"place"

fleury on quilts
When Fleury was just a wee thing, we taught him a great command called "place." It's basically where you put a towel, bed, blanket, mat on the floor and it becomes a "place" that the dog will go to on command. What cracks me up is how well this mister learned it, so well that anything that gets laid on the ground becomes a place without us mentioning it.

My sewing room is not overly large, but certainly there are many places for a pup to lay that aren't directly on the particular quilt that's been laid out to be currently worked on. But apparently, none of those are his "place," as evidenced by these photos.

fleury on quilts
But seriously, can you really get angry with that face?

(And, um, sorry to all of you who's quilts he's made his place. Before mailing, I definitely tried to shake out all the dog hair!) 

9 months in the making

9 months in the making

Life has been good and full lately. These past few weeks have flown by, even with the sleepless nights and exhausting days dictated by our tiny baby girl.

love, fleury

fleurys tent
My mom is the best. She's always getting me such fun, new toys. Check out this new tent she bought me for the car. I don't think she read the instructions right though because she keeps telling me to sit on top of it - something about dog hair and vacuums. Don't worry though, I showed her how it was meant to be used and crawled underneath. Now if only she would get me a camping stove - we'd be in business.

Love,
Fleury

last weekend

Oh, last weekend. It was a doozey. I woke up, let the dog out like any other morning and he just was barking up a storm. Fleury is not a barker, except to alert us to something, so that should have been my first clue that something was up. I put my glasses on and walked outside.

flood

A pipe in our back yard had broken and as the sprinklers turned on, water was flooding the backyard. I shut off the water, of course, but to Fleury it was like the weekend gods had come down and blessed him with a pond of his very own in the back yard. He frolicked and ran and dug and blew bubbles for a good hour or so before he completely wore himself out.

flood
But, all good (or inconvenient) things must come to and end. The pipe has been repaired and the lake dried up. Poor Fleury. 

rockin' robin

I recently (like in the past 3 months-ish) started my own little round robin swap. I really wasn't sure going in what to expect, but honestly, it's my favorite swap to have participated in. I started by making my center block, the warm colored star at the bottom. My first addition was to Kristan's center, the spools. I decided to keep with the sewing theme, I'd add a ric-rac border. Unknown to me at the time, she's going to use this quilt for her new business venture - a brick and mortar fabric store in Dallas.

rockin' robin
My next border was for Audrey's center. To be honest, the bright, almost neon color scheme isn't something that I am familiar with working with and a little out of my comfort zone. But suprisingly, after going through some scrap stash, I realized I had almost all of the solids used in this quilt. And I really wanted to keep the border simple since it had already had some fussy, fancy borders and thought it could use something to make those pop without overwhelming the quilt. I came up with this assymetrical mosaic border and really really liked how things were turning out. It's kind of crazy how that works sometimes - you do your most creative work when you are pushed from your comfort zone.

I love how my quilt is turning out - it's so unexpected and nothing I ever would have thought of myself, but really makes me smile.

photography: take 1

fabric photo 12
photo 1
I really enjoyed Plum and June's blog hop this summer, and guess what? Now she's hosting a little Quilt Photography workshop. I always love and appreciate good photography, especially in a media like craft blogging where lots of the potential readers are visual in nature.

{Before I go on, I have to say a HUGE big thank you to Maureen Cracknell for sending me this cute bundle of Luxe in Bloom and featuring my QAYG quilt!}

fabric photo 5
photo 2
I photograph with a Canon PowerShot SD 4000 IS digital camera. It's a handy little point and shoot that takes a decent quality photo. I like that it has a variety of settings, both in full manual and also semi manual mode. I shot all of these photos in the auto mode, which defaults to the macro setting at close range. I do shoot in the semi manual (Program) mode frequently as well. I'm a little intimidated by the manual settings and it being a point and shoot, they are sometimes cumbersome to change and play with, but before I dive into buying a very expensive (and bulky) DSLR camera, I'd like to play more with the manual mode on the camera I do have.

fabric photo 8
photo 3
This photo session was taken in my sewing room with natural lighting. It doesn't get the best lighting during the day, but it's easy to access props and a (sometimes) clean white surface for photographs. I normally don't bother too much with props when photographing, but I really did like how the photos with props had that little something extra.

All photos were post-edited in Photoshop. I used a define/sharpen action as well a lightening action to get the color and crispness I was pleased with. I then re-sized all the photos to 600 in width using a separate action. If you find that you do a lot of the same things to your photos over and over again, it's helpful to create an action so that with one click, the entire process can be applied quickly and easily. You can also find and download plenty of free actions online.

fabric photo 10
photo 4
Before hitting "Post" on any new entry, I do upload all the photograph contenders to the post and "Preview". Sometimes, although I love a photo during the editing process after I see it within the post it just doesn't translate the way I wanted, or clashes with another photo in the post. Then I can delete and rearrange which photos I like within the post prior to publishing. I usually delete the duds from the photo stream, but today, just for you, I left them up so you can peek at those that didn't make the cut. Out of the 59 photos taken, 21 were edited. 8 were included in this post.

fabric photo 11
photo 5
Several of these were taken with my go-to layout, the typical fabric stack. I tried to mix it up by incorporating different backgrounds - some with the sewing machine and others with a solid white background (comic book boards since my dog chewed the poster board I had been using for this purpose). I tried mixing up the stack by making it a little imperfect, which is how stacks usually are around here. I took a few shots with the stack all lined up, but I preferred the messier look - I thought it added some life to the photos.

fabric photo 3
photo 6
Then I looked at some other ways to "pose" the fabric since I have wanted to try to get away from my typical fabric stack shot. I still prefer the stack shots, but some of these have some merit.

fabric photo 2
photo 7
fabric photo 1
photo 8
This last shot was a last ditch attempt to do something a little out of my comfort zone. Although the base fabric is in need of some pressing, I do think it came out well as far as showing off the fabrics and incorporating some props. I also really like that it seems like it's going to get used and worked with instead of just a pretty pile of fabrics.