Tuesday, March 30, 2010

suggestions of direction.

"go that way," it says.

today i was lucky enough to make a date to meet up with karyn at the workroom earlyish. she let me use the cutting table to figure out the layout of my big triangle of triangles (barring any emergency big cutting, that is). it was such a boon to have a wide open space that isn't my home in which to contemplate the possible colour configurations. and karyn is no slouch when it comes to colour, palette and layout, either, so i felt i would have a safety net should i encounter any panics.

this thing is supposed to go up in the window of the knit cafe in two days. i have been riddled with migraines recently and experiencing some serious back pain from all the sewing, so we will see how it goes. i feel like i can gauge the changes in barometric pressure with my cranial blood vessels. i'd really rather not have this dubious gift, though. it's getting in the way of my triangular visions for the world.

triangles at the workroom 9b

now back to sewing, when what i really want to do is flop down on the workroom floor. someone's got the right idea...

triangles at the workroom (11)

ps - karyn also took some pictures of my layout and somehow they are way cheerier than mine. you can poke around through them round about here. thanks, karyn!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

you're number one!


we have a winner! early birds get worms!

candice has won the first (outside of my home) diy installation kit. i hope it finds a happy home upon one of your walls and hope from the deepest pit of my heart that i end up seeing pictures of it. please hunt me down and email me your shipping address.

Friday, March 26, 2010

sorting, cleaning, rummaging.

i have been going through my surprisingly large collection of clothing and trying to pare down. it is surprising how much i own considering that i am usually dressed it something tattered and weird. i have a lot of tatters, it would seem. i also have some untattered things like vintage dresses, aprons and skirts. i also have a few indulgent purchases (usually local designers) that never worked out. those really make me sad because new clothing figures into my budget so rarely.

anyway, i am about to flee town and it is spring so a bunch of these items must leave my home and make their ways out into the big bad world in hopes of finding more appreciative homes. enter the upcoming spring trunk show at the workroom. this time, i am going 100% rummage. so bring out your vintaging eyes and see what you can find!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

mr. sweet potato head.

sometimes we barter food for computer repair. sometimes the foods we find could take us in a fight.

ps - thanks for the computer help, bunton.

golden foldies.

wow. my puns are wavering.

a) thank you to kathleen for giving me this new (to me) vintage folding bike from her father's shed. thanks to her unseen (by me) father, too. all the bike nerds at the bike shop were cooing over it.

b) unthanks to whoever keeps filling my unfolding bike's basket with garbage. stop being a jerk.

bikes 2

bikes 3

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

crowd sourcing.


tyler made that image of me. i asked him to adapt the bob and becky poster as a favour so that i could have something weird to put on invoices and maybe business cards. but now that i look at my own floating head in this way, it seems to be either asking a question or trying to eat something. i am full of food, so i better come up with some questions.

preparing for our upcoming travels, here are some things you can help me with, internet friends (answers pertaining to north america will be most useful):

1. what craft fairs do you like best?
2. what galleries, shops and boutiques (in the world of indie craft, art or design) do you think are great?
3. what roadside attractions should we visit?
4. what else is out there that we should know about?

if you'd like some touchstones of taste or old stories, you can click on these links for adventure and roadside attractions of the past. i can hardly wait to be out in the world again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

be your own brass.

hey world. guess what? now that i am finally caught up on some administrative things (it's a long story that involves timing and family trauma) the security envelope project has finally been able to grow into a long-awaited second phase. please behold the do-it-yourself security envelope installation kit. here at the sweetie pie press, we aim to make your weird decorating impulses easier to achieve through carefully mapped out (and easy to install) projects.

taking its inspiration from the trials and tribulations of doing this (like this), the idea for these smaller scale at-home installations came from the notion that even installation-based projects should be easy and accessible (in some instances, at any rate). at this smaller size, it was easy to refine the installation process and make it less gruelling, too.

want to see some picture of what i am talking about? here:

diy security installation 14b

diy security installation 20b

diy security installation 28b

diy security installation 33b

diy security installation 49b

diy security installation 51b

diy security installation 52b

you can look at the whole process (27 minutes in total) here.

so, i know what you are thinking. how do i get my hands on one of these amazing kits? well, there are currently two ways: 1) this first triangular kits should appear in my etsy shop in a matter of hours 2) i will give you one of these first kits just for leaving a comment here (well, i will give one to one of you). you have until friday at midnight to leave a comment, friends and lurkers. after that, i will devise a means of making a random selection and one lucky soul will get an easy-peasy installation kit! (since these are so brand new, photographs of your finished installation would also be nice). please be sure to include your email address if it is not on your blogger profile.


did you know that twin peaks (the best thing ever to appear on television) is twenty years old? twin peaks had a lot to do with me becoming an actor (and nothing to do with me mostly quitting).

