Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Knickers, gardens, and bike posters...

Well, my current favorite blog is one I found on Teresa’s blog called Swoon. First of all, I just love that word! It’s so English-Victorian-novel-sounding, isn’t it? Its tag line is “Bringing Romance to Your Pants” which just cracked me up to begin with. Then the blogger, Gerry, is just hilarious. She posts with that wry, dry, UK wit that I am so envious of. The icing on the cake of this blog is their product; how cute are these “knickers” and bra??? Check out their Etsy store. (she gave me permission to post the picture)

Can you believe that just days after my last entry Our DSL Connection WENT DOWN AGAIN???????????? Sorry for shouting, but I tell you that Earthlink just puts me over the edge – I don’t even recognize myself when I’m dealing with them. I become so infuriated that words come shooting out of my mouth that I would never usually say to another human being ------I’m stopping myself now. I can feel apoplexy coming on.

Oh! In the last post I forgot to credit Lorraine for tagging me! Thanks Lorraine!

Rexy had her last day of school yesterday. I'm so bummed - I forgot my camera! I wanted to take pictures of her with her teachers. They all love her and several of them crowded around the car just before we left so they could say good-bye to Rexy some more. One of them even climbed in the backseat! I made up little gift bags of jewelry that I made for all six (!) of them and Rexy gave the bag of gifts and the card to the head teacher - with some prodding. She loves bags and would have been just as happy to parade around with the bag held in the crook of her arm - preferably with a hat on, too, like this:

On the art front...ugh. I'm so frustrated. I read all the time about people doing transfers with this method and that method. I see great work all the time in magazines and in the description it will say "image transferred with such-and-such method..." As I mentioned last post, I am in the ZNE Book Club this month and one of the assignments this week is to try a transfer method from Claudine Hellmuth's book Collage Discovery Workshop. Well, I tried three of them and not one of them worked. :-( I don't know what to do now. I followed all the directions and I got zip for it. I tried another method I read about on someone's website that involves using Gel Medium and it worked - but very badly. I'm trying one more thing and frankly it's the one I wanted to do the least, the packing tape method. I'm concerned about the shininess of the packing tape. I don't know. We'll see. I feel like there's some key piece of information that I'm missing. Has anyone else ever had this much trouble learning how to do transfers?

On the other hand, my garden is starting to look pretty good. The perennials are crowding out the dandelions nicely and things that I've forgotten about are popping up all over the place. Of course, every time I look at it I see a million new things to do. I took these pictures today at dusk. I did nothing to them except make them smaller. How fake do those colors look? Something about the light just made them glow. In the background of the first picture you can see a few nursery pots with plants in them waiting for planting - those pots are just the tip of the ice burg. I've got about 2 dozen things to plant right now - not including the succulents. Gah! The good news is that I am definitely beginning to realize my dream of an exuberant cottage garden in the front yard. The back is going to be left to its own devices again this year...

I took another, broader, picture of this border bed, but for some reason it didn't get saved in the camera. This isn't the first time that has happened, either. Our camera works in mysterious ways sometimes. Still, isn't digital photography great? DH and I were talking about what a fortune it would have cost us in the past to get just a couple good shots. Digitally, I was able to take about 3 dozen pictures to get two good ones (including the one above) of Rexy - imagine blowing an entire roll of film just to get 2 good pictures! Plus I was able to remove the smear of chocolate yoghurt on her cheek!

A long time ago I said I would post a picture of the other poster my DH made for the Vintage Bicycle Concours that he organizes. (It takes place at the LeMay Open House)Well, we still don't have a copy on the hard drive, but he brought one home from work that fits on the scanner (as opposed to the 24"x36" ones he's been bringing home). Isn't it great? Essentially it's a digital collage, although he wouldn't call it that. He uses Photoshop and AutoCad together to create his images. He used an illustration in a prewar vintage book and modified a photograph of a bicycle and a few other things. Below, is the other, previously posted, poster that he made for the same event. (Yes, the one on the right has the wrong date - he's corrected it.)

One of these days I'm going to make collage sheets of all the pictures of vintage bicycles that he's taken. He has some really great images. We just have to sit down together and figure out which ones he's okay letting me use. He's a perfectionist, if there's something not right with the picture he would rather I didn't use it. And of course, like all of us, he's his own worst critic.

Lastly, here's another entry into my Gratitude Journal:
1. Oranges (Rexy likes a fruit besides bananas finally!)
2. Digital cameras
3. naps
4. Ibuprofen
5. Thai food (the new/only Thai restaurant in the neighborhood finally opened!)

Extra Special Bonus Gratitude Item:

My nice husband - happy 7th anniversary of our first date, sweetie!


Lily Pepper said...

Laurie, I too tried to do the transfers as described in Claudine's book without luck. The only one I could do was the tape transfer but like you are concerned about the shine. I really hate shine and the tape transfer does shine. I was determined to do transfers and just kept at it. Try a transfer onto muslin. Brush the gel medium onto the muslin and also onto the print. Put them together and let it sit for awhile. I then take fingernail polish remover and rub over the back of the print. When it is wet gently rub the paper off. This really takes some time if you rub too hard it will go all the way through and you will lose the transfer. I also use a dry brush to frequently brush the bits of paper off. I have found that they create too much friction when rubbing over them often resulting in a hole! I often leave it set and dry and then start all over again with the fingernail polish or just plain water and then rub some more. I was messing around one day when I tried the muslin it turned out to be a good starting point for me. I think the transfer adheres better to the material. It really helped me get a feel for how the transfers were done and I have progressed onto other surfaces from there with good results. Hope this helps you.

Shabby Cottage Studio said...

Your Rexy is absolutely adorable and your garden is beautiful! Mine has suffered much from the strange weather we've had here in the mountains this year, and ahem, my lack of attention to tend to it as I should. ;-)

I've not had much success with the transfers either and I agree, the packing tape is a bit to shiny for my taste. Sounds like lily pepper ahs some good advice.

Sam I Am said...

A 'gratitude journal'??? I LOVE THE IDEA!!!!!!
How fun!
Lil Miss Rexy is adorable!

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

HI! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Your blog ROCKS!! Love it:-)!

Swoon said...

Laurie thank you so much for your kind words about Swoon! Love your blog :-)


Dana said...

Hello Laurie!!!

It's been so long. I hope things have been well with you. Rexy is so cute. It sounds like she has a WONDERFUL and caring staff of teachers at her school!!! Do you have a summer program where you're at? We do here for Seth but I've opted not to utilize the service for this summer because of all the other things we have going on besides. I'm SO happy for both of you that she's starting to like NEW THINGS! WOO HOO!!!! :) I love the posters your DH made ... and your garden is GORGEOUS! Everything here is dreadfully dry and parched. I'm glad I didn't attempt a perennial garden this year, I don't think it would have faired well with such hot and dry conditions for the first year.

It's good to be back and out visiting my blog friends again.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!!!