Sunday, January 31, 2010

bunting and birds.

i made a little visit to the tail end of quilt sunday at the workroom today. really, i was just having some rendez-vous and picking up trunk show flyers.

i am glad that the bunting is still up everywhere. it made the grey day look nice.

workroom 3b

workroom 4b

workroom 5b

workroom 6b

triangle toss, too.

public art 2

it looks like someone else is currently on a triangle kick. i have been passing these on my street for a few weeks now. i bet shannon knows who is responsible. i have certainly seen work like this before.

happy neighbourhood full of triangles.

smuttons redux.

okay, more mature content here. apologies again to the faint of mind.

i finished up the first run of smuttons in pervy red and pink. i laughed myself silly at the ridiculous combinations possible. aside from the obvious graphic options, you could sport a message like "rump bump," "spank toes," "nipple nibble" or even the entirely innocuous "hair tease."

i may have a secret hidden stash of these at the love and rummage show (i don't think it is entirely the right outlet for them) but they will be front and centre at the erotic arts and crafts fair. i am thankful to them for the opportunity to do a project like this. it has been a lot of giggly fun for me.

fist rub.

ear bang.

tongue pump.

travelling warmth.

here is a custom neck warmer i made for my friend bob who is now on his way to europe for a six week tour. he makes music and you might like it. i do. also, he sometimes tours with a video of a movie of a puppet show i made for him. i can't guarantee he's bringing it on this tour, but it's pretty cool if he is. you europeans should go check him out.

stay warm on those german and finnish nights, bobby!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

cold comfort.

it's very very cold today. that's my living room window. the ice is on the inside and outside.

Friday, January 29, 2010


warning: this post contains smutty and mature content. i hope i don't alienate all of those new readers who have just come over here from poppytalk. oh well, you would have figured out what a degenerate i am eventually.

pictured here are some prototypes for the button project i have been scheming up for the erotic arts and crafts fair (with full props due to ebony sager for helping me out via twitter). i just felt that i needed to do a special project for this particular show, as my catalogue is sadly lacking in smut. hence, smuttons.

thanks also to the novelty makers of those sex dice. although my project is less of a game and more of a means of displaying your weird perversions. the final versions will be red and pink (the universally lewdest colour scheme). i am making equal parts body parts and verbs. guess which word fits into both categories: finger. a ha ha ha!

isn't it romantic?

a citizen for all seasons.

serena's interview with the reverend and myself is now up on the all citizen's broken pencil blog.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a point in every direction. the same as no point at all.

serena came over this afternoon and helped earn her new hat (which she has already earned) by doing some modelling. look at all the ways you can wear your elf hats! two ways. don't they looks better on heads?

thank you, serena, for being my lovely model.

serena actually came over the interview me and aitor for her indie artist blog residency at broken pencil. we were chatting about all citizens, small places, travelling the continent and walking into books. the article should go live sometime tonight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

youthful repairs (or, why do i cling so?)

it's hard to really express the craziness of this garment but here are the sleeves of a sweater that i have been hanging onto since i was a mere teen. clearly, some kind of obsessive labour of love was undertaken in keeping it whole.

there has been a lot of cleaning and (hopefully) organizing going on around sweetie pie headquarters (aka home). this pursuit has unearthed various marvels from my past - i have been going through my own clutter as well as boxes of stuff that came to me via my family out west.

i am sharing this one with you after jen expressed an interest in the beauties of mending. i really should find a way to photograph it on me, though. this would communicate a lot about my teenage confusion over the size of my body. with sleeves that stretch to my knees, though, it is questionable as to whether a human was in mind at all when this sweater was conceived.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

field trip.

today i went to visit nicholas at the trip print press to discuss some serious city of craft business. there is always so much to look at there. we also talked about our shared fears of being hoarders. but if he is, doesn't he do it with style?

trip print press (4)

trip print press (5)b

trip print press (7)b

trip print press (8)b

hat attack!

i finally finagled some proper lighting to photograph the elf hats i have been making for the love and rummage trunk show. they are surprisingly picky to photograph (i guess i really need some model shots; they look so much better on people). as with all of my crochet designs, i have done a bit of revamping and codifying for 2010. here are a couple of icy peaks i made inspired by winter and valentine's day...

elf hat 1

elf hat 3

Monday, January 25, 2010

blue and dying.

it's always problematic to have an idea in mind when thinking of yarn-based projects, especially when it comes to colour. when buying commercial yarns, one is always at the whims of colour trending and, well, the finite nature of yarn collections. i needed a pale robin's egg blue at a certain gauge for a project i have been needing to do for too long now but couldn't find the perfect thing anywhere (i left city of craft with a perfect skein from kristyn but it ended up too bulky for the pattern i came up with so it is going into another thing).

yarn dying (15)b

the point is, last night, it was time to get craft-empowered and take my fate into my own hands. guess what? dying yarn with food colouring and vinegar is painless, fumeless and easy. having no microwave or crock pot, it took a bit to find a stove top tutorial (which is basically the same, but it was my first time so i felt jumpy). i went with these instructions. so simple!

i split an undyed merino skein in half and ended up using only one drop of blue on the dyed half resulting in this pale blue:

dyed yarn

i actually would have preferred it to be a little less even (which is a great complaint to have) and find the colour more hospital that robin's egg, but i think i made out pretty well for a trip to the grocery store and a stab in the dark.

of apples and trees.

my mother is in town. i noticed this subtle and crafty modification she made on the breast of her windbreaker. i guess a free jacket is a free jacket, regardless of who it tries to make you advertise.

just in case anyone was wondering about my lineage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

triangle toss.

