Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Postcard Progress

I've actually been making progress on my postcards for iHanna's Postcard Swap. I've done a little every day, not rushing things or waiting till the last minute, which is completely unlike me. If I'm not careful I may have these sent out this week, barring disaster. Above are some of my early sketches. Here are the final drawings I decided on. I wanted to do them in different styles, so some are pen and ink, some water-soluble graphite pencil (love that!), some very minimalist line drawings, and of course the colorful birds are in watercolor. Oh, there's also a wren card made with some hand-carved stamps, but I didn't take a picture of that one yet. My creative process in action, i.e. spread everything out and see what ends up next to each other.

Cutting out crows.

Starting to put things together. I know most people begin by painting backgrounds, and sometimes I do that too, but but for these I wasn't sure what the birds would end up looking like, so I wanted to do them first and then see what sorts of backgrounds would suit them. Some are simple watercolor washes, stamped or not, some have little paintings or drawings, and a couple will have decorative papers for backings. Then I'll add previously-painted watercolor scraps or stickers or rub-ons, whatever seems appropriate. I would have finished some of them today, but discovered that there was only about two inches left in my glue runner, and some of the thinner papers really need a dry adhesive. At least I'm still ahead of the game so far.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Postcards and Pink Embroidery

I've signed up for the DIY Postcard Swap over at iHanna's blog, which should be interesting. I'm feeling very behind because apparently some people already have their postcards finished, while I'm still working through what mine are going to look like. "Something to do with birds" is about as far as I've gotten. Well, maybe slightly farther than that, since I've cut out the supports for the cards, and painted a couple of them, and drawn some birds, and I already have some previously-painted little scraps of watercolor paper to use, but how they'll end up is anyone's guess. But I'm still mainly at the pile of stuff above. See, there's not even any adhesive-type stuff in the picture yet. I'm very excited to see the postcards I'll be getting in return. I'm sure I'll be thinking, "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" Judging by what I've seen on other people's blogs so far, I'm sure they'll be fabulous and shame me. I finished my pink embroidered scarf last week. I'm pretty pleased with it, though that linen-blend wrinkles if you look at it funny. I had to iron it about 5 times before I finally got around to taking the pictures, because it got obvious and prominent wrinkles every time I touched it. I'd thought about adding some ribbon above and/or below the embroidery, but decided against it. I didn't have the right shade(s) of pink, and it really didn't add anything. Less is, in fact more, most of the time. Since it's supposed to SNOW! tonight, here's some pictures of the apricot tree when it was blooming last week. It was very lovely, but it always blooms too early and then it gets frostbitten. It's never actually had any apricots on it that I can recall. It was actually swarming with bees when I took the picture, but apparently the bees declined to be photographed.

Jimmy Choo By a Nose

Now that the basketball games are over tonight, there's an Australian horse race on Sirius/XM. I can't understand a damn thing the announcer is saying except that a horse named "Jimmy Choo" is winning. I would totally have bet on him. Though I have to ask, who listens to horse races on the radio, except for the Derby if you're not near a tv? And who for the love of heaven listens to Australian horse races unless they're in Australia?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day, etc.

Irish soda bread, natch, because you have to make something Irish on St. Patrick's Day and I don't like corned beef. I think it's a law or something. At least I remembered the soda this time. Once I didn't and the result was very...dense. It was a lot like Terry Pratchett's dwarf bread, though it wasn't too bad if you toasted it.

This batch turned out pretty well, I think. It doesn't look like much, but it's one of those things that's impossible to photograph well. I take comfort in the fact that I've never seen a picture of soda bread that looked much better.

Today's thing I've made, my upcycled suede skirt turned purse. 3 of your earth dollars for a brand-new, tags-still-on skirt in the softest chocolate-brown suede from Goodwill, plus another $3 for a pack of leather needles. Cut off the bottom, sew it up, sew up the lining (which was already there), make straps from the cut-off, and sew some pockets to the lining. It took maybe an hour, and that was mainly because there were a lot of layers to sew through when I attached the straps. I think I got the idea from ReadyMade , but I can't seem to find it on there now.

The inside, with the pockets I made from leftovers from my first quilt. I think I should have made them deeper, or something, because they have a tendency to come open and dump everything into the bottom of the purse. It could just be that it's a big ol' squashy bag without much shaping and it kind of collapses onto itself when I set it down. Anyway, it's about time to retire it and bring out or make something a little springier. I'm thinking linen, but then I usually am. It's occurred to me that a child's skirt would also make a good and less enormous bag. I need to get back to Goodwill and see what I can find there.

I realize none of those other photos are actually very photogenic, if you will, so here's something pretty. An empty glass bulb from the Bath & Bodyworks Wallflowers thingy I got for Christmas, washed out and with a ribbon tied around the neck, plus snowdrops from the yard.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh, why not?

Right, going to try to start this thing up again. It's just about what I'm capable of after this bout of the Amazonian Death Flu, which seems to have decided to linger on forever. Plus I have a lot of pictures of crap I've made for myself or others & wanted to post somewhere besides Etsy. And then there's always things to complain about.
  • Like bloggers in California bemoaning their bumper crops of Meyer lemons. Oh really? What a pity, because to my knowledge I've never even been in the same building with a Meyer lemon. Make some damn marmalade or preserved lemons already. Or send a big box to lemon-starved little children in Kentucky, i.e. me. I'll send you a bushel of mint or some zucchini in a few months.

  • And there's this, which is useful, because I can never remember which of these symbols is bleach and which is dry clean. But I just noticed the next-to-last symbol in the "dry" column. "Do not dry"? What? Do I have to keep whatever it is wet at all times? I don't think any of my garments say "Store under water". I'm very confused.

  • The latest thing I've been working on. Inspired by this post at ihanna's blog, I decided to do the embroidered squares as a border on a white linen-blend scarf. I've been feeling the pink lately, as you can see from the new background, since it's been so chilly and dreary and grey. Now I just have to get up the gumption to actually finish the scarf, which should really only take about 15 minutes.

I actually like Hanna's better, her colors seem warmer somehow, though maybe it's the pale pink linen she used for her background. It might also be that most of her squares are done in similar stitching. Doing a lot of different stitches seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm a little lukewarm about the finished product. Still, it'll probably look different once I have the whole thing assembled.

I do like a couple of the squares, though. These were just supposed to be sort of spirals, but they ended up looking like little abstract roses.

This one makes me think of a chrysanthemum or zinnia. Little zinnias in bright pinks and oranges would be very cute on something or other.