Sunday, February 21, 2010

Here Comes The Bride

The 2010 wedding season is officially upon us and I already have 3 weddings to attend this Spring! I have a feeling Here Comes The Bride and Canon in D will be stuck in my head more than a few times. So anyways, I got down to business this last week and completed my first book of the year for a wedding in March. Their wedding theme gave me a lot to work with: red, black, and white with an elegant damask pattern. The book I created for them was made using typical book binding supplies, but to accommodate the damask theme I used wrapping paper instead for the covers and finished it off with a silky red ribbon. (Occasionally I use wrapping papers to cover my books because of the greater selection of patterns and colors.) They had beautiful engagement pictures taken so I used several photos to customize their book along with inking their names to the inside. Congratulations Kyle and Katie and I hope your wedding is as amazing as you two are.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meet Gabby

My newest Odd Pod creation, Gabby, fits snuggly over an iPod Video Nano. Her little purple arms hold an adorable pink doll, Gretta. And just when you think it couldn't get any cuter, flip Gretta over and she turns yellow! But don't worry, Gabby wont lose her doll because she is attached by thread to her hand. Oh yes that's right, this little girl is more durable than she seems. And, like her big brother Miguel, she has an opening for her charger cord. So plug her in and rock out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Last Minute Valentine's Day Ideas

Did you drop the ball this year? Or are you just hoping to play it low-key instead? Either way, here are some easy, no planning (or very little) Valentine's Day ideas for you and your Sweetie.

The saying "The way to a persons heart is through their stomach" is true for both men and women.

• Surprise them with breakfast in bed.
• Cook them a fancy dinner.
• Shape your food into hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Just imagine a heart-shaped steak with a pad of heart-shaped butter melting on top. Who wouldn't love you after that! (Well, maybe your heart wouldn't.)
• Fondue is easy and indulgent. Try using bittersweet chocolate, a little milk or cream and a shot of Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur. There are hundreds of recipes on-line, too. Offer a variety of fruits and cakes to use for dipping. There's no need for an expensive fondue fountain, this can easily be made in a slow cooker or pot placed over a candle flame.
• Eat dinner in the dark, and I mean the complete dark! Blindfolded if you have to. Let your other senses, besides sight, take over. Just make sure you're not using knives or eating scorching hot foods.
• Do a mini wine (or, beer) and chocolate tasting at home.
• Don't forget to make a toast to your Love.

Nothing brings 2 people closer than going on an adventure.

• Go to a museum, gallery, or indoor gardens. It's cheap, requires no reservations, and it's fun, quality time together.
• Piano Fondue! Find a show near you. It's free and a ton of fun.
• This could get a little sassy, but set up a private photo studio at home. Hang up a sheet and bring out your camera. Make your Lover feel like a model for an afternoon. Or be more adventurous and go outside for a few candids. Remember to take some of you together, too. Then frame your favorite shot.
• Go on a winery or brewery tour.
• On separate little slips of paper, write fun romantic ideas the two of you can do together. It can be anything from a kiss to a hike in the woods. Make as many as you can and put them in a jar. Pick a day, like Saturday, and on that day pull out a slip from the jar and do the said activity together. There are 52 weeks in a year so if you can get 52 ideas, then you'll have something to do with each other every week for the next year.
• Give each other back rubs.


• Anything hand-made comes from the heart. You can't go wrong here. If you're not the crafty type, then keep it simple with a hand-made card. No matter how badly you think it'll look, it's still a thousand times more romantic than a store-bought card.
• Don't just stick with the typical roses. Spring flowers or bulbs are a creative way to please your mate. In many parts of the country it's cold and snowy. A little feeling of Spring will help your Valentine get over some of their cabin fever, and they can look forward to planting the bulbs with you when it warms up in a couple months. Something to look forward to is always a happy thought.
• The gift of time is the best present of all. Spent quality time together by cuddling up on the couch with lots of blankets and a classic love story playing on your flat screen. Here are some movie ideas: The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart, My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn, Casablanca, King Kong, The Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing starring Patrick Swayze, and An Officer And A Gentleman starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger. Remember, Blockbuster is still in biz so you're able to get your hands on these classics today, or check online at for an instant-play movie that can be downloaded right to your computer.

Just because you're single doesn't mean Valentine's Day can't be appreciated.

