Friday, April 26, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 12

For the final challenge of this season, they blow the minds of the contestants by telling them they will each go to a different European country to find inspiration. Start the squee-ing now! Daniel in particular is about to vibrate himself into an alternate dimension. Michelle, being on double not-secret probation, isn't going anywhere - they only have tickets for four contestants, not five. So she'll just have to be inspired by New York.

Layana is going to Barcelona, Patricia is going to Paris, Daniel to Berlin, and Stanley to London. And inevitably, they must each have another contestant go with them. At least here the producers have been kind, and have come up with pairs who are genuinely friendly with each other. Layana will be accompanied by Samantha, Patricia by Kate, Daniel by Amanda, Stanley by Richard, and Michelle by Tu. Tu messes up his own reveal by popping out to the runway too early, cracking everyone up.

The specific challenge is to make a high-end runway look, using $1000 worth of fabric bought at their foreign destinations. (Watch out for those exchange rates!) The editing is deliberately vague on how long they're on their little trips, but it's clearly as short as possible. Each pair gets a little bus tour of the main attractions of the city and then a visit to a fabric store. The incredibly cliched music choices for the "oh, look, it's City X!" montages were cracking me up, though. Berlin got "oompa oompa" polka-like music, Barcelona got classical guitar, and Paris some cartoony accordion music. London, however - was Papageno's song from The Magic Flute? Random.

Meanwhile, Michelle has time to sit alone in her room and think herself into a funk, and then goes on a little bus tour with Tu and buys fabric at Mood - leather and cashmere, specifically. She gets inspiration from the mix of old and new skyscrapers - brick vs. glass and all that. Patricia is inspired by the street art, and everyone else is just going with "architectural details" from the well-known buildings and monuments in their cities.

While buying fabric, Stanley is having some issues calculating exchange rates in his head. Daniel can't find any of the leather or silk he was planning on so has to make do with what that particular store has. Patricia is very unfocused and is buying a ton of different fabrics - and having issues with the language barrier when trying to return some to get under budget. Samantha, trying to help Layana move some bolts around, accidentally hits a clerk in the face. Whoops!

Finally, we get some shots of each pair in turn, having a beverage in a scenic spot, reflecting on how lucky they feel. They head back to the workroom on clouds of bliss, cooing and laughing at each other nearly incoherently. Michelle now faces the worst point of her not-quite-eliminated punishment, as she has to listen to all of it in stony silence. Happily, she's able to recover as the work progresses and she feels better about her garment.

The companion designers stick around as sewing helpers for the remainder of the challenge. Patricia is making a jacket of dozens of different fabrics all bunched up together, to emulate the layers of street art. Daniel is making thigh-high leather boots to go with his look, which Michelle thinks look like a costume hooker. Tim likes how Stanley is making a dress that looks monastic from the front, but has the surprise of a mostly-bare back. Michelle is debating whether to give her (very expensive!) cashmere a painted treatment to echo a soot-stained building, and Tim encourages her to go for it. Tim (and everyone else) is worried that Layana has too much work left. At the end of the day, we're treated to many shots of concerned faces over Layana's shoulder.

But, she does manage to finish. She sends out a black and white lace jacket over black pants and a peachy pink blouse with loooooong sleeves. Michelle has made a cashmere dress (though the dying technique ended up being a little too timidly applied, so she is worried it looks merely dirty) with a quilted leather breastplate. Stanley's look is a black dress with a cape, which he oddly hasn't told his model to remove, so the back detail of the dress isn't very apparent. Patricia sends out a poofy layered jacket and black pants. Daniel's high boots are shown under a dress with the skirt long on one side and short on the other, and a white vinyl jacket.

To Michelle's great relief, the judges really like hers and call it a comeback. Heidi, however, doesn't like the "dirty horseblanket" effect of the painting technique. They also like Stanley's - the glimpse of luxury from the leather sequin lining, the elegant front, the surprise back. Even the styling is good. The praise is enough that he actually smiles! Daniel's also gets a good reception - they like that the white vinyl jacket and tall boots make it look younger and hipper than what he usual produces.

The panel is not fond of Patricia's or Layana's. Patricia's is lumpy, dumpy, messy, and collapsed-looking, and her pants are hemmed unevenly. It's trash couture, but not in a good way, and they are underwhelmed. Layana's sleeves are an eyesore, the jacket looks like an old lady's housecoat, and it doesn't have any of the color, passion, or heritage of Barcelona. The model looks like she could be Layana's mother. The judges actually like just the pants and blouse better without the jacket there at all, even though Layana meant the blouse as a throwaway. Layana doesn't really have anything to say back and just stands there with an embarrassed smile. After they're backstage, she cries about it, and says she'd rather let it stand on its own than try to argue with them.

