Category Archives: Uncategorized

A-Cup or boob trap

Got anyone interested? Intrigued? Hoping for saucy snaps?

Well: Sorry. No such luck. The A-cup is an acronym meaning the Art of Cutting Up Paper.

Now some may protest that doing so can hardly be an art. Others would recognise the fact that e.g. decoupage is generally designated art.

Okay, so: does that mean I’m doing that? No. Sorry again. All I did was cut up paper into A7-size pieces. Definitely not an art.

Agreed, even thought the cutter has slightly off measurements on the board meaning that I had to learn just how to place it to actually get the right size.

The real art was in the writing on those pieces (or cards as I used luxury paper). Because they go into a prototype of a game of my invention, one designed to learn German grammar without tears and countless mistakes. And anyone who learned German or just tried will know that THAT will be great art. If or when I succeed in making it work.

 

The gentle art of plotting

I might have called it scheming. It’s a lot less sinister than it may look at first glance: I hope to finish some writing in time to join a competition to win publishing. And I have to hand in a plot outline.

I’m not always much of a plotter. This time I decided I would at least use the competition to practise making a plot instead of just plodding ahead as is my usual wont.

It took the physical form of pieces of paper. Plot outline on one, locations on another, characters on a third et c. And yes I know there are computer programs that let you do that on-screen. I don’t have those programs. Not one. And it just doesn’t really work in the programs I have and know.

Besides, there is something nice about long hand and tangible notes. This is (at least primarily) a crafts blog. Of course I like and often prefer to use my hands and fingers for something other than tapping at keys. And there is a joy in its own right to spreading out those notes on the table (amid pieces of a pair of short pants in the making) to get an overview.

There are no good snaps in such a process. All I can hope for is that it’ll turn out some really good words. Such as “you’ve won!”

 

The red dread

Yes I know I did not post for a long time. The main reason is that my work life has been in chaos for just as long. It’s finally settling into some sort of order and I can muster the oomph to do things other than work.

The one thing I was able to do was take up a sweater that’s been on hold for several months. Most likely to give myself something mindless to do and an idea that something was moving towards a definable target. And look now how close to finished it is:

The first two snaps are details of pattern and of the – if I may say so myself – rather brilliant way I went about not having to sew on the sleeves by picking up cast-off-stitches and knitting them together with the edge stitches at the sides.

The pattern is my take on a theme of regional variations of the so-called night sweater worn by women in Denmark in the 16-17-18-hundreds. The sweaters were more or less hidden away for festive occasions but visible when they worked. The crossed double bars and the eight-point stars were more or less standard, but some had only patterned sleeves, some had a patterne likes angles or V’s in rows on the trunk et c. I could find a partial pattern for the sleeves alone, and the stars had to grow with the sleeve to keep the same number pattern row by pattern row. I ended up with 6 pieces of A4-sized checkered paper taped together to make sure I got it right.

Those women did without pattern. Just skill. This sweater has given me enormous respect for them. Nowadays you really only see sweaters like these with folk-dancers performing in costumes. I call taht a pity: Let’s give this pattern a revival. Show our skills.

 

Sometimes, variety is a nuisance rather than a spice

One Saturday last autumn I read the weekly column of a Danish gardening guru as every Saturday. I like his language a lot and read it to enjoy just that as I’m not the keenest of gardeners. That particular week he wrote of tulips: So many of the modern, mor or less artsy varieties have weak bulbs that wither and rot away in the ground after few years of bloom. For just that reason he didn’t like tulips.

Then again he still did. He liked the old varieties known as “Appeldoorn” which are healthy and come back steadily year after year. And since his local garden centre had their tulip bulbs on sale due to end of season he bought a bucketfull of those healthy bulbs. The final note was one telling every reader to do likewise.

Now I have neither money or space for that many tulips and instead took a more silly approach: I selected the whitest ones and the darkest ones, bought only 30 odd and laid them down as checkered as I could. With this current result :

tulipaner set forfra

tulipaner set fra siden

It worked much less fantastically than I hoped for. Because in the process of crossing and getting as many varieties as possible, blooming time and stem lengths began to diversify as well. Which brings me back to this week’s headline: It’s a nuisance.

NIMDYD

Or: Not In My Daffodils You Don’t

April is dandelion season. Or rather: It opens the dandelion season. Like every other garden owner at least in Denmark and probably all temperate areas, I get my fair share of them. In parts of the garden they’re little trouble. I have a marvellous tool that has two broad spikes at the end of a rod with handlebars at the top. Easy to use, just plunge in the spikes around the dandelion, twist the rod using the handlebars, lift up. Sometimes it lift the dandelion, otherwise it loosens the soil to allow me to pull it up with at least some of hte root on it.

The snag is that dandelions are sneaky things. The seeds blow everywhere on their feather-like parachute, dfalls everywhere and is only too good at sprouting. And not just on otherwise bare patches. They sprout among my strawberries, under my hedge, practically in the middle of rose bushes. Not to mention in my daffodils, which bloom everywhere now.

With such cunning my tool is no good because it would damage the bulbs. And so I have to get down on my knees, small shovel in hand and dig those dandelions up.

So, folks: You thing dandelions and other weeds are a pain in the neck? Or a pain in the arse / butt? Well I can tell you you’re wrong.

They’re a pain in the knees.

Pax Vobiscum

Nostalgia can take on a lot of different forms. One of the things I miss even in the midst of several TV-channels and a range of DVDs is the national broadcasting corporation showing classic American movies Saturday or Sunday afternoon. One of them was the old version of “Robin Hood” starring Erroll Flynn. I seem to remember there was something about a fool in monk’s attire who is used to divert attention. However, even IMDB tells me nothing of a fool.

All the Latin he manages to learn for his part are the words of the headline: Pax Vobiscum.munkekutter

These two scout friends of mine may know as little. After all, she’s a geographer, he’s a computer-something-or-other. But this Saturday they were a nun and a monk at a regional scouts’ tournament. And I am proud to say I helped the geographer make those costumes with the man acting as model.

Zen or plain idiocy?

Forget the art of motorcycle maintenance. I neither own a motor cycle nor know how to ride one.

Instead I find my Zen moments elsewhere. It generally comes to me when I have some time-consuming, menial task to perform or when I go for a very long walk.

This week, however, I came to doubt whether it really was all that Zen and not just daft. Idiotic. Ridiculously time-consuming. Because this is what I worked on:

idiotbroderi

I didn’t get very far, because it’s tiny cross stitches. Two and a half long stripes were all I did. I have no idea how long time it will take me to get it done. all I know is I want to fill in every bit of material.

Why? I like the result. When using such small stitches in such large numbers it becomes finely pixelled like a digital photo of really good quality. And though it may well put the stamp of idiocy on me: I like the process too.