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Hello, my name is Sandy.

100 Days of Teacup (Set 1)

The 100 Day Project, how to play

Earlier this month, I pledged to spend 100 days of teacup in #The100DayProject.

May I show you my first 20 teacups?

Day 1: A study of edges + shadows

Day 1: A study of edges + shadows. Pencil and watercolour crayon drawing of peppermint tea, enjoyed at Sydney Airport on our way home from the farm. The crayons still work nicely, even after 20+ years.

Day 2: Acrylic on canvas

Day 2: Acrylic on canvas. I wanted to try making textures with paint, as people have told me you can do with oils. Oils are nicer to work with, but I will stick with acrylic until I learn not to get paint on everything.

Day 3: Origami

Day 3: Origami. Original "teatime" design by Tomohiro Tachi. I followed the MrViolinPeter tutorial on youtube. It looks complicated, but if you can fold 45° angles, you can totally do this.

Day 4: Crochet teacup

Day 4: Crochet teacup. I was really pleased with this, even though I'm not in love with amigurumi. The free Lion Brand tutorial is easy-teasy. :) The base is weighted with beans, the rest is filled with wadding.

Day 5: Paper art teacup

Day 5: Paper art teacup. A friend gave me a stack of beautiful washi paper, which I left untouched in a box of precious things. I found it again while KMing and decided it was time to help those beautiful papers fulfil their life purpose.

Day 6: Doodle on a napkin

Day 6: Doodle on a napkin stolen from a whiskey workshop at Whipper Snapper Distillery. If you're in Perth, love whiskey, and enjoy learning interesting things, go sign up for the 2-hour workshop. You learn about distilling, get to do some tasting - and The Royal is close enough for some good food after.

Day 7: Off-hand

Day 7: Off-hand. Felt-tip on paper. I have a drinking game I like to play with people. The first part is to get nicely sozzled and draw a teacup with your non-dominant hand. I wasn't drunk for this, though. Usually it doesn't go as well.

Day 8: Off-hand, eyes shut

Day 8: Off-hand, eyes shut. Marker on paper. The second part of the game is to shut your eyes and draw with your non-dominant hand. Once in a while, things look how they were meant to.

Day 9: Jute and glue

Day 9: Jute and glue. Because the glue took so long to dry, this took 3 days to complete. It stinks of PVA. I'd like to explore this more if I could find a less smelly adhesive.

Day 10: Layered pop-up card

Day 10: Layered pop-up card. Definitely something to be said here about using good quality materials. I used glossy labels salvaged from bedsheet packaging - annoying to work with. It might be fun to try again with nicer paper.

Day 11: Chalk pastel on paper

Day 11: Chalk pastel on paper. Again, good paper will make a good experience.

Day 12: Tea from a passionfruit shell

Day 12: Tea from a passionfruit shell. Even though I'm used to seeing Chinese and Japanese teacups, I don't find them very teacuppy without the other parts of a tea set. So I got a pot of tea and our last biscuit. It was nice. There was a hint of passionfruit aroma. :)

Day 13: Body paint on skin

Day 13: Body paint on skin. Neshka from Little Magic - Art & Design let me try her face paint. This is a lovely type of art. And the very temporary nature makes it feel so delightful. I would probably feel differently if I was covered in it, but something tiny like this is OK.

Day 14: LED dot matrix display

Day 14: LED dot matrix display. I was working on a LED display for a project; a teacup emerged. The Freetronics DMD is great. It comes with the cable, you just plug it into the arduino - so easy. I expected to struggle, but it only took an hour-ish to get the software, play around, then make the picture appear. That includes the nervous procrastination preceding all my projects. A more experienced maker could do it in half the time.

Day 15: Charcoal on paper

Day 15: Charcoal on paper. Some study of light and shadow. I did the top wrong. I know. :(

Day 16: Watercolour

Day 16: Watercolour. This was fun. Watercolour, let's date each other.

Day 17: Ink fingerpainting

Day 17: Ink fingerpainting. Normally, I try to prevent ink from getting on my fingers. But the stamp pad was just there. Finger was still black the next day. B-, would fingerpaint again, but won't use ink.

Day 18: Puff pastry and mozarella

Day 18: Puff pastry and mozarella. The fails are in the background. Beauty only matters for the photo. They were all equally yummy.

Day 19: Mouth drawing

Day 19: Mouth drawing. This felt weird. I think you have to use your tongue for finer control, but I didn't want to get licky with my pen. It's hard with a fineliner, cos too much slanting lifts the tip off the page. This could be worth trying with a paintbrush.

Day 20: Foot drawing

Day 20: Foot drawing. Also feels weird, also want to try with a paintbrush.

"Show up, show up, show up," says one of the posters for #The100DayProject. After 20 days of showing up, I realise art is more about perspiration than inspiration. Ideas flow fast and free when you're in the right state of mind, but it takes discipline and perseverance to turn it into something you can behold.

There are days my discipline wavers, but I want to make it to 100. It's like exercising muscles. I want to come out the other end with the creative process feeling like the natural course of things. I am still nervous about art, but starting to feel more confident.

The bit I enjoy most is having an excuse to try new stuff, or try new ways of doing old stuff. I don't know what you call these things. Art forms? Mediums? Some of them I've wanted to try for ages, but never got around to it. This is wonderful incentive.

I'll post sets here every 20 days, but if you'd like to follow the days, check out my instagram or 100 Days of Teacup album on Facebook.

So, that's it for now. 80 days to go.

Waaaaaaah~ 80 is a such a big number. T___T

Happy new year!

cheerful donkey on a hill

One day, I'd like to be on such a long, enjoyable holiday where there'd be no need to measure time. But for now, out of the habit of adhering to calendars within a normal society, I consider the distinction between this year and last.

For all its difficult patches, rumination over life choices, visits from the black dog, insomnia, and weird allergies, 2014 was pretty OK. I'm feeling a bit accomplished; I managed to hit three of my four goals for 2014:

a native violet

Earned my Cert II in Horticulture and never want to study again. Though, I also said this after finishing my Writing diploma. Maybe study is a 4-yearly thing? Maybe by next World Cup, I will have a new reason to pay school to stress me out and eat all my time.

my crocheted gloves

Sold crocheted items in a shop, and I'm ever so grateful to Lucy In Disguise for helping me get exposure for my work. I also approached an overseas online store I admired for a very long time, but despite getting serious interest, I couldn't find it in me to follow through. Maybe timing wasn't right, or having been in love with them for so long made me overlook what was right for me now. In any case, I spent much time pondering what I love about craft and makery. I can't articulate it yet, but for the present, I really like small scale and local.

a homemade 1920s style dress

Crafted something significant, kind of. When I set this goal, I meant taking up woodwork and making furniture. Instead, I made a dress and wore it to a cocktail party. It's given me the confidence to consider making clothes instead of buying, though being in the midst of applying KonMari to my home makes me not want new clothes right now.

But I didn't forget about woodwork. Using leftovers from Niaal's various projects, I made a box. :)

my wooden box

my wooden box, upright

my wooden box, a poorly crafted corner

Over the last couple of years, I've been experimenting with goal setting. In 2013, I did one thing a month. I felt stagnant and ignorant, and found that many short-term projects in succession was ideal for expanding horizons quickly - no time to falter and doubt, just ship ship ship!

But I was fucking drained at the end of it. Setting fewer goals, last year, gave me more time to reflect on the journey and the broader life decisions connected to each.

I realise now I have particularly manic phases, where I get too excited about working towards a goal. I throw everything at it, then burn out. It invades every area of my life, turning recreation into work, and fun into slog. While a powerful fire for getting stuff done, it does a lot of damage if left untempered.

This year, I want to try and do less. In aiming for fewer things, I still felt like I did a lot, but having more unplanned stuff made life feel interesting and more free. So, fewer plans for 2015, and just one goal this time.

The only thing I didn't manage last year was doing something musical. I wanted to put together an EP, but never made the time. This seems like a nice almost-SMART target to aim for.

Just one thing should be easy, right? We shall see.

Happy new year, everyone. :) I hope good things come to you.

Tea cosy life - Sweet tea

a tea cosy in action

Finally finally finally - my first tea cosy. I call it "Sweet Tea". :)

This uses the "Modern Art" tea cosy base with crocheted embellishments instead of the knitted ones from the pattern. The last time I knitted was 8 years ago. I was obsessed with making scarves, because that's just what happens when you start out. Thought it would be hard to get back into it, but the body seems to remember more than smells and tastes.

flat view of tea cosy

close-up of crocheted zinnia flower

pattern materials list

This piece found its way to my lovely auntie. It's really nice to have people to mail. :)

Pattern Sources:

I made a baby kimono!

baby kimono stuck to a board

I couldn't resist making this. It's so adorable.

