Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quickie time . . .

I took a bit of a break from anything sims and I visited my home town in Massachusetts - it's a little coastal town and quite beautiful (something I did not appreciate as a child). Seeing my parents and my sister, seeing my friends (albeit briefly) was absolutely rejuvenating. When I returned home I was left feeling like it was a bit of a dream.

Before leaving, I received a nice little gadget - the iPod Touch. I am not much for digital music or gadgets, but this thing has been rather addictive. It allowed me to take a few photos and listen to music/play games on the plane ride. Here are a few photos at the beach and on the plane and at Logan Airport. (A tiny critique of the thing - every blessed time I open iTunes or plug in the iPod, there is some sort of foolish update that takes forever to install. Boo.)

I have also been working busily on finishing my ephemera set - it is three sets - one is two half sets on the same mesh, but all one theme. So there are now Patterns (which was shown in the previous post), Insects, and Botanicals. (Upon finishing the second set, I noticed there is now a creator called Ephemera, so I hope there is no confusion.)

Take a look see:
All of these are smaller prints too - so this should be a good variety - at least from me - for sizes of art for your sims walls. Lucky them, eh?

Oh - and how about some soon to be ubiquitous photos of Laika and Katie?

There you have it. Laika seems to have ushered in a new era. The weather is nice and life seems good.

Hope to have the pictures uploaded sometime this week. Keep an eye peeled on the b5Studio site.

Oh - the photos . . . I love the beach photos so much that I may even make a set for the sims with them. This is a little app on the iPod Touch called Hipstamatic. I adore it. To the naysayers, yes, I could get a multitude of toy cameras and take the photos with them but between lighting and the cost of film and development, my $1.99 app is just fine. I'm not going to fight about it.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Life immitating art

If you'll recall, I frame pictures for my living - an extremely humble living, but more about that later. One of the things I like to do with creation of objects is to mimic those things I either desire in real life or really have in real life . . . . it's not always often that I create something and suddenly I am making it in real life too, so this was funny to me. Funny odd, not funny ha ha. If there was also a cat on my head, that might turn the tides.

I have wanted to make smaller art for the game. It has not been mentioned, but I know that I tend to make larger art. I do it because the images I tend to choose are bold and have strong impact. They should make a statement. In my own home, I have a lot of small art. Large art too, but the majority - she is small.  A good deal of it is photography, but not people I know - I collect antique photos of people - usually snapshots,  but some studio shots. Can't say exactly what it is about these particular images, but I enjoy them. Point being - I don't have one piece of bold art in every room. I have many smaller pieces that form groupings on the wall.

At work, I handle a lot of stuff that is not exactly considered 'art' - sometimes it is an illustration from a book or a botanical specimen portfolio. While these are considered educational, some of them are so well done that they are truly a beautiful thing to frame and display. These illustrations and diagrams are on nearly any topic - ichthological, ornithological, herpetological, mammalogical, entomological . . . pottery . . . .

When I challenge myself to make a new mesh, I like to educate while I am doing it. Picture framing is rather vast. There are pretty much limitless things you can do - and if you've glanced at or downloaded some of the meshes from my other site, then you know I have had things like acrylic boxes, floater frames, and shadow box frames . . . just to name a few types of framing. The inner teacher in me thinks that you can see these in your game and know what to ask for when you want to go to a frame shop. It is why I try to be specific about terms. So in this vain, I have been working on a new mesh with a fillet. For those who care - it's pronounced "Fill it" not "Fill aye" like a steak. I have even heard "Fill - eee - aye" at the current shop I work at and I think my knuckles turned white while the color drained from my face. While I will admit we're a fancy breed, we're not pretentious mofos, 'kay? So leave your highfalutin at the door.

I have not been meshing much lately - in fact, I haven't been doing much of anything sims in a while now - but more about that later. It took a couple of tries and the first try was a mistake that turned out to be useful, but not for this project. The second looked okay but it was CAS-ting strangely so take three and presto:

Let me just explain here before I get to the punch line. I created this and CAS-t it and liked the way it looked. This is pretty much typical of the thing I am doing at work a lot of the time. Hand wrapped fabric mat, painted mat, fillet with a frame that matches the fillet in color if not style. This was about as classic as you can get. And note the artwork - ephemera - a pattern specimen sheet - or sampler as they are often called.

This is a little closer so you can actually see the fillet and the details.

Okay - the next day I am at work and we're gearing up for a massive job. The largest order we've taken in two years and it's as large as it is expensive. We're seeing the end of the 'red' and possibly a little of the 'black'. Translation? Overtime. Thank christ. My savings have been utterly drained and I am nearly catatonic from stress. So we're going over the orders and I see what we're getting ready to do and I am stunned. A fabric wrapped mat, with painted inner mat and a fillet. While this is common fare for me, it was not just the order - look at this (and please forgive the crappy cell phone photography):

Notice something? The identical colors? Okay - you're let down. Not they payoff you've been waiting for. I swear this is funny odd and not funny ha ha.

So, you're not seeing as much of me these days and I am not going to get into the meat of it, but this has been a very trying period for me. I know I am not alone in this, so I know that people understand when I say that I am dangerously close to losing my home. While there are programs to help, it took them nine months to tell me that I don't even fit the base criteria. While it was only spoken to me - I cannot find this information on the fanny mae website (you can point me to a link if you know this shit,) I refinanced alone (that alone is a long story that is not a happy ending) and the very thing that saved me from the lies that were my first and second mortgage (a mere $300 extra a month that neither I nor the guy I bought the house with were prepared to spend) is also now my undoing. With only my name on the mortgage and no formal divorce to be had, I cannot claim a divorce, my own death or whatever the third criteria would be. Not bitter. No.

While I am still attempting to see some sort of adjustment to my mortgage, the furlough days of last year (all 20 of 'em), my drained savings, the end of my relationship, the tree hitting the house, the cancer scare and my painfully low wages for a job I have been in the field for 20 years . . . my car decides it is going to show signs of the head gasket about to go. Recommendation? Get a new car. With sex for money being illegal, (I don't think I would see more than a shiny quarter anyway) this was the straw. The proverbial straw. One doesn't just wait until the car dies and then scramble to find one when you live in a city like Atlanta with their "stellar" mass transit.

I haven't survived an earthquake (I was standing in the street during the now infamous Atlanta tornado as it set down - another story for a different day) and I haven't endured floods, but this had been a bit of personal hell. I don't mention any of this for a collective 'Aww!' I mention it as meshing for the game -  the very thing that distracted me from all of the aforementioned - was finally too much work for me to focus on and I needed to pull back. We all have our daemons - I know this - mine just had me drooling on the couch staring at the television 'watching' while I was assessing.

This is an odd little bit of news too - just a few hours ago we were eating breakfast and I thought I saw a cat in the next yard. Then I realized it was a dog. Chris ran out to say hello and the poor thing was shivering and scared. We gave it a little bit of food and da da daaaaaah - I think we own a dog now. We're calling her Laika, our own little cosmonaut. Katie, the cat, is actually seeming okay with it - she rules the roost here - we bend and sway to her wishes - and little Laika is scared to death of her - so time will tell, but here are some pictures of them. You don't know me very well, but I shed a little tear - it absolutely breaks my heart to see an abandoned animal - especially one so loving. Here we go . . .