Dorky Chick Diaries: Somebody ate skittles and threw up on my iCal.

*Exhale*

I’ve just popped yet another dark chocolate covered mint from TJ’s and am staring at spinach that needs to be put in the refrigerator. It is about 9 p.m. on a Wednesday and I’ve recently returned from some mid-week grocery replenishing. I’ve opted out of music as background noise partially because I’ve been overdosing on Top 40 lately, and partially because it sort of sounds like Fall outside. It smells like Fall. I can tell. A sullen moisture is collecting around old buildings again and the cooler evening temperature isn’t cooking the earth enough to expel the familiar fragrances of warm weather anymore. My laundry is whispering to me from the basement, but my fingers are tingling on this keyboard as I unzip my chest and begin to let words splatter onto my e-diary.

September has ignited me. If you’ve followed any of my past blogs you may have noticed that over the past few months I have grown from being eager, to steady, to scattered, and, at times, defeated. I guess that is what being a 20 something is supposed to be though. Just as things started to get foggy, though, I was reminded of this promise to myself to stay motivated. This silly little blog was the reminder for that promise. So I’ve made some moves, and suddenly my iCal looks like it went on the Color Run or somebody spewed Skittles on September. I have 2 intern positions, both fashion related (more on that in a later post), 3 sources of income (my beloved restaurant, tuppins for my PSU fashion articles, and now extra support from a little daytime receptionist gig), and in 3 weeks I will again be a full time student (a light, yet still full credit load at PSU this term and also a light load at Portland Sewing).

Sounds farking crazy, I know. 

I may risk speaking too soon, but now there is a stomach-butterfly inducing feeling I get when I breath deeply. I’ve piled so much on my plate, yet, I feel like I’ve never felt so privileged to have such little free time. I love everything I’m filling my days with. It feels balanced. It is all work, but with the right state of mind, it is all play. 

I’m playing grown-up, and my Subaru is much more fun to drive than that Playskool thing. 

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To report on my fashion pursuits, here are the headlines!

Miss OR and Miss RI 2011 take NYC by Storm, Stop at Mood Designer Fabrics Before Breaking Hearts 

😉

 

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Portland Fashion Week: Gen. Admission Doesn’t Include Champagne, Still Buys a Good Time

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Croquis Improve for McGowan, Hope Exists

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Croquis Come to Life, as Designer McGowan Takes it to the Next Level

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^^obviously we’re not quite done 🙂

Serger Changes Life: Thanks, Gram

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If you sew, you understand this to be the most exciting of all of the above things.  Thank you to my Gram for my years-late follow up on a high school graduation gift 🙂

 

I wish I could tell you everything, but I know I’m lucky if you made it this far. The bad news, is that my sheets are still in the dryer and it is past my bedtime. The good news is, being busy means things are happening, and I really want to thank you for reading this blog. Every time you click to read, it’s sort of like passing a stranger who smiles instead of looks dead faced. It’s encouraging in the best way. 

 

The bedtime police are going to arrest me, so toodeloo my friends!

If you were wondering, the spinach did get put away a while ago, because I’m grown-up like that 😉

xo

 

 

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Drawing practice ! 8.5

It has been officially an eon since I last had a free afternoon to sit and putter around with my art supplies. Feeling unfocused, I decided that drawing something already in existence was probably the best way to exercise my precision, and I chose the smokin’ red dress that Rhianna wore to the Grammy’s! 

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In my Illustration class review, I was told that I should work more on texture and on faces. I thought this would be a good choice because of the gathered skirt and translucent silk. 

Getting started was harder than I had thought, as I tried to remember the techniques I had learned months ago. I got started in pencil and took a pic so I could see what I’d started with by the time I was done. Lucky for me this time, I was already sold on drawing a long skirt so you didn’t have to see her weird looking cartoon legs…. 

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Her arms were looking a little wonky and her face was so small that my pencil could hardly make details, but overall I was pleased enough to move on. After all, I had to accept that I will not be turning into Michelangelo in one afternoon of drawing.

Then there was the coloring! After outlining in thin Staedler marker, I decided that I would mix it up and use only my PrismaColor colored pencils this time. Previously, I had been using mainly my markers, but wanted to work with a medium I was less comfortable with. Here’s what came out:

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Riri was looking a bit better at the Grammy’s, but I took away some great observations about my process and where to go from here. Somewhere along the line her hair grew, her smile got colored in, and the precision of the folds in her dress became muddied. I had a hard time getting her hair to catch that ideal ombre glow and had an even harder time getting the beautiful coloring of her skin just right. This led to over-compensation, and I couldn’t color any more unless I wanted to just draw right through to the next page. 

