It all comes together

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend – I know I did! We kicked it off Friday with D.’s art opening, which was awesome. Besides spending all summer making the pieces, it took him over 10 hours just to install the birds. And almost all of that was on a ladder with his arms above his head! But I think it was well worth it. Tons of people stopped by to check out his work, gape and ask lots of questions. Almost everyone who saw it thought it was beautiful, especially at night when the lights reflected hundreds of swirling birds on the walls around the space.

The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. And on top of all that, he got a write-up on the Philadelphia CityPaper blog (our biggest local arts and entertainment paper) and his university is contacting him today to write a news story for their paper. (Publicity was my contribution – I made the postcards, laminated signs, took photos and sent out half a dozen press releases!)

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to figure out how to take some nighttime photos of the installation, but I think I got some decent shots. You can check out the entire album on flickr, but here’s some highlights:

The full installation!

The full installation!

Visitors take a look

Visitors take a look

A different view

A different view

D. talks to the public about his work

D. talks to the public about his work

Night birds

Night birds

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Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 7:11 am  Comments (6)  

Duck!

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Yikes, I thought I could get my camera up and running tonight so I could snap some pictures of the new work and get postin’ away on Etsy. But, no surprise, it’s not that easy. I don’t have the right memory drive, so I’ll have to pick one up this week.

In the meantime, here’s some ducks from the lake (taken shortly before my other camera took the plunge). Cute!

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm  Comments (2)  

Dreams of Spring

This little hummingbird necklace from UnderGlass is so sweet, it’s a little warm reminder of spring to come on an icy, chilly night.

And it’s a reminder sorely needed, since I have been up and about since 5:30 a.m. and even with the equinox long past, this feels like one of those truly long, cold days of winter.

It began with a failed attempt to get D. into a public dental clinic this morning (the poor boy needs three root canals, and doesn’t have insurance for it). We woke up well before dawn, but still arrived too late to get him on the list. We consoled ourselves with steaming cups of coffee at one of my favorite breakfast joints.

That was followed by a long, full day at work, a race to gobble down food and get to my first continuing-ed class on the Adobe program, InDesign. Even though it was interesting, I struggled to stay awake during the three-hours of instruction. It was after 10 p.m. by the time I finally drove back home, in the dark and the beginnings of an ice and snow flurry.

Where did the day go? I can’t wait until it’s spring again and I have a chance to relax and watch the hummingbirds go by…

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm  Comments (2)  

High and dry

I know a particular person (not going to name names, here) who, in a sincerely well-intentioned effort to preserve my tabletops, would put his drinks down on my books.

Now, as an unapologetic bibliophile, I admit that I lost my head once or twice about this. I would give any number of tabletops for my old beat-up copy of Animal Farm, or The Idiot. It seemed to be a cultural gulf that we simply couldn’t communicate across.

I found that the best way to prevent water rings on my Shakespeares, and steam coming out my ears, was to have copious number of coasters hanging around on every surface. I mean, something like these soft, fuzzy coasters from Blue Hair Knits practically beg to snuggle up to the bottom of a coffee mug.

So if you’ve ever had this sort of problem, spare yourself some anxiety, spare whatever surfaces you value most, and go invest in some coasters!

Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 11:09 pm  Comments (6)  

Etsy Writing Critique #22

My coworkers are beginning to break out their red knit sweaters, so I know it must be almost “that” time of year.

So in that spirit, for this week’s writing critique let’s have a look at a sweet pair of holiday ornaments crafted by Harriet, at That Is So Cute.

While the name of her shop is certainly well reflected in these little hand-felted gifts, I think Harriet could do a better job selling them through her description. It seems to lack focus and repeat information, without really tugging at the heartstrings (or my wallet).

Let’s take a look:

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Love birds? How about a pair of felted birdhouses?

I have knitted up a pair of red wool birdhouse ornaments. One roof is a winter white while the other roof is red and “thatched” with a white fun fur. They were machine felted and air dried. Once dried, I needle felted the hole and added the twig perch. They are stuffed with fiberfill.

One of these sweet birdhouses has a thatched roof (made with cream fun fur).

They are finished with coordinating ribbon that says “I Love You” to hang from.

The last picture is before they were felted!

They are about 4″ tall and about 2.5″ wide at the widest.

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The first thing that jumped out at me reading this description was the “lede” (what we in the newspaper biz call the opening line). Harriet begins with two questions that left me feeling a little… eh. Maybe it’s a reporting background, but I shy away from questions in writing in general. Unless it’s a well-laid query or used as a clever rhetorical tool, the question mark can leave readers…well, wondering.

Seeing as the birdhouses are small and adorable, and they’re obviously meant as a holiday gift, I think I would open with something a little sweet and a little corny. Shoppers are probably already thinking “Awwww” when they see the ornaments, so I would push that feeling.

Harriet could also use to read through this description a second time and spot the repeat information. We can already see the “thatching” in the pictures, so there’s no need for us to read about it twice.

I’m also going to rearrange her wording just a little bit throughout. Some of her lines contain perfectly good information, but make for an awkward read. In particular, I’m concerned about “They are finished with coordinating ribbon that says “I Love You” to hang from.” I’m not the type to slap anyone on the knuckles for ending a sentence in a proposition (sometimes it just sounds right), but in this case there is an easier, more readable way to say it.

Here we go:

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Winter can be a tough time for little birdies!

Take a moment to remember your feathered friends this season by celebrating with these adorable, hand-felted wool ornaments.

One sports a winter-white roof, while the other is “thatched” with a creamy fun fur. Both were hand-knit before being machine felted, air dried and stuffed with fiberfill.

I finished them off by needle felting the doorway and adding a little twig perch!

Both hang from sweet “I love you” ribbons. They measure about 4″ tall and about 2.5″ at the widest.

The last picture was taken before the knit pieces were felted.

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Good luck and many happy sales to Harriet!

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Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives! (There has been some technical trouble loading more recent critiques, but all the older ones are there!!)

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