Sunday, October 28, 2012

but we still feel like tourists

Today we made a special trip to the National Mall to show NY guests around, but then they had to leave because there is an unusual storm coming. So we were already in DC, sans guests, and we went to 4 Smithsonians and the National Archives. 
When I picture a museum, it's this hall at the Natural History Museum. (I'm at the balcony)

I am sort of learning Korean after finding a rosetta stone cd at Goodwill, so I was excited to see this woodcut syllabary... except it's illegible. The hangul alphabet is printed on the wall above it, so it's not exactly that they're treating it like squiggly lines no one can read, and yet it was impossible for me to make a sketch of it. 

 This diamond alphabet was so sparkly and wonderful. The halls of gems and minerals are my favorite thing. The specimens are just amazing. Tektites and concretions and opals and gold, all the best in the world.
I've seen the smithsonian castle but never visited it until today. It doesn't seem to have any collections, just models of the capital. I was really excited to see that it has an antique, working letterbox that has a custom postmark. And the smashed penny machine had a change machine beside it, so useful.
 This is a mars rock. A lot of the rocks there are from space, but they got here naturally whereas this one was brought back in 1976 by our own efforts. And, I touched this rock in 2002.
I also touched this aluminum cap in 2002, a replica of the original Washington Monument cap.

I have been meaning to do this tour since we arrived, but we really live far from the center of the city. My sketches from today came out really badly, since I was standing up and rushing. But, it was a gorgeous fall day and I saw the Magna Carta and liked it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wax Jewelry

My silver casting supplies arrived in the mail this week! 
I am in love with casting grain.
 A wax ring on my new scale. I am planning to cast a series of silver rings that are real watercolor palettes.
A tiny Marx.

Now I just need somewhere to work, and a few things from Home Depot. I spent a lovely day mining a pile of jewelry reference books for techniques and ideas. I discovered electroforming, and decided I don't care for enamel so much. My current project is to make 6oz of sterling charms and rings and offer them for sale, but in CA I have a tiny anvil and I would love to stretch and hammer silver bars into... forks? Hairpins?

Monday, October 22, 2012

October Postmark plus Birthday Mail

 Vintage stamps from my step grandmother
 Hand cancellations are subject to being overcancelled by ugly spray cancels when they get to their sorting plant, and I inadvertantly found a way around that. If you put on vintage denomination postage in piecemeal amounts, the hand canceller will take pains to cancel every stamp, and the spray cancel won't.
 This month's resolution sort of fell apart.
And I have been getting excellent birthday mail, like this "DAUGHTER" card. From my mom, I was going to say.

Deanwood Neighborhood, DC

Here are some fall shots around our neighborhood. (Neighborhoods are a big deal here because everything around is DC)
 The chess club next to our laundromat (not pictured because its garden was full of patrons).
 A rainy day walk along the railroad tracks.
 Someone has long ago bent back the fence to make our walk possible.

A day in the life

I called my Nana for our birthdays, and she asked me to describe my life. I am living in sin and everything, also indolent, so it was hard for me to figure out what to say. I told her I have been cooking a lot and I am starting a jewelry business. So I made this little diagram overview of how things are going. 
 This is the knitting I referred to in the diagram. Pomatomus in Clematis Heather.
This is the jewelry business I referred to above. It is beeswax models to be cast. 

The DC Metro

The metro here is the worst. It is always broken. But the architecture is pretty cool, and the station map is phenomenal. I was going to copy it out in kind of a LOTR map way, familiarize myself with the routes, but it's so well designed that I just copied it as well as I could. 
(please excuse the uncropped edges. Casey's copy of paint doesn't have a crop function.)

Sketchbook Page

I decided to give my sketchbook more color and texture. This is the first page of that. Almost no color, and totally constrained. 

 Here is a tip I came up with for threading yarn through holes that are smaller than the tapestry needle the yarn would require. Tie the yarn to lightweight thread, and thread a small sewing needle.