Experimenting with watercolor brushes and color scheme

Lately I’ve been drawn to the color scheme: fuschia, purple and blue.  It’s really rich, eye-catching and complementary.

My Tuesday night experiment with watercolor brushes and my fav color combo:

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Vintage Effect

I recently visited the beautiful Muir Woods 11 mi north of the Golden Gate Bridge during a trip to California.  I took a ton of photos and chose two shots to tweak that I thought a vintage effect would work well for.  I found a great tutorial (thank you veerle’s blog!) on how to achieve the effect.  I think the level of pinkish tone can be altered to your personal preference.  I like a little bit more of it :)

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How did I get into making jewelry?

I’ve been asked this question a couple of times…so I thought I’d explain it in a post…here goes the story!

I first heard about etsy from a co-worker two years ago.  She raved about how it’s a great site for buying handmade goodies.  I had to check it out!  I started shopping on etsy and found a lot of great necklaces and earrings made by local artists.  During days when I’m in much need of retail therapy, I spend hours browsing on etsy.  I found a ton of earrings I liked, but some items were sold by international sellers with high shipping costs.  The shipping plus the price of the item itself was out of my budget.  I continued to browse, searching on etsy for other items with a similar theme and then saw other sellers with similar designs using identical findings.  I started to wonder if I can find the supplier on etsy so that I can try making them on my own.  After some hours of searching, I found some suppliers, ordered a ton of supplies and took frequent trips to Michael’s to get started.

I made my first pair of earrings earlier this year in Jan and it took an hour!  I didn’t have the right tools and slowly began to realize making jewelry is a lot harder than I thought.  I sat down with the supplies and was eager to get started, but realized I didn’t have all the materials and tools.  I sat there with a flat plier…thinking I could bend wire simply with that…and I didn’t realize I would need a round nose plier!  Eventually, after some experimentation and lots of poking around at Michael’s, I bought the right tools and the right supplies to put together a pair of earrings and the final product felt so fulfilling.  It was another channel of creativity and productivity I needed and really enjoyed.  I started making more thereafter.  Afterwards, I got the hang of it and started exploring various techniques like wire wrapping.  Not as easy as it may look!

After moving to a new home in May, I have been pretty pre-ocupied with it, but I am really hoping to get back to making more jewelry!  It’s a great hobby and it also gives me a chance to do more photography.  =)

So far, this is my favorite pair I’ve created…it took an hour, but was worth it!

It’s important that everyone has a hobby…and I think this one is a keeper!  :)

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Creative challenges

As a designer, it’s important to continue learning and to challenge myself creatively by working in different mediums.  This past Saturday I took a Robot Sculptures workshop, led by Ann Smith, at Wellesley College and tried a medium I never thought I would.  Ann spent 15 mins or so explaining her experience with creating sculptures using electronic parts and showed some examples of her work.

To get started, she encouraged us to go through bins and bins of electronic parts, where some were organized by shape (circular objects etc.) and some by type (wires, screws etc.), and pick out pieces that catches our eye.  I have to say, it wasn’t easy for me!  I didn’t know where to begin.  I started going through the bins and chose objects I liked.  I gravitated towards circular objects, so I chose a ton of those.   I got a step closer to my concept when I found two metal pieces with ridges that looked like teeth.  I had an ah-ha moment, where I knew I definitely had to create some sort of animal!  After gathering some pieces, I went to my work station, looked at them and wondered if I can form anything out of those shapes.  After going back and forth for about 5 or 6 times to get more pieces, I looked at all the pieces I gathered and started piecing them together to try different combinations.  One piece stood out to me, because of its circular shape, its texture and blue color.  I knew I had to incorporate it somehow so it became a foundation piece.  I started stacking other pieces on top of this piece and still didn’t really have a concept.  I knew this was going to be very experimental and I would discover a concept as I worked with various combinations.

As I continued to keep stacking, I found the perfect black piece that was an egg shape that complemented the foundation piece very well.  I put this piece on top.  Then, I stacked a perfect white circle with a black border on top and thought, hey it looks like eyes on a head!  This is where the metal pieces for the teeth came in, a perfect fit!  It looked almost like a robotic bird and from there, now that I’ve came up with my concept through experimentation, the rest of the pieces came together.

Here’s the final result!

Thank you Ann for a great learning experience and Clara for organizing the workshop! You can read more about the workshop on the Wellesley College Applied Arts blog.  I *heart* Wellesley!  :)

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iPhone 4 Photo Quality – Impressive!

I recently purchased the iPhone 4 and I must say, the photo quality is really impressive for both indoor and outdoor shots.

The colors are extremely sharp and vibrant in this picture—no touch-ups needed here!

The quality is equally impressive for this indoor shot of a sunset view through a lovely window:

I’m glad I made the investment!

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Channeled Energy

It’s 2am, but still running on lots of energy…so I channeled it into another purple piece:

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Falling in love with purple

Purple is such a rich hue.  It makes me think of royal elegance, mystical beauty, energy and intensity. Lately everything purple has me taking second looks.  I think I’m falling in love with purple.  I saw a gorgeous purple rug online that I’m probably going to dream about.  It inspired me to make this:

Like it?  :)

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Decorative Papers Workshop at Wellesley College

I took a workshop today taught by Abbie Read at Wellesley College. I’m really thankful these Applied Arts workshops are also open to alumnae.  Wellesley is just 5 mins away from home now!  The workshops lasted 4 hours and we learned the process of decorating paper using various colors, tools and techniques to create unique patterns.  How to make the color paste you ask?  We mixed acrylic paint with a paste of methyl cellulose and wheat starch.

Love working with new mediums and learning new approaches…I had a great time!

Some pictures of my decorated papers:

People use decorative paper as book covers, to make boxes…anything!  What should I make?  Hmmm, maybe I should use ‘em as backgrounds for cards?

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Great Product, Amazing Experience

This past weekend, I discovered a product that completely changed the way I see yard work.  I recently moved to Natick…to a house with lots of possibilities for interior design and an outdoor garden.  The biggest time sucker, aside from taking trips to home depot every other day, is picking weeds!  I love the house, but weed picking became a chore that seemed endless…as the weeds continue to grow back.  Luckily, we took a chance with an as seen on tv product, the weed claw, that works SO well.  I am SO happy at how easy it was to use.  You attach it as a piece to a drill, aim it at a weed, press the trigger…VOILA…out of the ground in seconds!  Now I actually enjoy yanking those suckers!  The process of pulling them out now almost feels game-like.  This product exceeded my expectations in its functionality + reasonable price at $12 = great user experience…that’s how every product should be :)

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Tools that Make Life Easier

I love tools that make life easier! Who doesn’t right?!

Have you ever used adobe’s browser labs? I’ve been using it to test my new site design in various browsers (Chrome, Firefox 3, IE 7, IE 8).  It makes testing so much easier!  I was pretty lucky to have no major issues, *phew*!  Just a couple of css hacks were needed for IE 7.0.  I’m so glad that ie 6.0 is finally out of the picture!  What a day that was, March 1, 2010, IE 6 Funeral.

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