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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Day 231: 9 new postcard backgrounds.
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 235: New, tiny art journal! 5.5×8″ spread. Accidentally started at the back, resulting inspirational end quote!
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.”
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.
One 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.
But! 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.