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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Travelin' Rabbit

In my fervent quest to create my own animals, I have produced another lovely creature - Travelin' Rabbit.

Actually, it's so simple right now that it could be a rabbit or kangaroo (missing its pouch) or rat or any number of things.
Be on the look out for additional members of this wild kingdom. :)

PS. Isn't the vintage-inspired color combination gorgeous?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Masterpiece Rabbit

You know how you spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you're good at and what you could potentially make a living from? Or, at least, some pocket money, if not a real living. I've been trying out different artistic mediums all my life, more so in the last 2-3 years than in my 22 years of existence... but you know the story... artist since very young age.

I've always been one with many interests. I could no sooner choose one medium to stick to and make it my career than I could with food, politics, lifestyle, and all those important life details. Then I discovered -- stumbled upon more like -- Stephanie Congdon Barnes and... well... the rest is a temporal history. (At least until the next medium comes a-knockin'.)

I don't know if you've seen Stephanie Congdon Barnes's work but her animals and other items are gorgeous. Down to every detail she is brilliant beyond brilliant. If I could, I would purchase each and every one of her masterful creations and put it on display. Her work -- the attention to details, the intricacy, and her talent for hiding finished seam work -- is deserving of gallery/museum attention!

I'm just saying. The gal knows what she's doing and has been for a while. Nothing that great gets conjured up in minutes or hours.

And... if you're anything like myself, when you cannot afford something but really, really, really want it, you think to yourself: I'm not a shabby seamstress/artist, I've got a sewing machine, I know how to hand-sew, I've got the materials, I'm gonna make it myself!

Several hours later... The finished creation. I've sewed rabbits before (a total of two) and even attempted a teddy bear, but I must say, a person's skill can evolve so drastically. It certainly took me by surprise. A welcomed surprise.

The pattern-making took a good hour to figure out. Lots of sketching and tweaking and enlarging. Then the actual sewing took another 8 hours or so. I really surprised myself with this rabbit. My previous stuffed toy attempts were no where near in quality, craftsmanship and dedication.

It's amazing what you learn about yourself and your capabilities when you're forced to make something yourself.

Now I'm dreaming up animals galore! LINEN animals galore! I can't wait to get started with my own menagerie of sculpted/tailored animals.

Hostess Gifts For A Friend

Earlier last month I stayed with a friend while visiting Madrid. I had planned on having some hostess gifts prepared before visiting, but, as has been the trend lately, I didn't get myself organized. So... it was only until a little more than a month after returning to the states that I've gotten around to making a few things to say "Thanks". Call me timely.

I didn't know what she needed or would use, so I made some things that most anyone would enjoy. Practical. Pretty. Simple to make.

For my friend, I made a set of coasters using gorgeous scraps of oilcloth (easy to clean and fairly durable... I mean, what damage could a cup do to it?).
I also made up a set of mismatched (though the colors kind of match, right?) cocktail napkins from leftover scraps of fabric in my fabric stash.

AND, I sewed up a tea towel/dish rag using an extra piece of this toile fabric I bought from etsy.

All in all, I think it's a pretty nice gift. The colors and patterns make for a bright and cheerful gift! Great for Spain!

Many apologies for the blurry photographs!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Layout

What do you think? I had forgotten a lot of basic html and css coding (what little I knew to begin with, that is) until recently. Upon witnessing the mess of a blog this was becoming, I knew Shiri Me! needed a cosmetic face lift. It still needs some work; must do some more research on coding to get it right. I'm loving the color scheme. Was inspired by Cosa Verde's website.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Am back for Fall

Have returned from my third and final summer trip - Spain! - and will now attempt to sort out my life. Doing a bit of "spring cleaning" this fall, searching for a part time job as well as establishing some volunteer/intern positions for "professional development", AND, most importantly, get cranking on the crafting. I hope to have some things to show you soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

I don't know how many of you watch this U.S. reality dance program, but I've recently fell in love with it again. (And you should check it out if you haven't already done so!)

(One of my favorite dance routines this season)

The dancers this season were quite good (though I'm no dance expert) and while I really would have loved to see the Top 8 all win, that is just not possible. I was quite saddened to see Janette go. Really, quite possibly, she was one of the best dancers I've seen on reality dance shows like this one (and I've seen my fair share). But, then again, she'll probably end up having a wonderful career anyhow. My art teacher always said, those who never won anything for their work usually come out at the top in the end (in response to my jealousy over my younger sister's initial luck with awards for her artwork). I like to think the same will happen for Janette.

