Thursday
Feb282013

Christmas Card 2012

This card was so much fun to make. How else could I have justified a whole day spent doodling with a spirograph?

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted it to look like. I spent quite a bit of time working out the idea in my sketchbook before I decided it was time to pull out the authentic-still-in-the-box-1960s spirograph. They just don't make them like they used to. I started to doodle and I just kept doing more and more of them. Then I started to layer them and once they started to get a little bit busy I pulled out the eraser and took the rings out. The entire afternoon was lost in pure creativity. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

There are also a lot of thank yous I want to send out. I want to thank everyone who signed up to receive this year's card. If you missed out on this one you can always sign up to get next year's card. I want to thank everyone who received this year's card and was happy to see it arrive in their mailbox. I want to thank everyone who emailed me, called me, facebooked me or saw me in the street and had only nice things to say about it. I want to thank everyone who saved the envelope. It warms my heart to know it's appreciated. A special thank you to Alchemy Pickle who sent me a card to let me know that I inspired them to write more snail mail. Another special thank you to Halley in the Philippines for letting me know that the card arrived. It was (hopefully) the last one to arrive safely at its destination. It was a bit late but that likely made it that much more of a surprise. And one final huge thank you to Sarah Phelps for posting about my card on her blog. Sarah is a very talented printer and designer and I was lucky to get one of her cards in the mail this year: Plaid Tidings (my favourite one).

This year's card is now posted in the portfolio under stationery.

Sunday
Feb172013

A Little Piece of String

 

Every year I make something for the girls for Christmas. I was planning on making them some warm flannel pyjamas but those little stinkers learned to sew and started running those pyjama bottoms through the machine like they were seasoned pros in a sweat shop.

I had to up the ante.

With some inspiration from this magazine, the perfect cotton/linen blend yarn from Fibre Fixation (I am in love with this yarn. It's soft and it holds it's shape really well.) and McCall's pattern 6098 I was well on my way.

My projects usually run something like this: make a mock up, rip it out, resize, resew and repeat. Sometimes there a few too many repeats. This one was so different. I wish I knew how it happened because I would like to be able to do it this way more often. No mock up, no ripping out, one initial resize, sewing, done. Okay, maybe it was a little more complicated than that but it still came together without a hitch. With about 24 hours to spare, it was a really lucky thing.

I watched the girls for a few days taking note of which t-shirts fit them the best and then used those to take the measurements. I graded the pattern down quite a few sizes to match up with the measurements but kept the length. I ended up using cotton sheeting for the nighties themselves. When all was said and done someone asked if I had used vintage sheets. I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it. I just bought the material at the local fabric store.

I did a little sketch for the crochet section and then did up a test piece. I tweaked the design and then sent it through the wash because I knew there would be some shrinkage. Once I had the shrinkage factor, I did the math for the final pieces. The yarn and the crochet hook are teeny tiny but they went together surprisingly fast. Then I ran them through the wash, ironed them out, sewed them on and laced up the backs.

I will forever be amazed at what can be done with a little piece of string and a crochet hook. I love how they turned out. I might just have to make one for myself. I certainly have enough yarn left over.

Wednesday
Feb062013

January

I recently tried to find a photograph of the girls all together that I would have taken in the last year. I used to make a point of taking at least one of those every few months. Well, it turns out that last year I didn't make much of an effort because I did not have one picture like that. Not one.

Last year was also the year I didn't take a picture every day. There's nothing saying that if I had taken a picture every day I would have the photo of the girls I was hoping to find but there would have been a much better chance. And when I look back at my last 365, I took a lot of great pictures that I never would have taken otherwise. But the last 365 left me feeling a little burnt out. I wasn't excited about taking pictures anymore. The things that seemed worthy of a photograph felt all too familiar. Like I had already taken pictures of them so why pull out the camera.

Near the end of the year I was thinking about photography more and more. I still didn't pick the camera up and take any pictures but I was thinking about it more. That all changed when my new lens arrived. I wanted to take pictures again. And I was doing it for the fun of it. I could see how much of the past year I had missed and would never get back and I started to snap the kinds of pictures I wished I had taken.

All of these things have collided and I am now on a new 365. I started on January 1. I can already tell you that I haven't taken a picture every day. Some days were just too busy. This is real life after all. But I do wake up every day knowing that I need to take a picture. My eyes are always on the lookout. This time I seem to be more tuned into taking pictures of my everyday life. More pictures of the girls and our home and how I want to remember them in ten, twenty, fifty years from now. They might not be award winning shots but I can see now that it's not the point.

Saturday
Feb022013

Lettering Workshop

I have a lettering obsession. Maybe it's not an obsession exactly. Maybe it's more of a compulsion. Yes. I have a compulsion to letter. I'll letter anything and everything that could benefit (or not) from a little dressing up. It's such an easy way to add a little beauty to everyday things. You can see some of my handiwork at the bottom of this post. And what better way to add more of it to the world than to share it with others? So on Monday, February 11 I will be hosting a workshop at the Makery. We’ll be getting out the paints, inks, pens and brushes and then we'll letter away. I would love to see you there so if this sounds like the perfect way to spend a Monday night just give the Makery a shout to sign up. You can click here for all of the information.

Monday
Jan282013

Favourite Days

The days leading up to Christmas are some of my favourite days of the year.

Secret presents are in the midst of creation. The doors are closed. The air is full of conspiratorial whispers.
Shouts of NO!Don'tcomeinhere! ring through the house. And the glances that hint at the secrets shared with some but not with others are seen from time to time.

I was a target of a few of these secret afternoons. Emily monogrammed towels for the entire family. Geneva made me a felted coaster. She must know how much I love to have toast with my tea. And Agatha made me a beautiful set of earrings. There's nothing like the gift of handmade from the creative minds of those three cuties.

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