Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mom's and my excellent adventure

There have been three constants on our trip. Beauty, fun and rain. The variables? Gale force winds, lightening and a bit of sun in some of the right places......
We started Sunday afternoon and surprised my friend Dora in Garmisch. She and mom hit it off fantastically.
We made it to Vicenza later Monday than I cared for. The drive was gorgeous but made a bit longer by a closed road with no detour indicated. Several of us ended up on this closed road together so at least I know it wasn't just me....
It was pouring in Vicenza. A little windy too.

Venice started off a bit shaky for me. I was not happy with the weather. Mom was game though and I think her positive attitude brought the sun we had in the afternoon! I went up into the cappelle and took this photo. I didn't know but mom ran around to this side to try and see me. I actually got her in the photo. She's in the lower left side of the square by the chairs.

When the sun came out in the afternoon, we took the opportunity to sit in the San Marcos square and have a snack. We really enjoyed the small orchestra. It was a fantastic way to end the day. It was the Florian and the waiters all wore pristine white jackets. (Carol you should have been with us, you would have loved it!)

Our host for the two evenings we were in the area were a lovely couple, Gail and Stew. They shared the 500 year old restored villa they call home while they live in Italy. The villa has a name, I forgot it in the car. Their landlords are a count and contessa who live down by the main house. I regret that the weather really prevented us from getting decent pictures. It is a beautiful place and they are wonderful hosts.

This is Bella. I didn't get a good photo of her brother Duncan. They were hilarious. Bella is huge and she's just a baby.

A veiw from the dining area to the living room.
Right now I am posting from a gorgeous hotel, San Simeone in northern Tuscany. For our drive down here we had all of the afore mentioned weather. As I write it's hailing. I can't think of a more spectacular place to watch a storm roll through. In a few minutes we are walking down around the corner for a fantastic dinner. Life's good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New project

First I would like to show what first inspired me to make my pillows. I saw a pillow in a boutique in Amelia Island they only had one and I totally fell in love with it. Then I looked at the price tag and about keeled over and died... the staff wasn't exactly overly social (it was a absolutely gorgeous boutique with scrumptious french antiques) So I didn't want to ask any questions about it, I couldn't even get a picture so I just went home and looked at their online store hoping it would be on there. Of course no luck. I ended up calling later and asking if they knew who designed it and finally got this website as a answer. More beautiful stuff but they still didn't have the original pillow I saw and wanted (not that these prices were affordable for me either) so I started designing my own. And no I don't think they touch this woman's work. I finally saw her work again in the latest Ballard Designs catalogue -I was so excited! This is the closest I have seen to the original pillow - it might even be the same pattern I only saw it once for a few minutes. I love the way she has the work displayed. Can you believe I have none of my stencil work in the house? I had been wanting to frame it or something but I couldn't think of a way it would look good and now I know. So I got to work on what I think is my favorite stencil so far and here is what I came up with

It was really hard to photograph because of the glass. I did all the framing myself with only one call to my mum for a few questions. The supplies are all from Michael's. The frames is one from their more expensive line that comes with no glass, I fell in love with the simple leaf design (and I bought it on their 55% off sale) I bought a large piece of matte board (that I cute to size at home) and had them cut the backer board for me. I also picked up spacers and framers tape. I hand stitched the fabric to the matte board. I am SOO glad I hung out with mum in the frame shop for a day a few years ago I was so much fun to put something together again!

The frame fits a 16x20 piece so it is a pretty large piece. But I still shrunk the design from what goes on a pillow.

Just a few close ups. I have a smaller one that I still need to do, same frame just in an 11x14 size. I still need to decide what I want to do for that one... decisions, decisions...

