Saturday, March 29, 2008

I've escaped from little Unicorn-girl land...

Well, I painted what seemed like three million and one unicorns on girls today... Eeyup, that was the popular design at the Springwater Family Fun Day.
The weather was clear and sunny, a little cold, but I was really nice and toasty in my shelter with my wonderful propane heater!

Here's the page that I made up with pics from the day. The Unicorn design is the one 3rd down on the right...

I am so ready for a nice hot bath.

I did the whole Earth Hour thing where I turned off lights and stuff for an hour between 8 & 9pm. Now I'm just finishing up some stuff before I chill out (or steam out if I decide on that nice bath!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stitchy Goodness: Belt Pouch

I finallly finished off this linen belt pouch that I've been working on... I plan to give it away as a gift.

Never underestimate the value of having some "hand-work" to take with your for holiday family gatherings!
The knotwork is sewn with a simple chain-stitch. The edge of the opening flap is done with a blanket stitch. I even used linen thread for the embroidery. It was kind of nice, but I'll have to see how it like it when I'm doing a more extensive piece.

I'll tell you this though -- marking a design on black fabric? Not so fun. I used white coloured pencil, but some of the design rubbed off halfway through the project, so the end result is not quite as "perfect" as I'd like it to be. I suppose that will just reinforce the handmade look of the piece.

I liked how "cool and refreshing" the linen fabric felt as I was working with it. I'm intending to make up some medieval garb for the summer with some linen that I've been collecting. I know I've got some navy blue and some red somewhere in my fabric stash... the real trick will be having the discipline to pre-wash/shrink the fabric. I'm usually a bit lazy about that part (I dread all the frayed edges) but it will be worth it for peace of mind.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Not so COLD after all...

The weather turned out pretty nicely after all today. Of course, it helped that the wonderful folks at Springwater/Catfishcreek Conservation area set up a nice wind-proof tent for me with a propane heater! I was nice and toasty...

Speaking of toast, I still smell like a campfire from the boiling syrup demos that they were doing all day. I kinda like it! (I'm strange that way.)

Here's a montage that I made up of photos I took of a bunch of the kids I painted today.

I think I'll do one next weekend too. Now I just have to figure out what kind of "weather dance" I need to do to have it turn out as reasonable as it was today. Not terribly warm, but clear and sunny, so we had a good turnout of attendees.

Tomorrow I'm off to see some of my husband Chris' family for Easter. We should probably get ourselves to bed soon! Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fuzzy little Gems...

So here's a little example of what I've been working on lately....

I became interested in making felt beads when I worked on the London Beadery competition last summer.
Felt seemed like a good way to tie together the disparate elements of the kit that I'd have to work with. At that point, I couldn't find a source of wool roving in time, so I used commercially produced felt sheets and some wool yarn that I bought at the craft store (Michael's).

There's something that is just so enjoyable about the sensation of a needle passing through felt.
As I worked on that project, I was hooked.

A couple months ago, I was able to pick up some roving online and then in Toronto when I visited one of the coolest wool shop and hang-outs..."The Purple Purl" Tish!). I also obtained a needle-felting kit for doing dry felting. After reading everything that I could find online about the various processes, I was off to the races! There is so much more to explore. I'm looking forward to really sinking my needle into this portable craft...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm sick of these Germs!

Okay, enough is enough!

In the last couple weeks I've had a cold, the flu, and now I have another cold again!

It is high time that these damned germs went on their way...

I'm hoping that the weather is going to co-operate on Saturday, since I'll be outside facepainting at the Springwater Maple Festival from 10am-3:30pm. It's difficult enough when you're NOT sick, so I'm trying to get better as fast as I can...(crossing all my fingers and toes)

Photobucket Contest: Ghosts Caught on Film

I've been hosting photos on Photobucket for quite a while now (I haven't quite figured out Flickr yet... but I'm learning!) and they send out emails periodically to announce various changes and new goodies with their service.

Today in my email, I saw that they have a contest to promote a movie called "Shutter" (in theatres March 21 where they invited their users to submit their best Ghost photo.

I've had some pics that I took at my friend's wedding that just begged to be used to create a spooky "photoshop wonder"*.

In St.Thomas, we have this historic church which features "the witch's grave". There's this whole spooky story about a witch who was married to the minister and some such villany lead to her death, whereupon her white monument went pitch black overnight. She was supposed to be pregnant too, but I don't remember all the details now. All I know is that when my friend got married and this black cat was strolling around the grave-yard, right by this infamous grave, I had to snap a pic! This little guy was chasing the cat too, and boy! What they say about photographing children and animals it true! It's a real challenge!

Yup, it's a hackneyed, trite pic in the end, but it was fun putting it together.

(*"Photoshop Wonder": what I call the photos that I mess around with on photoshop... Man! I LOVE that program!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Talbot's Cross: Heart & Hands Together

Here's part of the Liner Notes that I designed for my band's cd recording.
We wanted to have a recording that we could give to family and friends for xmas last year and we worked really hard on it.
Chris, Jim, Pete and I were very pleased with how it turned out.
I don't know if I would say that we were as pleased with some of the "less-than-wowed" response from some family members, but you know what? In the long run, that really doesn't matter.
It was worth doing!
I'm thrilled to be working on a musical creative project with my husband, Chris, and it's an honour to be playing with such fine musicians. We didn't start this to "become rich and famous", we just wanted to create something good. At the end of the day, that's not such a bad thing.
( one of these days I'm going to figure out how you share musical files!)

Change can be painful...but good!

2007 was a time of change and the changes continue!

In the fall, I had a bicycle accident (see hideous broken toes pic) that tested my resolve to quit working for "D's". I'd had enough of that situation and since my "boss" wasn't interested in compromising at all or recognizing the wisdom of my requests, I had no other choice.

So in 2007, along with some uncomfortable events, some very neat things happened too where I was acknowledged for my artistry and creativity;

1) In May 2007, I won 1st place in an international contest for facepainting for my Tiger make-up job at

2) In August 2007, I won 1st place in the London Beadery's Creative Bead Competition and won a $200 gc for the store! Here's the link: I was particularly pleased with this since the year before, I had bought a kit to enter the contest and then just not gotten around to getting anything done on it!

3) In October 2007 (just as my arm was about back to normal for facepainting again) I was invited to design a step-by-step for the first issue of brushstrokes magazine. I created a Halloween face design, and my friend, Anne Marie generously agreed to model for me.

These events made me feel better about changing my work situation. I was hired on by some friends to manage their office for about three months at the end of 2007 and that showed me that I was really capable of so much more than I thought.

Now I'm looking at 2008 and planning for the year and working on giving my creativity more scope.

Inspired by my win in the London Beadery contest, I've been exploring felt-making and embroidery, and I entered a contest with

I'm also interested in putting things for sale up in a shop on . It's a great site that celebrates creativity and artistry that's devoted to the sale (by the Artist) of hand-made items. I'm working on putting a shop together with my friend Tish, who is really into knitting. She's made a lot of really cool purses, hats and socks that she's planning to sell.