Next, everyone has to name the two other designers besides themselves they want to see in the finale. Patricia, Layana, and Daniel all name Stanley and Michelle. Stanley says Daniel and Michelle, and Michelle says Stanley and Layana. So everyone thinks Stanley and Michelle should go!

Heidi continues to be Patricia's main supporter, and horrifies Nina by suggesting she'd wear Patricia's jacket on the cover of Marie Claire. ACK! Nina accuses Layana of being too commercial and getting lost in high fashion, and then criticizes Patricia for not realizing that clothes are for buying, not looking. Huh? As usual, Nina's real-clothes-but-not-too-real "strike zone" is reeeeeeeally hard to to hit.

No surprise, Stanley, Daniel, and Michelle are safe and through to the finale. Patricia is also in! Layana is eliminated. Now, it's time to send everybody home to make their finale collections.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 11

It's down to just five designers, who are relieved to get an announcement from Heidi that they will now be working as individual designers. Importantly though, that's how she phrases it - not that they WON'T be in teams. Hmmm. Yes, it's that time already - to bring back previously eliminated designers as their assistants!

It's also time for the obligatory visit to the Hearst Building, to reinforce the show's ties to Marie Claire magazine by having them make a look that will be in a MC editorial, worn by the show's latest B-list starlet. Nina stresses that she doesn't want to see red carpet, or just t-shirt and pants. With helpful sound effects added to the soundtrack as punctuation, she rolls on - it should be bold in shape! Ding! Bold in color! Ding! Bold in print! Ding! Bold in silhouette! Ding! Do not disappoint or embarrass Nina! So we have our "gun" in the style of Chekhov - which of these directives will be egregiously violated by the time we're done?

Speaking of disappointment, it's time to pair the designers with their assistants.Everyone is hoping to not get Richard. Stanley is happy to get Tu, and Michelle is happy with Amanda. Daniel gets Samantha, Layana gets Kate. Poor one of the most cruel acts perpetrated by the producers on this show, she is indeed stuck with Richard. She already looks like she's going to cry again at this point. She's sure that she must now scale back her design ambitions in order to have anything that Richard can help her with, since he only has the ability to sew with knits.

The Stanley/Tu dynamic also takes a downward turn from the start, as Stanley gets more and more commanding, issuing Tu very terse directives and corrections. Finally he's just barking things like "IT'S WRONG" as if Tu were some desperate employee beholden to him. Tu gamely soldiers on under the workload as the other designers cluck their tongues.

Meanwhile, having some more time working with Richard hasn't made Patricia feel any better about it. Richard wants all his instructions demonstrated to him visually, rather than simply spoken, eating away even more of Patricia's time and patience. She is feeling more and more stuck. Fortunately Tim is able to help her rethink her fabric options. Richard seems to remain clueless that he is the cause of Patricia's stress and constant re-planning.

There's a funny little exchange between some of the models. Patricia's model catches the eye of Michelle's, and nods at the model wearing Daniel's outfit. She mouths "do you like that?" Michelle's model looks over, looks back, and makes the "so-so" hand wave. They trade nervous grins.

At the end of the work time, Samantha finishes her work with Daniel and kindly jumps in to help Patricia. Stanley is still cracking the whip and yelling abuse at Tu.

Daniel has produced a day-glo yellow short suit with giant shoulders. Layana's dress is pieced leather plates on top, floaty on the bottom. Michelle sends out a floaty, transparent wraparound belly shirt with baggy green pants. Patricia's short, light blue dress has one shoulder and some strips of short-fringed leather, that overall looks rather hastily made. Stanley's output is a leather jacket, print shirt, and very high-waisted, extremely fully-hipped culottes.

Ack! The directives! Nina decrees that even though Michelle's outfit is unlike anything an actual human being would wear in public, it is still too much like "a t-shirt and pants" and is therefore unwelcome. I actually thought it was quite good looking, in the editorial sense - I could more easily see it in a magazine spread than any of the others besides Stanley's. But no matter, to Nina it is not strong or special and felt like a throwaway.

