Archive for February, 2014

Paperwork

I love my job. I really do. I get to spend my days guiding people, and I think there is nothing more purely satisfying than being part of helping someone understand something that had before eluded them. And getting paid to get lost in math equations? Doesn’t get much better than that. It really is an awesome job, and every day I feel lucky to have it. There is, of course, one downside to this ideal job of mine: paperwork. Every two weeks I have to submit a few dozen forms detailing work completed with students for the particular period. This is not something I especially enjoy. Earlier this week I had the perfect opportunity to get a jump on the papers that would be due in by noon today. But, instead of trudging through the seemingly endless forms and check boxes, I grabbed a dull no.2 pencil from my bag and started scribbling in the corner of my math book. With paperwork on the brain it seemed only natural that that ended up being the subject of my doodling attempt.

The original the sketch as it was in my battered and beaten notebook:

Original Sketch 1

(I had been working on graphing circles with a student earlier in the morning…)

The finished Photoshop-altered illustration:

the Joy of Paper work by Karissa Cole 2014

It’s a fairly simple thing. I’m still not settled on the colors I chose, so I might end up changing that at some point (along with the way-too-small hand I only just noticed…) Nevermind that. Today (3/1) I decided to fuss with the original a bit. Version two:

the Joy of Paper work by Karissa Cole 2014 v2

Still subject to change I suppose. But all in all it’s not too bad. I used to draw all the time. I wish it came that easy to me now. It’s been a few years since I’ve really done any drawing. Those were good days, less complicated. I miss them, and remember them well. Anyway, this is the first thing I’ve really drawn since my Super Lazy picture. Despite being a bit rusty I’m a might pleased with the way this came out. It feels good to at least try to draw again.

Related Posts:

Baby Dinosaur by Karissa Cole 2012 - all rights reservedSuper Lazy 5 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reservedBaby Yeti - Karissa Cole 2013 - All rights reserved

CUTENESS ALERT

CUTENESS ALERT I will be an old crazy cat lady someday copyright Karissa Cole 2014

THE CUTENESS HERE IS OVERWHELMING. Well, for me anyway. Hence the overuse of capital letters. This here is my baby man, Murry (also known as Fluff Bucket, Poophead, and Squishee.) I’ve been taking care of him since he was abandoned on my front door at just 4 weeks old, and that was back in 2008.  I’m closer to this furball than I am most people. This leads me to believe that I will most likely end up a crazy old lady who collects paper clips and only talks to her 29 cats. I’m okay with that, though. Do you have any idea how much fun it is to smush your face into a furry kitty belly like this one? It is more wonderful than the feeling of being hugged by 10,000 baby ducks offering free cake. Seriously.

I really do adore this big cuddly ball of unbelievable sweetness. This is a fact he uses to his advantage as often as possible. See, this is his “I’ll-act-adorable-and-maybe-you’ll-feed-me” pose. (FTR: this pose always works. I can’t help it.) This morning I felt like a complete zombie; I just could not wake up. Because of this I neglected tidying up my bedding before leaving for work. I came home this afternoon to find this. Totally worth not making the bed.

Lunchtime 221

Lunchtime 221 by Karissa Cole 2014 no 2

I have to admit that photographing my lunch today felt a bit ridiculous. But I just couldn’t resist. I had rinsed off my apple and set it down on the table when I noticed the water drops and instantly thought, MUST TAKE PICTURE. I ran to get my camera and spent a few minutes snapping shots hoping to get a good one. Positioned right near a window I got to utilize natural light, which is something I rarely get to do. There was a little artificial light, too, coming from above, and I just thought the two kinds of lights as well as the textures made an interesting contrasting scene. It looked good to me anyway. I don’t know if any of this this makes me an artist or just a wee bit eccentric. Either way, it’s doesn’t matter much. It was just a really fun diversion. I need more of those in my life.

More Apples©  ea1701

For the Love of the Intelligent Sea Potatoes

Huzzah!

