Saturday, March 25, 2006

Photo Explorations

During my foundation year at Emily Carr, I took the most amazing colour theory course. It truly changed my life - yes, colour has that ability! We spent hours mixing up oil paints to study the different hues, saturations and values of colour. How do colours work together, what happens when they don't? The most valuable thing I learned from those days was how to experiment. Whenever we learned a new theory, we were required to do "explorations". The great thing about explorations was that they were a.) small b.) non-intimidating c.) quick. It was surprising to see how something so simple could end up being so beautiful.

Lately I've been thinking about these exercises a lot and how I can start to get into that practice again. Mostly the exercise encourages me to play with different materials, patterns, textures and colours - to see shapes, forms rather than subject. The visual language is so much fun. Since I'm not really set up to mix oil paints, I thought I would translate this exercise to photography. Taking an hour out of my Saturday afternoon, I searched for colours and patterns out of everyday objects and used the available light and the camera frame to come up with something creative. Hope you enjoy some of my favourites...

The Saga of the Sweater

Well, there's no more denying it, this blog is defenitely becoming knitting central. I've wanted to expand this journal to be of all things creative, but it has become clear to me that my obsession for fibre (and we're not talking about bran here!) is taking over. And why should I ignore it? Let the world know that I am a cheesy knitter and I'm proud!

So, to carry on, here is the sweater that has been in progress for over a year now. This is the second sweater that I've attempted to knit by hand. I find these projects so difficult because they require the greatest committment. The yarn for this project has been knitted up 3 other times in a different pattern, but halfway through I decided I didn't like the sweater anymore so I ripped it out and tried another one. This time I'm determined to complete it , whether I'm sick of the pattern or not - just finish it already! I'm very close - except the other day I realized that I messed up the sleeve and now have to pull out most of it. So, one and a half sleeves to go. Sigh - when will it end??

Also, check out my little scarf - it was the quickest project ever. And oh so fluffy :)

It's not all rain!

Last Sunday we spent a beautiful day at Stanley Park in Vancouver - the first sunny weekend in a very very long time. I just had to post these photos because it reminded me again why I live on the west coast...And to prove to my family out east that it doesn't rain all the time!

Here we are, two peas in a pod enjoying the ocean.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fluffy Pretty Scarves

Here are a couple more knitting projects that I'm really enjoying.

I found this beautiful soft white alpaca wool - it is super fine and I really wanted to try some sort of lace pattern. Right now it is sort of looking like grandma's afgan (blah!), but after it's blocked, should look a bit more modern (or so I'm hoping!)

I love love love this fluffy pink, purple and orange yarn. I'm totally going to go back to the store and get more to make a sweater. Maybe not in such a vibrant colour...or maybe more vibrant :) . The photo is kind of sucky since I only have a cheapy point and shoot digital camera. But I did want to post it anyways. I've actually pulled this scarf apart cuz I changed my mind on the stitch pattern. I'll repost it when I'm done.

Have a great sunny weekend!

More than just Widgets

Right, so my job isn't ALL about boring widgets. In fact it has serveral perks - like the gym, the starbucks, oh, and a little thing called "down time". Meaning that there are lulls in the schedule, between projects where there isn't a whole heckuva lot to do. Lately, I've been lucky enough to have some of this time. Instead of mindlessly surfing the net and writing emails, we are encouraged to take the opportunity to learn new stuff - new software, tools, modelling/lighting skills, etc. etc. Since I'm in the lighting dept. I decided to brush up on some of my colour theory and composition skills, using our 3D program, Maya. It has been really fun actually. I set up a very simple architectural scene, chose a lighting condition (dusk/night) and tried to light it. It is still in progress since I've only been able to work on it sporatically - but I'd like to share some of these rough lighting studies. I like using the warm and cool colours to break up the space, although I think it is a bit obvious right now...Hope you like - I'll post some more next week (unless the schedule picks up!)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Confessions of a Cheezy Knitter

For those of you who know me well, it will be of no surprise that I am secretly obsessed with the fibre craft of knitting. I could spend hours in a yarn store or just browsing the net for free patterns, and forget about chapters, I'll be there for days looking through all the magazines and books. If I could, I'd stay home all day long and knitty knit knit the hours away...yes, I am a very cheezy knitter. Here are a couple pics of some projects I recently finished. And if there are other fellow closet knitters, I'd love to hear from you!!

