Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weekend on a Tuesday

I frequently lose track of what day it is (as in unsure whether it's Wednesday or Saturday, not the actual date).

Does this ever happen to you?

At least once a week I do a mix-up. Most recently I thought it was Tuesday when it was really Monday. And today (the *real* Tuesday) feels like a Saturday. You'd think that being in school with a regular class schedule would help, but alas the trend that started back in Moz when Rico and I were self-employed and working from home has only worsened. I think it's the fact that I keep funnier hours than ever, what with all the studio time I have to put in these days. I often work straight through weekends, only to have a random afternoon off mid-week that becomes relax-and-have-a-cocktail time.

Even worse than mixing up the days of the week? About a month ago, when school started, I mixed up what semester it was! Our teacher handed out the syllabus and, in front of the entire class, I helpfully let him know that all the dates were wrong. I saw a page full of "February" and "March" and for some crazy reason thought it was the previous semester, as if we were in the Fall and our professor had accidentally grabbed the Spring syllabus. Needless to say I was pretty embarrassed, and my classmates all looked at me like I'd gone insane.

Lack of sleep and unpredictable hours...they do a body good.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spring Early, Early Spring

The Bay Area is known for its mild, Mediterranean climate but what we're experiencing right now weather-wise is uncommonly warm even for these parts. Spring has fully sprung, several weeks early it seems, and as I look out the window I see daffodils in bloom, our plum tree covered with soft pink blossoms, and the neighbor's camellia studded with dark pink flowers. It's sunny, easily 70 degrees. Such a treat, although supposedly the weather is going to turn back to "normal" tomorrow and we'll get cooler temperatures and a bit of rain. We need it, really, but I will miss the sun and warmth. I am much happier with this kind of weather.

I thought about the phrase 'spring early' as I wrote the title to this post. That's really the philosophy I'm trying to embody this semester. Spring early. Don't put things off. Get things done today instead of constantly leaving them for tomorrow, or the next day. I've certainly gotten better about procrastinating, but it's akin to torture to have a day as gorgeous as what we're experiencing today and a to-do list a mile long that involves either being in the studio or in front of a computer. The urge to put tasks off until tomorrow is nearly impossible to resist. I've given in, in fact, and have decided not to go to the studio today so that I can enjoy a bit more time outside. Instead I'll write a paper today, prepare a presentation, work in my sketchbook. In theory, things I can do with my computer or sketchbook on my lap while sitting on the deck in the sun.

Tomorrow I'll spend all day in the studio. Feeling slightly stressed because I've procrastinated and left my jewelry project for the lastpossibleminute (I have to turn in a finished chasing and repoussé sample Monday afternoon). But still, a worthwhile tradeoff to enjoy a glorious day of early spring.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Owen Jones - Examples of Chinese Ornament

Aren't these Chinese patterns from the 1860's just fantastic? I love the colors and the delicate intricacy of the images. I found these on The Textile Blog, which is like a virtual candy store for those of us who love textiles, lace, carpets, wallpaper, design and more.

Owen Jones example of chinese ornament 1867

Owen Jones example of chinese ornament 1867

Owen Jones example of chinese ornament 1867

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Love Goes Beyond Borders Adoption Fundraiser

Lately my life has been on a faster, crazier, more sleep-deprived track than usual - but I'm happy to report it's for a fantastic cause. I've been working in collaboration with a friend I went to high school and college with, Ashlee Othick Andrews, who is expanding her family through adoption. Ashlee and her husband live in Calgary (Canada) and have two gorgeous children of their own, but they believe strongly in adoption and have decided to welcome an 18-month-old boy from Uganda into their family. Between traveling to Uganda and the fees associated with the adoption, they are looking at a significant financial hurdle.

Ashlee and I began talking a few months ago about doing a jewelry fundraiser to help offset these expenses and make their adoption a reality. I've since been hard at work designing a Uganda-themed jewelry collection, producing sample pieces, taking photographs of everything, writing descriptions, and brainstorming how to get the most support possible for the fundraiser. In short, Ashlee and I have pulled off the design, production and marketing for a jewelry line! Not an easy feat, especially with the craziness of school, but it's been an amazing experience and I'm really proud of the collection.

It's been especially inspiring to work with the gorgeous handmade paper beads I sourced for the collection. Women artisans in Uganda make these beads by cutting strips from magazines and rolling them up until a bead is formed. They then coat the outside of the bead with a clear varnish to make them stronger and water-resistant. The colors and patterns in these paper beads are unbelievable, some of the most amazing materials I've ever worked with. I sourced the beads from two nonprofit organizations, Paper to Pearls and Outreach Uganda (both out of Colorado of all places!) who send their proceeds back to the women in Uganda who made the beads.

Ashlee has set up an online shop at Etsy where we're listing the fundraiser jewelry. There are limited quantities available, and some pieces one-of-a-kind. We're taking orders through Tuesday, February 15th, then I'll do all the production and have everything shipped out by March 10th. All shop proceeds go directly to the Andrews' family adoption fund.

Please stop by the Love Goes Beyond Borders shop on Etsy, if nothing else to have a look and admire all the fantastically colorful pieces in the collection. If you are able to support Ashlee and her family in bringing home their new son, it would mean a great deal to them and to me as well. Thank you all in advance!

You can read more about the Andrews' adoption saga on their blog.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Postcard Mobile

Here's the finished result of the project I told you about here. My favorite part was organizing the postcard flowers into a color gradient that flowed both horizontally and vertically. I'm exhausted (not enough sleep last night) but satisfied with the end result, and my critique went quite well in class today.

Now to figure out what to do with this thing...