Thursday, January 28, 2010

Best of Creativity Boot Camp Part 2

During the course of the class our instructors, Karen and Ursula, presented us with a couple different challenges.  The first was speed.  We were split into two big tables due to the layout of the room and therefore divided into 2 teams.  Each team would compete in a card making relay race to earn a prize.  We were doomed from minute one.  We stamped in the wrong ink, so the copic markers got all smudged, we didn't cut our ribbon.  It was a pretty sad excuse for a card, but hey, it was lots of fun making our team's train wreck.  Needless to say, despite the cut corners, our team didn't win.  I was okay with that because the runner up prize was M&Ms.  I've never been so happy to be in second place!

For our second challenge, they wanted to make us think outside the box and design something using a color we don't naturally go for.  It is all too easy to get stuck using the same color palette over and over again.  So, they passed around a bag of crayons and we each reached in to pick our assigned color.   Maybe picked isn't the right word here, we didn't choose the color, it was more of a grab bag.  Mom got green and I got blue.  I think we did pretty well considering all the crafty holdups we tend to have. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best of Creativity Boot Camp Part 1: Techniques

This past Saturday mom and I went to a great class at our favorite stamping/scrapbooking store, Ink About It.  The class was called the Best of Creativity Boot Camp and featured demonstrations of the most popular techniques that were taught during the Creativity Boot Camp (CBC) class series in 2009.  The great thing about CBC is that the reason the series was created was to meet the needs of the customers.

So many crafters are afraid to use their supplies because they think they might "waste" them or they have so many great craft supplies, they are overwhelmed by them and don't know where to even start.  I am definately of that ilk.  Just digging out all the supplies to make a card is tortuous.  I have so much cool stuff to use and no idea how to even begin... 

So, to get over all of our crafting "issues" the CBC intructors had us focus on learning techniques and "playing" with things to see how they worked.  Here are some of my class samples:

Stamping with bleach on cardstock

Stamping with bleach on dye inks

Kissing off - a technique where you use one stamp to give texture to another.  The black print on the lady's dress was "kissed off" of another stamp in a different ink.

Masking - a technique done by stamping an image on masking paper, cutting it out and using that mask to create depth.

Stamping on acetate - great for adding depth.  You must have very steady hands!

Stamping with clear pigment ink on glossy paper and then applying dye ink directly to it to get a resist of the image.  This technique is one of my favorites! 

I'll have another post up soon about some other neat things we made in the class.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beanie Brim Cap

So, I've had a bit of a chance to learn some basic crochet stitches over the past few weeks and one night this week I decided to make a cute brimmed cap I found on Ravelry.  So, I sat down, did a few rounds, messed up, ripped them out, started again... and a few hours later I had this little hat made for myself. 

It actually wasn't all that hard.  And I must say that I'm so glad I learned how to knit first, because corcheting this was so quick and easy in comparison to knitting something similar, that if I had started out crocheting I might not have ever learned to knit. 

Sorry there haven't been many posts lately, my computer decided it needed a break and just shut down on me and wouldn't restart on MLK day :(  Since then, I've been working from Brian's rig, but it's not ideal.  I much prefer my setup so I don't spend much time on the computer at home right now.  Hopefully my machine will get fixed soon and I will return to my regular posting schedule.  Until then, check out my project 365 blog if you haven't already.  I'm posting there every day no matter what.  I have a couple more posts to do here in the next few days if I can stand to continue working in these inferior conditions, lol.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Proof that I do crafty things besides knitting

These are the 5 incredibly cute cards mom and I made tonight at Jenn's Amuse Valentine's class at Ink About It.  Both mom and I really liked this year's release for the holiday because the stamps can be used for so many things other than on a valentine.  Now, I admit I have been neglecting my stamping for a bit now, but that doesn't mean that I don't still love it and want to create cute things.  I just seem to get a creative block whenever I try to make something myself...  must work on that.

