At the first guild meeting I attended we made paste paper, and then this month we used this paper to make books! A four-needle book binding stitch sounds very complicated, yes? It is, in fact, quite doable! Mine was not the most precisely stitched, but I love this technique. We also made books in our first calligraphy class, to use as notebooks throughout the course. I am excited to pick up the pen next week!
Here's my first paste-paper-four-needle book:
engineer asks: "do you want the ducts above the ceiling and below the bottom chord of the truss, or do you want everything above the structure?"
krystyna pictures: a family of ducks waddling around and quacking about above the ceiling tiles, peeking up through the smoke barrier into the attic space.
or: while coordinating cds, krystyna sees a conflict. there's a new duct running through existing concrete tees just fine, until bam! it hits the new beam holding up the old stair from which we removed the bearing wall. oh no! feathers fly everywhere. wings and webbed feet scramble. krystyna saves the day by dropping the ceiling height to a tight, but still-legal 7'-8". whew! the ducks can squeak through.
this is all in my head. i've not shared my duck-dreams with my co-workers...wonder what goes on in their heads?
how do you keep yourself entertained during the day??
(apparently i am on a duck theme this week, i just realized...)
[I posted about this article when it first came out, but my students were discussing that *big* question...what is architecture? Well, it's a big question in architecture school...probably not so much outside of the architectural world. But animal and insect architecture came up and got me thinking about these fascinating little structures...]
What does your nest look like?
Mine is filled at the moment with pillows, and half-made cards, and books, and scribbled-on lecture notes, a broken over door, a chin-up bar I can barely hang from, my (five-toed!) running shoes, and the sound of early-fall-Gilmore-Girls on the dvd player. And did I mentioned the books?? [I am not a minimalist, in case you did not pick up on that…]
|Lily Inspired Dragonfly Hug Ring|
|Side View of Ring|
|Vacuum Tube Necklace with Hand Woven Filigree|
Thankfully no one else here ever seems inclined to swim after dark, so the pool is generally mine.
There is magic in swimming at night. I highly recommend it. (But not at the beach – I think that’s when all the fishies eat. And the sharks.)
It’s cloudy tonight, so there aren’t any stars. But after swimming a lap or two, languidly pushing the water out of my path, I slowed to a stop in the middle. Reclined back in the water. And floated.
Floating is one of my favorite things in the world. (Easily pleased? Yes.)
The breeze was still breezing and it was so beautiful up in the tops of the oak trees, blowing the lengths of the thinnest branches wildly about, while barely moving the stockier limbs. What a view, looking straight up. I felt like the trees were waking up restless their restless souls right above me.
Back on the surface of the water where I hovered, one of my favorite phenomena (and one of my reasons for my fascination with floating) occurred. Do you know that feeling, where part of you is above water and part of you is below, and the line of the surface of the water around your body seems to be the most tangible thing in the world? Arms outstretched, palms upturned, let the surface of the water skim your fingertips. The feeling of the water line pulling away, and then fingertips re-emerging is so meditative. Try it.
(I went back to take a picture of the trees and got some odd looks from late-evening dog-walkers. Wandering around barefoot in my haphazardly selected post-swim clothes with a camera slung over my shoulder…I may have a reputation as an eccentric around here…being normal’s no fun though…)
After a hectic several months at my ‘day’ job (mostly 60+ hour weeks, with one solid 80 hour week in there) I finally have a weekend (a three day one, at that) that I don’t have to work.
And my Saturday has been…a Saturday. I feel so very refreshed right now.
Next step - deep breath. Sink into hammock.
I got up late (ahhhh) drank my coffee, cleaned my kitchen. First thing is my favorite time to clean my kitchen, which means I usually end the day with piles of dishes sitting on the counter. But…to each her own, right?
I went to Hibbs Farm & Garden for some organic potting soil. I have to say, when they closed the garden section at my Target I was upset, but I think it was really a blessing in disguise. I have this great garden center/nursery just down the road from me, but I’d always go to Target because I had to go there anyway. Got my potting soil (their selection is broader than just the MiracleGro I could find at Target), spied a very handsome man working there (I’ll have to go back more often!) and returned to my balcony.
Repotted mint bequeathed to me by my sister (so I can return her pot to her finally). Got three good plants out of it! Potted jade clippings from my parents to replace mine the squirrels massacred. Planted some more jasmine seeds (hope they weren’t too dry – I’ve had them for a while now…carried them around in my purse for a couple of weeks because I kept forgetting about them. Good thing they didn’t sprout in there!). Swept my balcony (long time coming) and swabbed pollen off as many surfaces as I could.
Finally picked up my package from Aquarian Bath at my apartment office. (Long hours mean the office is generally closed by the time I get home. One day I’ll have a house with a front door mat postmen can oh-so-subtly drape over my packages so that I don’t have to wait a week to retrieve them.)
Discovered pool is open again – woohoo! Summertime is here with a vengeance. (Why wouldn’t you re-marcite in the winter when people don’t want to swim?)
Went to the library down the road to continue reviewing/studying for the Arch History class I am teaching at the end of summer(!). No domestic distractions. And much quieter than the downtown branch. This one has a reading garden too (with lots of butterflies - a plus if you don’t find them creepy).
Finally went to the Fruitville Grove Market and discovered they have, not only yummy produce and breads and things, but also local eggs! I’ve been trying to find local eggs for a while. Success at last.
Enjoying a glass of truly fresh FL OJ, all the pulp included.
And about to sink into that hammock.
Happy Saturday to you.
I know, I seem to be stuck on mermaids lately. But yesterday I left work early (!) to head to a meeting (non-day-job-related!).
