Monthly Archives: January 2016

Road Trip 1 in 2016: Gustave Baumann

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Gustave Baumann, German Craftsman, American Artist

This was an incredible exhibition of Baumann’s works, life, and process. If you are interested at all in printmaking or the arts and crafts period, GO SEE THIS before it closes February 14th. 

It is at the beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art. Wow! What a wonderful museum, I wish we had more time to go through the other galleries and gardens. 

We are in Indianapolis just for a few days. Check the museum website, is it worth trekking downtown? Yes! Yes! Drop our bags at the hotel & off we go on wonderful date night at the museum. Both of us have printmaking backgrounds, hubby focused on contemporary guys.  It was fun to introduce hubby to Mr. Baumann. 

Gustave Baumann, German Craftman, American Artist Exhition, Indianapolis Museum of Art

I have always felt that printmaking was a sorry stepchild of the art world & museums. Unless, the printmaker was Rembrandt, Picasso, or Michelangelo, most museum print exhibits are  tiny & relegated to the basement or a back gallery. (Ok, I know that works on paper require special environmental & lighting, & exhibits must be limited.)

Baumann prints are very very very difficult to find exhibited at museums. It’s part of my checklist of artists’ works I seek out when visiting. I never expected to find a major exhibit of his work. Certainly not in Indiana.  (Sorry, Indiana, I only knew about his New Mexico life.)

 

Gustave Baumann (American, 1881–1971), Harden Hollow, 1912, color woodblock print, 19-3/4 x 26-7/8 in. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Gift of Ann Baumann, 2008.166. Gustave Baumann works are protected by copyright. Contact the IMA for further information

 
  
Not this one show. This is a major exhibition of a large quantity of his work from all timeframes. Indiana countryside, Hudson Valley, Provincetown, & the west coast images were all new to me. Amazing. It even had the dedicated gift shop at the end. 

You can checkout the short videos online of Baumann’s family life, time in Indiana & New Mexico, his marionettes, & the printing process.

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Road Trip 1 of 2016: Indianapolis

We drove up after the first storm passed through Tennessee & Kentucky. Arrived in time for a date night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I’ll have another post later this week about the exhibit we saw. 

As the south & east were being covered in deep snow from Winter Storm Jonas, it was just plain cold in Indianapolis. No snow fall. I was looking forward to playing with the Marco lens and snowflakes.  At 17 degrees and windy, I’m a whimp. Instead, an hour on the treadmill, podcast listening, playing with the lens, movie watching* and finishing Swoop filled my day. 

*We have missed a whole generation of interesting family movies. We watched Hugo, Spiderwick Chronicles and Stardust. 

New I-65 bridge connecting Kentucky Indiana

  

Indianapolis Museum of Art

  
 

Indianapolis Museum of Art, playing with a fisheye lens

 

Too far north of the bizzard for new snow

  

Swoop soaking in it’s bath, before blocking. Swoop by Romi Hill, in Painted Desert & Cascade.

 

Sun trying to shine through

  

Cairo I-57 bridge over the Mississippi River

 
Heading home, we took a western route through Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas. All farm land under a blanket of snow. The sun was a welcome sight as well asgreener land and warmer temperatures. 

We did not want to miss our dinner date for a restaurant opening, Stoney River Steakhouse & Grill, in our home town. All I can say is ‘YUM!’ I forgot to take pictures until the dessert came. I stayed on my diet and didn’t eat the cake. (I did fall down the day after.) Everything was delicious. Service was excellent. And the best part, it was a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  

Carrot cake for four, Stoney River Steakhouse & Grill

 

Update on Olloclip Lens

Sorry about the earlier post. Fingers slipped & it posted prematurely. 

Initial observations:  

  • The black case might be a better choice, if you take pictures through hotel windows. I chose the light color because, as a klutz, I will drop or set my phone down. I figured it would be easier to find if it wasn’t dark. I’ll just have to have black cloth handy when I travel. 

Window reflections

  • Serious issue with the Active Lens (telephoto/wide angle lens). No problem with the wide angle lens. The telephoto lens does not fit the phone camera well. I thought initially that the clip didn’t fit with the case. Nope, I took the case off. Same problem. 

Olloclip Active Lens

Artifact in telephoto lens

 I’ve send a message to Olloclip’s support.  Let’s see if this can be fixed. 

  • No issues at all with the 4 in 1 macro lens.  Except the brass edge on the wide angle also shows up on hotel windows. A DIY, paint the edge black. 

Late Christmas Present to Myself 

My early Christmas present to myself came late, last weekend. 