but that kind of has nothing to do with how i start hats more than i finish them. sometimes, i just run out of harmonizing colours and have to wait. the one on the far left is made from the yarn i just spun, the little one is made of a plying example that kristyn gave me and the other one is scratchy lopi that nobody but me will ever love. maybe i should give up on hats. when i look at their beginnings like this, i just want to crochet a mountain range.

then i could live in its shadow, eat pie, tuck my blouses into my skirts, smell like a pulp mill and possess dark secrets. i should pull those dvd's out again.

the nothingness of excess and possession.

i rarely buy books. it's kind of embarrassing. i wear glasses and look smart, but i generally tend toward comics, zines or (usually) making things when i could be reading. but when i saw faythe's mention of collections of nothing by william davies king, i felt a very strong pull to it. i would be lying if the fact that the cover hints at his security envelope collection of 800+ patterns didn't have a lot to do with it.

possession, acquisition, collection and material concerns have been very much on my mind this past year (or more) as i sift through the leftover materials of my father's life and absorb the important things that my grandparents left behind when they moved into their new assisted living home (which they love, by the way). there's a whole bunch of family and personal history that i don't really feel like getting into but suffice it to say that issues of hoarding and material are deeply interesting to me.

i can only write from personal opinion, so i'll say that i found the book pretty amazing, confusing, upsetting, exciting, annoying, indicting, and comforting. it basically lead me through a large swath of feelings and thoughts in relation to this stranger's life history, behaviours and deconstructions of both. as annoyances go, i had a hard time (as i usually do) with some hopefully involuntary trappings of academia that the writing dips into at times. i have a very deep-rooted knee-jerk hate-on for academic blather but then, it never really worked for me. mostly, though, these feelings probably stem from the permission king gives readers to come right inside his life. he has laid himself bare (awkwardness and neurosis included).

the more detached processing of the notion of collection and collector were what i really clung to in the book. i am still turning many of his ideas around in my head. king's collections (in a voyeuristic way) came into my life at the exact right time. i am currently wrestling with my own heaps of envelopes, jars of shredded money and crushed pop cans. reading the thoughts and struggles of this similar (yet very different) stuff-magnet felt really useful to me at this time. i was also strangely fascinated by how some of him collections seemed oppressive to me, some repulsive and some delightful even though they all occupy a very similar space of uselessness. food. for. thought.

leah, you should read it. actually, a bunch of people i know should.

update (march 24, 2010) - here is a video documenting some of his collections that professor king shared with me:

Monday, March 22, 2010


in preparation for some more adventuring, the reverend and i have started going through our home, trying to pare down and tidy. with all the family shuffles and inheritances (pretty much objects) of the past year, it is no easy task for me. above is my effort to get ruthless on my vintage apron collection (keep an eye out at the upcoming spring trunk show). of course, ribbon took the apron pile as an invitation to assume her trademark 'sausage cat' posture all day.

orchids 4b

orchids 6b

in other homebound news, one of the weirdo orchids i brought home from last month's orchid show has gone all nutty. at first, i was excited at the prospect that it was sending out new bulbs (and thus didn't really take pictures), but it seems clear that this is the strange way in which this bulbophyllum falcatum flowers. it wasn't supposed to flower for a year! i feel so lucky. orchids are not often a quick gratification kind of plant. but bulbo is defying the odds and putting on a big show as a mere baby. i wonder what those wormy little bulbs are going to open into (anything?)

ah, the small joys of a shut-in.

Friday, March 19, 2010

plum dandy.

here is the fibre that leah gave me for my birthday, spun on a drop spindle and wrapped around a kitchen chair (sorry, honey). i think it will have to ply it; my spinning is still not even enough and playing tends to regulate that. i wonder what it will be? maybe a big hat stripe.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ply to me.

wool hat (2)b

wool hat (3)b

wool hat (5)

i realized i hadn't yet taken any pictures of my plied yarn, so here are a few as the last scraps make their way into my replacement wool elf hat.

a) in super macro, yarn starts to look a little gross.

b) all that roving only spun into enough bulky yarn for the peak of the hat (which looks like a little mountain sitting on my kitchen table). does anyone have any more roving in these natural greys/blacks? i am not too picky about matching but am really into the idea of spinning all the yarn for my new hat. anyone? anyone local?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

demands of an alternative existence.

where did becky go? well, to tell the truth, i really want to be here with you, internet of crafty people. but my life and time has been abducted once again by this other life i used to/secretly have as some sort of performer.

in this case, i have had the great honour to be asked by the theatre centre and harbourfront centre to co-curate a mixed program cabaret night with my #1 enemy, bob wiseman, as part of free fall '10. enter the bob and becky cabaret!

