Saturday, August 11, 2012

Upcycling - First Try

After I finished my blog post last Saturday, I drove to Goodwill and went a little crazy. Well, I only spent $25, but I swear I was only looking around for about 4 minutes. I had to stop once I had picked out 4 things and had only made it to two small sections of the store. My first stop was in the sleepwear, where I bought a big aqua nightgown. I headed into the suits and outerwear section and bought a yellow with white polka dots skirt set. Also, a horrible dress that made a not-so-horrible skirt! Fair warning, this post has lots of pictures.

Tell me this would not look
cute for fall with a pair
of skinny jeans and boots.
I bought this jacket and have no plans to alter it. It's just awesome. It is a dark mustard with faux leather trim. The left side comes across with a belt that loops through the rings on the other side. J Momma (my mother-in-law) told me that it looks like a movie theatre usher jacket. When you see me wear it, just ask me for some candy and popcorn.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Evil One

In short -

1. I am now one semester away from graduation!
2. I've started looking at farms at which to intern. This search is a little nuts, because there are a ton just in the area we'd like to work. Also, thinking about the logistics of moving is daunting.
3. I'm trying to learn how to sew.
4. We signed up for another art fair (next weekend!)
5. I am reading The $100 Startup.
6. And the Games of Thrones series. Okay, that one isn't especially newsworthy, but is also challenging. Each book is about 1,000 pages long!

My first doll (circa 1989)
More about learning how to sew...  I like doing paintings, but one of my dreams is to design clothing. I'll admit, I've been inspired by Project Runway (from raw medium to high fashion, lickety split!), but I also grew up in a household where making clothes was very normal. Well, my mom made them. But I began sewing small things from a young age, and have, from time to time, tried my hand at mending or hemming, as well as designed a tablecloth with placemats and napkins a while back. 

I have never made anything to wear on my person, however. And I am picky, picky, picky about clothes. I'm picky about color. fit. washability. too-trendy details. I like more classic silhouettes and details, like a pretty neckline (yay!) versus the newest shirt tail length (eh). Because I like to put colors and pretty details together, and because I think clothing should be very flattering, I feel that I could bring a unique perspective to apparel and perhaps have some success.

That's the plan, anyway.

The evil jacket.
I made the rookie mistake of choosing a difficult pattern to start out with. A jacket. For my first project. Now please, explain to me, why I would choose a jacket - with lapels (!!!!!) - over, say, a tube top? How many seams could one possibly imagine would go into one strapless top? I'll tell you, because I've thought about it: one. Add a hem and some elastic and you're done. But noooooo. I had to go for this little number. It's a good thing I have some help, because these patterns are clearly designed for sewing experts. The lingo is not beginner-friendly. Stay-stitching, ease-stitching, ball-point needles (which I purchased and forgot to use), reference dots, straight seam binding vs. double fold (the wrong kind which the fabric store lady counseled me to buy)... It's too much. 

I'm thinking I may go grab some tube-top fabric today.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Craft Show

Well, we survived the craft show with our marriage and presumed partnership intact.

Our (my) first little snafu involved my prints. I made a sincere effort to find a local, green printer, but by the time the first one finally got back to me on how much the prints would cost (!!!!!!), and I said, no, I had no time to find another, since they all wanted several days lead time and my paintings weren't even all done yet. I really didn't want to use Walmart (we don't even shop there!), but since we had used them before (by mail), and the prints didn't look half bad, I figured they would do in a pinch until I found somewhere better. I got all my jpeg scans cropped to perfection and sent them off on Thursday night to pick up Friday after work. There was no time to go at lunch, because we had to traipse over to the craft show to drop all our big stuff of so that the morning would be hopefully less stressful.

Since I had an event to attend at 6, I went straight to their photo counter after work and picked up my prints. I was mortified. They looked awful. Everything was pink, even the pure white on my digital piece, so there was no arguing over monitor color differences and the like. In addition, they were cropped to oblivion. The border I had added to one print to help accommodate the overlap on the frame was chopped off on one side and only barely remaining on the other. I called my husband and told him they were unusable.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keep the Drive Alive

This week, it has been really difficult for me to keep going on everything. School has got me down, work is really busy, and I wanted to put more pieces in the craft fair than I have time for!

