"Not only was she a singularly gifted witch, she was also an uncommonly kind woman."


My friend Kj was in Scotland for four years, working on her PhD.  While there, she was able to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London in January with another beloved friend, Jonathan. They posted a picture that made my heart full:

I knew the bridge had significant meaning for Kj (Prisoner of Azkaban is in her top 10 films), and the structure itself is beautiful. So for her birthday, I wanted to try to capture the above image, if I could. I had about a week to finish it in time for her birthday!

 In the film the bridge looks very brown, but in the photo of my friends it looked more blue/gray. And because it's me, I decided not to do the bridge all one color. If I'd had more time I would have colored in the shadow/black part of the bridge, but it didn't happen. Fortunately I really love how it turned out, particularly in the amount of time I was working with!

And this weekend I got to take a pic with the inspirations themselves!

Embroidery: Pissing the Night Awaaaaay


This summer my friend Kristen G. (she's definitely one of the top 5 Kristens I've ever met, maybe top 2) commissioned an embroidery piece from me, and it was a blast to bring it to reality with her. I'm nervous about ever doing another commission after this, because I don't know that anyone could ever be as encouraging and excited about a piece as Kristen was about hers!

We started with her idea: lyrics from "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba with the four beverages mentioned in the name: a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, and a cider drink. I tried to find glasses/bottles that worked for the drinks, and asked her pertinent questions like "Rocks in the whiskey?" and "What kind of cider are you imagining?" Then I showed her different fonts, and with her approval, I moved forward with the design we'd picked! I've never made something with this level of customization before, and it was so fun to collaborate!

It's tough to stitch liquid--much less clear liquid like vodka, but I'm really pleased with the final result, and I think Kristen was too!

Currents, September 2016


Movie: People keep asking me about seeing the new Pete's Dragon because it got good reviews and people have been loving it, but I've yet to talk to someone who loves the 1977 original AND this new one. I doubt many of the original film's themes made it into the new one, like child slavery or lovable alcoholics, and is the new one a musical? I'll probably stream it someday and live-tweet my reactions.

Food: My go-to dinner later has been pancakes with strawberries on top.

Celebrity Crush: I'm loving the chemistry between Sharna and James Hinchcliffe on the current season of DWTS. I was NOT expecting to love an INDYCAR driver but he is just too charming and an awesome dancer!

Podcast: I'm all up to date on Last Podcast on the Left, re-listening to My Favorite Murder (and ordered one of their t-shirts), starting Sword and Scale, and still sharing horrific true crime facts and stories with friends and loved ones--usually against their wishes.

Book: I've discovered poet Nancy Pagh, and I've ordered all her books from the library. Also, Bruce's autobiography came out and I neeeeeed it.

Indulgence: Is keeping overdue library books until I'm done reading them an indulgence?

Thankfulness: I know it's strange to be thankful for something that happens every year, but the lack of bugs, sweat, oppressive sunshine, and body hair maintenance that comes with Fall makes being a human more than a little bit easier for me.

Music: I've been so podcast-heavy lately with my listening, but to fall asleep at night I've been loving the Jazz24 app.

TV Shows: Apparently it's going to be eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar, even though it's a 7.5 hour docu-miniseries that aired on TV (after it went to Sundance), but I'm allowing OJ: Made In America to be listed under my current TV show. I was still in grade school when the trial was going on, and I remember it being everywhere, but I don't remember any specifics that weren't parodied on SNL at the time. The context of the case is just as fascinating and relevant as the evidence itself, and this documentary was so well executed. Had the murder and trial taken place in a few years later, or even just in a different city, the verdict would likely have been different. If you get the chance to watch it, do it. (I watched it on Hulu). I mean, the shoes and the arthritis medicine! The 9-11 calls! Gah, just watch it already! (Be warned: they show very graphic crime scene photos. You could argue that this was unnecessary to the story, but the gruesome severity of Nicole's wounds show that they were most likely inflicted by someone who had strong, personal feelings about her--therefore not a stranger or hired gun.) 

Project: I'm working on my first ever paid embroidery commission!

Achievement: I'll be coasting off this one for awhile:

Wishlist: My Shark Navigator cordless vacuum is a giant disappointment, so I'm longing to go for the gold and get a cordless Dyson. A girl with 4 furry pets can dream.

Reminder: "I remember understanding what love really is. It didn't hurt; it didn't ignore your prayers, didn't seem to not care that your mom was dying. It didn't leave you wondering what you did wrong. Love tried to make you happy, even if it was useless. Love would do you anything to make you happy.” ― Jackson Pearce, Purity

I Photographed My First (And Probably Last) Wedding!


I'm a long-time admirer of professional wedding photography. I love seeing the creative ways photographers put different spins on traditional shots, or try new things that push the limits of what we consider 'wedding photography.' The mastery of light and camera technology required to compose those one-in-a-million pictures has never been something I've possessed. But some friends asked me to photograph their wedding, and even with my disclaimers of amateurity and lack of experience, they kept asking me, and I said yes. (I decided I didn't want them to pay me for it because a) they're dear friends and b) then they couldn't be too mad if the photos sucked.)

It was a loooong day, where I pretty much only sat down when nature called. My thighs were crazy sore for almost a week. I admired wedding photographers before, but now even more so. When I got home that night I wanted to fall in bed, but not before I uploaded all the photos to my computer. While skimming through the pictures of the ceremony I saw a jump from a shot of the rings exchange to the recessional. Because I was exhausted and hysterical, I didn't feel I could rely on my hazy memory of shooting THE kiss. Had I actually missed it? I thought, "If I missed it, I'm human garbage."

But as a newbie I'd forgotten that I was shooting with two different cameras during the ceremony, and the kiss was captured in multiple frames on a different card. Over the last week, I somehow managed to reduce my 3,921 buttload of photos down to 391 of my favorite ones that told 'the story' of the day as truly as possible.

Here are a few of the ones I'm most proud of. And when I say 'proud' I really mean 'gobsmacked that the elements converged and worked with the high quality camera with little to no help from me to make a semi-decent photo'!