birthday

Feb. 18th, 2014 02:54 pm
jinian: (fft ninja)
It's my birthday today. I have graduated from being a square and am now a prime, which is likely the last time that will happen.

Feeling sad, which I think is due to not knowing what happens next with my entire life. There's funding for a project in the lab I'd like to work in (yay!), but they have to go through some sort of fair interview process and can't just hire me, so I do not yet have a job and might not. And, thinking I'd have cramps, I foolishly didn't plan anything for tonight. Currently roping my mom into taking me out to dinner.

Good things so far today:
I do not actually have cramps.
Slept in.
Wearing favorite jeans, which I mended last night while listening to 90 minutes of new Night Vale.
Carrying my shiny red e-reader, which I repaired over the weekend.
Nice messages from people (and my student loan provider, ?) about my birthday.
Nice message about another good thing.
Entertaining stormy rain.

Good things in the past year:
Got my Ph.D. dammit. It is okay if I am still feeling fragile, I was super awesome.
Figured out how to live alone and still have a relationship with Wim.
Got together with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks.
Did not have Crohn's Disease.
Made some nifty stuff including ramen bowls, a quilt, and a star dress.

star dress

Jan. 6th, 2014 05:43 pm
jinian: (black and white)
Because I am amazing/ridiculous, I painted a dress for [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for Christmas.

(Also I psychically divined that they needed bamboo cooking chopsticks. When one is in Daiso, one gains these uncanny abilities.)

Suboptimally composited photos! )

I used this tutorial from Autostraddle, except for the fact that the only dress I could find meeting requirements turned out to be part synthetic and didn't bleach well, and painted with Jacquard Textile Colors. It was really fun! I may do it again to some all-cotton T-shirt of my own to get the full experience, even if we're not really going to be on-trend any more.

(But note that anyone else who wants one needs to provide me with a garment that definitely fits them, and preferably not live in the middle of a mail-delaying snowstorm while the finished product is in transit. Such suspense!)
jinian: (black and white)
In my family, we make a quilt for each new baby. A bunch of relatives -- the exact number varies and can sometimes be fraught -- get "baby squares" of plain fabric to decorate, and then the squares are assembled with sashing in between to make a blanket for the baby. I got one of the first quilts made this way, and we've been doing them ever since. Sometimes it takes a while for the squares to all be done and for the quilt to come together; I think I hold the record for late quilt assembly, having given one to my second cousin M when she was already five, but that was not entirely my fault. (Though it was more fun giving a gift celebrating her birth to someone who was old enough to think it was cool!)

This square has been kind of a lot of trouble. My family sent it to me when I was in Japan, right before my nice relaxing project was replaced by a nightmare; then I came home and had to write my thesis and defend it. After that they started being snarky and pesky and I got oppositional. I had a piece of fabric I'd gotten in Japan that had inspired me to make a fish and coral for the square, but that fabric turned out to be completely unsuitable for applique, just way too coarsely woven. So between needing to come up with a new technique and getting mad when people bugged me -- I would like to see them do a Ph.D. -- it took a long time to get this properly started.

But it looks awesome now. :)

The coral is silk-painted; I experimented with a new water-based resist, which worked just as well as gutta resist and was a lot easier to clean up though harder to mix before using. They don't represent particular species very accurately, since silk painting is not a very precise medium. I'm very pleased with the layering and blotching and flow of the colors.

The lionfish is Pterois volitans, which falls into my series of baby squares based on marine animals. All of them are vaguely subversive in ways that aren't obvious to anyone but me. In the case of the lionfish, it is frilly and beautiful but also one of the most dangerous things on the reef, which pleases me as a message to the son of a too-macho cousin. Not sure how I feel about its status as an ecologically disastrous invasive in the Atlantic; maybe that part's more relevant to my experience with the project.

The picture is kind of big. )
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Sunday:
There was a faux chestnut in the pizza place harvest display, all silly green-plastic spines. Wim and I were both delighted.

Tuesday:
1. Felt better about going to family Thanksgiving. (Failing actually interacting better, I have the new 3DS Zelda game.)

