Kowabunga

Shopping for birthday presents for my 6 year-old cousin made me feel like a kid again. My mom and I hit Target at the last minute and found a card for him with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the word DUDE! on it in giant letters. That seemed to sum up the 6 year old boy’s typical celebration perfectly, so we went with that.

Down in the toy aisle we found a bunch of Legos that blasted me back to the past. There was a treehouse and a mountain cabin and a Lego Transformer that could also morph into a jet or a car or a SPACESHIP!!!!!!!! (For explanation of the super excited all caps, see the Lego Movie). There was also a Mutant Turtle “mutation chamber,” which we decided unanimously that 6 year old cousin had to have. There was also a Leonardo on a skateboard that we grabbed as well, even though I pointed out that every fool knows Michelangelo is the one who skateboards.

We got Turtle wrapping paper to finish it off. Not bad for a gift we threw together half an hour before the party.

Wooden garden “whimsy’s”

For about a year now, my Nanny has been spending hours locked away in a secret lab in her garage, where she has been hard at work creating a new life form never before seen by human eyes. It’s brilliant, I tell you! And IT IS ALIVE!

20140629-152606.jpg

Behold, the incredible garden whimsy!
And these are his brothers:

20140629-152833.jpg

20140629-152901.jpg

I thought I would share that. If you would like one, I’m sure nanny would love an opportunity to return to the lab! Comment below and I can put you in touch.

Divine inspiration

Hannah Kubiak:

Hello folks,
I would like to share this post by Audrey Lexington about art.

Some highlights that popped out at me:
1. Art thrives on freedom and truth- the world is full of a lot of restraints and lies, for instance, the lie that “You can’t do it.” But the truth is you can. As I once heard someone say, “The only thing you have to do is do what you have to do.” If you want to be an artist, you can’t let yourself be held back. You have to find the truths that hide behind the lies in this world.

About a year ago I took a philosophy class on aesthetics (the study of beauty) that completely changed what I wanted to do with my life. Or rather, what I wanted was always there in my mind, but taking this class convinced me that sadly wanting to be an artists while I did something else wasn’t going to cut it. I had to be an artist.

So anyway, that’s what I thought when I read this. Cheers!

Originally posted on audrey lexington:

“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” Andre Gide

 

It occurred to me recently that throughout that process of creating and building that the people around me, the ones that I chose to share my work with, held me back. By ‘holding me back’ I don’t mean that they shoved words of discouragement down my throat. But, what they did do was plant seeds of suppression and doubt. They did this not to be ugly, of course, but to help.

Most of the help came from being told that I had, “Gone too far” or “That seems a bit extreme, don’t you think?” Now doubt is simply unavoidable, in my opinion. It is a natural part of being a human being. Especially when you are handing the world pieces of your soul, as artists do. But having your creativity…

View original 190 more words

The Light Box

Recently Teresa and I have been hard at work trying to figure out how to take pictures of our products that look halfway-decent. Most of the products we see online look like they:

a.) Are hovering in the middle of Nowhere Land from the Yellow Submarine.

b.) Were taken at Ikea

c.) Were taken in the magical fairy realm where artists live ,where there are no annoying cars, streets, lamp-posts, or other houses to get in the way of your model as she glides gracefully through a perfectly-lit field of daisies.

Whereas it’s pretty obvious that all of our pictures have been taken against the backdrop of an ill-lit garage or basement or a grimy back-alley.

In an attempt to solve this problem, we have been researching different methods for taking actually-good pictures. Teresa discovered this contraption called a LIGHT BOX. It is basically a cardboard box with paper windows.

First, you have to find a cardboard box. We found two and put them together.

Second, Cut out windows and a skylight, leaving a flap on the skylight in case you need to modify how much light gets in.

Third, cover the windows and skylight with white tissue paper.

Fourthly, and finally, cut a piece of poster board to fit the width of your box. Slide it in so that it forms a “ramp” coming toward you. This makes sure you don’t have a edge casting shadow where the wall of your box meets the floor.