Daniel's also doesn't fare well. The exposed hook-and-eye closure of the jacket is a bust, and overall it looks too Victoria's Secret, too gimmicky, too Easter, too FTD florist, too Star Trek! Patricia's is deemed not flattering enough to Random Starlet's "rockin' bod." She does bring up the whole Richard fiasco, and in a change from the usual, when teamwork issues usually make the judges MORE critical of the team leader, she actually manages to explain it so that they (correctly) sympathize with her, and understand that Richard was truly more a hindrance than a help.

Both Stanley's and Layana's receive praise. Layana's evokes the Hearst building architecture in a flattering way. Stanley's looks fresh, elegant, and expensive, and demonstrates good time management. "Of Tu!" Stanley says smilingly. The other designers laugh uncomfortably but nobody decides to cause drama by implying that Stanley demanded, perhaps, TOO much of Tu.

Layana and Stanley are safe. Stanley wins! Then they announce Patricia is in. There is SHOCK HORROR in the green room when Patricia joins the other three instead of Michelle. But as it turns out, the judges have decided to not eliminate Michelle yet - they are giving her one last chance, yet to be explained. So the shaken and drained Michelle has to rejoin them and pass on the mystery, unable to share in their relief and happiness.

Next time, we find out just what Michelle is up against, and whether she'll be able to get through it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 10

Episode 10 starts with a field trip to the Guggenheim Museum. I had a few seconds of intense confusion - isn't that in Washington, DC, not New York? Didn't I visit it when we traveled to DC when I was a teenager? But no, I was thinking of the Hirshhorn, a different round art museum. They actually get to tromp around the Guggenheim all by themselves, no other visitors. Sweet deal! Anyhow, they can pick their inspiration from anything in the museum.

They are rearranged into pairs. Stanley and Michelle are happy, and Richard is very optimistic being paired with the artsy Patricia, leaving Daniel and Layana as the last two. This is the "make your own fabric" challenge, and this time each pair will be making just one fabric design, instead of each designer making their own. Using said fabric, each pair needs to produce one look that's wearable art, and a second that's a commercial companion piece.

Right away, Patricia and Richard are having issues, as Richard seems to think that Patricia, as the "artsy" one, will completely drive this challenge, so he'll let her decide everything and then just come up with his commercial look based on what she does. So she's not getting any sort of suggestions or feedback from him.

Once back in the workroom, they have an hour to work together to design their fabric. An hour! I know that's what they always have, but I'm still incredulous. No wonder their designs are almost always pretty unappealing. Layana and Richard start making a red, white & blue design, but end up making overlapping yellow and gray rectangles. Michelle draws a screaming face that she at least rotates in repeat to make it into a four-way design. Patricia makes a really huge print of earth-toned triangles.

Once the work starts, things get even worse on the Patricia-Richard front. He's still totally lost and doesn't "get" what Patricia is doing, so he spends ages creating and fussing over a bracelet instead of starting on anything of his own. Patricia is getting more and more frustrated but gamely soldiers on. Daniel and Layana don't have as much of their print as they want - Layana gets almost all of it, and Daniel has to make do with a little scrap.

At Tim's visit, he gets "chills" at the long train Michelle is creating for the art piece. He calls out Richard for not doing anything, and actually accuses him of "gaming" - that is, failing on purpose in hopes of getting Patricia eliminated. He denies this, but doesn't seem particularly outraged at the suggestion. Layana has by now fallen into a hole of self doubt and feels like she's out of her comfort zone.

Stanley quips that an art piece shouldn't fit into a cab - and by that standard his team is in pretty good shape. All the designers make quips about Richard trying to put in a zipper - he's stretching himself by not working in jersey for once (get it? stretching? ha ha!) but is struggling. Can he even do it? And, the best part, he doesn't even end up using that bracelet in the final look.

Layana's art piece is a poofy mermaid-shape gown with a sundress-like neckline, all in their rectangle print, with a black tulle overlay. Daniel's commercial look is a black jacket (which nearly goes without saying for him at this point) with a tulip skirt, also in their print with a tulle overlay.

Patricia's is definitely the most arty of the museum pieces, with her very patient model covered in a veil and with her arms bound to her sides, like she's been mugged by Christo. Richard's blah companion is a tank in their print and a terrible pleated hobble miniskirt.

Michelle's art piece has her usual urban warrior feel, with a high neck, a swirly hat, and a painted bubblewrap skirt. She had an even more outrageous hat, but was eventually convinced it was a hair too far, so she wore it herself to the judging. Stanley has made a calf-length babydoll with nice volume and movement.

Michelle and Stanley are clearly in the top - the judges love their pieces, and it's obvious that they worked well together, especially when Stanley thanks the judges for pairing him with Michelle. They are not fond of Richard's look, and are mixed on Patricia's - though Heidi is quite fond of it. It is readily apparent, however, that things are not so peachy on the teamwork front for those two.

