Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The apple trees are blooming now

This photo is from spring 2003. It was taken with a film camera, so no handy reference to the date, but I think in early May, after all of April had been cold: snow, rain, hail, freezing. I remember the apple trees were blooming in May.

This year mid-Feb through March was all cold, while April has had a few warm spells, one is starting this week. And only token snow. The apple trees started blooming on about the 16th, may be finishing by May. Don't know yet if they are late this year - I think of them as early April. Need to check old photos.

The late daffodils are still blooming - finishing. And the English and Spanish bluebells (Scillas, they used to be called) are just coming into full bloom..

Quilt show this weekend.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another new (old) fabric design

 Spoonflower is having a contest for black and white designs, entry deadline May 3. I made this on April 21.

I was looking at my designs wondering which would be good in black & white. I wanted a bold graphic, one without too much expanse of black background, since blacks at Spoonflower don't print really dark, and may fade in the wash.

I wanted a variation in the texture, the size of the black and white areas.

Which ones would do? The ravens? The cat drawings? The new sea turtles virtual batiks? A quilt-style combination of all of them? Hmm, that's earth, air and water, just need fire...

Although this one was drawn as leaves, long ago when I was learning to draw by playing on the computer, once I had redrawn it as a vector drawing, with a black background, it looked like stylized flames too.

I may do those others in black & white too as companion fabrics, but I love the bold graphic effect of this one. And yet it's organic, not quite symmetrical. I would buy this in the fabric store.

And now that I've redrawn it, I can do it in lots of colors, with companion fabrics in those colors.

Of course the newest design one has made is always the most wonderful design in the world....

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Friday, April 22, 2011

The sky doesn't fit in my camera...

Went up to the campus hill this evening to look at the gorgeous clouds, and as I got out of the car, I said "The sky doesn't fit in my camera!"

It was such a whole circular panorama of diversity and gorgeous light and shade that there was no way to get it into a photograph or a dozen photographs.

The map is not the territory. The photo doesn't get all the shades our eyes do.

Sunsets in Seattle used to be like that, layers and layers of every shade of silver & gray, with no color at all. I came from a dusty place, and missed sunset color.

This photo was actually taken a few minutes before, from a parking lot lower down, while I could still see through all the layers of clouds to the sky.

Couldn't really tell what direction the higher layers were going, but while we were on campus, a lower layer of clouds, seemingly barely above the treetops, was moving in from the South (it was to the Southeast as well) and obscuring everything above.

We went to dinner, and when we came out it was pouring rain.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

The kitten gate

Photo Oct. 12 2010.

Two little kittens inside their makeshift kitten gate, which was trying to keep them inside the pantry for a few weeks.  It's made of an expandable screen held in place by a tension rod and a couple of paint cans.

The dark tabby is on the left, with one of the light tabbies - and you can see that he-who-would-become-Rex is already smaller than his sister.

He wasn't getting enough to eat; I had just started to try to feed him. He went to the vet on the 14th, very weak and dehydrated, and started getting kitten formula supplements. He had a little respiratory thing.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sugar Mouse in exile

Photo Oct. 8 2010

Sugar Mouse sleeping out on the porch. At least it was still fairly warm at first.

But sadly, chased out here into exile, he became very shy again, no longer pettable. 

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Friday, April 15, 2011

New (old) fabric design - 2 Papercuts

I have been designing fabrics all along, just not posting about them. I just uploaded this design to Spoonflower about a week ago.

It's a new version of a papercut design, of which I just recently have been doing some new ones. But this one I did about 10 years ago, the first time I was doing this type of design, which is related to Hawaiian and Tahitian quilt designs, snowflakes, and Baltimore Album quilts. But my inspiration is often a tiny bit of a William Morris design.

This larger one, though, I designed in my head while walking to work, and when I got there, cut it out of a page-a-day calendar - the kind with graph paper on the back.

This layout has an interesting wavy effect, because I did the 2 elements in a slightly different size. Click on the title to see it as fabric.

Before Spoonflower, I never could do more with it than cut it out of colored origami paper and make a section divider page in my color theory class notebook. Now I can get fabric from it in any of a dozen or so colors I set up, and on several weights of fabric. And make something!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Latin class, Fowler CA 1944-45

This photo was sent to Grandpa (John Hubbard) by the teacher, in 1944 or 1945. She folded it to put it in the envelope to send. I Photoshopped it for class a few years ago - the original version is below, folds and all.

The students' names are all on the back. (I'll add them when I find the original again.)

