Sunday, April 28, 2013

Digiart is fun.


Have you tried altering your own art? 

I've made a folder on the computer, called facebook. It contains alot of old painted/drawn faces which I have worked on in picasa. Even the least appreciated paintings can be successful with some digital work.  A fast done sketch, meant to warm up the drawing hand can be one of the best at the end. The "real" artists don't appreciate this kind of work I've been told, because it's possible for anyone to do it. Well, I don't agree, first thing is that it's a painting/drawing of my own, next thing is that I don't think anyone could do excactly the same as I do. Something similar, but not excact.
The painting below is one of my favs, because of the colors and the way the light surrounds her head. The original work can be seen here. What do you think? Blues, greens and turquoise are so beautiful together, they are classic combos.

The next face is one I didn't like at all (original work) but with some digi-work it has become one of the better ones. Anyone who remember this one? It's very interesting to work in picasa, it's almost like searching for pearls.

The original work can be seen here.

It's Sandra weekend and we have been redoing her room. It was time to change from child to youth. All the childish stuff put away and in came a make-up table. Mostly it's about feelings, to feel like a youth instead of a child. Well, you know...........

Happy Sunday to you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

St.Marks Day, April 25th.

Norwegian : Markusmesse, also called Den store gangdagen - A procession, with the priest in front, went around the fields and blessed them for coming season.

Catholic :
In remembrance of Mark the Evangelist. Martyred during Neros persecutions.

Old traditions :
This day the wild birds should have two eggs in their nests.
It was tradition to eat eggs this day.

Engraved signs :
Ears of corn with a sircle around, to symbolize the procession.
Quill, to symbolize Mark the Evangelist.
Branch with leaf, to symbolize the power of nature.
These are some marks which have been used.

The sign ingraved in my stick is the branch with leaf.

 Primstaven with the first three signs.

As I read the sign it has a cross on top, and therefore I implyed that in my piece as well. The one green leaf is such a great symbol of life I think.

My own handmade stamp used here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What happens in blogland?


Has everyone gone on vacation?

Well, I've not but I've had alot of other stuff to do so this blog has been abandoned for awhile. I'm still working on my series and will for several months to come. But, I've also played a bit in picasa and today I'll show you what I did with an old painting of mine.
Anyone who remember this little guy? I made this card for a friend of mine, and I blamed myself for the corner decoration. I felt it was a bit too heavy and dark for the cute little bird. I love the bird though and wanted to play with it in picasa.
Below is the result. Isn't it amazing what can be done with spending a little extra time on the computer? As it is now, the corners doesn't ruin anything, and I really like the way the bookpapers shows behind the circle. It shows the bird having the whole world as his playground. I imagine this as a card flying around the world. There is so much that can be done to ones pieces that many times it's hard to choose.
What are the rest of you doing, splattering with paint and brushes or what?
Today is going to be close to a spring day here, we woke up to frost but sunny and that means a day with a bit warmth this time of year.
Enjoy your weekend whatever you're doing!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

St. Magnus' Day April 16th.

In Norwegian, Magnusmesse.

Catholic :
In memory of Magnus Orkney Earl's death in 1115/1116, the experts disagree when it comes to the exact year. A Cathedral were build, St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, to his memory.

Old traditions :
This day is also called Third day of summer.
Time to start working the fields.

Engraved sign :
Ax, arrow, hoe, cross, half cross
Because it was time to start working the fields, people saw the cross/halfcross as a hoe.

The sign engraved in my stick is an arrow with a cross.

Below is how I made it. Magnus had his own flag in red and yellow, but I chose to use these colors.

Another one of my handmade stamps used here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First day of Summer, April 14th.


First day of Summer.
April 14th is the first mark on the summer side of Primstaven.

Tiburtius and Valerianus day.
T & V were, according to legend, brothers that martyred in Rome in year 230.

Old tradition :
This was the day for servants/workers to leave the household.
From now on it was a good time to sow. ( depending on the location, of course)
Those who had livestock should not eat anything containing meat this day, nor should those who would be hearding the animals during summer. If they did, Bears and Wolves would get control over the animals during the season. Now it was time to tie bells onto the Cattles too, to prepare them to stay outdoors. One should also make cheese and butter to secure an early spring.
If it was snowing or a mix of rain and snow this day, it would still come snow nine times before spring. If the weather was good this day, it promised good for the Summer.

Engraved sign in Primstaven :
A tree or a bush, to symbolize the summertime.

This is the sign engraved in my stick. You should know that the signs can be different, depending on who made it and their location in our country.

My stick is a true copy of an old one. The original one is dated 1707, and is now part of the Norwegian Folk Museum's collections. I don't know who made my stick or when it was made. I guess it's 50/60 years old. Handyman bought it for me as a gift for my birthday.

Above is my interpretation of the mark. I was so pleased on how it turned out until it dawned on me it looks more like the burning bush described in the bible. I tried to give it a modern expression. I love how the inside of the branches and the leaves are spring green. Shows that something is happening even if it doesn't show much in nature yet. This was my first stamp in use. I'm so pleased to be able to combine stampmaking and the work with primstaven, but not sure I will make a stamps for each mark though.
Below is the one which will be more correct according to the time of year. It even looks like a couple of birds are sitting in the treetop.

I hope you've enjoyed reading, because there's alot more to come. Primstaven covers a whole year, you know.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Primstaven, our ancient calendar.


Have you ever heard of Primstaven?


The word prim comes from latin and was a commonly known word for calendar. (This is my very short version of a looong explanation.) Stav is the same as stick and most primstaver were made as sticks.
The experts are not sure but they think it might be even older than the Runecalendar which is known from back in  the 1200's. Primstaven is a flat or rounded woodstick with one mark for each day (almost) and a variety of special signs to remind people of different things. One thing were special using Primstaven as a calendar, the same one could be used year after year after year.

