Sunday, January 31, 2010

ode to edamame

Oh soybeans, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
- - -

Oh edamame- you fun tasty snack
You're always near by when the munchies attack
You're chock-full o' fiber and omega 3's
And for meat-heads your protein is sure to appease!

You're not pronounced how you're spelled
(it's  /ěd'ə-mä'mā/)
But still most people say
Edamayme, edam or eda-bombay.

That first one is common,
an understandable mistake
it's a Japanese word
so we'll cut Anglos a break

The second one's a cheese
that's always made backward
how they confuse it with you
is quite frankly absurd

I don't know about that last one
but I've heard it, it's true
they must love the letter B
and add it, superfluously, to you

All tongue-twisters aside
you're a great way to munch
be it snack-time or dinner
or breakfast or lunch

I'll keep you close at hand
when my tastebuds want to play
or when a friend comes to visit
and asks for eda-bombay.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes; often it's subtle and small.

Although I'm not exactly an avid blogger (note: trying to be better. Or trying to try to be better. I'm not big on lying.) I think you can probably sense a theme to ennaneve.

If you can't, I should probably work on my communication skills. Anyway, I'll just tell you... it's creativity.

There's something that just thrills me about creating something new, refinishing something old, or just exercising my inner child and letting all the colors and scribbles spill out into the world.

My entire studio apartment is full of unique creations that I've made, found or restored, and I'm going to try to be better about sharing some of these things... since art is not meant to be a selfish venture.

One of my walls is completely covered with pictures, prints, poems, color swatches and cards that inspire me. I think it's important to collect little things that we enjoy, not only to help us find our niche (usually a theme will emerge; like my older sister enjoys mixing urban design with influences from nature) but so that we will have something to help ignite our desire to create.

When you see a leaf that strikes your fancy, or love the color of ribbon tied around a gift... hang on to it. These tiny clues to our inner muse may just be the spark that ignites our next artistic endeavor.

creative tree

My Creative Tree takes after me: not very photogenic.

Nature is a big influence in my life and my art. From an early age, I remember being inspired by trees; from the roots to the branches and leaves. My older sister and I used to talk about a certain forest near our home in Maryland that we called the Cathedral Woods because when the sun shone through the leafy canopy overhead, the light trickled down in little green patterns like stained glass in an ethereal Cathedral.

I love every aspect of trees: the different shades and textures of the bark; the birds that nest in their boughs; the different shapes, colors and sizes of their leaves; and the fact that they give us air to breathe and shade to sit in. I think I would've made an excellent addition to the Swiss Family Robinson (living in a tree and throwing coconut bombs at pirates?! Sign me up!!)

You get the point. I like trees. So, naturally, I had to have one in my minuscule studio apartment. Meet my Creative Tree: it's a source of inspiration with a really boring, obvious name. Never mind that.

The cool thing about my tree is that I don't have to wait for Christmas each year to decorate it! I've used all different types of themes, from jar lanterns to little fabric birds. Any time I feel the urge, I just take down the current decor and try something new... very important for an impatient person like myself.

My current theme is words (which I am also a huge fan of... can you tell?) I made a paper chain out of several types of old paper I found in some vintage notebooks, as well as sheets of creative writing I typed out on my old typewriter. It was a fun, and time consuming, project.

Next, I took some old blank gift tags and decided to type random, incomplete sentences on them and do my own "mad libs". They turned out being silly, naturally, but they were a nice way to let my brain play.

Here are a few, for your amusement:

I may have to use this in an actual conversation sometime...

I made twenty-four of these... which began to make less and less sense.

Ha! A Freudian slip indeed!

While some people may think it's silly to have a tree (aka a very large branch that takes up a lot of room) in a tiny apartment... I love it. I'm always thinking of new ideas to try on my tree and it, in turn, is always there to shade me when I read.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

typewriter print

Many labor-intensive hours later... a print is born.

At long last... my typewriter print is complete! This photo was my first print with the carving, or "practice print" if you will, which I use to show me what needs to be touched up. Granted, there is still some work to be done, but I just got so darn excited, I needed to post it! Although it's probably looked down upon in the art world to show work before it's finished... the few touch-ups I need to make are minor and probably only visible to me, anyway.

At least I hope so.

At any rate, I spent so much time on this print, that I simply couldn't wait any longer to share it! Of course, I'll post the real finished piece, too, but for now, I'm happy that I've made it this far, since I've logged twelve hours on this puppy (which equals a lot of callouses!)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

diy fabric printing

Tools of the trade: inking plate, fabric ink & brayer

You Will Need...
Heavyweight fabric
Large piece of cardboard that will completely fit under your fabric
Fabric ink (Speedball has some good varieties, available at most art stores)
Brayer or small paint roller
Inking plate (or another piece of cardboard will work, too)
Block design (Note: if you're unsure how to make a block print, stay tuned for my post on that. In the meantime, you can try carving a simple design into a potato with a sharp knife. Just like kindergarten.)

