Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The making of an EP... cover

Recently I have had my head and my hands in other people's projects. Mainly my husband's. My husband is a musician and he likes to do things in the DIY fashion because well... it's just cooler like that.
His most recent project is a four song EP. I think the music is amazing and I am so proud of this work. When he was getting the packaging together he decided to do something extra special and beautiful because a new CD just isn't as fun unless there is beautiful and and fun packaging along with it. To accomplish this my husband enlisted me and our friend Chris to help with some screen printing and gocco goodness.

Ok I will stop talking about it now and just show you what we (I) did.
The first step in the process was screen printing (this screen was made by Chris) the map background.

After the maps were completed I then got into so gocco fun. We used 4 gocco screens on this project. It was a lot of fun playing with new things like goccoing a vintage family photo.

And sometimes while our covers were laid out across the living room floor our crazy cat would come and lay on them leaving kitty hair stuck in the ink. I guess that will just be an added bonus that further adds to the DIY feel.
Once the printing was done and dried we decided it would be a good idea to lure our friends over with the promise of paella and large pitcher of sangria.

Then we very tactfully tricked them into helping glue and stuff the CD cases

One person was working more on the sangria than the cases. At the end of the night we were left with a stack of 24 beautiful EP's for all to enjoy. If you are interested in pick up one of these lovely EP's for your own enjoyment stop my husband's etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5070046

Friday, January 23, 2009

Moving forward an making things better

I have been working on getting my etsy shop to look better for a while now. More specifically I have been working on taking better pictures. It's funny to look back at some of the first items I listed in my shop and see how horrible the pictures are. I think "Wow why did anybody buy that." Of course I am happy that my wonderful customers saw past my horrible photography skills and saw the true beauty in the items they purchased. While my picture taking abilities have gotten better I am always looking for ways to better improve them.
Recently I acquired a handy dandy light reflecting backdrop and I have been using it for my smaller items like wallets, toys, and pins. I am able to take great pictures with it. At least I think so...

But so far I have been at a loss as to how to take pictures of bags they don't fit on the lighting back ground that I have and honestly I want something more interesting for my bags. I have been interested in getting someone to model for me but most girls I know aren't willing to stand in front of a camera for me. When I do get someone willing to be my model I usually feel like a big doof behind the camera. I am never able to verbalize exactly what I want or need from the so the pictures never turn out quite right.

I was reading some articles in the Etsy Storque the other day and came upon this article http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/shop-makeover-series-photogenic-collaborations-3224/

And I was inspired. I have a photographer friend! So I emailed my good friend Chris Dixon who is a photographer that is always willing to try stuff to get his portfolio beefed up. He has done some work for us in the past like these pictures from when I was pregnant with Miles

And he is always coming around and taking beautiful pictures of the kids. So anyway I e-mailed Chris and essentially said "Hey Chris lets use each other!" I will use him to get some good picks of my product and he will use me to broaden his portfolio.
He responded to me with excitement about this and finding models. So now we are both excited to move forward. And if you are in the Bay Area and interested in modeling purses and getting pretty pictures of yourself taken let me know. I can't really pay you but there may be a free wallet or something in it for you.

I guess this means I will have to get some bags made. I guess this also means I need to get a new sewing machine ASAP!

Here's to moving for and getting better one step at a time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sleep is highly under rated

Every night I go how with the intention of doing something creative but I have been constantly exhausted for a couple of weeks now. I am pretty sure it come from doing too much and not sleeping enough. But I find myself taking power naps where ever I can fit them in and I have this amazing ability to sleep anywhere at anytime so it works.

My number 1 place for a power nap is on the train. Every weekday morning and evening I have 25 minutes to myself on the train. This time is usually reserved for reading or playing word games on my ipod but recently I have been using this valuable time for napping. Train naps usually work out well for me except this morning I drooled on myself a bit. I am pretty sure that no one saw but drooling in public is never a good thing. Sleeping in public is a bit tricky. There are always things to worry about like, drooling (oops), snoring, personal space, and keeping hold of belongings. So sleeping in public should always be done with care.

