Sharing a little link love…

1 08 2011

Sculptor/lighting artist David Wiseman creates some of the most beautiful home accessories I’ve ever seen. Look at his ceiling art here, a beautiful copper fireplace screen here and lovely branch-inspired lighting here. I’m even partial to his whimsical “collage chandelier” with its chain-woven spider web here.

Johnny Swing creates the most amazing furniture out of unexpected materials—glass jars, windshields and my favorite—coins. I love the “Quarter Chair,” made of 1,200 quarters! I would imagine you would want to keep this piece indoors—can’t you just imagine how hot it would get on a scorching summer day? Take a look at the “Nickel Couch,” made of approximately 7,000 nickels!

Corey Frye‘s blog, A French Frye in Paris, will take you on the journey of a 33-year-old New Yorker who married a Parisian girl, then headed for France in early 2010. He prose is witty and lively and the accompanying photos are wonderful. He takes you along on field trips all around the city, sharing history, romance, little-known facts, and funny stories about learning how to speak French with his in-laws and other extended family. I subscribe to his blog and every time he writes, I long to be in Paris!

On the arts & craft front: When I’m on a sewing binge, I frequently check out the new projects on www.sew4home.com. The projects are all relatively easy—a plus when you have multiple hobbies and never enough time to encompass them all. And on the subject of sewing, check out fiber artist Miyuki Sakai‘s amazing work here. She’s not your average illustrator—her drawing medium is thread! Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Country Home, Vogue, Seventeen and other magazines. She shares her secret: a portable straight stitch sewing machine, ordinary cotton blend fabric, extra ordinary sewing thread and magic hands. I’ll say!

And finally, I’d like to build one of these on a tiny bit of land (preferably with a view, or on a lake, or near the water) in each of the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Washington state and Texas. I would then fly between each of those states, visiting to photograph each area in the best weather conditions and peak blooming times. I realize that I can’t store thousands of books in one of these (hmmm….but I could build a separate one just to house a library (and gardening tools…and photography equipment…and craft supplies…and…)! Designer Jay Schafer sells plans for houses ranging from 65 square feet (!) to 837 square feet (and some are even portable).

Advertisements




Revisited: Sewing with Jasper

18 07 2011

We lost our beloved Jasper (aka Stripey Joe and Mr. Twitchy) in late October last year. He had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and an enlarged heart two years earlier. While we knew the condition could be monitored and medicated, we were well aware we could lose him sooner than his normal lifespan. Even armed with the prognosis, how can one ever prepare for such a loss? We loved him fiercely for almost ten years and he is never far from our thoughts. He was my furry photographic muse. I still see him by the patio door in my studio, watching birds and skinks and squirrels, and I can still hear his terradactyl-like meow. While we still have ZenaB to spoil, there is something missing in our little family.

Originally posted July 18, 2010.

(Sounds like a reality show, doesn’t it?—like Project Runway, but with felines). I’ve been in a sewing mood since the 4th of July weekend at the lake and to date I have made three tablecloths, 33 table napkins and six table runners. Do I need more table linens? Of course not! Every time I start sewing, Jasper insists on joining me and nestling into whatever fabric is available. Hope you like cats because that’s all I’ve photographed this week. It’s been too hot to do anything outdoors! This evening, my friend Karen joined me at the sewing table. She was making the second of two pillow shams for her bedroom (and we were so brave—flying without a pattern—whoo hoo! Wild women!). In the second photo, Jasper is serving as her topstitching quality control inspector. While Karen sewed the sham, I pulled out the Sculpey clay supplies and made some large leaf-shaped buttons for the pillow closures. Now I just have to bake them in my clay-dedicated toaster oven, paint, and seal. If they turn out halfway decent, I’ll photograph them and show you the finished effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft project: Garden aprons

23 09 2010

When my friend Karen and I go down to her lakehouse, we always feel compelled to bring our sewing machines and make something. In fact, we both agree we can’t really sew anywhere but the lake now. We’re spoiled! We put up my folding table on the screen porch and spread all our fabric around and get going. Her house overlooks the lake, so we can watch egrets and herons landing and taking off, kayakers rowing and fishermen trolling, and giant carp fins circling around like something out of Jaws. No phone calls, no interruptions. Snacks and music always. I ask you how sewing in a kitchen townhouse can possibly compare to sewing on a screen porch overlooking a lake!

We talk about anything and everything and one weekend we began singing while stitching….and ended up creating Sewing—the Musical, sung to the tune of Donna Summer’s No More Tears (Enough is Enough)—and chock full of references to the craft of sewing. Yes, we wrote down the lyrics and yes, we intend to one day perform it off off off off off off Broadway…you know…in our spare time! Just you wait…

When we started sewing at the lake, we started making curtains (no pattern, just winging it!) for the patio doors and shams and coverlets for the twin beds in one room. This year we spent Labor Day down there, sewing machines in tow. I was inspired to copy a cheapie dollar store gardening apron. I made three aprons that afternoon. Karen is using the blue one in her skin care salon. They’re a lot of fun to create (and a quick project, too!) and I might even try selling some on Etsy…you know, in my spare time. Ah, something else to keep me busy in the winter (besides crocheting a gazillion hats that I don’t need) when I can’t be out photographing my beloved flowers.

Taking orders for aprons…anyone?

P.S. The aprons aren’t as short as they appear—my sister asked how long they were because it appears that the angle I shot these at makes them look much shorter than they are. I used a basic gardening/utility apron from the dollar store as a pattern, although I could have made them longer. The pockets are deep enough to fit your hands in with room to spare—and certainly deep enough to accommodate gardening tools!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Sewing with Jasper

18 07 2010

(Sounds like a reality show, doesn’t it?—like Project Runway, but with felines). I’ve been in a sewing mood since the 4th of July weekend at the lake and to date I have made three tablecloths, 33 table napkins and six table runners. Do I need more table linens? Of course not! Every time I start sewing, Jasper insists on joining me and nestling into whatever fabric is available. Hope you like cats because that’s all I’ve photographed this week. It’s been too hot to do anything outdoors! This evening, my friend Karen joined me at the sewing table. She was making the second of two pillow shams for her bedroom (and we were so brave—flying without a pattern—whoo hoo! Wild women!). In the second photo, Jasper is serving as her topstitching quality control inspector. While Karen sewed the sham, I pulled out the Sculpey clay supplies and made some large leaf-shaped buttons for the pillow closures. Now I just have to bake them in my clay-dedicated toaster oven, paint, and seal. If they turn out halfway decent, I’ll photograph them and show you the finished effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Sewing Interruptus

14 07 2010

Saturday, 9:14 p.m. © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.