Nope.

s_091916-01

I am not going to meet the HBS bloggers build deadline for September 26, 2016, and I am using cute kitten photos to distract from my mingled sense of failure, regret and self loathing.

s_091916-02

I *have* met all my work and all most of my volunteer deadlines.

s_091916-03

Feel free to judge me, but look at my belly first :)

S_091916-05.jpg

Though I will continue — and finish —  the build, I’m more than a bit scattered and distracted with other projects.

S_091916-04.jpg

Sweet dreams, best beloveds.

 

Observation Without Judg(e)ment

pattern24x26_082716-01

I’ve been exploring a system of geometric patterns in both my professional and personal work for a little while now. This is the background, composed in Illustrator at one-quarter scale, for a new piece.

taped_082816.jpg

After penciling in the three-inch grid on a 36 by 24-inch (61 x 94 cm) stretched canvas, I used a compass and straight edge to transfer the background design. Then it was a happy trip down old-school graphic design production memory lane as I wielded eighth-inch (3 mm) black crepe line tape to sketch out the shapes.

firstlayer_082816

I used shades of white, warm gray, brown and green acrylic for the underpainting.

first_wash_082816

After adding a thin ivory wash and letting that dry, I pulled off the black tape. I’ll now add… other background stuff, and paints, and determine what final hue and value of gray to re-stripe (by brush) the outlines. Although I have some definite intentions, as usual, I’m making it up as I go along.

New Project, Poppy, Magnets

cutting_080116

Work is underway on a new mixed media piece, large (for me) at 24 by 36 inches (61 x 91 cm). These letters are about 2.5 inches tall (64 mm) and being cut from foamcore.

punched01_080516.jpg

Poppy the Fairy is being kept busy with her correspondence. These are two accordion books, meant for Ava and Aria to embellish, made from watercolor paper and simple punched shapes. That’s Poppy’s new sigil.

punched02_080516

… As well as Ava’s name rendered in triangles, and another tiny sketchbook for Lynnie (at proper 1:12 scale). Her’s from last week was, um, appropriated by her associates :)

do_book_00_081316

This week, Poppy made a two-inch square book to answer some of the girls’ questions: Can you do ballet, like me? Do you eat snacks? Tucked into the reply scroll are California poppy seed pods, because one of the things fairies do is gather seeds.

do_book_01_081316

Inside the book are quick ink and watercolor illustrations with text. Here are a few of the pages, listing some of the things fairies do:

do_book_02_081316

do_book_03_081316

do_book_04_081316

I can perhaps see a series, as my understanding of the fay way grows :)

MLR_magets_080616

Maddie Lou spent the weekend with us as her parents enjoyed a night in the City to celebrate their anniversary. Here’s Maddie working on a surprising and spontaneous new deployment of her beloved magnetic blocks in the sun room.

MLR_magnets_080616

The final arrangement. Can you tell her favorite color is blue?

So awesome on so many levels :)

House guests, Poppy, Plastics

verla_jess_072916

We had house guests for the weekend. Here you see a SW Ep.VII Stormtrooper encounter a San Francisco summer, much to the delight of her more acclimated traveling companion. The reflection in the giant TV is our foggy Pacifica sunset, with powerlines.

ava_080116

Poppy the Fairy was welcomed back from her nine-sleep vacay with drawings and correspondence from Ava and Aria (and Lynnie). In this drawing we see Ava and Aria and her parents, as well as the Fairy Mail box, with Poppy peeking out. I believe the green squiggles represent the recent landscaping, and a purple heart encircles them all.

landscapinging_072716.jpg

Poppy is collecting her/his thoughts for response. (Ava is convinced Poppy is a boy.)

signature_plastics

I signed the back of the plastics collage with these, um, economical but not un-fabulous  “unfinished wood letters & numbers” from Creatology™, which I think is a brand from the Michael’s crapstores.

frame_080116

Some of the drillings and and nail insertions into the quarter-inch frame for the Plastic Litter Collage were regrettably less than expert, so I am embracing the concept of fuckedup recycled materials, and will further intentionally distress — but not too much! — the frame, as I sand and paint, sand and paint, sand and paint.

