my fingertips and click of a mouse! And it’s not porn!!!!!

When school starts, I’ll feel a bit better probably. The brainmeats will quiet down a bit so my depression will roll back somewhat. I’m also getting a home gym this month so that I can come home from school each day and workout. That should help since exercise is supposed to, but sweating makes me more angry than happy. Damn I miss my old gym in LA where I had a steam room to sit in! I don’t care for a sauna all that much but a steam room was just so freaking awesome! Its a big bowl of donkey dicks that I can’t seem to find a gym close to my house that has one. *kicks dirt* Stupid gyms. So I’ll have a gym at home to stare me directly in the face, and therefore, absolutely ZERO excuse for doing something! I turn 40 this year and I hate how I look. I need to do something, mostly so that I can once again be able to take a photo of myself without wanting to hide in some Cavern of Sadness forever. I’m broken, so its time to start gluing pieces back together.

Fuck you wind!

I’ve always hated really windy storms. I don’t particularly care for thunder storms either but I can mentally process THAT noise, but wind? I’m as much a wimp about wind as Daisy is about the vacuum cleaner. Growing up, my bedroom was in the back of the house. In the yard we used to have a HUGE palm tree that I think was at least 2-3 stories high. When the Santa Ana winds or a really bad windy storm would hit, that blasted tree would sway and loudly creak. It used to cause me massive panic in my youth that it would suddenly snap and come crashing through the roof of my bedroom. When the Northridge earthquake hit in 95, our backyard wall and awning fell so my folks decided to gut the tree thankfully. But ever since then, I now go into full panic mode about really huge gusts of wind.

Here in CA we’re finally getting some proper rain and last night was an intense storm that felt like the world outside was trying to get in. It was so bad I could hear the vent over the stove rattling. So of course, this triggered a panic attack. Haven’t had one of those bastards in awhile. It probably hit because I’m alone this week as Hubby is on a business trip. I locked myself and Daisy in the bedroom, blared Sherlock on my laptop while I did some drawings hoping to subside the anxiety. But once I noticed it was almost 1 am, I decided to go to bed. The storm had died down so I figured I’d be okay.

Apparently, my brainmeats didn’t get the memo! It started spinning about me dying, the weight on my chest turned into a boulder, the heart started running a marathon, and I started crying. Managed to after about an hour of deep breaths and mentally screaming at myself to go the fuck to sleep, my brainmeats decided to chill the fuck out.

So yeah, fuck you wind. You suck AND you blow. Eat a bowl of dicks wind.

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Winter break update

I haven’t had a chance to do any writing recently but I’ve finally got a moment to get some of the buzzing around in my head out.
First a quick school update:
Hooray! Another semester is done and this blog can go back to being about my normal shenanigans. I am beyond glad that this semester is over because the stress it caused me along with the crap fest that 2016 was made going to school feel like a trek through the Swamp of Sadness. Only 2 more left until I have my degree.

Now, onto the State of Strange Child:
Ugh. 2016 was such a royal bitch wasn’t it?! Losing John so suddenly was difficult as being so distant I felt helpless. I wanted to jump on a plane and run out there to be there for her and her daddy. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t even make it out for the memorial because of school. The depression from the summer break didn’t quite go away either. It lingered like a fart in the air. I was constantly feeling like a failure and that I was grasping at straws to get stuff done. I got B’s in both of my general ed classes and it STILL bugs me that I see this as a fail. I feel like I busted my ass in both of those classes yet I didn’t excel like I normally do. (Stupid ADD brain) That’s another thing that’s getting to me. I may need to have my meds adjusted as I feel, …….off. I want to do a billion things, but don’t have enough time to get it all done. So many art projects, cooking ideas, exercise I need to do, books to read, movies to watch, etc. Just not enough hours in the day. Plus Hubby will pout about missing me.
I really miss being able to have weed too. Ever since that horrific experience in February, I’ve stayed away from it because I’m terrified of it happening again. But I desperately miss that warm glowing feeling it gave me that allowed me to just relax and be in the moment. I would feel so happy and carefree. I get that way when I’m buzzed on booze, but the hangover is horrific. With weed I wake up the next day totally chill and ridiculously well rested. Hubby is annoyed that I haven’t gotten my card yet. Says I just need to “vagina up” and do it. He even told me about some mobile app that would allow me to do it over the phone. I am just terrified of doing it. I know its easy, and that its not that big of a deal, but the thought of me having to go into one of the offices to get one of the cards paralyzes me for some reason. I  just want to feel that moment of fuzzy happiness where I just don’t give a shit about anything other than laughing and having something tasty. Hell, when I had some while Hubby was away on business to help keep me calm while I’m all by myself I’d draw up a storm! I’d throw something on Netflix on, sit on the bed, draw while sort of paying attention, and then look up to realize that it was 2am. He’s going on another trip soon. It’d be nice if I could be able to have that again.

