goss: (Paint Brushes)
([personal profile] goss Jul. 24th, 2017 10:39 pm)
Title: Excalibur
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur Pendragon (with Excalibur)
Content Notes: Pencil sketch created for the [community profile] drawesome Weekly Challenge #4: One Object, Two Perspectives.

My choice of object was inspired by this gif set on Tumblr. I had to make up certain parts of the sword for both perspective drawings, and found this YouTube vid really helpful as a starting point: How to draw a sword in perspective.

Preview:


Click here for entire artwork )
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (punk rock girl)
([personal profile] runpunkrun Jul. 24th, 2017 11:28 am)
Things to do today:
  • make granola
  • take a shower
  • read Star Trek fic
Things I already did:
  • made appointment for eyeballs!
  • ate breakfast!
Things I probably won't do:
  • figure out how to finish this fic
  • work with me here Rodney
  • you've had three years
  • stop mooning around on the sidewalk
  • and end this
  • or I swear to god I'll set fire to everything you love
  • I'll do it
  • fire is much easier to write than a happy ending
  • ask anyone
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:47 pm)
I just read Roxane Gay’s Hunger and it resonated with me very deeply.

Discussion of sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and body image under the cut. Please read (or don't!) with your own self-care in mind.

Read more... )
goss: (Supergirl - watercolour)
([personal profile] goss Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:13 pm)
  1. Finished my two-week employment marking papers for a National Exam for Visual Arts. It was a good experience to gain as an Educator in the field, but not one I'll be repeating any time soon. Way too tedious having to mark the same couple questions over and over for what felt like THOUSANDS of students. Plus it took up the entire first two weeks of summer vacation. So glad I am done! \o/ And now my vacation can truly begin! \o/

  2. I've been avidly following the SDCC tag on Tumblr since Thursday, and it's amazing seeing so many fandoms converging in one spot. The superstars are all there, the new trailers are out, the fans are delighted like kids at Christmas, and there seems to be so much *JOY* everywhere. It's been such a treat, waking up the past couple days wondering what new delights await. :D

  3. I also noted (via Tumblr) that in the midst of all the glee, the Supergirl fandom is going through an Actors-related Thing. Which, my sympathies, Supergirl slash fans. More than anything, I know that it's the disrespect and disregard for what you hold dear that hurts. The complicated relationship between Kara and Lena, and their chemistry, was one of the few things to pique my interest in the show. Apparently I have a type. :b As a longtime Super-Luthor shipper from the olden days of Smallville, I feel your pain of loving your ship even when knowing it's never ever gonna be validated or respected by TPTB. It brings back so many memories... *___* Hey, at least they're honest and don't falsely pander and queerbait like some. *side-eyes a certain wolfy show*

  4. Anyway, speaking of Lena Luthor, and Katie McGrath (who I adore ♥)... I'm thinking of doing some BBC Merlin fanart for this week's drawing challenge at [community profile] drawesome. We're supposed to draw an object from two different perspectives, and I'm thinking some kind of important artefact, like King Arthur's Excalibur.

    There are a *LOT* of Significant Objects in fandom to choose from. Stuff like weapons - Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Cap's Shield, Harry Potter's wand, Wonder Woman's lasso, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, Wynonna Earp's colt. And then there's vehicles, like Stile's jeep and Dean's Impala, and every sci-fi spaceship ever... *g*
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:09 am)
Just read a lovely column called [Your Three Feet of Influence]. The author suggests that while we cannot control the world, we can choose what we do with the three feet directly around us, and whether we bring to that three feet justice, calm, and kindness or not. Great reading for this Sunday!
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:49 am)
My nieces (4, 10) have been watching The Great British Baking Show, and decided that yesterday afternoon should be all baking, all the time. So I went over and helped out, and we made the FUSSIEST BAKED GOODS IMAGINABLE. First came the Banana Bread from America's Test Kitchen. What a pain in the ass that recipe is. And yet it made the best banana bread I have ever tasted, so I can do little but shake my fist and do what they say.

Then we made Blackberry Scones, which had the best-tasting scone mix imaginable, and which took forever to make. I think I'd like them better with blueberries or raspberries, but they're very tasty (no doubt from all the butter). Again, very fussy recipe, but the end product felt worth it.

