Posted in creativity, Fiction, Graphic Novel, International, Writing

Amazing new genre pushing boundaries

As a family we’ve recently been on a graphic novels kick.

It certainly makes for shared reading, because books can be savoured and re-read within a realistic time frame.  With text intense books, what often happens is one person gets to read the book from beginning to end and then it’s due back to the library.  Or by the time the second reader is well into the book the first reader has either forgotten vital details, or even worse, blurts out bits of plot and ruins the surprise.  “The butler did it — oops, sorry!”

Despite what you might think, graphic novels can deal with tough, adult subjects.  Art Spiegelman’s Maus springs to mind.  I had read the first version when it came out ages ago, but the most recent edition has more material, and more harrowing material.

We’ve also read Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem, Chronicles from the Holy City   and his Burma Chronicles, Pyongyang (North Korea) and Shenzhen

Young Sprout of course is not ready for adult narrative but has been reading the Little Prince series.  These have a steampunk esthetic and a sophisticated narrative technique. In each story the Little Prince and Fox, his companion, land on a different planet and have to figure out how to help the inhabitants deal with their problems — leading to discussions about motivations and character and why he might like some stories more than others.

Lauren Redniss has pushed this genre to a whole new level.  Radioactive, Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout  combines     the biography of Marie Curie with many sidebars about nuclear war, nuclear tests, nuclear energy, chemotherapy, x-rays.  The artwork is done with cyanotype  a     type of sun printing.  (<<<<  this link includes a slideshow of selected pages to get a tiny idea of the book).

Ah, what inspiration!

More to follow on the resulting output — but that’s a post for another day!

P.S.  No, it’s not lost on me that ironically, a post about graphic novels has no image.

P.P.S.  Most of the links are to (Canadian website).  Readers in other countries should Google to see if Amazon has a site in their home country.

Posted in quilting

How not to Quilt # 3

And I promise, I’m not doing this deliberately!

IMG_0723This is a scrappy 9-patch inspired by Joan Ford’s Cut the Scraps! book made with many, many two-inch squares.

A  couple of firsts on this one

  1. The border is mitred, following Kimberly of the Fat Quarter Shop‘s YouTube video (although of course you can’t see any of the border on this shot)
  2. What you can see is the masking tape I used to mark the quilting lines.
  3. Planning a two-colour binding.  Matching the border on top, and matching the backing on the back, since it’s a subtle, elegant print that is completely unlike the cosy, energetic, scrappy top.

so what’s the non deliberate error, you ask?

Pulling the masking tape off after only having quilted along one side of it (middle row with the ripped piece of tape)

Fortunately I saw my error in time, and reused a strip of tape to replace the wadded up sticky ball I just removed prematurely.

More quilting has been done since this pic was taken and the quilting does look straight and the stitches are fairly even.  Of course with machine stitching you might think that would be a given, but not necessarily!

Posted in Uncategorized

Interior Design Notes

This syndicated article by Melissa Rayworth of Associated Press appeared in our local paper yesterday.

Here is what Meredith Heron has to say about natural light and colour, especially wall colour:

The natural light in a room impacts how a pastel colour actually appears, says Heron. East-facing windows bring a cool, blue light during the day, while west-facing windows bring in a redder light in the afternoon and at sunset. Heron says south-facing windows tend to offer a yellower light.

“My rule of thumb is to avoid the pastels that correspond to the direction of the light,” she says. “So no pinks in a western-facing room or they will look like something out of an antacid commercial.” Likewise, avoid pastel yellow in a south-facing room and blue in an east-facing one.***

*** My personal opinion is you cannot go wrong with blue, because it is easy to pop in some contrasting pops of warm colours such as orange, brown, tan or coral.

Notice she does not say anything about northern light, which is the best light for art studios — and something I still miss from my last apartment which had wide open northern light not overlooked or overshadowed by other buildings.

I have made many decorating faux pas over the course of a lifetime of moves.  Of course some mistakes are rooted in the time the decorating was done — like trying to coordinate pink roses on a white background with a slightly different pink with silvery white polka dots (my childhood room in the 50s before designers were offering really coordinated collections — I was just ahead of my time!), or setting a trend for orange drapes in the 70s.  We lived in a downtown neighborhood where all the homes were right at the street so you could not help but notice what drapes everyone had.  At first people thought ours were weird but within a few months everyone else had orange drapes too!