hurricane what? (also, screen printing)

It’s impossible to write/think/breathe without first talking about Hurricane Sandy. I can’t stop looking at pictures of flooded streets and damaged houses, and I really hope people are getting the shelter and help they need. I am one of the few who is doing well at home, with the power on. I am very grateful, and very lucky.

Last week, before I even started thinking about hurricanes, I took this really fun class on low-tech screen printing at Brooklyn Brainery.

 

 

Obvs, I printed an ampersand. It’s a bold simple design and you know I love type (and I already made a stencil of it for another project.)

Low-tech screen printing was VERY low tech. Which is great! I can def do it at home with just a few more cheap tools. We used:

  • Mesh fabric
  • An embroidery hoop
  • Clear plastic overhead paper to make a stencil
  • Something to cut out your stencil
  • Ink

And that was it! To get started we made a design onto our sheet of plastic (there is an official name for it, but I forget what it is).

After we cut it out, we stretched our mess fabric over our embroidery hoop to make a screen. Then, we taped our stencil to the screen. Using cardboard for a squeegee, we smoothed ink over our stencil and printed our design! That’s all it takes. Super fun, and now that I have a stencil I can make all the ampersand prints I want.

I did some tests on printer paper, and then printed on a tote bag. I can’t wait to try more designs! And if I’m stuck in my house for the next few days, which it looks like I will be, I can think of a TON of designs to try. Got any suggestions?

Also, if you, too, are stuck in Brooklyn, let me know. Let’s hang out. And if you need a shower and some internet, please let me know and come on over.

 

 

polka dots

I love polka dots.

 

Like a lot. So much so that I wore two kinds of polka dots at the same time. Whatchu think? I think it can be difficult to take a playful pattern and make it seem grown up. And I think the key is structure and fabric type.  A structured blazer looks like work, and a silk dress seems more adult than cotton.

Please excuse the wonky picture taking. I’m still working on things like having a tripod.

in my white tee

I was planning on writing about something else today, but it turns out I still can’t get The Casual Vacancy out of my head.

Or out of my fantasy closet.

I try to find inspiration in what I’m reading, and there is a lot to be found in this book. Even on how to dress. When Samantha Mollison gives into a crush on a boy band member and buys tickets to take her daughter to see the band perform, she dons a band T shirt, jeans, and heels.

T shirts are so great. They are so simple, and I love how they can add a fun, casual vibe to any outfit, even if you’re dressing up for a big night, like Samantha. With the help of Polyvore, see how I’d like to wear a T shirt for several occasions.

 

 

I’m going to try to have some real-life closet examples in the coming weeks. Do you turn to T shirts as a wardrobe staple? Or do you leave them for the gym?

the casual vacancy

I finished this book with a glass of wine and a box of tissues. My tears fell for the characters in  the book, and their injustices, their pain, and the knowledge that real-life people are going through the same, and worse.

This isn’t the first time J.K. Rowling has made me cry. Her themes of respect, friendship, and death are as apparent in The Casual Vacancy as they were in Harry Potter. The Casual Vacancy opens with the death of Barry Fairbrother, a member of the town council in Pagford. Just like with Harry’s mother, Lily Evans, we learn about Barry mostly through the way people speak of him. He is kind, perhaps to a fault. He is generous. He is smart, works hard, and cares for people less fortunate than him. People like Krystal Weedon, a high school student from the poor side of town who Barry takes under his wing.

The tale that follows Barry’s death is full of gossip in a small town, and how it affects the city council election for Barry’s now open spot. There’s gossip, bullying, drinking, drugs, affairs, and sex. But also HOW that gossip, bullying, drinking, drugs, affairs, and sex affect the people involved. Through Rowling’s beautifully crafted characters, you learn about the bully and bullied. You see both sides, and Rowling poses no judgement. She leaves that to you.

My favorite thing about this book, and the Harry Potter series, is how Rowling illustrates respect. Harry respects living creatures, no matter how small or insignificant. He sees what’s in their hearts and not the purity of their blood. In The Casual Vacancy, almost everyone does bad things. But who is a bad person? Is it a drug addict prostitute mother? Is it a man who cheats on his wife? Is it a teenager with every privilege who harasses people for sport? Rowling finds humanity in all of them, and in doing so, she reminds her readers to do the same.

I have a lot more thoughts about this book. Want to talk about it with me? Lemme know. Email me at raesdays [at] gmail.com, leave a comment, or hit me up on twitter @rclnudson. (And if you’re my sister, Dad said you were reading it–let’s talk soon!) See what else I’m reading on Goodreads.

still messy

Ok you guys, honestly, I think I’m still recovering from moving. How long do I get to use that as an excuse for my house being a mess?

Anyway, I’ve got an Ikea trip planned and I’m having a housewarming soon, so I am trying to get thing into shape before then. Here’s a sneak peek, please forgive the clutter.

I got a couch. And someone realllllly likes it.

And now I’m off to coffee and furniture shopping! And later I have a date with Jay Z. Happy Saturday.