When I wrote my last post at the beginning of the month, I sort of recapped my activities of late and also hinted at a new amigurumi design I was working on. At the time of that post the design was very nearly finished, but since then I’ve been running around so crazy busy I haven’t had the chance to sit down and tie up all the loose ends (quite literally). This past weekend, mostly today really, I’ve been flat-out fried with a nightmarish cold (hoo-ray). We just had our 3rd or, I don’t know, 17th huge snowstorm (I’m losing track-also, I can’t see my mailbox anymore), so it’s no real surprise that I got slammed with what I’m pretty sure at this point must be a new plague. Seriously. I think I’m dying. It hurts to breathe. It should not hurt to breathe. Today’s been especially rough which has lead me to the discovery that I make a pretty lousy sick person. I cannot sit still. Thankfully I was off work today but this morning despite feeling like death I was hustling around the house trying to get stuff done. Eventually my head hurt so much and I got so dizzy every time I turned around I nearly fell over. I took that as a hint to put my things away and curl up in my chair, under my blanket and just watch TV (which, incidentally, I really haven’t done in a while). So far that’s really the only big upside to being sick: permission to sit around and watch television. That, and the really pretty orange tissue box I’ve got. Only, that’s really not that much of an upside since I have to use the damn thing every thirty seconds or so. One more sneeze and I think I’m going to cause brain damage. Anyway, long and completely TMI story short, thanks to being sick I finally had the chance to finish my latest crochet cutie.

Ta-da:

Manatee 2 by Karissa Cole 2014 Manatee by Karissa Cole 2014

In case it’s not already obvious this is my mini manatee amigurumi. I visited Seaworld last month and for some reason instantly fell in love with the manatees. How can something that looks just like a giant floating rock be SO DARN CUTE? I quite literally ran into the first shop I could to get my own mini sea cow to tote around (I’m such a kid at heart.) Honestly though, from the first moment I saw a manatee I was head over heals in like with these massive but marvelous creatures. Naturally I had to design an amigurumi after this one of my favorite marine animals. This cutie is my prototype, Phillip. He’s been sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to sew him up for the past two weeks. Pretty sad it took being home sick to get me to finally do it. I’m glad I did of course. This evening I put on some Stargate (LOVE that show) and sewed this little guy up. I think he actually came out pretty well. The photos don’t do him justice.

I’ve already had a request to make one or two more of these little fellas. My mother works as a secretary for a local school. She has a few of my amigurumi designs keeping her company at work around her desk. Apparently a student and his teacher caught sight of one of the penguins I’d made for her and the student just fell in love with it. The teacher asked if I would make some for her class, as rewards that could be given out for good behavior. (I said yes of course.) When she heard I was currently working on a manatee she said the students would probably love that too. So, (once I get a few more penguins done up) I’ll have the perfect chance to test out my pattern for clarity before I release it. Yay :D

 

 

{manatee photograph header courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com}

 

 

Upside down

I’m going to be vague and ramble a wee bit, and then I’m going to talk about pretty dolphins. Alrighty? OK. Let’s go.

It’s kind of amazing, how little sleep a person can get and still function. I have to admit though, one more night of no REM sleep and I may just lose it. Although, some might argue I’ve lost it already . . .

Sitting here I was wondering how I should really start this post (useless prattle above notwithstanding). It’s been so long. I said to myself, “I don’t even know where to begin.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who talks to herself; I mean, we’ve all got some kind of internal dialogue going on. So I was staring into space trying to wade through my thoughts and ideas, asking myself where to start, when that little inside voice sprang up and said: “Just begin at the beginning, because if you begin at the end and end at the beginning it would be hard to get anything done just right.”  Usually the silent back and forth in my head is relegated to some kind of sarcastic commentary or a weighing of pros and cons for some sort of decision. But this time I seemed to have come up with some actually decent advice. So, I’ll try to follow it:

Basically, 2013 was my own personal year of hell. Don’t get me wrong. There were some highlights and I haven’t forgotten them. But for the most part those 12 months saw my descent into madness. Almost literally. My posts have been few and far between lately. My last entry was from December 10th, 2013. I almost can’t believe nearly two months have gone by since then. And since then a lot has happened, not all of it good. In December, on the 31st, the insanity and dread of my life seemed to peak. Since that day my life’s been even more upside down than ever before. But I’m told we’re on the right track to make my life better now. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this, but I couldn’t even being to explain why or what I mean. In fact, what exactly’s been going on with me isn’t all that important. I just wanted to explain that my actions of late are simply the result of a plot twist my story has apparently taken. That’s all. I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet, I haven’t stopped my endeavors. Life just ended up taking a turn I never planned on and navigating it has taken up all of my time. I haven’t been diagnosed with any kind of terminal physical ailment or anything (in fact, I am in fabulous shape..mostly). But sometimes, often, I would have preferred physical pain to what I was going through. Strange how life works. Things really do never seem to turn out like you expect. Reality sometimes jumps up seemingly out of nowhere, presenting itself suddenly and surprisingly, leaving you stunned for a while as you try to reconcile what you thought with what is. I still feel a bit like a deer caught in oncoming headlights when it comes to the recent unveiling of my own reality. But I’m wading through all the new things I’ve had thrust at me. Getting your bearings after having been turned completely upside is not all that easy.