On the trek to the interstate I was pacing a truck. This was not unusual in itself, but I kept catching something in my peripheral vision when we’d pass by each other. As we slowed to a stop I leaned forward to look at the side of the trailer – Baitmaster. Ok. I like fishing but I’ll use whatever my bro-in-law brings along. He’s the one with the boat; I have no need to buy bait.
But just below the text there she was, perched on a hook with her green scales pulled modestly up around her bosoms.
Blonde hair and typical mermaid profile just like the one in my dreams, but ten times as big and not on ice.
I think she’s haunting me.
I love reading. I do. And I think reading is one of the most important activities for kids as their minds develop. I think it’s just as important to keep adult mind in shape. And I think storytelling is one of the strongest threads of community and society. Reading is a vital activity.
But…I have to admit something. I have a problem, and it just keeps growing. I cannot finish a book. Well not literally. I’ve finished plenty. But here’s a snapshot of my currents (I’ve reached varying points in all these books – some I’ve barely started, some I’ve almost finished, some I’ve read the same first four chapters over and over and can’t get any further – but I want to):
The Perfect House | Witold Rybczynski
La Vita Nuova | Dante
The Children’s Book | AS Byatt
New Science | Vico
Have Space Suit Will Travel | Robert Heinlein
The Door Into Summer | Robert Heinlein
The Olive Farm |Carol Drinkwater
French Women Don’t Get Fat | Mireille Guiliano
Animal Vegetable Miracle | Barbara Kingsolver
The Riverside Anthology of Children’s Literature
The Book of the City of Ladies | Christine de Pizan
Momus | Alberti
The Sacred and the Profane | Mircea Eliade
A Canticle for Leibowitz | Walter Miller
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams
Hector and the Search for Happiness | Francoise Lelord
Beatrix Potter A Life in Nature | Linda Lear
The Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys
The Omnivore’s Dilemma | Michael Pollan
The Odyssey | Homer
The Fable of the Bees | Bernard Mandeville
What are you reading these days?
I wandered the beach on Sunday evening.
The water was like a silver velvet blanket creeping onto the shore. Oddly, it reminded me of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, with its thick luxurious waves rolling up onto the sand. And, like the cloak, it hides who-knows-what beneath, and is at times both reflective of mysterious moonlight and transparent to what is hidden below.
Wandering to – I gazed out at the breadth of the horizon, dodged fishing lines, picked up one perfect juvenile conch shell.
Wandering fro – I looked ahead, but down at the water at my feet, as I often do; I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye, and turning around to try and catch the fleeting object in my sight. I must have look paranoid, as if I thought someone was following me. And then I figured it out – the MOON was following me, perfectly reflecting its silver sliver in the veil of water just behind my right heel. The thought of the moon following me made me laugh a little. I tossed my hair back, breathed in the luxurious air, and peeked one more time to make sure my little lunar friend was still coming with me.
(I don’t have good photo to illustrate the quality of the water that night. But I don’t think any photo ever quite does that kind of night justice. You need the air moving around you, the salt in your nose, the sound of the tide, and the touch of the sand beneath your feet, with the water lapping at your ankles.)
I had several recurring dreams as a child and one of the less disturbing (though still weird) dreams involved a mermaid. No, I take that back – it was plain disturbing.
There was a fish shop that I used to go to with my mother when I was little and she was running errands. (This shop may have been purely an invention of my dream - I’ll have to check with her on this.) We’d stop by this fish shop, I believe just north of the US41 bridge over the Peace River (a pretty specific detail, but I still think this may have all been part of the dream world). The floor was white terrazzo, the air conditioning ran cold but humid, and there was, of course, the aroma of fish in the air. A bell rang and hit the storefront door as it opened and closed. I did not like eating fish until very recently, so the odor was unpleasant to me. I’d bide my time while my mother picked out her selections for dinners I would not eat. This was all normal, repetitive, everyday stuff. And then one day I peered into the freezer closest to the door, across from the register, to see the whole fish laid out on the crushed ice. I didn’t like eating the creatures but found them fun to look at. Dead on the ice. Thinking back on that, it seems a bit morbid, but I love fishing now and that’s what you do to them – lay them out on the ice….
One day something was different. Gray scales with green edges, hints of oranges, light glinting off the skins – yes, that was right. And lying horizontally along with all the other future-meals was a little mermaid. About two feet long. With full-grown human/mermaid proportions, scaled down to a length of about 24 inches. Her tail was green, the scales had gray edges. A sick dread set in my stomach and I turned around and found my mother thankfully ready to leave. I hurried out ahead of her.
I had this dream I don’t know how many times. Why is it that the weird, rock-in-the-stomach-forming dreams are the ones that always come back? Not the airy, happy, sparkly ones? Another of my recurring dreams came partially true one night – woke the whole house up with that one…but that’s a story for another day.
So…my early-on brushes with mermaids were a little…off, shall we say? But thankfully that did not prejudice me against the mythical beauty that normally surrounds these creatures.
Last weekend (was it only last weekend?) I had the most lovely Easter tea with my family.
(We celebrate with food, in case you couldn’t tell…)
A rainbow of dye
My niece’s first year dying eggs. She had so much fun. She was tossing the eggs in the dye with abandon. I started saying “plunk” every time she did, and she quickly picked up on that. Plunk, plunk, plunk. Luckily eggs of the hard-boiled variety are a little tougher than the raw ones.
Kielbasa, fresh and smoked
Adorable cupcakes that my sister made. Cute and delicious! (She left some without the coconut grass for me…)