Monday, March 23, 2015

lil' bean :: quick change trousers

lil' bean :: quick change trousers

I think I could spend forever in the fabric store making and unmaking decisions about which fabrics to buy.  At times, nothing seems right and then again everything seems right.  Around and around I walk in circles and the same thing going on in my mind.  Oh why is it so hard to make a decision?

For these, I really wanted to use the green flannel I had on hand but the question was what to pair it with.  I had pulled the bolt of baby whale corduroy in navy.  I liked it, but couldn't decide.  Would it be too many lines when paired with the plaid flannel?  I held the two against each other, trying to decide.  The bolt went back on the shelf, then I pulled it back out again still trying to make up my mind.  Tell me I'm not the only one that does this!

The final decision ended up being classic blue denim.  Every new little guy could use a cozy pair of flannel lined jeans.  I can't type 'flannel lined jeans' without thinking of LL Bean.  So, in honor of that these became lil' bean pants.  A double play on words since they're for a little bean too.

Again, I used the quick change trousers pattern from Anna Maria Horner's book.  It's such a simple and straight forward sew.  Quick and rewarding - the best kind.  Plus, the backside and the cuffs get to show off the flannel plaid.  There was a little bit of laughing about lumberjacks at the baby shower   and I think these would probably make great lumberjack pants.

lil' bean :: quick change trousers

small but mighty :: onesie

For the shower we were instructed to bring a decorated onesie, bib, etc. that represented you and the mom was going to guess who each was from.  The mom is a good friend of mine from CalPoly, so immediately I knew I wanted to make something with bacteria on it.  The little saying, 'small but mighty' popped into my head since that describes both bacteria and babies.  The bacteria weren't exactly obvious though and the mom thought 'small but mighty' was referring to one of the shorter ladies there.  There were lots of laughs during the guessing and more than a little bit of blaming 'mommy brain' when the mom couldn't quite figure things out.

lil' bean :: quick change trousers

Monday, March 9, 2015

making :: baby J

baby J
Oh, I can totally whip up a little baby quilt in a few days... except, NOT!  I was excited to hold our friend's new little guy and with a few days to spare I thought I'd throw together a sweet and simple baby quilt.  That was just about 6 months ago.  The top got done and maybe it even got quilted, but it was going to take too many late nights to get this finished in time.  And so that first baby holding day came and went.  The baby was sweet; the quilt wasn't done.

And then... MONTHS went by.  Oooops!  Finally, Lukas prompted me to "just get it done!" and so I did.  It only took a couple more bus rides of stitching while we crossed the Bay Bridge.  Quite cozy, in my lap.  Since we hadn't found time to go over the hill recently, this headed off to it's new home in a mail last Friday.  At least, the baby is still a baby when he'll be getting his new quilt.  They got it on Saturday and it just so happened that things worked out and I got to have lunch with them on Sunday.  Darn, could have gifted it in person!  

:: quilt stats ::
approximately 36" square
fabric - Anthology - The Woodlands {out of print}
+ a green plaid flannel & minky on the backside

baby J

baby J

Thursday, February 19, 2015

one day



The message came in my inbox; a weekend challenge to create a video of patterns - 1 minute or less.  Well, I may not have been exactly successful in creating such a short video.  And I'm not even sure what I've captured would really qualify as a pattern.  Yet, the challenge prompted me to think creatively.  The moment I read it, this idea came to mind as a series of shots I knew I wanted to capture.  A minds eye storyboard.  

We were up early - Lukas to catch sunrise with Sebastian and me... just because Lukas was getting up.  With the idea, I was jazzed to pull out my camera instead of climbing back into bed.  I set up the shots I had in mind, focusing on focus and framing and light.  