Awww...look at the cutie booties... Ok, next!

Here is a baby sweater I knit up with a cute little embroidered flower on the back. I'm still waiting for someone to have a baby girl so I can give it away!

And here is proof that I am beyond the point of no return from the cheesiness of knitting (or so my hubby claims). Here is a case that I made myself that stores all my knitting needles and other accessories to go along with it. It could also be used as a chopstick holder ;)

About Moi

Well, in an attempt not to sound too self-indulgent, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself to anyone who may be curious :)

My name is Sandra. But I have many nicknames including Girlie, Dilly, Willis, Nelly and of course Sally. My favourite is the latter because I think it has a fun upbeat sound. But also because my husband's name is Harry and so that is just the best combo. *Harry & Sally*. It originated at work when one of my co-workers joked that he was getting too old to remember names (he was only like 35 at the time..). He started calling me Sally just to prove his point. Somehow that name stuck and all my work friends started calling me this.

I live in the 'burbs outside of Vancouver, BC with my wonderful husband and beautiful new daughter, Simone. By day, I work here as a 3D computer artist in the video game industry, but currently I am on maternity leave spending as much time as possible with my baby girl.

I enjoy knitting, sewing, spinning wool, and embroidery. Recently I started drawing and painting with watercolours again which is very exciting for me. I like to connect with other artists, crafters and other creative types through the blogsphere and have found so much inspiration from some extremely talented people out there.

In real life I am a wallflower and I do have mild social anxiety, so this space really gives me the opportunity to stand out as whoever I want to be. Mainly I just want to be honest about myself and share all the cool things I am making and I try not to get too caught up in thinking beyond that. Each blog entry I just convince myself that the only person who consistently reads it is my dad - then I don't get too nervous or self-conscious about how my voice sounds. (You're still reading, right Dad?)

Here are some extra tidbits about me:

7 Things I appreciate and love

-Light reflected off water
-Americano mistos - no sugar please
-the smell of fresh bread
-brocolli and spinach - no, I am not kidding.
-dark, high quality chocolate - with minimum 70% cocoa. mm mmm
- Chilean, South African or Australian Shiraz (almost any will do)
- NFB animation - long live canadian film

7 Things I vigorously dislike

-that horrible aero chocolate bar commercial - you know, the one where the 2 women are telling each other that they "love the bubbles" while they stuff their faces with more chocolate.
-telephones - Ideally I prefer to communicate face to face; but email or msn is good too. If you phone me and get the voicemail - consider email. I'm probably in the house and just don't want to run for the phone.
-the sound of rumbling harley davidsons and souped up low riders...I just don't get it.
-waxy, cheap chocolate
-generic tattoos - if yer gonna get one, make sure it means something to you...and it doesn't hurt to be original
-The monotonous, thumping base coming from loud stereos.
-smelly people on public transit - ie. stale smoke, rank BO, old garlic or curry breath. Disgusting.

Please email me anytime ~ stournemille(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy web travels my friends!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Welcome to my Bloggy

Hello friends, family and fellow wanderers - welcome to my official blog!

So, after nearly 5 years of working for the corporate monster, I've decided to take control of my artistic destiny and follow Julia Cameron's 12 week course to creative recovery. Her book, The Artists Way, has helped many people become "unstuck" in their creativity - writers, artists, musicians and especially the "shadow artists". Lately I've become fed up with the lack of creativity in my daily routine, even though my career path is labeled "computer artist"; sadly, I do little more than make computer graphic widgets and regergitate reality with very little room for the imagination. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for my job, especially during uncertain times. It's just that I am trying to take a different perspective with my job and not rely on it as my only creative outlet. It seems my artistic side has been sleepwalking since I graduated from art school, and around Christmas 2005 I suddenly woke up ornery and somewhat depressed - asking myself "Where is my portfolio?". And that's when I picked up the book. It's time to take responsibility for my artistic direction - no more lolligagging! is what Harry would say!

And, here it is - my blog! I hope for it to be a positive response to all that I am learning through the 12 week course and beyond! Also, I'm looking forward to see how you all respond to my 'stuff'. It should be great fun!