61 triangles close

61 triangles. 39 left to make.

reach out and touch someone.

over the holidaze, my good friend tara invited me into and art-in-the-mail chain letter type thing. although i usually scoff away internet chain letters (though, granted, i generally get the ones that quote ghandi and then promises curses if i don't make wishes and forward them to my friends), i jumped at this opportunity. i did a similar one once that involved unknown women buying me new panties. it was fun. and, to be honest, i like the idea of sending something i have made to a stranger for no good reason every once in a while. the idea is that you send off one piece of art and received thirty six in return. like all pyramid schemes it is eventually doomed to collapse, but i was willing to toss my work out into the void without great concern of my returns.

but man, my gambling paid off. i have been so spoiled by my postal gifts. pictured above is one of the hand knit fingerless gloves made for me by alina velieva. below are pictured a brown crested chickadee on wood from vancouver's only east-side beach (and sometimes shanty town), crab park send to me by penny bucker and a woodland linoleum print by laura jean.

art in the mail 3b

art in the mail 6b

stuff keeps arriving, too. like the hard-to-communicate-through-photographry postal fortune cookie sent to me by emily in halifax. it's great! my mailbox is so much more fun. this whole process reminds me of things i used to do when i was younger. right after i got the invite from tara, i got another one from christa. now i feel bad for feeling overwhelmed and turning her down. there are a bunch more friends from far afield that i would include a second time around. thanks, strangers! you've really perked up my sullen january. i feel entirely undeserving.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

spinning a yarn.

i have long held an interest in yarn spinning from afar but wary of new hobbies i have suppressed it (while also trying to get leah to book a spinning workshop at the church of craft, so i guess i waffle). after spending some months following claire's exploits in spinning, i just couldn't take it anymore. i bought a pair of spindles on etsy (from here, in case you had an interest). they seemed well price and came as a set so i felt i would start with some flexibility and options while getting started.

my first attempts, informed only by youtube and bits of claire's blog that i remembered (no, i did not bother to reread, but i will) turned out...well, to be yarn at least. i started with a huge batt of that red stuff i got on sale at the knit cafe. it is very lumpy which made me feel totally useless compared to all those youtube spinning nymphs and their lithe threads. when i tried the scrap of natural roving i had, i realized that the lumps are a quality of the red fibre (or maybe a result of poor drafting?) there is something really fun about diving into a new thing knowing very little. the successes feel huge. like that red yarn, i even plied it! from a centre-pull ball.

what's more? leah has secured the lovely kristyn to teach one final spinning workshop with the church of craft before leah moves to berlin for good. i can't remember the dates but will surely let all you locals know when the grand event will be happening.

snap, crackle, poppies.

hey weekenders, just a quick note to say that i have been nominated for the poppies - a brand new online awards (and consciousness raising) thingy launched by the good folks over at poppytalk blog. i was even nominated in two categories, accessories and artist's blog!

my friend stephanie did raise some gentle yet valid concerns about competition in the craft community. in fairness to the poppytalk crew, i will share this quote from the notification email i was sent: "it's not intended to be a competition as much as to bring more awareness to the handmade community." i have to say, i have not felt the thrust of handmade blood-lust yet.

for my part, awareness growth has been the great boon of this initiative. i have seen a bunch of new traffic to my sites and (more importantly) have been overwhelmed going through the links in each category. there are lots of friends in the mix (indeed too many to mention), and i highly recommend a jog through the categories that most interest you - or all of them!

and if you want to vote for me, you can do so here and here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

toe wool.

