Monday, June 29, 2009

HITS Week 24

My life as an artist took a back seat over the week since the focus was on applying for jobs and celebrating my mom for finishing graduate school!


Thanks to the library these two books are helping me with my first project that involves using a pattern. Between the two, I have deciphered the pattern for the purple hat shown above. I still was unsure what YO meant, since the glossary just said "yarn over". Having no idea what I was supposed to do I jumped on the Internet and found a video on how to do a YO. has a glossary of knitting terms, longer explanations then my books and many videos that cover the English and the Continental style. Right now I knit English which is the basic way to knit, but I am going to learn to knit continental since it is faster.

The hat is looking like a hat for a giant. I figured out the pattern, it's just the size that's an issue. The plan is to finish it and hope that it shrinks in the wash.

I've been knitting for 1 1/2 years, but I've been more of a free form knitter and make it up as I go. I've knit slip covers for furniture (aka conceptual art). That was such a enjoyable and fulfilling time that I plan to knit some more.

J.O.B. Hunting
Over the past 7 days I have applied to 9 places, which resulted in an interview. The state of the economy is becoming more and more obvious to me when places that use to have high turn overs are not even interested in me filling out an application to keep on hand. Edison had 99 no's so I'm going to persist. All I need is one yes.

My Mom the Graduate

The weekend was a celebration of my mom and her hard work at Seminary. She graduated with honors (not a surprise, but we're still very proud). Friday night was dinner on a paddle boat and the next day was the ceremony followed by Leatherbes. Grandma would of been very proud too (and excited about going for ice cream).

Week 25 HITS
Week 23 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Friday, June 26, 2009

pirates added to the 2009 booklist

Even though this is a kid's book it's going on the 2009 booklist, since it is so pretty! While babysitting last night I read some books when the kiddos were asleep. I found this gem called Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi.

I had to look through the book a second time, just to analyze, dissect, drool and be in awe of the illustrations. They are created with gauche and colored pencil. The artist's name is John Manders.

Now it's time to go to the library and check out more of his books. Looking at his art reminded me of how much fun gauche can be and made me want to paint.

Monday, June 22, 2009

finished another book

I technically didnt read Making Money, but instead I was read to by the narrator of many accomplished accents, Stephen Briggs. True to Pratchett's usage of unusual wordings he makes common sentences very funny. The topic of the book questioned the value of money, which I found very appropriate considering my new found interest in the market. Not sure which Pratchett book will be next for on the 2009 booklist (there are so many for me to catch up), but for sure, there will be another one very soon!!

another tower of suitcases

Researching is the best, since you never know what you'll find. This is the image that's going on the poster.

Suitcase Installation

I was looking for an image of a stack of suitcases for a poster and came across this tower at the Santiago airport. Too cool!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 23 HITS

Last week's HITS (Happenings In The Studio) was a day late, plus getting to have company, not much went on in the art studio. Instead the weather beckoned me outside and away from the computer. It was a much needed and welcomed break.

I did do a little knitting. It was the first time I tried to decipher and follow a pattern. There are entirely too many stitches and my work doesnt look like the pattern in the book, so tomorrow I'll see if google can help.

Phrase of the week: "It's all about supple manipulations of the vocal track." (Now click here for a video of Tuvan throat singing.)

Photos of this week's biking trips are here.

Week 24 HITS
Week 22 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where to find Internships and Interns

My newest article is up on Capitalist Chicks called, "Where to find Internships and Interns."

"To elaborate on a past article, "2 ways to improve your street cred" about free and low cost labor, I’m covering how I got my various jobs in the creative field while still in college. Whether you are looking to gain knowledge and refine your skills or looking for some additional hands, these tips can help out."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 22 HITS

Photos of mural, knitting and finished art commission are here.

(I was asked if this was one of my photos. Flattered I responded no. I forget to site photos since I rarely use other's pics. Plus there is still a large gap in quality between their photos and my fledgling photos, so it almost goes without saying if I took it.)

Off to the races!!

After a very full few days in San Francisco (like they normally are) I'm back in Sacramento recapping what creatively went on in my life over the last week. To sum it up - a lot! There are lots of photos and one huge project was completed with much satisfaction and joyfulness.

While in SF my brother took me to Golden Gate Fields to watch the horses race. He goes most weeks and has been inviting me for a long time. I finally took him up on it. To my surprise there were lots of families there, but maybe that was because there were special races going on between dachshunds pets. Too cute! Most of them bolted out of the gates to do a U turn to get back to their owners. The closest race was between 3 dogs that realized they are supposed to run straight to the tp finish line.

