Friday, November 12, 2010

Last Drawing/Painting Updates for now


I have realized that my painting ventures have hijacked my crafting blog...

Thanks to the talented folks at wetcanvas I have made improvements to the last painting and I am very pleased with it.

I do not intend to work on it any more...these are studies after all.

While painting on these studies I was having a bit of difficulty doing something that is very important to an artist...seeing.  The images were blurry and I was really having some difficulty so I went to the eye doctor.  Yep.  New glasses were overdue.

This is a slide show of another painting I worked on this past week:

slideshow | Viewer

Still working on the knitted this point I kind of wish I used bigger needles.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I think I'm addicted...

0 comments painting!

Here is another oil study:

Create A Slideshow | View

I don't have a refined looking process but it works.  I start every drawing whether from photo or from life with an oval and perpendicular lines indicating the skull and eye lines.  I usually stray from it but that's just what I do

I have no idea how I am going to do the hair.  I'm just going to play it by ear and see what I come up with.  Hair is pretty universal.  Middle tones, darker tones, highlights to shape...
Here is a still:

I am contemplating what to do next.  I am still working on those cowls.  I will try to remember to snap some pictures of them when I whip out my camera again.  Knitting always goes slow for me but the crocheted one is coming along really nicely.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More painting...


I forgot how much fun painting is, even if it's not your "thing."  A quick google search confirmed that I can mix acrylic with water-soluble oils so I took off with that.  I really can't stand trying to make backgrounds with oils.  Even water soluble oils dry pretty slowly so it is a bit nerve racking (but not nerve-racking enough to convert me to acrylics).

Anyways I was supposed to be working on the image from the previous post but I came across another image I found in my public domain/creative commons (I don't remember which so I will say creative commons) search some months ago.  I figured she would be a good subject for light and dark and for utilizing the method that I learned so long ago (to make sure I still remember how to do it).

I also wanted to play around with collage so this is a mixed media study.  My husband said that he understood I was just practicing to get back in the groove but he really wanted me to do a bigger one similar to this one.  Not a chance, yet.  I have several more canvas boards to practice on.

This is the sketch and beginning tonal underpainting.  I didn't take a picture of it once I had set all of the light and dark tones in...the camera just wasn't on my mind.  I did change the pic a little for interest.  On the original the negative space just wasn't interesting so I changed some elements of her face around just primarily the shape around the edge.  I made it more angular.  Also her headwrap around her face...angles are better what can I say.

My son caught me working on it.

The completed painting.  Her headwrap is made up of cut up papers decoupaged to the surface.  I painted over some elements with gold,.  I made her dress a flat gold.  The background I just had some fun.  Despite all of the fun I had with a flower stamp it doesn't distract from the portrait.  The coloration is more natural in this although I wasn't really aiming for realism.  In person I have flecks of some of everything in it.  That's the fun with experimenting.  This is a much different from the grisaille piece and I will use this method in the future.  I am going to play with more unrealistic colors like blue and red in the future.

I'm going to hang this on my wall.  I am definitely more pleased with this one than the grisaille piece.  

I will work on the lady from the previous post next...maybe :-).

And the cowl?

Temporarily abandoned as I started knitting a cowl too.  I have enough to stop with the crocheted one but I am determined to make that a hood.  I will see how far I get with the knitted cowl before I 1) lose interest or 2) get tired of frogging a million times.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Drawing update


Don't worry I've been crocheting too!  I am working on a hooded cowl (my first!) in my down time.

I finished up the grisaille painting:

I'm semi-pleased.  Overall I like it.  I wasn't going for too much detail since these were studies.  I really love the eyes and the overall form and composition of the piece.  I think I could afford to flesh out the nose area more but I'm not going to touch it again. 

I have started working on another piece that is 11 x 14 (the above one is 8 x 10).  Here is the freehand drawing on canvas board.  I used an image from hcptcar on flickr (creative commons):

I will use an underpainting with the local color on this one.  This is the way I painted with oils most in the past.  I'll probably get started on the painting in a few days, perhaps after I finish my cowl :).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wristwarmer pattern - free and ongoing art projects


There's nothing that gets you going with crochet like cold weather.  Fall is really starting to come in good now and while we may have a mild day here or there, the colder temps are here to stay.

