Friday, September 30, 2011

Lilia Garcia Castro Art Exhibit

As part of my Modern Art History class, we had a field trip. It was a short field trip since there is an Art Museum right on the College of the Desert campus.

They are open Monday to Thursday from 12:00 to 4 PM, it's free! or by appointment 760-776-7278.

They are currently the exhibit of Lilia Garcia Castro: A Contemporary View of Pre-Columbian Art. Lilia was born in Sonora, Mexico, She immigrated to California as a child with her family, and later graduated from San Diego State University. She then returned to Mexico to study art first at the University of Sonora, and then at the prestigious National School of Art "La Esmeralda" at the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, from which she graduated in 1982.

We went on the day of the Opening and she was still there walking around. An man that had attended the opening asked her a question about one of her paintings, and that was the ice breaker needed for her to start talking. The man asked the question in Spanish, so she responded in spanish, then when she noticed she had gathered an audience she started interjecting some English, and then when to all English. I found it interesting how great she was at transitioning between the languages without the awkwardness that sometimes happens.

She is a mixed-media artist. She picks up sand and dirt from all over the place, she mentioned that she has shelves of small jars of dirt in her studio, of many different grains and colors. She mixes the sand with her paints and then creates her pieces of art. These pieces have great texture.

Here are a few of her pieces:

There are so many more pieces. If you have a chance it's worth the trip. Now I have to pick 3 or 4 pieces I like and write a paper comparing these works to an art movement that we are currently studying in class. This is going to be my semester of papers! I'm glad I like the subject matter ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Black & White Contact sheets

The assignment for last weeks Black and White photography class was to make Contact sheets from the two rolls of film we had shot, and learned how to develop. For those of you that have been following since last summer when I expressed fear of my summer vacation because of my claustrophobia, well you know I'm claustrophobic. Not a good thing to be when you have to go into a dark room, that really does get pitch black you can't see anything!

I did it, and I wasn't the last one in the dark room! I was very proud of myself. Mind you did practice sitting in my seat with a dummy film with my eyes closed until I was doing it in less than 3 minutes. Then the red lights can come on, and I'm not so bad with those, but when it's pitch black I get in and get it done quick and get out!

I still haven't been able to figure out the correct Aperture to the correct shutter speed, so my first two rolls of film were not all that great. But I did finally figure out the light meter device on the camera, and it takes me about 4 times of setting up the shot to finally get my green light, so I'm excited to develop my next roll of film, I made sure I got the green light every time I went to shoot a picture.

Here are my contact sheets:

I got the chemicals wrong in the 2nd contact sheet. Man this developing stuff is a real science.

Also I promise to go back to sewing, knitting and creating patterns. I'm just a bit over my head, not sure why I thought I could take 10 college units, have a job, and still have a life. I don't remember it being this hard, but then again they keep telling me I wasn't 40 + the first time around.

A word of advice - If you are in school - Stay in school until you are done! It won't get any easier!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Super Saturday Crafts

I've always loved the Super Saturday Relief Society meetings. I was put in charge of the sewing project. We sewed Travel pillow cases (without the straps) to donate to the local hospital.

We loved the idea of the service project from this blog post:

And combined it with the pillow case with a pocket from this blog post:

We made a few:

And there were other talented people heading up other wonderful crafts, I love this Tule Wreath:

You can find some directions on this blog: Baby Rabies

And I've got these Yarn Wrapped Letters on my To Do list:

I love how they did them on this blog post: Let Birds Fly

But the most ingenious craft there was a Daily Journal in a basket. The simplest thing on the planet, that I would have never thought of. Make small cards for every day of the year, and each day you write one sentence of what you did, or inspired or you just want to remember!

There are some simply how to's on this blog: Daily Craft Project

And the best idea of the year goes to the person that set up a Trail mix bar, so that the ladies can munch while doing their crafts.

Doesn't that just look so yummy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My English Composition class...

English, English Composition and any writing in general has always been dificult for me. My first language was Spanish, eventhough I was born in LA, I lived the first 5 years of my life in Mexicali B.C. Mexico. We moved to Indio CA when I was ready to start Kindergarten. The English language did not come easy to me. In High School when I had to write papers for assignments I realized, I still didn't have a good grasp of the language, at least not good enough to write on paper what I truly wanted to say. In acquiring my AA in Fasion Design I was able to get away without taking an English Composition class, and take a creative writing class instead.

In order to receive a BA I must take a couple of English classes. I started with English Composition, I do my best thinking in the mornings so it's a 7 AM class. I truly believe that the people when need come into our lives when we need them. Professor Tapleshay at COD was put in my path for a purpose! This man is awesome. He is outgoing, loud, engenious in how he keeps his students attention. He had explained to me more about writing in a couple of weeks than I had learned in the nearly 15 years I had previously attended school.

Our first assignment was a Perfect Paragraph, Tell me what you think of mine:

*I believe that appearance can influence our attitude. In Charles Swindoll’s Attitude he states “It (attitude) is more important than appearance,”. As a Fashion Designer I have made many types of garments for many different people, and have watched first hand how an article of clothing can affect a person’s attitude. A long while back, when I was first starting my schooling for Fashion Design my little sister asked me to make her a dress for a Winter Ball High School dance. It was my first attempt at creating an article of clothing from someone’s verbal description of what they wanted. I drew an illustration, and she agreed that I had the general idea of what she wanted. At the time I was going to school in San Diego and my little sister lived in Indio. I put the dress in the mail and sent it to her. She never mentioned the dress to me. My brothers tell me that she opened the box put the dress on and broke down into very loud audible sobs. After I graduated from school she came to me and asked if I would make her a wedding dress, to be honest I was surprised. My little sister had seen other dress I had made for other customers and noticed my skills had improved, she wasn’t worried. I was worried; I made a test dress before cutting into the actual fabric. As I put the dress on her and laced up the back corset I could see my little sister straighten up and stand a little taller. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to make my daughter two prom dresses. The first dress was very colorful, in my husband’s words, “It looked like Walt Disney threw up on her.” As my daughter wore this dress, her very rambunctious nature showed through loud and clear even though she was headed to a more sophisticated even in her life. The second dress she wanted blue, because I wanted her to show her conservative self I bought Dupioni Silk for the dress. I made it tailored and close fitting in the bodice, very Victorian feeling. As she wore this dress her attitude was one of calm and sophistication. Truly one’s appearance can influence one’s attitude.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review and Giveaway of one of my bags...

