Wednesday, May 28, 2008

tech success

A recent goal of mine has been to learn to create digital illustrations and patterns of my own. I love fabrics like these, and I feel so inspired to create something of my own. However, it's not easy! I'm using photoshop for the first time, and I'm realizing how hard it is to learn new technology. I get so frustrated, and when I finally do figure something out, I wish there was some way to 'save' the process in my brain, because I know I'm just going to forget it.

But I did make some headway this weekend after seeing that spoonflower has begun printing custom fabric. And I love all of Wendy's designs over at dozi. Have you seen her new shop? Truly inspiring. Anyway, I pushed myself to complete something that I was happy with, and this is it. At first I wanted it to be a large scale pattern, but tried it several different ways and ended up with this. I like how it turned out, but more importantly, I learn a lot about how to create shapes, and I gained some confidence in photoshop!

Now, on to try using some of my own pencil + paper drawings.

Friday, May 23, 2008

last two

These are the last two of my good-for-you triple chocolate cookies. They're an Ellie Krieger recipe, so it's easy to focus on the whole wheat flour and low butter content and forget that they're actually dessert. I've eaten waaay to many!

That shop update that I promised hasn't happened because I'm taking my bags to an event at a natural foods market this weekend. And they've offered to sell my bags in the store, too!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

mats and frames

I finally finished my tree print and photo matting project. I miss that tree everyday, but now I have a way to see and remember it. The prints are by Julie.

When we were in NY, one of the galleries at MoMA was full of pieces that used matting in such a graphic way (photo above) that I wanted to give it a try.

Here, I just cut some uneven boxes, but I'd like to try some different designs with patterned paper peeking out from behind. Before I do that, though, my first priority should be getting these off the ironing board and onto the wall!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

berry good

We made these smoothies last night with frozen berries, some we picked a (long) while back, some from the store. They turned out so good, so naturally sweet. Yum. Here's what's in them:
1 banana
2 cups of frozen berries
1 tbs honey
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
and one giant boba straw (that's all we had).

I was so excited to find the honey at the farmer's market. Yes, actually produced locally! And finally, there are spots open in a nearby CSA. I hope it's not too late. And the pick-your-own blueberry farms around here open in a couple weeks. I love summer in the sunshine state.

Oh, and thank you for the kind responses to my last post. It's reassuring to hear from others who feel as strongly as I do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

new and modern

Disclaimer: The post is a little more rant-like than I usually write, but I'll be back to general craftiness soon.

I recently found this old sewing book, The New Encylopedia of Modern Sewing. It must have belonged to E's grandmother or greatgrandmother. I love reading through it, finding language or ideas that make it apparent that it was published in 1942.

It touts sewing your own clothes as a means of conservation, and conservation as patriotic and valuable during 'the present emergency.' I found it interesting that, while we're all waiting for our rebate checks (to buy more stuff made in China), and during our present emergency of a different sort, conservation is the last thing on some people's minds. E and I (and many others, right?) are making a conscious effort to cut back and to be aware of the resources we use and how we choose to spend our money. No, I don't always sew my own clothes:), but we've taken lots of easy steps, and a few hard ones, to get moving in the right direction.

I've never really connected the ideas of conservation and patriotism, but if it will get Americans to stop and think, then OK!

Has conservation become a part of your life? I'd like to know what steps others have taken.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

craft fair

I was able to finish my just-for-fun quilt in time for the craft show on Saturday. It was such great motivation to know I needed to get things finished by a certain date. Sometimes, my craft-when-I-feel-like-it attitude means nothing gets done for long stretches.

The craft fair itself was very much a church ladies show. Silk flowers, embroidered towels, tupperware(?!). It was in a great location, just down from Five Points, a really cool shopping area, but the craft fair attendees were mostly older ladies who could all probably sew, too. Oh well. It was fun to sit and talk with my friend that I shared the table with. And good practice for Summertime in the City, a local festival that will include a craft market.

I'm hoping to do a shop update by the end of the week. It will include some freshly made tissue pockets and pocket bags in fun fabrics.

Monday, May 5, 2008

garden status check

Surprisingly, my winter crops of kale and romaine lettuce are still going strong, even in 80 degree weather. The romaine keeps growing, although it never gets past 'baby romaine' size, and it has a nice bitter, fresh-from-the-garden taste. Probably my most successful gardening try yet!

In the summer garden: tomatoes, peppers, and sweet potatoes. I was so happy to find sweet potato plants at Lowe's. I sprouted my own sweet potatoes last summer, but never saw any potatoes grow. I have high hopes, and I see the first blossom on a tomato plant! It's almost time for panzanella!

For inspiration to make some positive changes, including planting a garden, read this article: Why Bother? by Michael Pollan.