Archive for March, 2009

Malawi Softies.


Image from Revoluzza

On Saturday our whole family is heading to Malawi to partner with World Relief and Berean Baptist Church for 10 days. Most of the population in Malawi lives off of almost nothing. In an effort to help them bolster their income, I am hoping to show the women there how to make quick and easy “softies” to sell to tourists. The softies need to be sustainable, meaning every piece of fabric and stuffing needs to be from everyday available materials and very inexpensive. This is my challenge, and I am up to it! As a group we will need to brainstorm what available materials can be used for stuffing, exteriors and even thread.
Here’s where I found some free softie tutorials. Lou-Lou is coming over Wednesday night to help me sew some demo models together and create african animal patterns. If you are in the Minneapolis area and have fabric scraps, thread or needles you want to donate, please let me know.

Birdie 2




There are plenty more free sewing tutorials out there. You can find a great list here.


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Myles helps cook a butternut over the fire at the game park.

Myles helps cook a butternut over the fire at the game park.

Ok Durbanites, the day has arrived! After 3 straight months of heat, it is finally COLD and rainy! Not humid and rainy, not sunny and rainy, just plain old cold and rainy! The idea that the outside is currently cooler than the inside still has me baffled. In Durban, our season changes consist of warm and warmer, so a huge shift in weather is always a welcome thing to this girl who grew up on snowey winters and stifling summers.

Break out your only cardigan, cover those shoulders than have seen nothing but sun for months on end, and make some glorious soup. It is finally a soup day. In honor of this day, Myles and I will be making our favorite butternut soup, which, by the end of June (our mid-winter) we will be entirely sick of. South Africa is famous for butternut soup. You Americans may think we only have animals, but oh no… we also have soup. You can find a recipe similar to mine here. In addition to our glorious soup, we will also be trying this rosemary peasant bread because the rosemary flatbread we made last week was a keeper and so easy to whip up. Only problem, a bit addictive!  Lets hope my lovely rosemary bush can handle all the strain.

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Typographic inspiration

wordleNeed some new fonts in your life? I enjoyed spending time in the fontgarden. My desktop looked like a mass of files once I was done downloading all the free fonts that I had my eye on. Has it been bugging you that you don’t know what font Nike uses in their ad campaigns? Identifont can help you find the name of any font you see in print and fancy. Running out of words to type those fancy new fonts into? Wordspy is a fun tool to help you increase your vocab. Wordle will place those great new words of yours into a fun word cloud. Enjoy!

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Drawing class

I have always thought of myself as a pseudo graphic designer because I lack all skills under the category of “fine art.” Today I took the first step towards changing that and attended my first drawing class since high school… which was a really long time ago. Almost immediately upon arriving we were asked to draw a self portrait. I have not held a pencil in my hand with the purpose of drawing something in a long time. Oh, I chicken scratch design ideas, but those are never under threat of public display and they usually contain one line… maybe two. I was nervous, but I quickly decided to just enjoy myself and smile. It worked, I really had a great time! The finished product was not amazing, but she did say she could see my creative background because everyone else had drawn a straight on face and I decided to take a different angle. It was actually just a cheap attempt to do a little less work… the WHOLE face, that was too scary! Well, I will continue to keep you updated on my attempts use a pencil… instead of a mouse.


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I never get it right on the first try…

Here is the logo design that I did for Lou-Lou. I did a completely different design first, which she posted on her site here. I was underwhelmed by my design. It was not bad, but it did not match my friend. This design suits her much better. This is her business card, two sided… now she just has to decide what color. What are your thoughts?


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Great photoshop site!

If you ever need to brush up on your photoshop skills and learn some new things in the process, Photoshop Lady can help you out with over 100 tutorials! Here’s one I did that walks you through antiquing a photo. Thanks Brett for the tip-off.


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