At the end of the afternoon, niece C made brownies out of a box, and lo, we were glad for it :D

Woke up this morning stiff in every place imaginable, so I'll need to do a bit of gentle yoga to loosen back up after I finish this cup of tea. I feel like Andy in Parks and Recreation - working out is great and all but at what cost? :D
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm)
Today I told my yoga instructor about my ankles and calves, and what we were doing in PT. It's always good to let her know what's going on, and we had a long conversation about how hamstrings and calf muscles can pull on ankles and plantar fascia and so on.

And then she proceeded to make the entire class about stretching out hamstrings, calves, and plantar fascia. Oh my god.

It was great for me. My PT exercises don't last a whole hour, and aren't as dedicated to holistic work, so I felt great when I was done. But mid-class I was silently cursing :D At one point she had us get into downward dog, then lower our knees almost to the floor, hold it, and then come slowly back up. She then had us shorten the distance between our hands and feet and do it again. And again. And I wanted to vocalize my feelings as "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I did not, however, and it was all for the good.

Yesterday at 3pm it was 94F, felt like 110F. Holy moley. Today is better so far, tomorrow will be a little better again, and Monday we've been promised a balmy 80F. The main result of all of this is that all my everyday bras are in the wash right now, as they were treated very badly by the heat, leaving me with only demi-cup lacy bras to wear today. My girls have not been this perky or fancy on a weekend in a very long time. I keep expecting to be going somewhere, but nope, I'm just the perkiest and fanciest in my house.
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
([personal profile] ratcreature Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:12 am)
Yer a Wizard, Parser! by takumiismypatronus. Slash, Kent Parson/OMC (8586 words)
Check Please!/Harry Potter
This was such a fun crossover, and somewhat unusually for Harry Potter crossovers it is not AU for either canon.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 21st, 2017 01:30 pm)
I'm thinking a lot about being left and leaving today. I've felt so low since my brother went home - lowness that is grief, Jan suggested, because whenever someone leaves for an extended period of time we grieve their absence. That I only get to see him once a year, and that those circumstances are not entirely of my creating compounds that. She reminded me that we do not expect a lot of people who are grieving when we clearly see the cause, and so I should not expect too much of myself while I'm working through all these feelings.

Having the feelings in the first place is a wondrous and hard-fought thing, and I'm keeping my eye on that as I process.

There's been a lot of left and leaving recently. Three people left their jobs at my place of work and left a vacuum that has still not been filled. Their leaving increased the amount of work on my plate to such a degree that when it's time for the creative part of my job I'm already depleted from the administrivia I'm doing, and my creativity feels forced and lacking. The hard conversations I had with colleagues last week happened while two of my closest local friends were away on vacation, so I felt their absence keenly, too. Then my brother. This all twists up with the bigger narratives of my life about leaving - especially about leaving England - in ways I haven't quite fully pinned down. But at least I see the patterns, or the patterns that my brain finds important, at least.

Leaving things has been my path to freedom. I wonder if, because that leaving was so big and important, I used up my share of goodwill where leaving is concerned, and now I just fear it. Lots to think about.
goss: (Rainbow - Pencils)
([personal profile] goss Jul. 19th, 2017 09:18 pm)
Title: Bulletproof
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: DCU, Wonder Woman (2017)
Characters/Pairings: Diana
Content Notes: This is a quick one, sketched with pencil. Don't have the time to do a proper watercolour painting job as yet. So in the mean time, I've added some digital tinting in Photoshop, as well as played around with the lighting. I actually like the results. ^___^

Created for the [community profile] drawesome Weekly Challenge #3: Song Lyric Prompt. Inspired by Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia (Ricochet, you take your aim, fire away...).

Preview:


Click here for entire artwork )
Selected Poems, by William Carlos Williams: Holy shit, it has to be noted—and I did not do this on purpose—but it took me five years exactly to read this book. I started reading it on July 11, 2012, and finished it on July 11, 2017.

That's exactly how slow going it was.

To my disappointment, not everything William Carlos Williams wrote is as accessible as "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "This is Just to Say," two of his most famous poems. Instead, there's a mix of transparent and opaque.

And then there's Paterson, which he's also known for, a five-volume epic poem that here is presented in extracts, taking up about forty pages instead of its usual three hundred, and seems to be about a grasshopper, a park, geography, some text from a medical journal, a personal letter, and a history lesson. I don't know if it would have made more sense if I had read it in its entirety, but I'm not interested in finding out.

