Monday, July 27, 2009

Screen printing insanity!

This screenprinting thing is a total blast!
This is some of what I did last week:
There will be table runners, placemats, pillows, and maybe a bag or two out of these. The ones with the raspberry colored blobs in the middle are extra special! I'm such a mess. I think I horrified the other students. My hands were always covered in ink. And the blurry looking one on natural linen was a total accident, I moved the screen while printing, but everyone seems to like it the best. Go figure. I'm also having difficulties deciding whether I'm a right-handed screen printer or a left-handed one.
One of the other students was saying kind words about my design and asked me what program I drew it in. When I told her "Power Point" she totally burst out laughing. She said "I was thinking you were going to say Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or something, not Power Point!" She had no idea you could draw like that in Power Point. I explained to her that I'm pretty darn good at Power Point and can create quite a bit in it. She was really amused.
There are more down at the school that weren't dry when I left last Weds night. They are a gorgeous lavender. Some are on natural colored linen and some are on brown linen. Holy cow! It just hit me, Lavender Brown! She's the Ron's first "love" interest in Harry Potter. How funny is that?
I'm trying to decide on what class to take next. I'll have to talk to the teacher Weds night and see what she suggests as the next step.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Big Disappointment

If you haven't already guessed by the title of my blog, I love the Harry Potter books, therefore the hubby and I went to see the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie Friday night. As Jennie's sister told her, basically the characters are the same, but that's about it. The hubby's comment was that there really wasn't much to the movie, to which my reply was "that's because they left out everything that was important in the book!" (He hasn't read any of the books, so he has no clue).

I just don't understand why they make up things to put in the movie that never happened in the books when they leave out information that is critical to the conclusion. They only went into two of the memories that Dumbledore collected, didn't go over the horcruxes he needed to find, and left out crucial info about Dumbledore's death, not to mention a ton of other things that are really, really important. I just don't know how the producer's and directors can screw up such well read and beloved books. It's a travesty. Really.
There were some cute parts of the movie. On Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me! they described it as "more like Lord of the Rings with hormones", which I thought was pretty funny and accurate. The way the students all interacted, as well, such teenagers, really brought back high school memories. Ah, the drama of being 16! The acting of all of the 'kids' in the movie continues to improve with each movie. Jim Broadbent was great as Slughorn, although not fat enough. Two standouts were Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy and Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. They both did a great job with their characters.

Overall, I would recommend that if you love the books, don't bother spending your money on going to the movie and wait until it comes out on dvd.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I could really get into this!

That's what I told the hubby last week after my first screen printing on fabric class.
I explained to him that I could really get into this screen printing thing, so I'll need to take over the rest of the basement for my "studio". He just snorted and went to seek refuge in his computer room.
I'm taking a four week beginners screen printing on fabric class with my friend Emily at the Lillstreet Art Center. It was technically my birthday present from the hubby, and I think he may be regretting it.
Here's my first ever screen print. I'm calling it "Bubble Tree" since that's what Santiago called it and I think it's fitting.
I was petrified because in the first class the instructor had us cut out images w/contact paper and just slap them on the screen. Just like that, come up with an image now, and print it! I totally can not draw. Stick figures are my forte. I am able to cut out circles and a vague tree shape though, so that's what I went with.

Here are the screen prints that Emily and I made on the clothes line drying. She did the cute jellyfish. I think they look like Atari jellyfish, don't you?

This is the oiled image that I drew in PowerPoint. I love PowerPoint! The image has to be oiled if it's on paper so that the non printed part becomes translucent. The emulsion used to make the screen is some kind of photosensitive goo that burns away the image part, so anything you want to use as the image has to be solid, and everything else light has to be able to go through to harden the emulsion.
It was kind of fun being in a darkroom again (if not ridiculously hot). It brought me back to those blissful times spent in the photography dark room in high school. I was surprised that they used a bug light in the room. I remember the dark rooms as being all dark w/a red light on and that was it. I must say, it's much easier working in a dark room that has light.
And this is my first ever real screen that I made this week. It took almost the whole class time to make the screens so next week I get to print! How exciting is that?

