Thursday, March 26, 2009

All The Pretty Girls Go To the City

Los Angeles is, in a word, massive. In more words, it's huge, all-encompassing, and a city that seems to stretch beyond any boundaries. If we hadn't flown over desolate areas of country on my way there, I wouldn't have believed there was anything outside Los Angeles.

I was staying in Hollywood area L.A., and there's an observatory near his house. On the second or third night of my visit, he drove me up and we walked in the dark to the huge building to overlook the city. After a short upward climb, you could see for miles and miles, lights everywhere. And what you could see from the Observatory was only half of the city. Pictures can't possibly describe it - there's no lens long enough to capture the range, and I'm not one for panoramas.

What thrilled me the most during my visit was actually driving around and seeing various areas of the city. Jeff works at a little pizza place as a part-time delivery driver, so I would ride along with him on his route and knit while we waited for the orders to come up. It's through riding in the car with him that I discovered the joy of the "Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour," quite possibly one of the best radio programs in a long time. Each show is themed around something random - but there's always music, and a short list of things that match it. My favorite so far has been "Eyes."

Most of the area Jeff covers during his route is Beverly Hills, which I don't care for very much. While it's pretty enough, it seems like a very superficial place - all the people have an air of entitlement an snobbery about them. If you're from L.A., and live in Beverly Hills, I apologize. Obviously I didn't see you or your family walking around!

The thing I did like about Beverly Hills? You get to see the mountains. I don't know if they're really even mountains - I mean, obviously, they're called hills. But they were more mountainous than anything I've seen in a long time, especially living here in Iowa. And when the sun was setting and they were the only thing glowing on the horizon? Breathtaking.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to the Midwest

I have so very much to talk about, but I got on a plane last night at 10 pm in Los Angeles, had a 3-hour layover in Detroit, then arrived here in Iowa at 10 am. 

And I'm very, very tired.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Leaving, On a Jet Plane

Well, today's the day. The day I get on that airplane and fly all the way to California - Los Angeles, specifically - for the first time, to visit Jeff. I'm really excited, and amazed that I somehow managed to get everything into just a single suitcase (not huge, but the right size to take on the actual plane) and a carry-on! Very impressed, actually, since I've got all the clothes I wanted and there will be a bit of room in case I find something in LA that I just *have* to have - doubtful, since I'm sort of poor. But, we'll see.

The painting above is actually barely a painting at all - it's a mixed media drawing with some acrylic and ink touches. For the project, we were asked to travel around outside and make charcoal rubbings of strange things - thirteen, to be exact, I believe - and then bring it back inside and 'turn it into' something. There was an arc in the finished compilation that felt to me like a bridge, a bridge that people would be waiting in line for. I never really named it, but I supposed that a good name would be something like, "Industrial River Styx" or "Bridge of Sighs," (yes, I know who Robin Trower is. Try not to faint.)

For some reason, even though it's not green, it does seem to fit the "winter" section of Project Spectrum. The slow, mundane drudgery and slight despair of the cold here in Iowa, easily (and eagerly) about to be abandoned for somewhere much warmer....

Speaking of winter, I have finished one last "winter" FO. I made the Just Enough Ruffles scarf by Laura Chau, of Cosmicpluto, out of Malabrigo worsted in the natural colorway (undyed). The finished thing is gorgeous but not really my style (though it does look pretty cool with a leather jacket), and will be given to my mother as an early birthday present - her actual birthday is in April.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Greener on This Side

The start of this March also marks the start of this year's Project Spectrum. This is my first year participating and I can't think of anything better to kick off the cycle than to have such a neat theme. This year's PS is based around the cardinal directions - North, South, East, West, their traditional corresponding colors and an element to fit each. I've got a collection of various objects/photographs/illustrations/projects that fit each theme here on my Flickr.

This first section (which will cover the months of March and April), is North, Winter, Green, and earth-forms, like stones, gems, or rocks. It's no surprise, then, that when I came home and undug some of my old paintings to take pictures of them, that I wanted to share this one with you. It's from a four-part series about rock structures (these have always fascinated me, so I was pretty excited when Lolly announced that the first part would be partially about rocks). Although not my favorite painting in the series, it is the most green, and is supposed to reflect ideals about Chinese landscape (the way the mountains are drawn, the line qualities, and the green-covered mountains). I love these paintings because they could be either macro or microcosms of another world....

As far as knitting projects related to PS go, I've started several. First, I re-started my Lace Ribbon Scarf, which, as those of you who have been reading the blog may know, gave me a lot of trouble in the past. It's still giving me a lot of trouble now, and is sitting in cast-on mode until I can find some thinner circular needles that don't need to be battled through each stitch. I like the yarn and the pattern so much that I'm willing to keep up with it - I think the thin line of the Sapphire Green Malabrigo Lace is sort of like moss, and I can't wait to grow it into a little blanket of soft that will wrap around my neck.

If only lace was just a little easier for me!