Week 40 of Making Something Every Day

This week in art feels like it happened a million years ago. Or, at least, a month ago. Still trying to play catch up and get my Nepal photos sorted. I’ll do a post with those photos soonish.

Day 273: Nepal journal.
Day 273

Day 274: Shawl Nepal project prep.
Day 274

Day 275: Pumpkin cake with cinnamon maple cream cheese frosting.
Day 275

Day 276: Putting together my Nepal art kit.
day 276

Day 277: Dog, hat/doily crochet, and confusing pattern on the iPad for the thing that is either a hat or doily.
Day 277

Day 278: finished hat for Nepal friend. (Posted a day late.)
day 278

Day 279: A shawl/scarf for another Nepal friend.
day 279


Week 39 of Making Something Every Day

This week has been a crochet heavy week and I’m sorry about that since the challenge has been primarily about paper and paint. I’ve been working against some pre-Nepal trip deadlines so I’ve been using a lot of time crocheting to get things done before I go and in preparation of teaching the ladies in Nepal. I promise to get back to the paper and paint soon! Or, you know, more like in December.

Day 265: progress report.
day 265

Day 266: Weaving in end threads.
day 266

Day 267: Working on my travel journal.
day 267

Day 268: While working on the edging for the blankie, Anwyn has decided she likes it very much.
day 268

Day 269: Starting the last row of a crochet project I’ve worked on longer than any previous crochet project.
day 269

Day 270: I’m finished! I’m finished!
day 270

Days 271 & 272: Nepal project prep.
Day 271 & 272

Thoughts on this week:
I have 100 days left on this challenge. Becky asked me this week if I’d do it again next year. When I answered I didn’t know, she and Stephen both encouraged me to continue. I still don’t know. I’m wondering if I should do it again but change it somehow. Of course, there’s something to be said for don’t fix what isn’t broken. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

I’ll be traveling (you might have heard something about a trip to Nepal) in November. Not sure how much daily work I’ll be doing during that time or during Thanksgiving week. Either way, that extends the last leg of the challenge well into the new year. Still processing what I think about that. If it matters or not about whether I do it again next year.

I do know it has been an incredibly fulfilling and fun year. I’ve got so many memories wrapped up in these daily pieces of art. An unexpected bonus to what started out as training exercise. I can say I appreciate all of your encouragement and comments on the stuff I’ve made. Art is so personal and subjective. So I am especially appreciative of all of the positive things people have said.


Week 38 of Making Something Every Day

Day 258: Morning meditation on Hope, Peace, and Love. One to go.
day 258

Day 258b: It’s a good day! I’m finished!
day 258b

Day 259: Working in my tiny art journal again feels good.
day 259

Day 260: Faith, Hope and Love.
day 260

Day 261: Watching the paint dry on the cover of my mini Smash Book. Gonna use it as my journal in Nepal.
day 261

Day 262: Beginning assembly of the granny square blankie.
day 262

Day 263: Outermost squares are tied on, not sewed to the middle yet. This is how much I’ve done since last night.
day 263

Day 264: Race to the end! I’ve got 10 squares to make and I’ll have all the squares for the boarder.
Day 264


Nepal 2013

monkey temple
Swayambhu, or in English, The Monkey Temple in Kathmandu.

As most of you remember, I went to Pokhara, Nepal in December last year to help train women as sewing instructors. I’m so excited to be getting to go back this year!

I’ll be leaving in just a few short weeks to start the nearly 30 hours of flying to get there. Once I make it to Kathmandu, I’ll take a bus through the Himalayan Mountains for 6 hours to the town of Pokhara. It’s a good sized town with a beautiful lake and a tourist village that we jokingly named the Gatlinburg of Nepal.

fish tail
This is Machapuchare, or in English, Fish Tail Mountain near Pokhara. It is sacred to the goddess Shiva so no climbing allowed.

Once we arrive in Pokhara we will meet with our host, Sangte (pronounced Son-TAY). She will be our translator for the week. She is a remarkable woman. Indian by birth, she and her husband felt called to minister to the Tibetan refugees in Nepal so they packed up and moved from India to Pokhara. She and her husband have cared for Tibetan refugee children over the past 10 years. Sometimes she has as many as eight children and teens living with her! She decided that another way to help would be to open sewing schools for women to learn job skills.

It is said that to be born a woman in Nepal you had to have been very bad in a previous life. Girls receive little education and are expected to quit school when they marry. Several of the women we worked with last year worked as seamstresses but also dug gravel and sand out of the river to sell to supplement their income. Sangte’s sewing schools are helping change that. By training women as seamstresses and then allowing them to purchase a sewing machine through a micro-lending program, women are able to start their own businesses in their village to make clothing and household items to sell.

I can’t explain how humbled and excited I am to be a part of this project.

Here is our group from last year!

