Sunday, July 31, 2011

A week for the birds...

They grow up so fast...

We had a second clutch of eastern bluebirds in the backyard. This time it was 4 babies. And all 4 fledged this last week. They're such cuties, aren't they? Yes, they are. Look at the little blue tails!

I got a picture done last weekend. Which actually means I spent a lot of time sketching, drawing, and coloring birds last weekend — blue headed vireos to be exact. This wasn't really like a planned picture. I mean, if planning involves more than me sitting at the computer and thinking "I want to do something mauve / lavender colored with sunshine, flowers, and birds..."
Every once in a while I just need to start something and finish it.

It's been a strange and stressful week, and I capped it off yesterday by sleeping for 10 hours. Yes, 10... at the very least 9.5. My car broke down, it rained, it thunderstormed, it rained and stormed some more, and then the sweltering heat returned... The car is fixed now, and it didn't rain tonight, so perhaps this week will be better? I hope so.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I think I'll be back next weekend. It's not that I'm going anywhere. It's just that it's too damned hot. Yes, I was 9 in the summer of 1988 when we last had record droughts & heat here in the U.S. — and yes, I remember it. I was just conveniently young.

I went to the Art Fair on Thursday. It was kind of like a ghost town. Oh, and it was like 100˚F; evidently it was only 95˚F for the other 3 days. Anything over 80˚F is too hot... so, anyway, I think it's time for whoever plans the Art Fair to stop being obstinate and change the date to the end of June (when we have conveniently 70˚F days). When I'm not drenched in my own sweat and knowing that a sunburn and dehydration are going to happen - I'm better at buying stuff.

For those uninitiated with the United States inability to convert to metrics:

Anyway, the day before I had googled the forecast, and it showed me a grumpy gray cloud with a lightning bolt. So I was hoping for rain. I didn't bring my umbrella. It didn't rain.

So, I guess maybe my fish are enjoying this time of year. Me? Not so much. Hopefully it cools down this week. Stay in the shade & stay hydrated.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

lost hours...

Sometimes something seems to get done on the weekend... and other times not so much. I stopped by some field along the highway on my way home from work Friday morning because they had baled the hay. And, of course, there was some thistle in front of the hay - and an industrious bee... and then I remembered to wander out into the back yard and take a look around, and there was a damselfly... and the hummingbird perched way up high on the obsolete tv antenna.

And then I spent the rest of my night off reformatting photos for listings... and then I had to edit each of those listings. Which you can see here on SunshineSight

This guy has been hanging around the back yard a lot with his mate ; )

And then I finally took some photos of the paintings I did way back when (I mean last summer). You can see them at sarahknight on etsy. The problem was that there was no where in the house with enough light or the right kind of light to get any decent pictures (I mean short of going out and spending $300.00 on lights or something)... So I finally relented and just went out in the backyard and hammered a nail into the back of the rabbit hutch. Yes, it's, uhmn, rustic.

Although if you're familiar with etsy, you may know the sardonic joke that the 'etsy look' for photos is anything shot in a macro blur with kitschy objects that have nothing to do with your listing item on a gray / white / or otherwise neutral background that is either an old book or a piece of barn wood. The penultimate satirical commentary on this concept is this post from Regretsy. Now, if you're one of those people that doesn't ever make fun of something or enjoy snark or questionable language - then maybe don't click on that link.

Honestly, "barn wood" isn't really my style... but I kind of think if you've been here before and seen my work that you kind of know that.

Speaking of 'my work' — I have a piece in the U of M School of Art & Design Alumni Show: Things That Move.
Yes, you have to scroll forever down the page to get to it (like halfway). It's called "cherry apricot phantasmagoria" (because I come from the e.e. cummings school of thought). Anyway, it's bright red, or if you just do a "COMMAND F" and type Sarah Knight into the box, you'll find it.
  • The show runs from 18 July to 6 August 2011
  • Slusser Gallery hours are: Mon—Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat noon to 7pm
  • 2000 Bonisteel Blvd.
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
  • parking is behind the building which can be accessed from Fuller Road

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

bird brooches

I think about making stuff a lot, I suppose. And sometimes it takes me years to getting around to finally executing an idea, and sometimes something just gets done. So, last weekend was one of those 'just do it' kinds of weekends.

I decided I wanted to make brooches. Now, I'm not exactly sure precisely how I arrived at this conclusion, but I found myself standing in an aisle at the craft store buying a baggy of wooden shapes and then standing in the jewelry findings aisle looking for pin backs...
and well, now I have brooches:

Yes, so, I opened my baggy of wooden pieces and sorted them... and then picked the biggest ones and measured those... and then made a file of that size... and then spent a good hour opening files and copying and pasting and combining until I had at least 30 bird portraits...
And then I printed those out and cut them apart and began the odyssey of production... I painted the fronts and sides of my wooden pieces with black acrylic paint... and then I found my snazzy Elmer's craft bond glue stick (because I have used a lot of glue sticks - and unless it's paper to paper - glue sticks are a nice idea but not a great adhesive) and got to work gluing my printed pictures onto the front of my wooden pieces... and then I pulled out my jar of satin varnish (because, honestly, satin is the most desirable finish — not matte, not high gloss) and gave each tile a good 2 coats of varnish...
Amusingly, okay, so maybe it's really only funny to me - while I was doing all this I was sitting there at my desk watching "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" via the internet.

