Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Storque

For those of you who don't spend a lot of time on Etsy, The Storque is Etsy's blog. They have lots of different kinds of stories, some on a theme, particular artists, or just cool finds on the site. I noticed one of my items got a lot of hearts today, so I check The Storque and sure enough, may Napoleon banner pillow is shown in an article on bedding. So check it, homies!

p.s. Is anyone interested in seeing any of the following bands with me at Bottletree: Sunset Rubdown, American Steel, or Crooked Fingers?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Supertasting Does Not Taste Super

Ugh! Egads! That was so gross! Okay, it's not as bad as eating a vomit flavored jelly bean, but these strips of paper are nasty. They taste like powdered aspirin, or xanax swallowed too slowly... IF you're a supertaster, that is. Which, apparently, both Evan and I are.

Ever since I exceeded expectations in Erin's "Identify Skittle Colors by Taste" Test, I've not-so-secretly hoped that I was a supertaster. As soon as Evan found out that he could use supertasting as an excuse for hating vegetables, he's been hoping he's one as well. After trying and failing to properly execute a supertaster test involving blue food coloring and wax paper last week, Evan went ahead and ordered these strips. The subject puts a strip into his/her mouth for ten seconds. According to the instructions, a non-taster will taste nothing, a taster will taste a mildly bitter/bland flavor, and a supertaster will taste something very bitter. Both of our reactions were so strong that we immediately spit out the paper and slammed some water.

It seems unlikely that we would both turn out to be supertasters, but until we have better evidence that the tests are faulty, we're going to assume that they're not. We will also assume that being a supertaster makes one superior. And that our superiority qualifies us for something besides an aversion to vegetables, grapefruit juice, and dark chocolate, like a man-servant or possibly a silver plaque of some kind.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fabric Envy

Any of you who have hung out with me around fabric ordering time have heard me complain about how difficult it is. When you're picking things out online from a tiny swatch it's hard to tell what color it will really be, how it will match other fabrics, etc.

I've been noticing another problem recently, too. I subscribe to True Up which is a great blog dedicated to fabric. Writer Kim Kight posts pics of fabrics on a weekly theme, as well as new fabrics of note, sales, etc. I find that when Kim posts a collection that I've already looked at on the manufacturer's site, I often notice a print that I didn't before and kick myself for not considering it. This is especially true of smaller prints. I think it says something about the design of some manufacturers' sites. I want bigger images when I browse, and I want collections to be better organized.

My other fabric-related problem today is that Moda is sold out of two (two!) of the fabrics I ordered. I had to throw in three or four bolts of stuff I didn't know what to do with to meet the minimum order. But it couldn't be those that were sold out. It had to be fabrics I had specific plans for. Sigh.
In much much better news, I've been accepted to Trunkt which is a juried collection of online portfolios for "creative entrepreneurs" (read: artists, designers, craftspeople). Buyers, wholesale and individual, can browse the portfolios, which will then direct them to the artists online shop. The shop can be the artist's personal website, Etsy shop, or wherever they do business online. Because the site is juried, it ends up being a lot more professional than Etsy, in terms of photos and products. As much as I love Etsy, there's a lot of crap on there. The front page is always beautiful, but once you start browsing, there's no telling what you'll find.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What a Mess

This is what my work table looks like right now. I'm alternating between quilting this giant project during the day and embroidering at night. Happy to be doing both, though, especially since they're coming out well.

The new sewing machine came, but between school, work, and outside projects like the Cigar Box website, I haven't even had a chance to test it out.

I've also been spending a lot of time trying to promote my Etsy shop. I originally intended it as a sort of back-up or a place to sell one-offs, and that's still the plan. But any kind of promotion or site traffic is good, so there's no need to treat it like a red-headed step-child. And hey, if any of you guys who know my work ever have brilliant PR ideas, send them my way. I'm pretty sure you don't have anything better to do.

Thinking about a game of Monstercards next Wed. Anyone up for it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hot Tea

Have I ever mentioned that I drink a lot of tea? Like, a lot. Evan and I drink a pot of PG Tips (which I go all the way to Whole Foods to get) every morning, and then I often drink another half a pot afterr fir thet one is done. Anyway, because I can't drink tea around the quilts, my tea often gets cold and then I have to microwave it and then that usually gets cold, too, and I have to dump it out. No more! Evan got me the cutest vacuum flask (a.k.a. Thermos) ever! I'm already trying to figure out if it will be weird to take it to class in the winter.