2. Painted fabric looking good for baby square of doom.

3. Thai noodles and Leverage with Wim making us both feel better.

4. Email with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and very important Lucien cat.

Wednesday:
1. Moderately intelligent cloning scheme generated by me!

2. Finished painting some very pretty coral, set the dye, and (this is critical) decided not to screw up my fingers and brain trying to finish the whole thing tonight.

3. Played Rock Band with my new drum pedal, which I had to buy on eBay since somehow the Goodwill only has the main drum-kit parts. Fun! Hilarious to observe myself failing to control my own foot!

struggling

Nov. 25th, 2013 10:33 pm
jinian: (bad wolf)
Misery headache gah crash.

But. I did work things usefully and sensibly. I got tickets to Night Vale Live. I made a list of errands that needed doing (yes, on the back of the Allie Brosh flyer) and did them. I fortunately ran into M-pig and dragged her with for latter errands, which meant trying on dresses together, which is fun.

After getting extremely crashy and coming home, I ate food, some of which was healthy. And I made progress on the baby square of doom. So I am awesome, just afflicted with mood and head badness. (This does not make me feel a lot better right now, but it is true.)
jinian: (garden yukito)
1. Tweet from Joseph Fink ‏@PlanetofFinks:
fans of Tamika Flynn have a lot to look forward to in the next episode.


SO EXCITED

2. I feel it's a betrayal of the ways of my childhood that I keep and reuse the little bag-holding-shut deals for loaves of bread. Like, she who uses the clippy thing has forgotten the face of her father. And then I'm glad that I have a brain that makes me laugh. :)

3. Accomplished! I now have orange-and-very-plumeria (formerly unscented) lotion and lemon-rosemary (formerly didn't-really-smell-like-honey) conditioner. And I worked usefully on developing a method for another project.

4. I get to see Mom and Dad tomorrow! He was in the hospital briefly but was resting comfortably at home as of this afternoon.

5. Had a great time hanging out with Wim: found excellent jeans for me and a shirt for him (and dozens of eShakti dresses I didn't get, I wish I knew 5x dress-wearers), ran into someone we know and schooled them on aquarium cycling, ate delicious Mexican food, talked a whole bunch, and watched Elementary and ponies.
jinian: (fft ninja)
1. Kshama Sawant got elected after all! Dude! Time for a more progressive Seattle City Council. (Of course, we also made it so everyone will have to get re-elected soon if they want to stay on, since we're making districted positions instead of everyone being at large, but still.)

2. Two little kabocha squash instead of one big one. Lots of apples.

3. Beautiful full moon, light clouds, clear cold air.

4. Met all my goals for today. Admittedly, my goals were "shoot cells with lasers, buy apples, make custom-scented lotion," but I think those are excellent goals for a Saturday.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Virtuously making my bed up with clean, lavender-smelling sheets. I enjoy my decadent bed. (It's amazing how much decadence is in the mind. And the number of pillows.)

2. Transplanting little African violets into self-watering pots made by me!

3. My arm that was strained last fall started hurting when I carried too-heavy groceries, and it's been long enough since it hurt all the time that I was mystified by what its problem was. Yay healing, however slow.

4. Savage Love works really well as something to do while cleaning the kitchen. I think I'll try Radiolab for Friday chores.

5. Beef stew with potatoes and carrots and kale and kabocha.

axolotl mug

Oct. 6th, 2013 10:40 pm
jinian: (black and white)
Alas, no pottery this term. Too busy with fellowship application right now, and if I travel for any interviews -- though I still don't know the etiquette for interviewing elsewhere if I'm applying for fellowships with someone -- I'd miss even more classes. Also, no money!

Still a few things I'm very pleased with from last term, though. I finally learned to make mugs. Basically they're cylinders, which means they have flat bottoms, rather than bowls, which have rounded bottoms. (That doesn't mean you can't distort things to make the sides more interesting; that's very much encouraged.) The thing that makes a mug, though, is of course the handle, and I hadn't learned to pull handles until last term. Here are three mugs I made the day I learned it -- the bodies were thrown the week before and had dried out a bit, and then handles just attached.



