This weekend is Stitch n Kitsch! I will have a lot of new yarns, limited edition and never before released! So, come on out and see us at Stitch n Kitsch – my setup is right inside the entrance door. There will be a lineup of amazing local artists from the Kitchener-Waterloo area with lots of goodies for your holiday shopping, or to spoil yourself a little! Hope to see you there!!
I try to life live in a ‘good thing a day’ kind of way meaning I like to try to make little improvements to things as much as I can, when I can. So, I spend some time making the navigation of Studioloo more visual, with less text. It’s always the designer’s toss up to decide if you want to gamble on using images instead of text because I think when you take any kind of technical education or have technical job experience, you always think of these users who really want to buy your stuff but their computer might be from 1982 so the graphics load really slowly and they only have 800×600 screen resolution. I am slowly stepping out of these dark age concerns though because I really like the look and feel of images better.
As I noted in my last post, it’s going to be a busy weekend with Saturday in Brampton at Art in the Open and Sunday in Peterborough at Lang Pioneer Village’s Festival of Textiles. So, if you are in the area of either , come on out and visit me.
Yesterday I also received exciting news that I was accepted in Visual Arts Mississauga’s Art in the Park show on September 22nd. This is a beautiful space with indoor and outdoor galleries. Last year’s show was a lot of fun with food trucks, great artists and live music. I will be out on the lawn.
I have placed a few new handstitched plush toys in the shop. Grab them now or they are destined for Art in the Open tomorrow.
It was a fine New Year’s day spent at the Toronto Zoo with the husband. I took a ton of pictures with my new Nikkor telephoto lens that I am really happy with but I don’t have them edited yet. I will share some once I do. I spent the last couple of days prior to the new year just organizing things, planning projects and relaxing. I managed to pull a back muscle over the holidays which has slowly been getting better.
I picked up the weaving that I was working on some time ago and have started up on it again in an attempt to use up this giant basket of rope that I have collected over the months for this project. I was thinking it would be a rug but I think it will be too nice and end up being a wall hanging.
Here’s a shot of one of two circles I finished over the last couple of days.
I have more shots of this project on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/studioloo/coiled-rope-rug
I am thinking that beginning tonight I am going to start tackling a big to do list so I can feel more accomplished. For my own benefit I will list 10 things I need to accomplish over the next week or so.
1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.
Work is sort of too quiet this week. Most of the clients have taken the rest of this week off, as well as a lot of the staff here. I am trying to keep motivated to work on a few things and use this down-time as best I can but it can be challenging after just coming back from holidays. I think I will feel more focused tomorrow as I have a meeting, and get to dig into some new things.
Tonight I will be working on some fun, secret things for a swap I am taking part in on Ravelry. The theme is ‘Mash-ups’ where you design a package for someone, secretly, and you mash up their 5 favourite fandoms. My partner’s fandoms are run and have a lot of child-like imagination so I have a lot of ideas. I see much photo-collaging, felting and assemblage happening tonight to put together a couple of the bigger projects.
My next show will be Winter Artfest and I am working on a myriad of new goodies for these seasonal shows. More blogging to commence when life is not as busy. Until then, here’s my poster, call me maybe? 🙂
So, my birthday was August 1st and celebrations only somewhat simmered as of lastnight. That is the sign of having really good friends and family. And, I can say, I am blessed with that. I went to Prince Edward County, the home of my birth, last weekend to visit the family, have much cake, beaching, and barbecue. It was a lot of fun. I am mildly bothered that someone has managed to tell the tourists about my favorite secret beach though. Having grown up in the small town I did, a big part of me wants it to stay somewhat close to what I remember, but things can’t obviously stay exactly the same. I am fine embracing change but I have to admit that I am somewhat overwhelmed by the tourist trap my hometown has become. It is now an art haven, food haven, wine country extravaganza of things that …well, it never actually was. I feel sometimes like it is a facade of glamour that hangs it’s halo around an otherwise normal, but beautiful place. Being the lover of art, literature, food, and all those things that make us human, I am happy that these things have moved there, but a part of me sort of feels distressed that the purveyors may claim they were always there. I sort of feel like they uproot the roots of the real people who live there and grew up there. It’s maybe a silly feeling but I am sure it is not a sentiment I feel alone. Seeing the changes in the farming industry, and a general scale down of the farmland makes me wonder how a lot of the locals feel. I know that my family now have to travel to land in the middle of nowhere to feel like they have ‘escaped’ and, home used to just …a constant escape….at least from things like cellphones, traffic, noise, pollution, etc. but it can sometimes not feel that way. Anyhow, enough of my passive wondering about the state of things. There was a lovely outdoor art show on while I wast there, with painters painting out in the street, and a street sale with craft and local vendors.