That being said I had to take care one of my pet peeves about the season.  Cold forearms.  I can't stand gloves as they hinder my ability to properly and effectively do important things.  Like drive.  Also anything on my palms irrirtates me.  I had come across wristwarmers before online and thought, "that's not a bad idea."  The only issue I had with most of them was the sewing aspect.  I was in the middle of cleaning and clearing out a studio space for myself.  I had no interest whatsoever in hunting down the needles to do anything remotely related to sewing.  Finding some in the round proved to be a challenge and when I did find them I wasn't fond of their overall design. The human wrist and hand are not rectangles.

Anywho, I experimented (while simultaneously organizing) and came up with this pattern.  I have since refined this pattern to one I will post for sale in the near future on my artfire

I have found that wristwarmers or wristlet in my case tend to follow the maker's own personal preferences.  Some end right at the end of the wrist.  Some come all the way over the palm to the base of the fingers.  Some (like the ones I prefer) come to the base of the thumb or a little over.  It is really up to the crocheter so this pattern is essentially a guide more than the end all be all.

Bear with me. Writing patterns isn't my strong suit.


Vanna's Choice Cranberry
5(F) Hook
Children's yarn needle (optional) for weaving in ends

Try it on and adjust as you are making it.

The pattern (work in back loop only):

Ch 26 loosely (or however many it takes to go around your wrist comfortably). Sl st in the first chain to make a circle.

Row 1: Ch 2 and hdc in each stitch. Sl st into ch 2.

Row 2: Ch 1 (insert stitch marker) and single crochet

Row 3 and 4: sc in both moving the stitch marker up with each row.

Row 5, 6, and 7: ch 2 and dc in each stitch across. Slip stitch in top of chain 2.

Row 8: Ch 1 and sc in each stitch across. Slip stitch in top of ch 1.

Row 9: Ch 1 (insert sttich marker) and sc

Row 10 and 11: sc in both moving the stitch marker up with each row.

Row 12: ch 2. DC in same stitch as join and in the next nine stitches. 2 dc in next stitch. *dc in each of the next ten stitches. 2 dc in next stitch.* Repeat from *-* around and sl st in the top of chain 2.

Row 13 and 14: Ch 2 and DC in each stitch. Slip sttich in the top of chain 2.

To start the Thumb hole:

Row 14: Ch 1 (insert stitch marker) and sc in next two stitches. Chain 6. Skip next six stitches and sc in each stitch across.

Row 15 through ? : SC in each stitch across moving the stitch marker up. I sl st into the stitch market stitch and used a yarn needle to finish it off smoothly.

I don't like for mine to go all the way up because the yarn irritates my palms but you can go up as much as you desire.

Like I had said, I was doing some cleaning, mostly to clear out a space where I could paint that wasn't visually cluttered.  I tend to amass a great deal of items and since I do so many things this is very easy.  I have stuff everywhere.  Even when I was finished organizing I STILL have things everywhere, only neater lol.

My neater, more refined painting space.  I decided to take up oil painting again.  This is usually impractical as you have to have proper ventilation and all that for the fumes, however I'm working in water soluble oils so this takes care of that factor.  Also I am right by the back door.  This is one half of the dining room that we rarely use.  See the colorful drawing?  My kindergarten baby won first place in her Oktober Fest Student Art Contest.  It is hanging (with her blue ribbon) on the wall now.

I reverted the table into a drawing space.  My husband's laptop won't usually be there though lol.  You can kind of see my organized clutter.  I have several boxes under that table.

A better idea of how I organize clutter.  Sketchbooks, canvases, and foamcore abound.  I have two large tackle boxes from Wal-Mart that hold a lot of my drawing and painting supplies.  I was so pissed off when I was younger when I realized that artbins were essentially expensive tackle boxes.  Yes, the novelty with name brand wore off real quick.  Everything is more easily accessible now and out of the living room.

My crochet is another story.  I have a large wicker drawer that I am storing all of my yarn in.  I'm still working on my "ugly" blanket so that should take care of the scraps.

What's on my easel?

This 8 x 10 oil painting.  I did this a few nights back and even though it is with water soluble oils I'm still waiting for it to dry.  I am using the grisaille technique.  Grisaille means "grey" in French.  With this technique all the values are worked out before any color is added.  The colors will be followed up using translucent glazing and scumbling techniques with the heavier applications of paint coming in the last stages.  I haven't done a painting of this nature in years.  It is only a study to see if I can still do it.  I haven't oil painted in some time.

I love painting eyes, which should be obvious as they are the most refined portion of this painting.  My subject was holding a necklace which I painted out.  I will probably add a 3d element of a necklace when it is finished.  No, I will add a 3d element, my venus figures.

I created a small Venus of Willendorf some time ago out of polymer clay.  I wanted to do more work exploring the woman so doing venus figures seemed like a natural extension of this.  The mold is made out of Amazing Mold Putty.  It is expensive but I love this stuff.

These were the original polymer clay venuses that I made.  That Willendorf was a challenge.  I can see these as additions to artwork in the future.

I love working in polymer clay.  I also love experimenting making faces.  This is the latest one I created.  It hasn't been baked yet as I am refining the features more.  I am happy with how it has come out so far.  I didn't get a view of the side but her hairstyle is three bounded buns.  Her neck ends in a straight area towards the back so she could be mounted.  I have plans for her.

This polymer clay venus stands about six inches.  I utilized my anatomy book to work on this particular piece.  It still needs to be sanded smooth and when I work up the patience (I can't stand to sand) then I will do so.  It has a foil armature with the polymer molded over.  I am pleased with how it came out considering I haven't molded a model in over 10 years.

I haven't even posted the million drawings I have done.  There is so much I want to do including larger paintings.  Everything takes time.  I will get there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Update


Okay I have been a little lazy as of late.  Well not lazy as much as preoccupied.  I've been diving pretty heavy into my art which leaves little time for crochet.

I have been working on an idea to sell my surplus of soaps.  I have crocheted a few cotton washcloths and face scrubbies which I have tied neatly with a ribbon to a bar of soap.  They look really nice and at $5 a pop I'm sure they will sell nicely.   I will have to post the pictures later.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Face Scrubbies Pattern and other projects (pictures later)


Is it fair to say I used a pattern if I just followed the way the item looked and recreated it?  I'll just say I used a pattern...I'm fairly certain I got it right without it anyway.  I wanted to see if there was any validity to the face scrubbies phenomenon I kept coming across inadvertently while surfing the net.  I bought a pretty pink and white Lily's cotton yarn skein and set to work.  Of course I had to try them out and they work wonderfully.  I've heard some folks were making them out of acrylic yarn because it isn't as water friendly as cotton so it wouldn't hold microbes and things as much.  Well that's why you wash them folks.  I can't imagine purposefully putting acrylic yarn (with water no less) against my already temperamental facial skin.

I like these.  Would I sell them?  Eh...if someone wants some I'd just as soon put a free pattern up than go through the trouble.  Well why don't I then?  I could not find the picture/pattern that inspired this and I've made some changes anyway, true to form.  It's so simple it doesn't warrant anything much anyway...I've made coasters similar to this.

1 skein Lily's & Cream cotton yarn color of your choice
5(H) mm crochet hook

Start with a magic circle.

Chain 3 (counts as first DC) and DC 11 times into circle.  Pull taunt and SS into top chain of chain 3.

Chain 3 and DC into same stitch.  2 DC into each stitch around.  SS into top chain of chain 3.

Chain 1.  *Skip 1 stitch and DC five times into next DC.  Skip 1 stitch and sc into next stitch.*  Repeat from * to * five more times.  SS into beginning chain 1.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

See that was simple.

So since that was waaayyyyy too simple for me I decided to make some Tunisian crochet face scrubbies.  The textures created by this process would be great for the removal of make up.  I don't wear make up so I can't really test that but from my own observations I've seen plenty of folks who look like they really work up a sweat to get that stuff off of their faces.  So I created one made from pink and white twists Lily's yarn.  The yarn looks better on the skein in my opinion...dreadfully misleading but it will do.  Then I made one alternating jute and white.  The kids were far more entertained than I was.  Now this pattern is available here.  I just used fewer stitches and a smaller hook (4.25).  Now I was too lazy to look up the pattern while I was doing it so I had to go from memory and ended up using fewer starting stitches on the bigger one and a smaller hook (5 mm).  It's like a mini clothlet.

