A New Landscape

So I didn’t get a story done for yesterday.  Maybe New Year’s?

But I do have another painting to share!  My mother absolutely adores Chinese landscapes with the round mountains and waters and stuff.  So I decided for her present I would (try to) make her one.  Though having never done it before I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t turn out well.  Even now I’m rather amazed at how well it *did* turn out (even if I see flaws that I’ll have to work on for next time, it still turned out a lot better than I thought it would.)

She loved it, of course.  And it was so frustrating to keep it secret since as soon as I finished I wanted to yell HEY COME LOOK WHAT I DID! oh no wait, it’s for you, you can’t see it…

Anyway, now that the gift is given and it doesn’t have to stay secret, here is my Chinese inspired landscape:

Chinese Landscape ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Chinese Landscape ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Stones

So, I said I had more stories, and here’s another one.

While I was in Navajo Nation, I got a chance to listen to a young man talk about his pottery.  I won’t even begin to do this story justice, but basically he lives in an area that was once inhabited by the Anasazi people, and he can walk around his house and around the rock formations and find old pieces of broken pottery, formed and painted so long ago.  And it inspired him to start making his own, based partially on what he finds and partially on a modern twist to their forms and designs.

I thought that was one of the coolest things I had ever heard!  He had some pieces he showed us, and told us about how he makes and fires the pottery, and how he creates the dyes, and all of it how it was done for centuries.

His story then inspired me to do something like that!  I can walk around my house and pick up stones, and then just like *my* ancestors did, I started making stone carvings!  Ok, so I cheat a bit and use a dremel instead of arduous hand carving with manual tools, but still, I’m loving this so much!

My sister got the first one.  She asked if I could do a scrolly design in green.  I said yes to the scrolly, but said there was no way I could color it that it would last, I only have water-based paints and they’d wash off too easily.  But I got a nice pendant-shaped stone and started carving away.

Then… as I sat at my computer desk… out of the corner of my eye… what should I see?? But green nail polish!  Yes! That’s it, enamel, that won’t wash off at all!  And if it’s tucked into the groove of the carving, it won’t chip off, either!  So my sister got her green scrolly design in the end! 🙂

stone pendants

stone pendants

That, along with the other two, were the first ones I tried.  I was using a diamond tipped bit, so it would drill through the stone, and had to keep the stone constantly wet to prevent stone dust from getting into the motor and to keep the stone and bit cool.  (also, wear a dust mask!  The stuff in rock can be super-duper awful to get in your lungs!  As awful as that dust mask smells, it’s preferable to the alternative!)

Well, after having such success with that, I decided to try others, drilling lots of little stones into tiny bead-kinda things, I don’t have pictures of those yet – coming soon.  But then I was telling a gal at work about it and ended up making three more just tonight when I got home, two for ladies at work and one for me.  One of the gals collects heart-shaped stones, so I carved a heart onto hers so she could have a “heart stone” with her always!

Heart-stone pendant

Heart-stone pendant

The other gal gets this fabulous red stone pendant:

Red stone with crystal beads

Red stone with crystal beads

And I carved my Norse SCA name into this and then added gold nail polish to the letters to make them sparkle (you can’t see it very well in this picture but it’s there.  Trust me.)

"Sigga" stone pendant

“Sigga” stone pendant

 

So this is my new hobby to add to the growing collection.  Stone carving.  Soon I’ll work my way up to larger stones and larger images (beyond pendants) like the Norse did all over the bloody place.

 

I also painted a cavern scene.  I can’t really blame this on anything except maybe an abundance of rocks on the brain 😉

©2014 Eliza Murdock

Sub-landscape ©2014 Eliza Murdock

(that’s supposed to be an underground lake… and yes, that may just possibly have been meant to be a city down there. >.> )

 

Oh, and almost forgot, in celebration of the whole Norse thing going on, I’ll add a third poem to the prompt I posted in my last entry for every word starting with the same letter of the alphabet.

 

Vaginal Vacancy

Vikings verberate violently,
Verily! Valkyrie voices vie!

Vivid vigils viewed: vigorous, volatile.
Vanity vanishes, victory verges.
Voracious vyings, vaginal vacancies
Voluptuous vexations visit.

Valour, virtue vomited.
Vague vapors vent vitality
Vibrating veins, vindicating validating
Visceral vignettes vicariously.
 
Vikings verberate violently,
Verily! Valkyrie voices vie!