I am publishing it now partly because I have been meaning to get around to contacting the school, if it still exists, to see if they want a copy. And partly because Erin at Dressaday gave a link to a project collecting fashion images of women of color, who are left out of the histories. (Of Another Fashion by Minh-Ha Pham)

And if you look at the names, there's not an anglo in this class.
So this is what high school students in California were wearing in 1944-45. I don't know if these were everyday clothes, or if they knew she was going to take the photo, and they're dressed up a little. I do know that school clothes were more formal then (judging from my experience a couple of decades later).

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It wasn't supposed to snow today....

It often does in early April. But the forecast was only saying scattered rain showers.

Yesterday it was sunny with scattered clouds (cumulus?), and colder than it looked because of the wind.

This deer is sitting in the lee of a tree ( and a Ponderosa which was mature in 1917 provides significant shelter).

Do you suppose that s(he) was surprised by the snow, or knew it was coming?

Picture taken Apr. 13 2011, 11:09 am. It was still snowing then, but is melting now.

It wasn't until I looked at these photos large size to decide which one to post that I could see the head injury. Car? Falling branch? Do antlers when they come off leave a wound?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Waiting for Mama

 These pictures were taken Oct. 4 2010.

About this time, after a few days in the cupboard, Patches started moving the kittens into more and more inaccessible places. And finally into this drawer which she couldn't get into herself. She got them out again to feed them.

And she started chasing Sugar Mouse away, and beating him up.

So after a bit of that, even though I didn't suspect him of any ill intent, I locked him out on the screen porch for several weeks.

Poor Sugar Mouse - all I ever saw him doing was looking curiously towards them.

(I didn't know until I photoshopped this picture that one of the kittens had a scratch. She might have gotten it from being moved around.)

And what are they looking at up there? Mama Patches, getting ready to come down to feed them.

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

The kittens' first appearance

The kittens first appeared Sept 29, 2010. They were 3 weeks old. Mama cat, Patches, had been hiding them in another cupboard, (purring and squeaking from inside the cupboard). She brought them out to this cupboard in the pantry. This picture shows 3 of the four kittens: one dark tabby, looking at me, and there are 2 lighter grey tabbies, and one grey tabby with white.

And she fed them on the floor just outside the cupboard. Only you notice that the dark tabby is not eating like the others.
The dark tabby is the one who became Rex.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

A house made of books Feb 23, 2011

I drew this back when I was just learning to draw on the computer.

I thought of the idea when I was taking color theory, and we were asked to produce a self-portrait for our final project.

I'll probably redraw it to reproduce on a t-shirt.

But the way it is now, it says almost more about me than I want to say.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tiger, Pandora, Buddy (and Bob)

Tigrr and my 2 remaining cats, Pandora (in back) and Buddy, together on the chair with a pillow from Cafepress with the image of Bob on it.

Picture taken Dec. 30, 2010. (It was easier to use a good picture of the cats and Photoshop out the cover on the chair than to get a good posed photo in a clean chair.)

I only put them together after Tigrr had been to the vet, and we had still not figured out what was wrong with him. As it turns out, probably a bad idea. But he and Buddy do the friendly greeting ritual, and they all 3 sleep together, so they are happy having company.

Tigrr is even skinnier than this now; he feels so light he seems hardly there. Hard to believe he's survived almost a year and a half like this.

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Patches' reflection

Photo of Patches taken in the living room window, Nov. 4, 2010.

I think we were out there that day to feed Rex his kitten formula, and because I didn't want him to miss any mama-feeding-opportunities, Patches was with us.

The only Photoshopping I did to this image was to remove distracting areas of putty etc. on the window frame. The lighting was just right for the reflection, and Patches was posing, looking out.

The texture in the window with her reflection was the fall foliage, seen through one of the best float-glass windows with its wavery distortion, at an extreme angle, which gives the most effect.

 We were happy that day; Little Kitten was surviving and thriving on his supplemental feeding, and it was warm and sunny.

It's been warm and sunny for several days now, the first time in more than a month. Larry helped me move wet firewood up from the driveway to the house and garage yesterday - much easier to use the car than my carrying it all myself. And I was almost out. Still have to carry it upstairs, but I'm set now in case we get another big snowstorm (entirely likely in early April) and the power goes out again.

So far Patches and fat Mousie, who I think has the disease, are healthy-seeming. The kittens are living separately with me, busily randomizing the contents of my rooms. Tigrr, Pandora, and Buddy are unfortunately together, but all right. Except it doesn't seem possible that anything as skinny as Tigrr could still be alive.

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