It was a Kickstarter campaign from Olloclip that I contributed to way back in July or August. I found out about it through blogs on photography. You should be able to purchase the lens now. I’m not going into any photographic review mode here.  I’m a qualified amateur with one college level class a  zillion years ago. 

I’ve been wanting a macro lens since the good old days of SLRs and film, but could never justify the expense of new lens and other equipment needed. Way back then, you needed a lot more stuff, good lighting, tripod, etc. 

There are other len attachments companies for the iPhone. But most don’t work with a case. Being a klutz, I need a case and screen protector. (I’ve already replaced the screen protector twice due to klutziness.)

The Olloclip Kickstarter campaign was for the production of a whole package called the Mobile Studio System, case, lens, & other accessory attachments.

I have only played with a few things. The case went on right away. The 4in1 lens took a bit of figuring out. I don’t plan to use the fisheye lens much, so that will be stored for later. 

So far so good. 

Unfortunately, the lens do not fit over my screen protector. I’ll have to McGyver something to protect my screen from scratches & cracks. 

cracked screen protector

 
Otherwise, the lens are easy and fun play. Only one minor issue, they are not marked. m I am always guessing which is which. Easy enough to remedy.  

Here are some early experiments with the two macro lens, 10x and 15x. I plan to play more outside with warmer weather. Focus is my current problem. These were all handheld shots in natural light. 

Winter dandelion

  

Calligraphy practice

  

Striped garter stitch

 
 

Lemon for tea

 

Chat with you next week. 

2016 Knitting Bucket List: SSK KALs

As mentioned in last week’s post, SSK is Super Summer Knitogether.  An annual knitters/spinners retreat in Nashville that I have been fortunate enough to attend for the last two years. And for 2016, I made it through the first lottery held in September 2015. (Yeah, it’s a bit crazy. Space is limited to 150 people.)

This bucket list started as soon as Laura announces the dates and rules for the Knitalongs (KALs) in October.

The first KAL running November 2015-January 2016 is any designs by Romi Hill. Already finished 2 Artesian shawls, 2 hats from the Oddments book, & 1 Chiklat cowl in the current Romi Hill KAL. 

Artesian 1 is Wollemeise sock yarn (new stash & a gift) using chart A. I used every inch of that yarn and wish I had another 50 yards to knit another repeat. I would have liked this one bigger. It was a very fast to knit. I was planning to gift it but Eloise reminded me that be superwash wool is not the only qualification for gifting to non-knitters. The receiver must also be willing and able to clean and block the gift properly. So, of course, I wanted to do it again with some changes. 

Artesian 2 is in Miss Babs Yowza (new stash & a door prize from SSK2015) using chart B with some modifications. It’s a heavy worsted weight yarn…very different than the previous project. Since it’s multicolored, I assumed the eyelets wouldn’t be seen. I wear this shawl ALL THE TIME. No longer in the gift pile. 

I am in love with the shaping and ease of the process. This will be my go-to shawl pattern. 

2015 finished shawls, cowl & hats designed by Romi Hill

The third project finished is the Chilkat cowl. I discovered that I no longer have a large stash of lace weight yarns and don’t plan to increase it. I DID have a lot of leftover lace weight and a large stash of thrift shop men’s sweaters (old stash).  It’s pretty, though not very warm in 20 degree F. In the gift pile, but only for the most knit worthy person. 

Fourth & fifth projects are hats from the Great Oddments Knitdown ebook in acrylic (old stash). I wanted to knit something quick, easy, my version of a palette cleanser. These are going to the SSK charity.

Working on Swoop shawl now & what will probably be the last for this KAL in Cascade & Painted Desert. I plan to knit another Swoop later for two reasons.  

Swoop by Romi Hill in Painted Desert & Cascade

  1. I had a brain blip and increased the count in the second repeat. I’m on the fifth repeat and STILL can’t fix it. Too late to frog it and start again. Messing up just bugs me. This one definitely doesn’t do the pattern justice. So I want to do another one.  The picture is from her pattern. 

    Swoop, by Romi Hill

     
  2. To keep it interesting, I want to use two higher contrast yarns and BOTH in a gradient, like the zebra scarf I knitted last summer.  

    detail of zebra scarf

     

The next KAL is Mercedes Tarasovich

Up until now, I wasn’t too interested in brioche. I live in the south. Do I need something extra warm?  Yeah, I do. I’m freezing right now in my house. I NEED warm hats and cowls to wear every single day in the winter. 

I’m not sure I have the mental capacity to tackle a sweater within a time limit. This Girl Friday sweater has been in my queue for a few years. Maybe it’s time. 

