Sunday, August 26, 2012

American Made

Even though I have never made an actual edited video before, today I managed to put this neat video together in about 4 hours, using some tips from my computer-savvy husband and the internet.  And hooray for free downloadable software (Microsoft Movie Maker)!

The story:

Martha Stewart is hosting a competition called "American Made."  I learned about it about a week ago and determined that I had mostly a complete application, thanks to the work I did in February for the Creative Capital application.  The deadline was today at midnight.  Due to demands of my day job at the beginning of the school year, I had no brain space during the week to consider it at all.  Thanks to supportive friends, though, I had confidence that I would be able to give it a shot this weekend, and so today I made this video, fine tuned some photographs, and uploaded a 1500 characters-or-less essay.

Words cannot tell you how proud I am of myself about this video.  I saw in the rules of the contest that it had to be a certain type of file (.mp4--check!) and less than 500MB (check!).  And so around 1:00pm this afternoon, I clicked 'submit' on my application, excited that I had a video to present, which most other applicants did not.  I thought it might set me apart.  

I got a pop-up message from the Martha website saying it would take awhile for my application to submit, with all the photos and stuff. For hours, I watched the little circle-cursor twirling round and round.  Finally, when I got home from grocery shopping at 8pm, Paul said it probably didn't work and I should try to submit it again.  So we did.  I uploaded all the stuff again and clicked submit.  This time, it did something different, indicating that it was working, but at the last minute, it said that my video had to be under one minute.  My video is 1:26.

Under a minute? I hadn't seen that requirement in the guidelines. Well, I had plans this evening with friends and was already running late, and I was so happy with the outcome of my earlier efforts that I couldn't imagine shortening it in the time I had.  So I had to submit my application without the video.  As we clicked 'submit' this time, Paul noticed the tiny grey font next to the "Upload Video" button that said, "less than a minute, this kind of file, and under 500MB."  Boy, was I ever disappointed.

After time spent with some lovely people this evening and a couple glasses of wine, I am less frustrated.  I am proud of my application and I figured I'd put my video out there anyway on my blog, website, and Facebook.  This way, in case someone clicks on the links on my application page, maybe they'll get to see the video after all.

You'll be the first to know if I make it to the top 100 that the MS staff will select.  :)  Here is my official entry: Parsley Art Studio for American Made.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


August happens to be a month in which many people I know have birthdays.  I'm impressed that so far I've remembered all of them (that I know of, I hope!) with at least a card.  One top of that, I'm trying out some new sewing & painting projects to formulate some gifts.  Plus, I've got a wedding to go to today!

Two of my former students from CSU are getting married today, and they were sweet enough to include me on their invitation list!  (I think this means I've really made it as an advisor,don't you?)  I considered my role in their lives and thought it would be appropriate to continue "advising" them.  This time, though, on what I've learned about marriage.  Artistically inspired by the page I made for my friend's Mom Book a few months ago, I made this neat thing:

In the pocket is a letter to the two of them with brief elaborations on my tips and some examples from my own experience.  They'll get some neat stuff from their registry, too, but at least this suffices for a card.  

Also, Martha Stewart recently sent me an email (you know how tight we are, Martha and I) that included instructions for this very cute bag.  It is considered a simple sewing project, but it was actually a good challenge for me.  I watched the video that Martha did on TV and liked that this bag "locks" by just slipping one handle through the other.  As you can see, one handle is actually longer than the other just for this purpose.

Here is the link if you'd like to try making your own: Martha's Reversible Purse.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Card Series

Today I was looking through my card archives and came across two cards that inspired me to then head to the art room and make these five cards.  The first two are my faves.

Coming up with designs that sell is an interesting way to think about card design.  I have to consider why the general public are willing to purchase cards, and those moments tend to be inspired by life events, especially birthdays.

This was a leftover inspiration from my previous post, a tri-fold card that ties shut. 

Then this idea came from Card Maker Magazine.  You cut slits and then fold them over.  I was so inspired by this beautiful butterfly paper, I didn't want to do much to it other than display it.  The second image is the entire outside, laid flat instead of folded.

Finally, I made another cat!  When I made the first one in March, I actually cut out enough fabric templates to make 5, so you'll see a few more of these over the next few months.  I just donated this one to a fundraiser a friend is putting on in Portland, Oregon, to raise money for her niece's epileptic disorder.