Yucca

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New project: yuccas. The trunk is cut from an organic Medjool date pit :)

yucca_proto_partsI’ve been thinking about yuccas for a while. They’re such an iconic houseplant, and here in California, many varieties grow in the landscape. Above is the design process: free form shapes cut in paper, then drawn in Illustrator and cut from cardstock with a Cricut Explore Air 2. I’ve got pretty good working models, which will be refined as I build and rebuild. Still a long way to go with colors and details.

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This is an armature from a succulent I had at the ready, and I learned a lot from messing with it as a yucca plant. There are characteristics of the tree-form varieties that will translate well in torn paper-wrapped wire. And Braxton Payne’s exquisite pottery makes for perfect containers.

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(Speaking of Braxton Payne, I just saw he’s making a Southwestern-style beehive fireplace… which I think must replace the Scandinavian-style one currently in use on the MMS+S set.)

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Yucca Proto_01 on a Peter Tucker bench. Much as I love terracotta, I think I’ll glaze this pot matte black to match the black sand. And then switch to lighter color sand for future specimens. Imagine this plant much taller and more gracefully limbed. Getting back to work now.

 

Sensational Travel Journals

Oscar Wilde wrote, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”

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In that spirit, the OE Travel Journals kits are available over at MMS+S. There are two kit options listed, and one secret option at hand. The two listed options are for three blank journals, or one road atlas and two blank journals. I’ve made a video of the secret option:

YES. It is a secret gatefold pages option for both the sketchbooks and the travel journals. They work well with the single pages and maps, and are fun besides. Just add a note when ordering and I’ll include as many as you like with your kit/s, until I’m able to list them properly. Though they won’t be secret anymore, they’ll still be fun.

Production notes: If you like quiet page-turning fx, turn your sound on. The alarming bandage: I bashed my poor knuckle on a boulder rock emptying a cement bird bath. I tried to keep it out of the frame, but it’s like it has a mind of its own.

Same As It Ever Was

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The late night sorties continue, despite my best defenses.

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This just made me laugh out loud; she so looks like Alice in Wonderland/Grace Slick doing “One pill makes you larger, and…”

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Zilly and Stormy continue to meet up after work, and are really enjoying getting to know one another. Here they are, chatting away, sitting on what I refer to as the “floral footstools of anxiety”. It’s got nothing to do with them, and is a story for perhaps another time? The fabric, however, is fabulous: “London Calling” from Studio RK for Robert Kaufman. I want to reupholster everything in it.

macro

For my birthday I purchased a set of lenses for my iPhone from Photojojo. I’ve not had much time to purposely explore them — it’s not even quite my birthday yet— but here are a few snapshots.

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I was most interested in the macro and telephoto, but could not resist the fisheyes and filter lenses. Above is EC01 Echeveria, looking fabulous larger than miniature life-size.

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These are very lively moss flowers, less than a half-inch tall, growing on the backyard retaining wall, as seen through the macro lens. Who know spores had EYES?!

fisheye

And here is either the fisheye or super fisheye, good for laughs and turning one’s home into a hobbit-hole. In the foreground are the lens boxen. I heartily recommend!

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I’m about to go south, and then north, for a couple of days. I wrote and photographed the instructions and listing for the first of the MMS+S Office Essentials, in colorway “Warm” today, but will hold off actually listing them at MMS+S until I return and have a chance to kit and document the whole series.

The south part is to my family in Santa Cruz, and the north part is to a *very* special tour my delightful husband has managed to arrange, of a very special archive of amazing artifacts, all housed on a fairyland ranch that is so sprawling and gorgeous it takes one’s breath away. (And/or, is typically Northern Californian.) Happy birthday to me, and all the March babies!

Teleportation

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*While we patiently await documentable evidence of more substantive progress, behold, teleportation!

Scarlett: I can’t even make eye contact with you, no matter how many sounds you make.
Nancy: I know. That’s why you should get down right now, of your own accord.
Scarlett: But then I would have to admit defeat.
Nancy: It’s not a contest. I have already lost.
Scarlett: Maybe if you could just look away.
Nancy: Fine. I’ll just go sit over there.

