Drafting Completed!

So you may remember that at the end of January I began a drafting course at FIT?  Well, last Monday I completed it and I am so happy to be done with it!  I learned tons, but each project took so much time and at the end I was staying up until the wee hours to finish each assignment.

Here is my instructor at the beginning of the semester setting expectations and letting us know that this course was going to be tough.  After going over the supplies list, which was extensive, we learned how to use the tools of the trade, like an architecture scale ruler, a t-square, lead holders, and a lead sharpener, among other things.  For our first assignment we just drew horizontal and vertical lines.  We learned the blueprint symbols for windows, and different types of doors, how to draw different materials like wood, marble, concrete, or carpet, how to use different line weights to indicate importance or depth, and that each drawing should be within an 18″x24″ frame with a 1/2″ border around it.

We went on to measure our classroom and draw a floor plan of it, making sure to include any items that were physically attached to the room like the radiator or cabinets.

Next we learned to draw elevations, basically a scale drawing of each wall and what is physically there (see example above).  Taking measurements was so tedious!  You have to measure everything, like the ceiling height, the height of the baseboard, the distance from the floor to the doorknob, the width of each window or door frame, the size of each drawer pull, etc.  Needless to say it took the entire class session, 3 hours, to take simple measurements.  Later we learned to draw a reflected ceiling plan, which is basically like a floor plan but of the ceiling.  It shows the location of each light in a space, as well as duct work or HV/AC locations.  We also learned lettering and the proper way to label each floor plan or elevation.

You can see a sample floor plan and elevation in the photo above.  Then we learned how to draw columns, stairs, and how to show multiple levels.  I went to Austin for a wedding and dragged my drafting supplies with me, spending several hours of vacation time working on homework.  Finally we learned how to draw furniture, which is a lot harder than you think!  Writing this I know I’m leaving out tons of detail and information.  It’s hard to summarize it all!

Now we were equipped with enough information and skill for a final project, to draw the floor plan and elevations of our own apartment laying the furniture to our liking.  We were to pick all the furniture and accessories, and there was no budget!  Of course this meant lots of fantasy furniture purchases from places like Design Within Reach or Madeline Weinrib.  Above is a photo of Willie Nelson sitting on top of my drafting board late at night.  Like a true cat, he doesn’t like for my attention to be anywhere but on him and he has to get in the middle of whatever I’m doing.

And there’s one more step that I forgot to add.  For each assignment we would first draft it onto tracing paper,  copy it onto vellum, then make an 18″x24″ copy of it to turn in.  This meant that I was running off to the nearest FedEx Kinko’s location just hours before class to make a copy of my assignment and sometimes to print out additional back-up documents to be attached, like pictures of selected furniture pieces or accessories.

Here is the final night of class, where each of us presented our floor plan and elevations to the class.  Our instructor is wishing us luck and saying so long.  True to his word the class was a challenge, but chock full of practical information and skills.  So I’ve completed this latest chapter and am figuring out what’s next, but in the meantime if you need a floor plan or elevation give me a call!

Flowers for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I’d like to share with you a beautiful and cost-effective way to tell your Mother, Grandmother, or any mother in your life that you love and appreciate her.  Make a flower arrangement just for her!  Flowers are a classic gift and always a treasure to receive, and going to a florist can get pricey.  Plus I think there is something special about a handmade gift.  To keep your cost down I recommend picking up some flowers at your corner bodega or local grocery store.  They’re usually very reasonably priced so pick a few bunches, maybe all in a similar color story or all pastels or all brights, whatever inspires you or is a favorite color of the recipient you have in mind.

Next pick the container that you want to use.  You can use a traditional vase, or even a simple jar like a Mason jar or re-used jam jar, or get creative and use a tea cup or a decorative tin, again whatever inspires you.  Next go through your flowers and see what you will use, taking out any wilting flowers or filler that you don’t like.  The first step is to add room temperature water to your container and fill it with a filler flower.  Flowers are self sealing, so when you cut the flowers you want to cut the stems at an angle and get them into the water as quickly as possible.  Cutting at an angle allows the flower to drink the water it needs to stay fresh and last longer.  This first step in creating the arrangement is called creating the base.  You can see my base in the picture above.  I referenced the new book from Design*Sponge for my arrangements.  They have a whole chapter titled ‘Flower Workshop,’ where you can get all kinds of ideas and inspiration.

Next, add a focal flower like peonies or roses.  Something dramatic that will make your arrangement pop.  I added tulips.  Finally, add some taller flowers to give your arrangement some height and some more filler for texture.  Voila!  You have a beautiful flower arrangement.

You may have enough flowers to create several arrangements!  Here’s another one that I made using bodega flowers.  For both I used a purple color palette and had an English garden look in mind.

Or here’s one that I made with a dramatic focal flower with a little bit of filler for accent.

Or here’s one that I made for my mother while I was recently visiting Austin.  The flowers were cut from her yard.  Of course if you have a garden then by all means get out your clippers and start clipping!  Freshly cut garden flowers are definitely something special to receive.

And if you don’t happen to live in the same city as your mother, then send a card and make a beautiful arrangement just for yourself!