Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the coolest fabric

Is it not the coolest fabric ever? My former student (and first etsy customer!) was kind enough to think of me on her trip home to Thailand over winter break. She mentioned that she might bring back some fabric, and I figured she meant the shiny fabric with gold embroidery --I have some like that and just can't figure out what to use it for. But so much better, she surprised me with this cotton fabric with the most unique design. Her family has an egg-selling business, so she joked that this was her house printed on the fabric. I love the very Thai swirls under the roosters on the border.

Yesterday was about the most stressful day I can remember for a long time. I woke up this morning so relieved that it was behind me. A new tree is going into our yard today, so it's a better day already! Hope yours it a good one, too.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

not so plain anymore

This weekend E and I made our first attempt at screen printing. He's been wanting to print up some Ts with tattoo art, so I got him a kit for Christmas. We picked out and tweaked a fish design from this Japanese patterns book+cd-rom.

With all the steps and variables in the process, I had my doubts about reaching the final product. So even with a small under-exposed area on the screen (see the blank spot where the tail should be?), we were both pretty satisfied with the outcome.

We printed some canvas scraps, our plain old natural canvas grocery bags, and a couple of t-shirts. I especially like E's placement of the fish on his shirt (back shoulder). We're ready to go again, but need to come up with a new design. Yet another fun project--I wish our weekends were longer!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

new nail kit

This is my way of making my resolution more enjoyable. I had been meaning to make a tissue pocket for myself (after making them for everyone else for Christmas 2006!), so it was a chance to make a matching set. In my 'nail kit', I have lotion (Amisha's suggestion), an emory board, clippers, and now a buffing tool. All of this effort toward stopping my nail biting habit has kept it on my mind and made me more conscious of messing with my nails. And making up the kit was fun!

Monday, January 21, 2008

making some progress

When I started writing this post, I was feeling so overwhelmed by all that I have to learn about photoshop. But then I opened and edited the photos, and thought 'hey, I have learned something.' I can rotate and crop--basic things I just needed to relearn--as well as distort and create layers, which are new-to-me capabilities. So I have made some progress after all.

I've checked out lots of books on photography and photoshop from the library, but, by far, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything is the most helpful I've found. I'm such a visual learner, and this book is full of example photos. Each 2-page spread covers a different type of photo and give tips and all the specs the author used to take the final shot. It's almost like a coffee table photography book--really enjoyable just to look at!

And have you seen Target's new reusable bags? Like our grocery store, they've started selling these mesh bags for $1 near the checkout. They zip into a little pouch and have a bird and trees design made of tiny bullseyes. I wanted to get one, but E reminded me that I can make my own. So why do I still carry plain old natural canvas shopping bags? I guess it's that thing about the chef who doesn't cook for himself at home.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

fabric + a resolution

Thanks for the boots compliments! They're Merrells, the brand of shoes my family should own stock in! Being on my feet all day, I need shoes that provide plenty of support--and they're not just mocs anymore.

For Christmas, E's mom gave me this amazing collection of fat quarters (also my new banner). I love each and every one of the fabrics.

I didn't realize how much they've influenced my color choices until this recent repro depot fabric order arrived. Normally cool colors are my domain, but the orange works so well with my old favorites green, blue and brown. I feel a new patchwork project coming up soon!

Maybe because I'm afraid of failing yet again to reach this goal, I've made only very quiet mention of my resolution to put an end to my nail biting/picking habit. As I type, I can smell the chemical stench of the clear polish (well, sort of yellowed it's so old) I just applied. I've tried this before, and it only deters me the tiniest bit. Any ideas for kicking this habit? Or suggestions for another, less dirty nervous habit I can pick up instead?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

playing with my new toys

My tripod and new boots, that is. I got these boots for Christmas, but quickly realized I had no idea what to wear them with. I had pictured wearing them with skirts...skirts that I didn't own. So I got to work. I wanted to use this tweed (cut from thrifted pants leftover from the boutonnières), but there wasn't quite enough, so I pieced it with something else from my stash. There's also a band of this dark turquoise corduroy at the waist band. The fabric store is already phasing out the winter fabrics, but I was able to pick up a camel corduroy on closeout, so another 'boots skirt' is already in the works!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

wedding stockings

I'm really wanting to work more with my new camera, and I finally got a photo editing program, so I'm hoping to have some photo-heavy posts soon. For now, I'll share some things from my blog break.

In honor of their wedding, I promised to make Christmas stockings (their request) for my brother and new sister-in-law.
At her bridal shower, each guest made a quilt block from yellow, black, and grey fabrics, which is what I kind of had in mind for these non-traditional-colored stockings. One for each of them, and a little one (the last one's about 1/3 the size of the others) for the cat.

And then check out my spider photo from last week--I had to post it after I saw Tiffany's! A few minutes after I took this, I forgot all about it and walked right through the web. But it was back the next day.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

easing in

After almost a month away from here, I'm feeling the need to ease back in to blogging with a simple photo post.

And a couple favorites. Yep, that bug is hanging between the trees on a rope. Wish we could have seen it at night!

Happy New Year! It's good to be back.