Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

As Amanda pointed out yesterday, I have been at my new job for one full week. I have a more in-depth post I'm working on along those lines, but for now just know that I think this job is going to be worth the 7 months of unemployment. I met with my first student today and prepped for an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I'm really excited.

But for now, let's recap my most recent projects.

Aaron's quilt was a resounding success. It was a much easier (and much faster!) process than Halle's quilt, and Aaron can't stop gushing about it, which is gratifying and fun.

We also made a gingerbread house again this year, except this one had the added benefit of being pre-assembled.

And here are pictures of Chloe's History Fair project. Her group won second place for the fifth grade and is going to Regionals. I played a sizable role in assisting with the design and execution of the board, so as the project was progressing, I kept half-joking that I hoped I'd get a good grade. I did. =) (It should be noted that Halle's group won first for the sixth grade AND the school and is also going to Regionals, but I can't take any credit for that, except perhaps for passing on good genes.)

And finally, info on my upcoming projects! I have an office now, and so that means I also get to decorate it. I spent my first night after work rummaging through my house looking for books and knick-knacks to put on my bookshelves. I took an entire box of stuff, but it only filled about three shelves (three more needed). This is something I will work on intermittently. One of the things I've decided I want to do is hit up the used book store for some good, hardcover children's books.

But another thing I need is artwork. I wavered on whether to go black-and-white or color, and if color, which colors, and whether to do floral or landscape, or photography or art, and on and on. I finally decided that I didn't want anything that I would put in my house. If I would put it in my house, then I should. I want my office to be something different. The office is also already pretty neutral, so I opted for color--lots of it. I also noticed myself gravitating toward more abstract artwork, but couldn't find anything I just loved that was affordable.

I've been visiting 20x200.com pretty frequently and have loved several of their pieces. The prices are okay, but I can't always find a set of things I like (and I definitely need at least 2 decent-sized pieces for my office). There was a set of artwork that I really liked, but I couldn't get them in the $20 size. And then after looking at them I thought, Hey, I can make that!

Encyclopedia 2

I think my end versions may have fewer word strips and more color strips, but as I don't really have my word strips yet, I really don't know what I'm talking about. I thought of getting some pretty scrapbook paper (perhaps using some of the scraps I have), but at the suggestion of a friend, I went with the much more pocket-friendly method of cutting up magazine covers and pages. Real Simple to the rescue! I did look for some scrapbook paper with writing on it--found nothing--so I may visit the used bookstore for a cheap book of quotes or poetry that I can slice up. The problem is that I want it to have pretty and varied fonts, so I'll just see what I can find.

The other (and really, first) source of inspiration was a lampshade from Anthropologie. Pioneer Woman was having a gift card giveaway the other day, so I started perusing the site. Oh my. Such cute stuff, but so pricey! But after looking at this lampshade I thought, Hey, I can make that!

It's just scraps of fabric cut and then edged and slapped on a shade. After much looking and struggling and searching and calculating, I decided to go ahead and buy some fabric I originally found on fabric.com. I then found it on amazon, and found it again (cheaper) at an etsy shop.

NEW - Just Wing It - Moda Charm Pack - Quilt Fabric Squares

Pack 1: Moda "Just Wing It"

NEW - FRESH FLOWERS Moda Charm Pack - Quilt Fabric Squares

Pack 2: Moda "Fresh Flowers"

I could have saved some money by buying some (less cute) fabric at JoAnn, but even if I'd gotten 50% off, I would only have saved $7. It was definitely worth it to pay a little more, get fabric I LOVE, and get a lot more of it. I can use leftover scraps for Chloe's quilt (which project is probably at least a year away).

So there you have it! No writing lately (although I do have a few good ideas after a good conversation with my writing buddy), but my need for creative outlet is definitively being met.


Jennie Quillen said...

Your artsy side is inspiring. Your just SO creative. I love it! I love the fabric and am sure your art piece will come together.
It's exciting that you get to decorate your office! (Congratulations by the way! I am so glad your liking your new job and feel it was worth the wait!) Rodney White is my absolute favorite artist EVER! You can find some of his prints on art.com, but you would have to have them framed. Getting them in canvas is really expensive. His artwork is very inspirational.
So happy for you! Lots of love!

andreajennine said...

Fab crafts! For your word strips in the collage, what about typing up and printing your own text to cut into strips? You can get all kinds of free fun fonts at www.dafont.com, to get the variety and style you want.

Chris said...

So happy to finally see Aaron's fabulous finished quilt and Chloe's great Gaudy project. Such fun fabrics you picked out for the lampshade project! And andreajennine took the words out of my mouth re printing up your own text strips. Perhaps you could print text on extra long construction paper, which could be in color or not.

Amy said...

Thanks for the ideas, guys! I actually thought about this at one point last night but was wondering about the viability of plain copy paper in the project. But the mention of construction paper reminds me that there are (duh) other types of paper I could use.

I do like that I could then use my own phrases this way. Ideas that initially come to mind: "Write first, edit later," "I know the plans I have for you," and part of the quote that's on my blog now, "she was on her way." Hmm. I'm liking this idea more and more!

Chris said...

If you do try to print on construction paper, you might want to first consult your printer manual/instructions for using different types of paper.

Amy said...

Well, I may not use construction paper, but we have some nice cardstock I was thinking of using.

Anonymous said...

Cardstock is even better!! BTW, I would also like to see Halle's science project, please.
It's faster to just be anonymous, and I figure you recognize my "voice!"

Amy said...

History project, mom, HISTORY. ;) Sorry, but I don't have pictures of Halle's!