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Amparo Bertram

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06:17 pm: Doodle all the day
Tuesday is actually my fullest schedule, but it doesn't seem so bad because they're all classes that I like.

My first class this morning started a chapter on "What did you do last Sunday?" and shows a graph illustrating that people in Japan tend to spend their weekends with friends while people in Brazil tend to spend them with family. I brought in my Velasquez family reunion sweatshirt and showed them all the names on the back to illustrate "spending time with family." They were all quite impressed.

Several of the classes today had writing assignments. They occasionally ask me for help translating what they want to say into natural-sounding English. The problem is, it just hasn't sunk in for them that the grammatical structure of a Japanese sentence is backward from English. They'll say the opening phrase and then stop, expecting me to tell them what it means so they can write it down. I often have to prompt them several times to finish the sentence so I have a clue what verb to use.

In two of the classes, we talked about parties. We had the students brainstorm all the kinds of parties they could think of. Then we talked about traditional food at parties.

We started with Christmas. In Japan, the traditional foods at Christmas are 1) sponge cake and 2) Kentucky Fried Chicken. It took a lot of prodding (and reminding them that I brought some in last year) for them to come up with "gingerbread cookies."

We then moved on to birthdays. They were all quick to suggest cake, but when I urged them on with "cake and..." they were stumped. As soon as I revealed that the tradition at an American birthday party is to have "cake and ice cream," they all made ewww sounds. Wonder why? Cake and ice cream?! That's too sweet! You'd die of sugar shock!


In between classes, I practiced drawing a simple flower. Well...it was supposed to be simple. I find I have an obsession for drawing in as many tiny details as possible. This is unfortunate, because embroidery patterns have to be kind of on the cartoony side.

In an attempt to force myself to concentrate less on details, I tried drawing a tiny sketch of my parents squaredancing (based on a picture they took wearing the outfits I made). As you can probably tell, I still filled in far too many details. It's not nearly cartoony enough. I'm going to have to work on this problem.




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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 10th, 2005 05:48 am (UTC)
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I often have to prompt them several times to finish the sentence so I have a clue what verb to use.
I have one student that does this to me all the time. She'll stop mid-sentence ("And I was...going...?") and look at me, wanting me to correct her, but I have no idea what she's trying to say.

Cake and ice cream?! That's too sweet!
Ha. And that's without having any idea of how sweet frosting (real frosting, not "cream") is.

...I wonder if the Baskin Robbins here don't have brownie sundaes, then? I'll have to check.

I'm no expert, but your flower doesn't seem like it's too far off being able to be made into an embroidery pattern. (And if it is, well...it's still pretty.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 10th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
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I'm no expert, but your flower doesn't seem like it's too far off being able to be made into an embroidery pattern. (And if it is, well...it's still pretty.)

Thank you! I'm trying to aim for the "swipe the brush a few times and voila!" style of watercolor, like the kind of pictures on Japanese postcards, but I suppose spending extra time on it won't actually hurt.

I did mean to ask, however...what style of bunny do you like best? The Western Thumper-like style, the outline Playboy-bunny style, or the Japanese pointy-nose style?
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 10th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
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I did mean to ask, however...what style of bunny do you like best?
Round. Round and cute, and the simpler the design the better. I'm not a big fan of the Thumper or Playboy style (actually I think Thumper is kind of ugly.) I like the Japanese style, but it depends. Sometimes they're more elegant than cute, and I don't like that as much.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:May 10th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
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LOL! Sounds like it's time to play a game along the lines of write something in Japanese and then reorder it into English structure, or draw lines showing parts of speech between Japanese and English sentences.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:May 10th, 2005 06:12 am (UTC)
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It's not nearly cartoony enough. I'm going to have to work on this problem.

Draw chibis!

(I think cake and ice cream is too sweet... but I go into sugar shock after five bites of cake.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 10th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
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Draw chibis!

I've tried drawing chibi figures. I can't make myself draw simplistic enough. The eyes, in particular...I keep wanting to add tons of details, and then it doesn't look right so I keep erasing and re-drawing until the paper is nothing but a big gray smudge.

(All the student artists I see doodling in class can just go swoop swoop and with a couple of strokes and make something that actually looks right. Why can't I do that?)

What I need to do is look up some websites on how to draw anime characters and spend some time practicing really basic stuff. (Wish I could join the school anime club. I bet the students would love to teach me. Why do all the good clubs meet the same time as the English club, why??)
[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:May 10th, 2005 11:20 am (UTC)
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It's all in the perception I'm sure, but sponge cake and KFC??? Wow....I wouldn't have thought of that, for sure LOL!

I think the flower sketch is lovely, and I should think it's still a good starting point for the embroidery. I'm only familiar with doing it by hand as opposed to machine, and by hand you can convey the shading with different thread colors and feathering the stitches. I just don't know how flexible the machine is.

Pictures after you try it, please?? :-)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 10th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm only familiar with doing it by hand as opposed to machine, and by hand you can convey the shading with different thread colors and feathering the stitches. I just don't know how flexible the machine is.

Technically you're supposed to be able to convert a photograph directly into a pattern, so it can handle a fair degree of complexity. The problem is that the more colors it uses, the more times you have to keep stopping to change the thread. So they recommend using as few colors as possible, both to save time and to save money (for thread).
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:May 10th, 2005 01:14 pm (UTC)

Beautiful, beautiful!

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I like both the pictures. I have no idea how a machine works, though. I guess you don't just scan the pictures in, and then it makes a template for you, huh?

Your classes sounded like fun. They are right about too sweet, but most of the food in our normal food fare is high in sugars or salts, it seems, if not fats, too. We just don't seem to let it bother us much when we celebrate.

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 10th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Beautiful, beautiful!

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I guess you don't just scan the pictures in, and then it makes a template for you, huh?

From what I've read, you scan the picture in (and manipulate it with a paint program if desired), then import it into the embroidery program. With that program you can designate colors and stitches, plus change the orientation and size (on a limited basis). I haven't actually used it, though, so I don't know how easy or difficult it will be.
[User Picture]
From:mereflair
Date:May 11th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
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DANG GIRL YOU'RE AWESOME
AWESOME AWESOME
SUGEE
4REAL
^^ Yer parents are so cute!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 12th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
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DANG GIRL YOU'RE AWESOME

Thank you! *^_^* That means a lot coming from someone with your talent.
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