Sunday, February 28, 2010

Words to Live By: Week 37

My friend Jeanine is surviving and thriving after breast cancer.

Jeanine finished up her last round of radiation.  (Hip-hip-hooray!)  I found out that she was having some pretty uncomfortable reactions to the radiation treatments.  At least now, she only has to do chemotherapy until November.

Week 37

Week 37

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Heart Schnitzels

Last Thursday, my friend, Amanda, and I signed up to take a German paper cutting class called "scherenschnitte."  It means "scissor cuts" in German.  Neither of us could pronounce this, so we decided to refer to the class as schnitzeling.  (Yes, I know that schnitzel is a sausage, but it's the closest we could come to pronouncing the word.)

So on Thursday, we found ourselves trekking across NC State's godforsaken campus, full of pot holes and road construction, to the Pullen Arts Center (we made it there after two or three attempts despite using a GPS).  The class, however, was worth the trouble.  Our instructor was very knowledgeable and friendly.  She provided us with special scissors for cutting, different weights of cutting paper, a light table, and a packet of templates to try.  We had two hours to cut and snip to our heart's content.  Amanda and I both tried the hardest patterns the instructor had to offer.  I figured, if I'm taking the class, I want to be able to show I learned something.

Here the are the patterns we tried:

Scherenschnitte Class

My Scherenschnitte

Amanda's Scherenschnitte

Amanda's Scherenschnitte
And here are the results:

Voila!  My ScherenschnitteVoila!  Amanda's Scherenschnitte
With a little extra time at the end of class, I decided to try and create some of my own miniature schitznels.  They didn't turn out as well as I had liked, but it gave me ideas for the future...

Scherenschnitte Bonanza

Although scherenschnitte can be killer on your hands (those scissors are just so small), I can see myself trying it again the future.  Einen schönen Tag noch!

I Heart Scherenschnitte

"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable."
- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, February 15, 2010

Words to Live By: Weeks 34, 35, & 36

My friend Jeanine is surviving and thriving after breast cancer.

Catching up after a busy, busy February...

Jeanine seems to be taking radiation well.  She has been spending some much needed time with her girl friends and even got to see her boys on the big screen this month.  (Jason and I even even caught a glimpse of Terry and Jake on ESPN as they watched Duke play Georgia Tech.)  Life has been good and the love has been felt all around. 

2010, so far you have been good to her.  Thank you.

Week 34
Week 34

Week 35
Week 35

Week 36
Week 36

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Build Your Wild Self

While perusing my list of inspiring blogs, I found this interesting link via flossy-p's blog.  The site, Build Your Wild Self, is sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the New York Zoos and Aquariums.  What a great way to learn about nature and let your imagination run wild!

Build Your Wild Self
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
- William Shakespeare

Monday, February 8, 2010

Waiting for Stella

One of my friends at work is having a baby girl this month.  It's his first child.  We're all pretty excited about it here at the office.  He and his wife already have a name picked out for her -- Stella.... and she's going to be a princess.

The Stack

We all chipped in last week to create a gift basket for him and his wife.  Here's my contribution:

Lil' SeabassDivaPrincessS-SquaredMommy+Daddy=MeBurp MeGot Milk?Stella Embroidered

Can't wait to meet you, Princess Stella!

The Presentation

"All women are princesses, it is our right."
-Maya from A Little Princess (1995)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Having the Time of My Life

Lately, I've been really getting into the groove of creating.  Drawings, paintings, collages... you name it.  I want to do it all.  Not even the drab winter weather is slowing down this creative train.

I seem to be finding inspiration everywhere I go.  What is inspiring you today?

Winter Fun

"Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories."
- From  An Affair to Remember

One-of-a-Kind Stencil Art

I have a new addiction.  It's fabric stenciling.

Back in November, I read this interesting article on How About Orange's blog regarding freezer paper stenciling.  After tracking down the materials needed for the project, I decided to experiment by creating one-of-a-kind designs for the young babies in my life.

To start, you need:
  • Jacquard textile paint
  • Sponge applicator brush
  • Reynold's Freezer Paper
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Fabric (i.e. cotton t-shirt, canvas bag, etc.)
  • Iron and ironing board

Freezer Paper Stenciling
Tear out a piece of freezer paper.  With the plastic coated side facing down, use a pencil to draw your design on the paper side of the freezer paper.  Use an exacto knife or scissors to carefully cut out the design.

Draw Out the Design

Iron the prepared freezer paper to the fabric with the plastic coated side facing down.  The plastic side of the freezer paper will stick to the fabric.  Turn the fabric over (or inside out) to iron on a larger plain sheet of freezer paper.  (This extra sheet of freezer paper will act as a barrier so that the textile paint won't soak through.)

Iron on Fabric

Once the stencil has been applied to your fabric, dab your sponge applicator into the textile paint.  (You only need a little to start with.)  Carefully dab the paint into your stencil.  Smooth and wipe excess paint from your stencil using the sponge applicator.  Allow the paint to dry.  Clean the sponge applicator with water.

Fill in with Textile Paint

After the paint has dried, remove the freezer paper stencil.  Follow the directions on the textile paint bottle for setting the paint.

Remove Paper After DryingVoila!
To make sure the designs were durable and kid-friendly, I threw a batch of them into the washer.  They came out fine and did not bleed.  I allowed them to dry on a rack and then ironed the wrinkles out.

Wash TestIt PassedDrying...

Here are all the designs I created for the munchkins in my life.

Call MeDivaCutieBig BrotherBig SisterCheck 1, 2Lil' Lady

I found this project to be fun and easy.  Although cutting out the stencils was time consuming, for Zora, Phoenix, Lennox, and Kingston, it was worth it.

Sweet Pea

"The only gift is a portion of thyself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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