Many of you asked how you could help. If you are inclined to contribute, you can do so in a variety of ways. The group I work with is Global Women. You can donate on that website and please specify that it is for Nepal. You can also help me with supplies I’ll be taking with me. I need: women’s vitamins, calcium, small tubes of toothpaste, yarn, crochet hooks in sizes 5 and 6mm, scissors (Nepalese scissors are very poor quality), sandwich and gallon sized ziplock bags, gum, candy, hand lotion, band aids, or neosporin. I also need fun things to go in a grab bag the ladies can pull from. Fun things like hair ties, nail polish, scarves, necklaces, note pads and pens are things we had in the grab bag last year. If you don’t have time to purchase those items but still want to help you can pass me some cash and let me know what you’d like for me to purchase. You can also paypal me under my name.

Lastly, I will ask you to pray, send good thoughts, light a candle or do your special dance for me and the team traveling to Nepal and for the ladies we will work with during the two weeks. I don’t talk much about my religion here but I will say this: I feel very strongly that God has called me to this place to spend time with these ladies and tell them they are loved and cared for by a community that is on the other side of the world. That they matter and are important to God and to me.

Thank you. It means a lot to me that many of you supported my trip last year and I appreciate what you have done and are continuing to do for this trip.

me teaching


Week 37 of Making Something Every Day

Day 251: Starting on Peace. Kinda a lake of paint at the moment.
Day 251

Day 252: Hebrew in pink for Joy Week.
day 252

Day 253: Sneak peek of the panels in the sanctuary. (Got words & stained glass shapes drawn on all of them today!)
day 253

Day 254: @Obajoo came over and helped me paint today. We got SO much done! So pleased!
day 254

Day 255: Blankie is big enough now that it’s starting to be hot work, especially in the car.
day 255

Day 256: Painted for a couple of hours tonight. Getting there.
day 256

Day 257: Picked up the blankie that’s been on pause & realized I’m much closer to finishing than I thought.
day 257


Week 36 of Making Something Every Day

Day 244: got the purple background done on Hope. Cut shapes for the stained glass. (1 of 4)
Day 244

Day 245: one corner with solo cup for scale.
Day 245

Day 246: progress report.
day 246

Day 247: I’ve got 20 inches of 55 inches made. It’s starting to look like a blanket.
Day 247

Day 248: Gluing things down.
Day 248

Day 249: Working on logo for the Naomi Center in Bucharest, Romania. No art to show off yet, though!
Day 250: More work on the logo for sewing school in Bucharest. Will be sure to post the idea the client chooses at the end.


Week 35 of Making Something Every Day

Day 237: I dream in CMYK.
day 237

Day 238: Treasured ATC.
day 238

Day 238b: Liza brings her journal home from school and @Sargent & I write in it. Here’s art I did for her this week.
day 238b

Day 239: Explore the Minor Chord postcard.
Day 239

Day 240: Circles pages.
day 240

Day 241: 1 of 4 mock ups for a soon-to-be-announced project.
day 241

Day 242: Peacock stitch blankie.
day 242

Day 243: All 4 mock ups of the soon to be announced project.
Day 243

It’s been a crazy ride this week! So here’s the big announcement: I’ve been asked to do four paintings for our church sanctuary to hang during Advent (4 weeks before Christmas). Each painting is 4 feet by 3 feet. The first is hope and is purple, the second is peace, also purple, the third is joy, it’s pink, and the last is love, also purple. I’ve been painting like mad because they all have to be finished before I head to Nepal at the beginning of November. So stand by for the next few weeks to be nonstop purple extravaganza in my daily posts! I’m so excited I can’t hardly stand to be around myself!


We Did Mad Lib Abstracts for Science

As part of our fundraising to hold a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon, we promised to perform acts of whimsy as we hit funding milestones. We’ve passed $3,000, which is amazing and means we’re halfway to our goal. (Feel free to donate money at this link to help us reach it, by the way!)

It also means that we’re starting to perform our Acts of Whimsy. We’d passed $2,000 by Friday, so as promised, we played Mad Libs for science. Twice! We chose to mutilate one of my old abstracts and Torrey Stenmark’s thesis. Nicole “Noisy Astronomer” Gugliucci gathered us all into a Google+ hangout last Friday and we were off to the races.

The event veered quickly in a non-work-safe direction, as you can tell from what happened to my abstract.

We report on the observation of a highly degenerate, strongly smarmy Fermi gas of chairs. Fermionic lithium-6 atoms in a kind trap are evaporatively escaped to degeneracy using a taxidermy to induce strong, resonant pony. Upon lovingly releasing the hair from the trap, the gas is observed to run rapidly in the blue direction while remaining nearly big-assed in the axial direction. We interpret the expansion bronies in terms of tart superfluid and collisional tarts. For the data taken at the longest evaporation penises, we find that wooly hydrodynamics does not provide a smelly explanation, whereas vagina is plausible.

Vagina is plausible indeed. What about Torrey’s? It involved dudebros, palladium-catalyzed douche balloon reactions, and oxygen-containing Corgi. Watch the video for more, or grab the PDF of the results.

Since we’ve broken $3,000 since Friday, we’ll do another Mad Lib abstract. If you want to join in the fun later this week follow @NoisyAstronomer for the details. It also means that I have to re-write Prometheus for sock puppets. On the plus side, Dr. Rubidium has to listen to Nickelback, so there’s a silver lining to the socks.