Meanwhile earlier today Uber informed me I had a surprise when I got home... you never know what this could mean with him they've varied greatly in the past.... sometimes he's just joking... I tend to figure he is joking so I reminded him I wanted a plant from Lowe's and told him the colors and figured he had an out if he was kidding about it (I really wanted a surprise) When I got home he gave me this

yes, that would be candy from his office... what a sweet heart right! I was like come on REALLY where are my plants?! And he was like ohh... yeah ok well I will bring those tomorrow... So we were making dinner and he got a business phone call and sent me to get his PDA for him out of his briefcase and this was next to it

I think I screamed but you would have to ask him because sometimes I just make noises in my head. I did yell at him though!! Since no where locally has it setup to try out he decided to just bring it home so I can see if I like it, if not I can take it back the store has a 30 day return policy and said it would be no problem to return it. I am hoping I love it and don't want to take it back, but just in case. I've played with it a little so far it is easy to draw with but everything looks like a 3 year old did it... I am REALLY hoping this improves....

One thing is for sure Ubers AWESOME!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It was a beautiful weekend

The weekend was great though. We spent Saturday morning at the beach, our first visit for the year and all you get is pictures of the beach. We both were not okay with showing you any of us in bathing suits- Yikes! We took a looonnngggg walk and threw a softball around. It was the perfect temperature not hot not, cold and no breeze.

I FINALLY (years later) got a box for the flag my dad gave me. It flew in either Iraq or Afgahnistan - Dad? On October 13, 2005 I don't know why I cant remember which...

I just realized that I forgot to tell you all how the interview went - it was great! Loved the school (it's the Art Institute). The lady I met with had really nice things to say about my work and gave me some really great information about local art events. I still need to make appointments with the other schools I am looking at and see what they have to offer. The interview definately has me more excited to get back into school again. I am also stalking the Intious 4 again... I really wish there was somewhere to try it out though... who wants to spend that kind of money and not know it's worth it!
I have something fun to show you tomorrow!

Getting ready to go

What do you do when you are getting ready to go on a big trip? I choose not to do the normal things like, say, pack. I take the day off and do things like share a huge hunk of brie and yummy jelly with my mom. This was a gift for us from Mary. Mary, it was perfect. We ate it all. We didn't share.

Next on my list is of course sewing. I simply couldn't pack until I made us these bags! I tried using the iron on vinyl Jennifer let me try. Yikes, that stuff is not made to be flipped back and fourth as this bag has to be. I was very dissappointed, Mom grabbed it from me, running to her room, saying mine mine. It's the one with the dots.... Mine is, yes, the purple one. The last is a gift.
Ok. I even managed to get myself mostly packed and some chores done. We head out this afternoon. Hopefully we will find connectivity somewhere. Otherwise you will know we are somewhere between Stuttgart and d'Orcia, Italy. We'll be home next Saturday, unless we buy a villa.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Weekend

We headed down to Orlando this last weekend to see my cousin who was in town with his college rugby team (California Maritime Academy) for the Sweet Sixteen Tournament. They placed 6th in the nation which they are pretty bummed about... personally I think this sounds pretty good, but I am just a girl. Anyway we kidnapped him for the night and took him into Orlando for some fun... or maybe I should say for some old fashion Florida weirdness.... We went to the Universal City walk and boy do they have a plethora of very special people down there! (for example picture VERY large woman in see through spandex pants) I found it especially amusing since the day before I had to listen to a conversation that a group of Floridians was having about CRAZY Californians (totally unprovoked)... if they only knew... I have run into many, many more crazies here then I ever did there... and we were in L.A. sooo.... back to the story

Isn't he adorable? I can't believe how much he's grown up! It seems like just yesterday that we annoyed each other to death. We had a total blast hanging out with him.
He wanted to see a gator but we didn't get him until it was too late to do that ... but I did spot an armadillo and we hopped out of the car and chased it around to take pictures of it (it was not harmed in the taking of this picture...or the hundred others on my camera actually it seemed a little too used to humans... we were only 2 feet away from it.)

I leave you with a picture of him sporting my blinging glasses... and I only do this because you can tell he's thinking - Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?
P.S. We also did some fun shopping after dropping him off at the airport. I will show you what we were up to why I get it finished. It involved Ikea, and a little bit of Crate and Barrel and Zgalleries...
P. S.S. I spent all tonight putting together a VERY thrown together portfolio for my appointment with the art institute tomorrow night.

