Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seedling Kit Favors

I'm pleased to announce I'm contributing at Project Wedding! So if you'd like to learn how to make these little seedling kit gift boxes (or just see more pictures of them) head over to the tutorial page.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two Days, Three Museums

My what an outing filled weekend! I made it to three museums and even caught Road to Morocco on the big screen Friday night. The Getty and The Norton Simon I had visited before, but I was so unprepared for The Huntington - expansive gardens complete with classical statues, colonnaded gallery buildings, sweeping lawns a conservatory. Simply glorious; we must go back to see it all! And now some sketches and notes from each destination (click each image for larger view)...The Getty Center, Friday Afternoon
Assignment: Observe, take notes and prepare for presentation on Gerard ter Borch's The Music Lesson, for art history class on Dutch Baroque painting.
Distractions: Taking in views of the city below, enjoying the weather on a cafe chair in the sun. Exploring the permanent collection of 18th century decorative arts (again), and admiring chandeliers. Seeing the special exhibitions - my highlights: (1) monumental volumes of illuminated manuscripts on book stands under glass (2) Portrait photography from the 19th century (among others) (3) design drawings for 18th century decorative objects and architectural elements.
The Norton Simon, Saturday Midday
Assignment: Meet Dutch Baroque class in the 17th century gallery and listen to classmate's presentations. Admire genre scenes and amazingly luscious still life paintings by Flemish and Dutch artists.
Distractions: Sunshine and water lilies in the sculpture garden. Degas pastels in the 19th century wing. Savoring my second visit.The Huntington, Saturday Afternoon
Assignment: View Weng collection painting and calligraphy exhibit at the Boone Gallery and observe the Chinese Garden for Art History of China class.
Distractions: Playing with calligraphy pens at the hands-on exhibit. Taking in the grounds and gardens and wishing we had more time to see the art galleries. Admiring weeping willows and classical statues in the rose garden, all the while feeling a bit like Mary Lennox. Loveliest place.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Craft Closet

Our apartment has two closets right off of the living room. One for music, the other for art; just perfectly in line with the interests of Apartment No. 10's two inhabitants. Nikki's shallow, doubled-doored space is already replete with keyboard, guitar, Beatles album covers and cozy stacks of Irving Berlin sheet music. Unfortunately I must report that my 16 square feet are still in the planning stages, but the pieces are starting to come together. This week I thought I would record my plans with ink and watercolor. You can click on the first and third images to see them larger.
Table: Classic sewing table, a $15 Craigslist find. It came complete with an older (probably '70s), iron Singer, but I'm planning to use it with my new (and first!) sewing machine, which is supposed to be prime for novice sewers. The table itself has been sanded and adjusted by my dad to be compatable with the new machine. The next three day weekend I'm headed back home to paint it.
Shelving: Mostly existing. The closet has a fairly deep shelf that wraps in an "L" shape around it's perimenter, in addition to two corner shelves (represented by the dashed lines in the floorplan above). I'm also planning to add a narrow shelf (picture ledge from IKEA) above the table, to catch smaller supplies and keep the work area clear.
Storage: Mostly clear containers of plastic and glass, existing and new. Bins, boxes, apothecary jars, etc. Trays for different paper types, from vellum to vintage.
Lighting: Lantern from Chinatown plus a pair of wall mounted lights (IKEA).
Printing Station: An existing cart. For printer, paper cutter, paper trays, storage boxes (to hold flatcards and envelopes), and spiral pads of watercolor and drawing papers.
Walls: I'm still hunting for the perfect pair of frames (or frame), which I plan to paint a high gloss white and use for my pegboard project. I came so very close to settling on one last Sunday at the flea market. As for the pegboard itself, I have an unconventional idea that I can't wait to try out.
I hope you've enjoyed these illustrated plans; I can't wait until it's finished and I can share the real thing!

Update: See the
finished closet here!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Dreams Have Petals

This place. Such a favorite. We revisited weeks ago on a spring break excursion. It's a hillside by the coast, planted with rows and rows of ranunculus. When I was very small we called it "rainbow hill" after the way the strands of petaled color seamlessly met the sky. There were fewer buildings then. Still when you're in the midst of it, with the dust of the road, the bright of noon, and a blue ribbon of sea in the distance, you find yourself quelling the impulse to run down the steeply plowed furrows and gather the largest bunch of ruffled blooms you've ever seen.