Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
The only catch is that your files need to be 500kb or less. How do you know if yours is the right size? Right click on your image and then click properties. The size will be listed. The site gives you direction for downsizing files but that's only helpful if you speak gibberish. I used photoshop.
Anyway, take a look at my silly creations and then create some of your own. Have fun!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
First off, this is my very. first. time. shooting in manual, so please excuse the funny colouring/blur on some of these pictures. I'm determined to not take my setting off Manual until I have it mastered, and that includes for blog pictures, so you'll just have to roll with it while I creep up my learning curve.
ANYWAY, in my never-ending quest for economical wall art, I came up with this snazzy idea. I have tons of snapshots I love to display and with my new photo class, I add to my pile every week. I wanted an evolving display that could change with little effort and expense. My front hallway is l-o-n-g so I knew whatever I was going to put up there, had to be economical because I would need like... a lot of framed items to fill it.
So I made a photo clothesline! All I needed was a 20 foot piece of jute string, 2 screws, a package of wooden clothespins and voila! Instant wall art! I think this would work well in children's bedrooms too, as a place to display artwork. I'm wondering if the pictures will end up curling around their edges but so far so good... keeping fingers crossed...
This display is on the opposite side of my very long hallway. In the middle section where it widens slightly for a couple of closets. This is a collection of some of the first photographs I ever took that made me go, "Gee, taking pictures is fun!"
This one is blurry I know, but it's the only picture I had where the hall light wasn't glaring back and obscurring the paintings. These couple of beauties were painted by my very talented friend Jessica for my birthday a few years back. I love the vibrant colours.
This little guy I received as a Christmas gift last year. He's a wee owl but a cute one! He comes from Lucky Rabbit Pottery which is a local pottery company run by husband and wife team Deb Kuzyk and Ray Mackie. Their designs are whimsical and beautiful and never fail to make me smile.
Speaking of my friend Jessica, she also gave me this funky little hook for the kitchen. It's perfect for oven mitts. I love how the mug and saucer are 3D. Here you can also see my awesome bird salt & pepper shakers AND my vintage purple and green reptillian-esque salt & pepper shakers that I absolutely adore.
This spice rack has some family history attached to it. In high school I didn't have an allowance per say. Rather, I had a "magic drawer" in which spending money magically appeared every few days. I knew that in order for it to last, it was not to be taken advantage of, so I didn't. And it was awesome. Having a few bucks at my disposal instead of having to plead for money on a regular basis. I wish money still magically appeared in there!! (You can see my matching reptile saucer on the middle shelf, the sugar dish was broken in a move a few years back. Boo).
Lastly, here is... ME! My mother painted this and dubbed it the "cheesecake gourmet." Yes, cheesecake is one of my specialties. Don't spread it around. :) I love having this hang in my kitchen, a whimsical portrait of me doing one of the things I like to do best - bake, cook and putter in the kitchen!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My paper bat.
Dad's paper bat. Note the cute pointy ears.
I had a few strips of paper left over so once dinner was cleaned up (don't let that mislead you into thinking I cleaned anything up, my parents are awesome when I come to visit!) and I was waiting to make room for dessert (best. chocolate. cake. EVER.). I decided to hastily glue together a spider. It's not... um... a work of art or anything. But it does sorta look like a spider, doesn't it?
All in all, I had a great trip home and was glad to get some crafting in with my parents. The family that crafts together... ends up with a lot of bats I guess!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Then I stitched the two patterned back pieces on... it was at about this point I realized that I can't sew curves. I think I read somewhere that having a walking foot really helps with the whole curve thing. Um... okay, I admit it, I'm looking for excuses. I know what helps with curves: PRACTICE! But you know what? I wasn't daunted. So my wee bunny would have a wonky seam, big deal. Adds character right? (Meanwhile I'm nervously eyeing that round bottom piece...)
I was so preoccupied with sewing curves and circles that I forgot to leave an opening in the back for stuffing! Oooooops! Where's my seam ripper again? (aka my very best friend). That was a pretty easy fix.
Now it was time to line up the bottom with the rest of the body. I was pretty excited and needed to start getting ready for work in 20 minutes. I tried pinning it together and the darn thing wouldn't fit. In fact, I had about an extra inch of circle and not enough body. So what do I do? Decide that I'll make it fit at the sewing machine. I sit down and sew away, casting pins aside.
Not so good. I've managed to create the wobbliest, ugliest, most puckered bunny bottom the world has ever laid eyes on...
So what do I do?
Throw some stuffing in there anyway!! I can't wait to see what my "completed" bunny looks like!!
If you look closely you can see a bottom gone horribly wrong.
I left it as is and headed off to work. I thought it would be kind of fun for Dennis to come home to a silly rabbit sitting on the kitchen counter. He said he thought it was really cute, God love him.
While at work I processed my bunny bottom predicament. I knew I wasn't going to learn how to sew curves and circles tonight so I needed to think up an alternate plan of attack... the bunny has three sides... what else can I do? AHA! A triangle!!
Yes, I made the bottom into a triangle. Hindsight is always 20-20 and this was not actually as brilliant an idea as I had thought. Obviously. Or the original pattern would have come with a triangle.