 

 

Plastic Litter Collage

frame00_072816

I added quarter- by half-inch pine to the back edge of the thin plywood base to stabilize it and add more surface area to attach the frame to. The plywood itself is salvaged from the crates I built to ship my builds when I moved three years ago :)

frame03_072816

After painting the inside frame pieces with two coats of semigloss latex, I cut the two-inch ply lengths to fit and glued them on the base, butting the corners. I used binder clips to hold the frame to the pine strips and a flexible strap corner clamp thingie to hold the frame square while the glue dried. A first coat of paint dries with Albie’s supervision. Tomorrow I’ll tap in tiny nails to secure it all, then fill the holes, sand and paint, sand and paint, sand and paint. And hopefully this weekend I’ll have collected more plastic to call it done.

Plastic Litter Collage

plastics_collage_072716.jpg

Nearing completion on the plastic litter collage. I bought some two- by quarter-inch wide ply to build a frame, which I’ll paint white.

As more pieces were collected, I re-worked some of the areas. The blue-green section is pretty much filled in.

detail_bluegreen_072716

Red could use a few more bits.

detail_red_072716

And in the lower right corner, a bit of hipster humor and tree hugging :)

detail_brown_072716

 

Poppy Responds

ava_haha_071816

Poppy the Fairy received these prompt responses to her questions from Ava and Aria. The messages were folded in half, rolled into scrolls and tied with white cord.

aria_pink_071816

Poppy gave it some thought, and decided to combine favorite colors and letters and fun paper folding.

cutting_071816

Cutting the letters from watercolor paper.

ava_cut_071816

Protoype fold for Ava.

aria_bacon_071816

Aria likes pink! And bacon too! (not pictured).

half-painted_071816

Will of course make use of the scrap paper.

final_assembly_071816

Both sides painted, replies written, awaiting final assembly.

appreciation_071816

When I went down to mail them, I found this appreciation in the Fairy Mail box.

mailed_071816.jpg

Awaiting delivery. One of the things Poppy mentioned in her replies is that she is going away for nine sleeps, coincidentally the length of time my neighbor, who takes walks with the girls, will be away on vacation. Hopefully I’ll have time for some landscaping and an oversized Fairy Mail bin before Poppy returns.

For the record, Poppy the Fairy does not know what poptarts or bacon are, likes both water and parks, her favorite color is orange, and she likes pink the most in flowers and the sky.

 

 

 

Foundations, Éclairs

backwall_brick

Attempting to integrate the show-through back wall brick arch, I built a few brick foundation ruins.

backwall_brick_frosted

After sealing the bricks, I mortared them with DAP CrackShot.

front_frosted.jpg

They have been since grunged, weathered and eroded, and cast into the background.

More importantly, we celebrated my husband’s birthday with the question, What is your spirit animal éclair?

spirit_eclairs

We received so many heartfelt responses, mostly off the list of the available tiny animal figurines. Sloth, hyena, bunny… nope. Thus far, B has resonated with rhino and lion. I found the tiger encased on its side in delicious dark chocolate this morning; I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

 

 

Nothing Beside Remains

This month’s very tardy nancyland splash page pays homage to two of my favorite things: Shelley’s sonnet “Ozymandius” and beach cleanups.

I recently became site captain for Esplanade Beach volunteer cleanups organized by Pacifica Beach Coalition, and my experience is heartfelt and mind-expanding. The image on the splash page is a fishing buoy, possibly debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, retrieved from the beach some sixty feet below:

esplanade_trail_051216

The part of the poem that most resonates with me:

“The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Glue, Sneak Peak

gluing_050916

This is a reality shot of miniature landscaping.

bricks_050916.jpg

And this is a super secret in-process shot of a project unrelated to miniatures… 15 x 20-inch (38.21 x 50.7 cm ) watercolor cold process block pages painted in a matte acrylic wash. Pretty! Also, I’m surprised there are no cats sitting on them, dry or otherwise.