There are many moments and places that are good for napping though. Some of these naps anger my husband. These anger inducing moments include car rides while the husband is driving, on the couch while pretending to watch a movie and in pop up trailers in the driveway on the side of the interstate. I am pretty sure my husband's anger just comes from his jealousy of my amazing ability to sleep any time any place. He will just have to live with it though because I am not giving up my power naps.

Friday, January 9, 2009

So sad to let you go

It all started way back in 2002. My husband and I had just moved in together and I was pregnant with our first son. I had some kind of sewing project going on and because I repeatedly destroyed my mom's sewing machine, I found myself without one again. Money was tight so I wasn't able to go out and buy one. Fortunately, I was able to borrow a machine from the parents of my good friend Sharon. They were loyal Petals customers so they were more than happy to help the cause.

When I got the sewing machine home he was tough and strong. He was the best machine I had ever had the pleasure of using. Weeks went by and my my project was completed and it was time for me to return the sewing machine. My friend's mom came into my work to do some shopping and gave me some good news. She and her husband had decided they wanted to give me the sewing machine (he was the sewer of the family). I was so touched and so thankful for the gift I just started crying. I hugged her and thanked her. To this day that is still one of the sweetest most appreciated things anyone has ever done for me.

I have had many good years with this sewing machine and made so many beautiful things but all good things must come to an end. My beautiful sewing machine has met his end. A couple months ago the poor little guy stopped working. I feared the worst because I knew it was a problem with the motor. Instead of taking him into the shop I decided to put off the bad news and instead borrowed my mom's sewing machine.

I finally bit the bullet this week and had my husband take my poor sewing machine in to get checked out. The news wasn't horrible but it wasn't good either. He is fixable but it would cost as much as the price of a new sewing machine to do the repair. My husband talked to the repair guy and it was decided that my machine was more of a hobby machine and not really made for sewing thick multiple layers of fabric.

So I have decided that it is time to let my poor sweet sewing machine go. The repair shop is willing to take mine as a trade in so I can get a more professional sewing machine. I am so sad to see him go though. Hopefully the will fix him up real good and he will find a new home with someone that loves him as much as I do.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An e-mail to my sister

Do you ever see people with ugly vintage coats in public and have the urge to cut up their coat?

I was just sitting next to a woman at the bart station in an ugly 80s full length herringbone trench. All I could think about was how I would cut it up and make like 5 bags out of the hugey thing. Is that strange?

There was also a guy that took my train in the mornings. I think he was attempting to dress professionally but it never worked out well for him. He would always wear grandpa wool blazers with dress pants that were always too short and never matched. I would always walk behind him a think of all the things I could make if I had the ability to cut up his wardrobe. Strange? Yes I think so.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yay a treasury

It is always a nice surprise to be in a treasury. It feels like I haven't been in one in year and this one is so awesome I want to buy everything in it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Los Angeles, I'm Yours

My husband goes through phases of interest. His current interest is screen printing. He likes to design the screen but the that is about where is ends.
So, currently the process is that Frank designs the screen, our friend Chris burns the screen and then I screen for him.
He has granted me permission to use this screen in my work. I think it is really beautiful and the details came out real clear.
I made these prints today and I am thinking they are going to make some amazing wallets.

The plan is to make a series of maps. Should be fun.

Sometimes there are moments

you just don't want to end.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

It is now 2009 so I figure this is the best time to jump back into things. By things I mean actually cleaning up around the house, crafting regularly and actually updating my blog. I know, it has been a while but I have good excuses I swear. My first and possibly only excuse is this guy.

Yep, that is my new little. His name is Miles and he was born August 17, 2008. While he has added an amazing amount of happiness to my life he has also managed to completely fill every hole that my life may have had. Leaving me with little time or energy to do much else.
But it's new year now and I am ready to make some changes. I am ready to put down the TV remote a little more often and step away from the computer and actually get some sewing done.

To start me off I decided the first step would be to clean up my sewing table.

It's amazing to me what a slob I am some times.
Happy New Year and happy crafting!