Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sneak Peek: Fox & Bunny Christmas

As I have been hinting, I have been working on my first true stop motion.
Over Thanksgiving break I shot, compiled and edited the whole thing. 
The last bit I'm waiting on is the soundtrack, which is being very thoughtfully created by a dear friend at Georgia Tech.  
However, it's a rather exhaustive and laborious process, attempting to create moods with music that synch with the ferretings of tiny creatures, so we'll be waiting a bit longer before I post the finished film.
I needle felted the fox and the bunny, and Cam's mom made their tiny winter outfits for them.  
All props were made from a mixture of Michael's Christmas decorations, and ink-covered cardboard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mini Can Cakes: Funfetti Flavored

Inspired by our new little fairy door, I thought I'd try my hand at baking miniatures.
These are three of the homeliest little cakes I have ever made.
I tried my hand at tin can cakes, and was fairly successful:
I baked four, and came out with three topsy-turvy little uglies.  
 1. Remove paper from cans and wash thoroughly.
I ended up using four for one standard box cake mix.
The mix I used was a simple yellow cake mix, and then I threw in sprinkles to make them funfetti.  
Not bad.
2. Grease and flour the insides of the cans thoroughly.  
This is very important, because you want you little cakes to pop right out after cooling.
3.  Fill cans with batter until they are just above half way full.
WARNING: Do not be liberal with your pours.  
Better to underestimate than over.  
I was too generous with my first can and it spilled over in the oven. 
4. I baked mine for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees.  
However, I wish I'd zapped them for an extra five to ten because, thought the tops were bouncy and done, the very bottoms were mushy.
 5.  Pick a fun contrasting color for you icing and mix it while you wait!
 6.  As you can see my left one bubbled up.  
Check you mini cakes with a toothpick.
 7. Ta-Dah!  
Let them cool completely.  
Then run a knife along the edges of the cakes and upturn the cans to allow the little chubbs to fall out on a plate.  
8. Slice them in thirds or fourths.  I should have done fourths, they would have been more stable.
WARNING:  Do not mix up the pieces or you will end up with very topsy turvy cakes like mine! 
9. Ice.
10. Enjoy!  

Fairy Door at the Bottom of the Stairs

This, I realized, will most likely be my penultimate Christmas at home, and I wanted to engage my family in some sort of fun game or tradition that would draw us close together.
So, three nights ago, a little door appeared on the side of our stair case with a note left from our newest Neighbor, "Mr. E."  
We have now corresponded with Mr. E three times and have found him to be a grumpy, crotchety, yet nice little fellow, whom Grant, after considerable internet research, has decided must be a fairy.  
His letters always arrive on his door mat in tiny scrolls tied with ribbon, and Grant has been replying on post-it notes.  
After the rather harassed response we received from Mr. E this morning, Grant had decided to give him a day or two to cool off before pestering him with anymore questions, and has also resolved not to knock on the side of the stairs or attempt to prize his little door from the wall again.  
If you want to try this yourself, simply search for dollhouse supplies on amazon, and paint them any color you like.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Watch, New Radio, Steady Love

I may sound like a scratched cd, but over and over again I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love God has given me in Cam.  
We're going on six and a half years right now, and still God reveals new ways to love, communicate, compromise and learn from one another.  
For Christmas this year, we exchanged watches.  
We both knew what the other was ordering, so we simply got too impatient and gave our gifts last weekend.   
Mine is a lovely brown and brass watch, stamped with bold, chrome numbering and with thick, contrasting stitching on the leather strap: Little Havana by TOKYObay.  
I love it so much and have worn it every day.
I purchased Cam an automatic skeleton watch by Kenneth Cole.  
What is interesting about his is that the movement of his arms charges the watch--also you can see straight through it to the inner mechanisms.  
My mechanical engineer loves it.  
In addition to a gorgeous watch, Cam sweetly purchased me a new radio for my car and installed it this weekend.
We spent two sleepy hours attempting to heat solder and taking apart my dash whilst listening to Sufjan Stevens and the rain plinking on the hood of my car. 
The majority of time Cam and I spend together is also spent in the company of friends, which we do intentionally.  
Alone time is more frugally spent, and far more precious.
We are the best team, and that afternoon was one of my favorites we've spent together in a long time.  
After installing the radio we wrapped up the quiet evening with brie, chocolate almond cake, and a pot of chai at our familiar favorite: Cafe Intermezzo.
Cam, your conversation, kisses, and steady presence break my heart anew every time we see each other.  
Thanks for the radio.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bloom Market 2

Two weekends ago I sold my work at the second annual Bloom Market Craft Fair.  
This year we had a change in venue and increase in vendors, and it turned out beautifully.
This year, in lieu of paper-cut, I made custom illustrated notebooks with ink.  
Last year I had noticed a definite uptick in sales when I offered to personalize notebooks by adding names to them in ink.  
This year I went the whole hog and said I design whatever they wanted on the spot, and they could pick it up ten to fifteen minutes later after shopping.  
It was a roaring success.
This year's venue, Tannery Hall, was gorgeous, and the decorations suited the location perfectly. 
 It was so cozy.
 Here's a look at my booth! 
I hid behind the typewriter and cranked out notebooks while my bestie, Amber, handled the cash.
I kept several samples up front for inspiration.
I ended up doing a lot of bible verses and princesses, as it turned out.   
However, I'm drawing a camera and volleyball in the photo.
All the above photos were taken by Kari Walker, the creator of Bloom Market.

