Friday, February 09, 2007

six weird things

I was tagged by Suzanne to come up with six weird things about myself. The difficult part in this of course is selecting the six items that are weird enough but not so weird as to make people write me off as a total fruitcake ;) So in that spirit, here we go:

  1. I can write legibly forwards and backwards with both my left and right hands.
  2. In high school, my friend Sharon and I used to fake monumental arguments at the lunch table just for sport. The fact that people thought we were serious made it all the more entertaining for us.
  3. When I was a kid, I was a closet reader - literally. My bookcase was in a small well-lit closet and I would sit in there for hours looking through my books and rereading my favorites.
  4. As an adult, I have been mistaken for a teenage boy on more than one occasion - usually, but not always, when I've had short hair and was wearing no makeup - the curse of being a tall girl with a boyish figure I suspect.
  5. I still have my braces in a little plastic container that my orthodontist gave me. I keep the tiny metal torture devices, bits of cement still clinging tenaciously, in my childhood jewelry box. I hesitate to explore the psychological implications of that one.
  6. I used to have no feeling whatsoever on a 1" square area just above the inside of my right ankle after I was cleated during a soccer match when I was 11. Now I can feel my fingernail if I press in really, really hard.

So now you know some of the sordid truths about me. Suttonhoo and litwit, you can consider yourself officially tagged. In the meantime, I'm going to think some more about getting rid of those braces ;)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nutella Alert

I just found out via Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice (her debate of knife vs. spoon is not to be missed) about World Nutella Day.

I had planned to start my new year's resolution of abstaining from sugar and chocolate today.


Another resolution bites the dust.

[photo credit: Cream Puffs in Venice]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

creative ties

This weekend I checked out Crafting Out Loud, "Tampa's original urban craft fair" at the Viva la Frida Cafe y Galeria. It was a tight squeeze but I managed to fight my way to the back corner and score a very cool bag made from vintage neck ties. The bags are made with great attention to detail by Orel Edry of One Off Designs.

Of course, you know I'm not one to be swayed entirely by looks; a bag has to function to be worthwhile in my book. The four generously-sized pockets made from sturdy fabric with a vintage feel keep everything tidy and accessible. Just as it should be.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

glasses | gecko

Last week I came across an interesting drawing exercise at Mithi's Creative Journey (via Suzanne over at AN [OPEN] SKETCHBOOK) and knew I had to try it out.

The point of the exercise is to recognize the importance of drawing as a medium for working out ideas - visualizing forms which, through a process of editing / refining, become more removed from their intial source material. Basically you start out with two objects (I used my glasses and a ceramic gecko) and work on a series of drawings, using formal methods and combining elements to end with a final four.

This is my set:
First 16 quick line drawings of my glasses and then another 16 of a ceramic gecko:

Next, 64 quick drawings based on the original 16 - using the formal methods of exaggerating, distorting, simplifying, enlarging, reducing, repeating, rotating, combining, cross-referencing, and layering. Glasses first, gecko second:

Next use the formal methods again to make a single set of 32 new drawings, combining the glasses and gecko drawings:

Refine again to 16:

This time, paying more attention to layout, negative spaces, blocking out spaces, etc., reduce to 8:

and FINALLY refine and reduce to four final "complete" drawings:

It was really fun watching the transition from those initial simple drawings to the final four. Highly recommended!

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Originally uploaded by Opiliones.

When's the last time you had this much fun?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

it's the lens baby

Originally uploaded by Opiliones.

There I was, minding my own business, when I looked outside and saw a package from Lensbabies sitting on my front porch - an unexpected birthday surprise from my sisters!

Lensbabies are selective focus SLR camera lenses. They're small and bendy and give you a "sweet spot" surrounded by graduated blur. You can move the sweet spot to any part of your photo by bending the lens, creating some very cool effects in the process.

I took it out for a test drive yesterday at the Gasparilla Children's Parade in Tampa and all I can say is WOO HOO!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the intellectual life

I love cruising the bookshelves at antique stores and book fairs, keeping an eye out for interesting titles. That's how I found the Tall Girl's Handbook and, another favorite, "The Intellectual Life" which consists of a series of letters that "consider the possibilities of a satisfactory intellectual life under various conditions of ordinary human existence" written by Philip Gilbert Hamerton in 1879.

Some choice selections from the Table of Contents (organized according to addressee) show just how various the conditions of human existence were at the time:
  • To A Muscular Christian

  • To A Moralist Who Had Said That There Was A Want of Moral Fibre In The Intellectual, Especially In Poets And Artists

  • To A Moralist Who Said That Intellectual Culture Was Not Conducive To Sexual Morality

  • To A Country Gentleman Who Regretted That His Son Had The Tendencies Of A Dilettant

  • To A Young Gentleman Who Had Firmly Resolved Never To Wear Anything But A Grey Coat

  • To A Young Gentleman Of Intellectual Tastes, Who, Without Having As Yet Any Particular Lady In View, Had Expressed, In A General Way, His Determination To Get Married

  • To A Young Man Of The Middle Class, Well Educated, Who Complained That It Was Difficult For Him To Live Agreeably With His Mother, A Person Of Somewhat Authoritative Disposition, But Uneducated

  • To A Young Etonian Who Thought Of Becoming A Cotton-Spinner

Suttonhoo and I almost came to blows in our quest for said intellectual education at the Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago a couple of years ago ;) BTW, if you're interested, you can find copies of The "Intellectual Life" at Amazon but it will cost you from $95 for a first edition to $195 for an early reprint. FYI, I got my first edition in mint condition for a steal at $20.