Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teen drama + Bedroom

Oh yes, as a teenager I was very dramatic. I have proof...painful proof. At the risk of utterly humiliating myself, take a look at my rooms during those dreadful teen years....

Disclaimer..... 1) please keep in mind that this was circa 1991-1995, not the best years for style or fashion. 2) you might want a pair of sunglasses close by - maybe even 3D glasses.

Room #1 below
Room #1 below - yes, i painted my bedspread
Room #1 below - yes I painted my curtains
Room #1 below- weird
Room #2 below - holy cow
Room #2 below - more of those spikey things...and whats with the cow splotches?
Room #2 below- Is that blood? You would think I would have at least made my bed.
Room #3 below- Whoa....girly swirls!
Room #3 below - is that a city skyline?
Room #3 below - Did everyone on earth have that cheap lamp?

My poor mom had to sand down the walls whenever we moved from one house to another. Thankfully both of my parents are creative and appreciate my weirdness...or whatever you call it. Thanks mom and dad!

Did you have crazy rooms like this?

I might be the only one who finds these photos hilarious. I'm pretty sure I am.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Today i beheld....

Is that snuffleupagus hiding in the wall of fabric above?

In other news, lovarevolution featured my Felt Trees on her amazing and beautiful blog. I feel very honored to be included amongst some really creative work. That makes me very happy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dorothy, Liza and the 1940's

I was watching a TV show last night in bed as I was trying to get sleepy called Little Miss Perfect. So weird. Kind of disturbing. No offense to the pageant people out there but I just don't get it. Even weirder was that the dance studio where I was a competitive dancer for years was featured on this show as "pageant choreographers" for this particular pageant in NC. What? Regardless of its bizarreness, seeing this TV show got me thinking about my own days on stage.

Yep, that's me....Dorothy.

Liza Manelli. The dress version of her and the pants version. I was jealous of the girls who got to wear the dresses....i was always too tall.
And here as a 40's big band dancer.

All of this took place 15 years ago but it seems just like yesterday. I miss that nervous feeling in my gut just before going on stage, the 2 minute costume changes, the fake eyelashes, the abundance of pantyhose...it was also the only time in my life I have ever had an excuse to wear BRIGHT RED lipstick. The reddest you could find.

Good memories.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hand Carving Galore...

Although I had purchased the materials to create my own stamps several months ago, I was afraid to touch them, so they just collected dust......until yesterday. For my online craft class one of our projects was to create our own stamp with a lino-block and carving tool, and since I had the materials already I couldn't use the "I can't afford it right now" excuse. I had to go for it. I was nervous because you have to be very patient and gentle doing this.....lord knows I am far from patient or gentle.

Anyway, I am SO thrilled with the results. I was originally planning on creating my own fabric pattern for curtains in my bedroom but as I was testing the stamp out on poster board I fell in love with it and decided to frame it. I had a piece of black poster board sitting around so I tested it out on that and loved it too. I couldn't get a good picture that really shows the details and color contrast....i guess i don't have the correct flash or something, not sure.

Lesson learned #1: go with the detours.....beautiful things can happen! Lesson learned #2: you have to be painfully gentle and patient to get good results when creating your own stamp.

So after I created the first stamp I couldn't get enough. Next came the "skulls are creepy" stamp. I always joke with Spencer about his love for stuff that seems "dark" to me....skulls, heavy metal, black, horror movies. We are complete opposites in this respect but I appreciate his taste. I stamped some black floral fabric and plan to use it in a sewing project I am working on right now. A little surprise.

Stamping is fun, I think. There are just so many ways you can use it - the possibilities are truly endless. Have you tried it?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Art is cool.

seriously cool. Thats all I have to say about that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pretty Pillow Painting

I love painting pillows! They might be completely unpractical but I love the end result every time. This is the one that I wrote about in an earlier post that Spence finished off for me by doing the blind-stitching. This is also the one that Colby (the orange cat) threw up on, so I had to wash the canvas before I painted on it. Lesson learned #1: Don't let your cat throw up on your fabric. But if for some reason you have to wash your canvas before you paint on it, I would mix a fabric medium in with your paint so that it flows a little better. Lesson learned #2: I hate blind-stitching. Just FYI

Another big thanks to my classmates for all the support and inspiration! See a few of their painted pillows below... You can also check out lots more at our class Filckr pool.

Above by Margot

Above by tylersaunt

Above by newyearsbabe84

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Balancing it all. And $$$.

I have been business minded since I was just a wee one.
At 6 years old I would go door-to-door selling my watercolor paintings and potholders (you know the ones - made with that little plastic loom- oh my fingers would hurt SO bad after hours weaving). My dad also built me a little store front to sell my random collections in the driveway. I would stay out all day long shamelessly marketing my chalk and expressing exactly why a shopper absolutely needed it in their life.

