Thursday, June 28, 2012

Out of Touch

I know I have not written in a while. I am going through a wee dry spell and am focused on something else. I am sort of a one-track minded kind of girl--I guess that is the OCD element of my personality. I have been concentrating on losing weight. Not only did I feel totally lousy every moment of the day, but I hated the matronly look I had acquired. Being endowed in the bust and hip area and short-waisted makes for a very unappealing look when the pounds creep on.

So, I am doing very well. I have almost hit my goal and expect to reach it prior to vacation. But most importantly I feel 100% better. For the first time exercise and diet have improved my energy level. Also, I can finally walk normally at a pretty decent speed. I still have to watch the sidewalk for uneven ground because I am afraid that I could fall, but it is so much better than anytime since the surgeries on my feet.

I decided to go back to the way I've lost weight in the past. Eat well, count calories and exercise. Pretty much a no brainer. I also realized just how much I hate the gym. I already knew getting the exercise out of the way first thing works best for me. It is so easy to make excuses after dinner. So up at 5:30 AM and in front of the TV. It also sets up your day in a positive way. If for some reason I do not do it, I have the chance to make it up at lunchtime with a walk, or after dinner (with a walk). Yesterday, I did my morning thing and the lunchtime walk to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie with ice coffee. YUM! I have read that if you are going to indulge, do it after a work-out when the metabolism is still high.

I also went back to the exercise routines that were successful in the past. Although the bicycle is best, I find it too stressful to be on the street with the crazy, inattentive drivers. The park also stresses me with the walkers in the middle of the path slowing me down. I started with Kathy Smith DVDs ( I started with the "Marching to Fitness" DVD (because naturally in a non-OCD moment of tossing things out I "no longer need or use" I threw out the video I had) and just received the Kettlebell work-out and the Step work-out, which I will start this weekend. (It takes me a few tries before I can successfully follow the routine.)

Honestly, even before I lost weight the improved diet of less junk and sugar and adding exercise 25 minutes per day made a great improvement in how I felt. I've lost 12 pounds and have 6 to go. If you are feeling depressed or sluggish, try changing your diet and exercise routine. The endorphins really do last a while throughout the day, and you will probably improve your appearance as well.

Baci e abbracci.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What I Have Been Up to Lately

A new print in my shop:

Busy weekend. Cleaning, party, mom for dinner. Then back to work...

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Item in My Etsy Shop!

I ordered 6 prints of the Alphabet Posters today and listed them in my Etsy shop. Now the trick is getting people to see and buy them!

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

When I started out my creative life I completed my foundation year of art school (Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts). I was starting out my major, Graphic Design, but dropped out 2-3 weeks into my second year. During my time away from school, I was introduced to the knitting machine. I learned how to use one by apprenticing under a local craftsperson/designer part-time, and eventually my parents purchased my first machine for me. I then went back to  PCA as a Fiber major, hated it, took a course at each the Moore College of Art & Design and the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now Philadelphia University) and transferred and graduated from Textile.

I was a passionate knitter for more than 25 years, first machine only, but then taught myself how to purl from a DVD (I knew how to knit as a child) and was just as passionate about hand-knitting. I had folded down 2 of the 3 machines to make room for the sewing machine leaving the standard gauge machine up in my small studio. Yesterday I folded that down to make more space. I haven't used it in over 3 years and actually noticed that it needs a foam padded bar replaced before it can be used again. Now I have more room for KittenHeads and drawing. It is sad to no longer have a desire to do something that every waking hour was spent thinking about or doing. It makes me wonder if I will want to do anything creative when I retire and have the time to devote to it. My fear is I won't want to do anything or won't live to retire...

Enough of that! The studio is less claustrophobic and I am doing some work outside of the sketchbook.

Baci e abbracci

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Leaving Work at Five

Leaving work at 5:00 has its benefits. Usually I want to get just one more thing done and go right up to the last possible moment (5:20) to still be able to make a 5:30 train. This means rushing to the station with all of my stuff, taking the undesirable entrance into the station (you know the one where the smell knocks you off your feet) and just making it onto the platform with a minute to spare--or sometimes actually screaming to TOMA, "here I am, here I am!" and the engineer waits for me while I run (what an image--me running with bags).

Well yesterday, after an incredibly long week preparing for a Board meeting I said to myself, let's leave at five today and just sit in the station drawing until the train comes. (I've said that to myself many times at 4:00, only to have some last minute email or request come in that needs attention.) Yesterday, it was so beautiful here in Philly and I only took a partial lunch thinking I needed the rest of it to run an errand later in the day--that actually now needs to be run next week--I did it. And here were the results.

I work near the famous "Love Park," which at this time of day the homeless are staking out there spots for the night, but there are beautiful flowers planted and as I was walking to the station I decided to pull out my camera and snap a few reference pictures for future drawings. I find the screen very difficult to see in sunlight so they are not the best pictures, but my hard week was rewarded with baby house sparrows waiting for their mama to feed them--right in front of me!

The fledglings still had the yellow around their bill. They are so sweet the way they flutter at their mama to feed them. On the other hand, they do not give her a moment of peace. Still it was great to watch and capture. It reminded me of my friend who just had twins--minus the regurgitated food (well I guess there actually is regurgitated food from the twins rather than from my friend).

Speaking of my friend. He seemed to be genuinely pleased with the alphabet poster and we took it to be matted (that was the errand--to pick it up). I also asked Blick to scan the image and will be having posters printed for my Etsy shop.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm So Excited And I Just Can't Hide It!!!

When I used to knit, most projects took a lot of time--no instant gratification. But when I tied off and snipped the last end of yarn there was total elation. It was the culmination of many hours devoted to one project. I would do my little dance around the house and admire the finished project--or more often than not look at the way it turned out and brood about having to tear it all apart and start again.

That is one of the things I like about drawing--instant gratification. This project however was more like knitting. It has taken about a month from start to finish.  I am really pleased. I am pleased because I like the way it turned out (I had my doubts throughout the project whether I would finish and have to tear it up begin again). I am also pleased because I was asked to create an alphabet. I would never have chosen this project. So it was like being given an assignment or challenge and getting a fairly successful result. Of course the true measure of success is if the recipients like it. If two of the four recipients don't break out in tears when they see it, I'll consider that being half way there. The third certainly knows what he likes and he commissioned this piece so his opinion is important. But the fourth recipient knows his stuff (he is a curator at an art museum) so I guess it is his critique that counts most. The lighting in the studio was not conducive to photography tonight--the colors really do pop.

 TOMA and I went to a near by flea market on Saturday. It is mostly full of junk, but sometimes there are at least a couple of things to photograph.

I still have a fascination with religious trinkets. I could fill a curio cabinet with these inexpensive statuettes. My mother is bothered enough by my rosary collection. She would probably have a conniption if I started buying and displaying this stuff.

Baci e abbracci

A Couple of Things From the Weekend

Not much going on around here. Working hard on the secret project to get it done by today... fingers crossed. Went to Zia Gloria's as usual and did a quick drawing of the Tiger Lilies in her yard. Looking down.

Also, working on another project and only have the preliminary black and white drawing down. It is a little poem about the waning and waxing moon. More later...

Baci e abbracci