Sunday, June 29, 2008


I photographed my quilts last week. Things were not as easy as I was expecting. First I had to build some very low-tech light stands out of 2x4s and shelf brackets. I've had the materials for weeks, but only just got down to putting these together. Then I clipped on cheap reflector lights and screwed in some very expensive daylight bulbs. I threw together a backdrop by cutting a black bed sheet to size and sewing a rod pocket on top and bottom. Each pocket got a curtain rod. The top rod slides into to screw hooks mounted into the wall in the hallway. The bottom rod is for weight to keep the sheet flat. This is where the stupidity begins. I pinned the first quilt to the backdrop, positioned my lights, and set up my tripod. Then my camera battery ran out. After recharging, I tried again. I took the first few photos and realized that 1) the lights weren't evenly flooding the quilt, and 2) photographing a whole-cloth quilt this way, unless you're trying to show of some really amazing stitching, is really stupid.

Plan B was to take photos of the quilts on my work table, a nice white surface. I set up my lights and got to shooting. As you can see from the thumbnails above, things turned out okay, but the photos are short of spectacular. These are going on my site, so I really wanted them to be good, but alas, I am no photo stylist. So if any of you are, and are aching to do some product shots for your portfolio, I'll do you a favor and let you redo the photos of my quilts. Otherwise, this is as good as it's gonna get.

Also in the news this week:
• One of our boarders will be leaving the Rowe School, so there is a vacancy. Anyone wishing to be considered for the big loft bedroom, please apply in writing or in person.
• The squash 100% died.
• I realized that my flight back from NY arrives in Birmingham 18 hours before my best friends wedding, which is an 11 hour drive from here, so I'm going to have to change the ticket.
• Monstercard scanning has begun.
Tastespotting is back!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Edible Monster Card, Pt. 2

We had our Monster Cards game and it was awesome, per usual. I promise as soon as Adam and I have a chance to get our project going, you, too, will know the joys of Monster Cards. I used the game as an excuse to make macha cupcakes. I saw a recipe a few months back and have been wanting to make them ever since. The original recipe calls for pretty pink marzipan flowers on top, but I didn't think that was much in keeping with the theme of the night. Instead, I decorated with monster faces, bacon strips and t-bones, etc. If vanity is the sin that sends me to hell, I'll blame that marzipan bacon.

The cupcakes turned out to be delicious. The same cannot be said for the triumvirate of new Mountain Dew flavors, sampled during the same game of Monster Cards. But I'll let Adam tell you all about that. What I will say is that Mountain Dew: Code Red cannot possibly prepare you for the severity of this latest blunder.

It's been a while since I posted any pictures of the quilts I'm working on. They're looking good and I'll show them to you soon. I'm about to have to take some for-real, professional(ish) shots of them for marketing purposes, which is why I haven't taken any half-assed ones. I'm done with the samples that I'll be taking to New York next month, so you'll get to see those. I'm especially proud when I look at the little Napoleon label in the corner.

The garden is producing a little, but mainly it's failing. The squash plants got huge and are now dying, one by one without ever having shown sign of making a squash. The stems seem to be rotting from the inside. I have no clue if this is due to some failure on my part or if they're diseased, or what, but it's sad. The tomato plants got big, too. No matter how much I stake them, they're a tangled mess. Nevertheless, I've eaten a few tomatoes from them and they're not bad. I also managed to get a Japanese eggplant to grow. I haven't eaten it yet, but it'll be part of my lunch some day this week. Even the sad little cantaloupe plants have put out a couple of runners and are trying their best. I fear for their spotty-leaved, insect-eaten little lives, though. I've learned enough to do better next time, I think. And if it all dies tomorrow, I'll try again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Edible Monster Card

We made a lovely trip to Dauphin Island this past weekend. First time I've been to the beach in a long time. The weather threatened to be awful but turned out to be just fine. Undetermined quantities of schnapps, shrimps, beers, and bbs were depleted. Look at those delicious, hideous crustaceans. That's a monster card in the making.

And speaking of Monster Cards, we're hosting a game at the Rowe School tonight. Drawing begins at eight. For those of you who have no idea what Monster Cards is, stay tuned. I've got a project in the works that will make it all clear to you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not a Hangover Cure

Spinach risotto with goat cheese. I wish I could say it was healthy (healthful), but I can only say it was delicious.

I got an invitation to Spoonflower today. You upload a design, and they'll print it on quilting weight cotton (5 yd maximum). At $18 a yard, it's not what I would call cheap. It is, however, wicked cool. Right now they're in beta so you have to put yourself on a waiting list and get an invitation before you can have your fabric made. My invitation came this morning, but my brain is too addled to design fabric right now. I'll show you what I come up with when I decide to tackle the project, though.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I love paper!

I picked up my hangtags today and they're so freaking rad! Once my business cards are done and actual real photos of my quilts are up on my website I'll be ready to head to NY. I'm terrified of talking to stores to try to get them to carry my stuff. Not much I can do about that, though.

We saw The Strangers last night. Terrifying without being a really great movie. But then, I'm very easily frightened. If our bedroom were one of the ones attached to the secret room in the house, I definitely would have slept on the couch. Or in the car. Whatever we're watching tonight I think is more gorey than scary, so perhaps I won't need Evan to walk me to the bathroom.