Tuesday, February 24

When In Austria: Seefeld (Tirol)

For their 40 years of marriage, my fiancé's parents travelled  to Austria, Seefeld with us(their children, grandchildren and children-in-law). We stayed at a hotel in this little place called Mösern, a small village close to Seefeld. They used to frequent this hotel since their children were little. The children learned to ski there for several years.
In my family, we never went on skiing trips, never did I learn to ski either. I have been to Mösern once, in 2011 for our Summer holiday. We climbed the Reitherspitze there and did lots of walks and trekked through Slovenia afterwards.

So this skiing trip was new to me. It was lots of fun, but scary too. I've always been a bit of a tomboy and didn't have a lot of fear to ski downhill....untill I was up on the moutain and my ski's didn't always do what I wanted them to do. My fiancé and his sister taught me lots of techniques and tricks to control my ski's.

The surroundings were beautiful, the weather was great. We were so lucky to have a week full of plain sunshine and blue skies. 
After a few days I could ski down the Gschwandtkopf. Sometimes way too fast, with more a matter of good luck and balance, sometimes even controlled and taking the turns that I anticipated to take.
It was a lovely Winter holiday. I love Austria's Gemütlichkeit and the friendly people. The Almdudler and of course the mountains. The view out of our bedroom window was stunning (2nd and 5th photo). Do you know how to ski or have you ever been to Austria?

Tuesday, February 10

Let's get started

Picking up my pencils again

In a previous post I already told you about purchasing a new drawing kit from J.D. Hillberry, an award winning Colorado based artist with a specialty in graphite (& charcoal) realism. Hillberry also has video tutorials (very convenient for people like me, living in Belgium and not being able to attend his workshops in Colorado, thank you Internet!).
After a pause for a few years on portrait drawing (and drawing in general), I now had this Wall of Fame-project in mind. Stumbling on his video tutorials and website made me realize how much I really missed drawing and ordering the pencil kit and bonus pack gave me a new drawing boost. Just what I needed!

Patience, Iago, patience

The beginning of a realistic portrait takes a lot of time and preparation. It's like knitting a swatch to control your gauge in knitting. It doesn't make sense to quickly cast on and start knitting a sweater that might end up too big or too small. Same rules apply in case of realistic portraits. When your sketch proportions are off, the final portrait could be so off that it doesn't even look like the person you intended to draw in the first place.

Time is a precious gift here too: usually I sketch the outlines a few times, and then I'll leave it for a day or I turn my paper around. That way you'll notice proportions that are totally off. Loading up this above photo made me also realise I have to do something about his ear and lips. And the outer line of the left eye must lower (shadow). So it'll take some improvements before I can start the fun part: shading and building up tone to give it some depth. I usually print the photo to get the proportions right and the overall drawing on paper. When starting to shade I look at the computer screen for details, and I can zoom in on that.

The future

I'm also planning to do a review about this pencil drawing kit. So stay tuned for more drawing posts in the future!

(Linking up with Nicole.)

Saturday, February 7

Sock Challenge 6/12 - February

Since it's super busy here with the house and other things going on, I was afraid I had to skip February's Monthly Sock Challenge. So I cast on these 3 month old baby socks on February 1st from left over sock yarn to have a pair of knitted socks afterall. I did have some unexpected and unplanned knitting time, so I casted on another pair for a 6 month old.

The first pair has a short row heel and a short row toe. Second pair is my regular heel and regular toe decreasing. These two pairs will be gifted to friends and their babies. I found it particulary hard to estimate the size of baby feet when there's no baby in my proximity. I hope they fit!

Thursday, February 5

Yarn Along

Knitting: baby socks from scrap sock yarn. That's a good way to use those leftovers from sock knitting. I'll gift some of the socks to friends with babies.

Watching: Dawson's Creek on You Tube - shouldn't have done that, put on season 1 and now I'm hooked again.

Happy Yarn Along!

Joining Ginny.

Tuesday, February 3

A knitting confession

I have a knitting confession to make...I did the unthinkable and frogged my Amélie. Yes, you read that right: I frogged Amélie, a project that took me months to finish. It had lots of difficulties for a beginner knitter like me. I think I started over 3 times and was very confused in the lace part because I did the yarn over wrong.
Afteral, I was happy to finish it and it even fitted and the project got me my most favourites on my Ravelry project page. But...I never wore it. It was way too warm! After frogging I used the yarn for lots of other projects and frogged them too before finishing them, because it just didn't feel right. I think I now have found the right project for it: A shawl. It's my first triangle shawl and to be honest I found it very difficult to start with (although it's an easy peasy pattern!!) It took me about the knitted rows on the above photo to figure out where exactly I was in the shawl. I'm happy though, that there is a resemblance with the pattern project photo, that's kind of reassuring.

Linking up with Nicole.