"for soft corn in web of toes, place small amount of lamb's wool between toes just forward of corns. for soft corns on inner side of toe, wrap lamb's wool around the unaffected toe - this separates toes and prevents pressure on painful area. for corns on top of toes, wrap lamb's wool over the corn and around the toe."

my mother brought me this from my grandparents place. it was unopened and unused, so i am going to practice spinning yarn with it. don't worry, i won't make you wear it on your neck or anything. connotations can really get in the way of retail enjoyment.

toe wool close

Thursday, January 21, 2010

further palette thought.

here is a bowl in which i am working out my thoughts about colour in regard to the new 'hive series' project i am working on. it's big. and crocheted. and involves all these colours. and a couple others. i currently have 54 traingles made and need another 46 to complete this first piece (the numbers keep changing, but i think i have it now).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

holes be darned.

my newly rekindled obsession with darning is overreaching my ability to make puns about it (the goal of blogs).

after last weekend's darning workshop, i went surprisingly darn-crazy and mended up some socks, my long johns and (of course) my crazy slippers. the pictures herein involve another layer of mending on said slippers with a ridiculous choice of yarn - a fancy variegated angora that leah gave me. it is probably dumb to put a yarn like that on the bottom of one's feet but i only needed to use a little bit and i wanted to see how a variegated yarn would look with this technique (for purely aesthetic reasons, naturally).

slipper darning 8b

slipper darning 12b

after finishing up, i finally blanket stitched the frayed edges of both slippers. they look...better. i have no pictures of that step because directly afterwards i put the slippers on and thusly coated them in their usual mat of cat hair.

then i got sick with norovirus and had a very bad couple of days. i strongly recommend darning over norovirus, should you ever have the option to choose.

Monday, January 18, 2010

a stitch in time.

i never make my stitches in time and i never save nine.

that is why i often have big huge holes in my clothes and need to darn them up. these images are from the church of craft meeting last saturday in which i lackadaisically taught some genius students how to darn socks and sweaters and mittens. that's me up there, your bookish narrator! below are my chronically snagging (and much mended) slippers and adrienne's first stab at replacing a sock heel. thanks to reverend mother leah for taking pictures.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

on the mend.

photo by dusty parr

just a quick note to say that i will leading the church of craft's saturday service on darning this weekend. so gather up your holey socks and woolens (and other stuff, if you feel like experimenting) and come on down to heartbeat 960 for a little sewing circle. we will supply the wool and needles.

darning is very easy (at least the way i do it). in a few short hours you can learn the skills to restore your favourite knee highs and stop your pointy elbows from sticking out of your best sweater.

more info can be found on the church of craft website here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

a winner and some replies.


1) given that i didn't want to clutter up the comments on the giveaway post, i have been holding my tongue (which is hard for me). so here are some replies before i announce the winner:
a) a general thank you to everyone who said kind and supportive things. they made me feel the opposite of how januray usually makes me feel.
b) mama: you are banned because you can have anything of mine you want, anyway. plus i knew you would complain about the wool. we can go through my yarn stash and make you something custom while you are out here. okay? sheesh.
c) i would love to see a knit version. i feel similarly about knitting - like i am standing outside of the room looking in. but i should be able to do it!
d) double neckmonia is when both of your necks are afflicted. walking neckmonia travels from neck to neck. i think there was a denzel washington movie about it.
e) levi macdougall is the best and i miss him now that he is a real working person swimming through america.
f) roisin: there is not much need to flatter me. it shakes my image of self.
2) finally! and the winner is: mathild-e! (the astute among you will notice that i didn't bother to take my mom out of the running after all).

i will be in touch to get you your goodies, mathild-e. i am very excited to be sending this guy off to france (i presume). i hear you got our canadian weather this winter, so this should serve you well.

and what a joy it was to lure you all out of lurkerdom. thank you all!

for those interested, i should be piling some more of these into the etsy shop over the next couple of days (i just have trampoline hall and my difficult mother's arrival in town to get through first).

Sunday, January 10, 2010


book binding

so, i am curating tomorrow night's trampoline hall (a local weirdo lecture series, for those who do not know) and have found a way to meld worlds by including a lecture about crafts.

actually, through cross-pollination of the multiple worlds i inhabit, i discovered that one of my theatre world friends had a pronounced aversion to crafts. in a way, monday night's loose theme of aversions came from this discovery.

anyway, steve obviously had to lecture about this craft-hate, but i also wanted to torment him a bit so he has been on a mini-gauntlet of handmade skill. i figured he had to experience some of his repulsions if he wanted to properly report on them. above are pictures of him a) knitting a pin cushion with kristin at the knit cafe and b) book binding with leah of the coldsnap bindery in my kitchen.

he got off so easy by avoiding paste, clay and anything else icky. don't think i don't know this. scheduling was really your friend, steve.

shannon gerard
will be lecturing on whales and jen goodhue will be lecturing on other lives, too.

trampoline hall is tomorrow night at the garrison in toronto. the show always sells out and a few rush tickets go on sale at the door at 6:30 (but they go so fast).

Friday, January 8, 2010

palette society.

...just a picture of a pile of triangles. i am thinking about colour palettes for this new mysterious thing i am working on. i think i am calling the piece 'hive series', though. so...i have figured that much out. also, i think this first incarnation will be six feet tall.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

triangle dreams.

uh oh. i had another big idea. i was hoping it would subside but it did not so now i am crocheting 210 isosceles triangles. this is what happens when i buy a bunch of yarn at a gauge far too small for its original purpose. i will let you all know when more takes shape. oh, inspiration, you are very distracting.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i like this one.

it was made for a special purpose.