For Layana and Daniel, the judges don't really like their print, and feel the art piece is too costumey and Eliza Dolittle-ish. Heidi likes the commercial look though, and points out that Daniel's lack of fabric forced him to make a shorter skirt than he otherwise would, thereby skewing his look younger. However, Daniel makes it sound like their work breakdown was much more separated than it really was, and doesn't make clear how much Layana contributed to that look, causing her to break down in tears backstage from feelings of betrayal.

Stanley is named the winner! Richard and Patricia are the bottom two, and poor Patricia starts sobbing just before Heidi announces who is out, forcing Heidi to pause and therefore stretch out the moment even longer than they normally do. But fortunately for Patricia, Richard is the one eliminated.

Next episode, there are only five designers left - so how much further can they keep going with the team concept?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gentle rain, flat fan, sharp stream, fine mist

This week's contest was for gardening tools. My husband suggested garden gnomes using garden tools, which is a very cute idea, but as usual I had to settle for something requiring less drawing. I wanted to do something with a watering gun, since that is probably my very favorite gardening tool. When I was a kid I used ours every chance I could get - I loved to rotate it and switch between all the different nozzles to change the shape of the water stream coming out. My brother even gave me a shiny new one for my birthday one year, which was fantastic.

So since the nozzles are the best part, I focused on that for my design. I thought it would make a nice abstract fabric, but you could still see where it was coming from if you knew the inspiration. To keep the colors thematic but not too literal, I used the same set that I used in the backyard-inspired "hand-drawn" contest entry.

 Gentle rain, flat fan, sharp stream, fine mist: Water Spray Gun Nozzles

This came in 114 out of 182 with 53 votes. There were indeed a number of entries depicting garden gnomes - my favorite was this one. There were quite a few entries of the "neatly laid out representations" style - I liked these two best (the first of which came in second). There was a very funny take on this as well - monstrous plants with weapons as the gardening tools. I also really liked these extremely colorful medallions of tools and this almost meditative isometric still life. (I do love isometric landscapes!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Babies! So many babies!

This week's contest was for "baby animals." My husband came up with a very cute idea - headshots of lots of different baby animals, as if nursery school portraits. I really want to draw that at some point, but didn't have enough time right now.

For a simpler design, I wanted to try something beyond the obvious set of mammals. I decided on baby praying mantises. When I was in, I think it was kindergarten, our class hatched a clutch of praying mantis eggs. We got to carry them out to the yard to be released into the "wild." I was totally amazed that I could see the baby insect on my hand, but it was so tiny and light that I couldn't feel it at all.

Baby Praying Mantises

 This came in 68 out of 259 with 124 votes. My favorites were these forest babies (that came in second), antarctic babies (that came in sixth), and duck/turtle eggs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 9

We've reached that inevitable point of the season - yes, it's when the remaining women vow to see a man eliminated next. But before that can happen, it's time for the producers to amp up the drama...I mean, the judges to pick new teams based on which designers they want to see working together. There are seven contestants left, so there's no way to divide it up evenly. Stanley is paired with Patricia, Daniel is paired with Michelle, and Samantha, Layana, and Richard are still stuck together. Awwwwkward.

This is the Lord and Taylor challenge, which means there are many boxes to tick off at once. Reference the iconic Lord and Taylor rose! On Spring 2013 daywear! That can retail for less than $250! Winner to be sold at the actual stores! But at least each design can stand alone - the teams don't need to coordinate their looks.

Right from the start, Patricia does not appreciate Stanley's guidance. She takes the classic tactic of "nod and smile until he goes away, then disregard." Stanley is no dummy, and quickly gets wise to her, culminating in him snapping "you need to listen!" to the accompaniment of raised eyebrows around the room. On the other side, Layana and Richard can't quite bring themselves to speak to each other, leaving Samantha dangling in the middle. However, during Tim's visit, they actually are able to be quite civil and give reasonable feedback on each other's designs. In the interview, Richard says that Layana's is pretty, but has a meh textile. Layana for her part says that Richard is doing the same jersey colorblocking he's done before.

Daniel is making a jacket in a PINK PINK. Michelle hates it and does a terrible job of concealing that fact. Tim thinks it looks like Joan Collins but "that's not an insult." This leads to Michelle trying to convince Daniel to rework his look to get younger. At first this seems to go fine, and Daniel decides to remake the jacket into a dress, but his mood gets darker and he eventually breaks down in tears over having to take the jacket apart. Then there is an extended snit where he tries to blame Michelle for supposedly insisting that the look must be for "a twenty-one year old", and her insisting that's not what she said at all.  But he gets a snack, gets some sympathy from the other lads, and they all move on.