Williams liked to experiment with white space and sentence fragments—he's a contemporary of e e cummings and T. S. Eliot—but his white space lacks the energy and enthusiasm of cummings, or, later, of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Mostly it just looks jumbled, or unnecessarily spread out, staggered like the teeth of a zipper. The chopped up, incomplete sentences were coarse and seemed to impede meaning rather than free it. I didn't feel like I was discovering or feeling something; I felt like I was tripping over it.

For such a long volume, my notes with my favorite poems and lines don't even take up a whole index card, and I was definitely experiencing William Carlos Williams fatigue by the end. The book collects selected poems from 1914 to 1962, and I found Charles Tomlinson's introduction to be wordy and almost breathless in tone but informative about Williams and his poetry style, though more useful after I'd read the book than before.

My favorite discovery has to be the complete Pictures from Brueghel series. I'd read parts of it before, but didn't realize there was more to it. It's ten poems based on works by Brueghel the Elder, who I encounter quite often in poetry. There's something about his paintings that draws poets to him. It's probably the level of detail, all the little stories going on in these huge lush landscapes full of color and people and animals. The poems I've read have all evoked such clear images, even if I'm unfamiliar with the paintings themselves, and Williams's work is no exception. Though, as always, in order to enjoy Williams's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" to its fullest, you benefit by knowing the joke behind Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" and the tiny splash Icarus makes down in the corner of the painting where no one is even looking. Just his leg sticking out of the water. Williams captures the humor and sadness of that image, still giving it only slightly more attention than Brueghel did.

It seems I like Williams best when he's being simple and transparent. His complicated, fractured works don't appeal to me as much, and it feels like this collection is more geared toward the latter. But could be it only felt like it.

Contains: rape, classism, and racist language and attitudes.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 19th, 2017 07:36 am)
My brother's visit last weekend was really lovely. We hung out, I took him to the outlet mall for jeans (501s, on sale, are about $80 in England right now. He got two pairs, plus a shirt and some boxers, for $116 here), we cooked together, we took a walk around the local lake, and we had a good time with friends. It was so much fun, and Monday I was horribly sad after I dropped him off at the airport. In the past I would have simply quashed those feelings instead of feeling them, but on Monday I kept thinking, "I am so sad," and told myself, "just feel it." It made for an uncomfortable day, but it was honest. There's something I can feel good about in that.

I got new glasses yesterday, and while my eyes are still adjusting some, they're pretty revolutionary for me. For the last two years my reading vision out of my right eye has been blurry - not because of my eye, but because of the lenses in my glasses. We replaced them three times last time and eventually they told me that was the best that they could do. It's made reading difficult and frustrating when it used to be a real joy. Now, with the new glasses, I can see to read again, and OH it is amazing. I keep looking at pages of books and the computer and noting that I can see and just reveling in it. Yay new glasses! (And yay for a FSA that made it possible.)

I have a bunch of deadlines at work coming up and I feel singularly uninterested in everything I have to do to meet them. I will meet them, but eh. Sometimes it's just not that satisfying. But that said we're about to enter a heat warning that will last until Saturday night - real temps of 95 and above, heat indexes into the 110s, so work will be delicious because it is air-conditioned, as opposed to my house which has floor units that at best keep things at about 80F. So I am prepared to find work much more interesting as of today so that I can soak up the cool.

I hope, wherever you are, you are not about to enter a heat warning, and that you can soak up some delicious cool wherever you are (or, if you're in the global south, you're not utterly miserable with cold!) ♥
nestra: (Default)
([personal profile] nestra Jul. 17th, 2017 01:01 pm)
DS9 rewatch:

"Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"

Julian is really invested in the state of O'Brien's marriage, to the point of eavesdropping. That's weird, Julian. As is the idea that Kira is now some kind of pseudo-wife, because she's carrying the baby. We're supposed to be concerned that they're developing feelings for each other, but the complete lack of chemistry torpedoes that. (Poor Keiko. She does not have much to do in this episode.)

Ah, Quark's Klingon ex-wife returns. Not really a storyline I needed follow-up to, but I suppose it's interesting, given the hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. Or, it's interesting for about 10 seconds, and then the rest of the episode is Worf playing Cyrano for Quark, in between moaning about Klingon opera and Klingon mating traditions.