Oh, and I also deviated from the pattern (again - such a bad idea) by sewing on the eyes and embroidering the mouth and nose before adding the stuffing and sewing him up because I couldn't really imagine how to do that without having access to both sides (Please remember, I'm new at this!).
And then I realized that I didn't have a tail so I improvised and made my own. And when hand stitching the back closed, I sewed the tail on. And didn't really give much thought to placement because I already knew this wee bunny was beyond all hope. So I popped it on and now my ugly, deformed bunny looks like he has a hideous wart growing out of his back. Poor wee bunny. :(
Can you tell I'm delaying the unveiling?
Okay... prepare yourself!He's drunk!
Note the wart... :)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I did, however, work yesterday - but just the day. I was tempted to pick up the night so I could buy a pair of lulu lemon yoga pants because once Dennis said, "I'm going to start wearing those just so I don't have to look at you in them" referring to my favourite pair of grey jogging pants. But time off seemed more valuable to me so Dennis will just have to grin and bear those jogging pants for now.
When I got home I retreated to the kitchen. Nothing relaxes me and brings me more peace than puttering around in the kitchen. We have a pretty hectic week coming up and I'm trying to keep Dennis well fed so it's one less thing he needs to worry about between working crazy hours (and I mean that literally - 9pm to 5am!) and being a full-time student. I'm also trying to eat out less for both health and financial reasons. So I embraced the mood and made a yummy pasta dish, a pot of soup and macaroni and cheese. I figure we're good 'til Monday at least!
Next I cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. Well, in actuality it was front to back and you understand if you've ever been here. By the time I went to bed everything was spic and span and I was ready to wake up to a full day off with nothing to do except whatever I wanted to do... and that's always an awesome feeling.
I rolled out of bed around 11 and had some mac 'n cheese for brunch. Um, did I say I'm doing a lot of cooking for health reasons? Hah. Dennis and I watched the first half of Penelope (my new favourite movie! Go rent it if you like whimsical movies!). Then we had a youtube date and I got sucked into looking at Kayne West videos. I know, out of character for me, but I just recently discovered 'American Boy' (how long has it been out, anyway?) and I am in love with it. Youtube that shit, yo! Hahaha! :)
It was a beautiful, sunny day and I have a new photography assignment. This week we learned about aperture and depth of field in class. The aperture refers to how big the hole in your camera is, the hole responsible for letting light through. I know, how very technical of me. Anyway, a small aperture has a big f-stop. So f18 or f22 means it's a tiny hole. A big aperture has a small f-stop - f2.8 or f3.6. I don't know who the aperture genius is, but that's not very intuitive.
The point is though, that if you have a small aperture (f22) then you have more things in focus (think landscapes) and if you have a big aperture (f2.8) then you have less things in focus (think portraits with only the person in focus and everything else blurry).
This was a very exciting revelation for me!! It's one step closer to understanding manual. So today I hit the road with my camera on the A setting and tried to shoot as much as I could with a small aperture because that's my assignment - meaning I want lots of stuff in focus. This is opposite of how I usually shoot so it was definitely a challenge, on many levels. 2.5 hours of rambling and 250 pictures later... behold the results.
two trees on the citadel!
I'm not going to say any of those photos deserve an award, but I am proud of them because it's my first time ever taking my camera off P! Yay for me!
After my photo-walk, I made dinner: salmon, steamed baby potatoes and grilled asparagus. Yum! (Remember the casseroles and stuff are for when I don't have time to cook!). Then we finished Penelope. Then Dennis left for work. Sad. :(
But on the upside, I spent 2 full hours sewing!
After the 2 hour mark I knew my eyes were drooping but I was determined to finish one last square. And this is where the advice makes an appearance... Don't sew when you're tired!
yes, that would be sewed on backwards.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Anyway, I was linking through some of my favourite blogs a few days ago and stumbled onto Juicy Bits. This woman (whom I've never met and actually don't know much about) has a wicked blog and is kinda sorta the coolest mom ever. Especially if you're 4 and really like monsters. (I wish I could say that I made those guys! ---> ) I think I looked through every post she's ever put up and found her tutorial on fabric dots. I got the feeling she was a little embarrassed for posting such an easy project idea but who could argue that sometimes the most effective and beautiful ideas are often the most simple ones...
I am so ridiculously proud of how awesome these look. And they were so easy anybody could do it! And these fabric dots were obviously destined for my walls because:
1.) When I went to Fabricville to get some fabric, all quilting material was 50% off!
2.) Dennis just happened to have 12 useless records leftover from his DJing days.
Yes, I did deviate from the tutorial in that I used records as my base. This worked out perfectly because I didn't have to cut anything, I got to recycle something that would have ended up in the landfill and they have pre-cut holes for hanging!
My brother (thank-you Stephen!) came over on Sunday to help me hang them. It was easy-peasy. We measured out 12 equally spaced dots, we drilled holes for 12 little screws (nails would work I think but my walls are plaster) and then we hung them. Okay, Stephen hung them because I obviously have difficulty with spacial awareness because in the time it took me to mount one record, Stephen had the other 11 up. I'm not kidding.
So, that's why I am feeling somewhat like a creative genius these days. And the living room looks so much better with something on the wall! Don't you think?Oh yeah, I also have another fun (unadulterated) photo from my photography course. Little Belle. Awwwww..... :)