Well I will be using these two projects to show my class of newbie crocheters different unique techniques such as crocheting in the round and Tunisian crochet...they will have to pay extra to get the really fancy Tunisian stitches though.  The big project will be the scarf from my previous post.  I refuse to show them things that won't be functional for some purpose.  I'm working on more creative things now and debating a hat for the folks who want to join me for two classes.

My first class on October 5th was a success!  I forgot how long it takes to get started with crochet.  It's just getting accustomed to holding the hook and getting the right amount of tension and give with the yarn.  Thing is everyone was crocheting when the class was over and that was my goal.  I covered chains, slip stitches, single crochet, and double crochet.  Once they have those down that's where the fun begins!

I'll post updates with pictures later.  My next class is on October 19th.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crochet Scarf


I decided to tackle a project that is a challenge on my patience:  a crochet scarf.  I am finding that blankets are is something about the redundancy of the stitches that kind of work my nerves.  I love a quick work up.  Then it's on to the next project.  Well the summer rose Caron Rhapsody yarn was screaming for some attention so I bought three skeins of it and set to make (and complete) a full sized scarf.  It's taller than my seven year old and he's at least four feet.  I didn't run out of yarn but it tangled so I ran out of patience detangling the last skein before I made it the full three skeins.  I really love this scarf.  The pattern?  I was messing around and accidentally came about this ~ shaped stitching.  I will provide it as a pattern after I finish writing it down, probably on my artfire.  It took me the better part of three days to make this. Another foot or so wouldn't hurt but the store is out of summer rose.  There was plenty of pine green which will be the yarn for my next venture. 
I have listed the pattern to my artfire! 

In October I will be teaching crochet classes at my local AC Moore.  The person that normally does it has been sick for awhile and apparently there is a strong request for crochet instructors.  I'll give it a go :-).  I taught my son and stepdaughter how to crochet.  They went from "This is too hard" to "Look at what I made" in no time.  Shouldn't be difficult to teach adults...should it?  I am working on projects for the beginners and intermediates.  I sent over my supply list.  In other news...somehow, some way I forgot the State Fair deadline.  Heck, I even forgot the extended deadline.  Well I guess I'll be posting that beautiful cowl cape in my artfire in the near future :-).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Projects, Crochet Bunnies, Flowers, Hair Pins and Cuffs


One of my little one's had a birthday this weekend...she turned six!  Time goes by faster than you think...I still remember her as a laughing baby kicking her feet and propelling herself across the kitchen in her car seat lol.  She used to suck on her two middle fingers.  Too funny!  Anywho she has grown into a beautiful little girl who loves to laugh and who loves bunnies!  Now I had come across a free pattern for Love Bunnies not too long ago and I knew this would be perfect.  True to form I naturally could not stick to a pattern.  I don't think it is possible for me to do so.

This is my rendition of the Love Bunny.  The ears and body are bigger and I used a larger hook to make it pretty solid.  For lack of pellets or beans I filled a stocking with rice to stuff the bottom.  A nice solid, squishy feel.  I didn't put on a face...children have great imaginations.  She loved it!  I didn't finish them until Monday night.  On her birthday I got her what she had wanted, a Ni hao Kailan doll.  Ironically enough when she got a hold of this bunny she pretty much abandoned Kailan lol.  She plays with them both now.  The bunny is the baby!

I also worked on some crochet flower hair pins.  I am contemplating putting them for sale in my artfire.  I made them in a bunch of colors in different sizes.  I love how they came out and they would look lovely in anyone's hair.  I placed claw clips in the back anchored with jewelry glue and felt.  This is a lot cleaner and doesn't disturb the stitching.

I also worked on some arm bands/cuffs.  I rather like them and so do the kids.  I am working on helping them improve their crochet skills so they could make their own to sell if they like.  They like the idea of being little entrepreneurs (so do I!).  I've been very busy over the weekend and Labor Day.  We had a blast on Sunday for my six year old's birthday.  We went to the flea market, the park, and to Frankie's Fun Park.  We ended the day shopping for her cake and toy.  My feet were killing me lol.  My husband had been playing football with the older ones...the little ones could run forever it seems.  A good day.  THe girls below (birthday girl is in yellow).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Projects over the past week...


