Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘art

Mood: Wubba wubba Wednesday
Music: Current 93-Red Hawthorne Tree


Sort of...in a way



Holy cats, you guys!  I’m actually writing a Blog, Sweet Blog post for its own sake and not just reposting mah tumblrs.  Don’t get me wrong, tumblr is my new spiritual home and the place I spend most of my time, but we’ve been through a lot, this blog and I, and I can’t stop loving it just because its not tumblr. Besides, this post is relevant to Blog, Sweet Blog‘s interests, which is why I’m posting it here first.

It’s my anniversaries!

I started this blog (well, posted first anyway) on April 23, 2008, or  2.0767 years ago, give or take. I can’t begin to tell you how important this blog has been to me.  It wasn’t ever about attracting readers or experimenting with practical narcissism (those came later).  I’ve always considered this blog to be a safe place for dumping the crazy, discussing whatever, and letting the air out of my head.  I’ll be getting to this in a minute, but it’s easy for me to forget how turbulent the first six months of HRT were for me.   I had just ended a three year long relationship with, until that point, the person I loved most in the world and I was in the middle of chemically altering my body and mind.  I felt unhinged most of the time and happysadangryhyperdepressedenergeticlazy the rest — but not in a bad way, if that makes sense; it felt right and weird.  Anyway, I don’t think I would have done as well if I hadn’t blogged and exercised.

My little blog, bless her, has changed with me.  I’ve struggled with moving from more of a personal/transition journal to an everything blog featuring my thoughts and creative work.  I’m still not sure of where I want to take it, but I  kind of like that it’s all over the place.

I started HRT on June 6th, 2008.  I had started some other transition processes before then (started seeing a therapist, my doctor), but I think it’s fair to call that date the start of my transition.  So, let’s see, that makes me 1.097 years old, in a way.  I won’t ever be celebrating my “new birthday” (the old one is just fine) but I do keep the date on my calendar.  Like I said above, a lot has happened since then (here are the big ones).  I think the process of transition is never ending, but I feel much closer to the end almost two years later.  There are still more physical changes to endure (bottom surgery, the neverfuckingending weekly electrolysis), but I feel like I might have finally graduated to late puberty, at least emotionally.

The last anniversary occurred 1.0548 years ago when I changed my name and started back to work as the real me, the girl named Anna.  Life has gotten kind of weird since then, but work has always felt like a safe place.  I’ve had better and worse days, but no one has ever made me feel uncomfortable or anything but loved and valued.  I know that my experience, sadly, is not the norm and I can’t fairly attribute the ease of my work transition to any more than luck…ok, maybe a little bit of preparation and moxy helped :-).

Still, I’ve struggled with my career choice.  I really don’t think I would have become an engineer if I would have transitioned earlier.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll stay an engineer until retirement, but I feel a lot better about it than I did a couple of months ago.  If I won the lottery or totally stopped caring about my current life, I’d move to New York or Paris and trade engineering to become a professional artist/bon vivant/salonnière/cultural maven/woman-about-town.  There aren’t any plans to move in the near future, but I’m working on my writing and art in the meantime, just in case.

So that’s it, you guys, happy anniversary/birthday to me and Blog, Sweet Blog!!!  I hope the following years are way easier/better than the last two.

Mood: Cagey
Music: Camera Obscura-I Need All the Friends I Can Get



I sure wish my job was Internetting, because I’d be sooooo productive, all the time.  I should be cleaning (or otherwise getting ready for my sis to come over) right now, but I thought I’d share some of my recent Goodwill finds instead.

I went there in search of a flower vase or two, some picture frames, and scrap fabric for embroidering.  I ended up with that and a little bit more and spent like $50!  Et voila!

all the granny's in the house say yay-yeah!



