Friday, November 20, 2009

Revamping my blog design

I'm a little frustrated by this blog, I have to say. Not because I can't think of things to write, or have too much I want to write. I'm actually in the mood to play around with the design of things and there is some rearranging I'd like to do. The site itself needs to just pop a little more and to be a little bit more personalized. But I haven't worked with HTML in a couple of years and I'm eager to learn how to program in other languages as well. So it's frustrating because there are many things I'd like to do but I don't know how to do them yet! I also have this widget that I noticed on another blog ( but I am having trouble working it into the layout I am given by blogspot. I can only play around so much with the HTML. Right now, if you scroll allllll the way down to the bottom of the page, it's on the left-hand side. It's a neat little Flickr cloud widget and they spin when you hold your mouse over it. I love this little widget but oh, is it frustrating! I just can't get it to go where I want.

I have a lot of ideas for background textures and some really neat layouts that I'd like to try. I was originally going to set up my own website and play with all of this as I learned more programming, but I got impatient and started this blog up. I think I will still try to do that, but I will have to point to my blog. I'm just not sure how much customization is really permitted on blogspot. Hopefully, you all will have something else to look forward to (besides photos of my artwork and book press) as I learn more.

In other news, I've had some really great ideas for objects I'd like to construct and have posted on Etsy. Right now, I only have a few earrings on there which is not a very good representation of all that I do. But I'm already committed to making some gifts this year (instead of purchasing everything) so I'm not sure when I will have the time! I've been working on hanging wallpaper at home as well and it just looks amazing! I know most people hate it and granted, I've never had to strip wallpaper, but I just love the look of it. There is just some much more that you can do with it instead of paint. I'm not really a fan of any of the textured paint techniques. Or perhaps I've only ever seen poor examples of it. But we've been putting up little bits of textured wallpaper here and there in our house and are so pleased with the results. At some point I will post pictures. I also have a few photographic ideas in mind for the walls that we are finishing up. I have lots of family photographs that need to be hung somewhere and I have some great ideas for printing on some atypical materials, maybe staining them, and then framing them. Again, I wish I had more time!

Thanksgiving is coming up soon obviously (have you been following my Thanksgiving quotes of the day on Twitter?) and I've started my baking frenzy. One pie down and four (or five) to go still. Half will be my standard pumpkin pie made from scratch (not canned) and the other half will be a new recipe I tried last year for apple pumpkin pie. It was amazingly delicious and from my Healthy Cooking magazine. Mmm, pumpkin. This year I am pretty thankful for my life in general. What are you all thankful for?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deviating From The Traditional Script

Hm, so I was hoping to have pictures (coming soon!) but hubby has decided to make me my very own book press! As soon as he finishes it, I will post some. I'm very excited to have something that works just as well as the presses at work in the lab but that is much cheaper than buying one. It will even have the little hand cranks. Yay!

I've been VERY busy at work with all of my students, so it's been almost a month since my last update. I've been working on a few other projects, which you will hear more on soon. I have continued progressing on the hymnal project for my aunt and I've begun guarding the signatures. I am waiting for a couple of pages that are missing but I might have to look for another copy of the book in a library to photocopy the missing ones. They must've been the most popular songs, worn out from overuse and easily fell out. So far all four copies that I have are missing the same pages. Go figure!

I also started working on a book for a friend (a very large book) that is taking me quite a while to sew. I'm doing my first whipstitich (or oversewing) and I've already snapped one bookbinding needle. It looks pretty neat so far because I chose a black waxed linen thread on white paper, very stark. I'll also have to post pictures of that. I had a grand old time in the Artist and Craftsman store in Squirrel Hill buying supplies. Plus lots of stuff I didn't really need but wanted, like paper. No wait, I always need more art supplies! That's my justification. How can I make more art without it? I was in heaven, to say the least. I was also looking at the blocks for linocuts (I think they are called). I'd like to dabble in those later but since I don't know anyone who does that (or at least I don't think I do), I'll have to find a great instruction book. They might be great for putting images on my books, canvases, etc. I also came across the Yudu machine and it looks amazing! There were some negative reviews of it, plus it's not cheap, but it's still something I would love to have.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and now that I have all the Halloween decorations down (leaving the fall-themed ones up), I have to start thinking about baking. I make pumpkin pies from scratch (yes, that's right, no canned pumpkin) and I start taking orders early so I know how many I'm going to have to bake. I don't charge because they're just for friends and family, but I make enough for whomever wants one. Last year I also tried a recipe for an apple pumpkin pie and it turned out amazing! I think I will have to make that one again, maybe take that to our Thanksgiving dinner instead of the traditional one. I'm also in the mood to explore some other pumpkin recipes since I might have some of the puree left when I'm done with the pies.

I've been in a very good mood lately, perhaps I'm just getting enough sleep. But I had one of those moments while I was driving by myself and thought, I'm happy with my life right now. I have a great family, friends; I enjoy my job; I'm healthy; what more could I want? And I think I must watch too much television because I immediately looked around for the car that was going to T-Bone me abruptly since that's what always happens when the character realizes they are truly happy while driving. Luckily, I'm still here!