|This was taken indoors! At night!|
In the meantime, I've been working on my first "art" dress. Definition of an "art" dress being that it's somewhat impractical for everyday wear and a little too weird even for special occasion wear. And inspired by something. I think that covers the definition of most artsy-fartsy things, yeah? Here's a sneak peak:
To take a break from this dress (it's definitely the longest I've ever worked on anything, and this isn't even that complicated!), I've been returning to my craft roots. I think my first serious foray into arts and crafts was in college, when I went through a wood pyrography phase. As my phases go, it was a fairly long one -- an entire school year! I burned all sorts of gift plaques, boxes, and even candlesticks and napkin rings, all in "elvish"-inspired script. I even sold a few in a craft fair at UCSD. I don't have any pictures of any of it (this was before digital cameras were super common; I have some actual camera prints somewhere, lost forever), but that's probably good because most of my efforts were pretty laughable. I do have this one leftover that's more Gondorian than elvish. Well, watching TTT while hand-picking my Superman dress reminded me again of how much I love love love the aesthetics of LOTR, and I remembered a pyrography project that I had started but never completed. I went digging through my closet and found this plaque:
|Pencil on wood, with one measly star finished.|
Back when I was a crazy college student, I actually taught myself calligraphy. Not just in English, either -- in Tengwar, JRR Tolkien's alphabet for writing in the Elvish languages of Quenya and Sindarin. I even took some of my notes for my upper div biology classes in Elvish, which of course made studying even more difficult than it needed to be. Anyway, this plaque was my transcription of the Elvish hymn to Varda, A Elbereth Gilthoniel. Here is the English transcription and translation:
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
O Elbereth Starkindler,
silivren penna míriel
white-glittering, slanting down sparkling like a jewel,
o menel aglar elenath!
the glory of the starry host!
Having gazed far away
o galadhremmin ennorath,
from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
to thee, Everwhite, I will sing,
nef aear, sí nef aearon!
on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Ocean!
After a few hours of work, I had the calligraphy done, but I felt like the ocean and elf and tree still needed something more. So I went looking through my Alphonse Mucha art book for inspiration (I think the elves fit perfectly with the Art Nouveau style of illustration; just look at the similarities between Arwen's bedroom and the Paris Metro station entrances). I returned to find that a freshly pyrographed plaque is apparently the perfect cat butt warmer.
|I swear I didn't pose him like this (cats aren't generally amenable to posing, anyway). I came back and he was sitting exactly like this.|
Anyway, after I shooed Walnut off and finished sketching and burning, I have this:
|Pyrography tool and tips in the upper left corner: $15 at Michael's.|
I still need to stain and seal it at some point, and given the wait time between the pencil transcription and the actual pyrography, let's hope it's not another seven years. Also, still no idea what to do with it, practically speaking (it doesn't match any of our apartment's decor), but it makes me happy to look at it. Also, let me just say that I totally CANNOT WAIT for The Hobbit movies!