• Check out a speed dating service or jump on your computer and set up that on-line dating profile. This is no longer considered taboo. In fact, I have friends who met on-line and are now happily married with a baby!
• Invite your other single friends over for a night of board games and cocktails.
• If you have a pet, spend some time with them too. They love us just as much, so it makes sense to show our appreciation on this day. Keep them happy with extra treats and lots of petting. Or, take them out for a game of frisbee.
• Spend time with family. No one loves you more than your son, daughter, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, step-relatives, you get the picture.

Finally, don't forget to make your self look great today. Wear those special undies. Spray on your favorite perfume or cologne. Clean up and wear something nice. It's much easier to get intimate with someone when they're looking good. And keep in mind, that these ideas can be applied all year round. After all, we love each other every day of the year, right? Happy Valentine's Day my fellow lovey dovey Qreative Quail's!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Odd Pod

Who says your MP3 player can't have a little personality? With just a few scrap pieces of felt, embroidery floss and sewing thread you can make all your music listening dreams come true. It's love at first sight! Everyone, I'd like for you to meet Miguel, the blue monster.

Notice the green underwear headphone holder and the opening on the bottom for charging your Odd Pod. This little guy is just eager to be your bestie!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Comfort Food

Another winter-time activity I enjoy - cooking. I've been experimenting with a variety of recipes lately and have found a favorite. This dish has already become a common staple in my house. Hoisin Shrimp with Fried Noodles. Thanks to Rachel Ray and her awesome magazine, I've had more fun in the kitchen these last couple months than I have in a long time. And coming across dishes like this keeps the momentum going. I've promised myself not to make a New Years resolution, but, I may have to make an exception this year. Cooking at home is not only cheaper than dining out, but it's also healthier and is a great activity for two. So yeah, New Years Resolution 2010: cooking more!

Figure Drawing 1-2-3

In addition to my casual doodles in January, I also attended a 3 hour figure drawing session. I haven't taken a figure drawing class for a year so I found myself to be a little rusty. But, nonetheless, I enjoyed every second of it. For some reason, drawing, especially the human body, is somewhat relaxing and therapeutic for me. I think the reason for this is people make for very interesting subjects. They're challenging, yet beautiful. And capturing their personality in a drawing is a rare pearl that, when achieved, leads to a feeling of satisfaction and a joyous sense of achievement. But first you must practice, practice, practice to reach this level. When approaching your blank canvas it's best to start with gestural sketches to hammer down the proportions.

Once you're feeling confident that you've got a handle on gesturals and understand the human proportions, then move on to 1-3 minute rough sketches. Again to help with proportions but to also get an idea of muscles, joints, and bone positions.

Next, take about 5 minutes on each position to start fine tuning and adding a little more detail to your sketches.

Finally, move on to a 10, 20, or 30 minute pose. This allows enough time to start adding in muscle details, shadows and even a chance at attempting a hand or face.

Once you've reached this point, move on up to 1-2 hour poses and whip out your paints and brushes. You're on your way to the next Mona Lisa. Happy drawing!


So it's been a while since I posted, and I apologize for that. But, what can I say? I'm a procrastinator. And it's hard getting used to running a blog. It's takes a lot of devotion and time. And I promise (*wince*) that I wont ever do that to you again. That is...waiting a whole month before I give you another post. [insert profuse apologies here] Anyways, back to business. Just because I haven't shared anything lately doesn't mean I haven't been productive. Actually, I have! January is the dead of winter where I come from and many, but not all, people in the Midwest go into hibernation mode. It's a survival skill to get us through the long, cold, and snowy months. Life slows down to a crawl - which isn't bad. It just makes for some boring times, and equally bored people. Personally, I hunker down by reading a lot of books and sleeping as much of it away. But lately, I've been working on a few projects. First, I'm re- "organizing" my office (more on that to come at a later date). Second, I've been reverting back to some old school fun, sketching! So here are a few highlights of my sketches. Okay, now let me explain, I use the word sketch loosely. By sketch I mean, doodle. It's never a finished drawing, but is still a great way to quickly get on paper what's in my head. Ironically, a lot of what's in my head is food and Spring. Which would explain the vegetables, fruit and flowers. Oh, and I threw a foot in there for practice; nothing is harder than drawing feet or hands.