I should write here more often I know. Especially about my art. I have gotten better with my painting. This semester I learned how to better do the fluid painting so I’ll be able to play with that more efficiently where I’m not blowing through paint like before. I also learned how to do transfers so now when I draw something, I don’t have to try to recreate it again onto the canvas, I can just trace it with transfer paper! Saves my mental health so damn much learning this!!!!! Also, I learned how to do digital collages in Photoshop! Oh sweet Chuck I love doing those!! I will need to learn more about Photoshop so I think I’ll try to find some sort of tutorial book so that I can really get good at them. Next semester I’m playing with ceramics again so perhaps I’ll be able to make some cool things there too. For now, I’m working on a 4 painting series of the four elements: fire, water, air and water. Got them all drawn onto the canvases and ready to paint. I hope to have those done by the end of next week. I’m hoping to do at least one drawing every night that Hubby is gone to keep my skills up. I feel like I’m slacking in that area right now.

A new year. It already is going to be hard considering the state of the US being run by an orange shitgibbon with a super sensitive ego and congress of jackasses. But then again, maybe we need this shit fest in order to better ourselves. Who knows. I just want to make pretty things, watch Star Wars, laugh, and learn new things.

Art outing #3

Have been so distracted by the holidays that I forgot to post this.

I went to this jazz club in Oakland called Cafe Van Kleef to just check out whomever was playing that night and to get some tasty drinks. An artist named Dave Rocha was playing that night. He’s a trumpet player who has been inspired by Mile Davis and John Coltrane. I’m not too much of a jazz music fan but my maternal grandfather was a jazz player. Tenor saxophone was his instrument. I enjoy places like Cafe Van Kleef because it takes me back to my childhood listening to my grandfather play. Rocha was a delight to listen to and thought his performance was superior. I’ll probably go out to Cafe some time soon as my husband enjoys the place immensely. Plus, the bar’s decor is so much fun to look at! It’s done up like New Orleans’ Bourbon street, which taxidermy creatures, beads, and other random weird things. Love it!

Art Outing 2: Writing assignment

Back in October, I took a visit out to the Legion of Honor art museum. Normally, I’m not all that fond of the museum. It tends to not have interesting works or exhibitions that involve works that I enjoy. My husband however loves to go there, so we decided to take in the exhibition of the Le Nain brothers before it closed. I am not normally attracted to artworks that are considered Classical. This is mostly due to my unfamiliarity with subject manners that involve religious themes. However I do appreciate the painting techniques of the artists while the images themselves do not usually evoke any kind of emotional reaction within me. The special exhibition was not that particularly interesting to me for this reason, however the one painting that did intrigue me was the final image in the exhibit titled Allegory of Victory. This painting stands out starkly against the rest of the images on display mainly because of how its composition is strangely laid out. What is most strikingly peculiar about the painting for me is that of the second female figure in which the angel is standing on. First, I noticed was how her back is arched awkwardly; if someone was standing on one’s torso, they wouldn’t be arching their back upwards quite like that. Secondly, the bottom figure is oddly placed underneath the angel, with no indications of weight being distributed on the torso. It is as if she was added into the painting as an after-thought by the artist. The feet of the bottom figure also appear to be turning into a serpent’s tail, which is a bit visually jarring when trying to understand the story the image is telling. An intriguing aspect about the bottom figure is how her legs almost appear to be slowly vanishing. The landscape in the background is seeping through her legs, which adds to my theory that this figure was added on after the victorious angel was completed. An alternative to this thought is that the paint used is slowly fading away due to degradation. The background landscape also is visually odd in that towards the bottom there are very small figures meant to indicate a perception of depth, but instead creates an unusual visual contradiction in comparison to the two female figures in front. All of the paintings peculiarities is what draws me into it further. I became fascinated with the curvature of the angel’s form and the way the wings spread across the top of the painting so beautifully. I was disappointed I couldn’t purchase a copy of the image to hang in my home, as this is one of the few classical artworks that I could make a connection with.  Overall, this was the one painting that struck an emotional response, which is why I love art so very much. There was an exhibition on art books next door that was really cool to see. On the wall was a series of Pablo Picasso images where he took the same image and did it twenty distinctly different ways. The last image ended up resembling random abstract shapes and figures. Yet another reason Picasso was a great! Still, the Legion remains otherwise dull to me.