Anyway, thanks to Jenn  for yet another lovely class!  I have the Amuse Addicts Get Together on Sunday, so I should come home with lovely stamped items to show off then.  I should have 20+ cards to share, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here she is.... in all her glory

Yeay!  I finally got to take some pictures today even though I haven't blocked my Cedar Leaf Shawlette yet.  I've already worn her a couple of days and am in love, love, love!  Ok, I'll shut up know and get on with the pictures.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 on Tuesday: 10 Best Movies I’ve Seen Lately

Eeek!  I haven't been watching a whole lot of movies lately.... but here's what I can come up with.

1) Clueless - nothing quite beats a modern day version of Emma starring Alicia Silverstone.  Darth Coco and I saw this a couple weeks ago via Netflix streaming.

2) Blow Dry - Alan Rickman starring as a reluctant hair stylist in a competition a la Strictly Ballroom.  Brian and I found this interesting movie on Netflix streaming as well.

3) The Ramen Girl - The story of an American girl who gets ditched by her boyfriend after moving to Toyko and finds solace in convincing a local ramen cook to her his art.  Surprise, via Netflix streaming again.

4) District 9 - Not an easy movie to watch, but it really makes you think.  Brian, Darth Coco and I actually saw this in the theater when it came out.  It has to be a really good movie to convince us to pay the $10+ a pop to see it on the big screen.

5) 9 - This gem of animation was produced by Tim Burton (I <3 Tim Burton's stuff) and is about a scientist's nine creations that were built to protect the future.  Check out the trailer. It has a kickin' song by Coheed and Cambria in it.

6) Lost in Austen - A fan of Pride and Prejudice finds she has switched places with Elizabeth Bennett and when she tries to help the storyline progress as it should, ends up making a mess of things.  DVD through Netflix.

7) Muppet Treasure Island - you have to love any movie with singing muppets dressed as pirates and co-starring Tim Curry.  I actually had this in my Netflix queue and it arrived on the same day I stumbled across a copy of it at Borders and not believing my luck, purchased it.

8) A League of their Own - Darth Coco and I watched this a month or more ago on one of our "I can only handle lying prone and watching TV nights."  Again, thank you to Netflix streaming.

9) Spies Like Us - A classic from the 80's starring Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase.  Another of our silly movie nights thanks to Netflix streaming.

10) I Capture the Castle - To save his crumbling castle, a father tries to marry off his daughters to the rich young American men that come to take ownership of it.  Amusing in a very British way and quite odd, but I loved it.  I believe I saw this on a day Brian was out and I had a lot of knitting to do.  Netflix streaming provided yet again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crochet Boot Camp Day 1

Seeing as my one year ban on crochet is over, I thought it was high time to get crackin' on that whole learning a new craft thing.  Tonight seemed as good as any, especially since last night I finished my lovely Cedar Leaf Shawlette and I think my arms would fall off if tried to pick up a pair of needles to start another project.  So, I cracked my crochet book and with the aid of the mighty interwebs I was on my way. 

On the docket were the following: chain stitch, single crochet stitch, double half crochet stitch and the double crochet stitch.  I know that may sound like a lot of stitches to learn in one evening and yes I think it might have been an ambitious goal, but in the end it wasn't bad at all.  Now, I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, far from it, but after a couple hours of practice, I'm feeling fairly comfortable with those four stitches.  I'm not really ready to follow much of a pattern or anything, but I have a feeling I could crochet one MEAN trivet or potholder...  The real key will be if I can remember the stitches tomorrow.  Now THAT would be really good!

Friday, January 8, 2010

SelfKniMo Project #2 - Cedar Leaf Shawlette

This is the second project I have started as part of my selfish knitting month and it is a pattern I have drooled over for quite awhile now.  I won't wax poetic about it too much as I have already posted about it before, but I wanted to share a wip photo with you as I will most likely be finishing it up this weekend.   I would have posted about it sooner, but we were having problems with the internet at home and I even thought it was a problem with my computer for a day or so.  Luckily the internet has been restored in its full glory and I can post to my little heart's content.