i am pretty excited about the show. between the two of us, we have the ability to book an incredibly eclectic evening of creative performances. i am very much looking forward to it. many of bob's picks are people that i have never seen, so i am going to be seeing much of this work for the first time, too. bob and i have also been working together on a couple of new collaborative pieces. so far, they both involve me trying to be musical (for my part, i tend to be supplying some sort of narrative structure to the goings-on). for a #1 enemy, bob is a very good teacher and supportive friend - even when i cry because he tries to make me sing and i am so bad at it.

we will return to your regularly scheduled nonsense after the weekend is over. but for now, i highly recommend that you check this evening out if you are in toronto on saturday. i perform a lot on the sly, but feel very urgently about getting people to see this show. i believe this will be the kind of thing that has never happened before and will never happen again (my favourite kind of show). watching me and kayla kick asses at catch23 is also a good idea, this only more so.

and that poster? tyler made it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

stuck up.

lakeview (4)b

lakeview (10)b

i went to get a bite this evening with my friend levi who is just in town for a moment and who i usually miss while he is off living an exciting los angeles life. i was pleased to discover that the walls of the lakeview are currently festooned with crowd-sourced post-it art. there was an info postcard there that i forgot to grab. does anyone have any info or links for the responsible artists?

levi, by the way, is not stuck up. just the post-its are. you should probably try to catch one of his stand-up sets while he is in town. his extensive talents are only going to make him more famous and soon you will only be able to see him in huge arenas. his website will probably list upcoming sets while in toronto.

one hundred!

no image, just a quick note to say that i completed by 100th crocheted triangle today over tea and chats with shannon and tara. we are forming something of a crochet support triad, so it was an appropriate place to house this milestone. and now the piecing and stitching begins. have a good weekend.

secrets revealed (or of cats and bags)

okay, here it is. this is a first laying-down of the first piece for this big crochet project i have been dreaming of/hooking up. named 'hive series,' the project should eventually encompass a collection of pieces. i am not sure how many, yet. this first one is still a few triangles short (and the stitching is going to be equally laborious to the crochet, i presume), but it was pretty thrilling to see so much of it together.

the possible configurations are mind-boggling, so i think my end layout will probably have more to do with fate than planning (fatalism being a character flaw of mine).

triangle floor (8)

triangle floor 11b

so...there. something.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

weird project nearing turning point.

triangles 3b

i have almost 100 triangles made. is anyone following this cryptic progress? anyway, i have another hint: a first iteration of this thing will be on display in the window of the knit cafe for the month of april. that's where this current push has come from.

truly, all this secrecy has come from my own lack of clarity about what i am doing. as my own fog lifts, yours will, too...ifever you are.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

making in public.

stitch and bitch 2b

stitch and bitch 4b

tonight, i found my way out of my nest/cave to catch the last half of the workroom's monthly stitch and bitch. serah-marie and i had lots to chat about as she worked on an afghan and i crocheted more triangles. i. am. al. most. there. 94 done. 100 to go.

thanks, karyn, for giving me excuses to get out of the nest/cave.

Friday, March 5, 2010

spiralling chats and new friends.

guess what - stalking pays off and results in new friends! based on my neighbourhood picture taking, i have been asked by the toronto craft alert to write an interview with local street artists (among other things), anna pantchev and james gauvreau. we had a lovely chat at poor john's about their collaborative work, trend, geometry, public art, physics, theoretical science, mutual friends, quilting, triangles and more.

shannon was right; i love these guys.

after all the chatting we went for a brief stroll in the new spring to visit the few of their nearby pieces that i had not yet found. here are some sneak previews:

invariant set 1b

invariant set 3b

invariant set 4b

invariant set 8b

look for the full interview on the tca in about a week (okay, maybe a week and a half).

best laid plans.

map flags and labelled tags. yes, the absence of these was the only thing standing between me and infinite home/thought organization.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

help at the factory.

today, my friend peter came over to help me with buttons/barter. it's so lovely to have a friend to chat with while making buttons all day, even if he did interview me and then break me down to a character archetype while we worked. for those who are interested, he settled on cynical idealist.

those buttons there are part of our output - hand silk screened buttons for the triumphant run of jesjit gill's $$ button sets. they should be hitting the world in about a week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

monthly planning.

as the frost lifts, i am getting my thoughts and schedules in order for this impending spring tour (and an unrelated fall tour across the ocean). it is intensely exciting for me to start planning an escape. i love being in motion (even though sometimes it is terrifying, sad, exhausting and/or exacerbating). i wonder how far into my planning that twig pencil will last...

Monday, March 1, 2010


yarn 3b

"oh, honey, if you're going into the bathroom, watch out - the cast iron frying pan is hanging from some yarn on the back of the door."