Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29: self portrait #2

I'm finding photography to be a truly great thing for me.  Right now, if I'm doing anything at all remotely creative, chances are that it's photography.  One of my goals before my 26th birthday is to have taken at least 100 self-portraits.  I thought it would be scary, in a good way.  Plus, I have very few pictures of myself.  So you may be seeing more and more self-portraits here.  I've even created a set on flickr just for my self portraits.  I think this one might be #4, but only technically #2 in my year of self portraits.

I feel like this picture shows where I really am today - contemplating life, the universe, and everything as Douglass Adams would phrase it.  Trying to figure out the conundrums of what interfacings to use in my bags, what to do about meditation, what book to read next...  I have no make-up on (not that I usually have a lot on), just sitting in the little bit of natural light from this rainy day.

And here is what I see:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17: a day in the studio

.. just not my studio!  Yesterday I had the opportunity of helping out my friend Suzanne in her lovely studio.  She's doing several shows in the next few weeks, and needed help getting everything together.  I mostly just stuffed bags, but it was wonderful to be in her calming studio, looking at all of her lovely things.

All artwork in these pictures is copyright Suzanne L. Vinson, and was photographed with permission.  You should check out her wonderful blog, or her etsy shop.  And, if you're in the RVA area, she will be at the Spring Bada Bing this weekend!

And the one that made it home with me - "find your voice and use it."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16: in the morning light...

Some things look sweeter... But other things do not.  Last night the only thing I could do was sew.  So I whipped up this cute little guy from one of the newest Mollie Makes (issue 25).

This morning, in the light of this new day, I am thinking of and praying for those in Boston, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan.

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15: From Russia with love

"Handmade Portraits: From Russia with Love" is an Etsy video shared under the Creative Commons License.

This is how I want to feel about what I do.  And I still haven't found that yet.  This is why my etsy shop remains empty - for lack of that something that I am so passionate about that I could do it everyday.  I guess the only way to find out is to try.

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12: hand made bowtie

We had quite a few friends over for dinner last week, including our friend Dean, who just turned 25.  I decided to whip up this fun bowtie, using this tutorial from Make.  I chose orange and blue in honor of his Alma-mater UVA.

I changed a few things from the pattern/regular bowties.  First of all, I cut the pieces on the grainline, and it seemed to work fine.  Because it was on grain, I just cut one long piece as opposed to having a seam in the back.  I also used one layer of Pellon's Shape Flex Woven Fusible Interfacing, which had the perfect amount of body.

I didn't actually get a picture of him wearing it, but it fit perfectly!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10: hand printed fabric (and more!)

My birthday was last week and my lovely wife managed to spread out the gift-giving over an entire week.  I got my last two packages yesterday, and they might have been the best yet!

I'm super excited about this hand printed fabric from Maze & Vale.  I've been reading her blog for a very long time, and when I saw her feather and cloud prints, I just had to have them!  I'm not sure what I'll be making from these, but definitely something special.

Leslie, who owns/designs/runs Maze & Vale also hosts hand printed fabric swaps.  I've always wanted to participate, but I keep talking myself out of it.  Well, hopefully next time, I'll jump right in!  She inspired me so much, that one of my other birthday requests was the awesome printing book Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin.  I received Printing by Hand, along with Hexa Go-Go by Tacha Bruecher, the Heather Ross Prints book, and Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin.

If you haven't heard about the Heather Ross Prints book, the way it works is, there are a variety of projects, all of which use Heather Ross's various designs.  The AWESOME thing about the book is, there's a disk in the back, so you can print your own copies of her designs!  I jumped right in and printed some fabric (which I don't seem to have a photograph of - maybe I'll get a picture of it once it's in a project) along with these really cool little notebooks:

 Hexa Go-Go is an English Paper Piecing book that focuses on - you guessed it - the hexagon shape.  However, I was so excited, I ordered a bunch more EPP shapes.  I have 7 new shapes/sizes - all of which we now carry at Quilting Adventures.  In this stack there are chrysanthemums, diamonds, hexagons, honeycombs, kites, 1/2 hexagons, and squares, which will make 4 different designs/layouts.  I can't wait to get started!  My Pinterest board has some of the different layouts...

Last, but not least, I received this awesome hounds-tooth pattern Moleskine notebook/sketchbook from my friend, Abbie.  She also gave me a really awesome assortment of Sharpie pens, with which I've been journaling.

Needless to say, I've got some really awesome things brewing.  Once I slog through my to-do lists (taxes, among other things), I will definitely be jumping into some new projects using all of these different books and techniques!