Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sewing help anybody?

So, I've decided to get myself a sewing machine for my birthday. I kind of knew already, but writing that post kind of nailed it. And I'm so excited! But I'm a bit clueless... Can you help, mabey?
I'm a real rookie to the world of sewing - I know maybe one stitch of sewing, and it's very crooked... My grandma used to be a seamstress, so I've seen her ancient Singer at work a lot. But now I'm about to buy a sewing machine - and I have no idea which! There are so many... I'd like a reliable beginner machine, so sew softies, some bags, a very simple piece of clothing maybe, so I don't really need anything fancy for start. What models would you recommend? Brand? What d you use?
And how about some instruction? Any good books about hand and machine sewing? Simple pattern books? Any good classes in southern California?
Any help/suggestion/advice will be really nice, thank you!
And now, back to something I kind of know how to do. Drwaing...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Studio Friday: Secret Stash

Ah... It won't be a proper studio friday here without the insane late-ness now, would it? It's not a very original stash thinking, like a lot of the other cool entries, but it's all mine: Paper. And a load of it.
To those of you who don't know me yet - Hi, my name is Michal and Im a paper addict. I don't know exactly what it is, the colors, the patterns (I'm a pattern addict too. Hi.) - probably both, but I'm just hooked. Ant already knows where to find me if he loses me at Dick Blick... So I collected quite a few over time. Most of the paper on the bottom is for my film's backgrounds (from the incredible imported paper collection of Phoenix Arts Supply. What store will I raid next? The Paper Source. Like - Dah!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Giving credit when credit's due
I was really busy last week, so I didn't get to show you one of the most fun things I got in the mail: it's the swap package I got from Tania in exchange for some recipe cards! I'm so excited to have someone as talented as Tania even agreeing to swap some goodies with me, such a huge compliment. So many happy goodies...
I got a little "postal stamp" birdie picture (that will soon hang proudly in my studio), a couple of hand printed cards, loads of cute stickers, some cute buttons, a stamp that says "Green" (perfect for tree hugging me!), a guinea pig eraser (that I think I'll turn into a necklace, a la Nano Bonbon, some cool paper tags, stationary, green tea candy - and a Czech exercise book (and I still have my breath, phew).
The Czech book is really a sentimental one, because my late grandfather was Czech, and very proud of it. When I went there for a few days after the delegetion Poland trip (visiting concentration camps as is the Israeli high-school tradition), he was trying to teach me some words in Czech so I can get along there. It was very sweet, a man badly senile, that would ask me the same question three times in a row, but he remembered all the words I might find useful.

And on a less sentimental note, go and read Neil Gayman's "Anansi Boys". It's a good and a funny one. And If you get the Audible version (which is the only way I can intelectually enrich myself these days), get the Lenny Henry version - he does good Carribean accents.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Black wall, White paper
Late for Studio Friday, again - but better late than never, right?

