Kamis, 29 April 2010

Good News

It's April, National Poetry Month, and though I didn't commit to the poem-a-day production schedule which I managed last year, my friend Karin and I did swap work, which is immensely satisfying. And I've received good news! A couple of weeks ago, The Literary Bohemian accepted three poems, and today I learned The Vermont Literary Review accepted two!

Two Spirits and One Pattern

Getting my Star Wars patterns sorted finally allowed me to get on with all the other things I had been meaning to make. One of them was from a request I had quite some time ago to make a Water Spirit, with no particular directions on what it should look like. I decided to give it the feel of some kind of water-loving mammal, such as an otter or a seal, so it has a long, streamlined head and two tail-like flippers. I wanted to use lots of different watery colours so I chose three different mohair-type yarns, two of which were multicoloured, to give a nice mix. I was really pleased with the way it turned out, and luckily, so was the patient recipient.

I also got a request to do a pattern for another type of Spirit I have made. Using the same basic pattern but with different details I have made a Rock Spirit, a Hedgerow Spirit and a Dream Spirit. These are great little creatures to use interesting yarns on - they have bodies made with a mohair-type yarn - which you can customise to be the sort of Spirit you want with different features and any colours you like.

I wrote up the pattern, and to test it I made a Moon Spirit. This little creature gazes up at the full moon, absorbing its gentle rays, and then reflects them back in the darkest nights to guide other animals.

The pattern for the Small Spirit, with details of how to make the different variations, is now for sale in my Etsy shop - http://www.etsy.com/listing/45355995/pattern-for-small-spirit-amigurumi.

Rabu, 28 April 2010

Good Things of Campus

I'm on the MSU campus a lot -- we use it like a big park -- and every time I run there, I see interesting things...someone kayaking the rapids in late winter after the thaw; someone stretched on the grass, drawing; someone reading on the river bank. Today I saw these hanging from the pines behind Kresge Art Museum. (No, I don't run with my camera! I went back and got it today.)

I went inside the museum too, and found some fantastic exhibits, including this (windblown?) house.

Then I decided to find the Center for Poetry at MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. I met two very friendly people there, one an undergraduate and one an MFA student. They were changing the "Poem of the Day" posted on the bulletin board, so I also came home with a copy of yesterday's: William Kloefkorn's "My Love for All Things Warm and Breathing." It seemed especially appropriate to read in a university hallway.

All of this, just after hearing John Corigliano talk last week in a studio on campus. He was in town for a full week with the MSU College of Music.

Selasa, 13 April 2010


Scherenschnitte is a German word which means "scissor cuts." It's the art of papercutting, and I think it's very cool. A few weeks ago, I found this book at the library. Last week, when Tommy and I went to see my parents, I took the book with me. It was the perfect place to begin a new project. I had tea on the porch with my dad, and while he read, I started cutting. It worked! When my eyes got tired, I rested them on the river. When my fingers got tired, I held a warm tea cup. I copied some of the patterns in the book, and the first design I cut was this folded paper cut ("Two Sisters," as my mom titled it).

I also found a great blog, www.papercutting.blogspot.com, which features many free templates (including a pattern for the first picture I posted, with tall mushrooms and a small rabbit). This is Cindy Ferguson's blog, and, as it happens, Cindy Ferguson contributed several of the patterns featured in my library book, including "Two Sisters" (which she calls "The Twins").

Here is another of Ferguson's designs, which I cut yesterday: