Capture One

So I fell off the blogging wagon a bit when Apple decided to stop supporting Aperture and therefore managing photos became extraordinarily menacing. Boy got me Lightroom but I could not get on board. Part of that was how it imported my Aperture library all fungled and so I just didn’t think too highly of it from the get-go. After much complaining, he set me up with a trial run of Capture One and even though apparently the interwebz claims it to be quite difficult, I took to it with ease (though the price tag might be more of a pill to swallow!).

So on that note, I hope to be adding quite a few posts once I get everything sorted out appropriately (because I have been crafting!). In the meantime, check out how I reworked that Scandinavian-inspired heart for my guild I wasn’t digging. The colors are more “English rose” than Scandinavian, but that’s because it was my first foray into the world of legit perle cotton so I just picked some colors without a project in mind. I think I love legit perle cotton. This was made with size 12. I am not sure what it will be yet so for now it is just hanging out.

embroidered buttons

My embroidery guild is hosting the State Day this year, so each member is assigned to make two buttons. I enjoyed making such tiny (one inch) pieces so of course I made more (and I might still, yet!).

This pattern might look familiar to you: it is the same I used for my O-hoop.

Oh, and my gosh, have you seen this Monoprice Ultra-thin Light Box?! Holy smokes, it is amazing. And not cost-prohibitive. And it comes in two sizes so you can pick what is best for you. And it dims for the perfect amount of light. My neighbor/step-mother-in-law got one and I was dumbfounded that I hadn’t heard of it and that it was so cheap.

My second button pattern came out of a book my sister-in-law bought for me: 500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery. I am no pro when it comes to satin stitching but I am getting better with every effort.

This pattern came out of a book I picked up spontaneously once at one of the few brick-and-mortar stores still in the area (in the next county over! I am so sad to see them vanish). It is called Scandinavian Stitch Craft. I have since added that part of the world to my bucket-list and will likely want to buy all the things. There is a local Vikings shop that deals in Nordic, Scandinavian, Sami, etc items and we picked up this Ekelund Kuse table runner. I pretty much love everything in that shop – even the jewelry (which makes me sad because I am not a jewelry kind of gal but if I were, this would be where all my monies went!). In fact, the owner has made several pieces used in the HBO series – how cool is that?!

This last one is just a lot of colonial knots. You’ll find out why I became a huge fan of them in a later post:) Down with the french knot!

We will be transforming our creations into actual buttons at a future guild meeting.

Springish cleaning

I’ve been putting my craft room through an overhaul recently. It might be a subconscious thing that I wish it were spring so if I start cleaning, maybe the weather will warm up? Blue skies will return? No? Well, I tried.

So, my closet was a disaster – fabrics stuffed all over the place, wrinkled and unsorted. They are beautifully cleaned up now! I donated much of my fabric stash to my sister-in-law and only kept what I think will come in handy in the future. And, now with our roommate having been moved out for almost a year, I have finally started using that empty room as storage so a lot of things got cleared out and placed there – halloween costumes, extra pillows and blankets, boxes of my graduate studies, those sorts of things.

I discovered a couple of work-in-progresses that I abandoned for various reasons. I am not sure what I will do with these here, but many of the others I dismantled for parts or simply tossed out.

First up was a phone case, for my first cellphone, the Kyocera Slider (man, did I love that phone!). This project is where I fell in love with embroidering and embellishing fabrics. Only back then, I knew nothing of either! I wasn’t even using embroidery thread – just a regular thread spool!

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I also came across a book cover I was making, only to realize my measurement was off so I shoved it aside. It is now hung as a little piece of hoop art in my craft room closet (which is more like a little alcove than a closet). I had begun to understand embroidery by then a little.

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This project was to experiment a little more with different stitches – no end goal in mind and so it sat and sat and sat. Now, it too hangs in my closet (and you may have seen it over on my Library page).

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A stack of discarded book covers – the top one is still among my favorites but currently it is not in use. Most of these were trials – I learned measurements, I experimented with bookmarks, and tested different fabric varieties. Wow, have I come a long way since I began!