Now to Proceed...

Lie your fabric out on the cardboard and iron out all the wrinkles. Remove any loose bits of string or fuzz.

Using a small scrap piece, or the corner of your fabric, test your color prior to printing. For example, the first color I chose ended up having a weird consistency and it would have been difficult to change colors halfway through. Prep steps are a necessary evil.

Pour a small amount of your ink onto your inking plate and roll your brayer in the ink until you have a light, even layer. Roll your inked brayer over your block (or potato) and wipe up any globs or drips. Then, start printing! Use even pressure and apply your block to the fabric. While you may be tempted to double print (print twice without inking the block) don't do it. You'll get an uneven and sloppy-looking piece of fabric.

Keep printing. Yes, it takes a long time, but put on your favorite tunes and enjoy yourself! Print in straight rows (unless you're doing a sporadic design) and don't sweat the little mess-ups... it's part of what makes your fabric unique.

Et voila! When you're done printing the entire piece of fabric, wash all your tools in warm water (use soap if necessary) and allow your fabric to dry for at least an hour. Have a cup of tea. When your fabric is dry to the touch, flip it over and iron the back side with medium/high heat to set the design (be mindful of what your fabric can handle.)

And there you have it! Stay tuned for more on simple upholstering, space-saving tips and how to design and carve your own block print!

Monday, January 11, 2010

old chair / new chair

My favorite part? It's totally unique!

My internet has been down for the past week, so I had to find some other things to do with my time. Things like completely organizing my entire apartment, donating old clothes and trying out some new (and some ew) recipes. By far my favorite project this past week was this little chair I got a few months ago for $2 at a thrift store. It had brown vinyl covering it and it was horribly stained.

It just needed a little love.

When I brought it home, after giving it a thorough cleaning, I found that it actually folds up (with the help of a lot of WD-40 and elbow grease!) There's something so satisfying about taking an object that is clearly discarded and unloved and giving it a new home and new look.

My favorite part about this little chair's makeover is that I hand-printed the fabric with one of my lino block designs! I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I just decided to go for it... and it turned out way better than I thought it would! Now not only do I have a sturdy, useful little chair, I have a cool new way to showcase my designs!

Stay tuned for: diy fabric printing / reupholstering!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

color me superficial

Yeah... totally bought the pomegranate for it's looks.

I realized something the other day. OK, actually, I realized it a long time ago, but I was unwilling to admit it until now. *sigh* Here goes:

I am a superficial produce buyer.


As much as I advocate being comfortable in your own skin and beauty being more than skin deep, I totally buy my fruits and veggies based on appearances. Sure, there's the obvious color-buying: yellow bananas are ripe and brown strawberries are bad. I get that.

This is more than that, though. I get completely wrapped up in a color scheme in my head and buy my produce accordingly. I've arranged bowls upon bowls of colorful fruit displays, only to realize that I don't like oranges, or that I have no idea how to do anything, whatsoever, with a starfruit.

I guess it's not all bad. I mean, it does get me eating a lot more fruits and veggies than I would if they all looked like potatoes. Surely I'm not the only person who buys produce they can hardly pronounce, much less prepare, because it looks really, really cool. Or am I? Color me chagrined.

Friday, January 1, 2010

hello again

Moss... Like the kind that's been growing on my blog. ;)

Well, I'm back.

Please excuse my hiatus from the virtual world... the real world became much more jealous of my time.

The past few months haven't been easy, but one thing I've learned thus far in my limited knowledge of life is that pain is often accompanied by growth. I'm not entirely sure how I've grown yet, but I feel that all-too-familiar ache of outgrowing the Old Me.

This is a good thing. For one thing, I outgrew an old flame and my heart is now - finally - free. Even though it hurt to open up the old wound, it ultimately resulted in healing. Sadly, I've also outgrown my sexy jeans and henceforth will be endeavoring to take better care of myself physically. I've also been outgrowing my old ideas about God, and I'm attempting to read some (previously dreaded) literature to dig a little deeper into the matter.

While I shy away from making any sort of New Years Resolutions, I think that 2010 is going to be a year of immense growth. I can already sense the moss of 2009 being pulled out of the crags of my life. I don't think it will be easy, but I think it will be freeing.

A good friend asked me what my word for 2010 would be. Just one word to describe what I want this year to hold. All sorts of happy words came to mind instantly: joy, hope, peace, love, contentment... but I know in my heart of hearts, my word is, simply, grow. It's not the word I particularly want, but I have a feeling it's the word I really need.