Monday, April 28, 2008

Time to play

I confess to being disappointed that I won't be able to take the credit for Lydia's dress tomorrow night. No lack of ego here, LOL! But it was such a headache and took up so much time... and I just got a call from my oldest son -- he and his wife are going to be able to come down from Washington to attend the banquet with us. NOW I'm excited and relieved that she has a lovely dress to wear and I don't have to sew any more.

Time to play!

I truly believed that I was finished with my contribution to this month's Altered Clothing round robin project. I got to work on this fabulous vest -- isn't it amazing? I found some wild and lovely orange/fuschia irridescent silk to use as binding for the armhole edges. The colors work perfectly with what has already been done, and there was enough left on the bolt to buy some extra to make something for myself as well. (I don't know what yet, but it was too fabulous to leave behind.)

I intended to mail it on last week, but my contact person was in no hurry to receive it, so I kept it long enough to do a little more to it. I cut a few more bias strips to use as ribbon and sewed them to her headdress with beads. NOW I feel I have done enough and will put it in tomorrow's mail. Whew! Another one done.

Next Saturday is Alice's first prom. Their theme this year is a masquerade, so I volunteered to make her mask. I haven't had this much fun playing with glue and scissors in a long time!

I began with a plain black plastic form from the craft store (like the one on the left in the photo) which I cut into a more pleasing shape and sanded down. Then I added paint (layers and layers of paint!) feathers, paperclay, microbeads, glitter, rhinestones, and varnish. I see by looking at the photo that I want to add a little more shading around the paperclay shapes.

Unfortunately, she is getting dressed at a friend's house so I won't be able to see the whole costume in person. However, she is going to take my camera along and get pictures. I have threatened her with dire things if she forgets!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lost It

It's been over a year now since my Mom died, and I thought I would go back to work on the portrait of her as a young girl that I started before I knew she was so sick. I am happy with the skin tones, and the way the background is taking shape, but I have lost the likeness. It's still a cute picture of a girl and a kitten, but it isn't Mom anymore.

Thank goodness for digital cameras! These instant pictures really help me see where I go wrong. Anyway, since this photo was taken, I have painted out the eyes, which have somehow grown apart (!) and will wait for the paint to dry a bit before I try again.

Have I mentioned how much I adore the smell of oil paint, LOL?

I have been frantically sewing on a dress for Lydia, but I bit off WAY more than I can chew. The pattern is much more complicated than I anticipated. The technical aspects I can handle -- it only takes a little patience -- but the fitting is driving me insane. I do believe we may go dress shopping this weekend after all. The very idea fills me with so much relief... I don't remember dressmaking EVER being this stressful before.

In the meantime, I finally thought of an idea to use the beautiful gingko leaves my wonderful sister-in-law sent me. This is just the beginning...

They are such gorgeous things!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Break?

Oh, my poor neglected blog. I have been so busy this past month that I haven't gotten the chance to sit at the computer much. I have been sewing, but not much worth photographing. I WILL have stuff to share soon though.

In the meantime, I'll put up some of my other recent photos. I've been reading a lot working hard to learn Photoshop Elements, as well as the concepts of good photography. I have a decent camera and it really is about time I learned how to use it to its full capacity -- I hope to work up to deserving a DSLR soon.

We took the girls to the Coast for Spring Break last week. Now, when you go to the beach in the springtime, do you think it is unreasonable to expect a little fun in the sun? Well OK, this IS Oregon and they don't call us webfoots for nothing, but we had SNOW. It was too weird and amusing to get worked up over, but I still wish it had been just a *little* warmer.

This is the only sunset we had all 3 nights we were there. That black cloud on the right was on its way in to dump yet more snow on us.

We enjoyed our room very much, and got quite familiar with the cable channels on the TV. We don't have cable at home, so that in itself was a little treat. I'm not much for TV though, so I played with my camera instead. Look at me -- I *finally* understand F-stops!

So maybe sharing portraits of my family's feet is a little weird, but understanding focal length has been a challenge to me for so long that I HAD to play with some alternative points of view just to prove to myself that I could finally do it.

And hey, does this family know how to kick back, or what, LOL!

I don't want this blog to become a forum for sharing too many family pictures, but I have to put up one more. I am so proud of this photo! This is Jake holding his granddaughter for this first time. Annika is not a tiny newborn, but doesn't her little hand look almost lost in his? (Jake's hands really ARE that big.)

The original was in color, but the image worked so much better when I rendered it in black and white instead. I think I want to crop it just a little more and maybe up the contrast a smidge...