May 30, 2011

Summer of Art

A recent trip to New York City and practically a million graduation parties later I finally have time to put up for sale all of the items I've created. What does this mean? Well, June 2011 is going to be plenty busy with me putting in new inventory. Much of it is artwork and some accessories. I love summer. The weather is perfect to break out some supplies and get to doing work outside. I've also been wearing sweats for about 6 months so this 'shorts' concept is quite novel for my paper white legs.

Let's just say I got a head start on the new items. You can see my latest on the right. It's my new ACEO (art trading card), Mu (Nothing)

April 29, 2011

Unlikely Creative Space

Ideally, I would be doing my artwork at home with some soothing music in the background and plenty of table room to work and possibly eat. My home life isn't exactly so ideal. My niece, though I love her, has overrun all of the table space in my house with toys and crayons and food bits and whatever else two year olds tend to leave in their wake. I'll have to take my art supplies elsewhere to let out my creative energies.

I've been making a bunch of ACEOs (trading card sized artwork) during breaks at my day job. This week I took my calligraphy supplies to local cafes and sandwich shops. Of course, I would buy a few drinks and a sandwich before management gives me strange looks. Ink takes a while to dry on rice paper so I have to use nearby tables and seats to let them dry. Being creative in public limits my quantity of work, though. I can't have paint spill anywhere and I have to be able to clean up after myself. Thankfully the store workers leave me be after I buy a few more snacks from them.

April 10, 2011

Photography Randomness: It's full of stars.

Okay, maybe not literally full of stars. This was taken at a local church. I was amused by how the ceiling, with it's complex designs and soft palette, was juxtaposed to the hard geometrical shapes and colors of glass stars.

March 25, 2011

Crafting at Work: Now With Hair Stuff

I firmly believe that if you can't find what you're looking for, make it yourself. Now there may be a difference between the idea in your head and the execution, but at least you made something closer to what you actually wanted.

Since my last entry it came to my mind I wanted a statement hair clip to wear to work. Other than the color I get from my blouse or my earrings, my work wardrobe is plain. From many a viewing of What Not to Wear, I realized I needed to have a statement piece that reflects my personality. My work attire wasn't doing that for me. A-ha! I can use hair clips. I like the idea that I can go from one hair clip to the other while keeping my crazy hair in check. If this works out I can scale down my ambitions for hair ties. Besides, headbands were never my accessory of choice

So for many a work break and a two-minute sanity check (I start to drift if I work on the same project to long) I was busy sewing petals and gluing them together. My co-workers and my boss have noticed little thread bits and cloth scraps flying around my area. I also use an embroidery hoop, like an old lady.

I envisioned a lotus fastened to one of my gigantic hair clips. Here is the result.

As you can see from first picture it's massive. About 7" across and 4.5" high. I did want a statement piece, didn't I? When my work was complete I realized I went overboard on the glue. I wanted the fabric to breath a little bit and now it feels like bendable plastic. At least from far away this piece looks decent.

The back, though...

The way I attached the clip to the flower, what was I thinking? Now when I clip this thing it won't come off of my hair. I felt like a knucklehead. But hey, if I get too lush at the company cocktail party I won't be losing this! Not that my day job has fancy company parties like in Mad Men. Ah well. My 2nd shot at making a lotus hair clip was much, much better. So much more I even made a drawstring bag to keep it in place. I am much happier with the way this one turned out.

March 06, 2011

Crafting at Work

No I don't do it on the clock. I'm talking about during breaks and random lunches and things like that. Sometimes I just want to keep my hands busy. I'm still trying my hand at sewing. My work still feels like beginner results, but a least I'm seeing results.

My first at work project was a rose. I actually took 3 daisy shaped fabric flowers I made and twisted them into each other to form the rose. The green base and leaf were attempts to cover up some my stitching. That didn't work out so well. I added a little pearl bead in the middle to act as the area to find pollen.

My current project is the cherry blossom. At the moment my test results look like funny shaped stars to me. Better than my initial tests which looked like fabric polygons more than flowers.

February 22, 2011

Worth it!: R and B from Lush Cosmetics

R and B Leave-In Conditioner from Lush Cosmetics

Like many of you, I'm on a quest to find beauty products that are worth it. I know I'm paying a lot for a little pot of this or dab or that. But I spent all this time looking for you, you little tiny thing of great value. On top of that you work! All hail those products that are totally worth it.

Even with the movement to buy more eco-friendly beauty products, there are still duds. They mean well and are packaged so pretty, but they fail. Like the eco-friendly mascara I got last month. I had such high hopes but it just did not work out.

This tiny pot does. It's called R&B courtesy of Lush Cosmetics. (See image.)

