The last time I grew fresh basil the plants got eaten alive by pests and died slow deaths. Allowing my backyard to grow wild for years must have invited all sorts of aphids & slugs, but I'm slowly working to remedy that whole situation.
In the meantime I buy packaged fresh basil at the Ranch 99 down the street, but apparently I've been storing it improperly for years. I can admit that after reading this eHow article I found a few days ago.
It's really pretty simple. All you do is take them out of the package, cut the bottoms of the stems (just like flowers) and stick em in a jar of water, changing the water every day. I bought this basil about 5 days ago, and since then the sprigs have straightened out and are as rigid as if they were potted. They have that great smell, and keeping them in plain sight motivates me to cook with them. This sure beats having a ziploc bag full of sludge in my fridge.
Today I noticed another Backyard Resident. There were three of these doves poking around for bugs in the backyard. They saw me on the other side of the glass door, but I guess they still felt safe. I was able to grab my camera, pop on a zoom lens, and get a great shot.
I love the warm and cool grays in the plumage. There must have been lots of bugs to eat out there because these guys hung out for a while.
I'm kicking myself for donating my old t-shirts after discovering that you can make tarn (t-shirt yarn) out of them. What a great way to recycle t-shirts. I really dig the softness of jersy knit cotton, so I'm all over this.
Tarn is quite chunky. That yellow piece of bamboo in the picture is what I'm using as a nostepinde, which gives you an idea of how chunky it is. I'm still experimenting with spiral cutting and knitting it, but I envision open work accessories like dreadlock beanies and monster lacework scarves. Fortunately there's a flickr group devoted exclusively to tarn projects. Have a look if you'd like to see what people are making out of their old t-shirts.
I've been working on the untitled illustration I started last week, focusing on the deer head section in Adobe Illustrator. Today I started sketching out arms and hands. I like the initial sketch I started off with, but I felt like getting more practice with the proportions and masses of these highly expressive parts of our bodies.
The references I used were found in Hand Signals & Gestures:
Since December I've been on a "Teach-Myself-to-Knit" kick, and there always seems to be something new to learn. Take stranded knitting (also known as Fair Isle) for example. Typically incorporating two color alternations per row, this technique creates what I've come to call the "Skiing Euro People" style patterns. Check out this cool sweater pattern at Garn Studio to see what I mean.
In order to connect with the basic concepts of this technique I decided to try a swatch incorporating the infinity logo. The reference I'm going for here is to the Soldiers of the One, a monotheist extremist group from SyFy's Caprica.
In short I learned that incorporating a second color will work out better if you do a few stitches at the start of the row somehow, so that the edges of that color don't look all jacked up like mine in the pictures up there. I also got to practice simultaneous continental and english knitting, which almost drove me crazy at first.
Since I swatch a lot anyway, I'll probably re-try this. A black STO armband would be kinda cool. I can be a space terrorist.
This is the first time I've been able to get a shot of one of the squirrels running around in my back yard. Typically I can't fetch my camera fast enough to snap a picture before it's gone. I guess today was my lucky day.
Now that I've finished my knitting projects I'm in the mood to do an illustration. Honestly I don't really know where I'm going with this particular image, it's more a representation of how I'm feeling lately. I wonder why I feel like this....