And then I took them outside on the back porch and proceeded to apply pin backs with a generous helping of E-6000 glue. Oh, yeah, it's industrial strength - and so is it's odor. E-6000 must be used in a well ventilated area and whatever it has been applied to should be left in a well ventilated (or open) area for at least 24 hours for some of that pungent odor to dissipate. Yes, not everything about craft projects is all sunshine and sparkles.

And then, of course, I had to photograph them... Now, as it turns out, I made 30 brooches, since 30 is the number of picture fronts I could fit onto a sheet of paper (and there happened to be at least 30 of the same sized pieces of wood in my little baggy). I mean, when I started I was just going to make like 3 to see if they turned out well enough to be viable... and yeah, by the end of the day I had made all 30.

Apparently, I cannot do things in moderation.

So... I have them listed on Etsy at sarahkdesigns

and on Artfire at "SunshineSight"

So, get some art on that lapel : )

Sunday, July 10, 2011

for the birds

I spent the weekend working on a spur-of-the-moment project (I mean, you know I thought about it for like 2 whole days before embarking on it, technically)... so, hopefully I'll be done with it soon, and then I can get back to the butterfly mobiles.

It's been hot out, apparently so hot that we had our first power outage of the summer. Yes, you know because I had just arrived home from running errands - it was like 80˚F - and I went to put the cold groceries in the fridge and was surprised that it was dark in there. And then I looked around at the rest of the kitchen and noticed the clock on the microwave was blank, etc. Fortunately it came back on within 2 hours...

Anyway, there's a male cardinal out in the yard pining for some company. We had 2 of them out there the other day chasing each other around and otherwise jockeying for territory... at least cardinals have a pretty song (as opposed to robins which always just sound like they're yelling).

what they sound like:

This is one of my cardinal illustrations: cardinal couple
It was part of the project that I have been working on this weekend.
Here's a little preview:

Yes, it involves my bird illustrations (which you can see at sarahkdesigns)
if you're more curious...

There's a cool giveaway at danielleorama's blog, that bunny is adorable :D

Now I think I'm going to sit here in front of the oscillating fan and catch up on Haven (season 1) - which I have been watching via dvd. It's an awesome show.

Hopefully you had a lovely weekend : )

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

just because

Evidently it's Wednesday... I forget that sometimes because I work midnights and sometimes the days just kind of blend together.

Apparently it's 79˚F, and the skies are sort of overcast and yet sunny — so there's that atmospheric light. It's humid, but it isn't ridiculous. It's warm, but it isn't sweltering. It's just nice...

And I've been sitting here, working at the computer this morning, indoors... until I finished what I was working on — which, as it turns out was the new background for my blog — which you may have noticed if you've been here before. There used to be a lot of #867cbb around here. But then I was meandering around my blogger profile or the blogs that I follow or something — and I opened this blog:
And, yes, I was envious — in that I wanted a background and something maybe a little less generic — because her blog just looks cool.

So, yes, it's summer and it's nice outside and I've been sitting here at my computer tinkering and copying and pasting from my files like as if the design layout of my blog was the only thing that mattered... and actually, I didn't change the layout — I just changed the colors, made a new header and assembled 100 square samples of my work together into one large grid to make a new background — since I finally figured out that blogger will let me upload my own picture for the background.

So, thank you, Emmy Wahlback, for the inspiration.
And now, I suppose it's time to get back to cutting out butterflies... or maybe I'll go outside again.

Enjoy your summer, and the wondrous things that exist just outside the back door.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The lost week...

Sometimes the weekend finally comes and I sit here at my computer and wonder where the last 5-7 days went... and then I remember all the mundane things that ate up my free time. The last two mornings (because I work midnights, and that's what's left when I get home at the end of work) were spent on dentist's appointments. My teeth are clean, have been treated with fluoride, and I now have 1 less wisdom tooth... and now my mouth hurts.

So, if I disappear this weekend or this post seems exceptionally disjointed - that's why.

I made this painting probably about 3 years ago. And I finally got around to listing it on etsy. I also recently used its digital copy in my butterfly project. Which you can see here or in the picture below:

I sample or recycle my own creations a lot, I suppose. I mean, when I painted that painting 3 years ago I wasn't specifically thinking "I'll scan this for this specific project that I plan to do at this date." Because, really, I'm not a plan-on-a-schedule type of girl. I think things happen separately, simultaneously, and often cumulatively. And sometimes that means having an idea, letting it sit there for a long long time, and then finally just doing it.

Long before I finally actually did the butterfly project or painted that painting I was thinking about how cool it would be to decorate with butterflies — like as ornaments — as evidenced by my summer decor from this post. All those monarch butterflies were sort of a preliminary learning curve with photoshop and printing and aligning the front and back of an image on a print so that it could be cut out without any off-set... and that I used fishing line to hang them was probably an due to something from the 3D class from my freshman year at the University of the Arts. We had to build a cube frame out of balsa wood and then fill the cube without gluing anything to the frame - the easiest way to accomplish this was by suspending things with fishing line - which is thin, clear, and almost invisible and made to support X amount of weight...

So, every now and then I think about how nifty it would be to take the idea for the ornaments and convert that into a mobile or a wall hanging... so that's what I'm going to work on this weekend — which is also what's in the last 2 pictures. First I had to line up my images, and now I have to cut them out. Only time will tell how long it takes me to getting around to actually suspending them from something...

Have a good, relaxing, productive weekend — and a Happy 4th of July!