Violet vineries ventured,
Vast vats voiding vows.
Vibrant vert vale vistas
Vast vassaled vaults.

Vilified voyeuristic visits
Via vestal virgin, vandaling vulvas.
Veiled velvet vortecies
Violated viciously, vilely.

Vikings verberate violently,
Verily! Valkyrie voices vie!

I’m Back!

Oh lord and do I have some stories, not all of which are from the Arizona trip.

The dangers of “Farm Fresh”… there were chickens in my eggs this morning.  blaaaahhhhhh…

My friend’s camera is that epic sort of thing that has, y’know, whole different settings and lenses and wide-angle and shutter speed stuff.  So I didn’t bother taking a lot of pictures with my crappy little “point and click” digital camera.  So pictures will mostly have to wait for my friend to upload hers.

I did, however, paint pictures!

Sagebrush Range ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Sagebrush Range ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Desert Dusk ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Desert Dawn ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Also helped save two stupid goats who tried to off themselves by eating the bark from the stump of the freshly cut down Rhododendron bush, cut down precisely because it’s poisonous to most animals.  So we had to dose them with a ton of activated charcoal, which I happened to have with me, saving a trip to town and wasted time.

I wouldn’t recommend going rock climbing pulling a horse trailer filled with sheep.  That was something else, too.  Those poor sheep!  Trust me, it wasn’t that we wanted to, it was the only way out of where we were.

I’ve got a lot more to share, but that’ll be for later.  For now, enjoy the two poems inspired by Oloriel‘s prompt at We Drink Because We’re Poets:

This week, I would like you to pick a letter from the alphabet and write a poem – so that each word in your poem starts with that letter.

If you pick, let’s say, the letter “M”, each word must obviously start with M, any and all. Which means that if you do not pick “A”, you cannot use “and” and so on.

 

Scrimshaw

Someone said she sought solace
Some sweet sanctuary
Skin softened, smoothed, sensual;
Saffron scented smoke swirling skyward.

She sipped sobriety slowly.

Silk-swathed slumber,
Sacred stones, solitary sentinels
See sunset stars, sundials, survey
Such significant sights.

So simple, sanity succumbs.

Sapphire sands shift, settle,
Surrounding sandled steps.
Seraphims sigh singing Sappho’s signs…
Silent soon, she slips southward.

Sanguine sublimity subdued.

Statues standing silent
Sans seeing, scattered
Scant sincerity sent seeking
Sceptered serpents.

Sometimes stained shells survive scratches.

The Toast

Titan toasts, to tokens these!
There thick the texts told,
Tiger’s teeth tearing tithes to threads!

Taken true, tainted taels
Turned thrift to trickery.
Temptation takes ten-fold throats.

Thunder thrust toward twilight treasures
Tossed, tumbled trove;
Torrid trysts trod tiptoe.

Topaz temples tailor traveler’s talismans
Thirteen, twelve… then two:
Time, tomb.

Trials taught, tempests tamed.
Takeup, takeup! True tribulations told.
Talented troubadours toast their trials.

Solstice

The sun has set behind the distant hills,
A raging bonfire imitates her glow.
Priestess speaks blessing on the sacrifice,
The stones turned sanguine with the blood that flows.

We dance between the edge of fire and dark,
Where unknown creatures lurk beyond our sight.
Our bodies, instruments; the earth our drum;
Annual ritual and ancient rite.

Sweet mead has filled our heads with joy and song,
The earth has turned, let go of all you fear,
The sun is rising in the eastern sky,
All life renewed, gifted another year.

  solstice Continue reading

Reappear!

Hey everybody!

I know I’ve really fallen off the face of the earth lately, or at least tripped very near the edge.  I haven’t had much time for myself, but I have tried to follow along with some of you silently.

Work is work, and overtime seems to be a never-ending condition these days.  Still, that makes it easier to pay bills so I won’t complain too much.

Part of my ‘me’ time has been going to volunteering for the local branch of the SCA, a medieval re-enactment group.  I’m my branch’s chronicler which means I take the meeting minutes (once a month) and produce the branch newsletter (4 times per year.)

I’ve also just finished making a youth activity book (y’know, coloring pages, word finds, picture matching, etc) so I haven’t been creatively dormant, just redirected for a bit.  I did warn you all that my focus can shift 😉

 

Okay!  So here are some of the pages from the book I made!  Feel free to print them and color them (or, y’know, have your kids do it).  It was an activity book that focused on kids in the Middle Ages, or focused kids on how it was different from modern life.

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock