Friday, July 25, 2008


We went blueberry-picking today, and, delicious though they be, I must admit that I cannot stomach any more blueberries today. Pick-it-yourself farms are a spectacular alternative to buying them in a supermarket. The fruit you get there is not only much fresher and less expensive, but the picking is a rewarding experience in itself. It's also a great way to support local businesses.

Today ended with quite a good haul- I expect the next few days will be spent washing and freezing blueberries. Some fruits, especially berries, keep very well when frozen (fortunate, when buying produce in bulk), and can even be eaten straight out of the freezer.

I ended up with a number of decent photos today as well. If anyone's interested, they might be appearing on my devArt in the near future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Front Page

Made the front page on Etsy! I never imagined it would happen, not to mention so soon. Thanks to whomever featured my print in his or her treasury.

I didn't manage to find or catch a screenshot, but it's listed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Share Your Blog

Do you have a blog? I've been looking around for some to read, and combing search engines, compilations, blogging communities, etc. is out of the question- I've done enough of that. Pretty much anything will do. Go on, share yours! I'll be looking forward to reading whatever you write or rant about.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Have You Seen this Artist Yet?

Have you seen this artist yet? Because if you haven't, you are, without question, missing out. Words like exquisite and extraordinary hardly do his illustrations justice. This master of many traditional media produces stunning works in not only watercolor, but inks, graphite, and others, all in his uniquely elegant style. In fact, I should stop talking, as you shouldn't be even spending time reading this- go take a look at his deviantArt now.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Learn Another Language

We all know that language is an essential part of life. But what are the benefits of knowing more than one language? Languages open the boundaries between different peoples, cultures, nations. It is amazing how much knowing more than one language can do. In our native tongues, we are comfortable; we are confident of our competence and skill in the familiar.

To those who know or learn another, however, there is more to the world. The comprehension of multiple languages is, in the words of a cliché, more than the sum of its parts. Knowing more than one language helps each one to be seen not only more clearly, but also in a different light. Connections will be drawn, realizations made. There is nothing so uplifting as the process of gaining insight- making sudden discoveries in addition to simple understanding.

I can personally attest to all of this. I grew up with two languages, and although I am not awfully fond of the other, non-English one, I am still wholly grateful that I understand both. Unfortunately, my abilities in the other have gone downhill over the years. At the moment I am also beginning to learn another, and the process can be described as nothing less than exhilarating. Even brief encounters with other, unfamiliar languages are like looking through windows you never knew were there.

Sometimes, we hear of, or even encounter, extraordinary individuals that have mastered half a dozen languages or more. This induces a certain amount of envy, to be sure, but mostly I am held in awe. But, more commonplace an occurence, are the ordinary people all over the world who speak two. Have you ever noticed how many people speak English in addition to their own language, as opposed to native English speakers, who mostly speak only English?

Learning languages may not be the center of your focus or top of your priorities, but keep in mind that it is or will be one of the most enriching and valuable experiences you will have- not to mention the merits of learning in itself. You are all encouraged. Learn another language (you can never know too many).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stuff for Today

So today I made little tags. My hands are going to be disabled for a couple of hours, and I am having serious doubts about the likelihood I'll be able to use them (the tags), but hey. They're colorful and I kinda like them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Watch Your Scotchgard

Previously, I had been suggesting the use of strong water repellents like Scotchgard to seal paint. It is a convenient alternative to traditional sealants. However, I have recently noticed several problems. The waterproofer is much more corrosive than it initially appears to be. Unless sprayed liberally over most acrylic paints, no adverse effects are apparent. Also be careful of the following:
  • It discolors. Some mild yellowing is visible, especially with lighter colors.
  • Bleeding- it also causes oil-based inks to bleed through any layers over it.
  • And again, corrosion. It can dissove thin coats of paint and eat through lightweight materials such as tissue paper.

This is, of course, just what I've gathered from personal experience. I have done no experimenting and cannot decisively determine precise effects.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Of Colors and Acrylic Paint

Most of the time, there's nothing wrong with bright colors. They're meant to be light and cheerful, but at other times, bright colors need to avoided or at least used conservatively. So suppose you've already laid down a layer of acrylic paint, hoping that when it dries the color will be not quite as blatantly loud and lacking in subtlety. Suppose, as frequently happens, that this does not occur.

What is this? Barney? The Incredible Hulk? Eww.

Instead of applying another coat (one of the lovely advantages of acrylic), try a light wash. Dilute a dark, neutral color, such as brown or black, and brush it over the offending brightness. This will give the surface a nice, aged, toned-down look. Unfortunately, the effect is not always strong enough. In this case, you will need another coat- but remember to blend first this time.

Second coat over the weak wash. Still wet, but much better.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Everyone's probably heard enough about how ideal workspaces are intended to be clean and clear of distractions. As we all well know, those are not easy to come by. We work quite well wallowing in our own messes, thank you very much.
The state of my workspace on this particular day can be seen at left. Location? Kitchen counter. Duration (so far)? About a week.
And yes, this is normal. Sewing is carried out on a dining room table. Actual homework, the type from classes, is dealt with on a kitchen table. Desks are merely storage space.
The point? This is all merely a reassurance to those who think themselves disorganized or undiciplined in controlling his or her working area. In this regard, you can't possibly be worse off than I am.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

[It was] the 4th

Fireworks- you knew this was coming. Late, but coming.
After shooting 250+ pictures and some sustaining several frozen fingers, I end up with under ten decent shots. Drat that uncompromising shutter speed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

When Grammar Gets Gooder

Just as heads up: this is not meant to be disparaging; I just find this rather humorous.

You know those disposable bamboo chopsticks you get at Chinese restaurants? You would have thought, that after printing hundreds of thousands (or more) of wrappers and shipping them everywhere, they would have had someone check the English first...

Here's the text on the front, word for word, letter for letter, down to the format, punctuation, and captialization, etc:

Welcome to Chinese Restaurant
please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks
the traditional typical of Chinese glorious history
and cultural.

And another one, on a package of sweets that would have appeared normal, even appealing, if not for the text:

Wet One's Whistle Candy
How delicious can not forget, special taste, return the true flavour. Give
you the memorable feeling
When you try it the first, you will feel its specious. When you try it more
time, you will like it more and more.

Oh my. Remember, kids, never try to translate anything literally word by word. It just doesn't work that way.