Sunday, June 21, 2015

Smile! It's Father's Day!

Attempting to get a picture of Doug and the kids after church. This can be tricky!

"Give Daddy a big kiss!"


Kate says, "He's funny!  And he's my dad!"  High praise.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

No Event Parking

The U.S. Open golf tournament has been happening at Chambers Bay, and these signs are all over our neighborhood. On the whole we haven't been affected that much--they've been busing people in from park-and-ride spots as far away as the Puyallup fairgrounds, so traffic has been kept down to a manageable level. A lot of people left town for the week to avoid the anticipated chaos.

Chambers Bay has been closed to the public for a while, in preparation. We're all looking forward to having it back again. (It's going to take a while to get it back the way it was--I hear they paved the lower meadow.)

This sign is on the next block up from our house. I went out to take a pic of the one just around the corner, and discovered that the signboard was gone. Maybe someone snagged it for a souvenir?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Trek Flag (and the Really Big Stamp)

Our stake is doing Trek this year (pioneer reenactment, complete with handcarts), and I was asked to help make a flag.  They had the logo ready, and wanted it blown up and transferred onto fabric.  I was pretty much given free rein in exactly how this was to be accomplished, so I decided to break out the craft foam and make a stamp.  I've done a lot of these but never one of quite this magnitude before.  It's about 18 inches high.

I traced the design onto craft foam and then spent a day cutting out all the pieces.  (Andy was a little too interested in the letters and kept putting them back in the negative cut-out.)  I got a big piece of clear plastic (Hobby Lobby has them in the stained glass section), and glued the pieces to that.  I wanted a clear background so I could place the stamp more accurately, and re-align if I needed to stamp the image more than once.

Today I cleared off the kitchen table and did the stamping.  It's on two pieces of fabric so they can be sewn together back-to-back for a double-sided flag. I applied acrylic paint to the stamp with a brayer, positioned it on the fabric, and hand-pressed it all over. 

On the second side, I mixed some Golden Open Medium with the paint, and it came out a lot darker.  So then I went back and printed the first side again.  (Good thing I had that clear background--I was able to line it up just fine.)

The verdict: it won't replace silk screening, but if you're going for that printed flour sack look, it works pretty well!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Kate on Optimism

"Half empty is better than half full. You know why? Because half full means you press the button on the soda machine and fill up your cup half way, and then you only have half a cup of soda to drink. But half empty means you press the button on the soda machine and fill up your cup all the way, and then you DRINK HALF OF IT!"

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Garden Boxes

We have garden boxes! I've been planning these since last year. It's been quite an involved process, figuring out what we needed and collecting materials and getting everything put together.

Our first box (upside down). I got the corner posts drilled by two people in our ward who have drill presses (Brother Hill let me operate it myself, which was kind of fun.)

Dean Simmons came over one Saturday morning and spent a few hours helping us assemble boxes. HUGE help. (I was short on washers, so we didn't quite get everything together, but I was able to finish most of it on my own after this.)

Once the boxes were put together, I had to dig out the spots for them. I found an old Douglas Fir stump just below ground level. It was very rotten and soft, so I just hacked it with the shovel and got a lot of it out. (Hacking stumps is fun--it's therapeutic!)

Digging the spot for the last box.   Our best sun is along the south edge of the yard, right by the neighbor's driveway.  (We left the Red Hot Poker plant in the middle, because we like it.)

Two cubic yards of garden soil in our driveway. (On a cool and misty Garbage Day morning.) We didn't actually need the full two yards but they wouldn't deliver less than that. I got the 50/50 garden soil mix from McClain Soil Supply.  I did find a lot of foreign bits of shredded plasticky stuff in the dirt, and even a couple of pieces of broken glass, so I can't really vouch for the overall quality, but the plants do seem happy with it.

First plant in the ground!

Our four boxes all in a row, with tomato plants. Yay!  Big job.   I learned some things, and got to use power tools.  Lots of hard work, lots of two-shower days.    The white pipes on the sides are to hold trellis frames.  I haven't gotten those made yet.  (I need to find someone who can bend EMT conduit to specified dimensions.)

I was hoping to have this all done by the beginning of May, but hey, it's done, and we'll have it for next year.  And it's awesome. 

Baby pictures!  The Chocolate Cherry had me worried for a bit (it kept going droopy), but it has rallied nicely.  All plants are happy and growing well. 

I won't be able to grow twelve tomato plants every year, because of soil rotation needs, but we're just going crazy with them this year.  We may have tomatoes before August.  Can't wait! 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Green Sea Studios

Announcing the new home of my digital designs: Green Sea Studios!

I've been working on this for quite a while, but thought today would be a nice day to officially launch. May 5th is a special day for me--it's Children's Day in Korea, and the day that I first arrived in Korea (in 1992), and the day that I found out I was pregnant with Andy (in 2007).

It's been quite a while since I've focused heavily on designing, but I do have lots of ideas for more things that I'd like to create.  (That's always the problem, isn't it--so many ideas, so little time!)  I imagine I'll be adding things as I go.  For now, I wanted to have a place to make my products available again, as I do still get people asking about them every once in a while.  Maybe I'll even do some more scrapping, myself!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Squares

Quick papercut this morning.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tomato Shelf

Doug made me this great little shelf so I can fit twice as many tomato plants in the window. I love it.