Here is the Candle Owl Light Box:

IMG_3919

To my eye it looks like a room in a traditional Japanese home, with paper windows. For the past three years I have been struggling through a 1,210 page book called “Shogun,” by James Clavell. I’ve been reading “Shogun” in fits and starts, and so far I’ve finished maybe 8% of it. The English pilot shipwrecked and taken prisoner in the book has managed to fall through about a dozen of these paper walls so far. I myself have very nearly put my foot through our light box on several occasions.

There is something to be said for paper walls, though. At least it would stop this sort of thing from happening all the time:

On the other hand, look at this cat who totally has this whole door thing down:

The Return of the String

017e0f81a6d16cb3f50dbba65171a976

Well, it’s been about two years since I fell into the Crack of Doom, also known as college life. It feels like a life age of this earth has passed since I last wrote. Now I’m home for break, and I have successfully obtained a summer job at a pub which we shall call… The Green Dragon!

I’ve also go a new line of items coming up in the shop. My sister is a seamstress, and, being the highly successful artisan that I am, having sold a “grand” total of seven items in three years, I have decided to give her a leg up in the world. (Therefore, if you look at the picture above of the two hobbits on horses, I am the one who looks like he knows what he’s doing). 

There are three of us, my brother, my sister, and me. My sister Teresa is smarter than my brother and I combined. My mom won’t admit this, though. She calls it “well-balanced.” And she’s right. Teresa has a perfectly balanced amount of awesome in every area: she’s a straight A student, plays soccer, performs in the school musicals, and is a member of her Scholastic Decathlon team, which I like to call “the Nerd-athon” or the “Geek-a-palooza.”

She also sews, and her work is… tolerable, I suppose.

Inline image 1

Inline image 2

Inline image 3

Tolerably AWESOME, as you see.

One of her items is up on Etsy, and I am shamelessly promoting it, because I am proud of her!

Flower Patchwork Pencil Case and Makeup Bag by CandleOwlKnits

Self-Publicity. Awkward!

0a8ae093f0fdfa05aa225e8b6bdeab3d

For some reason, self-publicity is about the hardest thing for me to do. Sometimes I get so nervous that I end up giving the impression that my work should be avoided like the plague. It’s an unfortunate ailment for an individual who is the sole owner of a small business.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a small knitting shop near my place of residence. I’ve visited several times to purchase some much-coveted yarn, and each time I feel that this would be the perfect place for me to make myself known to the knitting community. Not only is this wonderful place choc-full of yarns of all colors and textures, but they also sell coffee and have an open-knitting table, where knitters can take a cozy seat, swap projects, and bring their creations into being. I took some covert pictures there on one of my visits. Afterward I noticed a small sign that cheerfully recommended that I “Smile! Entire store under video surveillance!”

IMG_0135

 

 

IMG_0137

I visited the place in the company of my dear mother, not a knitter herself, but apparently astounded by the fact that people can create so much with a handful of small sticks.

Another charming feature of the little shop is the presence of sample projects scattered among the yarns. I’m not talking about those 3 by 5 rectangular swatches that usually appear in yarn stores. I’m talking full-blown, gorgeous projects! Shawls and scarves and entire sweaters, each knit with yarn from the shop. I’ve wanted to be employed to create some of these samples ever since I stumbled upon the place.

Strongly opposed to “inserting myself unbidden,” I have been to this place several times, wandered around, and tried to strike up a conversation with the cashier:

“Er, good morning. How’s your day been?”

“Wonderful, dear. How sweet of you to ask! Your total is $14.62. Have a wonderful day yourself.”

“Er, thanks a million.”

I would hover for a moment, then flee.

Yesterday was different. Yesterday I struck gold. Or maybe… nickel.

The first thing out of the cashier’s mouth was, “Do you knit?”

“Indeed I do, yes.”

My dear mother plunged in with characteristic enthusiasm, “She’d love to knit for you!”

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Subtlety abandoned.

The woman we conversed with happened to be the owner, and she quickly snapped up my information.

I mentally pumped my fist in triumph.