Friday, March 26, 2010

Full Participation.

I don't know if it's ever happened since we've had our current coop of chickens, but today all four of our girls laid eggs. They've been in various stages of broodiness and molting so for the past few months there's always been at least one chicken laying, but not all of them. They were all laid in the same nesting box and the silver polish Anastasia was standing guard.
The girl who held out the longest is our silkie, Pudding.She went broody a while ago and stayed that way for over a month, then didn't lay for a few more. Many people get bothered by a chicken that's gone broody because they aren't being productive (since I'm the only egg-eater in the house, this doesn't bother me) or because they look quite pathetic while sitting on the nest and rarely eating or drinking. So lots of folks have remedies for making a chicken unbroody, but I'm kind of hoping that one of my girls goes broody soon because I think I have a resource for fertilized bantam fun would Easter be if we had an egg getting ready to hatch?? The fact that Anastasia was hovering over those eggs makes me think she might be ready to go...!

In craftier news, there's LOTS of sewing going on over here. I'm sewing many, many skirts for the play that I'm in in a few weeks. In between circle skirts I'm trying to fit my own projects. So far: mother and daughter Easter bonnets. No pictures yet because, interestingly, bonnets don't photograph well if they are not on a head. I tried to explain this to Bean, but she couldn't be coerced into photographic cooperation today. Maybe later. Or not.

Oh, and also, I finally submitted an entry into a Spoonflower contest! See it here and remember to vote for your faves!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It all started with science

So the whole reason I got my digital drawing pad was because of the weekly themed design contest over at Spoonflower. A few rounds ago it was science and, ooo, I had a good idea. It involved the periodic table ('nuff said). But alas, I didn't have the ability to create what I wanted. Of course, with my new BFF the drawing pad, I now do. It totally feels like I'm writing on paper, which I'd read about in the reviews but didn't really believe. It takes a steadier hand than normal to draw a really straight line, but it's so easy to delete what you've messed up that it's OK to take a while to get the hang of it.

So here is my first Spoonflower entry for the theme of daffodils:
Pretty straight-forward. I made a sketch using a light pencil,
then I drew out the design in a thicker pen outline. Then I painted the flowers (the pressure-sensitive pen is key for this) and the leaves, drew in the stems and deleted the pen outline (you know how it is always so satisfying to trace over a pencil outline in pen, then erase the pencil to be left with a super-clean design. I can do that but with the click of a button. Love love love.) It's a simple design, but I like the way it looks when I use the mirror image option in Spoonflower (I can't seem to get my grab app to be working right now, so no'll have to trust me.)

The best part of this whole thing is that it's got me creating pretty regularly again even with the demands of Bean. If she is in a quiet mood and will play with her toys on her own for 15 minutes, I can tool around with the drawing pad and not worry about art supplies everywhere that she'll want to stick in her gob. I haven't explored the Corel program enough to see if it will let me get my digital glitter on, or gold leaf, or (be still my heart) flocking, but for right now I'm satisfied.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wow. Just, wow. I didn't mean to be away for such a long time. It just kind of, well, happened. I think I needed a break...and it's not like I have oodles of free time with a 9-month-old crawling all over the place! I think my problem lies in the fact that I really like to take photos of what I'm making or thinking about and I really like for those photos to be relatively good. Also, I download all of my photos onto the desktop which I never sit at anymore since a laptop is easier to juggle with the babe.

So, I've made a lot and have photographed only a bit of it. I've downloaded even less of what I've photographed. Sad, I know. I photographed the Christmas gifts again for this year, but don't feel like putting them all together in one post because it's all last year's news now. I've been knitting toys for Stella, a sweater for me, and mittens for Andrew. I also recently got my grubby little hands on this book and I'm itching to get started on some socks (yay for super portable knitting projects!). The point is, craftiness has been happening, I just haven't been shouting about it.

But today is a new day! I finally entered the world of Big Girl computer usage and asked for a digital drawing pad for my birthday. I went with the Bamboo Fun, Wacom's simpler version of their more sophisticated pads. Andrew, the dearheart, tried to convince me to get the fancier model, but I decided to start simple figuring that when I outgrow this one, there will be new tools out there that I will then be ready for. Also, I am a total sucker for technology that looks simple and is packaged well, and the Bamboo line is definitely that. I mean for Pete's sake, they've named a model the Bamboo Craft. Yeah, I think we see who their target audience is.

Anyhoo, the little gadget comes with a software bundle that includes Corel Painter and that's what I used to create this image:
Actually, you are kind of getting a two-for-one deal here. This is my first digital image but it also happens to be a drawing inspired by the bunny that I recently knit for Stella. I've uploaded it over at Spoonflower and am eagerly awaiting a swatch to see if I can actually finally make a fabric design. Then I might make my own font. Or just sign my name over and over and over like I did when I was in middle school...either way, being able to create digital images on my laptop just might get me back into this blogging thing.

made. by k.d.