Oh there are countless stories like this and I can't ignore the significance of this business-minded brain in my life. So when I stumbled upon this new video series called Dialogue, from Design For Mankind, I almost peed in my pants.

Episode 1 is called "How Do You Balance it All?" It highlights several indie artists discussing how they balance blogging, creating and designing into their work, family and personal lives. Fascinating!

Design For Mankind - Dialogue Episode 1 from Design For Mankind on Vimeo.

Episode 2 is called "Finances Eek" and discusses what it is like to work as a freelancer in today's economic climate (i know - that phrase is really starting to get on my nerves, but how else do you say it??)

Design For Mankind - Dialogue Episode 1 from Design For Mankind on Vimeo.

I would love to hear from you! Are you a freelancer or do you work for "the man" while pursuing your creative endeavors on the side? Did you do crazy business things when you were a kid? Tell me a story!

Photo credit above from studiobeerhorst

Monday, March 16, 2009

If you are bitter....don't read, seriously.

Before I met Spencer I was always bitter at those who had "found" love. Maybe a better way to put it is jealous. Terrible feeling, i don't recommend it. But now I have found him, so I am going to take full advantage of this situation and share 3 reasons why I love him so much. Just bear with me, ok, i waited 30 years for him!

Reason #1: The way to any girls heart is through shoes, right? I came home from work on Friday to find these...
And this sweet note.
Even Reece likes them.
Reason #2: It was HIS IDEA to go thrifting on Sunday.
It was also his idea to close his eyes when I took this picture. I don't get that logic though.

Reason #3: He is the most patient man I know. I was all flustered while trying to blind stitch closed the new pillow I painted....i don't have the patience for these kinds of things. And he actually said to me "mind if I try"? Ha! Really??? He worked diligently for over an hour and I have to say it is the most perfect blind stitching I have ever seen. China has NOTHING on Spence!
For those of you who stuck around for this long, I appreciate you putting up with my sappiness. If you are the bitter type, all I can say is hold out....if I found one, you can too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Felt tepees....I mean, trees

I am addicted. To felt. I love the way it feels and all the things you can do with it! I had never really worked with it before taking the online RVA class and I am finding that I want to incorporate it into all of my projects at this point. Thanks Rachel and Elsie!

I posted this this to our class Flickr group and have had a couple of people respond by asking me to share how I made it. I will certainly do that! Just leave a comment here if you are interested.

I also want to tell all my of new buddies at RVA that I am really enjoying the crafty companionship. It has had a definite impact on my life that I don't think I completely understand at this point. I need to think about it more before I can explain it.

Anyone else in the class feel this way? What are your thoughts??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

N.E.E.T. is neat

N.E.E.T. magazine is a super cool online publication. As an Art Director I design for the magazine industry everyday, but N.E.E.T. is different. Not only are ALL the photos delicious eye candy, the style is very much up my ally. It is also about all things DIY - my favorite topic! I would love to design for this pub. With tons of my favorite print magazines folding right now, hopefully this one can stay afloat since it is strictly web based.

Do you know of other beautiful online publications? Please share!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Painting with Needles

I have not done any cross-stitching since I was about 11 years old. 20 years later...ta da! I had so much fun with this project (don't I always say that?). But its true....it felt like I was painting with needles and thread. Against professional advice, I did not use a pattern. I just figured it out as I went along. Probably not the best idea. But if anyone is interested I can create a pattern for you to download and try out for yourself. Just leave a comment to let me know.

Lesson learned: It is super difficult to make pretty stiches when the back of the canvas is cluttered with thread. The cleaner you can keep it, the better. But in the end it turned out OK, so I guess it doesn't really matter. Try it and let me know!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Buds Scarf

Another Red Velvet class project. Lesson learned #1: Ribbed jersey knit is almost impossible to machine sew with! Lesson learned #2: Embroidery works perfectly to cover up sewing messes!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happiness is Still Homemade

I am no expert with thrifting and antiquing. Actually, i am pretty terrible at it because I walk into a shop/flea market and get so completely overwhelmed and over stimulated that I end up leaving quickly without buying a thing. It is seriously annoying. I think I just get so excited about all the cool, cheap stuff that I can't handle it. Weird?

So I am very proud to announce that I came home today with my most thrilling discovery yet. I was at a local antique barn (apparently they are barns here in the south) coaching myself through the shopping process when i spotted it....it was almost as if a brilliant light shined down from the heavens and a brought us together.

Do I need to say more about why this is so fabulous? I will....the embroidery, the colors, the message, the chicken... and most importantly, the message.

I am going to paint the matte and the frame but I was so excited to share this discovery with everyone that I couldn't wait. I will post again once its painted and found it's spot on one of my walls.

Have you ever had one of these "magical" moments while thrifting? What was your find?