On the runway, Patricia sends out a youthful, fluffy, flippy top and not-so-youthful shiny capri pants. Stanley has made a simple pink sheath with a slight drape in the neckline. Richard has his colorblocked dress, which at least looks well-made, and Layana has a drapey floral dress with black leather details. Samantha, though, sends out a very odd, ruffled minidress. She had issues with the seams so it is much, much shorter than she intended. Fortunately, the editors are very kind to her and her model, and refrain from including any shots that show it from the hips down from behind.

Daniel produces a pink dress with a bold shoulder. Michelle has a cute chartreuse dress with a leather grey hem and neckline. I'm not sure how it references the rose, but I don't recall that criteria getting mentioned in any of the judging, so perhaps that's not so important.

Patricia and Stanley are safe. Daniel and Michelle are the winning team! So alas, the awkward trio is in the bottom. Richard's is too generic and beachy, looks cheaper than the target price, yet too dressy for day. They like Layana's leather pieces, but the print reads too old. Judge Rachel Roy likes Samantha's, but the other judges don't - it looks wilted and junior.

Heidi wants to buy Michelle's dress right now. They think Daniel's looks too much like a bad Marilyn Monroe costume with the way the model is styled. He does say he's very grateful for Michelle's "pants-kicking." Michelle is named the winner!

The losing team must go through the "who should be out" name and shame on the runway. Samantha says Richard, since his looks are usually simple. Richard says Samantha, for construction issues. Layana says she'd name Richard, since she wants to see more from Samantha. The judges pick Samantha to go.

Next episode - it's the design-your-own-print challenge!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 8

Episode 8 introduces us to the next iteration of the team concept. This time, the judges (or, if you're feeling cynical, the producers) get to pick the teams. First, they pair Daniel and Patricia, because they want to see his construction and her textile-building techniques. Then they pair Richard and Layana. The irked Michelle is added to the first pair - yet again unable to escape Patricia. Samantha goes to Richard and Layana, and Stanley goes to Daniel/Patricia/Michelle. This leaves Amanda to join Richard/Layana/Samantha.

The designers are told they are going on a field trip. The inescapable teasing of the challenge this time takes the form of Heidi telling them she really wishes she could go with them, but she can't because she lacks enough self discipline. Whaaa??? Question marks floating over everyone's heads!

They are taken to a theater. Music starts going oontz-oontz-oontz and a cowboy, a police officer, a construction worker, and a fireman come out and start dancing. Yes, male strippers. All Australian, to boot! The troupe's name is "Thunder from Down Under." My first thought was "that's better than any team name on Project Runway, ever!"

Speaking of which, Layana/Amanda/Richard/Samantha are now team "Slick and Hip" (eurghhh), and Daniel/Michelle/Patricia/Stanley are team "Shades of Grey" which I think is actually pretty good in the circumstances. Each team gets $750 and one day to make three different outfits for the, uh, dancers - who will be acting as their models. The costumes all have to be tearaway so that they can be pulled off instantly to reveal boxers or whatever. Plus they have to suggest some kind of story that they can incorporate into a new dance.

For some reason, both teams decide to go with some kind of businessman/working man theme. So, basically, just plain menswear I guess? Once in the workroom, things are not going all that well. Tim sums it up with "I smell chaos and bedlam!" Richard feel like he is being mostly ignored by his (all female) teammates. Layana asks him if the vents on the jacket she's making are ok, he says yeah, Tim later says they're all wrong, Layana crosses team lines to get help from Stanley, blah blah blah.

All of the outfits are completely, utterly terrible. Slick and Hip goes out first and the judges are openly laughing. (This shirt??? Or this one??? Or this one???) Fifty Shades is slightly better, but then the costumes don't tear away causing everyone to dissolve into hysterics again. (This includes a flasher trench, a steampunk bike messenger, and a very bland suit)

Slick and Hip are the losers. The judges wish they could eliminate all of them. They don't really feel much more positive about Fifty shades. One of the models' pants starts slowly popping apart at the tearaway velcro during the judging (!), causing Nina to completely lose it again. Plus, I think that "model" was actually the leader of the troupe. Guess he was impressed, huh?

