New Growth

March 6th, 2014

My houseplants love this time of year. The days are getting longer and tons of light pours in our windows since the bare trees outside don’t block the sun. My plants are sprawling out all over the house with tender new leaves. I wanted to snap a few shots of the new growth, but I just couldn’t get close enough with my 50mm.

Out of the blue I remembered a comment Jennifer Allison left on one of my posts last summer sharing this macro lens hack. (Thanks Jennifer!) You simply take the lens off your DSLR, flip it around backward, hold it in place, and you have a makeshift macro lens. I took all the shots below with this technique. I can’t believe how close I could focus—the grid photo is of a window screen! It was nearly impossible to get crisp shots while manually holding the lens in place, but I like the dreamy blurred photographs I ended up with. I think I’m going to get this adapter so I can play around with this macro method more without having to hold my lens on.

Have you tried macro-ing like this?

new growth

new growth

new growth

new growth

new growth

new growth

new growth

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Sketchbook 3.4.14

March 4th, 2014

I’m working on finishing up some new Mother’s Day cards this week! Here are a few process shots. What are you guys up to this week, anything fun?

sketchbook 3.4.14

sketchbook 3.4.14

sketchbook 3.4.14

sketchbook 3.4.14

I post process photos like this on instagram that don’t always make it to the blog—follow me there if you want to see more!

 

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Sketching Nook

February 27th, 2014

I always get a kick out of rearranging furniture, don’t you? Today I shuffled a few things around the house to make a sketching nook in one corner of my studio. I seldom sketch in there to avoid sitting at my desk for extended periods of time. Sitting upright with my feet on the floor (like a normal human being) is so uncomfortable to me for some reason. My preferred sketching posture is to curl up in a tiny ball (basically the fetal position) with my sketchbook on my lap. My desk chair is not ideal for this, but my cushiony arm chair is perfect. Now I have a comfy spot in my studio for sketching. Yesssss.

sketching nook

sketching nook

sketching nook

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Calligraphy Practice

February 25th, 2014

Have those of you who took Molly’s Skillshare class continued practicing your calligraphy? Over the past few months I’ve forced myself to slowly work on filling my entire pad of paper with practice, and at some point over the last week or two something clicked. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but all of a sudden using a metal nib doesn’t feel weird anymore. Instead of feeling awkward and stressed when I write, the motion and scratching sound of the nib over the paper is calming and enjoyable. I still have a long way to go, but now that I am more comfortable with the tools practicing is fun instead of drudgery. (By the way, the Nikko G nib is my favorite so far. It never catches on the upstrokes.)

It always amazes me how much of a difference practice makes, whatever the skill I’m trying to learn. (I’m sure my mom is rolling her eyes right now, since she spent years forcing me to resentfully practice piano growing up. You were right Mom, happy?!)

calligraphy practice

Here’s what my very first attempt at calligraphy looked like. See? I’m getting better! Practice works! I still haven’t figured out how keep ink from getting all over my hands though…

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30 by 31 List

February 20th, 2014

I’m turning 30 tomorrow, and I’m not exactly thrilled. Everyone assures me my 30s will be great, but I’ve loved my 20s so much. They’re going to be really hard to top! It’s time for the birthday tradition that always cheers me up—a new annual bucket list. I rocked last year’s list and completed every goal except one—to read the entire Old Testament. It’s really long, you know? I made it a third of the way through, so I’m going to keep plugging away at it.

If you have an annual bucket list please share it below. I love reading other people’s lists! If you’ve never made one you have to try it at least once. For me it’s the best way to ensure that I make the most of each year. If you want to check out my old lists here’s my 28 by 29 list and 29 by 30 list.

And now, my official 30 by 31 list!

30 by 31 annual bucket list

  1. teach the dogs a new trick
  2. take a pottery classdone!
  3. get a new stamp in my passport—done!
  4. build a chicken coop—done!
  5. eat eggs fresh from my own chickens’ butts—in progress (waiting for the eggs!)
  6. install a subway tile backsplash in the kitchen
  7. add stepping stones to my front garden
  8. come up with a new tagline for wit & whistle
  9. go back to blonde—done!
  10. do that 30 day squat challenge I keep seeing on Pinterest
  11. update my address book & send some snail mail
  12. clean out and organize our outdoor storage closet—done!
  13. learn how to knit
  14. paint the creepy windowless room in our basement
  15. add a bunch of new art prints to the shop
  16. get the fiddle leaf fig tree I’ve wanted for years
  17. make pickles—done!
  18. change the hardware on our kitchen cabinets—done!
  19. learn to consistently achieve a nice “smokey eye” look
  20. read 12 books—1, 2, 3, 4, 
  21. give Mabel a lion haircut—done!
  22. make up a 15 day drawing challenge for myself and do it—done!
  23. roast homemade marshmallows
  24. keep my nails painted more often than not—done! (until the polish ruined them)
  25. designate one internet/tv-free day per month—6/12
  26. make blackberry wine—done!
  27. quit being lazy and make a pie crust from scratch—done!
  28. find 10 easy, healthy(ish) dinner recipes we both like—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 
  29. grow an indoor herb garden—done!
  30. hand draw a world map

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