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To wrap up this post, I had mentioned earlier that I was going to get back into scrapbooking. Well, not only was my standard color printer out of ink, but my photo printer went kaput. I ordered a box of ink to try to clear it out, but it was just too gummy from not being in use for years. Boy and I tried desperately to get it to work, to no avail. Eventually, he came across a price point he could swallow and ordered me Canon’s new Pixma iP110 (of course, I am “working off” that price point by learning Quickbooks at his office, yay). It is very condensed in size, making it utterly portable. And not only that – there is a battery accessory that really does the job! Plus, as most things do these days, it works wirelessly. This means I can print easily from my new smart phone, too. Game on.

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I just got it set up, and I still have adult responsibilities like grading exams and whatnot, but I started playing with it and I love it. I hope to be deep in scrap heaven by the end of the weekend!

Oh, and speaking of my new smart phone, I want to say two things. First, we ordered a screen protector and the day before it arrived, my phone cracked. Thankfully, Apple replaced it for free because we aren’t sure what happened to it (and Boy’s company buys a lot of Apple items without ever calling in complaints). I just woke up and it was like that on my nightstand. Nothing untoward had happened to it the night before either. I believe that the only logical explanation is that my wedding ring did it – when someone handed it to me facedown perhaps (my band has stones all the way around) and it took a while for the crack to form. Maybe. I have no idea.

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Second, I do not use purses and I did not want a phone case (though I heard this is essentially required for smart phones…). So rather than having a phone case and wallet separate, I hunted for a wallet case. I do not mean might-as-well-be-a-clutch-purse wallet, either. I am a no-fuss, two credit cards and an ID type of girl. I found the perfect one – seriously, I have recommended it to everyone I know. It is the Monk Magnet Wallet Case. I love that it fits my necessary cards and cash, but is still slim enough to pop in my back pocket. I love that the phone portion of the case is magnetic and comes apart from the wallet. This way, I do not have to hold my wallet to my head (though I certainly can very easily if I do not want to remove the phone to talk). I love that I can then use that magnetic case and slap my phone to the fridge for playing music or using for recipes, or just so I don’t misplace it in my house! And, one more thing, I love that I can stash notes in my wallet case by simply putting the paper between the phone and the wallet portion. Love, love, love. I stole these photos from their site because, well, it is winter and dark and gloomy, and their images look a heck of a lot better than mine!

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I do not recommended brands often because I hate advertisements, but honestly, the printer and the phone case are winners. It is true I just got my printer, but I cannot see my opinion changing on that. And as for the phone case, it has been through a lot already in these two months since I’ve had it, and honestly? Looks freaking brand new still. Tell that one to your mother. (Do I even have to mention that in no way whatsoever am I compensated for my opinions? These companies do not even know I exist, psh.)

back in the game

I hope. So a brief catch-up / things-on-my-mind post of randomness.

As you may have guessed, all crafting has slowed to a stop lately here. My craft room was taken over by furniture and tools. I got the tools out at least so now there is room to craft again and i can access my supplies. Our kitchen has a microwave, stove, sink, dishwasher, one wall cabinet and a silverware cabinet. The rest of the kitchen finds itself in random places. Once we are done removing the drywall, lights, and ceiling, then its just a waiting game for when the contractor can fit us in. Not ideal living for one such as myself, but now I can lock myself away in the craft room at least:)

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I made curtains today – they dont hold up under close inspection, but they do their jobs respectfully so I like them. I still would like to add ribbon to them like i mentioned here. Some day maybe.

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My favorite scrapbooking store is going out of business. This really bums me out but they have *everything* on sale for 50% off so thats pretty spectacular, eh? Lets just say i brought home lots of goodies. Which means that I plan on returning to scrapping in the near future. Ooh la la!

I did start a project to test something I read on the internet, but I decided to postpone it for now so this is all i got. I dont recall where i heard it, but the idea was that you can use a lazer jet printer and an iron to make a transferable image. I would suggest only using the very basic images (more plain than what you see here on the carebear) but it turns out to be true!

tote_embroidery

For all you mac users, boy found me this sweet program that keeps any window you want to stay on top while you poke around other windows: Afloat.