I guess it accomplishes the main goal, which is getting Worf and Dax together.

"...Nor the Battle to the Strong"

It's a good idea to pair Jake with Bashir in a situation where Bashir is practicing medicine on the front lines. Julian was kind of the baby of the adults when the show started, idealistic about "frontier medicine". Now he's aged into some maturity, while Jake is 18 and still learning how to be an adult. One minute he's fantasizing about something terrible happening so he can write an interesting article, and the next minute he has to confront the reality of that situation.

I am circling back to my theme of DS9 being a show where sometimes, there are no good answers. Bashir's decision to go help means putting Jake in mortal danger. Jake judges a man for injuring himself to get out of battle, but then Jake does something equally as bad, if not worse. These are the wages of war.

The episode title is from the Bible. The verse says that sometimes the fastest person doesn't win a race, or the strongest person win a battle. Sometimes it's just chance, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Gluten-Free Sweet Treats: Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and More, by Emma Goss-Custard: First, this book is British and, as an American, parts of it made no sense to me. The "gluten-free storecupboard" section at the back goes through various ingredients and where to find them but failed to address my many questions. Mixed spice? Stem ginger in syrup? Damsons?? Turns out those're plums. I know this because I can use Google, but I had to go out of my way for it, and I feel like I'd have to go out of my way to find many of these ingredients, which is an obstacle. The other problem is cultural. I'm never going to make spotted dick because the name makes me want to gag.

Still, the cookbook is adorable and has many good qualities, and there are even a few recipes I'd like to try, but at a certain point I gave up because too many of the ingredients aren't things I keep around. Lyle's Golden Syrup and Lemon Oil amongst them. I continued to flip through and look at the nice pictures, but with less of an expectation I'd find something I could make out of my cupboard.

The good news is that every recipe stands on its own. The book doesn't require a custom flour blend. It uses a lot of polenta, ground nuts and seeds, and very little rice flour. It doesn't address flour substitutions, though. There's an emphasis on fresh fruits, as well as different levels of cream (clotted, double, fraîche). Weirdly a lot of the chocolate recipes call for dark and milk chocolate. Not something I see a lot.

The book itself has cute graphics and a colorful layout. I love that each recipe has an info box that tells the size/number of items it makes, baking time, and if/where/how long it can be stored. The introduction to each recipe sometimes suggests flavor variations but only rarely describes the taste and texture of the item. Add that to the fact it only has colored pictures for a third of the recipes, and that means I only have the ingredient list to go by when judging what the final product is going to be like, and in gluten-free baking it's basically impossible to guess the outcome of throwing together a bunch of nut flours and cornstarch. The British call cornstarch "cornflour" by the way. No way that can end badly.

The recipes give amounts in volume and weight (ounces and grams), and there's a helpful index and an abbreviated introduction to gluten-free baking.

Not something I'm going to come back to, but might be a great cookbook if you're gluten-free and in the UK or have gastronomical ties to the region.
goss: (Paint Brushes)
([personal profile] goss Jul. 16th, 2017 08:21 am)
  1. Google No - DuckDuckGo

    So I saw via Tumblr this week that Google did this sneaky thing where they have quietly dropped the ban on personally identifiable web tracking. Meaning: Until now, Google collected your data, but did not attach your name to it. Now, they can, and will. O_O

    There are helpful instructions at the link on how to opt out of this, which I went ahead and followed. Furthermore, I decided to make DuckDuckGo my default search engine, since its main feature is that it is a Non-Tracking search engine.

  2. Stay Motivated

    Here's an article (via [personal profile] umadoshi) on How to Stay Motivated in an era of stupidity, which is worth the read, especially as artists and creators in fandom. We could all benefit from reminding ourselves that the act of creating has merit and value to ourselves and each other, now more than ever.

  3. Art Challenges

    • Defenders Big Bang:
      Have to remember to get started on this one! Art is due on 1st August. I was holding out to read the author's completed story, but since I have an idea of what direction I want to go in from the initial draft, I think I'm going to go ahead and start on the artwork this week.

