Learning While Teaching

Spent most of this morning on my knees getting all my tomato plants potted, either into the hanging planters or into new bigger pots so that they'll last another two weeks. We had snow on the roofs and lawns two mornings ago, and I need to put up the pictures of the snow on the crabapple and cherry blossoms. It's very pretty.

It's been a really busy week, which is why I've been so quiet. Jet's school years is winding down so I'm trying to devote every minute during the day time to getting something written, though I talked with Jet and John and they're okay with letting me work in the morning. So we'll see if I slow down as severely as I have in the past. I'm also giving lessons to an eight-year-old with my painting style and my mentor's asked for lessons as well! That's been oddly surprising.

Panda for Macy
Macy, the eight-year-old who is learning from me decided that she really wanted to commission a painting from me, so she asked for a panda, and I painted her one from one of my photos of the pandas at the San Diego zoo.  When she asked me to paint her a painting, I asked her how much she's pay me for it, and when she said a dollar, I said sure. *laughs* She came back with $2.10. Hee. So I earned a pretty hefty tip.

That was nice.

My mentor, Mimi, asked for a lesson as well, and we spent a couple of hours working with ink, brushes, and the crazy unsized papers that I usually use. The really strange thing for me was finding out that it really was difficult for her to do the things that I now find easy, how to plan a stroke to get the gradations, how to load and keep the brush dry enough to not smear, but wet enough to carry through the whole stroke.

Some of this I was getting with Macy, too, but to have a really experienced artist, who knows how to use a brush and has been painting for decades, but with a different medium, really brought home to me the fact that I do something fairly unique and that I do it better than even a person I know is very artistically talented.

That... was eye-opening.

Crabapples in Snow
These are the tree blossoms with snow still on them. *laughs* The weather's been so crazy...

I've been trying to harden off my Black Krimm tomatoes and they've just up and died on me and I'm still not sure why. My Sungolds are doing swimmingly, they're even flowering, but all the Black Krimm just died. The odd thing was that we went to the farmers' market today and they all had dozens of kinds of tomato plants, but none of them had a Black Krimm, either! I was bemused by that.

The Sungolds are even starting to flower, and I still can't put them out for another two weeks. It's going to make it very interesting.

Thursday was one of those days where I felt like I was late for everything, and there were a lot of things to be late for, as I had to get to school to help out Jet's class with Tile Math, then get Jet home, then get Jet and I to dinner before his music program. He realized he wasn't wearing his "good" clothing at dinner, so we ran back home, and he managed to change in three minutes flat. We ran to school, got there just in time for his pre-performance practice, and then I settled in the gym and waited for John as he had a meeting. Whew. The netwook made life easier for that last bit. *laughs*

Then the program and Cold Stone as a reward for all of us.

That was a very nice evening.

Most other days and evenings have been working on the huge original novel, and contemplating other writing. I hadn't gotten to any of it, and now that darkprism is off on a vacation for a week, it's like the other stories are just pounding at the back of my head. I should be able to get something out in the next few days, a couple of them, I hope, and a running start at the next few chapters of Twin Souls as it's so hard to get the last chapter bits all loaded into my head. Hopefully when Jet's back in school on Monday, it'll be easy enough to get started again.

Chrysanthemum Journal
I also indulged in a desire to try to sew a Coptic binding on a journal. So I made this. Seven signature of four pages each made 112 pages of sketch quality paper, and I sewed them together with a silk thread I'd found for beading, and the edge looked really nice. I had some book board from previous projects, so I used that, even though it warped a bit.

I stuck a painting on it, sprayed the painting with a digital photograph fix, as most printers have water soluble ink. This stuff worked nicely to fix the painting to the paper and should protect it.

I should probably use a double thickness of the board to let it do its own countering of warpage next time, but I really loved how the painting and the pages worked out. Still, I'm pleased at how it turned out for a first attempt and now have all the materials for another go at it, perhaps for myself.
That panda is breathtaking, really. I agree about how your strokes are getting to be so well-considered.

Sorry to hear about your Black Krimms. That's discouraging. Since we had snow all last week, all I've been able to plant so far is spinach.
*giggles* I was so worried about the top of his head being 'wrong', but lots of people love it, so I'll be content with that. *grins*

Thank you!

Yeah, the snow has been weird... I've planted spinach and radishes. Even harvested some radishes in just the last week, and the cold only seems to make them sweeter.
That is a lovely panda! And an adorable hedgehog at the bottom, too! (And the gold and red of the flower are nifty.)
The panda is cute, but I really like the flower with the hedgehog. :)

And it's great to hear how you have progressed so far with your art/craft that some of those things are now second nature to you.
It was intriguing to figure it out this way...

Hee. I'm glad you like the flower and hedgehog. Thank you!
Really lovely paintings! And I'm amazed by the reports of snow, too! Wow! We finally got spring here--lovely sunny weekend. A first in quite a while. There was so much yard work going on in the neighborhood.

Could you fix the warped board by just pressing it between something heavy for a day?
Yeah. Snow.. Yeesh.

I managed to flatten it that way, but the least amount of humidity in the air seems to make it curl again. So... I might have to explore buying something heavier, or having two pieces with biases that fight each other or something. *laughs*
Hedgehog under a flowering shrub
I have a story. This may be irrelevant to your interests.

I love the hedgehog under the flower because once there was a "translate your name into chinese characters" site that listed literal translations for some possible translations of common English names. My first name translated either to (and I'm really, really loose about this translation) Queen Whose Wise Rule Will Endure For a Thousand Years -or- A Hedgehog Under a Pink Flowering Shrub. Chris and I constantly refer to the "Hedgehog Who Wisely Lives Under A Pink Flowering Shrub for Thousands of Years" and other, less coherent mashups of the two sentiments. Pink Hedgehogs. Flowering Rulers (to measure the garden, don'cha know!) and similar. I saw the hedgehog under the flowering shrub and LAUGHED.
Re: Hedgehog under a flowering shrub
Oh, and your paintings are incredibly alluring. I'm glad you're starting to get a good sense of your talent's relative worth and rarity. I'm the daughter of an art teacher whose well meaning but inappropriate criticism kept me from even trying to paint. I can imagine the harsh critic that would live in my head if I had ever tried to follow in his brushstrokes.
Re: Hedgehog under a flowering shrub
*laughs and laughs*

It is entirely relevant to my interests!! I love the two ways the name could be taken. That is very cool....