To sum up: Sockmetheus! Dr. Rubidium suffers through Nickelback! Another chance for someone’s abstract to remain big-assed in the axial direction! Best of all, we’re going to get to spread the joy of science to GeekGirlCon attendees. We’re halfway to our fundraising goal. Care to help us reach it?


Week 34 of Making Something Every Day

Day 230: One Wish Postcard.
day 230
Last week I talked about the pieces that I wonder later who made that super cool thing. ‘One Wish’ is that for me this week.

Day 231: 9 new postcard backgrounds.
day 231
On the Mommies Run Away from Home weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, we went to the scrapbook outlet and I got some old newspaper pages. I cut those up and glued them to a piece of watercolor paper. I added my favorite brown, bronze, yellow and green paints then cut them up for postcard backgrounds. They ROCK as postcard backgrounds and I am inordinately pleased that I had the foresight on that shopping trip to buy a bunch of that paper.

Day 232: France Postcard.
day 232
Lots of folks oohed and aahed over this one on Facebook.

Day 233: Youthful Days postcard.
day 233
Ahh, the good old days. Funny how we collectively remember times past in a way that is sometimes completely inaccurate.

Day 234: Friends postcard.
day 234
Love how the colors came together in this one.

Day 235: New, tiny art journal! 5.5×8″ spread. Accidentally started at the back, resulting inspirational end quote!
Day 235
I bought this tiny little book in the Dealer’s Room at Dragoncon. It was the first time an art supply store had a table and I thought it was so brilliant I had to support it. I wanted to give this little book a try since I had such a hard time art journaling in my larger format book. It’s closer to the postcard size I’ve been working on so it makes me feel more comfortable with the space. Maybe I can work my way up the sizes. Also, since I accidentally started painting at the back of the book, I flipped it around and then had to come up with something to end the book with. It’s twice as funny to me since it’s actually the first page in the book I made.

Day 236: “Mom, you should write ‘Be kind to people.’ in your little book.”
day 236
I sat down at my art table this morning before the kids went out to the bus. I wanted to get a background started so it could be drying while I waited with them outside. She told me I should write ‘Be kind to people.’ I thought it was a fitting way to start the book and a fitting thought for September 11. So I added some butterflies, since those are her favorites, and there it was.


Help Us Hold a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon and Make Me Fix Prometheus

DIY Science ZoneOne of the things I love to do is to help people discover how awesome science is. One of the best ways, hands down, is hands on: give people the opportunity to commit science themselves. GeekGirlCon agrees, because they’re letting a team of us hold an all-day-long DIY science zone!

Why am I excited about this? Let me count the ways.

We’re offering a range of science activities. We’re extracting DNA and building neurons. We’re offering genetic taste tests and showing you how to find latent fingerprints. The experiments are for a range of ages and cover a bunch of different areas of science. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to make fossils out of coffee grounds, especially in the heart of Starbucks country?

We’re offering them to an under-served group. Despite the great strides made in the last decades, too many people still view science as being for males. GeekGirlCon celebrates women in geek culture, and that includes the sciences. Here’s our chance to help bust the stereotype of science as being a “guy thing”. Any time I can kick against that stereotype, I will.

The attendees will get to see real-live scientists who aren’t lab-coated stereotypes. I tend to forget that most people don’t know scientists personally or ever meet them. Is it any wonder that, when asked to draw a scientist, many kids draw an older white dude with Doc Brown hair? It’s pervasive enough that characters on The Big Bang Theory were going to be in lab coats before the showrunners met actual science graduate students and realized that t-shirts and jeans were more common. One way to combat that stereotype is to let people meet actual scientists.

Our team is diverse. We’ve got younger and older scientists. Most of our team is female; many are not Caucasian. I want people to realize that science is open to anyone. If we had a team that was all older white guys, then the subtext is, “Science really is just for white dudes with Doc Brown hair.”

We can make Dr. Rubidium suffer by making her listen to Nickelback.

See, to make the DIY Science Zone happen, we’re raising $5,000 to $6,000 for supplies, banners, lodging, and airfare. We’ve all signed up to perform different Acts of Whimsy as we raise more money. Our fearless leader has agreed that, for every $500 we raise, she’ll listen to a different Nickelback album live on a G+ Hangout. And she haaaaaaaates Nickelback. She’s even got a “No Nickelback” sign posted on her lab door.

Dr. Rubidium hates NickelbackBut! She’s trying to weasel out of it! People are now marking their donations as being either pro-Nickelback or anti-Nickelback! Because so many people have marked their donations as anti-Nickelback, she’s not going to have to listen to “Curb”!

This cannot stand. Help the pro-Nickelback forces by donating to our cause. Plus there are a lot of other Acts of Whimsey that’ll happen. Live G+ Hangouts where we take our paper abstracts and make Mad Libs out of them. Seelix’s cat dressed up as Avengers! Heaven help me, I promised that, at $3,000, I’d fix the science and logic errors in Prometheus and re-enact the movie.

With sock puppets.

But if Dr. Rubidium has to listen to multiple Nickelback albums, it’ll all be worth it.

Please. Donate money to make the DIY Science Zone happen. For science. For education.

For Nickelback.