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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Well my fashion figure drawing class is sadly coming to an end, I've had so much fun learning new techniques and tips and getting to know some of the DAAP students. We had a big project due last week and, although it was quite a challenge, I really enjoyed the process and was happy with the results.

The Assignment: choose our favorite artist (fashion or not) and do a piece in their style. We could either redo an existing picture/drawing/painting or create our own in that artist's style.

I decided on Rene Gruau, an Italian-born artist living and working mainly from Paris in the 1940s'-1980's. See some of his works below

I loved his striking black, white, and red paintings of women. There is something so intriguing about these pieces.

Gruau did a lot of advertisements for haute couture fashion (Dior probably his most well known) as well as champagnes, perfumes, and the Moulin Rouge (as pictured here in this painting.

Well the greatest challenge of this assignment was that we had to use the medium of the artist. Gruau did mostly paint so that meant that I had to do the same! I was lucky enough to be able to borrow some paints and brushes from my sister's beau, Nic. He was so amazingly nice and gave me some advice along with the supplies that really helped me out.

Here is the final painting, although it didn't photograph very well. I wanted to capture the feeling of the first two paintings along with the cabaret dancer feeling. I'm pretty happy with it, although there are always things I would go back and change.

Close up of the face, I loved the red color that Nic mixed for me.

Close up of the legs, she was on pointe shoes which my teacher didn't quite understand but other than that it had a good reaction.
What sort of projects have you been working on?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Woes of a Vintage Bride: Reception Location

As most of you know, I am currently in the process of planning my wedding. We (and by "we" I mean "me") are trying to find the right location for the ceremony and reception. A few weekends ago, my sister and I drove up to Cleveland to visit my fiance's mother and look at some possibilities.

Our first stop was Pine Ridge... I didn't bother taking any pictures because our experience was atrocious and I would NOT have my wedding there. First of all, the lady "giving us the tour" acted annoyed and basically told us to go look around. The reception area was lovely but the rest of the place was nothing to write home about. And the kicker... I asked about having a "small, well trained hypoallergenic dog that doesn't shed in the ceremony" and she scoffed at me as if I was insane. She then went on to tell me that "no place would allow such a thing!" Ridiculous.

After the defeat at PineRidge, we took a walk around Squire's castle, the fall colors were lovely!

Then is was off to lunch at the Willoughby Brewing company. My fiancee had talked about this restaurant before so I was excited to give it a try.

My sister, myself, and my soon to be sister-in-law

The food was fantastic, my sister and I split a yummy veggie pizza. They also (of course) had great beer. I chose a pumpkin/octoberfest brew - delicious.

After lunch we drove up to Manakiki, the location I had been excited for since I saw the website.

As soon as we got there (which was about 30 minutes early) an extremely nice woman was more than happy to show us around even though we weren't her responsibility.

This is the main room where the reception would be held, it was lovely. Also.. no chair covers (which are my pet peeve) because the beautiful white chairs should not be covered up!

Detailing on the fireplace was so adorable!

This is the main room, where you first walk in and also where cocktails would be. Very cute.

The cocktail room has a piano to the right, Kelly was playing us some tunes.

The main entrance

The reception area seen from the cocktail room

The Manakiki also has an outdoor option, it was quite different but unfortunately, it would be much too hot in late July so we would have to stick with the indoor reception.

The Grove is where the actual ceremony would take place. It was so beautiful. Most of the other venues showed us a little area off to the side where they could "set up some chairs" for a ceremony.... ughh. This was so quaint, and shaded!

And, to top it all off, when I asked (very timidly considering how horrbily I was scoffed at the previous location) "could my little dog be in the ceremony?" She told me "oh of course - we love dogs here, mine comes to work with me sometimes!" Wonderful.

Well, Manakiki was great but we had to see at least a few other options right? Next up we headed to Quail Hollow. The people were very nice as we didn't have an appointment. They directed us on where to go and gave us some information.

This was their "grand ballroom" . Chair covers. Ick. Carpets. Ick. Also, when we got out of the elevator to the floor of the "grand ballroom" there was an old hairy hotel guest coming out of the pool with nothing but a towel wrapped around his big belly. Ick.

After a hard day of location shopping, we hit the wineries. Did I mention how much fun my future mother-in-law is? She's pretty fantastic.

Southriver Winery. Such a fun idea... it's in an old church. Sadly, they don't do weddings, we asked.

What a wonderful weekend we had... let's hope that all of the wedding planning is as fun as this!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Poncho turned shawl

I found a lovely pattern in Viva Poncho for my sister's birthday. I decided to splurge and get the recommended yarn (50% silk, 50% merino; 230 meters from Tess Designer Yarns)

I was very happy with the quick service, she actually dyed the yarn that day because she was out of the color I wanted and it arrived a few days later. The quality was fantastic, such a silky, sheen yarn. Of course, like most fancy yarns, it was still in the twisted skein form so before I even began my knitting journey, I had to turn this:

Into this:

I ended up jusing the back of two chairs (Pierre was supervising) and rolling over my thumb. It was actually easier than I thought but a bit time consuming.

Basically, the poncho just requires 2 large panels of this lovely leaf pattern. When completed, you sew the panels to opposite sides of each other and you have yourself a poncho. However, I was knitting away and realized that I am almost half way through my supply of yarn but nowhere close to half way finished with the pattern.

After re-checking my gauge and the instructions, I was a bit baffled. I end up calling Tess Designer Yarns and the same sweet lady was able to solve my mystery. "Oh you're not knitting the Viva Poncho pattern?" she asks me. Apparently they made a mistake in the pattern! They had the wrong kind of yarn listed.... uughhh. My only choices were to spend a huge amount of money on 2 more skeins of yarn or just improvise.

I decided to just keep on knitting and make one large panel with all of the yarn and transform it into a shawl. Well... I definitely would have changed some things if I'd have known from the beginning that this was going to be a shawl but that being said, it turned out quite nice.

It looks so pretty on my sister! (That's Stasha - my future sister-in-law/bridesmaid)