Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cicadas and Parrotfish

One of the things I love most about carding is the ability to draw inspiration for a batt from pretty much anywhere.  For example, I watched a cicada crawl out of its shell.  I then made the above batt, which I called "Cicada Season".  It's merino, black alpaca, baby camel, silk and firestar.  More snuggly than the cicada, of course, but the colors, shine and sparkle matched so well with the cicada's black, lacy wings and their copper iridescence.  I am not a pen or paint artist, so this is how I can express how I see nature, my surroundings, etc.

When I switched modes from artist to mommy, I still found countless muses.  This one was inspired by the nature show about parrotfish I watched with my babester.  It's a BFL/silk blend, some slinky kid mohair and some firestar for flash.

I love what I do!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DIY Lightbox Tutorial

There are a ton of great DIY lightbox/light tent tutorials out there already.  You can use an old cardboard box, foam board, a plastic tub...  Here at Babester, we're a bit tight on space.  I needed something I could disassemble and store compactly, and something I would be able to re-use often.  That kinda killed the cardboard/foamboard options for me.  So I created my own monster from PVC pipe and connectors, some inexpensive white sheets and some cheap lights I picked up at IKEA.

Step One: Assemble the frame.  I've found that 1.5x1.5x2 is a good size for what I do.  The beauty of PVC pipes as walls is that I can make my light box as big or as small as I need just by changing the pipe length.

This is what the 3 way connectors I picked up at our local home goods store look like.

(That was pretty straightforward, no?)

The next step for me is draping a plain white sheet over the back "wall" of my lightbox.  I've found this makes a pretty backdrop for the brightly colored fibers I'm usually photographing.  However, you may find a piece of pretty paper, a piece of colored fabric, or something with more texture will work for you, depending on what you're photographing.  The point is to showcase the item, not the backdrop.

Lights on!  After this step, I throw another sheet over the top and VOILA!  Light box!  I use the brightest full-spectrum lights I can find so that I don't need my flash (which tends to blow out the color of my yarns/batts).  If you do use flash, "bounce" your flash off the top of your light box, or use a light scoop to avoid that blown out megaflash look. 

Then, take pics.  Lots of pics.  Take pics from different angles, and don't forget to get a good close up!

(This yarn, which is corespun, will be listed in the shop shortly!)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

365 Batts

A friend of mine introduced me to the 365: Make Something Everyday and Change Your Life blog and I just had to jump in.  Making a batt a day seemed doable, and it's definitely good for stocking the shop, so that's what I chose.  Here are some pics of my first few days.  Please excuse the cameraphone pics while on the carder; I was busy creating and didn't want to stop to set up the light box and take pics.

 Proud on a Cloud
 Twilight Sparkle (named, at a friend's suggestion, after my daughter's favorite My Little Pony)

These will be making their Babester debut on Monday, along with a few others and lots more handspun.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grand Opening!

It's here!  The Babester shop is officially open!!!  Look at some of the lovelies that await you:

To celebrate, I'm offering 20% off your entire purchase with promo code "GOBABESTER".  Feel free to share the news with your friends!