I haven't been doing too much in the past week.  We were supposed to set up on Saturday and Sunday at a venue but it had quite different items than I had to sell at a much lower price point so I chose against it.  We did find some really cool items though.  My kids got a really cool vintage Scooby Doo metal lunch box (with wheels that really move) for just $3.  We got a Connect Four Game (love that game) for a quarter and Scrabble for $1.  I found some really cool vintage books (they were .15 in their prime), 3 for $2...still a steal.  One was from 1957!  I got a few more vintage books and dictionaries and one of my favorite things that day: a vintage illuminated globe ($2).  It still worked too!  I will post pictures of these cool items at a later time (I'm charging the phone and the camera batteries presently).  Scooby Doo gets more play than anything though lol.

Anywho I did some crocheting in the past week.  First up is this crochet cotton handbag.  It took me a total of two and a half paprika and one camel colored Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. It took the better part of two days to complete but I was happy with it.  I will probably use cotton yarn for my totes in the future.  It doesn't stretch too much and seems to be very sturdy.  Once I get some better pictures of it (my little photographer tried lol) I will probably post to my artfire

I found this beautiful grey acrylic yarn by Impeccable (found at Michael's on sale).  I made a slouch visor hat.  I am using the remaining yarn to knit (yes knit!) a crochet hook holder.  It's just going to be a circular pouch with a button to seal it...a knit/crochet/sewing hybrid.  I'm making it up as I go along.  I will post this on my artfire very soon!  What else did I find on sale?  At AC Moore, I got the last skein of Patons Classic Merino Wool.  It was disappointing I couldn't find more but hey I'll take what I can get at a great price.  I got some TLC Essentials (never tried it before) in a dark plum.  I discovered this yarn called Caron Rhapsody at my local Dollar Tree.  Never seen it before and the other yarns I've seen by Caron are wonderful.  I haven't used it yet and don't know what to make of it.  You don't get a whole lot just 2 ounces.  It is 80% acrylic and 20% polyester.  I never used any yarn made with polyester before.  I'll see what I can do with it in awhile.  If any of my readers out there happen to be in the vicinity of a Dollar Tree it's worth checking out.  It is very similar to Caron Simply Soft with a nice shimmer.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Items in my Artfire!


I've been busy....and sick!  I caught a dreadful bug over the course of yesterday and today.  I woke up and felt like my head was filled with air, the pressure was intense and I could barely breathe because of the congestion.  I really, really dislike summer colds.  I went to the doc and they gave me antibiotics although I don't think I need them.  I'm contagious.  I caught this bug from my youngest and she's bouncing around (still sick) having a ball.

Anywho I stayed home as I didn't want to make the coworkers sick.  I went to sleep after coming from the doctor's and woke up to see the kiddies off the bus (I've been meaning to get a pic of them as I missed the first day).  I got them situated and ended up snoozing AGAIN.  I woke up shortly before four and posted my last post which I actually wrote last night, I just proofread and published.  I don't like being sick.

Well since I had the time I updated my artfire with new products. 

Chocolate Brown Slouch Cap with Flower Accessory.  I've been meaning to use this yarn for the longest.  I got two skeins (the last) seriously discounted at AC Moore around the same time I got the bamboo wool.  It is Red Heart Eco-Ways Cotton (recycled cotton/acrylic blend 75/25).  I don't really use cotton a lot and never thought to use cotton until someone at the market wanted to know if I had any cotton slouch hats.  Since I didn't it seemed natural to see how much yarn it would take to make one.  One skein made the hat and the remainder of that and a tiny bit of the next made the flower.  So I can make one more hat out of this.  I'm very happy!

Crochet Wide and Wavy Headband.  I've had this for awhile and contemplated what to do with it.  It's something called a panta which is pretty much a big headband that is super warm.  Now this is SC so there isn't much use for these for a lot of the year.  I just wanted to make one.  I have long misplaced the pattern but I do recall shortening it.  That thing was huge!  I used buttons instead of velcro...velcro and hair is just a bad idea.

Sunshine Gold and Red Visor Slouch Cap!  I have finally taken a decent picture of it.

Crochet Africa Slouch hat!  Africa is stitched into the crown.  I did this to help someone with a pattern for incorporating Africa into their pattern. 