The losing team now has to do the traditional name 'n' shame. Samantha and Richard say Amanda should be out. Amanda says Richard, Richard chirps "bullshit." Layana also names Richard and we get into the whole jacket saga in front of the judges. However, that ends up being a non-issue as Amanda is the one who is out. Richard gets to stick around and feel wronged for a bit longer.

In the end, NO WINNER is named, because all of the outfits are so incredibly terrible. A very wise decision.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

No Austerity for Austen

This week's theme was "life in a Jane Austen novel." I hated Pride and Prejudice when I had to read it in high school, but when I read it again later as an adult I loved it. I once ended up reading Little Women (always a favorite from my very first reading) and Pride and Prejudice back-to-back, which is a really interesting juxtaposition. Had it not been written about seventy years before, I could completely believe that PnP is a parody of LW. The setups are quite similar - a family that is not as well-off financially as it used to be, with all girls: the oldest most traditionally feminine, the next (the protagonist) with more spunk and a modern-seeming independent streak, the next shy and reserved, and the youngest one or two devoted to social pursuits. In Alcott's version, the mother is proud that she and her daughters have learned how to cook, and the father is physically absent for a noble cause. In Austen, the mother is proud that only the servants have anything to do in the kitchen, and the father is spiritually absent due to disgust with his wife. Instead of being a devoted, martyred household worker like Beth, Mary is sanctimonious and uninvolved with the other Bennets. Lydia has a story arc like the pampered, then corrected and matured Amy, whereas Lydia continues on like an Amy given no guidance. I could go on, but those were the parallels that struck me most.

Some other interesting pairings I've happened to try are Starship Troopers versus Ender's Game (personal and societal implications of war with alien bugs!), and American Gods versus Forests of the Heart (clash of folk beliefs made real, in the great melting pot!).

But back to the point - for this week's contest, I based my design on period embroideries - these, in fact: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. I unified them by drawing them all mostly in dots to mimic French knots and using this color scheme:
Color by COLOURlovers

Regency Embroideries

This came in 41 out of 113 with 159 votes. My favorite entry by far was this cute landscape - but then I do love that style of print.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Things in grids

Two contests to catch up on! First, "girl power." Out of all the entries, my favorite was this Mary Blair-ish fantasy that came in sixth. I also liked this Athena fabric. In terms of designs that are more usable for crafts or home dec, I liked this floral and these girl faces that came in ninth.

For my part, I made girls holding potato clocks, welding irons, and math books. Easter egg - find the one who looks like Chihiro from Spirited Away!

Hey girls, check out my potato clock!

The background is the smartphone check I created for the baby hats design. This design is not all that successful - not very dynamic, and the details are hard to see. It came in 93 out of 224 with 73 votes, which was actually better than I expected.

Speaking of Easter eggs, the next contest was for painted eggs due to the proximity to Easter. This entry was due right in the middle of us moving, so I had very little time to work on it. I needed an idea that could come together very fast. It dawned on me that the "street art" I had made was mostly based on famous paintings - so I could just put those on the eggs!

I replaced the white backgrounds with a nice cream, and blocked out the egg shapes with a speckled pattern in robins' eggs colors. These colors (though I lightened up the cream from this initial idea):

Color by COLOURlovers

The speckles were formed from the same repeating pattern as the ones I used on the pomegranate cookies. Then it was just a matter of placing each of the designs, extending a few of them to more gracefully meet the edge of the egg shape, and adding color to a few that were stark black and white.

Eggs Painted by Famous Painters

Of course, after I submitted I remembered that the contest was actually for a smaller print, with an 8" square preview instead of a fat quarter. So I had to reduce the scale and re-upload. (I left the larger scale up here.) Then I found that there was a flaw in my speckle background repeat and had to futz with that a bit. But after all that, I'm quite pleased with how it came out. I thought this was a great idea for the original street signs, but I didn't manage to get it in an appealing design. This is much more appealing. I think eggs are an inherently appealing shape, since they correspond nicely to the golden ration in a couple ways, plus I really feel like the background colors soften it and pull everything together. This came in 69 out of 272 with 127 votes.

There were a ton of really good fabrics in this one. It just turned out to be one of those contests with lots of strong entries. This one best captured how I remember dyed eggs turning out at home. This was my favorite of the dip-dying type (and here's the second-favorite), and this for pysanky. I also really liked the gems, cute bunnies, and lush floral.

A final Easter egg for you - my "street art" design had representations of thirteen different works, but there are only twelve on the eggs. Which one is missing? (Well, that's not really an Easter egg, more an exercise for the reader.)