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Catharsis at Paradise

August 25, 2011 3 comments

A story told in images:

Communion

Flight

Healing

Categories: firsts, hope, life lessons, love, photos

Happy winter festivities!

December 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m not a terribly big holiday person, perhaps because there was always a lot of pressure and expectation in our household to have a happy cookie-cutter, Hallmark American Christmas. So there are no lights and there is no tree at our apartment this year.  But I am baking cookies and making chicken curry for a potluck later on today, and I’m looking forward to having some nice company with which to pass the time.

So whether you are celebrating the festivities or just enjoying the winter, I hope you are warm and happy, and that there is hot food on the stove.  I could certainly use a warm body to get cozy with tonight.

Categories: life, photos

More Max whip photos

December 18, 2010 2 comments

One of the things on my short to-do list while I was in Seattle was to take more photos of the whip I made for Max.  I ended up taking them on a table with really strong sunlight, so they’re a little higher contrast than I’d like, but here are two that turned out alright:

Categories: geekpost, photos

photoblahg

December 14, 2010 7 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: graphic girl, photos

Pretty pretty whip pictures

November 6, 2010 7 comments

Because I have been too sick the past few days – ever since Max left on Wednesday, in fact – to process his visit and write about that, or about much of anything else, I’ll substitute thought with pretty pictures instead.  When I was up in Seattle for Paradise and staying with Max a couple months back, we took a short side trip to David Morgan’s store.  There, Max gifted me with my very favorite kind of gift – raw material for creating something with my hands; in this case, it was a whole, black-dyed kangaroo hide.  And perhaps he wasn’t expecting anything in return for that, but in my mind the fate of that roo hide was very clear: to become a whip to gift to him.

For weeks after I returned from Seattle, I didn’t touch the hide, except to inhale its heady scent now and then.  It was beautiful, strong, and supple – and like a blank canvas, I was afraid of making that first stroke, the first cut into the hide. I made some test cuts from the free bag of scrap leather I’d also picked up at David Morgan’s instead, and I instantly fell in love with how beautifully and smoothly the leather cut using my lace strander.

But finally, with Max’s arrival only days away, I unrolled the hide and began putting together the parts for his whip.

Above is the shot-loaded core, a tapered strip of leather 33 inches long, duct-taped into a cone and filled with #11 lead shot.  Here, I am getting ready to cut out the bolster to wrap around the shotbag.  Various implements and tools of note, from left to right: tape measure, glass jar of aforementioned lead shot, nitrile glove with which to handle the lead shot, pens for marking the leather, a paper funnel for getting the lead shot into the shotbag, bonded black nylon thread for the whip’s braided cracker, utility knife, duct tape, Aussie lace strander, and scissors.

Other things I used that aren’t shown in the photo: staple gun, tacks, electrical tape, and sewing thread.  Oh, and a tiny strip of paper that had various measurements on it for adjusting the width of the strander.

I should also note that the shotbag and bolster were cut from a long strip of soft leather gifted to me by the lovely Sparrow, whose beautiful leatherwork and craftsmanship are an inspiration. Thank you, Sparrow!

Once I’d begun the process, things went fairly smoothly and quickly, and I felt the whip coming together much more easily than with my first attempt.  I did hit a minor learning curve with the lace strander but got used to it after a few trial runs.

I am ecstatic to be able to say just how happy I am with the finished product.  It is not an exaggeration that Max’s whip is exponentially better than my first whip, and it is completely satisfying to see the lessons I learned from my whipmaking experiment translate into a better product the second time around.

There is a pure, giddy joy in learning a craft that involves using my hands.  As much as I enjoy my digital hobbies and the skills and learning that those require, I will always treasure being able to create a physical object for another person to enjoy tactilely.  (And, as it turned out, this particular object would be enjoyed very tactilely on me.)

But enough words. Here are some quick photos I took before handing the whip over to Max.  I wish I’d taken more of the entire thing, as I didn’t end up getting any pictures of the braided cracker or any detail shots of the heel knot.  I will have to remember to take more photos the next time I see Max.

 

Categories: geekpost, links, love, photos

definition

October 7, 2010 4 comments

I took a few photos of my back a few days ago to capture some striking rope marks from a self-suspension I’d done Monday night.  Once I uploaded the pictures to my computer and got a good look at them, I did a double-take.  Was this really my back?  I was stunned to see any muscle definition at all – so stunned that it took a few moments to even see the rope marks.

My surprise may sound odd given that I do try to keep active and exercise, but I’ve historically never been more than just a casual athlete, and I never went through any consistent exercise regimen with weights or aerobics.  Certainly, I’ve never had much muscle definition to speak of, so while this isn’t at the same level as what I’ve seen at the climbing gym, I view it as a personal victory and tangible evidence of my months of climbing and yoga.

The other victory is that, while I’ve come a long way in accepting my appearance and dealing with my personal insecurities, it’s only been fairly recently that I’ve been able to move from mere acceptance towards loving my body.  Looking at this photo and actually being attracted to what I see – that feels like a huge leap in the right direction.

Categories: firsts, love, photos, rope

On a lighter note…

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I haven’t been taking as many photos lately, and it’s something I’d like to get back into (among the other fifty things I’d like to get back into).  It always helps to go through a photographer’s portfolio and be inspired to produce similar work.  I just discovered the site of one Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (1906 – 1999), and I’m smitten by his figure studies and still-life-like portraits.  I love how eerily quiet and evocative the following photo is.

There is this insanely muscular, flexible guy in my yoga class that I’ve been sorely tempted to ask to model for me to do gestural drawings, and I bet he’d be a lot of fun to photograph as well.  The rippling muscle on his back when he’s in a twisted posture is mesmerizing.  (Not that I’d know, since I’m always very focused on my own poses…)  However, I haven’t yet worked up the courage to ask, and I’ve missed the past two yoga classes.

Would that be too weird? I can’t decide.

Thinking now about all those things I want to keep doing but have let fall by the wayside recently, I wonder how I can incorporate at least a few of them into some kind of organized schedule.

If I were a more organized and disciplined person, for instance, I might set up my days as follows:

  • 1 hour of walking somewhere new and taking photos every day
  • 1-2 hours of drawing every day
  • 1 hour of whipmaking twice a week
  • 2 hours of climbing twice a week
  • 1/2 hour of aerobic exercise three times a week
  • 1/2 hour of core/strength exercise four times a week
  • 1 museum visit a month
  • 1/2 hour salsa practice three times a week
  • 2 hours of writing three to four times a week
  • 1 hour of reading every day

It sounds like a lot, but on a weekly basis I could definitely pull something like this off, if I managed my time more efficiently.  In other words, if I just got off my ass more often to actually do the shit I want to do.

Part of the problem, of course, is that I’ve historically gone through phases of intense, focused obsession over a particular interest, one at a time, and this schedule would spread things out across a longer period and give each interest more equal time.

Another problem is that some of those things – like writing and drawing – are more organic, so it’s hard for me to see them as a thing to be scheduled.  But I know that people in those professions will often clear hours each day to devote to their craft, even if it means staring at a blank canvas for most of that time or a ending up with a trash bin full of rejects.

Sigh.  Nothing comes easy.  I need a muse.

Categories: art, links, photos, sundry