Around this time of year, you may see lots of donation options. Theres a million, I know – how do you choose? I dunno myself, but here are some I know like:

http://ibol.wordpress.com/ <— Iraqi Bundles of Love

http://www.heifer.org/ <— Animals for families to sustain a future (I participate through the World Builders Team Page which matches my donation, the mastermind work of Patrick Rothfuss)

http://www.wikipedia.org/ <— Knowledge for all – read about it and donate here.

http://ww5.komen.org/ <— I add this one in memory of one of my undergraduate teachers who recently passed away from breast cancer. She worked with me to gain admittance for the bioarchaeological field school in Peru. She really showed me how to write at a more professional level in just a few days (i had it in me, but hadnt learned how to hone it yet), staying late after her class with me or being available on the phone – even though we had never met before then. Later, she taught me about forensic anthropology in an adult education class. She also was a very enthusiastic member of our Anthropology Club. I will always remember her.

of cats and computers

My cats are Javanese (Ill make a shout out to the Loblolly Cattery where I got them from:). That is to say they are a blend of Siamese and Balinese, so they look like Siamese but have different colorings, and long fur on their tails. And like their counterparts, Javanese can develop gingivitis. Maya is ok pretty much, but poor poor Sasha has been getting redder and redder gums. The dentist suggest I brush their teeth and so i bought the stuff and quickly found that was not an option. Like a bad cat-mom i let it go.

But at their last visit, we talked more about it and he told me that really if i could just get the toothpaste shoved up in there between the gums and cheek, that would be ok. So my plan of attack was much the same as when they need their nails clipped: My girls are completely different beings when you get them while they are napping. Usually I do this before getting out of bed in the morning so I dont disturb them to the point of really waking them up. While they are comfy and warm and drowsy from sleeping, i can get every single nail clipped without a hitch. So let me tell you, using this technique and a q-tip to shove this stuff all around their gums was way more easier than i had thought.

My girls even like the stuff and will lick it straight out of the bottle! I was amazed at the difference since the last time i tried actually brushing their teeth.

But seriously the results are amazing. Just within a few days I can already see a difference. In fact her gingivitis in the back of her mouth is almost completely treated, and now I am focusing on the harder to get spots just above her canines and in the front of her mouth. If your pet is a gingivitis sufferer, i highly recommend this product!!

Ok so, computers. I recently got the new MacBook Pro 15″ and heart it wholely. Its so much better than my old 13″ macbook. And cats are not allowed on it as before (not that they were every truly “allowed” on it but now it is no longer considered cute when i come in the room and find them using it like a lawn chair).

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That doesnt really have anything to do with what i did want to share with you though (i am merely super happy i finally have the new machine! oh and aperture 3 is cool too!). I wanted to share that I had to finally get a new cellphone, as mine apparently was from the dark ages. Did you know that new phones charge with USB cables? And that its a two-button-press to start messaging instead of 8 buttons through countless menus? Did you know you can have your text history displayed in conversation style so when you get a delayed text you dont have to go through your entire sent box to figure out what the heck their reply is referring to? Did you know it new phones can hold more than 50 messages? With all that said and more, Ive been thrilled to be the new owner of a LG EnV 3 VX 9200 in a pretty blue color.

It wasnt all amazing though, as I couldnt get my own ringtones on it. My older phone (the original EnV which was a hand-me-down from Boy when i needed to finally trade up my orginal Kyocera Slyder which i miss til this day) didnt have ringtones but I never looked at it like it was my permanent phone (although i have used it for years now…). It was meant to be the inbetween until i found my new phone (which i did try at one time and hated the new phone so much that i returned it and went back to the crappy EnV). But this is my third phone and I wanted it to be *cool*.

So i googled and came up with BitPim and Im very impressed. Its not the prettiest of software but its open-source and that would make boy happy. It was super duper easy to use and now when you call me, it plays my theme song (Super Mario!). Texting gives me coins, and voicemails give me 1-ups. Just like my old Kyocera use to – maybe i wont miss it anymore!