Meanwhile, my heart is now with Jeanine, as she is also my favorite. I simply cannot believe that she is only 18 and so accomplished; you can just see it in the passion she displays, her grace (well, sometimes), her happy smiles, and overall technique. I hope she wins and, if not, I definitely hope she has a successful career in the arts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Back from China and Macau! What a trip! Will post pictures soon... soon as I locate the cords for the camera... Can't wait!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Want some comfort for the soles of your feet?

If you're wondering why I've been writing lately, I've decided that just because I do not have anything art-related (my art, that is) to talk about, doesn't mean I should let this blog die completely. I've been sick lately so it's definitely delayed my art-making. I've finally found my digicam and recharged my battery, so I hope to get to snapping some photos of things I've been making lately. My aunt also gave me several yards of light blue linen so I'll be able to make lots of cushion samples. Yay!

But... back to the topic. Have you ever heard of Cydwoq (pronounced Sidewalk)? They make the best shoes ever! Lots of people have said so online but I didn't trust them until I forked down the large sum of money to purchase a pair. Initially it felt uncomfortable, but by the second wear I wore it down enough to make it oh so comfy. It's definitely a shoe meant to be walked in. The above picture is the one I bought. You can find it here.

It's been bitterly cold in San Francisco as of late, but I've been finding myself trying to get out so I can wear them!

A tip to keep them lasting for years and years, have a shoe repair person make some rubber soles on your sandal soles and get it replaced every year or two. Resoling would cost you a lot more and the leather soles would wear down after much use. I haven't gotten mine rubbered up yet, but I plan to soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't ruffle my feathers...

Or something like that...

I've been in ruffle and pleat heaven as of late. I'm currently working on creating a few prototypes of linen cushions featuring ruffles, pleats, and other "architectural" details. I'm really excited and hope to share with you soon.

Until then, I'm lusting over this gorgeous dress on etsy, from lisarietz

It looks like something I would totally wear on a sunny day out or to the office... if or when I find a job that requires I be in an office... I'm perfectly content with just wearing it whenever, just 'cause..

(Unfortunately, it's out of my price range. If only someone would guarantee me a job by the time I return from my summer trips in August... hinthint... winkwink.) :)

Anyway, if you're looking for a little break from work or whatever, go check out her etsy shop! If anything, there's a lot of beautiful photography of her clothing, worthy of a magazine spread.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Travels in my head

I have a long vacation coming up. Two, actually. First China, then the east coast (Providence, Boston, New York and Connecticut). Next year, I would like to expand my east coast trip to include such places as Pennsylvania, Maine, Washington DC, and who knows what else? I really cannot wait. It will be a long overdue vacation. From the studies of my life.

No one can spend almost two decades in school without ever taking a break. And the summer breaks enforced by the public school system is just simply not enough! :)

But, in the back of my mind, I'm already planning additional trips. Long sojourns really. Two, three month types. I'm not sure which boss will allow an employee to be gone for such a long time... but I reckon I'll need to find a job that will let me accumulate my vacation days or will simply let me go and just not get paid. That, or I find a temporary job or wait until I'm between jobs. We'll see.

Where to, you ask? All over Europe. ALL OVER.

A former housemate -- from my college days not long ago -- just returned from a semester abroad in Copenhagan. Then, she spent three months afterwards traveling Eastern Europe. On her own, I might add. No real planning and just staying with strangers for free. Sounds like an exhilarating adventure!

I, myself, am a self-proclaimed stubborn planner. Can't go anywhere without some kind of plan, however vague or complicated. Need one. And maps. Whether it's a general map in my head or the real kind that you hold out. Or even the scratchy kind I drew. Need some kind of picture. To guide me, y'know. Not that I would ever dare get lost. Maybe for a minute.

So. In my mind, I'll be traveling everywhere. I've always been fascinated with Italy and sometimes France (no snootiness, please) and Spain (sometimes, not always). And England would be easy because they speak English too! Though different and with an accent. And lately I've been mesmerized with Scandinavia -- Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, did I miss anything? But mostly Denmark and Sweden. We had a foreign exchange student from Sweden who lived with us! So I'll have a contact there. (Actually, we also had a foreign exchange student from England... but that was a while back). Though the movies have turned me scared to the idea of traveling to Eastern Europe, I'm now resolved to at least try and visit some parts. Especially now that my friend has arrived safe and sound and had little to worry about, though she, a young pretty woman, traveled on her own.

I'd also like to visit Austria and maybe Switzerland. Is that part of Eastern Europe? Oh! And I can't forget about Greece.

So maybe I won't be able to visit all of these places at the same time. I'll definitely find my way there. Somehow. Sometime. I will. Perhaps I'll spend two weeks here during one year and two weeks there on another year. I'll get there one way or another. And on a steep budget! :)

I have a growing collection of travel books and language guides.

*Sigh* In my mind, I am traveling all the time.

Where do you like to travel in your head?