Saturday, 29 August 2009

Pointless building

So, I've had a reasonably sleepless (reasonably sleepless? What kind of stupid phrase is that? Sleeplessness is anything but reasonable), mostly uncreative week, so in lieu of the usual Illustration Friday effort (which I'll attempt to effortise tonight, assuming that my current headache will let me) please enjoy this look at one of my unfortunate obsessions.

Pointless building, yes. And I do realise that pointlessness generally belongs on my other blog. Just think of it as taking a holiday today.

I've liked building pointless objects for as long as I can remember. I probably stacked blocks as a toddler, I was definitely a Lego kid, and...

Oh hey. A quick word about Lego. Yes, I was a girl who liked Lego, and liked it long enough ago that it was just straight-up Lego and not all of those fancy themed kits you find nowadays (and you kids get the hell off my lawn...). My Lego time was spent building houses, mostly. Why houses? Well, why not?

Anyway. I had Lego, I had Canadian Logs (which were, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Canadian version of Lincoln Logs), and I'm pretty sure I also had Tinker Toys back when the pieces were still all wooden and a lot smaller than the picture in the link makes them look now.

Not dangerous at all, no.

Yeah, I liked building things. And that hasn't changed much. I still (sadly, for a person of my age) have my building toys, and when I can't be bothered to do anything constructive (ha! Constructive! I kill me) I've been known to get out my toys and just build.

It was that kind of week, boys and girls.

So. Let's introduce the toys. In the first two photos, magnetic sticks with ball bearings. There are a few different brands of these out there, and I can't remember what brand mine are so I won't bother trying to endorse anything specific.

In the third photo, coin connectors featuring exactly one hundred pennies. And yes, I did count them.

In the last three photos, a silly desk toy consisting of a magnetic base and way too many tiny little screws. So much fun to clean up afterwards. And you've just gotta love that Wave O' Screws at the bottom, right?

So what's the point of all of this?

There is no point.

Aren't you paying attention?

At least read the post title, people.

This is just something to do with my hands when I'm thinking of other things, or sometimes when I'm not thinking of anything at all.

I'm not sure why I do it. It's probably connected to the whole OLF thing, which I'm sure you'll agree with when you notice how much more it's about the patterns of building rather than the end result.

You see, I don't usually build with a reason. I build pointless things. Things that have no purpose and don't emulate anything useful.

I do like to build strong things, though.

That would explain all of the triangles and hexagons, I guess.

I also like my things to be symmetrical. They almost always are, except when I'm playing with the screws. It's hard to make them do symmetrical things.

That frustrates me, to be honest. I don't play with the screws much.

I just realised that I'm kind of letting you people into my messed-up little world here. Ah well. Yay for blog therapy.

Let's see... what else can I tell you about my toys? Not a whole lot, really.

I could mention that if you're thinking of getting into building things with pennies you should look into developing some serious callouses. The little plastic connectors are really stiff and after a while your fingers build up all kinds of annoying sore spots from forcing the things together. But then, I also have pretty wimpy hands when it comes down to it.

If anyone's wondering, at this point in the post I'm just typing enough words to maybe make all of these silly photos line up without overlapping. Serves me right for uploading them the way I did, though. If I'd made the thumbnails bigger they would have gone down the page very nicely without my having to do a thing about it...

That's got to be good enough now. I hope you enjoyed the open house, so to speak. Check back often, when we'll probably NEVER be doing this again.

Hmm. I wonder how the Little Modelling Clay Men would look doing a bit of pointless construction...

Saturday, 22 August 2009


How to explain this? I need to sleep more would, I think, pretty much cover it.

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is caution. And... I really have no idea where this came from.

Still, it was nice of this snake in the grass to try to warn people that he's there, don't you think?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Silly thing to do while avoiding other things...

So I was looking for something when I came across some scraps of textured paper from a project ages ago and figured that I may as well play with them since they weren't really big enough to use for anything of importance. That, of course, led to taking out some photocopier paper to play with because I couldn't manage much detail on the thicker paper. That in turn led to me forgetting what I was looking for in the first place...

Yeah. Did I mention that I'm a five-year-old?

And yes, all of the paper has since gone to the recycle bin. You know, in case you wondered.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Symphoricarpos in pen and ink

Another (very, this time) quick doodle at work...

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Wrapped. Well, as I've said once or twice or a few more times than that, I work as a naturalist. This time of year, wrapped to me goes straight to cocoons and insect metamorphosis. And yes, I am a nerd. Thanks for noticing.

Something has definitely wrapped itself up in the top leaf of this Western Snowberry branch. I'm not sure what the something is, exactly, but I didn't think it was a terribly kind idea to poke around and find out.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Borage buds and flower in watercolour

Yep, doodling via paint this morning rather than pen. To be honest, so far I like sketching flowers better than painting them. I'll keep practicing, though.

Today's reason for doodling was that I bought a couple of brushes the other day and hadn't gotten around to trying them out. Now I've tried one, at least...

Monday, 10 August 2009

I'm a five-year-old

If I wasn't, why would I have spent five dollars (um... Liquidation World, people) on a machine that spins a card so that I can throw paint at it?

I swear to you, I am so five.

Incidentally, this is a good way to decorate a room as well if you're not watching how high the spinning plate is moving up in the column. Washable surfaces recommended, boys and girls.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Impatiens in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Impatiens, so...

Hmm? Impatience, not impatiens?

Oh well.

This was a very quick doodle done while manning the front desk at the nature centre where I work. Again. I've really got to start breaking that habit.

Er, the doodling part, not the working part.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Oak leaf in pen and ink

Manning the front desk again, and doodling to give my brain something to do (kind of a slow day here). I'm assuming that this leaf comes from a bur oak. I mean, I know that it's an oak leaf; it's the bur part that I'm assuming. Oak trees don't grow naturally in this part of Alberta, so of course it makes perfect sense that we have one growing right outside of the Nature Centre's back door...

I'm not terribly happy with this doodle, but I'm posting it anyway. As I said yesterday, the lighting at the front counter is really not great for trying to draw any sort of detail, and I won't even tell you how many times I had to move to find a shadow that wasn't caused by three lights at once. Frustrating.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Modified Branch in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is modify. Beavers have to be some of the most insistent modifiers in nature, I figure. They modify forests by removing trees, modify streams by turning them into ponds, and one apparently decided to modify this branch with its teeth.

This was done (well, started) at the front desk of the Nature Centre where I work. It's hot enough outside that hardly anyone is on the trails and that made my afternoon rove a complete washout, so I thought I'd make myself useful and man the counter for a while.

Funny thing is, I'd never noticed until now just how bad the lighting is at our front desk. Bad for doodling, anyway.
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