the Wimbish House

Sorry I've been under a rock in the blogosphere of late.  
I've been out-and-about in the real world!  
Here's a look at Cam's and my attire at semiformal. 
 This is definitely the photo of our existence right now.  
I'm pointing out a painting on the wall of the historic Wimbish House in Atlanta.  
The home was lovely, a nice spot for conversation.  
We spent the evening exploring rooms, sipping on drinks and chatting with our friends.  
Cam and I never even made it to the dance floor we were having such a nice time.  
As you can see, I put my polk dot tights and headband to work that evening, and Cam looked simply smashing in his bow tie.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012


 I got the headbands for a steal--less than $2 a piece.  
I'm a headbandit.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Project in Progress: Needle Felted Fox & Bunny Heads.

 As I mentioned last month, I've been dabbling in needle felting, which is the process of stabbing wool roving with a notched needle to cause the fibers to tangle and become moldable.  
I ordered wool online, and surprise!
I'm needle felting the fox and the bunny for a stop motion video!
Right now all I have are their little decapitated heads.  
Writing out directions for needle-felting is the best.  
When else can you say "Stab repeatedly" and "flutfs" at the same time!?
To save money on expensive dyed fibers, I started with a poly-filler as a base.  
Stab repeatedly.
Pull tiny flufts of a color and poke into place.  
Stab repeatedly.
Mold a nose and stab it into place.
I put wires in bunny's ears so that they can bend!

The Crux of the Matter

This semester has had a curious duality to it.
I have found wells and wells of deep peace and understanding and nearness to the Lord, and have simultaneously suffered from ambivalence and despair related to school.  
In spite of my careful planning and organization, things are lost, dates are forgotten, creativity dries up and I am paralyzed with awful shame, because for the first time in a long time, I could care less.  
I feel like there is a buzzing fog smothering my thoughts and actions. 
In the space of one week I lost my phone more times than I can count, my keys twice (no driving for two days), my wallet once (no nothing for five) and generally stumbled through each day aimlessly.
However, I stumbled with such bright shining peace and security.
My hope does not come from my own success, and God was whispering this to me every day.    

I have seen so much fruit this week:
I have had beautiful conversations, thank yous, quiet times and the work I have made has been near to my heart.

Above is my current painting (I've abandoned Lady with an Ermine for the time being) of my schema of influences.  
It is illustrative and rebelliously simple, and I love painting it.  
I've sequestered myself in the side room of the studio where there is the most natural light and have meditated and painted.  
I have found so much peace in this painting, stippling in tiny creatures and little words that make up my heart, and I thank God for the time to be so near him.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

21st Birthday at 57th Fighter Group

Cam's gift to me for my 21st birthday was a "mystery" dinner. 
All I was told was to dress up and he'd take care of the rest.  
To my surprise, we were picked up in a fancy town car and then whisked away towards the Atlanta airport.  
We pulled a sharp right and suddenly old fighter jets came into view.
He had taken me to 57th Fighter Group, a WWII aviation themed restaurant.  
We walked in, enclosed on either side by feed sack stacked, trench-like walls.  
We then found ourselves in a European farmhouse, the back wall of which was made entirely of windows showcasing a view of Hartford International's finest taking off and landing in the twilight.  
Needless to say, I love this guy, and he knows me so well.  
We split a bottle of wine snuggled in a cozy booth facing the planes, and occasionally put on the headphones attached to the wall that allowed you to listen in on air traffic control.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Do Love a Good Venn Diagram

So much truth--I want to show this to every client, just so that we're on the same page.
Props to the designer, Colin Harman.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mid-Surgery on Lady with an Ermine

gs6Qlz on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs  
I know she looks really bad right now---showing you this is like a surgeon showing you the patient mid-surgery.  
However I thought it might be fun to show everyone how paintings change and what goes into "building" up your layers.  
I've spent six weeks working on her, and I've had to reinvent my enthusiasm for the piece every Tuesday and Thursday when I sit down at my easel.
She's not there yet, but I'm proud to see how far she has come, and for sticking to it. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bunny Key Fob

My new key fob from Brooklyn Love Designs came in the mail the other day.  
It is sturdy and adorable, and I love being able to have my keys on my wrist.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Website Design for Optick's Paintbox

My second big project for Advanced Graphics was to construct a website for an imaginary company in Photoshop.  
I kept in my style and made "Optick's Paintbox", a luxury watercolor supply company.  
I wanted to make a site that embraced and lauded the texture and transparency of watercolor, making any sentimental artist turn away from brand-cheap Dick Blick and pine for a Paintbox.
I was inspired by the title page of Newton's Opticks: or a Treatise on the Reflexions,  Inflexions and Colours of Light.
I loved the font, and the science and history behind the work, and I used it as a springboard for my design.  
This is my secondary page for the site.
Here's the title page of Newton's Opticks.

Needle-Felted Owl

I'm teaching myself to needle-felt, and this little guy, Frederick,  is my first attempt.
Needle felting is a technique in which you stab wool roving with a barbed needle, causing the fibers in the wool to tangle together and allow you to sculpt.  
It is incredibly easy and addictive.  
I made this owl from a kit by Woolpets
It was a great beginner project, and now I feel confident enough to make my own creatures.
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