Hi Everyone! There is a Review and Giveaway currently going on over at of one of my bags.

I have a couple of bags that I've sewn, that are not listed in my Etsy shop just yet, but I will get them up, so you have a chance to win them before the Giveaway is over. One of them is the cool Denim one for a few post back.

So hopp on over to the Knit Wit by Shair and enter the Giveaway.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Our booth is looking better...

This past Saturday was the 3rd time that we have set up a vendor booth at the COD Street Fair. We have been trying to perfect a booth, so we have been going during the off season, the booths are cheaper. It has given us great practice.

The first time we went one of the ladies from another booth said "You really need banners and signs." So the second time we went, we had a banner and some signs. Still need to work on getting better signs.

The second time we went one guy that was there selling T-shirts said "put a table going along the front of your booth showing your best stuff, so they can see it without having to walk into your booth."

We felt really good about the progress we have made. Randy made a counter high display table for Stephanie's Jewelry, and we set that along the front. That meant I could put my Bags & Patterns on one table and some of Randy's Trains on the other table we own. (we need more tables).

We had 5 sales, which was good considering there were hardly any people, and the vendors on each side of us, didn't get any sales. I felt bad for guys.

We have a long way to go, So we'll keep practicing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...Living Room Exploded

Their are 3 artists in this house. The only open area is what is supposed to be the formal living and dining room, which is my work area. We decided to set up a booth at the COD Street Fair last Saturday (more on that tomorrow). So the 3 of us were working frantically, and here it is Wednesday, and still no one has made any effort to organize after the Artistic bomb went off.

5 Minutes for Mom

Better in Bulk

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Black and White Photography class...

One of the three classes that I'm taking this semester is a Black and White Photography class. I didn't really want to take it, I wanted to take the digital Photography classes. The problem was that the one the qualifies for the Degree in Fine Arts is the Black and White Photography class. I do see the benefit of learning how to use and process 35mm film. My only question is that there isn't one camera manufacture out there that still produces a 35mm SLR camera, so what would be the purpose?

The first day was interesting listening to the teacher talk about paper and the size of the film and the plates that are used. He made the comment that he didn't understand Photoshop and thinking of an image in pixels. To me what he was saying didn't make sense, I understand Photoshop and I have never thought of an image as anything other than pixels.

So this first assignment, really opened my eyes as to how a picture is the presence of light and the absence of light. We went into the Dark room and produced 'shadow' prints, from objects that we brought in.

Here are mine:

This class is going to stretch my brain cells, with f stops and shutter speeds and light and no light, and chemicals....I am truly studying a dying art. What are you guys studying, or teaching??

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 Years ago...

I have debated over and over about posting about 9/11 because I either have to tell something I rarely talk about or ignore it all together. Their really is no middle for us.

My husband had just retired on Sept 7, 2001 from the US Navy after being in for 22 years. He had started working construction. We lived in San Diego, so for us our morning was just beginning. He was in the livingroom putting his work boots on when he was watching on the TV the first tower in smoke and then right in front of him he watched as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower.

I was still sleeping he woke me up and said "We are under attack, I'm not going to work, I'm going back to the ship, to stop my paperwork."

That started the downward spiral of my husbands emotional well being. He did go back to the ship and begged and begged to be let back in. Their was nothing the captain could do, his Retirement was final. From that point forward he was in groused with the news, knowing full well their would be a war.

The war came and he became worse, not being able to do the job he had been trained to do for so many years.

For us, 9/11 started our family on a very long walk through hell it self. So we tend to not talk about it much around here.

10 years later, my husband is about as back to normal as he will ever be. He still has health problems from the many suicide attempts. He has been stable for a short while now, his last suicide attempt was Sept of 2009.

We are on pins and needles waiting for September to be over. If he gets to watching to much 9/11 coverage I interfere. This morning it took him almost 2 hours to put all the cables back together. From VCR to Cable box to TV;-)

I really do feel for all those that lost loved ones, but I really do think their is way to much TV coverage of the event. Not everyone has the self control (or emotional stability) to know when it's to much.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Change to my Shoulder Bag pattern

I keep trying to figure out how I can produce items for Our Etsy shop faster. So I removed the gathers from my shoulder bag pattern.

 It sewed up so quickly I was amazed. And even though the main center piece stayed the same size. The bag looks lots bigger.

I'm hoping to get my Etsy shop stocked up with a few bags because I've sent this bag away for a review and giveaway and the giveaway is a Certificate to the shop. I'll post a link to the Giveaway when it's up.

I really want the shop to be stocked so that the winner doesn't feel cheated.

If you own my Not so big, Big Bag (shoulder bag) Pattern and would like the new pattern pieces email me from the Paypal account you used to purchase the bag and I'll send you the new pattern pieces. Then you follow the same sewing directions leaving out the gathering at the yoke and the corners.

Which do you like better the Gathered puffy bag or the New Flat looking bag?


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