Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

What? You want my life story?

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Tuesday
Nov112008

Pattern Science

Since I have become obsessed with pattern and surface design, I've started trying to educate myself about the theory and principles that underlie great design.

Design*Sponge had a tutorial a while back from Julia Rothman. It was eye-opening to me because I have always made patterns digitally by applying the principles I learned in our 9th grade geometry class unit on M.C. Escher (essentially, take a shape away from one side, add it to the other, ad infinitem). And while this works for me, I think that sometimes the effect is too linear. Julia Rothman's approach is more low-tech, i.e. pen and paper and some paper cutting sleight of hand, but really satisfying. I think it results in a more organic feeling pattern, which is definitely something I want to explore more.

So, like any good nerd, I have also started reading this book,

Pattern Design - A Book for Students Treating in a Practical Way of the Anatomy, Planning and Evolution of Repeated Ornament by Lewis F. Day, published in 1903. With a title like this, it's hard to understand why this one isn't flying off the shelves, I know. But if you are interested in pattern and surface design, OR you just like really bitchy snark about bad wallpaper, you must read this book. Mr. Day has, as they say, quite a literary voice and an opinion or two which may or may not condemn the vast majority of all design. But better yet, this is a really informative book about the science of satisfying pattern design. Say that three times and see if you don't get a little hot and bothered. And, AND: big chunks of the book are available online, so that even if your library's 63 copies are all checked out, you can get hooked up with the patterny goodness posthaste. Do it. Your ugly wallpaper demands it.

Sunday
Nov092008

I'm Gonna Cut You.

Laser cut, that is.

Have you heard about this new business, Ponoko? They will laser cut your vector drawings onto wood, acrylic, felt.

Seriously? As if I didn't already have trouble sleeping, this has been keeping me awake for days--oh the possibilities! I'm thinking of modifying some of my Spoonflower designs to work with the Ponoko system.

Time out.

I have come up with, what?, dozens of designs for Spoonflower. And I have printed how many? Zero. I could chalk this up to money, of which I have very little. That would be a good explanation. But it flies in the face of the reality that I can ALWAYS rationalize the purchase of a supply. So what's the real reason? The same reason I will happily cook for hours on end and hate ordering take out or delivery. The waiting. Once that call is made, all I can think about is pizza/General Tso's/pad thai. Every minute is another soul-stealing romp through starvation.

So, yeah, I have not ordered my Spoonflower fabric BECAUSE I WANT IT SO MUCH. And Ponoko--they are in New Zealand. I might actually expire before my laser cut goodness could arrive. I think I'd rather keep trying to rig a fiery beam of light to my cordless dremel.

Sunday
Nov092008

The New Meaning of Life

So. Now that the election has stopped gobbling up every of my available brain cells, I can return my attention to obsessive pursuits of yore: jewelry making, sewing, designing, ignoring housework, etc.

Whereas this time last week I was manically hitting "Command-R" (that's right, I'm keystrokin' it on a Mac, mmhmm) on every political blog known to humankind (which naturally excludes anything originating from Fox, NewsMax, Free Republic, etc.), I have found a new way to exercise my personality disorder: Etsy.

A couple of things:

First, let's talk about the name. I like it, it's cute and short. But, um, for lo these many years I have labored under the mistaken presumption that it's pronounces "eetsee." Nope. I have learned that the "Etsians" (yeah, I think that's a little weird) call it "ehtsee." I just can't get behind this. "Ehtsee" sounds like something my husband's grandmother would say crossly if you asked her how she was feeling. "Eetsee" sounds cute and tiny, like the name of a teacup poodle or something. So I'm gonna keep calling it "Eetsee."

Second, I wish that they didn't track your stats for you. Oh, don't get me wrong. I LOVE a statistic. I planned my wedding and the birth of my kid in a spreadsheet. But that's just it. I LOVE a statistic. So now I'm just hitting "Refresh" like it's my job. Not healthy.

Oh. So. Maybe you would check out my etsy store (pronounced however you like): cottageindustrialist.etsy.com? That would be swell. No pressure. I'm just feelin' a little ehtsee and I'm thinking that might help.

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