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Hello, my name is Sandy.

100 Days of Teacup (Set 2)

setting up a teacup photo

Teacups are still happening. Here is the second set of 20.

Day 21: Watercolour crayon

Day 21: Watercolour crayon, using old Caran d'Ache Aquarelle Neocolor II.

Day 22: Dots

Day 22: Dots, ink on paper.

Day 23: One continuous line

Day 23: One continuous line, red fineliner on paper.

Day 24: It'll do

Day 24: It'll do. Green fineliner on paper, along with my batch cooking plan.

Day 25: Packing with teacup

Day 25: Packing with teacup. Artline marker on cardboard. Packing began then, and is still going. Ironically, there are no teacups in this box.

Day 26: Felt cutout

Day 26: Felt cutout.

Day 27: One continuous wire

Day 27: One continuous wire. Used craft wire. This was meant to be a beaded teacup, but my beads were sealed up in a packing crate.

Day 28: Sketch on a paper fan

Day 28: Sketch on a paper fan. I regret using colour pencils - the surface was too bumpy. Next time, I will try felt tip markers or watercolours.

Day 29: A smallish cup

Day 29: A smallish cup. Used an Artline 231 tech drawing pen.

Day 30: Keynote shapes

Day 30: Keynote shapes. I spent 2 days designing presentations. Pretty bloody exhausted by the end of it, but day 30 needed a teacup.

Day 31: Teacup stamps

Day 31: Teacup stamps. Drawn in Acorn, printed by Australia Post's personalised stamps service. This is nice as a one-off treat, but generally terrible value. 20 custom local stamps cost $27, which works out to $1.35 a stamp. The service seems to target people having special parties or weddings, and I'm thinking for a party that special, you'd invite a lot of guests... that's a lot of over-priced stamps. Guess I won't be having a special party any time soon!

Day 32: Pastel version of stamp artwork

Day 32: Pastel version of stamp artwork.

Day 33: Drawing with the flat side of pencil

Day 33: Drawing with the flat side of pencil.

Day 34: A RimWorld teacup

Day 34: A RimWorld teacup. It's all fun and games until half your colony gets malaria, your hunter loses an arm in a snake attack, and a fat pirate decomposes in your strawberries cos no one will dig him a grave.

Day 35: My teacup-shaped todo list

Day 35: My teacup-shaped todo list.

Day 36: Washi tape and wire

Day 36: Washi tape and wire.

Day 37: Finger painting in Sketches (iPad)

Day 37: Finger painting in Sketches.

Day 38: Peas, glue and ink on canvas

Day 38: Peas, glue and ink on canvas. With most of my art supplies packed away, I'm relying on salvaging what I can from what's still lying around the house.

Day 39: Ink on tracing paper

Day 39: Ink on tracing paper. Yep, more salvaging. I found the tracing paper under a yet-to-be-KM'd pile of crap in a corner of the study.

Day 40: Photo stitch

Day 40: Photo stitch. A copycat of art @blaizey made for me. I used a lovely business card from Lovegrove Photography, which came inside a thank you card for supporting his wet plate collodion photography campaign.

So, that's the second set. I noticed an interesting psychological thing around day 32. My mind would frame the creation of a teacup like it's some huge undertaking. But in reality, even the more complicated pieces - like the washi sculpture and stamp artwork - didn't take much time. Hmm... or maybe they did, but I was in flow and did not notice.

Anyway, nothing in the last 20 days felt like it took a great deal of time or effort, and at no point did I feel unable to do recreational stuff like watching tv or playing games. When life tasks needed to take priority, I found I could compensate by figuring out how art could be integrated into those tasks. All I needed to do was remember and spare a thought - the rest seemed to follow on from there.

I wonder if expectation is the reason some people grow away from creative endeavours. Expectation that if you're gonna do something, it should be bonkers amazing. Then it's so daunting, you never even start. This, over years and years.

But just to hammer out a thing - good or bad, for the sake of experiencing its creation - there's no expectation there. You don't spend extra energy constantly checking yourself while you're doing it. You just do it, and then look upon the thing once it's done.

If the lesson from the first set was to regard perspiration ahead of inspiration, the lesson from this set is surely to jump in and try stuff while being comfortable with the idea of failure. You know, there are so many areas in life where failure is largely irrelevant. Making tiny teacups for 100 days is one of them. What else might be too?

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

Sketch: Buggy On Mars (pastel)

fan art for The Martian: Watney's rover driving through dust

Last month, I read The Martian by Andy Weir. It's a story about a botanist who gets stranded on Mars when a mission abort goes awry. I loved this book. Couldn't put it down, and there was so much to take in each time. Weir nails the nerd banter; I felt right at home.

So here is my fanart. I wanted to draw the protagonist's vehicle driving through dust, so decided to learn how to use pastels. Which is why I'm a month late with this drawing.

It's a bit weak - in hindsight, I should have gone harder with the colours, or maybe used different coloured paper - one that doesn't dull the orange hues so much. But oh well. I'm just glad it's over now so I can try drawing things that are not clouds.

For anyone interested, I made a board of Mars pastel cloud references.

