Here’s the latest thing I made: a queen-size lightweight quilt. This baby is 100% reused material! The quilt topper squares are made from sheets I bought at Value Village a couple of years ago and made into table runners when Josh and I got married. The batting fabric is an old, cozy, flannel sheet for a double bed we no longer own. The backing is another sheet I bought at VV. This is the kind of project I feel very good about. It is my first quilt, and it’s wonky in all kinds of places, but it brings back happy memories and didn’t cost the Earth anything other than some thread and electricity to run the sewing machine. This makes me want everything I make to be like this: reused, functional and meaningful.
Which brings me to part of why I haven’t been painting and drawing: I don’t feel quite right about continuing to use materials to make objects that just live in my studio. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, then Father John Misty sang a song about it on his most excellent “Fear Fun” album! Thanks, Father John, for saying it and singing it better than I ever could.
I gave my 4-year old niece a felt crown. We all call her “Bean” – hence the bean motif.
It was a bigger hit than I expected and she spent most of Christmas morning wearing it! Super win!
Once this idea popped into my head, I couldn’t wait to turn my dear friends’ family into a set of Russian nesting dolls.
Dad’s always repairing a vintage __________.
Mom is an amazing cook, but shouldn’t be allowed near sharp objects…
… especially when she’s drinking.
The eldest daughter loves to make art. She took an art class with me at Arts Umbrella, and decided we both belonged to an exclusive group of “real artists”.
This photo is an accurate representation of how much their cat moves.
Their youngest daughter is very tiny for her age (and healthy!), so I got a kick out of making her smaller than the cat. Plus she’s got the grumpy face and destructive power of a hurricane.
These days it seems like the projects I am most excited about are gifts for friends – which proves handy ’round the holiday season. Here’s one my man and I put together for a good friend, Scott (of Smitty’s Brew Review fame).
It’s an advent calendar with a craft beer for each of the 12 days of Craftmas. Who needs cheap chocolate or silly little toys when you can have craft beer?! We got the idea when we saw a commercially-produced advent calendar in the liquor store, but the beers inside couldn’t be vouched for and the price tag was well beyond us – plus making one is more fun! Husband picked the beers while I made the calendar.
I’ve been a lot more interested in sewing and knitting. Since we moved recently, I decided to tackle roman blinds. Mom always made them look easy – but they are NOT. All hand sewn, to avoid bunching and binding up the lining and batting. Phew… sore fingers! They sure do look purdy though!
Teaching summer camp art classes with Arts Umbrella this summer was good, good fun. There is something really wonderful about being around a bunch of kids who are just enjoying the process of experimenting with different materials and techniques. And, not so surprisingly, their excitement and joy is apparent in the finished products.
For the first project, we made papier mache insects inspired by plenty of photo reference. Each insect had to have 3 body sections and 6 legs, but that was it for limitations. Check out this glitter bug awesomeness!
Meanwhile, we also made flower gardens for monoprinted, symmetrical butterflies to live. We used oil pastel resist with watercolour, printmaking, and collage.
Didn’t Picasso say something about spending his whole life learning to paint like a child?
I’m totally obsessed with knitting projects right now. I’m like a chain-smoker, lighting one off the last. But look what I get – matching cardigan and beret!
Both patterns are from Ravelry: Miette by Andi Satterlund and Three Tams by Angela Sixian Wu. Thanks ladies!
One of my dioramas is going to be included in a group show by Arts Umbrella staff members at Ainsworth Custom Design! Show opens February 5th and runs until the end of the month. There are some seriously talented folks involved, so pop by Granville Island and check it out (plus you can get a yummy spinach and feta-stuffed bagel in the market… mmmmm).
My last two clock dioramas will be on auction at the Red Ribbon Gala for AIDS Vancouver this year.
This is the 2nd year I’ve donated artwork. When a piece (or two) doesn’t sell initially, it’s nice to know it might sell for a good cause at an auction like this one!
The Eastside Culture Crawl is coming up, Nov. 18 – 20, here in Vancouver. Josh’s cousin is participating in the crawl as a member of a wood shop. He makes handsome belt buckles from purdy pieces of wood. He asked me to add illustrations to a few of them and we’ll see how they sell at the Crawl. They will be for sale at Parker Street Studios, but they are a very limited edition, so come early!
Here’s a preview – pre-varnishing.
They were a very enjoyable exercise in “enabling constraints”, or restrictions which prevent one from being overwhelmed by choice (as I often feel with a blank sheet of paper!) but allow for a variety of responses. Finding clues to illustrations in the wood grain also reminded me of drawing on my Dad’s scrap wood as a kid. Fun fun.