    • Weekly Challenge #3 - Song Lyric:
      This week's prompt at [community profile] drawesome is a Lyric from one of your favourite songs. I got Wonder Woman (2017) on my mind, and there are so many songs on my playlist that make me think of her bravery, strength of character, and general awesomeness. I am fangirling that movie SO HARD, so this is the perfect incentive to do a bit of WW fanart.
    sheafrotherdon: (Default)
    ([personal profile] sheafrotherdon Jul. 15th, 2017 10:12 am)
    This week has been a doozy. First came the workplace politics, where I discovered someone believes I have been bullying a close friend of mine into doing things she doesn't want to do. It's such an astonishing mis-read of the situation that I was actually rendered speechless when I heard, and not only is it a horrible thing to think about me, it's a horrible thing to think about my friend. I have no idea what has prompted this interpretation of events, except to say that last night I remembered that the person who believes this is firm and fast friends with a former supervisor of mine, who famously remarked in a work evaluation of me that I wasn't nice enough. (Which - what? And second - can you imagine a man ever getting that in an eval? Me either.) I have no idea if their friendship is at play in this, but the last time I was so fundamentally misunderstood was that eval. For whatever that's worth.

    Learning this was unbelievably painful, especially as it has repercussions for the department in which I serve, and I spent a lot of this week feeling very low about it all.

    And then there was a situation where I did every last thing right, and ended up without a reimbursement on Wednesday as I'd been promised, and so things bounced at the bank, and I ended up with fees, and then I ended up in a mad scramble to make sure my water wasn't turned off. And then there was the letter about a loan from my retirement account that has been declared in default, which means I will owe taxes on it next spring, despite the bankruptcy proceedings. *HANDS* As I remarked to Rachel, I am the opposite of King Midas. Everything I touch turns to NOT gold.

    But! I started bouncing back from all this junk on Thursday, and then my brother arrived yesterday for a weekend visit. It's so fun to have him here, and it's so easy to hang out with him. Today we're headed to the farmer's market and an art pop-up market and to hopefully have lunch with some friends. The weather has miraculously agreed to stay fairly cool while he's here, too, which is nice, since the last two times he's visited it's been above 90 his whole stay. We can get out and about much more pleasantly now! I feel really lucky that we've remade a relationship as adults, and that we've both turned out as good, fun people despite the odds. It's not true for everyone's situation, and I will count myself lucky to have this good thing come out of the ashes of the old.

    Off to find green beans and corn and flowers ♥
    And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie: From Christie's author's note: "I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it."

    It was so perfectly explainable that she had to add an extra bit to the story to explain it. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I often find my own writing to be so straightforward it requires an epilogue to explain.

    This is only my second Agatha Christie book, and the only thing I remember about the first one is that it had a million characters and maybe some Siamese cats? I figured this one would at least have fewer characters. I read it because I recently finished Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders, which references this book in both the text and the premise, and I wanted to see how closely the two were related. Ayatsuji borrows a lot from Christie, and adds his own interesting twist on the murderer.

    As for Christie, I didn't care much about the characters, and the writing is awkward thanks to a disjointed dialogue style that depends heavily on adverbs, like:

    She said grimly:

    "This woman was poisoned. Possibly by a toxic amount of -ly adverbs."

    He said doubtfully:

    "Surely that's not possible?"

    She said grimlyer:

    "Oh, it's totally possible."

    And, as previously complained, the mystery had to be explained in an epilogue. Which isn't how I like my mysteries to be solved.

    Contains: antisemitism, colonialism, racism.
    ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
    ([personal profile] ratcreature Jul. 15th, 2017 01:05 am)
    I watched Spider-Man: Homecoming this afternoon, and it was a lot of fun.

    cut for spoilers )
    nestra: (Garak)
    ([personal profile] nestra Jul. 13th, 2017 02:10 pm)
    DS9 rewatch:

    "The Ship"

    O'Brien is spending a lot of time talking to a Starfleet guy we've never met before. I bet he's going to have a great time in this episode and not die tragically or anything. (Also, in an attempt to give them dialogue showing that they're friends! pals! totally met before today!, the writers kind of slide over into flirty. It's odd.)

    Also odd, guy who is certainly doomed is apparently Hispanic, just so he can call out to his Papa and mutter in Spanish while he's dying.

    The actress playing the female Vorta does a good job with making her attempt at manipulation completely transparent, but still subtle. It's a good episode that's more about the cost of war than any of the actual things at stake.
    .