Tuesday, February 26, 2008

print making

One day last week after I posted about my creative rut, I laid in bed after saying goodbye to E and decided I'd think of something to create as I fell back to sleep. (Don't worry--there are days in our schedule when he gets to sleep in while I go off to work!) I was trying to think of an animal or a springish design I could carve into a speedy cut block, and I came up with a bird's nest.

When I bought the block (recommended by Tiffany) a few weeks ago, E said he thought there were some of his grandfather's linoleum carving tools in the garage. Sure enough, I had all the supplies I needed. I had no idea if my design was outside the limits of block printing, but I figured I'd give it a try. I stumbled upon a relief printing tutorial on tsk tsk when I was looking for some direction. I used her spoon pressing method to get the ink from the stamp to the paper.

With E and me both trying to pull through colds, we ate our favorite cheddar soup tonight--it's actually much more than cheddar: carrots, apple, celery, potato. Just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


A while back, maybe around the time of the craft fair, I decided that, in order to keep my art + craft from ever seeming like a chore, I should only 'work' when I feel inspired to. It's a hobby, not a job (and I have one of those), so it needs to stay fun. So I've been sewing when I feel like it, watching TV when I don't...doing my photoshop lessons when I want to, going outside when I don't. Until now. I'm stuck in a creative rut and that 'feel like it/want to' bit just isn't happening. I'm reading, looking, listening, feeling like I'm at the bottom of Bloom's taxonomy because the synthesizing and producing part just isn't coming. Maybe all this means that I'm absorbing inspiration, and the creativity will start to flow again when it feels like it. For now, I'll go back to waiting patiently, soaking it all in.

A pencil roll (sewn before the rut) to thank a friend for technology help. He's working on illustrations for a graphic novel--at least somebody's creative juices are flowing!

He always finds a warm spot, puts his face in the sun and sleeps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the skinny

The last couple of weekends, I've enjoyed afternoons reading in the hammock, soaking up the sun until it got too cool. The late afternoon sun on the trees above the back yard is so warm.

I also made some old flared jeans into skinny jeans. They had gotten too short and were on the way to goodwill anyway. I wanted some jeans that would fit down into boots, but I think I like them better with flats!

I don't remember how I found this video on how to make jeans skinny, but I thought it was a great idea. Isn't she cute? And that sewing machine! It makes me appreciate mine a little more.

Want to see another skinny jeans video? My mom found this one on how to dance in them!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

happy heart day

My co-worker [correctly] predicted that Monday's Valentine craft activity with the students would turn into a blog post. So here's my pipe cleaner+fabric heart. Hope your day is full of love!

And it's that time of year again--our program's art show is just a few weeks away. Hmm...What should I make? Last year I did the machine-embroidered bird. This time I think I want to do something a little more artsy than crafty. Maybe a screen print. I'll have to give it some thought. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sweet! potato bread

Every time I make bread recently, I vow to never try anything but no-knead bread ever again. But I keep seeing recipes and loaves that I think I can make myself. Not that I've failed miserably, I just wait and wait for it to rise and it never does, or I get half way through the recipe and then realize I don't have the right kind of flour. I wanted to make sourdough bread (my main reason for eating at Cracker Barrel), but discovered it takes days and days. Maybe my problem is that I can't just make a simple loaf of white or wheat.

Anyway, something finally went right. I turned to the bread machine for help. This sweet potato bread (basically white bread + sweet potato and brown sugar) turned out pretty good. Although the machine makes this super tall loaf.

Next up: chocolate no-knead bread.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

biscotti and boots skirt

A recent photo of biscotti over at all buttoned up reminded me of the crunchy chocolate biscotti I made for some co-workers back in December, and I decided to make them again. These are the last 2 of this most recent batch. They disappear so quickly because it's easy to rationalize eating them for breakfast--the writer explains that the recipe was created as a [somewhat] healthier alternative to her dad's daily oreos dunked in coffee. They're so black because I used hershey's special dark cocoa powder. And pecans from my uncle's groves. Yum.

And this is the second boots skirt. This was the closeout fabric I got when I went looking for tweed--already gone, replaced by lightweight spring fabrics.

My favorite part--the fuschia facing. I love that color, but it's hard to find the right use for it.

While the last 2 weeks of Project Runway have been kind of a let down (rerun and then a wrestling clothes challenge?), I did discover Project Runway Canada, hosted by Iman, available on youtube!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

boy bag

I almost forgot about a Christmas project (well, that turned into way before Christmas--I was too excited to wait), that I made for E. His things are constantly piled up on the counter where we plug in our cell phones. I've tried baskets, but they just get filled with papers, and the sunglasses, keys, wallet, etc are still on the counter. We thought about the problem, about why it's his stuff that's out and not mine (and he's the neat one), and realized that I keep all my things in my bag, hung on the wall. That's when I realized he needed a bag, too. But his just stays on the wall. It's working out well. Both of us love figuring out storage solutions so that everything has its place. One day we might even decide to make a cubby for the dog:)