Friday, June 28, 2013

Around the Studio

On and off rain outside means a good day to get some craft stuff done.

First on the list was a painting of Lightening McQueen and his friends Fillmore and Mater.  This made for a happy little boy.

I've been wanting to try Quilling for a while now. Finally splurged on a Beginners Quilling set.  The art of rolling paper into designs. My very first piece was an incredibly simple, very easy flower, with sun and a single cloud.  I have a design in mind that I hope to accomplish before my Brother's wedding.  And thanks to Pinterest, I found a beautiful quilled fish that I someday hope to attempt as well.

Now it's off to buy some food and see out of town family this afternoon.

Have a wonderfully creative day friends!
                                                                                          ♡ ąlexąnʠяą

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Energy lives on

I've been a little slow to write. It's been an emotional week.  My Grandfather in Italy passed away on Sunday.  His passing has really saddened me beyond words.  Sad for my Mom, her heart is broken.  Sad for my family, my Brothers, my Aunts and Uncle, my cousins.  My Nonno was a great man, a true gentleman.  A calm personality, a happy person.  When I envision him, I see him smiling in my memories. I hear him chuckling because he realized I was looking at the cards he was holding from the reflection of his glasses.  I see him biting his finger instead of pinching cheeks that he thought were so cute. 

Anyway, the sadness of finality feel so intense.  You can feel it in the pit of your stomach.  Much like my Mom though, I feel him in the nature around us.  The day he passed, the children were in the pool and I sat on the chair outside watching them and just taking in the sounds all around me.  As I looked beyond the yard, a beautiful bird landed on the Palm trees overlooking the pool.  Shortly after, a smaller bird landed on the same Palm tree and they both sat watching us.  The smaller bird flew off, the bigger bird stayed longer watching.  I felt this calmness come over me, a sense of peace. I felt at that moment that my Grandparents together, are watching over us.  It made me sad and happy at the same time.  And so, now, 4 days later, it has become my morning ritual, open all the windows so I can hear all the birds waking and chirping as the daylight slowly rises.

This morning as I opened all the windows to listen to my birds, I saw shadows out back and realized that the moon was shining so brightly (of course, it was 5:15 a.m. afterall!) I went outside and sat with my cup of coffee, moon gazing, realizing that there were 2 twinkling stars on either side of the moon. I remembered how Nonno would stay up late at night so that he could see the moon at the same time we would be seeing the moon on the East Coast of the US.  Again I sat, in peace and sadness.

This week, I found solace in art and so each day (but today) I have completed at least one painting.  This painting is in memory of Nonno, the 2 olive trees to symbolize his country side, the Anemones sprinkling the Mediterranean Coast, 2 birds, a feast and a bench (a memory that my grandfather's shared together that I will never forget).  It's matted and sits here on my work table to remind me of a beautiful soul who blessed us for so long, who will be forever missed.

Until next time, 

♡ ąlexąnʠяą

Olive Trees and Anemones

The moon, now that I am 6 hours from my Parents, will always remind me to look at it at night and know they are looking at it too.

Sunflowers and Chamomile

Afternoon Flapper, nostalgic fashion

 Hibiscus in Paradise

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Moon Picture Action

I have long wanted to take pictures at night but I've never been able to get the proper setting to get more detail than a big blur of moving light, that is, until last night!  I am so excited about this discovery and I foresee a lot more night pictures in the future.

The night started out normal, like any night. Hubs went to bed early because he was up so early for work. Little guy was in bed from a broken heart, the girl he befriended that day HAD to go home and he was devastated for the rest of the night.  And the girls were lounged out on the couches after a full day of playing in the water and sunshine with a friend from school.  Ahh, summer vacation.

Back to my moon discovery.  So as the girls lounged out, I was starting to "shut down" the house, closing windows, turning off lights and I saw this amazing shadow on the ground outside. I thought, well, we either have  a full moon or are about to see one soon with all this light swimming on the grounds.  Outside I went to see what the moon looked like. It was beautiful, a beautiful shape, the clouds moving so quickly trying to obscure my view but leaving these dancing shadows of amazement.
I had to run and find my camera.

Well, I thought I was so great because I got out my tripod and figure surely, if i just put my camera on the tripod I can get a clear photo of the moon. Of course I have tried this countless times never to have it work quite to my liking, why did I think tonight would be any different?  Because it was meant to be.

First couple of shot, disappointing and frustrating:

I did not want to give up, I needed to capture that moon! I sat there, in the middle of the night, somewhat unnerved that the bugs of the night were watching me, planning their attack, do not give up!

I futzed around with the settings, tried again, and the picture came out just dark:

Hey, maybe I needed to lighten it up so I messed around with the brightness and got this:

And then, finally, I hit the function I needed. Technical terms I cannot provide but I can provide pictures of all my settings to help you attain some Moon picture action too!