This project has been on my plate for so long, though most of the time involved waiting for the yarn shop to get the colour back in stock. There's almost half a kilometre of yarn in this bad boy, which amounts to a lot of (US) single crochet stitches.

But it's really easy, very straightforward, and the pattern is free. :)

baby kimono, three-quarter view

baby kimono next to a size 5 football

Just enough time for just enough things

Mona and a waffle blanket

Life today is a precarious balance. I have just enough time for just enough things - projects, study, sport, chores. Nobody touch anything please, in case it topples.

Since the end of April, we've done a lot of stuff:

a garnish salad

Brahma beer

the start of a lovely dining experience

Lapa lunch, where I was too enthralled after the first dish that I forgot to take more food pics;

a game of Drakon

games on boards, in cards and on computers;

making petit fours for Mum

finished petit fours

Mum's buttermilk buns

homemade sushi for Mum

breakfast at Boubar in Nedlands

family food affairs, Mother's day things;

Lotte's scarf

Sharon's

measuring fabric for apron

measuring Mona for fun

miscellaneous crafting and crochet;

Tea Cozies by The Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

and the rounding up of materials for making tea cosies (more on that another day).

Oh, and some sport. I've decided to try the 100 push-up challenge, doing full push-ups. Since Christmas, I've struggled with a weak core, clicky wrists and elbow tendonitis, so for now, I'm on a mild training regimen of 3 x 10 every few days. After 12 sessions over 4 weeks, I can now maintain good form for all 30. Once I can get as low as 4 inches from the ground for the whole run, I'll be ready to work to 100.

Yaargh~ time for bed now. Good night!

Stuff I'm working on

Nippon blanket - now for dog

My blanket project from last year grew less interesting with every square. It was meant to be a 100-patch glory for cold nights on the couch. Then cut back to 81 pieces because fuck doing 19 more squares for hardly a size difference. Now it's relegated to being a dog blanket for a Cavalier Spaniel pup we'll be visiting in a couple of weeks. So, that's on the cards - stitching up all 36 pieces, then rubbing my face in it so it smells like me.

Along with this are more half-finished, barely started, and mostly done projects strewn around my desk. Fancy a look?

my first weaving

My first weaving project, using orange and light aqua yarn. I almost gave up on it because the weave was too loose, but then I learned about stiffening fabric and figure I could starch this and make a display piece. That was a month ago. I haven't touched it since.

Sullivan's felting tools

This felting kit is waiting to be picked up. I'm scared, though. These needles are sharp and rough. I have thimbles, but it's still risky. Something stupid is going to happen. Blood will probably happen.

basket of unfinished projects

There's a lot going on in this tiny basket of bits. That blue stuff is a baby kimono awaiting more yarn. The white stuff will be made into a hat. The blue-grey thing is alpaca yarn slowly transforming into a scarf. The red stuff will go towards a neckie. And the orange bits will end up a present for someone in the family.

Victorian-esque collar

I had a go at making a Victorian collar - sort of. It's almost done. It needs some buttons, but every night, I cbf.

The Modern Girl's Guide to Hatmaking by Mary Jane Baxter

Throughout my childhood, I wondered what kind of wizardry went into making hats. At some point in my life, I would like to find out, thanks to this book I found at Planet Books. The craft of hat-making is called millenery. It sounds like it requires a lot of steam and glue. However, before I can even think of starting, I have to make a gateway piece:

calico, cotton drill and a fabric pencil

An apron. This is my cotton drill fabric, calico and a fabric pencil. The book recommends using an apron when crafting, so your clothes don't get smudged or snagged on your hat. An apron is a nice, simple re-introduction to sewing machines and sewing. This will be my competence litmus.

Other projects I can't take pictures of include...

  • A gamedev project
  • Nursing fresh seeds and seedlings for a winter crop
  • Growing indoor basil over winter
  • Making succulent cuttings in cute pots
  • Adding a second species of moss to my two-year old terrariums
  • A coeliac test

Busy busy busy.

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