I have plants at all different stages, since I had a few varieties that had a little trouble the first time. (My first batch of Amazon Chocolate seeds didn't germinate at all!) We're working on getting some raised bed garden boxed put together for outside.

Every time I cut into a store-bought tomato I think, "Just a few more months!"

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Fair and Korean Barbecue

The Spring Fair is like the State Fair's smaller, cheaper, less-crowded younger sibling. (Where parking is much less of a hassle!) We went last year and enjoyed it, so thought we'd go again.

We took along Kate's slushie cup (which is a couple of years old now), and they gave us a free refill. Nice!

A lot of the things that we particularly enjoyed last time were not there this year, but we still had a good time. Doug and Andy found a belt with the Greek alphabet on it, so Andy had to read it.

Andy is tall enough to ride the ferris wheel. (Which we knew, since he did it last year, but the ticket-taker wanted to check!)

Kate on the ferris wheel.

We had a coupon deal for six rides, so we were going to just do the ferris wheel and then have the kids pick out one more ride each, but we ended up getting to ride the ferris wheel free (since the ticket-taker guy was having trouble with his scanner, and we waited nicely for a few minutes), so we got a few more rides. Andy and Kate both went on the carousel, and then Andy dragged me over to this balloon ride. 

Ice cream tastes better if you close your eyes.

We ended up watching this Dock Dogs competition for a while. I didn't even know this was a thing! It was pretty fun to watch--the dogs were obviously having a great time. They jump off the dock into a pool, going for distance. They said the record is something like 25 feet.

We met Anne Marie Corey and her daughter Kaela at Palace Korean Grill for dinner. Kaela has gotten interested in Korean dramas and K-Pop, so we wanted to go get some food.

Naeng Myun!

It occurred to me after the fact that we could have gone to a different place that does the barbecue on the not all-you-can-eat model, which would have been cheaper. (It was yummy, though... and I was very full!) Next time, kimchi jjigae!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Eraser Dragons

Kate's been making these out of kneaded eraser.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Painting Roméo et Juliette

The latest set! I've been super busy painting for Tacoma Opera's production of Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.  Set design by Director Noel Koran, built and assembled by the fabulous and hard-working Tony Hall, painted by me (in various locations!)  We took some details from this building in Verona which is supposedly Juliette's house.  The curvy-pointy shapes along the top are from there.  (I'm not sure what they are.  Chimneys?)  

The pieces were too big to fit in the rehearsal space at the Armory, so I did most of the painting in a warehouse in Lakewood. (The opera has a storage trailer down there, and Mountain Moving had some space that we could use.)

It was probably a bit closer than driving downtown, which worked out well for me, but it was also pretty cold in there, and on gray rainy days it was a little harder to find the motivation to go paint. (My coat has a lot more paint on it now. I guess I have a painting coat.)  This was also my first time doing two shows back-to-back, which proved to be a little harder than I was anticipating.  There's a lot of running-on-adrenaline, especially at the end, and it's not easy to pick up immediately and start doing it all over again.

(Taken with the timer on my camera, which I hardly ever use.)

This was my first show at the Pantages theater. It's a lot nicer to work in than the Rialto. For one thing there's actually a backstage entrance, so you don't have to carry everything in through the front. And there's a nice big shop area right behind the stage. (I understand they did some remodeling recently and changed things around--I hadn't been in there before.)

It turned out my stucco effect was a bit too subtle, so I got to add a bunch of splattery shading to everything. And some of the seams were too visible, so we gaff taped those and then I had to blend them in, too.

We had work call every day at 2:00, but I was able to go in early and work on my own stuff (as long as it didn't involve ladders) by myself. (Which made for some very long days. Doug got to pick up all the slack at home.)

Wolfgang (Pantages dog). The stage crew there is just awesome. They have a great relationship with the opera people.

During rehearsal.

Director Noel staples up some greenery. The balcony is the same one that we used for The Barber of Seville. Tony made that front panel out of pink insulation foam.  (The tall brown columns were already painted from a previous show--I didn't do those.)

I painted the bricks while everything was down at the warehouse, but it turned out that the panel was upside-down, so once they got it set up the shading on the bricks was wrong. (Aargh!) They were pretty near the bottom of the priority list, but I did manage  to get them touched up before the performance. (Also added  more contrast and color, as they were rather muted. In this picture I had done the bottom set of bricks but not the top one yet.)

The doors were a fun touch.  They're just regular panel doors, and we faced them with luan that I painted to look like wood, and we added the big black strap hinges.  I drew a pattern for those and Tony cut them out of luan.

The painting paraphernalia.  

My comp tickets were originally for the dress rehearsal on Wednesday. (Anne Marie was going to go with me, but got sick.) I ended up not going, as I was there painting till 5:45, rushed home to eat dinner and change, and decided it just wasn't going to happen. I stayed home and crashed. Friday I went back in for a few hours and finished up some of the shading on the upper walls, and that other patch of bricks.  I got everything cleaned up and hauled back over to the Armory, and had a few hours before the evening's performance.

(Photo by Peter Serko, from dress rehearsal).

I went to opening night with Erin Guinup.  It was lovely.  (And sad--we all know how it ends!)  The costumes were amazing and the whole performance was just really well done.  It's cool to see how to look of the set changes with the different lighting.  

This was a definitely a challenge (and not just because my kids kept getting sick!) but very rewarding.  I hope I get to keep working with Tacoma Opera in the future.  It's really is a fabulous experience.