The right brightness, setting, shutter speed and I got the moon picture in all it's glory.  So now, the technicalities to help you get to this point too, but they'll be in the form of pictures since my camera lingo skills are pretty much non-existent.

This is my beloved camera that I use for almost all my shots:  Canon Rebel T1i

This was the set up to capture the moon, the tripod to eliminate any of the shaking I'm surely going to do while holding the camera.

The setting was on M, not sure what M stands for but just use it. (never mind that Hawaiian sand the Eeeekkkkk has taken up homage in my camera settings)

And then all the other stuff, the -2 is very faint but that is the setting it was on. ISO 3200 which is the highest bright setting for my particular camera, no idea what 1/15 stands for, but I messed around until I got to this and got the shot I wanted....and the F22, again, no idea what it stands for.  One key thing, I put my camera on the self timer/remote setting. I did actually buy myself a remote for $9.99 at my local Target but for some reason I could not get it to work last night but on the self timer/remote setting, when I pressed the snap button, it went through a 10sec countdown and that was the perfect amount of time to get away from the camera so non of my vibrations would shake the photo.

Hope this helps my fellow moon snapshot lovers!  If it works for you, share your photos on my facebook page:

Until next time, Earthlings, have a wonderful creative, picture filled day.
                                                                      ♡ ąlexąnʠяą

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Vacation and some art fun

I don't know about you, but here in Hawaii the children has been on summer vacation now going on week 2. The first week we had Grandma visiting but this week the kiddos and I are on our own. So, I have decided one way we'll fill up the days are with art projects. Yesterday, we started 2. The first was air drying clay sculpting. The girls came up with some Father's Day gifts. They have been drying overnight and we'll start decorating their creations with paint either today or tomorrow. The 2nd art project was courtesy of my ever favorite Pinterest.  It includes glue, black paint and watercolors and the end product are some very funky, colorful, modern art to be framed and displayed. I am in love with how their pieces are turning out thus far.

3/4 filled glue bottle, mix with black paint and let the kiddos squirt designs on a nice big piece of watercolor paper

Allow the black paint/glue mixture to dry several hours and then start having fun with watercolors!

my little guy, he's 3 yrs old, he and I worked on this one together

Her's is starting to remind me of a funky sea turtle, do you see it? 

As far as on the sewing front, I've started a very involved project of figuring out how to make a decent, cute camera bag. So far, the insert is almost finished but I'm thinking it's kind of big and bulky, we'll see! Also bought some Hawaiian fabrics and made a cutesy table covering for our patio table.  So, I haven't just been sitting around waiting for inspiration to knock, we've been quite inspired and busy creating. Hope you are too!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

recently finished this t-shirt blanket

My first ever attempt at a camera bag, insert almost complete

cutesy Hawaiian table covering

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hubs Boxer Shorts Knock Off for girls - UPDATED

I've been MIA lately but for good reason. May was filled with lots of visitors and very little creative time.  Between visitors and end of the year school events to prepare for, my creative juices were a bit depleted. But, June is a new month and I feel the creative juices, inspirations stirring around in my little brain.

I have a t-shirt blanket to finish up. Finally got the rest of the supplies I needed and I anticipate being able to sit down this afternoon and spend a few hours working on that blanket some more. Yesterday, I taught myself how to put grommets on bags and I made 2 drawstring bags that I absolutely adore. And this morning, well, I wanted a pair of shorts. In a haste one night to get dinner started but having just spilled something on the skirt I was wearing I grabbed the first thing I found clean in the dryer and it was a pair of my husbands Lucky Brand boxer shorts. I loved the bagginess of them and how absolutely comfortable they were.  I haven't been able to find any shorts at the store that I like so I though, why not try to recreate the boxer shorts in a girly fabric for myself. I'm bummed because I didn't get the sizing right but don't think that's the end of my trying! I will try again. They turned out super cute and I really want a pair for me.

So without further ado, here is my mini tut of hubs boxer short knock-offs!

The inspiration, a pair of Lucky Brand men's boxer shorts

Turned hubby's boxers inside out and created a pattern, cut 2x front and backed, stitched the sides together
With right sides together, I stitched the crotch seam
Realizing that the waist was way off, I cut the top off and sketched a new pattern for next time
I measured the waist, x2 and added about another 2 inches. This is probably where I am going to have to rework my pattern.

Added the waist band, left a small opening for the elastic
The final product, they are so cute. I'm so bummed that they don't fit!!
Do you have any tips on sizing for me? I'd love to hear if you do. Until next time, which hopefully wont be as long as last time!


I figured out what I did wrong. I tapered the waist/hips and i should not have done that. I should have just made a straight line up. 2nd attempt a success. Flower pattern on a not so small butt, not successful. But hey, at least I have a pair of comfy shorts for around the house or as a quick bathing suit cover up for the beach.

2nd attempt, I made the lines straight up instead of curved. THAT was my mistake the first time around.

Need a smaller butt to pull off the flowers, but comfortable around the house nonetheless.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą