I've had a fairly productive couple of days.
Well, I finished King Tut finally.
He now has pale hieroglyphics behind him, and I added binding. It was a fun experiment, and reminded me of how easy and effective is to sew right through tracing paper to follow lines. And now that I know how fun it is to use those Lumiere paints, I know I'll be working with them again.
Much of the weekend was taken up by working on the chocolate challenge for my Twelve by 12 challenge group. For a topic so dear to my heart, I had a surprisingly hard time settling on a direction to take. And once I did...well, I created a problem for myself that it took a while to correct. You can read about it here on the Twelve by 12 blog. It was those alluring Caran D'ache neocolor pastel crayons that did me in... they're so much fun to use and provide such soft color for shading that it's tempting to just keep going and going. That delicate issue of knowing when to stop reared its head -- and I didn't. Know when to stop that is. Ah, well. On Saturday, I worked with the one I ruined to try to get it to an acceptable place... and when I decided that I was still unhappy, I redid the thing on Monday. But now I'm happy with it and I am leaving it ALONE. As my friend Rita says, "STEP AWAY FROM THE CRAYONS."
At a bookstore recently, I saw a book on acrylic painting that looked to have quite a few ideas and techniques that would work on fabric. In an exercise of restraint, I wrote down the title to get it from the library and it just came in for me yesterday. I had fun looking through it, and I was right -- there are great jumping off ideas for fabric painting. The book is called Acrylic Revolution.
I'm also reading a book called "Odd Girl Out" by Rachel Simmons, a book about how teenaged girls' social dynamics are so different from the overt bullying that boys go through. This author (a researcher who interviewed a bunch of girls from all over the place) talks about how girls use "relational aggression" -- silent treatment, rejection, exclusion, rumor spreading, mean looks, ganging up on each other -- as ways of jockeying for power. I don't know a mom of a 12 year old girl who isn't worried, watching her daughter try to negotiate the daily "girl stuff" at school, and remembering how it felt to be 12 and uncertain and hormonal and self-conscious and all. One of the fascinating things to me in this book is how the author recognizes that for girls, these behaviors take place within friendships, and how difficult it can be for girls to figure out how to handle this sort of thing. Most of us adults don't handle it well, really. At any rate, I'd recommend this book for any mom of a preteen girl.
It's raining, raining, raining here in California, and it's cold enough that snow is visible on the hills we see from our house. Lovely!