Saturday, October 31, 2009

generally speaking...

pictured above are some tiny jars i have crammed full of shredded canadian currency. why, you ask? well, there could be many answers but the most tactile and promotional of the options is that city of craft is presenting a general store-themed art room at tomorrow's hotel canzine and that when i think 'general store', i think 'tiny jars of shredded money'. it seems like every curio cabinet should have at least one.

i am very happy that this one-day shop is part of canzine, and not just because my ongoing connectivity issues have made me a useless heap when it comes to getting work done and producing events. nope, more than just a piggy back ride, canzine is a very special beast...a crammed downtown hotel filled with an uncomfortable amount of creativity. i love it. it is like the perfect antidote to the stark and unattainable ideals of modern craft culture. a million tiny things just waiting to contaminate your white walls and concrete lofts.

for our part, the city of craft room will try tempting your senses with such unavoidable acquisitions as hundreds of plaster fingers, hand-printed fat quarters, birch bark jewellery, stones covered in crochet, hand-bound books, buttons that look like teeth and...tiny jars of shredded money.

and you can bet i am going to use that extra hour of sleep to desperately attempt to get more done.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ghost in the machine.

well, the unthinkable has happened; my trusty laptop computer has failed me. how horrifying, how ghoulish.

i don't entirely know how to cope with this, the loss of my greatest technological component and most useful tool of human connection (oh, the irony).

but this note should serve to inform you all that i continue to survive - robot parts or no - in spite of my seeming disappearance. actually, in a way, i have become more real.

in completely unrelated news, my non-craft life saw me interviewed for a local arts weekly. newspapers: now available on internet. well, it can fill the void this blog hiatus has left in the noise of the universe, anyway. enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

hyperbolic frolic.

just a few images from last night's hyperbolic reef growing stitch-along at hart house. it was a near record-breaking turn-out that yielded some great new models for the reef and lots of chatting.

hyperbolic craft night (16)b

hyperbolic craft night (13)b

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

building the hyperbolic reef.

just a reminder, toronto, that tonight is the big free hyperbolic crochet installation/workshop at hart house.

check out the hart house craft night site or the toronto church of craft page for more information.

off to pack up my hooks!

oh, up there are the two new models i have to contribute.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

mending the rules.

today i had a couple friends over to help me with a project. after we were done, dusty (to whom i owe a million favours) presented me with one of his favorite sweaters complete with new moth bites for 2009. among this city's many recent insect scourges (bed bugs, fruit flies, wasps...), moths figure pretty heavily so i figure these pictures of my darning might be of greater general use.

of course, i am too tired to explain these images or write up a proper tutorial on sweater repair but the clever among you will be able to do some shrewd figuring-out.

dusty helped me with the pictures as we goofed around with some of the camera equipment i inherited from my pop. the macro extensions were particularly fun to play with. i am able to photograph single buttons with the shortest extension. i am sure i will find other applications now that i am over thinking i don't know how to use them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

time and space capsule.

this is what this was all about. it was done for this. here it is bigger.

thank you to aitor, serena and anahi for illustration and companionship.

Monday, October 12, 2009

deep thoughts.

as the nights get longer and colder, we are happy to be introducing two new commissioned artist button sets from the mysterious depths of both sea and forest.

they are the murky progeny of milwaukee-based artist, and craft show pal, matt "matty 8080" cipov. matt is a prolific artist, an incredibly astute illustrator and a meticulous cutter-outer. his healthy use of office supplies, paper stocks and rubber stamps doesn't hurt his esteem in our book, either.

the images for these buttons come from a reportedly "ill-fated" art show matty had in seattle called 'creatures of the deep', although details are hard to come by. mystery! for the sweetie pie press, matt agreed to divide his illustrations into two distinct sylvan and marine sets (respectively) - just to make sure we were all adequately scared of specific depths.

having worked for years on boats, i find the shark particularly terrifying, although the owl does tap into all the formative twin peaks viewing i did in my youth. those things are not what they seem!

get ready to shock your friends senseless with these specters of the (mostly) natural world.

both sets are now listed in the etsy shop. enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

sneak peek from the deep.

here is a little sneak peek from the next two commissioned artist button sets due out next week. the picture's a bit hazy, but i hope this adds to the dense and murky themes of the sets.

by the way, i am being pointedly evasive about the name of the artist. that's because this is a test. the first person to name the artist responsible for this work, gets a set from each collection.

ready, set, go!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

what a difference six months make.

accoridng to my sources, this comforting neighbourhood sight the handiwork of anna pantchev.

it doesn't hurt that today's shoot was on a gloomier day. forgive me, but i don't mind all this cloud and drizzle.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

adventures in babysitting.

this guy's the best even though he almost lost his marbles entirely at the price chopper.

ps - my apartment's a mess. see?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

funny people.

here is a new custom button order i have been working on. i only sometimes manage to write about the custom work i do, but these buttons were extra fun for me.

they are being made for rapid fire theatre, an improv outfit in edmonton, alberta. one of their new upstarts happens to be deaf and in order for his comic genius to be understood by a non-signing audience, the theatre needs to supply a translator for all the shows he is in. while not massively expensive, this service is also not free (or in their budget) so they approached me to help with a small fundraising campaign.

starting from the one 'deaf people are funny too' design, we came up with a whole 48 types of people (from fat to glib) who were also funny. coming up with adjectives was especially enjoyable for me. personally, i would like to see the company use these buttons as character suggestions for some improvised scenework, but maybe that's only because i'd like to see a scene between a dead person and a bland person. instant comedy!

if you'd like to purchase some buttons and support the cause, they will be available at rapid fire shows in edmonton as soon as the package gets to them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

montreal sojourn.

today serena and i went out for some classic art girl montreal sightseeing - drawn & quarterly, general 54.

it was leisurely.

i wish i could stay here longer. i always wish that when i visit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

puces pop.

that composite picture up there can be seen in larger format by clicking on it.

as exhausted as we are after day one, puces pop has been amazing. there's a level to which the laissez-faire of montreal always stresses me out (classic toronto), but these shows are always fantastic - even if the guy next to me shows up two hours late.

it's packed, the people are nice and, more importantly, they understand this art and craft stuff. sure, there is less wealth here, but there is an interest and knowledgeability about design and expression that i don't take for granted anymore after our travels far afield. merci, guys.

oh yeah, i also get to sound a like a blathering idiot all day as i stumble back through my french. at least people are forgiving.

french phrase of the day: "je m'excuse; je suis un peu stupide."

Friday, October 2, 2009

la belle provence.

toronto to montreal with a bunch of letters.

...i'll tell you why later.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


puces pop artwork by sara guindon

with all the mania and exhaustion going on around sweetie pie hq, i entirely forgot to mention our weekend trip to montreal. it is true, we will have a table of handmade goodies at the city's annual puces pop craft show. for those who don't know, this is a big two-day craft fair that operates in conjunction with pop montreal.

so roll out of bed before the evening, drunk rock stars, and come visit us. we'll have buttons and envelopes and art and crochet for you to puke on.