What's that? It doesn't look as black as it is - but it is. This is the "black wall" in my cube. The rest is painted this nice teal, but this is smooth, matt black. This is the posting wall, with a tub of push-pins on the top. Usually there will be wet watercolor paper stretching on it, inspirational/reference images, various "to-do" lists and papers, storyboards, etc. Right now - it's empty. Just by coincidence.
But than there's the other effect this empty wall creats - the fear of the void. The white paper has the same effect. I can have deep discussions about the fear of what's expected of you to put on the wall/in a portfolio/on your website/ in your sketchbook with you, but I'll spare it. Yes, the void that needs to be filled is scary, mind blocking, stress inducing, confidence shattering, you name it. But it's also good. This is space to fill with great new stuff, a room to make your little own genesis in (or something less heroic, a doodle will do). It's fresh ground to be worked. Once you got over the stress, you see the good parts.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Can't wait!
We're so itching to graduate and move out - and get our long awaited kitten and puppy... We probably shouldn't have got on yet, but we did. We were really impatient. I think everyone around me wants me to shut up about it already. Almost there, guys - just one more pet craving entry, promise!
If you were lucky, and this is the first time you hear about our future pet adventures, the main "problem" is the dog. A cat come in (pretty much) on size, fitting comfortable in any apartment. A dog however can only be this big if you're going to store it in a city apartment - which is what we're going to have. At least for a while. Oh, and I don't like toy size dogs. For me - the bigger, the better. But you can't have a great dane in a 2 bedroom city apartment.
So we started the search for a dog that'll be cute, funny looking, have a good nature and personality, that won't mind a cat, and be just the right size. And we found one!!! We're going to have a basset hound, or basset mix (we're not picky). They're so cute, with their floppy ears and droopy face, and they'll make Sherlock fan Ant think about the Scotland Yard. Happy, happy - and lots of love! Can't wait. Anyone has a basset with stories and photos to share?
With the cat, we'll have to see the kitten and decide, because cats have their own stories that you can't always predict. I fancy a siamese or siamese mix, but I think Ant's craving a bengal. How about a bengal-siamese mix? Ah?
We almost have them... Almost... Can't wait...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Your opinion, please!
So Ant went and bought the camera I was going to get myself for my birthday FOR HIMSELF (for a good reason, but still!...). And so I'm now facing the question again. Anyone who knows me long enough knows I'm a pain to get a b-day present for. Even when I'm doing the buying. So, if I ask you what should I get - will you help? Please?!

Here are the options:
A. A beginner sawing machine. No, it's not because of "Project Runway", inspiring as it was. I'm more interested in making stuff like these talented people. If I buy a machine, I'll definitely buy some cool fabric (Kitty-Craft anyone?), some needed supplies and a good instruction book.
B. A button maker + supplies. There's the type that has attachments that let you make different size buttons on the same machine, so i can make pocket mirrors and magnets too. No, don't worry. The 80's aren't back.
C. Pamper myself with a bunch of cute stuff I usually don't get for the lack of funds.
D. Put some money aside to buy something special or particularly fancy for my upcoming studio-room.

All options will end up roughly at the same price range. Yeah, the sewing machine is more at the higher side of the scale, but I'm really developing a craving for one. On the other hand, I'm such a rookie...
So what do you think? What should I get myself?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Pink and red

But of course - me, how could I resist? I had to join Project Spectrum! And as it turns out, I have a lot of pink and red things. From right top (clockwise): a bunch of crafting red/pinkness, an American Eagle sweater and my lovely T from Tania, a bunch of pink/red yarn, my pink mochi (all gone now...), another cat image from the "Love Shack" concept video, and my red tennis shoes. That was actually fun!

Oh, and thank you SO MUCH Tania for the compliments! I love your artwork too! Hooray to successful swaps!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Studio Friday: EYES: I'm all EYES!

This is my (late) entry for the newly discovered Studio Friday. The "studio" is obviously - my cube. I was looking all over to find which eyes are watching me and inspiring me while I work. This shot I was recently working on has The Dutchess making a funny face (and like every good animator will tell you - it's all in the eyes), and there were some Nathan J. and Fred looking at me, Stitch (trying to take a scary picture of him), this silly chicken I got at Ikea ages and ages ago (looking at me sideways) and this sunglass-ed cat from my last year's concept music video for "Love Shack" (yep, that one). Can I ever feel alone?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Look Ma! I made mochi!
I made mochi tonight! (If you didn't know, mochi is this Japanese candy made of rice flour and sweet bean paste, with particularly interesting texture and flavor) The round ones have peanut butter inside, the square ones have sweet bean pase, and the ovals are filled with dolche de leche. All pink with the assistance of some natural food coloring. Yummi!
Ant and I are going to try these soon. He he...That's a lot of fun...

Update: Ant, J and D (our roommates) tasted and loved it! It came out just like it's supposed to (maybe a bit overstuffed), meaning "it's smooth like a small child" (Ant) and "it's like the flesh of a kitten" (J). I didn't make this up. Hey, I'm glad everyone liked it...