Ok, so when exactly do you start turning into your mother/grandmother?  If I’m remembering my childhood correctly, my maternal grandmother had loads of these Hummel pictures around her house.  I liked them when I was little because they were kind of cute and, hey, if my grandmother liked them, they had to be awesome, right?  I grew up and left these in childhood because they were a bit too cutesy.   They had like five of these in the store that day.  Most of them were the ultra cute, Precious Moments-style drawings.  These two little darlings caught my eye because they’re so bleak and raw, like they were drawn sometime between the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany.

found landscape art



This one caught my eye because it’s faded and a little sad, like somebody loved it in the early 70’s then gave up on it.  I have no idea where it’s from, but it could be Colorado somewhere.  I was talking to a friend of mine about this picture and I mentioned how I liked it because it seemed sad.  I realized I say that a lot about the art I like. You don’t have to have a D. Psy. to figure that one out, but I’m often drawn to the wistful and gloomy.  I realize that not a lot of other people are and I feel kind of weird citing that as a reason to like anything.

so many frames, just waiting to be filled



Did somebody mention frames?  I mainly bought these to fill with embroidery pieces that I have yet to finish, but I might also use them for general decorating.  The next piece I’m going to do (an embroidery of this) will be bigger than these, maybe 11″x14″, but these will be nice for a low commitment piece when I get tired of working on the big stuff.  Maybe this will finally find a home?

I did manage to find some fabric for embroidering and two vases, but they’re not really worth a picture.  Do you like thrift stores?  What do you like to shop for when you’re in one?

id somebody mention frames
Mood: pretty alright
Music: za Wintry Olympeaks



One of the awesome (not awesome) things about HRT is that I get to have fun with puberty all.over.again.  Remember  puberty?  Remember how everything was so intense and awkward and profound and boring and amazing and miserable and lovely and like it was all taking forever?  That’s every week for me.  I feel like I’m totally in sync with all the 16 year old girls in the world who wear too much eyeliner and always keep a copy of Prozac Nation and The Virgin Suicides on their nightstand; mah tumblr followings seem to agree.  And that can be kind of…inconvenient(?) when you play a 30-something engineer lady in real life.

Some days/weeks/months are better than others.  This last time was hard, but not hard enough to do me in, I guess.  I’m feeling better, and I think it motivated me to finish these…

now we can be together forever by anna hell


eternity by anna hell


They’re photographs and I first tried them a few years ago.   Click the photos for the rest of the series.  I know they’re kind of lazy art (though I’ve seen much lazier), but I think they’d make nice embroidery pieces at some point.  Lazy or no, I’m still happy with how they turned out and I feel like this most recent, bleak period was the only time I could have finished them.  So there.

Also…I can’t stop listening to this song.

Well, I’m off to make a get-well card for my mother.  Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Mood: blurgh
Music: Dntel-Umbrella



No words, just arts and crafts so good they make my reptilian brain want to recoil in jealous, retching horror.  Do yourself a favor and click the image you like for a much larger version.

https://i0.wp.com/ny-image0.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.54424620.jpg

Waves on Winter Rolling by Steve Morris


[loneliness_1.jpg]

Loneliness by Rory Dean



Popcorn Clouds by april cakes


[the_familiar_at_solstice.jpg]

The Familiar at Solstice by Scott Anderson



[Three_Girls.jpg]

Three Girls by Allison Schulnik



[theking.jpg]

The King by Joe Becker



I'll Be Your Mirror by Tobias Schalken


[2008+RAUNE0105-200.jpg]

Die Aufnahme by Neo Rauch




I didn’t realize it at the time, but these are all pretty dark, like I feel, today.

Mood: Like one of them robots
Music: The Beatles-Happiness is a Warm Gun


loading dock dusk by anna hell


ed. This post has nothing to do with my current, mostly awful state of mind.  I wrote it a few months ago and never got around to finishing it.  I hadn’t posted in a while and this was 75% done, so I decided to use it in lieu of discussing recent events and talking about my feelings and whatnot.  Enjoy!