As I headed out the door to yoga before the sun was really up I kept hoping I wouldn't lose my nerve because I wanted to capture just a little clip in the studio.  I was counting on the early hour of a Saturday to mean, just maybe, the studio would be nearly empty when I arrived.  My nerve ran right away though when I saw several people already laid out across the floor.  But then, I bucked up and just went for it.  The background is out of focus and you wouldn't know there was anyone else there.  And that warm light, in the hot room, is some of my favorite of the day.  I was so glad, when I started putting the clips together, that I got this one.  

The video ends with a view of East Brother Lightstation.  Even though I 'cheated' a bit - this was from the next evening - I thought the lapping water of the Bay was just the right way to end things.  

Water is my happy place.  It refreshes me.  It hugs me.  It fills me and clams me.  It is where I want to be when I'm upset.  And being near it makes me happy.  When I'm not thinking about it, I forget how many daily interactions I have with water.  Yet, each day, they are there.  My favorite though, is when we drop everything right before sunset and head for the coast or the Bay.  We watch the sun sink and, if we're lucky, get a display of colors.  If the colors don't come, we're still pretty lucky to spend these moments out in nature.  
Complete awe.  Refreshed.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

a little bit of :: these days

these days...



:: I'm back to working on a photo-a-day.  You can follow along here: two days the same.

:: we watched the Super Bowl with James and Solange - an all around good time.

:: I'm trying to build a yoga habit.  New habits are hard!

:: Lukas got a few mornings of great light.

:: I brought the guys burritos for lunch.  It was a hit... and then I got my favorite food truck {The Chairman Truck} for lunch the next day.  Awesome!

:: been working on a refi.  It's hard work, this trying to save money business.  But practice makes ya better, right?

:: we watched the rain coming down - all three of us {me, Lukas, and the cat} peering out the windows.  

:: and right now... Lukas is napping with the cat.  The groceries are bought AND put away.  Fresh flowers on the table.  I'm counting down the minutes till yoga.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

before yoga :: light play

before yoga :: light play 1


This month, I'm back to feeling inspired and working on taking a photo a day.  So far, so good - just need to remember to think about my next shot the day before.  And so it went for this shot...

The set up... I've been working on building a morning yoga habit {to complement the hot yoga on the weekends}.  After dropping Lukas off at BART I toss open the mat, pull up the Yoga Studio app, breath deeply, and begin.  There's something about the first moments and the warm lamp light that sets the mood and is utterly peaceful.  That's the feeling I wanted to try to capture, but feelings can be tricky to put to screen with just the click of a shutter.

The first picture above is where I started.  Most of the living room lights on - not actually how I practice, but hoping to get enough light to make the picture work.  And, mostly, I think that it does but when I looked at the screen I thought I can do better.  Let's play with the light.

before yoga :: light play 2

In the next shot I shut of all the lights except for the one coming from behind and to my left.  This yielded a much more dramatic shot.  It gave the sense that I was up before the sun.  The tones in the light felt more like it does when I'm actually bending through the different positions.  But the focus of the image was me and that wasn't quite what I was going for... even though it is a self-portrait.  And so...

before yoga :: light play 3

I changed the light source.  Now, from the camera's perspective, I was backlight.  The light spilling in from the doorway in front and to the left.  As I pulled my hair into the ponytail, my arms caught the highlights.  The shadows played differently across each of my legs and there is just a hint of light outlining the side of my face.  In this image, my eyes are drawn to both the prints - grey whale cove on the wall and bryce canyon resting on the floor.  This shot?  This was the one I was picturing in my head.  To me, it tells the story of doing yoga.  The wave sounds in the background on the yoga app fit perfectly with the water flowing out in the image on the wall.  That is my place of calm; where I go to in my mind.  

Each of the above shots tells the same story or actually, tell a different story of the same morning activity.  They are similar, just slightly different, but different enough that I didn't just settle for that first image.  And, looking back at each of them, it was challenging to pick which one was "the one".  The thing about photography is, your reaction to a image is so highly personal.  The story it tells you and the feelings it can evoke are intertwined with your own experiences and ideas.  The best a photographer can do is try to tell their story with light and dark, composition and exposure.  

I'm working on it.