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Busy Busy Busy

Been rather busy the last few weeks, and I'm finishing up the drabbles as I'm able. Hopefully they'll all be done by Christmas. *grins*

The eye thing's still been a bother. John has been doing a lot of the work in helping me matte and frame all twenty-two paintings for the January show. We've been getting ready for Christmas. I've been knitting again, and we signed the contract for "Hearts Under Fire"! Woohoo!!

The actual contact signing felt anticlimactic after two marathon editing runs, but it's for a spring electronic release in 2011, I think, and they have options to pick up a print run if it sells well enough. We're waiting on copy edits and will see how it goes, but they've been very reasonable up to this point.

All three of us also got up at 1:30 am this morning and saw the eclipsed moon from our front yard. The tarnished disk was lovely and different, and amberley noted that having an eclipse on the Solstice last happened in 1638, and had this lovely thought of the magic having gone away the last time this happened, and now... now it's back. *grins*

amberley also pointed out that "Mike "Plutokiller" Brown had this lovely analogy that the red of the moon in eclipse is all the world's sunsets at once.



Gabriel's Socks
First, the socks. I've been starting to do more scrap yarn socks, just to eat up the mountain of yarn scraps I have from dozens and dozens of pairs of socks. It's just a simple, four-stitch Fair Isle stitch pattern over stripped bottoms, but I'm doing a traditional heel with a shaped arch, a la Elizabeth Zimmerman. I love how the arch fits is better to a human foot, and gives the ball of the foot a little more play in the structure of the sock itself.

The beauty of them, however, surprised me. The nearly random interchanging of colors that I ended up doing, in this pair, I actually tried to match the two of them as they're a gift for gogoangelgunboy, but Jet's given me the freedom to just change into whatever yarn I might desire. So his are utterly random and won't match at all. Jet's likely to end up with half a dozen socks, all different, which all fit me as well, as his feet are exactly the same length as mine, now. The boy's growing like mad, and if he were a puppy, his foot size would trouble me. *laughs*

They're oddly satisfying, too, as my pile of scraps is growing steadily smaller, and all the loose bits and pieces (yes, I'm a yarn horder, I even have bits that are only four or five yards long) are getting used up. That makes me happy.

The eye thing's turned out to not just be a viral infection. I seem to have glaucoma-level pressures in the eye as well, which the steroid-based drops are only heightening. The drops, themselves, which are the same ones my doctor prescribed me, are actually quite hard to taper down, as they cause inflammation when they're withdrawn from. Which would totally explain why I kept getting recurring inflammation, which made it easy for further infection. I seem to have a dry eye problem on top of my allergy problem, both of which only encourage the inflammation from the steroid withdrawal.

Given how badly my whole system reacted from withdrawing from one of the heavy-duty steroid-based allergy medications I used early in the year, I can understand why this is turning into a six-month project to get *off* of them, as I know my regular doctor didn't understand that little side-effect. My present opthemologist suddenly came up with it when I called him, upset about how red and irritated my eyes now are again, as I went from doing the drops twice a day to once a day. It's now happened every time I've stepped up the interval between drops, and calms down after the third application at that time length... so I'm up to two days between drops, and had a really bad reaction yesterday and today. *sighs* I've just been using artificial tears to try and help keep it down, and doing all the other things that seem to help, like get enough sleep, try to stay up on my antihistamines, use a nasal saline rinse, and use the air cleaner and humidifier in the bedroom.

I have another appointment at the beginning of the year, and will update then, but this seems to be a slow, painful path toward recovery. Eventually. *laughs*

Wisteria
The paintings are getting better, some of the ones that I did for the first sixty paintings for the hundred-sheet challenge actually made it past the recycle bin. *laughs* This is one of them that made it... a far more Chinese-style wisteria that I really liked. John's been a yeoman and doing a ton of matte-cutting while I decided the opening sizes.

He went on a quest for a matte-cutting guide when he discovered that there were such things. A new beveled matte-cutter is nearly $25, and the big guides were in the $200 range, but on Craig's list he found a lightly used one for only $40, so we got it. And it's been a God-send while we go through 22 paintings to get them all tuxedo'ed up for the show in January. The process has been far more involved than I thought it might be.

But the results have been pretty spectacular. Here they all are, lined up and ready to go. There's another half a dozen smaller paintings that have to go, but it's been intriguing to pick standard frame sizes for the various paintings and seeing how well they fit.

I've already sent a bio to the lady in charge of the gallery along with some of the pictures here. I haven't been painting quite as much lately, though I'm starting to feel the urge to do so again. Just been kind of tired with the eye thing.

Maybe that's just more incentive in some ways. If I am going to lose my eye sight, maybe I'd better use it for all I'm worth while I still have it, and do all the things I can do now. It's an odd way to get motivated, but hey, whatever works. *laughs*

It will be interesting to see how the show goes. I've spent anywhere from $5 to $40 to matt and frame the paintings, depending on their size, and I'm trying to get the pricing where I pay the show place their percentage, pay for the hardware, and get *something* for the art itself. I'm having to figure out sale taxes, see if this actually will impact my income taxes at all, and see what the costs are with respect to the paint and paper itself. And then actually see if my time is worth anything. *laughs* As a beginner with a first show, I'm keeping the prices pretty low, nothing like the $2000 price tag I saw on an oil painting of a Scotty dog. *blinks mildly* It was beautiful but...

Jet's Pine Tree and Old Plum
One very keen thing was Jet being very, very happy to see his pine tree finally framed and ready to hang. He actually got enough inspiration from it and the coming of his new year to actually go and clean out his whole bedroom of all the things that have just accumulated there for the last few years. He even managed to get all the Lego sets he just doesn't really play with anymore and he is getting them organized enough to offer them up on Craig's List. He wouldn't mind making a little money with them, and getting the things that are more of interest to him, now. So that's all to the good.

*laughs*

So that's been my last couple of weeks. This coming week will be fun with a Christmas Eve party with gingerbread houses, ham, all the fixings, and then a 10:30 candlelight service with Jet and Tanner as ushers. I'll be liturgist on the 26th, and it's really nice to be truly home for the holidays. We're likely to go to the Denver botanical gardens for our annual walk.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday!
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Congratulations on the contract!!!!!

Much sympathy on the eyes, and I do hope they improve.

The paintings look gorgeous.

Enjoy the upcoming week, and I totally understand you being very busy. I will hope to see you in the new year. :)
Thank you, so very much.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year! And you will definitely see me. *laughs*

Edited at 2010-12-22 06:14 am (UTC)
Crossing fingers for eye-recovery!

Those are lovely, lovely paintings!

Yay, socks, and WOO, contract!
Yay! Woot! *laughs*

Thanks for the wishes! And glad you like the paintings... yay!

Hope you and yours have a great Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Edited at 2010-12-22 06:14 am (UTC)
We missed the lunar eclipse. It, umm..., rained. *mumble* I love that analogy from the plutokiller.

Best on the eye recovery. Hurrah on the contract!

See you on the other side of the holidays...


Yeah, it does rain a lot there. *sighs* We actually had some haze here that cut the visibility some...

Thanks for the good wishes, and Thanks!!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!!
I wish you quick and safe recovery ^_^ And no more ill luck in the new year!

Have nice holidays ^_^
Thank you so much for the lovely wishes!

I hope you have great holidays as well!! <3
I got up at 2 am to catch the eclipse. I live in Phoenix, where we average 350 days of sunny skies per year. You guessed it! solid clouds...

BTW, i adore your paintings.