Giant Cactus Lights Completed

Elizabeth Symington, 2009
Cactus Lights for Andrew McAleavey
approx. 8', 10' and 12'
knit black elastic, plastic containers, wiring

Saturday night with Ian's assistance, I installed my art commission at the collector's loft. Andrew saw smaller versions of these Cactus Lights on my website and wanted really long ones for his 16 foot ceilings. He's the one chilling in the hammock surrounded by very colorful, large scale art.

Besides picking up some work assisting a couple of artists, I briefly checked out the East Bay Open Studios. It's always the first 2 weekends of June. It is worth checking out so you can buy awesome art, walk around artist's studios and talk to the photographers, sculptors, painters or whatever their discipline. I showed last year, but alas, I'm no longer a Bay Area artist.

Knitting Explosion

Last week my little dog was lost in SF for 3 days. I drove to Sacramento with out him and had to tell my mom he got out of the back yard. Then about 5 hours later someone called and said they had him. So mom and I drove to SF that very instant. On the way out there I knit a scarf in 1 hr! I didnt realize that was even possible. Wanting to try something else with the yarn, I used pens that were in my purse as needles. Other than occasional marks on the hands, they worked great.

For the scarf, I made tassels. It brought me back to doing crafts with my great grandmother in Hemet, California. I use to do plastic canvas projects, some cross stitch and she showed me how to knit (which I found boring at the time and promptly gave it up). I'd love to be able to show my great grandmother my scarf. She'd be proud. I'm excited to expand my knitting knowledge so I can teach what I'm learning and eventually pass it on to my grand children.

From the library I picked up knitting projects for kids. I'm testing out projects for the family that I giving knitting lessons to. There are so many awesome things I want to make!! Calling them "Christmas presents" means I can do them now, instead of other more pressing matters. From one of the books it showed me how to knit patterns using the garter and knit stitch! From there I made bean bags stuffed with rice. Next I want to dye them with food coloring or use up some of the fabric dye I have from painting the tipi.

Pooh Mural Painted Over

This week I am going on a long bike ride with my cousins and uncle and working on making over cousin K's bedroom from Winnie the Pooh to a age appropriate chill game room.

Photos of mural, knitting and finished art commission are here.

Thanks for reading. See you next week.

Week 23 HITS
Week 21 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Another book for the book list 2009

Book number 17 for this year's list.
The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets

This book skillfully pairs stories of actual therapy sessions of non-traders and applies their life lessons to bring awareness of possible pit falls to market traders. The book has me completely engrossed since I am a nut about psychology conditions and of course the trading.

When I'm in Colorado next...

Something I like to do when I travel is walk the local labyrinths. Going back to my European roots and love for patterns and order, I enjoy the meditative relaxing path.

Next time I'm in Denver, Colorado this is where I'll be.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 22 HITS - will be posted on Tuesday

Not that it's a surprise but I am in SF, so my weekly rehash of what I accomplished as an artist will be out Tuesday instead of Monday. It has been a very eventful week since I finished and installed a large scale art commission. I'll keep the rest to myself so you'll have new things to read about on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Art Commission is Installed

Yahoo! The large scale Cactus Lights are installed thanks to Andrew and Ian's help tonight. They are hanging in Andrew's loft, which is more like an art gallery. There are tons of colorful large scale art all over his place. It is such a great place to hang out.

This is the first photo. More are on the way. To give you an idea for scale the lights are hanging over his desk from 16 foot ceilings.

Elizabeth Symington, 2009
Cactus Lights for Andrew
knit black elastic, plastic cups, electrical wiring
approx. 8', 10' and 11' long

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Word of Wisdom - Simplify

It's been one of those odd weeks where I actually watched TV. First it was game 6 for the Stanley Cup Finals then today it was Oprah. Her topic was up particular interest, because it was about acknowledging our waste then using just what we need.

I consider myself fairly responsible and Green when it comes to using just what I need. I don't do it to be trendy, but out of respect for my environment and to people since my actions effect others and future generations. I completely agree with one of the ladies interviewed on this show, "I dont want to take more then I give."

On Oprah's show titled "What would you dare to live without?" several families took the challenge to stay off of electronics (except for homework), take 5 minute showers amongst other rules. Besides a sense of accomplishment and being reconnected within the family, the feeling at the end of the week was guilt. That's because the parents realized that raising their children dependent on electronics deprived them in so many aspects besides being incredibly wasteful. My first internal thought was "Good. I'm glad you feel guilty." To my shook Oprah said the same thing! But she followed it up with a phrase I need to remember to think next time, "Get over the guilt and take what you learned and move on." (paraphrased)

While watching Oprah's show on using less, I thought it didnt apply to me. Then after some walking around the house, I let myself see that I can do better.