Sometimes, I talk to my cat, Torrie.  And by “talk” I don’t mean we have long, in-depth conversations on the state of the American health care system or that we engage in timed, joke-off competitions. No.  For one thing, Torrie shares my longing for a single-payer, European-style, socialized medical system; not much to talk about there.  For another thing, cats have almost no sense of humor. Fact.

No, by “talk to my cat,” I mean I sometimes verbalize random thoughts and the cat stares back at me with a mix of 90% blank incomprehension and 10% formulating a plan to kill me and take over the house.

So, I was talking to the cat a while ago and I mentioned something about the weather, something like…

“Can you believe how cold it is, Torrie?  And it’s only November!”

But it could just as well have been…

“Can you believe how hot it is, Torrie?  And it’s already September!”

…or…

“Can you believe how much it’s been raining, Torrie?  And Colorado is an arid state!”

…but we all know I was really trying to say…

“Can you believe I’m talking to you, Torrie?  I think I’m losing my mind!

And there, under the glaring, embarrassing spotlight of self-realization, I finally accepted the fact that I am becoming an old, crazy person who sometimes talks/complains to her cat/other people about the weather.

It’s sad, really.  I’m a thoughtful, college-educated, modern woman and I was raised by thoughtful, educated people who taught me the lessons of polite, WASP-y conversation early and often.  One should never discuss politics, religion, income, sex, or the weather in front of guests or mixed company. I know talking about the weather is like hitching a ride to Dullsville (so then, writing a blog about it must be like buying property and joining the Dullsville PTA), but I just can’t help it.

It’s so effortless!  Perhaps it has something to do with my long-lost agrarian ancestry?  Now, I’m not aware of any farming ventures in any of my family’s past (I think we’re mostly made up of merchants, bons vivants, adventurers, and the idle poor), but it’s positively ridiculous to imagine that a distant part of my family hasn’t had their hands in some soil, somewhere.  Maybe my inane weather chatter is my body’s way of telling me to “get back to the land” or that “modern life is rubbish?”  I don’t know.  I wish my body would just speak up sometime…and use complete sentences.

In conclusion, I am getting old, crazy, and boring and I’m somewhat ok with that.  If you should happen to become ensnared in a discussion with me that has taken a turn for the climatic, have pity on me…and help me change the subject…to Art or something….I like Art.

Mood: 10% wistful, 50% ebullient, 22% other
Music: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Heads Will Roll



Continued from here.

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?  Here’s a picture of the scarf I completed right around the beginning of the new year…

Anna with scarf #1 FTW!



…and another look…

Who's a pretty scarfy scarf?



It’s my first real knitting project and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.  I used 17 gauge bamboo knitting needles and one skein of lovely, variegated, chunky alpaca (I think) wool.  The color is a weird, almost ugly combination of orange, magenta, purple and grey.

Mom bought me the yarn, some Addi turbo lace needles, and a copy of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch for my birthday when she and my aunt came out to visit.  My aunt taught me to knit when she was here, but it took me a couple of weeks of practice making swatches on cheap acrylic yarn before I felt ready to move to the more expensive yarn.  I didn’t follow a pattern, I just made a garter stitch (knit every row) and played with the width until it felt right.

It’s about 8″ wide, which is pretty wide for a scarf, and around 7′ long, which seems crazy, Dr. Who long.  Regardless, I love it.  We’ve had some really cold days here this year and it’s nice to have a soft woolen scarf to wrap around your head and neck like five times if need be.

Next up is my first foray into embroidery and cross stitch since I was a teeny tot.

untitled (lol) by Anna Hell


I apologize for the crap photos.  I’ve had to resort to using my webcam until I buy another, big girl’s camera.  Anyway, I started this project almost a year ago! I awoke from a feverish dream (or something) with the basics of this pattern in mind and I felt compelled to finish it…very slowly.  It’s approximately 5×7 inches and it felt like it took me a google-illion hours to finish.  The truth is prolly closer to 50 or 75 hours, but there are a lot of stitches in it.  I’m pretty happy with it, but I feel like it’s more of a sketch/practice piece than anything real.