Bonus studio view in that one. The mug at left lives with Wim now, the one at right was damaged by someone else's carelessness and I couldn't rescue it, and the center one we will follow to the next step. I drew a design on it with a stylus while it was still leather-hard, and sent it off to be bisqued.

After bisque firing, I filled in the axolotl face design using black underglaze. You can see where I sketched in the oval of the face in the clay if you look at the bases of the gill-fronds on the right. I figured such small depressions wouldn't show after glazing. After filling it in, of course, is when I thought of the fact that it's the more dorsal gills that are longer, at least on Hex and Hachi. Oops.



Then I glazed it with clear, sent it off for firing, and crossed my fingers.



It came out great! I haven't figured out why sometimes lately the clear glaze has had a yellow cast in places, but it doesn't look too bad. The mug is a fine size for a cup of tea, which I should go have another one of now to help my throat.
jinian: (capybara)
1. Chill time with cats and music and puzzles.

2. Matte top coat for nails! Expect the renaissance of the highway manicure, now with fog lines that don't wash off with water.

3. FAIR. Five-day-old piglets! Pygmy goats! Collections! Quilts! (There was this one quilt based on Just the Ticket pattern that really looked like razor blades. I think I can resist my tasteless parodic impulse. Maybe.)

4. Someone at the fair had a Super Calvinball shirt that made me really happy.

5. UMBRELLA OF COMPERSION.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. I've never met any dress quite like you before. (I am counting on you to cap that misused quotation, flist.)



It shrank slightly in the wash and now fits better in the bodice, though it's really too cleavage-baring for the lab. I wore closed shoes instead of sandals in some misguided effort to compensate.

2. I'm still able to find a great deal of humor in our job interview situation, and I think we found one good person.

3. The board in the study area that lists the names of the day's tutors now reads, "YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN, NERDS!"

4. Hanging out with M-pig: great as ever, even if my rants had lost some impact overnight.

5. My comic is DONE and POSTED and people liked it.
jinian: (baby dalek)
So I might be done with my intensive emotional processing for a while after this. It is tiring!

This is meaningful to me and I felt I had to draw it. It was a lot of work. Feelings and pencils and inking and Photoshop and Illustrator (all to make it look the way I thought it already did look!). Here it is.

Read more... )
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Actually from yesterday: look at this gender ratio on the Year's Best SF, I almost cried in the bookstore. Thank you, Rich Horton.



2. Used a Pasteur pipet to decant some perfume. Science!

3. Managed to find a spot on the lawn large enough to recline without being too close to any of the ubiquitous goose scat, and ate lunch while watching two dragonflies flit around and soaking up sun.

4. I love being able to completely focus on things. It doesn't have to be anything interesting: I got a lot of satisfaction out of straightening some compressed plastic wrap today. (So we see that both not crumpling it and crumpling it are good. It's a nice world.)

5. Ramen in a new ramen bowl while watching K-on!
jinian: (birdsquee)
1. Results (final?) of "emailing vid link to people" experiment observed, intriguing in range and highly satisfactory in content.

2. Software people have either forgotten we had a beef over the number of licenses granted or have decided to capitulate to me completely! This is how it should always work.

3. Really lovely day, sunny and not too hot, without the annoying unSeattlely mugginess we've had so much this year.

4. Research progress and fun microscopy. Microscopes are SO GREAT, you guys. Looking at tiny developing trichomes, which are the cutest, and seeing plants assembling themselves and being able to know about how they do it, yay. Dear everyone who is not obsessed with multicellular development: WE ALL START WITH JUST ONE CELL, OKAY? I FEEL THAT YOU CANNOT BE AWARE OF THIS IMPORTANT FACT.