I was able to have my favourite pizza, favourite submarine sandwich and favourite ice cream all in one weekend…what can be better than that? This is a funny video I found from my favourite sub shop, Imperial Submarines, made by a local radio DJ (I think…) as you will likely also judge from his voice. You can get a real feel for how sweet the family that owns the shop are. They are lovely, and people that I grew up around. Just good people…
Also, guess who got an iPad for her birthday? Oh yes…and I have to say, they are awesome. I think that I still like the Kindle better for reading books however, mainly because it is ePaper so easy on the eyes, and it is more lightweight and small. But, the iPad is amazing for browsing, applications, reading in colour, magazines, etc. It is really nice and I am a spoiled brat.
I also stopped into Rose Haven Farm Store to replenish a whole new stock of art yarns, so if you are in the area and want to check them out…pop into the shop.
In other artsy news, I am working on a line of custom spinning supplies, including some plying threads. I came up with the idea because I am always looking for ways to make things more my own. So, I started working on my own plying threads and I just really loved the control over being able to chose the colours, texture, fibre content, weight and so on. Here’s a peek at one. There are a couple in the shop and more to come very soon!
This week I am planning an adventure in growing some hollyhocks. I learned recently that hollyhocks bloom every two years and the colour they bloom depends on how they are pollinated. Being that I love surprises, I think these have to be one of the most interesting flowering stalks. I did some research and learned about how to take care of a condition called hollyhock rust, which is like a rusty-ness that occurs on the leaves and can impact other weak plants in your garden. These are my little pods, drying up and waiting for their chance to be planted.
A couple of years ago, I was trolling the Freecycle lists and I came across a post from a man who was clearing out a huge collection of Playboy magazines. So, being the curious artist and reclaimer that I am, I messaged him telling him that I would love to pick them up and use them for art projects. A little while later he messaged me back telling me the story about them. They belonged to his late father who had recently passed away. The entire family had no idea that he had this collection, and his mother was a bit disheartened by these taudry bits of literature so he was hoping I could get them ASAP. I headed to his place that night and he relayed to me his relief in that an artist contacted him instead of some creepy pervert. The whole situation was a laugh for both of us. So, I now have all of the Playboy magazines printed from the early sixties to the mid-nineties. Some, I preserve, and some I use for art projects. Recently when wandering around The Value Village, I saw this whole box of 12 matching, tacky gold frames. In the interest of unique wall art….a plan was born and now all I have to do is hang these pretties.
Mat and I are working on the next episode of the Muststashyo podcast. I am hoping to get it done for this weekend depending on how things go. This has proven to be a very busy summer.
Lastnight I spent a great evening with my friends in Richmond Hill – one of my favourite knitting groups and just awesome people. We have started to have these little birthday celebrations each month to mark the birthdays of our friends from the group. It’s a great idea. I received some beautiful yarn, liquer and a lovely necklace from my lovely friend Kittynne. It’s a beautiful ceramic pendant necklace from http://www.etsy.com/shop/surly and yes, yes, it has a MOUSTACHE on it!!! Yay! The girl does lovely work, and custom orders!
I also wanted to mention something else that is dear to my heart, because of my friend Stacey…it’s Kayak for a Cure! Stacey is a really sweet, genuine person and a cancer survivor. She’s fun and awesome and doing her part to raise money for cancer – something that I think we all can relate to, unfortunately. One thing I have to say that I can find joy in when people have a serious illness, is that it changes them. In many cases of people I have been close to, and in Stacey’s case, you can see such a bright light that comes from them…a whole new appreciation for life and those around them. If you have it in your heart, please check out her story and donate some money to the cause: http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?px=3684970&fr_id=6600&pg=personal. If you have some time to sit and read her story, you will see how her sweetness, intellect, wit and charm shine though. She is a survivor of chondrosarcoma which I only learned about lastnight, in detail. It affected her skull base and she had to go through much healing and recovery, but she is now bright as a sunflower, getting back in her boat and doing something really positive! So, be inspired and donate some money to the cure and maybe send her a kind word. 🙂 Or, if you are into kayaking and want to participate check it out – http://kayakforacure.org
So, perhaps last week (where does the time go?) was the Mississauga Potter’s guild potluck! I decided to make a couple of pies from recipes that have been in my recipe box since the dawn of time.
Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
I got to spend a lot of time at the pottery guild last weekend and finally got to crack open a bag of the black clay that I bought. I really love it even though it feels like it is much messier/dirtier because it is black. It feels nice in the hands and seems to handle well. The only strange thing about it is that I find it harder to trip the strip at the bottom of the pot before removing it from the wheel head. It might just be me having a weird/off day so I will try again when I throw more of it and see if I have the same result.
The lighting is a little yellow in the studio but here is a picture of some of the forms I threw from it – I really love the colour.
Here you can really see the contrast between this medium white clay and the black.
On my adventures of book acquisition, I received a lovely book called ‘Nature as Designer: A Botanical Art Study’ by Bertel Bager and it is proving to be really inspirational for pottery. I am really wanting to take some time to make different pod forms.
This is the starts of a pod I was working on. It is now just about finished and drying up to be bisqued.
I have also been playing with fiber quite a bit (when not deeply entrenched in business plan and financial analysis – yikes). This is a sneak peek of a yarn I finished spinning today beside a bunch of little yarn orbs from yarns of the past. I usually collect them up in bunches and sell them off as little freeforming kits. People have a lot of fun with yarn scraps.
Speaking of yarn scraps, I am almost done my Totem Pole socks. This photo is from last week but I have now moved along quite nicely and I am just about at the toe decreases.
There is also a bunch of yarn dyeing going on as I am working on the Summer 2010 colourways of Doll Feet! I will announce when they are all ready to go to the shop. Here’s a sneak of some that are dry:
And my drying rack in the sunshine of the window – it seems never to be empty these days:
First off, I was given a massive load of pure cashmere yarn and I am giving a lot of it away here because I simply don’t have the space!
It is starting to feel very like spring outside with the sun waking up so early, birds singing and that last bit of frost finally starting to dissipate. I have been really productive lately trying to prepare for late-April to early-May vacation, Maryland Sheep and Wool, Stitch n Kitsch and all sorts of other things involving yarn and artwork.
Also, I should mention, as many have asked, there is finally new Candy Sprinkles yarn up in the shop.
I have plans to do about a million things beginning with finally podcasting tonight. That is my big priority. There have been endless hurdles getting me to the next episode. Holy cow..hopefully we won’t talk forever. But, otherwise I have been really feeling inspired to work on pottery lately as well as spin. I feel like I just don’t have enough time! My knitting time has been seriously suffering. Can someone please win the lottery and buy me out as an entertainer of the arts or something?
Here’s a bit of what has been happening around Casa del Studioloo!
This is a blue/purple circular pinch bowl that I made by rolling tiny balls of clay and pressing them into a bisqued bowl mold. It’s a fun easy project for when you have days that your clay just won’t cooperate on the pottery wheel but you still want to accomplish something. Beside it are a couple of new yarns that will be heading to the shop soonish. One is my Oak Leaves in Fall for a challenge involving this photograph:
This is a bowl that I handbuilt and printed with a lace doily.
And, here are a couple freeform dishes that I made
I don’t want to overwhelm you with pottery photos however, so for those interested, the evergrowing photo collection of pottery is here.
I am starting to plan for a whole bunch of different types of clubs for yarn and pottery and tea and so on and so forth so more details to come on that very soon. 🙂
For the month of April I have started a ‘Make your own Supplies-along‘ in which you make some of your own creative add-ins for art yarns, share your methods and tutorials or just inspire us with pictures and ideas! So, join in!
Here are some loomed flowers I made:
This weekend also we are having an Easter Bunny Spin-along so, pull out your wheel and spin along with us! It’s the last day of the work week today! Woo hoo!