In all this I’ve been a bit of a ghost. Floating around here and there, haunting some places but never staying around long enough for anyone to be completely sure they’ve seen me. I have to relearn how to do almost everything. I have to relearn how to be. . . me.

So. Here I am, upside down. Despite this it seems as though some tiny fraction of the creative person I used to be has clung on this whole time, and I have actually been getting a few things accomplished. (Here’s where the pretty dolphins come in.)

Admittedly I haven’t been doing too much. At least that how it feels. But I have been able to take a few photos recently. I always enjoy that. Only, there’s not too much to photograph around town here. Winter really kind of sucks. Thankfully I had a tiny break from this harsh season. It’s all kind of a blur now, but about two weeks ago I took off for a short vacation. Here at home the weather’s simply heinous: no sun, no warmth, the ground’s so dry, covered in dirty, depressing snow. So it was good to be able to visit a place with sunshine, blue skies, and green grass. I really miss the vibrancy of summer time. It was nice to get away, feel the warm sun, breath the fresh, warm air.

I’ve always had an affinity for jut about any kind of animal. There’s just something about them that touches me to my core I think. I can’t help but respect them and admire them. I got to see some pretty awesome animals while I was gone. I could have spent hours more watching and learning about them. Dolphins, cownose rays, beluga whales, manatees…they all amaze me. And there’s something uniquely calming about watching these creatures.

Dolphins photograph copyright 2014 Karissa Cole all rights reservedSet of 3 Photographs copyright Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reservedTurtle copyright 2014 Karissa Cole all rights reserved

It rained just once while I was away. I managed to  escape the downpour just in time, and then got to enjoy sights like this once the sun returned:

After the Rain by Karissa Cole 2014 all right reserved

I even got up close with some penguins one day during my trip- a definite first for me. How cool is that?

Penguins 1 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved Penguins photograph 2 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved Penguins photograph 3 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved

I’ve never really thought of penguins looking all that huggable until I took this last picture. Does not this penguin just look uber cute and squishy? Not that I’d ever squish a penguin of course…HE’S JUST SO CUTE.

I also learned the difference between king and emperor penguins. I’m not sure how I managed to get through twenty-three years of life not knowing the difference. Not that it comes up in everyday conversation all that frequently I guess. . .

King penguins are pretty copyright Karissa Cole 2014

King penguins are smaller than emperors (this I knew) but they also have a bit stronger orange coloring. I think they’re gorgeous.

Aside from a few vacation-related photographs, I dabbled a bit in making some celestial art again. I came up with these two pieces on the same day (and then promptly forgot about them when I encountered the wonder that is  room full of adorable penguins.)

Granting Wishes  by Karissa Cole 2014It Is Later by Karissa Cole 2014

They’re not much. I’ve plateaued a bit in that area. Temporarily of course. But still.

I’ve also (as of last summer, actually) taken up SMASHing as a hobby. I honestly can’t remember if I’ve really written about it around here before, but it’s just a nice little way to preserve some thoughts and things. Every now and then when I feel crafty I sit down and make up a page or two. I’ve designed my own book (I’m so darn DIY) that I should try to take a decent photo of sometimes as it’s actually pretty awesome. There are just a few pages in my me-book so far, but I’m in no rush. I’ve just started smashing things from my trip, which promises to be fun.

Smash Pages (1) by Karissa ColeSmash Pages (3) by Karissa ColeSmash Pages (2) by Karissa Cole

Let’s see, what else have I been up to…Oh, I got a really cute new haircut a couple of weeks ago. Of course this has nothing to do with art or design so moving on. . .

Okay, last, but not least, I’ve been working on a new yarn-related project. Squee. I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s a sneak peak:

sneak peak

I’ll hint you this: I fell in love with this awesome creature thanks to my out of town trip visiting some stunning aquatic creatures last month. Also, I’ve named this amigurumi “Spud.” I let you figure out what it might be. . . So, if you’re in the market for a cute new amigurumi pattern of mine keep an eye out for the next couple of posts around here.  If all goes well I’ll be sharing some new cuties. Granted, I have started work up again, new semester and all, so there goes the free time I had had. But, I guess that’s life. In spite of my upside down very topsy-turvy life I’m managing to trudge along doing things when I can. That’s all anyone can ask for I guess.

Okay. Ciao you awesome people.

PS. I have not proofread this post. This will undoubtedly come back to haunt me. I’m too tired to care.

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