Felting

I started this embroidery at my favorite class in the M.A. program I joined this fall. I used for the first time a needle felting machine and I was really excited to use a new technique for my embroideries. I did an outline of the self portrait, I felted the lighted parts and then I stitched the above the felting and the shadow parts. I didn’t want to use wool and I wasn’t sure if artificial fibers will work, but they did, and I’m glad I can still use this technique even if I try to avoid using animal products. It was really relaxing to do this and I like the result. It’s not perfectly similar to me physically but I do recognize myself in its atmosphere. img_5917img_5920img_5911img_5907

The world

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I have had this notebook for a almost ten years. I have bought it because I used to like old maps, before learning about what these maps were really standing for. I have never used it, I just couldn’t write in it. But it is an expensive notebook, nicely made. For my birthday, my friend Maria offered to transform it to me. She covered all the ships that went to the Americas in order to robe, enslave and try to completely erase entire civilizations and ways of living. She drew in the place of the colonial ships and the colonist with their weapons represented on this mid-seventeenth century map animals and peaceful Native humans. How the world should look like.

I don’t have a before photo, but I found this image online:

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And this is how my notebook looks like now:

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Inside

While running through the courtyard of my school in order to get from one building to the other in one of these rainy days, I had a brief realization of the fact that I am really happy. So lucky to have a job that gives me something to be glad for everyday, a job where I feel so much as my real self. Even if it is only temporary, but I try to enjoy what I have and what I am right now, against my mind’s habit of always planning the future.

As the cold days and especially the freezing nights are here, my friend moved inside the cotton plants (and other plants) from the urban garden. We hope they will survive the relocation and we will be able to re-plant them outside in spring. One of the plants bloomed in our kitchen, even if the leaves died and how the plant will cope till spring is uncertain.

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My favorite flowers

From time to time, I remember that I would really like to draw more, even if it is something that I do quite rarely. One of the things that I would like to have till the end of the year is a notebook full of small drawings of things from nature. I was thinking to have 100 of them (till now, I maybe have 20 or 25). I took some photos of dandelions next to our building and did two drawings of them. I have always loved these modest flowers.

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Plein air

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I have found this box yesterday at the flea market, for quite cheap. It’s a small size case, with some of the original tools still inside: a metal bottle for turpentine, a dipper and a metal charcoal holder. The palette is not there, unfortunately. There are also some pastel sticks and 2 old brushes with bamboo handles marked Japan. Also some newer pencils. Obviously, this box was used in a really long time span or had different owners using it.  It was made by Sennelier Paris, an old and famous art store. Their logo is different now and I couldn’t find any listing of their previous logos, so I could have a definite answer regarding the age of my box. But, I think the box and the original accessories are from the thirties or forties, from the feel of them.

I don’t plan painting en plein air again (something that I was very fond of when I was 15), but it’s a very nice box to store some of my drawing and painting supplies in, while trying to imagine who were the ones using it before me.

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Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.

Ink pen and nibs

I have this wooden pen since I was a child. My grandparents had their saving accounts at the socialist state owned bank (named CEC) and my grandfather and me would visit our neighborhood branch quite often. They had there these wooden pens and ink bottles for people to fill their paper work with and although I was too small to be really sure about this, I suspect that these pens were one of the reasons we would be there so often. My grandfather knew the women working there and he would enter sometimes just to say hello. While my grandfather was solving his banking things or would chat to the employees, I would draw with these pens and inks. This is such a serene memory for me. At some point one of the women working there gifted me one of the pens. I used it a lot, as a kid but also later in art high school and university.

The small metal box with nibs is my friend’s flea market find. She borrows me the nibs.

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