I decided to put my Gathered Scarf on hold for a little bit so I can finish this one up and wear it sooner rather than later. I have a few more things up my sleeve for this month, but I think I have to declare failure on it being full of projects only for me.  I just realized I have one project I should start and finish this month and 3 more waiting in the wings, though they are not due anytime soon.  Oh well....  Despite this realization, I'm sure I manage this shawlette, the scarf, a pair of gloves and a hat for myself, all of which I already had planned between the other projects.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 on Tuesday: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2010

1) WEBS 6th Annual Super Bowl Sunday Escape on Sunday Feb. 7th in Northampton, MA - This store is my yarn and knitting Mecca.  They have everything and they ship.  Every year they do this great event and have prizes and a sale at the same time.  This will be my second year going and I'm so psyched and ready to head to western MA.

2) All A Capella Live at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on March 28th in Boston, MA - In our effort to see more live performances Darth Coco and I are going to this cool concert.  Unfortunately there really isn't much info on it right now, but since it involves a capella, I know I'll like it.

3) Getting healthier - This is a goal that is with me every year.  I'm hoping some year it will stick.

4) Working on my photography by doing my Project 365 blog - My Year: Through the Lens.  At some point, I'm going to have to get very creative with my photography.  Desperation will do that to you... :P

5) Learning to crochet - I haven't started yet as I am in the first throes of Selfish Knitting Month, but I have my Learn How to Crochet Visually book (thank you Shawn and Kelly) and I am ready to go once I complete some long-awaited knitted projects.

6) A trip to see Waterfire and pig out at Sakura - A couple of summers ago Darth Coco and I saw Waterfire down in Providence and hit up the best sushi place ever (Sakura) while we were there.  I'm really hoping we can do that again this year.  This year, however, I would like to make it home without being trapped in a parking garage for hours on end.

7) Blogging more - I really like writing, but only like doing it in small bits, so a blog is really the perfect medium out there to feed my writer's itch.  Right now blog posts do tend to take me awhile to write (yes, even these lists) since I want to say things just so.  I figure the only way to get better at writing for my blog is by doing it way more often.

8) Cook more - I haven't been feeling the urge to be creative in the cooking realm for quite a while now.  I am quite fortunate enough to have a husband who is a wonderful cook and part of our housework deal is that he makes dinner (well, most meals for that matter).  Now, I can cook just fine, I'm just lazy when it comes to the kitchen.  Hopefully this year I will reconnect with my inner domestic engineer and try some new and neat recipes.

9) Snow - Yes, I know I'm weird.  I'm an adult and snow should mean work to me.  All that shoveling, scraping, shivering... but it doesn't.  I still feel like a little kid hoping for that snow day.  It doesn't hurt that I do occasionally get one either.

10) In 2010 I'm looking forward to being able to figure out 10 good things to have on these lists!  I can get to 8 or 9, but 10 is almost impossible some days.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

SelfKniMo Project #1: The Gathered Scarf

So, I have begun the first project of SelfKniMo, my Gathered Scarf made with Malabrigo Sock in the colorway Indecieta.  It's a really easy pattern to knit up and a free one as well (as per usual for me).  I didn't realize it until today, but it turns out that the person who created the pattern, Maryse, was in my Photography for Knitters class taught by Gail Zucker (of the She Shoots Sheep Shots blog) back in in September.  So, thanks Maryse for this great pattern!

I'm most of the way through the third of a half a million repeats, but it goes quickly and is a pretty good project for tv watching as it doesn't require you pay too much attention.  This is the first project of a scarf, hat and mitts set I'm making for myself out of sock yarn.  I think I'm going to be very happy with the set when I'm done.  Anyway, I'm going back to enjoying the last day of my mini vacation before I head back to work in the morning.  Ta!

Friday, January 1, 2010

I started a new photoblog!

Don't worry, it's in addition to this one, so everyday ephemera will not be going away.  After doing my 10 on Tuesday post a couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to start doing Project 365, which if you don't know of already, is basically a photo a day for a year.  I thought this would really get me focused on taking gorgeous photos again instead of the utilitarian ones that I take for documenting finished projects and get togethers.

So, today I started the ball rolling... and created the page and the first post.  So, if you are interested, please visit my new blog called My Year: Through the Lens.  I would love any comments you can give that are constructive in nature or feel free to just share your thoughts and ideas!