Thursday, December 29, 2011

Keeping An Open Mind

There was this Saturday on which i felt adventurous. Like going to places we don't usually go to, and find fun things. Alas, we had many things to do on that particular Saturday, so i had to wait patiently for all those tasks to end. Home chores, family obligations. The day was running out, and my adventurousness grew (patiently!) wider and wider.

Tasks at last behind us, we decided to go to this field of anemones, a place i went to years ago and remembered to be lovely.

Navigating from memory and trying to beat the clock, we got there close to dusk. But as we got closer, we discovered the anemones weren't there anymore! They're all gone, and now there's just an empty field!

But the adventure!!! There was very little time before darkness, but we couldn't just give up and go home. We decided to keep an open mind, and, feeling lame and stupid, we drove on a little, to look for adventures in the next forsaken empty field. and this is what we found there:

Huge pipes laying around and looking very much like dinosaurs (well, to a worked up adventurous mind they did, anyway). When the sun was setting, it really became a joy -

Lots of copper-orange-ochre round things with beautiful textures. We ran around like a couple of frantic weirdos, pointing out stuff, taking pics and trying to catch the light in its last moments.

The next day I woke up needing to make something orange and roundish. I needed to feel and watch an orange thread on my left hand, rounding up to orange limbs of an orange creature on my right hand. It is weird to explain, but it was completely physical.

It finally became this creature. You can see it, too, keeps an open mind (it doesn't look very adventurous though. It's more of an indoors homey creature).

Another thing keeping an open mind around here is this valentine bird:

I had to take that photo, because its expression reminded me those of Sandra Monat's wonderful Marie Antoinette bead heads.

The problem is, they skip this open-mind phase quickly. This valentine bird is all grown up now, with a firmly closed head and a hanger to hang from.

Have a happy, colorful, adventurous and open-minded 2012!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blue Moose. Moon? Mood!

I was gonna write some clever sarcastic post about my blue moose, with lots of puns and shiny words with the help of  my beloved good friend here - BUT this has been the most perfect weekend, and I'm feeling lazy and content and forgiving. So:

1. First of all - you can play this in the background - Billie Holiday singing exactly to match my mood, and hopefully yours, too.

2. Last Saturday was my nephew's 2nd birthday, and he threw a party. His big brother  (4.5!) was wearing a cool T Shirt with a moose on it. That moose looked at me, and I looked at him, and we both knew it had to happen. It was just a matter of time. A few days later Moose here joined the team:

 The next morning, however, he was sent under cover to a secret mission in foreign lands, more suitable to Meese than Israel, the 25-degrees-average home of the Camel.

Hope he gets there safely and leads a full, happy life.

There are so many creatures i want to try and crochet, but I can hardly manage a couple of creatures a week. I would like another pair of hands. And eyes. Better still - I would like a rewind button i could press and relive my week doing different things each day.

Aaaaah Billie.

And the universe is listening and echoing, for in these moments a lunar eclipse can be seen from my balcony. Sorry i can't take decent pics of it.

Word of the Day was gonna be the word describing the sounds a moose in love makes, but i can't remember it. If the person telling me about it is reading this, please come forward (quietly, so as not to scare the meese).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bird Weekend

I love Ireland. I've been to Ireland several times, saw most parts of it, and loved nearly all of them. All those shades of green and blue, and the water everywhere, and the people - don't think I ever encountered an Irish person who wasn't nice to me and nice in general. Of course, there's always the possibility I didn't understand what they were saying.

In the middle of my second trip to Ireland, on a Saturday, we got to a place called Clonmel - a nice, peaceful, quiet town. It was the end of the day, and we were going to spend the night there, so we started looking for a B&B the regular way - i was driving the car in circles, and my brave zillion-languages-speaking friend A was on the communicative role of asking B&B people whether they had a spare room for us. The first few attempts were unfruitful - the places were full, but we didn't worry because up till then we hadn't had difficulty in spontaneously finding a place to stay. So we continued searching. But one after the other, every place we tried was full, full, full. It was beginning to get late, and we were beginning to worry, and drove in bigger and bigger circles, so that eventually we were desperately going through the surrounding fields. Then, not far off on the right side of the road, we saw a woman walking sprightly. She seemed promisingly optimistic, so I drove up to her. Being Irish (and therefore extremely nice), she heard us coming and knew we would need help, so she waited for us, and when I rolled down the window she smiled at me very warmly and expectantly, and waited for my question.

I said, "Hello, we're looking for a B&B for ages now, and can't find one. Do you happen to know any B&B's around?"

The lady wore an understanding-but-grave expression, and replied, "Yes, this is a very bird weekend for a B&B".

well she's expecting some kind of communication. What could I do?

"Sorry, a Bird Weekend? What's that? Is there some Bird watching activity around?" (they do have some very weird popular activities there, you know. Hurling, for instance)

The (very nice lovely kind) lady stared at me, considered the situation, and then spoke very slowly:
"IT IS A   B A D  WEEKEND to look for a bed and breakfast.  B A D ."

She went on to explain why it was bad (can't remember, probably some county Hurling match or a bird-watching festival) and where we should go try our luck (which we later did, and really found a bed for the night!), while i was trying to become very small and hide under the driver's seat.

Love Ireland. And Irish Gaelic (And Welsh, while we're at it. But Gaelic better!).

So. This has certainly been a bird weekend for me here:

I've wanted to make birds for so long, made some attempts, but all of them were awful. Lately I came up with this, which is really very simple and i can't understand why it took me so long. The main issue about these birds are the legs, which have been my major problem - couldn't figure them out. Until I remembered this technique i used a year ago for some other project, and it clicked. Not to say "kicked".

The legs are Tunisian crochet - just two rows of it, which i finished off and then sewed into tubes. It can be made to look neat, but i wanted the rough bumpy look - it reminds me of chicken legs.

I've been in a bird frenzy all week, making them at home, at school and in coffee shops. They're so easy to make. What gets me every time is the moment I'm done sewing the eyes in place and securing their threads - the moment it turns from a lump of crocheted yarn into something that's looking back at me. That's the moment they get their personality. Until that moment, i have no idea what sort of bird it would be.

Have a lovely and GOOD Bird Weekend!

Word of the Day
The "mel" in Clonmel is Gaelic for "Honey". It comes from Latin, and appears (with small variations) in many other languages, like Spanish, French and also in Rumanian, which i happen to speak a little. Since that trip to Clonmel, Rumanian honey became oddly associated in my head with birds.