I have always been facinated by old times, what things ment for people back then and how they behaved according to their beliefs, and also how it affects us today.
Many people also called Primstaven,  Messedagsstaven. Which means something like The Mass-day stick, because of all the special signs. They were made in remembrance of different Saints in the Catholic Church.
There are less than a thousand known original Primstaver left in Scandinavia.

This year I'll  write a series of posts looking at Primstaven and what it ment to people. I'm no expert, and I'm not that interested in Catholic Saints but people made the signs fit into their lives and work and that's quite another issue. After the Reformation ( year1500) people more and more forgot about the Catholic Saints and gave a different meaning to the signs. I've heard it said that Primstaven also could be used as a farmers calendar.

Way back in time they divided the year into two halves, Summertime and Wintertime.

Summer was like this:
April 14th- May 13th  was the first month of  summer    April 14th was also known as first day of summer.
May 14th- June 12th           second
June 13th- July 13th            third
July 14th-  August 12th       fourth                              July 14th was also known as midsummer.
Aug. 13th- Sept. 11th         fifth
Sept. 12th- Oct.13th          sixth

 Summer side

Winter was like this:
Oct. 14th- Nov. 12th was the first month of  winter.        October 14th was known as the first day of winter.
Nov. 13th- Dec. 12th             second
Dec.13th- Jan.11th                 third
Jan.12th- Feb.11th                 fourth                           January 12th was known as midwinter.
Feb. 12th- Mars 13th             fifth
Mars 14th- Apr. 13th             sixth

 Winter side

In summertime the work began with sunrise and ended with sunset. Summer were the time for production and storage.
In winter the work began with dawn and ended when the darkness appeared. Winter were the time for consuming.
I'm sorry if this was boring, but I felt it needed to be said.

What I intend to do from here, is to have a look at the special signs, how people made them fit their own lives, and I'll paint my interpretation of the signs as well.
April 14th. will be the first day of posting, and then new posts will appear as they do in the Primstav.

Most of the text I've found on the internet. And most from here, here,and here.

You are welcome to ask questions if there is anything you want to know. I'll answer as good as I can.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finally done.



I'm so happy to report the first floor is now all washed.

It took it's time, and as Janet commented, it's hard to know when to stop. There's always new things to take on and the job seems endless. I've always thought of myself to be a good everyday cleaner, but now after this round I have my doubts. Where does it all come from? We're only two adult people living here, it's hard to believe that we are the source of all the dirt.
I want to show you a chandelier we have here. It's made some time in the early 1950's My uncle was a very skilled and known woodcarver and he made this one. The lampshade below he made out of paper which is now very fragile. It even had some damages that I fixed using matte medium and adding a thin sheet of paper on the back.
When I grew up, woodcarved items appeared in each house belonging to family members, that's the reason I've never been attracted to woodcarvings. The candelier was left in the house when we bought it, and we chose to keep it because my uncle made it. At a certain point I might give it to one of his children, which I think would love having it.
Have a look at the lampshade, do you see the texture on the dark papers? Isn't that the same as we try making today?  Every other paper has tulips painted onto them, and the tulips are truly beautiful yet simple.  

The chandelier hangs in our  hallway and it suits well together with all the doors and the staircase leading to the second floor. The wood has a much warmer glow than shown in the photo below. The whole thing is a great dustcatcher, and we have to disassemble it each time it needs to be cleaned.

Second floor reminds, but I'm not sure I'll take on that job right now. My arms and hands feels like they have been battleing a whole year at least. I intend to buy myself a steamwasher before I start upstairs. The bathroom is all tiles and a steamwasher could be useful there.
I do hope you've had a bit more creative days than I have. But, hooray it.s done!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A tiny blogbreak.


Seems there have been an unplanned blogbreak here.

All in a sudden some sort of cleaning desire came over me, and I have been cleaning all week. First floor almost done. Ceilings and walls, windows and curtains, all washed. It's not that I love washing, but the unresistable feeling when it's all done was temting. We've had this beautiful sunny weather and that make me feel so energetic.
Below are the diningroom curtains out to get aired. Each spring I hang them out to dust off them before I put them away. Summer curtains are up now. It always make such a change the first days. And I love it when it's time to put up the dark ones again.

Over the weekend I'll start washing the kitchen cabinets. It's good to clean up and get rid of all kind of stuff that has been piled up during a year. It's an incredible amount of things.

That's what I've been up to, and probably will do coming week as well. I do try to catch up with blog reading though.  What's on your to-do list coming week?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Some small stuff


I have made some small stuff,

sort of paint blobs.  I'm not especially good at making these, but it's fun working with.  Today life is back on track again and that's good. We've had a nice Easter in every possible way, but ordinary days are most welcome around here. I hope you've had some good days too.
This next painting started as a blob and ended looking like our coat of arms. Not at all planned but that is what it became. Looking at it now, I see I should have made something to let it rest it's foot onto.
I don't know what the next one is, perhaps you do? It's much fun to make some splatters and see how they turn out.
The frosen bird was a bit more planned. We normally have a rich birdlife in our garden, but at a certain point I noticed it was not as usual. Some weeks ago I heard in the radio that the sparrows has disappeared, and that's what has happened in our garden too. I don't know what has happened to them but I hope they've flewn to warmer areas. We've had a long, cold and dry winter so they probably couldn't  find food and water. In fact, this last month has been so dry that the surface is crackling just like in desert areas.

Saturday night we turned the clock one hour ahead again. Summertime, it's called. When I still had a day job I called it problem time. I wasn't good at adapting the overnight change of time, now it doesn't matter. There are no clocks governing my life any more. That feels gooood!
Do you change time where you live?