This is the doodle I started the other day…


pop heart sketch by Anna Hell


I have an idea for how I might use this later, but it really just started off as a fun diversion after I finished the bohemiath above.  I know it sounds weird to take a break from needle work by doing some more needle work, but regular embroidery is way faster than cross stitch and it was nice to be able to sketch out something so fast.  Like I said, this might be incorporated into a larger piece (8×11 or pillow size?), but I just started this…

Grace Lace Beret

Elizabeth's Grace Lace Beret



…and I should really finish it before I get distracted with five other projects, as is my nature.  I’d also like to do a Blog, Sweet Blog title card and experiment with some “topographic” embroidery.

So, I’m happy to have finally finished a couple of projects, but only the heart thing and beret will count towards my viva la resolutions art things if I finish them this year.  Wish me luck!

What projects are you guys in the middle of/planning to start?

Mood: Get down with the sickness
Music: some episode of The L Word


https://i1.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/06/24/article-1028992-0008A25300000258-379_468x316_popup.jpg

O hai Englandz! We'z gonna need to have deez castlz and landz, kthxbai!


If this seems out of order,  it’s because I started this the other day when I was home sick…and why I made reference to it here and showed some here. Let’s just pretend like this is a Blog, Sweet Blog time machine ride to the not-so-distant past!

O hai Interntubes!

So, I’m sick today, but I couldn’t help but share some of the cross stitch/embroidery and knitting work I’ve completed recently.   I also want to show you some of the super wonderful Innerwebz stitch art I’ve seen over the past couple of months.

I’m not sure if the other people’s stitch art thing will become a regular feature or not.  There are plenty of great websites that do this all the time, e.g. feeling stitchy, mr. x stitch, and craftster.org.  Also, I tend to think every.single.project I see on those sights is lovely and amazing.  I would just be re-posting every item I see and that’s hardly the sort of top-drawer, Blog, Sweet Blog curating you’ve come to expect.  I think I’ll just let the pros handle craft blogging and I’ll just add some of my new besty craft sites to the right-hand blog roll.

Let’s start with the some of the online projects I’ve really loved…


[Max04.jpg]

Max by mimilove, click the photo for her page!




The piece above made me do a weird combination of gasp and squeee the first time I saw it.  It combines many of the elements of life I love…Hello Kitty, actual kitty, watercolor, an interesting color palette, and weird, delicate embroidery.  Mimi’s site is a treasure of similar wonderment.

So…have you ever been up in your own head, working on a certain project and you start thinking…

Wow, that is some good stuff right there.  I am soooo good at art!  I think I might even be sell-the-cat-move-to-Portland-and-join-an-art-collective good.

…and then you stumble onto something from Tod Hensley and it makes you feel like you just graduated from Baby’s First Art Class?  Well, that totally happened to me when I saw his work.  It’s a hurtful experience, but I highly recommend looking at super-talented artist’s work when you need to go back to keeping it real.

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Untitled by Tod Hensley

The subject matter isn’t exactly something you’d show your mother (unless you’re me), but the stitching and design are expressionistic, tribal, folky, and sickeningly complex.  I think I like this one more…

excerpt from a larger, untitled piece by Tod Hensley



The last of the other’s work is an off-the-cuff, yet totally mind-blowing relaxation sampler by Mrs. Kitty.

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Playing with color and texture by Mrs. Kitty



It’s so good, it makes me a little bit angry and full of the awe.  I think a lot of the old-timey samplers are interesting to look at, but would have been dreadfully boring to actually work.  Mrs. Kitty’s piece looks like the most fun way to learn every stitch and also work with color and design.

This is getting long, so I’m going to cut it up into two posts.  Click here for a look at what I’ve been up to lately, craft-wise.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

copyright

All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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*N.B. Anna cake contains neither Anna nor cake.

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