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All in all, it was a good checkpoint. I want to try this dress again, but instead use markers and spend more time on the details of her face and hair. I’ve heard designers say that more often than not a croquis gets drawn and redrawn multiple hair-pulling times until it is just right, but if I sit and roast any longer inside on this beautiful, hot day I think I will go insane in the membrane. 

On a positive note, I’m actually pleasantly surprised with the experimentation I did to make the fabric appear to be sheer through her torso and her face didn’t look like a man. These are both going in the “win” category.

I’m excited to try this again, and definitely will plan on more time for details. I think next time the most important part will be measuring and not second guessing my measurements. I got caught up in details that were not to scale and I lost focus of the precision that could have added some points for technique.

As we say around here:

Cheers, to sucking less! 

The grocery store calls! Stay positive friends, Monday is almost over 😉 

xo

Tears on my Crayola 64 pack

I opened a vein at the art store today. Well, I nearly did. I definitely contemplated dumping red paint on myself and gasping for air at the checkout. I needed markers and pencils and papers and doodads for the second half of my fashion drawing series which is tomorrow. I’m really excited to learn how to illustrate clothing, but I had to do a little investing beforehand in some supplies.

I found out quickly these ain’t yo mommas Crayolas. Each Prismacolor pen costs several bucks, and I, being obsessed with color, became weak at the knees at the sight of all the pretty hues! And you can’t just get the pens. You gottttta get the shmancy colored pencils and the paper and the thing that blends the pens and the sharpener for the pencils and the bag to put the crap in and blah blah blah (I loved every minute of it…) So I bought the required supplies and a few extra to appease my appetite for creativity and then came home to play with my goodies.

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about the progression of my sketches (see here), so I’m installing one more into that timeline today. I finally got my hands on those awesome markers and took them for a test spin! I am obsessed. The soft strokes, the fluid lines, and the vibrant colors are way better than any school supply ever was before. And here I was still worshipping the sharpener in the 64 pack….

…(sigh)….those were the days….

Realizing I haven’t completed my ideal design for the project I did over Christmas break (see here and scroll to bottom) , I decided to draw a more completed version!

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My favorite part, was working with the deep maroon and sepia colors together. I loved being able to give the body some shape without making the paper get so moist it pills. I went for a darker maroon look for the skirt, and actually think if I were sewing it, I would use a different fabric that maybe gave it just a little bit of a darker feeling. Who knows!

I realize now I was a little too abrasive with the pencil, her hair is more Miss Frizzle than P!nk, and her lady lumps are, dare-I-say, fergalicious… Also, I decided last minute to outline her figure and garments, and I wish I wouldn’t have. And the delete button didn’t work! 

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So anyways, it is a start!! Or, rather a check point 🙂 I am really excited to see what I can churn out after this weekend- stay tuned!

Before that I might need some Adele and alone time with my Crayolas.

*sniffle* I’ll miss you, you waxy little SOB’s 

 

I guess croquis isn’t food, but talking about them still makes me hungry

Croquis drawing (pronounced crow-key) is a style of sketching and illustration used in fashion design that showcases the fantasy of the designer. Famous for their proportions of “nine heads”, characteristics of these drawings are extra long legs, cartoonish renderings of garments, loosely scribbled patterns, and sassy poses. This is the first step in the design process and is where the imagination can run wild. It is the initial funnel between the dreamland of fashion and the real world runway. If done perfectly they should look a lot like mine: Image

OKAY so maybe not, but don’t worry. I’m seeing progress already! And more on that in a minute. All designers use croquis and they are truly part of what makes the design process so fantastical.

I’m sure you have seen them before, but here is an awesome example I found:

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It’s like Versace has been stealing my ideas. Mine looks just like these. 😉

I took a drawing class my freshman year at OSU. Got a B. I enjoyed it, was okay at it, but was more interested in the cute guys in my class rather than the fruit basket. So when I was recommended a fashion drawing class, by George, I took it! This weekend was the first of two weekends of all-day classes, and after weekend one of learning to sketch, I no longer feel like such a lost cause. 

We went from bald and faceless stumpytown squatty…

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 … to fabulegs stumptown hotty!

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I can’t take credit for this at all, and was simply lucky to have a great teacher to walk me through it. And there are more than this, but I kinda liked the side view and her hair.. and I’m the designer so I get to decide what goes on the blog 😉 More to come.

So, cheers- to sucking less! 

Now I just need to draw these models some cheeseburgers.