Girl Friday by Mercededs Tarasovich

 
There will be as many hats and cowls as I can finish within the KAL time limits. 

The third KAL is Thea Coleman, Baby Cocktails. Most of her patterns are sweaters. I might be running out of steam by this time, so no high expectations. One or two cowls will be good in linen. 

I am basically front loading as many projects at the beginning. Knowing that by summer, I will be close to burnt out if I keep up a fast pace. 

Instead, I want to enjoy this process. 

Chat with you next week. 

    2016 Knitting Bucket List, Part A

    2015 List Recap

    Let’s just say, in 2015, I went by the theory of shooting for the stars and maybe I’ll make it to the moon.  Biggest accomplishment was the Viajante. Some summer shawls and cowls. Lots of self-striping socks. No sweaters. 

     

    Some 2015 shawls & hats

     
    Everything was basically bumped aside for SSK15 KALs. The KALs are a wonderful way to get to know the instructors & other attendees who have patterns. SSK is Super Summer Knitogether retreat. Although being wait list most of the time, my enthusiasm wavered the last few months. 

    And other distractions (a future post)

    2016 Part A

    Not this year. I made it through the first round of the SSK16 lottery. Which means I am fully committed through July to knitting as many Romi Hill, Mercedes Tarasovich, and Thea Colman patterns as I can manage. 

    It seems I need external motivation to get a lot done. 

    Projects Planned:

    Artesian shawl, Romi Hill, Miss Babs Yowza yarn

      

    Artesian shawl, Romi Hill, Wollemeise sock yarn

     

    Regarding the yarn stash…I hope to continue alternating between recent purchases and old stuff. Really, I’m using the recent purchases as a reward for using old stuff. I know, it’s silly. I’m starting to believe I have FADD (Fiber Attention Defficient Disorder). 

    I’m not going to plan anything after SSK. Having attended the retreat for the last two years, my ideas & goals changed because of the Try It On room and the great vendors. (See! This might be evidence of FADD.)

    There will be a Part B if I’m not totally burnt out. Right now, I’m thinking of all the unfinished projects from previous years. I might used TheKnitGirllls Stash Dash KAL to get them either done or frogged. 

    Thank you, Theknitgirllls for providing lots of external motivation!

    We shall see….

    Happy New Year 2016

    Belated Merry Christmas

    Two focuses this season. 

    • SSK16 KAL has already started. (Chat about this later)
    • Learning to marble paper & fabric. 

     

    Suminagashi & Ebru marbling techniques on paper

     
    All the main supplies came from Dharma Trading. You might find the basics at your local art supply store. (Definitely not found at the big box craft stores.) At Dharma’s website, you can order plenty of other things needed like the silk scarves I bought. 

    I have no association with the company. 

    I didn’t use the eye droppers provided in the kit. Instead, I found syringes at Daiso (the Japanese $1.50 store on the west coast.) 

    The most difficult thing to find was a long enough tray for the marbling the scarves (14″x72″).  I found a plastic sled at Home Depot. Nope. Slightly pie shaped. Instead, in our garage were two old boot trays in rusted black. Being too lazy to sand & spray paint them white, I bought two cheat white shower curtains at Walmart. (That actually worked out the best for cleanup.)
    Phase one was practice in paper. 

    I really wanted suminagashi technique to work. It is a Japanese technique of Sumi ink on plain water. Clean up would be so much easier than carageean gel. It’s was fascinating and fun but the results too faded. (See the picture above. You can see faint gray concentric rings.) I just bought the kit I saw at the local art supply store. Definitely more experiments in the future. 

    Turkish or ebru marbling is more complicated. I watched a lot of YouTube videos before I felt comfortable trying it. Experiment with volume, concentration, technique, color combinations & organization. They turned out nice enough, that I made gift cards for our little knitting group. 

     

    Marbled paper note cards

     
    Second time, more color testing with paper. (Really, I’m a bit scared to tackle the cotton & silk.) 

    Third time, still experimenting but with help from my kids. We started with cotton strips that approximate that length of the silk scarves. Since we are using two trays, getting the two halves to look right is tricky. This is definitely a two person job. 

    By the way, I soaked all materials to be marbled with an alum & water mixture as per the instructions. The dry fabrics were then ironed to eliminate wrinkles. 

    It’s a fun and magically process. (The worse part, set up that takes over my entire kitchen.)

       
      

      
       
        

       
    I love the results. Still more ways to experiment. Definitely need a better tray. 

    And order more scarves from Dharma. 

    I just need a week free of other distractions. Ha! 

    Seems others are interested. I may be setting up some play dates.