Monday, February 27, 2012

I got a new job...and turned it down and how I might console myself

Yep, I turned it down.  The new job would have been fun to do but the fit of it just wasn't right.  I know people will think I'm crazy for turning it down but if I thought I wasn't going to be happy I'd be crazy to take it.

I'm emotional over it...but really I think it's the kick in the butt that I needed.  I'll get over the emotion of it eventually.

A new job, a new company would help me get over it for sure. LOL.  So I'm looking even tho I still have a job.

It's raining cats and dogs outside and it feels like winter.  Something that is normal normally but this winter has been so mild that it's odd to have really cold weather with rain and wind.  It's cozy warm in the house and I'm thankful for that.

Which leads me to this, something that I can sink my hands into to help console myself: 2 big bags of raw, dyed wool and 1 large piece of wool batt.  My friend Rosanna sent all of that to me as a gift. The batt is large enough to make a number of purses by just cutting it and felting the sides together and then wet felting it.  The bags of wool aren't carded (is that the right word?) as all the fibers are every which way so I think I need to get some brushes and brush them into roving. 

I so want to make something but I need a warmer day so I can go outside and do it there.  I don't acutally have a place where I can get water all over the floor which I think I'm going to need to do.  All that wool is so beautiful that I've just been staring at it for the last couple of weeks.  I do need a keychain and I thought about making a quick freeform keychain but I've been sort of afraid to dive in.  I think tonight I'm just going to dive in.

I also have some lace that Rosanna sent me, but the light is terrible so I thought I'd save that for another day.  Ok, off to play with some wool. Wish me luck!  And oh btw, thank you Rosanna! xo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Plants blooming...or not

I live in southern California where the weather is fab.  Winter was mild...oh wait, we're still in winter technically aren't we?  Mostly our winter this year has been 2 weeks of sunshiny 70 or 80 degrees, 2 days of coolish 50 or 60 degrees punctuated on occasion with rain.  Not too shabby.
Last year my office moved to a location that has a beautiful large patio.  It's got some fab plants and one that I found that is totally glorious in springtime. Especially en masse.

Here is what is budding right now.   Ok, so Blogger will not let me post the photos.  Grrrr.
I'll try later, until now it's a mystery plant with it's mystery blossoms.

Hooray! Look!  The stalks emerging.
The blooms in full bloom (taken last year)
More detail

The benefit of all these flowers is the beauty that they give to the cement patio and better, how they draw hummingbirds to them.  There are usually a dozen or more feeding on the blossoms all the time.  They're gorgeous and they are the thing that helps me stay sane at work.

This afternoon I went out and also spied this sweet daffodil.  Yesterday I thought it was a weed, today a single blossom and more on the way.
Spring in February?

I hope you enjoy flowers wherever you are!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spoonflower Ditsy Sea Creatures or Bust

Sea creatures in a ditsy print. This one gave me loads of trouble - what to draw? Fish aren't my favorite for some reason and I wanted a very textured watery look...which is sort of weird if you think about it, water isn't really all that textured unless you do foam which I did not want to dom  For the last 10 days or so this is how my process unfolded:

Hmmmm, sea creatures: I'll draw and watercolor fish! Perfect medium for fishes right? Well, it's fine if you can actually draw good fishes. My fish just didn't come out the way I saw them in my brain. I drew all kinds of fish - blech. Back to the computer instead of paper, paint and scanning.

I used an older design to jump from. I knew I wanted something not vector looking (I'm up against vector royalty ya know, some of these artists can whip out some fantastic drawings with humor and fab technique) and something with a lot of texture and depth. After 10 or so versions I came up with this.

The whole design is here Click so you can see all the design. It just wasn't right, not bold enough although I like it.  It needs more, scales maybe?  That got tossed at the last minute. 

I ended up doing this.  Kelp with textured teeny fishes. Like the little fishes in tide pools.  Still sea creatures!  I used a salted watercolor for my background (see!  I did use some watercolor) and drew the kelp and fishes as my foreground.  I liked it...texture and fun colors and totally ditsy.  Nothing lines up, it's pretty random - so yay! 

The image above is a detail of my "Kelp! Help!" design for the Sea Creatures contest at Spoonflower. To see the whole detail click here.  My only worry is that the fish are less prominent than the kelp and I can only hope voters look carefully.

btw, if you want to vote go here to do so.  Click and check out the very random order.  Once you choose a design click on it and a green border will come up highlighting your choice.  Go thru ALL the pages and at the end you can cast your votes.  In all fairness there are tons of cute designs, vote for whatever suits your fancy!

Changing gears slightly...yesterday was my birthday and I didn't get the landscaped yard I've been wishing for...when is the birthday fairy going to send a landscaper and a gardening man to come fix it up and maintain it?  Am I too old to be wishing for gardening fairies?   I don't think so but those fairies either are sleeping on the job or I'm delusional for thinking there are garden fairies out there.  Maybe I need to appeal to garden gnomes? Something to think about!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The woes of a middle-aged body

Yesterday I went shopping with a friend. A friend who doesn't like shopping. We were out for about 5 hours. Do you know what is wrong with shopping for 5 hours? It means you can't find anything to buy.

I bought a pair of cute Ked Duckies. I rarely wear tennis shoes but I broke my toe a couple of weeks ago and that's about all I can wear without pain. I bought a 3.00 traveler coffee cup and a 3.00 leopard scarf (for an interview and the leopard print is an inside joke with one of the interviewers).

What I couldn't find was clothes. It's not like I'm hugely large; I wear a size 4 pant. I wear a size medium top in womens. But all of the clothes were either too tight and loved to cling to unsightly curves in the wrong places or were so flowing hippy dippy that I'd need a dunk in patchouli oil to complete that look.

For work I like a tailored look, I couldn't find a blouse to wear under a suit to save my life. Years ago I wore suits almost every day. I no longer have to wear suits but if an interview comes up I need to be ready.

The weather here has been quite warm for winter and spring is coming soon. Ok, let's go for casual. For casual I still like clean lines. I'm short so flowy has to be at least in proportion. I detest batwings and alot of the flowy stuff has batwings. It's enough that I worry about my arms having batwings (not yet, but I'm old enough to worry about them).

Rack after rack was the same stuff in whatever store we went into. My friend was looking for business clothes and she didn't find anything either.

The saving grace is I didn't spend much money. The downside was I also didn't get any danged designing done. The upside was I spent an afternoon with my girlfriend. We did laugh alot while we passed silver sequined thigh-high boots with 6 inch heels, leopard plastic shiny pants and plunging neckline blouses fit for Rachel Welch.

Maybe it's just asking too much for a middle-aged woman to want to have the appearance of a waist yet not look like a hoochie business woman or a flippy-dippy hippie.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Art Deco entry

The most recent Spoonflower contest is Art Deco.

This is my entry.

This version is without details and much smaller than the real design, to see the details go here to the image at Spoonflower. The Golden Age of Art Deco

It's always hard for me not to be too literal when coming up with an entry for a theme. I like Art Nouveau better for it's curves so Deco was a big struggle. Plus, the entries couldn't have more than 4 colors and no gradients. Deco is filled with gradients. For 10 days I kept coming up with ideas that fell really short of what I considered Deco. I threw in the towel once or twice but that challenge kept niggling at me. I always feel like I need to be able to come up with something!

I finally finished up the design above on Tues. Not totally satisfied that it will be seen by voters as a usable winning fabric but I am satisfied that I did a Deco design. And that is worth a lot to me. Hooray for coming up with something!