I have a thing for leave-in conditioner. I don't use a blow dryer or a flat iron. My everyday hair is just however it looks after it air dries. Gels and hairsprays made my scalp feel like its in a plastic bag. So could you imagine how I felt when I saw this at the counter of my local Lush? Oh yeah. Totally happy. I wet a small bit of my hair, and twirled a tiny bit of R&B into the damp strands.

Oh it smells gorgeous! If you don't like flowery or overly fruity smells, this isn't for you. Orange blossoms and jasmine hit you in the face, er, your nostrils. You don't have to wear perfume or smelly lotions anymore with this stuff in your hair. Once the bit of hair dried There was a soft lustre and tamed fly away hair. No hesistation I bought a pot to bring home.

I read in other reviews of this product to not get greedy. Sure enough reviews are right. Too much and your hair looks greasy. Just put a few dabs on your palm before applying to wet hair. Even if you have super long, thick hair. Don't overdo it!

So now I smell my hair and I am instantly reminded of fruit punch and tropical mixed drinks along with the superstar bounce and waves I always dream of having.

February 14, 2011

Habbee Balentinz De-HACHOO

Nothing says romance like some Nyquil and a box of tissue right about now. Or a giant bowl of pho/ramen with lots of Sriracha in it. I'm not being picky. I would love to be able to breath through my nose within this week. My nose is glowing red like a Valentine's day box too.

Nevertheless, Happy Hallmark Heart-Shaped Candy Day! Don't forget to hoard all the good stuff tomorrow when there's huge discounts.

(I counter all of your hearts and frilly silliness with a fluorescent pink T-rex. Shirt is available for purchase at Design by Humans.)

February 09, 2011

Yoga Progress

Since I started doing Bikram yoga in November I've lost about 10 pounds. That doesn't seem like much. However, I have noticed that my once form fitting workout pants are threatening to fall off my hips. I bought these pants back in November. My next set of workout clothes are going to have drawstrings.

On top of that my instructors have noticed I'm doing postures (the yoga 'poses') with increasing flexibility. There's nothing like bending forward far enough to have your head touch the floor and you can grab your ankles at the same time. (Or Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana if you want to be technical about it.)

I'm tired of doing the weight gain/loss yoyo. Bikram yoga has helped pace my weight loss to a rate where I can keep the weight off. I now find eating greasy food or a heavy lunch before class to be gross. Nothing like an exercise that forces you to eat right as well.

(The lovely image is not me or taken by me. It is in fact the model showing off moonseats' Yoga bloomers. On my next paycheck I'm picking up a pair of those awesome pants.)

January 18, 2011

So Much Reading!

For Christmas I got what I asked for: Comic books. Collected in either paperback volumes, hardcovers, or a giant coffee table book that has an entire series put together. I don't have enough shelf space in my room to justify collecting issues. If I read a book, I read everything. Not one or two highlights or volumes. I want the whole hog.

When do I find time to read? The old fashioned way, which means at work. During breaks, lunch, between meetings, waiting for someone, when my eyes hurt from looking at my computer too long, and other situations you probably are familiar with. Sometimes if my 2 year old niece is in the mood I will read a chapter from one of my comic books or novels as a bedtime story. She isn't quite old enough to understand how Batman stalks criminals in shadows, or that Neil Gaiman is really talking about an old fable. But she's old enough to understand story time is sleep time. It also helps I can get some reading in as well.

I have a sizable stack of comic book reading to do. So far I finished:

Ex Machina Volume 1 - What if a superhero retired and decided to go into politics? I love how Brian Vaughan writes his characters the way normal people in real life write. Even his authority figures sound like people you'd work with or hang out with.

Green Lantern Rebirth - It's like a culmination of the Green Lantern mythos and then hitting the 'restart' button. A story about intergalactic space police with a villain of truly epic proportions.

Absolute DC: New Frontier - Darwyn Cooke was the artist behind Batman: The Animated Series, one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I love how he used that retro, art deco style in this book. It totally works for the late 1950s/early 1960s backdrop. The story easy for comic book beginners to understand and has nods for the hardcore fans as well.

There's still a ways to go from my Christmas haul. At least I can say I always have something to read until summer.

January 06, 2011

What's come over me?

I must be in a serious sewing phase. I'm getting a big thrill trying to sew things on my own. Now I understand why seamstresses and tailors charge as much as they do. This is serious work on your fingers and your back if you're not careful. Right now I have a whole bunch of fabric I never thought of getting even a few months ago. I am in the middle of a sewing project to give monogrammed, reusable coffee sleeves as Valentines to co-workers.

I still enjoy doing Japanese calligraphy. However, my 2 year old niece also loves messing with my art supplies. I discovered my favorite calligraphy brush buried at the bottom her stuffed animal treasure box. Oddly enough she replaced my brush with one of her broken crayons. At least she knows how to do a fair trade. Maybe I just need a muse to inspire me to do more calligraphy. It's difficult finding the quiet time and zen state you need to do calligraphy with a toddler trying to paint her face with dirt.