What I plan to change due to watching Oprah:

  • Stop using paper towels. I have rags all cut up and ready to be used, but the paper towels hang over the kitchen sink, so I grab that out of convenience. I need to relocate the rags closer to the sink and actually use the hooks that are installed in the laundry room for drying the rags. As for washing windows on the car, I can use newspaper instead of paper towels, which actually works better since it doesnt leave any bits of paper behind.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper. I even own some cloth napkins. Arg. I need to use them. It's just so much easier to throw away paper then to do a load of laundry. What it comes down to is me being lazy. Time to change that.
  • Take shorter showers. Typically I take 15-20 minute shower every other day. I've known this is wasteful but to justify it I call it "water therapy" since H2O calms me down and sooths my often aching neck. Oprah's challenge of taking a 5 minute shower isnt something I'm considering doing, but I will limit it to 10 minutes.
  • Walk instead of drive when it's just a 5 minute walk. Most of the time I do walk to close places, but I've been known to have lazy fits and drive.
  • Bike when it's just a 10-15 ride instead of driving when I just need to pick up a few things that would easily fit in a backpack, like going to the bank, post office or to Red box to return a movie. The reason I use the car now, is mostly out of laziness or poor planning. Rarely do I buy lots of things that require a vehicle or have to drive really far that would prevent me from biking.
  • Use Simply Green for cleaning instead of chemicals.
  • Reuse plastic bags that the produce comes in. For me this is a minor point since about 90% of the time I dont use those bags.What's the point? The produce has already been handled a lot and I'm going to wash it before I eat it.
  • Remember to use the canvas bags that I have in the car.
  • Turn off laptop at night.
  • Stop using tin foil, zip lock bags, plastic baggies and saran wrap. Instead use reusable containers.
  • An an going problem that I need to analyze further is where does all of the paper piles come from? How is this paper coming into my life? Why do I accept it? I've gotten some of it to go away by having online statements, but still there is too much to manage, and it's also wasteful.
  • Buy tp made from 100% recycled paper.

2 irresponsible things that I'm not ready to stop:
  • Buying almond milk. This is not the greatest thing to do since the box isnt recyclable. I'm just not ready to give that up, since I cant have cows milk which comes in a recyclable container.
  • Eating at restaurants that serve food in Styrofoam like my favorite taco shop. I'm a sucker for carne asada tacos and I dont want to stop eating them.

It's a Game
It's not about filling up the recycle bin with what use to be thrown in the trash can, but to see how few things you can thrown away or recycle. It's best to not even have to use up resources to make certain products, especially if they get used just once.

Click here to watch the Oprah episode about using less that made me question do I own things I need or that I want.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week 21 HITS - My dog is home!!

Chip is home!!! He escaped out of the backyard in SF and was gone for 3 long days!

It was a super emotional last few days, hence the late posting for HITS. My dog went missing for 3 days. Then last night I got a call, thanks to the fliers of Chip's photo plastered all over. I am so grateful and super relieved. Thank you to everyone for helping to look for my cutie and for your thoughts and prayers. My home felt so empty with out him.

I spent the week starting and finishing a scarf (but you cant see it since it's a Christmas present) and knit some bean bags with the new stitch patterns that I learned. I went to a tax strategy workshop over the weekend in SF and learned about what can be deducted and different business entities (LLC vs. different types of corporations) and their advantages and disadvantages.

(Random photo for you that I snagged from my Aunt on FB. It's her wedding 19 1/2 years ago. That's me on the far right standing next to my cousin Jennifer. Aren't we all so cute?)

I'm keeping this super brief since this week I need to spend more time doing things, then documenting. The exciting news (besides having my dog back!!) is that I'm installing 3 very long cactus lights in a friends loft this weekend! They turned out beautifully. I'd love to keep them, but they have a perfect home waiting for them.

Thanks for checking in.

Week 22 HITS
Week 20 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week 20- graduation and 25th birthday party!

This week was jammed pack of wonderful events.

Traditional ice cream and waffles for breakfast on the day of a birthday. I ate mine this morning to celebrate my 25th b-day.

Check out the photos
here of the graduation/birthday party, the waffle breakfast and cutting open the pink, plastic pig.

Thank you everyone for such a wonderful week!! I feel so special and loved.

Week 21 HITS
Week 19 HITS

Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)