Well, I'm off to make another bag that's due by the end of the month.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Birthday goodies

Tuesday was my birthday, as my dear cousin Keli pointed out in her well wishes that she left in the comments on the July 4th post. It's ended up being more of a birthday week! It's pretty fabulous to have a whole week of celebrating, don't you think?
And to make it easy for me to remember, my friend Jennifer had her baby on the 7th as well! I thought it was very considerate of her, don't you? She's the baby who received the cutest bunny ever quilt and I can't wait to meet her!
I happen to have the best boss and coworkers. They make it fun to go to work everyday. And they really get into the birthdays every month. I got roses, cards, cookies, cheesecake, 2 lunches. I just had to share part of what my boss got me:
How great is this? It's a Twinkie shaped pan and cookbook! I had mentioned a story I heard on NPR a couple of months ago about a restaurant in California known for it's chocolate Twinkie w/espresso cream dessert and lamented the fact that I had not bought the Twinkies pan from Williams Sonoma several years back when they had it. I find it hard to pass up a shaped cake pan of any kind but somehow managed to resist the Twinkie pan, and now I totally regretted it. After our discussion, my boss went online and low and behold found not only a Twinkie pan, but a Twinkie cookbook! Isn't she thoughtful? The card was great. Her son made it for me and wrote and signed it for her then put a p.s. saying he made the card. I totally love it.
The cookbook is awesome. Check out some of the recipes:Ok, so the Twinkies and Meat thing is really just wrong, but DiscoJen thought the Twinkies and breakfast sausages looked like it could be good.
One of my coworkers travels overseas quite often and is sweet enough to bring me back fabric from the countries he visits. This time he went to a couple of our offices in Singapore and Malaysia and brought me back fabric that
one of our coworkers in Singapore bought for me. She got me enough of the yellow bird fabric to make a skirt. She used my very tolerant friend as the model to wrap the fabric around to be sure she got enough. I so wish I had a photo of this. He's retired military, and I think it's absolutely hysterical that she used him for a skirt model. Aren't the fabrics gorgeous? I absolutely adore fabrics from around the world that represent the culture where they are from.
He also brought me this shirt from our Malaysian office:
He said that if I didn't want to wear the shirt, I could always make it into a bag. It's a pretty awesome pattern, don't you think?
And my friend from our China office sent over the most stunning silk fabric to coordinate with the silk she brought me when she visited last fall. I'll take pictures of that tomorrow.
I'll continue w/the birthday celebration and works in progress as well as finished this week tomorrow. The hubby is taking me out for Tapas tonight for my birthday. I must say, I'm really enjoying the birthday week concept.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Mail Week!

Well, I must say, yesterday was a banner day! Not only did management let us go home early, but it was a good mail day too! And that's on top of the good mail day I had earlier in the week.

The wonderful ladies at Amy Butler sent me her 2 new patterns to try out! How spectacular is that?
(As a bonus, the little envelope poking out underneath is a birthday gift from Aveda, a small bottle of their custom scent perfume and a double points certificate for their point system. I'm saving my points for a weekend at an Aveda spa.)

I had never made a 3d sewing project before I was inspired to try my hand at the Madison Bag. (I don't count the rose pink teddy bear that I made in 8th grade home ec class that Donna always said looked more like a mole than a bear).

The instructions for the Madison bag were great, even though I had no clue what I was doing. I've made something like 5 of them now.
I'm very interested in trying out the tunic in particular, since I've been eyeing my fabric in a different light lately. I keep looking at it and instead of thinking quilt, bag or purse (almost always in that order) I've been thinking, hmmmm, wouldn't that make a nice skirt or dress? It's super cute as a dress, but I have a feeling that it won't be as cute on me as it is on all those skinny and tall ladies in all the ads for it. I'm thinking that maybe my friend Liz will be my guinea pig on this one. She's tall and skinny like the models.

The real test for me will be the zipper in both patterns. I've never done a zipper, and to be honest, they scare the bejeezes out of me. If Amy can talk me through a zipper, then it will be a miracle! The bag also has piping, so that will be another first for me.

One of the things I really love about Amy Butler's patterns and products is that she strives to continually find a way to be more eco-sensitive. Her patterns are all printed without the use of chlorine and on 100% post consumer waste paper. She also usually forgos the plastic hang bag too.
The other good mail this week was another fun Amy Butler product! I was generously offered the opportunity to check out some of her newly designed organic bedding. The nice folks at Welspun sent me an embroidered duvet from the Modena line and an embroidered pillow from the Bucharest line.
I have to say, they are totally gorgeous, but did we expect anything less from Amy Butler? The fabrics are super soft, and I'll bet they become even softer with washing. They are also colored with a low impact dye, according to Amy's website. They are made overseas, but really, so is most of the bedding that is available at local and online retailers.
The photos of the Modena duvet don't show you that the flowers are really two different colors.The flowers at the top and bottom are a clear, bright pink, but the flowers throughout the middle are more of a clear lavender. It's a beautiful combination. And the best part is that all of the bedding collections are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I think I may need to go get a couple of these Bucharest pillows. Doesn't it look fabulous against my Serenity Valley quilt?
Well, I'm off to pick some strawberries, have a great Independence Day everyone!