5. Everything about this last night of my pottery course was super fabulous. Okay, not the scrubbing of ware boards and resulting near-splinter-embedding action, but once the chores were over we had a raku firing where we all worked together very smoothly and almost all the pieces came out great, both my ramen bowls came out of their last firing gorgeous, my blueberry basil pie was highly praised by all, and I had such a good time hanging out with my classmates and Wim.
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
1. Our usually taciturn building maintenance boss suddenly became shockingly, adorably enthusiastic when offering to set me up with a fashion consultant for my postdoc interviews. "She's six for six!" Either he really likes this person, or he has hidden femme depths; I am happy with either.

2. Hex in his new pot last night! Wim calls it his Enrichment Tube.



I threw it with an open base, then cut away part so it would sit at an angle, then patched part of that so it would sit at a more reasonable angle. The edge of the patch cracked in bisque firing, but I managed to cover the sharp edge by glazing it like this. And there is AN AXOLOTL IN IT, so it's an unqualified success!

3. I am inking (and redrawing bits of, and soon to be messing with in Photoshop/Illo) a comic about a fraught thing that happened to the inside of my head recently. I don't actually need more creative hobbies, but in this case it's the thing that feels right to express myself so I'm very glad it's going so well.
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
Well, I can see that it'll take me a while to convince my body that I would like to sleep more than six hours a night. Having my digestion settle down will help with that too.

One of the nice things about being awake Too Fucking Early*, though, is that Hex is all cutely active. He also seems more energetic in the bigger tank, so yay me for finally getting that set up.

So what actually happened yesterday?

Lots, as it turns out )
jinian: (mokona world)
Finished my to-do list at work despite difficulty, dire hold music, and disappointment.

Burrito day and curry udon.

Smelled a just-opening lilac in the rain.

Saw Wim's awesome new place.

Wrote back to possible postdoc person and asked people to send recommendation letters to her.

Made Spoonflower fabric for committee gifts, because TWO WEEKS TO DEFENSE DAY.

Axolotls are cute.
picture )
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
Wim's dad and stepmom were in Kyoto, and it doesn't cost that much to take the shinkansen to Kyoto from Nagoya. I got to take them to what turns out to be one of my favorite places, the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts. There are exhibits for EVERYTHING, with some working crafters, and visitors can do surigata-yuzen dyeing, which uses a brush and stencils to make shaded designs. Here are the dragonflies I did on a handkerchief.

[The teacher was very cute, enthusiastic and admiring.]

They later got some maples and acorns on there to keep them company. This technique is not hard, and a person could laser-cut the stencils. It does require nice, thin, impermeable paper, which reminded me of vellum. (Wim thinks mulberry paper, but I think that's more tissue-like.)

We had lunch at the building's cafe and then went to a temple. I wish I knew which one; this is what happens when you let other people plan. [Edit: Definitely Nanzen-ji; I found the ticket from going up inside the Sanmon.] Absolutely stunning leaves, even in the pouring rain.

[The rain made them even more vivid]

[Bellflowers and maples, with enormous gate]

You could climb that big gate in the background, and here's the view from above.

[Forest of trees and umbrellas]

[Mysterious garden where we caught a taxi]
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
Cool robot-based experiment failed. :( Here are good things.

Old comic characters and the end of Hostess

Wasabi inari onigiri, OMG. Incredibly delicious treat from the convenience store. Bright green shreds of wasabi, sesame seeds, rice, all wrapped in inarizushi wrapper, which is kind of a fried tofu skin soaked in sweet marinade. Loved it!

Here's a picture of the reindeer garland I posted about before.

Bi poly Lisa Simpson -- I haven't looked into canonicality here, but do I really care? [Edit: From a Christmas special, it seems.]

Avengers nativity scene and other fandoms by the same artist

Big winds today, dramatic with leaves rattling everywhere.

New kind of mokusei blooming in the last week or so; though it's too cold to smell it for blocks it's nice by the post office. Hollylike points on the leaves, white flowers.
jinian: (tomoyo)
I have come to realize that Seattle has no true fabric store. Otsukaya is a multifloor paradise of the ridiculous and sublime. It may be the thing I will miss most about Japan.

Three images )

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