Monday, April 30, 2012

On Repeat

I seriously hesitate to say this: but I'm going to try and start something.


I am notorious for starting things and never following through. Except...I'm mostly only notorious in my own mind, because most of the things I start don't even make it out of my head. What I KNOW about myself is that I get carried away wanting to accomplish these things that don't have anything to do with me. Like wanting to start an etsy store, or build furniture, or have a photography business...all things that I only wanted because someone else had them. Thankfully in all these cases I realized before even reaching "start" that they weren't for me. I don't have anything to sell on etsy, nothing about building furniture appeals to me, and starting a photography business...? Well let's just say I'll leave that one up to everyone else. The point here is, I'm going to tell you about this new thing I'm starting, but there is a very real chance it won't last very long. I'm just being honest!!

Last week I was thinking about how much I like patterns (I REALLY like patterns) and I started lamenting how I can't ever seem to come up with cool patterns. But then I realized that I only ever try when its crunch time and I've already seen another pattern that would work and just want to re-create it but not copy it... Usually I fail and end up purchasing that pattern. Or just trashing the pattern idea (the hard thing about patterns is that the really cool ones don't really work as supportive elements...they need to be the focal point!).

Suddenly it dawned on me that I don't need to give up on pattern making. Its not like its something you're born with... "those with blue eyes stand on the left and those with pattern making on the right..." its something you can learn, study, and get better at. Or so I think. So my plan is to start making patterns for the sake of making patterns. I think I get so excited about this idea because a pattern isn't JUST a pattern. It's character creating and form studies and colour theory and balance and organization all in one! So ANYWAY, here is my first pattern, based on this adorable ceramic owl I saw at the garden store the other day. I still might have to go back and get it.

Maybe if I do keep it up for a while, I'll be able to look back on my patterns and see what I've learned. The owls on repeat are pretty basic...I'm pretty sure I can get more creative. Yay!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living with a Tiger.

Two and a half weeks ago I began living with a tiger. At least, she thinks she's a tiger. Meet Basil (Baze-il, since everyone asks :D), our 10 week old ball of energy!

I've never had a kitten before in my LIFE and I've ALWAYS wanted one. I mean ALWAYS. I am a totally animal nut, but my parents are most definitely...not. They gave in to fish, then hamsters, then gerbils, but their tolerance fizzled out when 2 gerbils turned into 12 (they were supposed to be sisters...hullo!). I spent my highschool summers working at The Ranch with the horses (and campers), and always take advantage of my friends pets for some quality animal time. Cats, dogs, whatever! But I am deprived no longer!

Being the caretaker of a kitten has been quite the experience. I'm crossing my fingers that she'll grow up at least half decent, because I have no idea what I'm doing. So I just try to love her and play with her and sometimes discipline her. And let her learn her own lessons sometimes, like jumping in the toilet... (clean thankfully!). So far, I think we're doing OK! But I'm dreading the day she figures out how to get up on the counters....

Did I mention that she's RIDICULOUS, and incredibly funny to watch? Lets just say... run around the kitchen 50 times (backflips sprinkled throughout), attack laura's feet then leap headfirst into the wall? And again.

(first image: kitten photo FAIL, and funny :D)

(I have a feeling these pics of Basil and Hubby's work boots will be special for a long, long time!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Blog-o-sphere!

Inspired by this SUPER COOL post about hand made lettering (literally!) that popped up on one of my favourite blogs today, I thought I'd share some of my favourite blogs to follow. I LOVE discovering inspirational gems that challenge my creative thinking, so hopefully you'll appreciate them as much as I do! So without further ado....

  1. Universal Favourite - Cool stuff from every design angle
  2. Form Fifty Five - Weird and cool "design inspiration from around the world." the only annoying thing is they also have a job post feed that comes through on my reader. so sometimes there are 12 new posts all for jobs in europe. lo!
  3. Joe McNally - photography blog of pro Joe McNally: i love his introspective reflections on some of the incredible projects he has worked on. Oh and because I got to go to one of his lighting workshops, he's even cooler now. 
  4. Jonas Peterson - an australian wedding photographer that seems to stand out. Fantastic style!
  5. Owen Davey - incredible illustrator. I just love his style! 
  6. Invisible Creature - just always awesome, they're MY HEROES!!!! No big deal.
  7. Paper Crave - a new find, nice stationery!
  8. Lovely Stationery - similar to the above! 
  9. Design for Mankind - Erin is so so off the hook, I love how she ties design concepts or pieces to interiors or fashion. She challenges me to think cohesively! And finds some crazy things!
So...Those are just my favourites! Got any to share?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Painting, cups, and TLC.

Ok, I'm not actually sure what I was watching while I painted last friday. Wait! Friday is "bride day" on TLC, so I was probably watching "say yes to the dress" re-runs. But cut me some slack, when I'm painting i'm not really watching. Now that I'm thinking about it though, I'm pretty sure I also watched an episode of "the Mentalist," which I remember because it was actually interesting. I probably did more watching than painting for that hour...

ANYWAYS, I was waiting for Hubby to come home before we could leave to Kamloops for the weekend. I started my painting while I waited, having no clue at the time that I'd have plenty of time to finish AND admire the painting before he got home (we finally left at 10 pm ... late night! We get to blame the granite guys).

I must confess I saw a painting very similar to this at some store somewhere. But it was $50 bucks and I knew I could do it myself for much less (can you say dollar store paints again?) And besides, I have a growing collection of canvases at home waiting to be brought to life. Sooo... here it is!

Basic How-to:
1. Paint your canvas with your base colour! I used a creamy off-white.
2. Find a circular shape you can get covered in paint, a good size proportional to your canvas (i had to search for a bit, but settled on a plastic Ikea cup). Once you've got the diameter, graph out a grid and the circles with pencil. Make sure you start in the center of your canvas, so that your circles will line up how you'd like them to on the edges.
3. Settle on a colour palette, with 4-7 colours. Start filling in the overlapping pieces of the circles in a random fashion! This is where your gut comes in, just go with the flow! Don't fill in every single one.
4. Using a black or dark grey paint, dip the cup and then stamp it on the circles. Don't worry about precision, it'll look nice and casual mis-aligned!
5. Paint the lines as well. I used a ruler with my paintbrush because my hand isn't quite steady enough for my liking!
6. Sign it! All done. Next step (which I still have to do as well) is to hang it up!