Jamaican Rasta Cap with Flag!  I did this some time ago from this post

Finally I have been able to take ok pictures of it.  There was a glare off of the head that conflicted with the black previously.  Solution?  A less sunny day.

That's all the new items that were added.  I have some more things I have crocheted but haven't had the chance to blog about or take pictures. Case in point...I've had that headband for forever!

I have a lot of handmade jewelry I should list to my shop.  The market is so saturated I hesitated to venture into it.  I'll consider it in the future.

Vendor Market on Sunday


It was a good day!  It started out a bit slow but things eventually picked up in the early afternoon. I met some
interesting vendors and bought some really great items!
First purchase:  Carved hair picks
I am a collector of West African hair picks. I also collect Egyptian cats and symbols of Sekhmet while my husband loves West African drums.  Anywho when I saw these at another vendor's table (she was selling many items similar to my own) I was feigning to get them.  In the end we left with the picks, a shell drum necklace and some African tarot cards and she obtained my Sunshine Gold Bamboo Wool crochet hat.

Another vendor was selling these bent wire cuffs that I absolutely had to have.   Now these were a bit on the expensive side but luckily we had a good enough day I could invest in this beautiful cuff!  It was the main one that caught my attention  when I had passed his table earlier in the day and when I came back to get it another lady was trying it on..I thought she was going to buy it!  In the end she didn't and I obtained it.  He has no two alike.  These are actually bronze and thankfully I do not have any sensitivities.  It is now one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

My mom came out briefly (she's visiting) but I guess it was too hot for her.  Gotta love that Carolina heat and humidity!  My littlest one went to sleep.

 My little entrepreneurs commandeered an empty table that was next to us (with our permission) and did their own setup with their crochet bracelets and some of my "mistakes"! 
 I got a chuckle...they were so pleased with themselves it was pretty funny.  I'm a firm believer in children learning the value of money.  I worked for most of what I got when I was in their age range.  I would do things like rake my neighbor's yard and get a dollar that I would then go down to Mrs. Chris store to spend.  I knew that doing little odd things like that even without being asked to would result in monetary compensation.  I was praised by the adults.  Anywho that entrepreneurship spirit never dies when planted early.  I had a monthly paycheck by the time I was ten playing the piano for my church and was selling my drawings by the time I was fifteen.  If I knew how to crochet back then it would have been on!

My pretty girls!  They both have beads now.  I just start on the little one's head first because she has so much.  I loved beads as a child even though I never wore them.  No one ever did them for me and I could remember feeling pretty down about that.  This is the first time I beaded their hair but it won't be the last...beads are fun and I can always hear them when they are coming!

"Look after your baby sisters."  I tell them that all the time to the point they do it automatically.  My boy loves his sisters.  When he was a little guy about two he did something that my sister and I still laugh about.  My daughter Lanie started crying in her car seat.  He dropped all of his toy cars to try and pick her up and calm her down.  It was funny and of course I stepped in.  I have pictures of her following him around with this look of adoration on her face and him helping her and they are still close to this day.

 Their first (and only) sale!  He was sooooooo happy about it.  He's a super saver.  He hoards his money for real.  There was a lost library book I was griping about paying the fees for last year (there's no excuse for losing a book).  Now he has a thing about buying goodies from the school store so I had discounted any contribution he may have as a lost one.  I was preparing to send it to the school but  to my surprise I came home from work one day and he gave me a slip of paper.  It was a receipt for the cost of the book.  He had paid it!  "I tricked you, Mama," he said, obviously pleased with my surprise and consequently hugs and kisses.  I was just tickled and I paid him the cost back also which really got him going.

Lanie loves to read.  This was the only time I went to the market and didn't visit the book vendor.  We were a bit further down this time and I try to stay close to our booth.  My husband says I have a natural presence for selling things more than he does especially since I made a lot of the things so he doesn't want me to venture too far.  The Egyptian items are his domain and we sold an Isis statue also.  Amazingly enough one of our large masks sold and the thumb piano.  Don't let the name "thumb piano" fool you. It has nothing to do with a real piano.  I have an ear for music so I figured out small tunes by the sound of the notes which do not have the same orientation as the piano.  I want to obtain a kora (a real one not a tourist one!) and learn to play it.

It was an overall good day all around.