random fun in this town

One of the reasons why I love New York so much is just the random amount of stuff that is going on … all the time. So this past evening I went with some friends to Storefront, which is a gallery of sorts that often has architecture lectures. But right now it’s an exhibit of sorts called Urban Songline, where the entire space is strung up and there are microphones near some of the lines so you can hear the twangs as people move through it. Random. But fun. I like it when art is fun.

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tutorial: pan chang chinese knot

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

In a previous post from a few years back, I made some Chinese knots for Chinese New Year 2010. Well, January 23, 2012, is the date for this year, and it’s fast approaching! I still had some of the same red cord from that previous project, so I decided to try and learn a new knot. And I picked a doozy of one called the Pan Chang knot.

120115 01 all knot

It took me a few times, but I finally got it. I had to get some cardboard and stick some pins in it to keep the cord where I wanted it, but in the end it turned out kind of cool. I had take more photos, but when you work at night and your room has incandescent lights and therefore a dim yellowish hue … it’s just too much work trying to make them presentable. Anyhow, I missed using Adobe Illustrator so much I decided to use the program to make a little guide. Yay.

120115 02a board

1. Get some cardboard stack it up (two or three layers so the pins stay in). Then following the guide, put pins where there are pink dots.

2. Get some cord/string that’s got some thickness (red is a lucky color). You’ll need about a yard … maybe more. In the middle, create a loop tied off with a knot. With one end, string the cord around the pins following the guide – stringing it vertically and then horizontally. Make sure to note when it goes over/under the already-laid cord.

3. With the other end of the cord, you’ll weave it through vertically and then horizontally. Again, make sure you take note when the cord is supposed to go over/under another one.

120115 02f pull

4. And that should be that. Carefully pull the cord up from around the pins and carefully pull on the outer loops. After you get the center roughly squared away, then you can begin adjusting the length of the loops by slowly working the cord through the piece, tightening along the way. The original knotted loop should be tight to the center square, and the two side loops should be bigger than the four other ones.

120115 03 knot

5. Voila! After all the tightening you’ll have to trim the ends of your cord. And then you can either leave the ends hanging or finish them off with some button knots.

120115 04 ends

Whew. Wasn’t that fun? I don’t have enough cord to make another knot, so that’s it. It’s kind of a small thing to show for all the time and effort I put into making it. It was fun though. Once you make one successfully you can sort of understand how the knot is constructed. The one I made here has four rows, but you can easily expand the knot to have six or eight rows just by increasing the number of vertical and horizontal moves you make. Good luck! Wishing everyone a happy new year!

cherry red

Well, what do you know? It’s 2012 already. I’m back in the city and goodness gracious yep, everything is smaller and more expensive than in Texas. Today I went down to Chinatown for some grocery shopping and I bought some cherries from a vendor on the street. Two pounds for three dollars. I’m generally not a big fan of fruit, but I like me some cherries every now and then. Plus, it was two pounds for three dollars. That’s less than I paid for the subway trips.

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I’ve never liked the color red and I always wondered why the bright red hue is sometimes referred to as cherry red. Because in my mind, the color of a cherry has always been the color of a Bing cherry – a nice darkish red. Anyway, they’re pretty yummy. Some are kind of soft and some are kind of hard (I didn’t get to pick them, they just got thrown into a bag by the vendor) but they’re quite sweet. Still not a big fan of fruit, but I suppose one cannot survive on carbs and candy alone.

x-stitch … years in the making

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Did I ever mention that I am quite the procrastinator? Well, here’s proof. I finally finished a cross-stitch that I’ve been working on for the past few years. It’s not that big (about 12″x12″) and I really have no good excuse for why it took so long. This cross-stitch saw me graduate high school, graduate college, go off exploring, and start graduate school. Yeah … when I say that this took me a “few years,” what I really mean is 7 and a half years. Oh yes.

120110 xstitch

I received the pattern from a friend for my 16th birthday. We had taken biology together, and for a bug-collecting project, we managed to catch some butterflies. In the process of pinning them to the board, some of the wings fell off and we became the wingless butterfly friends. She gave me the cross-stitch as a reminder of that. We actually haven’t talked in about five years or so and we’ve both just changed so much, but I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to complete her gift.

Kind of bittersweet in a way. The cross-stitch is completed, we’ve lost contact, time has moved on … seems kinda final.

2012 – happy new year!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Woot! This is my first post of 2012 … yay! Yet another year has passed, oh wow.

120101 stuff

I graduated college two years ago and it’s amazing how much stuff I still have from my college days. I really should get rid of a lot of it, because when am I ever going to pick up charcoal again? Well, considering how I hated using that incredibly messy stuff, I’d say NEVER. That leaves me the problem of what to do with lightly-used art supplies. Most have been barely touched but they’ve been opened, so who knows. If I don’t get rid of them during what’s left of my break, I’ll probably just leave them at my parents’ house for yet another year.

I wish everyone a happy new year. Time to get started on those resolutions!