Friday, March 10, 2006

An unusual feet photo
Not that any one you haven't see my feet before, but they were usually wrapped in this sock or another. Today they're bare. Well, almost. I'm wearing my newly purchased orthopedic insoles. Long story, let me start in the beginning:
Remember how I told you my shins were killing me when I was running? Well, they were, and for the longest time I thought it was because I fell pretty bad ice skating almost 10 years ago (sheesh...) in high school. Well, it wasn't. Which was good, because if it was a bone issue, it'd mean surgery. Scary stuff. But the pain was bad. So I finally went to an orthopedist to check it out, and it turns out - It's not my bones.
I have soft tissue damage: tendonitis and sprains in the calf muscles and tendons because my feet are cardboard flat. I didn't even realise my calves were darn swollen! So - off to physical therapy I go. I did that for two weeks and my doctor says I'm almost done! And most of the swelling is gone too. The down side was that I needed to get orthopedic insoles. More expenses, great. But what needs to get done, will get done, and by this point I'm all hyped up about running (I get really hyped about anything I can't do. Challenge? Bring it on!) and the pain won't go away without them. So I opted for the more generic type (the custom insoles would cost $280, no insurance coverage, thank you very much) - which is still very comfy. I'll update you as I test drive them this weekend. Wish me luck!
Until next time - more happy photos of my new green friends:

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Work and more work!
... So after I spend the day in the cube, I spent the day coloring. And if you thought that drawing the same thing 50 million times, imagine coloring those 50 million drawings ONE BY ONE. Oh yeah, and did I mention those markers are expensive?
Actually, I'm not really complaining, just amusing myself. I really love the markers (Copic markers, those niiiiiiiiiice markers manga artists use. Really smooth and nice. But pricy), and I'm actually enjoying the drawing process (well, when I get the characters right...). I love this film, for a change. All's good, just busy.
a close up for you, just in case you wanted one:

And in case ou were wondering, I'm still knitting and I promise I'll update about that too soon. So busy...

Congrads to Chloe! Yey! I was rooting for ya, girl!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

News, exciting news...
...or maybe not THAT exciting. I just added a bloglines link to the sidebar and opened an account with Flickr. It's quite the thing, let me tell you. And wouldn't you know it? Most of my newly invited contacts already have accounts. I'm late on the trend again, ah? ; )

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Where I live these days
Enough with excuses for being a constant MIA, and never showing anything of what I'm doing. How about I show you where I spend my time, and maybe some of what I'm doing there? Ready?
The is an overlook of the cube: my animation desk, shelves, wall of inspiring artists (Peter de Seve, Shag, Nathan J., Craig Thompson, Posy Simmonds and more). That's quite a big cube. It was meant to be for two people, but it's just a tiny bit too small for two desks. That's when it's nice to be a TA...
This is the wall I usually hang drawings or reference art on. Now there's some watercolor paper I'm stretching on it, for the backgrounds. It's quite the pain in the ass, but it'll be worth it.

This is my other shelf unit. It's got some reference books (I'm very much into reference), sculpting stuff, a fan, a sculpture, tea-making stuff. The usual tuff, pretty much. In case youdidn'tt notice, the cube is in black andturquoisee, I painted it myself. And the floor is fake wood tiles that Ant installed for me. It's supercozyy. You have to make itcozyy or you can't really sit and work there for that many hours. I wish I had a carpet in it too, though...

My desk and some animation (cats, surprised?). My animation desk is just as messy as my room's desk: notes all over the place, more inspiration art, pencils all over the place. Wonder I can even work... Doesn't really add up with my OCD tendencies...

More than that? Just working, animating, coloring. Some knitting done, but not as interesting. I found more awesome paper sources that make my crafting-creative juices going. All in good time... and when I have some extra cash...

Oh, and check this out - paper machines?!Howw cool is that? I want the rowing sheep, I do, I do, I do!

I just realized that it looks like my cube is really dark and dingy. Well, it's not. The lighting is far from ideal, but there's enough of it. Did I mention that I'd love a new digital camera for next x-mas?

Friday, March 03, 2006

I'm still here
Only a lot busy and a bit tired. I will catch up on all the ups and downs, but in the meantime - please enjoy this:

You Are 24% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Never knew I was THAT innocent... Thought I'd come out more evil. Even Sis Beat me...