Speaking of which, I start school today. First up, French 101 and Southern Baroque. I'm feeling a combination of excitement and dread inspired by laziness. I'm going to assume that's typical.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Updates of Machines

Today I received in the mail an update to my camera situation. That is, I bought a new one. Hence the pictures. I am both relieved to not be using the ancient back-up camera anymore, and sad that I had to spend the cash.

Next week I will take delivery of an update to my sewing machine. The current one is a very basic, non-computerized White purchased during sophomore year of college for less than $100. I've been working on a commission this last week, and I realized in the process that my machine just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I need something that doesn't make me pull my hair out. I wanted something computerized, but still can't afford more than a proletarian brand, so I decided on the Brother CS6000I. It's a 60-stitch machine with automatic one-step buttonholes, speed adjustment, and the all-important choice of auto-stopping with the needle either up or down, depending on your preference. I've been coveting that feature ever since I borrowed a machine that had it, probably sometime very shortly after buying my poor little mechanical White. The Brother has mostly good, but a few worryingly bad reviews on Amazon, so I'll have to wait till I get it to tell you if it'll be an improvement.

Here's a sneak peek at the commission-in-progress. The front and back are both pieced and are ready to be quilted. Evan and I both really like it and will be sad to see it go. It makes me want to find some time to make something for myself. It's pretty unlikely that will happen anytime soon, though, especially as I'm starting school on Tuesday. I'll still be doing my work for Napoleon as well, which will leave a lot less time for cooking, cleaning, and extra-curricular quilting. Besides, I find that I'm unable to stop embroidering in my free time. I'm thinking of doing a whole series of embroidered variations on the theme of butterpants.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The body politik.

I'm supposed to be educating you all on random walks and logic trees, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find the perfect Batman script to do it with (or any Batman script, for that matter). That sentence could be a bit confusing without the proper context, but since my critics want me to be a little less Mo and a little more PoMo, I think I'll keep it that way. Anyway, for those of you interested in discussing the wonders of probability theory--and American history--we'll be taking a trip next Saturday to the Alabama Theatre for a screening of National Treasure. Question and answer period to follow. Boozing period to follow question and answer period.

Other things of unnote:

> Recycling used to be a chore that I really enjoyed. On a Sunday morning, I would take my time flattening all the cardboard and putting all the bottles and cans in the car. I would drive down to the center with the windows down listening to one of the old hippie Tyrannosaurus Rex albums (Beard of Stars is my favorite), unload all the junk (someone's treasure) into giant bins and hang out with the homeless men who operate the place for a little while. Unfortunately, post-party recycling is not so pleasant. It's as if someone filled a kiddie pool with about an inch of beer traversed by little cockroach boats, let it sit in the sun for about nine hours, then dipped washcloths in it and started slapping me all over my body with them. Plus, some hippie guy replaced my friends at the center. I guess it's good that he probably won't constantly ask me for money, but I'd give the other guys twice what they wanted to not have to see granodouche in his cargo shorts again.

> My band, The Beaux Animaux, will be playing at the Cigar Box event at Bottletree on August 31st. If you come, you can not only hear some awesome music, but you can sign a petition because

> I'm going to run for mayor!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Is That? Velvet?

I am a cupcake master! With the help of James (who made the icing), Erin and Matt (who filled the tins), and Kristen and Kate (who helped decorate) I (we) made one trillion (read: 87) red velvet cupcakes for the wedding. They came out pretty freaking adorable and delicious. I've been doing things by sheer elbow grease at home, but thankfully I had a hand-mixer in this case. Every time I think about buying one I decide that I don't really need it, but now I know the truth. I will be making the $15 investment immediately upon my return to Alabama.

Erin and Matt's wedding yesterday afternoon was a real tear-jerker. I pretty much broke down immediately upon seeing Erin in her dress and then cried at regular intervals until the end of the reception. The whole thing was very sweet and everyone looked dashing. This morning we have a final get-together and then I begin the long trek home. See you back in Birmingham.