Next fanart will be for Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Might go back to pencil and paper for this one, so I don't fall behind again. ^_^;

Sketch: Sophie and the rabbit

fan art for Sophie's World: Sophie sitting on a giant rabbit

I'm reading Sophie's World at the moment, by Jostein Gaarder. It's a story of a 14 year old girl who begins a mysterious correspondence course in philosophy. It tickles my interests, and I wish I'd found this book as a teenager. It would have given me more confidence seeing thoughts through and discussing them with people.

Last month, I learned about the 50 book pledge. This is interesting cos when you pledge to do something, you usually get some kind of adventure out of it, and I want to have reading adventures again. Only, I'm not reading 50 books over one year cos I'm slow and don't want to spend all my free time inside a book.

Instead, I'll read 20 books. This seems do-able. And because I'm reading more e-books now instead of paper books, I'll celebrate with fanart sketches rather than photos of book covers.

So here is a roughly drawn, no-face Sophie Amundsen sitting atop the philosophical rabbit.

What's been going on

abandoned toy rabbit on a shopping centre bench

Whenever people ask me what's been going on, I experience a moment of utter panic. Not only do I have to remember what's happened, I have to pick a timeframe of events. Then if I don't know the asker well, I have to guess if they're a normie who doesn't want to know I'm training my cat to walk on a leash.

cat on a leash

Well, that's out of the bag now, isn't it.

whiskey being poured at Whipper Snapper Distillery

A couple weeks ago, we went to the Whipper Snapper Distillery, which just opened in East Perth. They were preparing for the official opening, so we got a "behind the behind-the-scenes" tour. I feel totally hipster about that, but would like to go again now they're properly open.

bearded distiller Jimmy teaches us about whiskey making

a cup of wheat grains

We learned about the whiskey-making process. First, it starts with making a grain mash to ferment (into beer!). The liquid part is then distilled in a giant steampunk looking machine.

large copper still for distilling alcohol

holding chamber open - smells good

After distillation, you get alcohol. "Moonshine", you'd call it when you're making it on the sly at home, except these guys are doing it legally, and really distilling the fuck out of it, more than any normal person would. From there, the spirit is aged in barrels, where is takes on flavours and colours from the wood. Once aged, it may be called "whiskey".

Whipper Snapper

Their whiskey was still in barrels, but they had some bottled moonshine on hand, which is pretty much pure alcohol, watered down to make it consumable. I may reconsider my highbrow prejudice against drinking this stuff. The feeling it leaves is exactly like the first 5 seconds of chomping on cool mint chewing gum, only it goes for ages. It just tastes fresh forever.

newfoundland puppy

Last week, I saw a Newfoundland dog for the first time ever. He was only 10 months old, and MASSIVE. I can't believe how big they get. Yarr, I want a dog. As soon as there's room in our lives, our animal empire shall grow.

Bar Pop in the Urban Orchard, Northbridge

Visited a Bar Pop in the Urban Orchard in Northbridge. For a bar with no fixed address, they have a decent range on the menu. Charging pub prices, and I'm sure the serves are smaller, but worth it to sit outside on a nice evening.

When the weather warms up here, the city fills up with cool festival and pop-up type stuff. Markets, arts events, portable fooderies - how ephemeral! Perth Cactus and Perth Arena notwithstanding, this end of the country is coming along nicely.

IAOMAS conference programme

I had the privilege of taking photos at the first IAOMAS conference in Australia. I'm barely above a white belt at photography, so I felt pressure to step up and be responsible for something official.

martial arts seminar and demonstration

personal, professional instruction

What an experience! The most awe-striking was being around female instructors. I don't get much out of "all girls" and "for women" culture, and I don't gravitate to other people based on gender, but in sport, there's only so much I can relate to male body parts because I don't have male body parts. Seeing something done by someone who's built like me makes it easier for me to learn it too.

calculating decay over time using Euler's number

Some maths happened. It was one of those moments where you remember school, thinking, "I'll never need this in real life!" Turns out if you ever want to do anything fun with computers, you do need it. Every day, stuff like this comes up, and I'm so grateful we have the internet.

Alphabotanicals: A for Arnica

Started something new this week. There's a bunch of stuff I've wanted to learn for ages, but couldn't find time, so obviously the solution is to make art as an incentive to study them all together.

This is "Alphabotanicals" - studies in type, plants, and drawing. More on this to come.

me in the blood donation chair - yuck

Finally, I gave blood today. I hate it, yuck. Needles have given me the willies since that time. I managed to give blood since then, but that was rubbish too cos they only let me have a muffin. I gave them half a litre of my life essence and all I got was a stale muffin.

Not this time, though. Fuck you, 2013 canteen nurse. I got a sausage roll today!!!! 2014 nurse knows where it's at.

I carry a small fear that I'll regress to my stressful, sedentary lifestyle of 10ish, 11ish years ago. When I go for more than a few weeks without football, when my weight stalls or drops, I fear my efforts over the last decade were for nothing.

But today, I'm weighing in at 49.5kg (clothes on) with a haemoglobin reading of 152. I am still healthy.

This evening, I am enjoying the thunderstorm and some computer games. ^___^

So, what's been going on with you?

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