Collin has a blog!

Collin started his art blog. Check it out.

Sunny Sunday Evening

There is just something about the Biergartens here. You can go and sit for hours.

You can be silly or do something artistic.

Eat a lot. Nap.

Play some cards and even bring an elephant.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Presenting the completed CatBirdFish Studio Logo

I have had a total blast putting this together! After knowing for sure which direction to head in I got to work again last night and I am very happy with the results. So here it is --

For the fun of it (and because my interent went down right when I wanted to post) I colored it in. I didn't expect to like it more but I think I might!

Uber is pushing me to get back to school... blech! But today he told me there is a graphic design institute locally that is connected with a larger one in Miami. Now I am interested!! I think we are going to go check out an open house next weekend... I'll let you know how it goes!

Mom's here!

And she brought me treasures! This is my guitar. Haven't seen it in awhile. Forgotten how to play but it's nice to have it back again. I estimate that it is about 40 years old. Not bad for a forty year old...... To the right is a cool bag mom made me. On top is a gift my sis gave me. The wool elephant she made. I love this elephant. Me with the elephant, my double chin and a baby alpaca scarf mom knitted for me. Guess I shoulda pulled that scarf higher?
I'm a lucky girl!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CatBirdFish Studio

Sherie (who is my aunt for those of you who don't know) commented on my tags take two post that she wanted her own... and how could I say no? Especially when she said they needed to say CatBirdFish Studio. I totally wanted to play! So here is two rough ideas the first one is what I thought of when I first read it (I spent more time on this one)-

After talking to her and finding out why she was calling it that I drew up this one today (it needs work I spent less than 30 minutes on it so this is just for the general idea --Uber already informed me the cat face wasn't right... )

Anyway I was just interested to see which she liked more (not liking either is also an option my feelings wont be hurt this is just fun) and thought I would share it with everyone... because it's what I have been doing with all my free time the last two days... which hasn't been much hence the special looking cat face! So let me know what you think too!

Fabric Yummy-ness

This arrived in the mail yesterday. I wanted to blog it last night but we had a situation. We changed our internet and phone service. Because my foreign language skills are, well, none exsitant, I didn't realize it was to happen yesterday. We we unprepared. It took up a little too much time, until a little too late in the evening, after a little too hectic of a day for me to think of blogging. So anyway, enough about me. I have wanted this fabric for a long time. Through no fault of my own I had to mail order it instead of buying it from the shop. I found a nice reliable source in The Door Mouse. Their service was wonderfully prompt. I might actually be able to make this dress for the Arts and Crafts contest! Now I only have to decide which one.........

Because I think I can do anything

I thought I would show you all a pre-blog project.

Meet ugly pink chair that I am for some reason wierdly attached to. Uber was like un-huh... that's special, but he rolls with just about anything so it sat in our room like this for quite awhile. I am not really sure where my mum got it from. But it is an art deco (I think) period chair and it was covered in a dusty rose pink velvet fabric

I was totally digging the velvet but not the pink and it was falling apart so I figured I would recover it... I had done a couch before (I need to scan those pictures in to show you so... yeah that may never happen) Anyway the bottom was also falling out and needed to rewoven and nailed so I went for it and took it apart.

When I pulled off the bottom I found this label... which was really neat and then I realized hmmm... I probably should of made sure I am not destroying anything of value... but it was too late so uh... forgive me if this was a no no. This picture is kind of blurry but it says it was made on the 2 March 1910- how cool is that?! This chair is almost 100 years old!

I chose a brown velvet fabric. I wanted to keep the chair similar to what it was just with a color change. It went really well, though I do wish I had taken an upholestry class before because then it would have been perfect

I covered the seams with cording

I found this funky trim for the bottom. There was no fringe in the right color and personally I think this is better.

Here is it completed

You can see how long ago this was since there is still carpet on the floor in the living room... and the vertical blinds over the window... I didn't know they still made these until moving to florida... yuck!

from the back

It's a little different than the original but I dont think it lost anything in the redo.