I started this one last night. I saw a quote on Pinterest and tracked it down to its source, a gentleman by the name of Kobi Yamada who wrote a book called She. I might have to order it! A couple of bloggers have posted the entire text, but I think the book would make a really sweet gift.

My husband has heard his share of whining, but hopefully I'm over it now. I have this one almost complete; it only needs the author's name to be cut out and the whole thing to be glued down. Then I am starting one on the Mark Twain quote about going out on a limb.

Our preparations for the business side of the craft show are coming along as well. We have a credit card reader and I bought a file box to store our things. We should be able to nail down plans for a display in the next day or two, then Friday we will get set up! It's coming along, but we have been so worried about having lots of pieces that we haven't given a ton of thought to the logistics side of things. It'll work out - it always does!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting Ready

This past week I have finished several projects, including my compass piece. I love this one because it is a dream in a painting - or several. I used vintage maps of Greece, Australia, and Italy, which all top my list of places to see.

My husband finally finished a couple of his pieces. The problem with his work is that cutting the stencils takes so long that you can be 90% done with everything and still have little to show for it. He got out the spray paint and finished a couple so we were pretty excited!

This week I plan to start looking at the logistics of the booth: taking money, how we'll display, creating a "who we are" sheet, etc. Also possibly business cards. I already got a couple of items listed in my shop, so there was a little progress. I'm not super happy with my scans, but we purchased Photoshop over the weekend, so maybe I can tweak the colors to better represent what they look like in person.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Black Beans

In the spirit of dream-following, I am eschewing my studies for a brief moment and doing something I actually enjoy. That stuff has to be done before bedtime, regardless, so off we go!

I have been seeing quinoa salads all over Pinterest, so I decided it was high time I tried one. Quinoa (keen-wah, yeah my husband and I totally called it kwin-oh-a for like a year), if you didn't already know, is a very nutritious pseudo-grain that is as versatile as rice and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It has a subtle flavor that lends itself well to all types of cuisines. We've used it before in veggie patties that kept us going during No Meat May (it was the meatiest thing I had all month, in terms of texture, which made me happy).

Which leads us to yesterday's creation. I didn't have any of the ingredients that the Pinteresting people wanted me to have, so I came up with something new. It's not creamy, it's not rich, but it is delicious and tasty and good for you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Direction, or Three

If I was lacking direction before, now I'm a fueled up engine with a bad sticker - I have lots of places to go, and lots of fuel and drive to get there, but I'm not certified yet. My real job has taken an emotional backseat to my ambitions, and finishing school is so close, yet so far. The good part is, I have lots of time to prepare, the bad part is, I want to start now!

The husband and I bet on ourselves in February and signed up for a craft fair with no crafts to speak of. We are deadline people, so we figured, we got this. I'm pretty sure it's been a month since then, and he's done lots of practicing, while I've done lots of procrastinating (and, to be fair, lots of school assignments as well). I now have one completed mixed-media (at right), one digital piece, and two half-ish-completed pieces. I decided to aim low, for five total pieces, and we plan to make prints of all our work. I may end up with several more than that, but I was intimidated by planning for a large number. My partner, on the other hand, does not share my low aspirations and chose a big round ten for his goal.

It's interesting how expressing our pent-up creativity can improve our moods and bond us together over this shared leap of faith. We don't have much idea what we're doing and view the whole thing as a learning experience. The people who attend this thing may honestly hate our work. My partner's work has a low level of appeal to old ladies, who we are afraid make up the biggest demographic for this type of show.

Recently I started listening to the audiobook Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. I am inspired. I haven't even finished the seventh chapter, and I'm already imagining myself with a following and a successful enterprise. I need to start blogging more, and get some pieces finished so that a store can be forthcoming. This is my current direction. The rest will come later.