Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's on Your Desk?


I am cleaning out my old office and moving to a new one. I’m finding random words on pieces of paper on my desk. I’ve only been at this desk since November when I returned to work from Mat leave.


SWOT (from piddix blog)
Strengths (use): workmanship
Weaknesses (improve):getting seen
Opportunities (exploit):
Threats(mitigate): Wallmart jewelry

Carefully crafted to last

Trends – July 13
Gadget Cozies
Mint (color)
Dark – Twilight, Harry Potter
(black lace)


Joshua Radin
Alexi Murdoch
Jack Johnson
Jeff Buckley
Suzanne Vega
Innocence Mission
Joe Purdy

You put the happy
In my –ness

Ben Harper
Walk Away

Happy + Joyful

“even when you can’t
do much you can
keep yourself headed
in a positive direction”
(with a hand-drawn footprint)


There are also a couple of pictures but I don’t have a camera at work so you’ll have to imagine them. One is an embroidered self portrait (I have really great hair) where I am typing on a computer and the title is “I’m Soooo productive.”

The other is a primitive picture I drew of a guy about to smash his keyboard with a sledgehammer. The title for that one is “Hit Any Key” (It’s a template for this shirt I painted, but the drawing is a little more manic looking.).

I also have two pipe cleaner dog skeletons and an awful peridot broach I made. The dogs were leftover from a bendy doll project I did for Elder Daughter for Christmas

and the broach is there because I was hoping if I stared at it long enough I would figure out the one little tweak it needed to transform it from weird and ugly to cool. Hasn’t happened yet despite my best efforts. I really need to contact the people at Craftfail, and call it a day.

What’s on your desk?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Well, all right, here is the project I couldn't tell you about. My little sister's birthday is this month and I wanted to make her something special. She's just moved into a new house so I thought a rooster for the kitchen would be appropriate. Roosters have long been used in kitchens for good luck. Who couldn't use some of that?

It's a trivet, if you can't tell. 4 layers of felted wool sweater goodness to keep the heat off of the dining room table. (as a side note, the trivets at my house are only 3 layers thick, and while I think they're just fine, some other people disagree)

To make the rooster I first found a picture of a real live rooster that I liked the shape of. I traced it out onto computer paper, making sure I outlined all the major shapes. Then I cut the tracing up into all it's pieces - there were about a dozen of them. Then I used those as templates to cut out pieces from different felted sweaters which were hand stitched onto a piece of yet another felted sweater. Phewph!

Now, my little sister (she's 25, by the way, not really all that little) is not really all that "country" so I tried to make it as modern as possible. In case the rooster just didn't do it for her there's a surprise on the back - guess what, it's double sided! I monogrammed a letter R onto a lovely shade of green because my sister's first and last names both start with R.

It's all done in teeny random seed stitches in two colors of thread just for fun. I always use at least 3 colors on my projects - life in monotone is boring.

Of course, when it was time to send it away the kids got involved. Here's eldest daughter's rooster - she traced the original rooster, colored it in and cut it out with fancy scissors herself. It's pictured here sitting on top of the original picture that we both used as a template.

Happy Birthday, sis!
I promise not everyone will get trivets for their birthdays this year.... not everyone...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Do you ever find yourself thinking in facebook statuses?

I’ve just upgraded from … is confidence shattered.
…is recovering from the weekend.

Sometimes I hate being so honest. I’m sure no one really cares.

Let’s just say it went badly. The whole weekend. The farmers’market is officially not the place for me right now. I still believe I have a great product worth selling but I just haven’t found the market yet. I look at some of the stuff selling out there and mine is at least comparable – of course I believe in my product, though, I also think my kids are too cute for words.

So my plan is to focus on other things:
1. are there any craft fairs in our area – Christmas craft fairs or the like? hOw do I find them?
2. stock my etsy shop. I was keeping some things behind to sell at the market, but I obviously don’t need to. I need to take some more photos and then I have about 20 more pieces to list and then I can do more online promotions work.
And coming up sometime this week - the post about the work in progress I mentioned that I couldn't talk about.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kick the Can!

I've been waiting for this idea to come along!
I finally found it here.
An ice cream recipe that doesn't require I go out and buy a whole bunch of new kitchen equipment. I think we may have to try this on our next camping trip.
I'll let you know how it goes.

and notes from blogland: General rule of thumb is that if I haven't posted for a while I'm thinking hard about something. This time it's 3 somethings - long posts about leading a happy life, symbols in art and more. Summer is a time of long drives, getting out of our routines and thinking about things. I'll try not to get too gushy with it all, but if you don't see me here, stop back to see what's been fermenting.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I finished the sun Mandala piece. (WIP here)

The details ended up being small but it delivers a punch because of the red. I ended up loving the blue stitching. It was a gamble but I like the contrast. I think it gives it interest.

I backed it with a pin back. The kind with a safety latch so it won't poke you in the chest when you wear it. It's my first pin - I hope you like it.

I started making this pin after spending a morning in an office with no outside light. Interestingly, just after I finished it I got the good news that I'll be moving to a new office with a window. Hmmmm.... I like the way that worked out.... what should the theme of the next pin be??

It'll be listed in my shop in the next day or so.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

watching someone else work...

Crafty people will like this!
I sat glued to my monitor for the entire 10 minutes of this video.
I just love watching artists work.
and if you like that you might also enjoy scribblecast.
I find it so meditative to watch the process.
gosh, I'm a geek. Does anyone else get this??

Monday, July 6, 2009

vacation round-up

OK, we're back from camping!

I managed to finish this shirt for eldest daughter, optimistically thinking the weather would be good enough to need sleeveless. Needless to say she found creative ways of wearing it since it is pink and she is 5 and it is now her new favourite.

Here is a little better close-up. I embroidered the flower garden as well as a pink daisy chain where the ruffle is.

I am trying to make up for the fact that I didn't get any good clear close-ups by showing more action shots than you really want to see. Getting a good close up would mean the model standing still for a moment, or, the unthinkable, actually removing the shirt. Those of you who have experience with 5 year olds will know what I mean. I was treated to a lovely dance performance featuring a plastic flower and lots of "mom, did you see that?"

And, of course, a bow at the end.

On the second day I laboured over a project that I can't tell you about because it might spoil a gifty surprise.

On the third day we had this for supper:
Only cooked. And steak (from a local well-treated cow). It was a good day.
It's my grama's recipe. Only, she had a magical way of being able to slice a potato thinly and evenly and she used more onions. Spices are plain old salt and pepper. Fold it all up in tinfoil and bake.

Here's a close-up because I love close-ups. Grama would have put a whole slice of onion between the potato slices, and a whole lot more pepper from what I remember. the onion gets all soft and carmelly roasted. Yum.
On the fourth day we made the hour long trek to town for espresso at our new favourite coffee shop. I kicked myself very hard several times for forgetting the camera as we ended up in the Coleman Museum which is jam packed full of frontier time history. Eldest daughter and I stood for a long time admiring a collection of wedding dresses (with corresponding actual portraits) from decades past. She humored me when I pointed out the photography, and looked at different types of coal. Youngest daughter didn't understand why she couldn't play with all the dolls she found behind glass. She kept trying to grab them through the glass repeating "baby". Hubby found old machinery and war stuff - really, there was something for everyone. I'd definitely recommend it if you ever find yourself in the Crowsnest Pass area.

And on day 5 we ended up back home, cleaned up, washed clothes and got ready to get back to real life.

I thought it would be funny to post a link to hubby's write-up and pictures from the weekend but alas, it's not in a public place. It would feature lots of jeeps getting unstuck and fixed, and, oddly enough, less food and art talk.