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Scarlett: Fine. It’s pretty boring in here anyway. Also, the lighting is all askew. And the shelves are empty.
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Scarlett: Can you just go to the bathroom or refill your drink or something while I make my exit? I feel self-conscious.
Nancy: You don’t have a whole lot of choices…
Nancy: Fine.

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Nancy: You made the right choice.
Scarlett: I’m very, very tired now.
Nancy: I’m sure you are. Teleportation is exhausting.

*Translation: I’ve been making stuff, but am happy with none of it.

New +Sundries

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We’ve been engrossed in producing things around here, and the studio is a mess. Piles of papers and things on every surface. The answer is miniature file folders, in many colors, including classic manila.

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They’re available now over at MMS+S, part of a new line of miniature office supplies.

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The precut folders are packaged in a “kit” of a dozen 13 — all you do is fold on the score line :) They will also be available packaged in a custom box, (which will also also be available as a kit) along with some other boxes and sundries. Because good studios and offices need them, to be tidy studios and offices.

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Figuring out box design dimensions, assembly, and cut and score lines. Getting more proficient at drawing in ways that translate well to SVG. Really appreciate the scoring tool feature of the Cricut machine.

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Model building, instruction writing, label design, photography and kitting are all in various stages of completion. (For the Toto basket, too! And delightful hen-and-chicks succulents.) I am closing my eyes and tapping my heels together three times. And thinking to myself …

Prototyping Complete

purple

Feeling confident about the rightness of the basket kit patterns, I move on to test-coloring the white base cardstock. My charming husband gifted me a set of Winsor & Newton water colour markers, and I’ve been eager to use them. This is, um, not exactly — nor even close to — fine art, but watercolor tints differently than either stain or alcohol markers. I used an intentional kind of crosshatch to fill the larger pieces. Gorgeous color/colour, yeah? W&N Mauve 398.

pear

I built the purple mauve watercolor basket, and moved on to an alcohol marker. These bleed and blend much more readily into the cardstock. W&N Pear Green Y635.

most

Here are our happy fellows to date. In this picture you can see the difference between the heavier-weight yellow basket, and the slightly lighter-weight, tinted and white cardstock ones.

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I realized that tinting the outer edges of the lid pieces (even though they are eventually covered) helps mask any gluing misalignment, so had to test-make one more basket. This is W&N alcohol marker Duck Egg.

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And here are the last two basket prototypes, with some hen succulents, held up to the last of our stormy, freaky light. I noticed a similarity between the terracing of our wee hillside backyard, and the woven fabric of the baskets. Huh.

Newsletter, Calendar, Party

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There’s a new issue of my newsletter Cut, Fold + Make going out tonight that includes a modern miniature calendar for you to make.

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It’s a quick and simple project.

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You can sign up to receive it with the newsletter link on the right.

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It’s a good  way to keep track of yourself in sequential time.

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And, there’s a party going on to celebrate the new year and new pergola being built at Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries. All the furniture from Sea House Warming Hut has been dragged over, and there’s a beach driftwood fire blazing, as well as festive beverages. Come on by! It’s been too long since we’ve all hung out together.

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PS: Godzilla will be there.

 

MMS+S Signage

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I continue to explore what works and what does not on the Cricut Explore Air 2. I’ve not yet moved beyond cardstock. I wanted to make signage for the courtyard set. This is my first attempt at cutting a sign 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) square. Lessons learned.

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I scaled up to almost four inches, and it cut beautifully.

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Here is the sign, 23 picas square, released from the sticky mat. I glued a nice piece of translucent plastic salvaged from Japanese rice cracker packaging to the back, and cut lengths of 1/4-inch basswood for the top and bottom.

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The finished sign. At least for now.

New Echeveria Kit, Esplanade, Scarlett

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There’s a new kit available over at Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries. It’s a more delicate echeveria variety, based on an eight-leaved shape. Each plant is about 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) in diameter; the kit makes nine.

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In other news, natural beach erosion opened up two large sinkholes in the switchback path leading down to Esplanade beach, as well as taking out more of the cliffs under the remaining apartments (vacant since January). It was so windy this afternoon on the bluffs I could scarcely keep my camera still.

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Scarlett is almost six months old. Her extravagant affections continue to grow, and because she goes outside now, her depredations have eased *somewhat*.

Happy winter solstice, all.