Monday, August 30, 2010

Treasuries on Etsy

A bracelet I posted on my Etsy shop has been featured in 2 treasuries! 

Tourmaline, Freshwater Pearls

Sugared Plums by TheNestingSpot
Fall In by jadewolf06

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Happy weekend to you! 

I was browsing through Chapters for a while yesterday.  One of the books I ended up buying is Rainforest, which is a collection of photographs by nature photographer Thomas Marent.  Lots of colour, texture, pattern, and amazing plants and animals.  I already had another of his books, Butterfly, which given my love of butterflies likely comes as no surprise. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


A few days early, it's true.  There are many things going on this time of year - back to school, soon the leaves will start to change, and August 23-September 22 birthdays fall within the sign Virgo. 

The birthstone of September is the sapphire, which is a gemstone variety of corundum, which in turn is an aluminum oxide.  It is quite a hard stone, at 9 on the Mohs scale.  Depending on which trace elements are present, the colour can vary quite widely, but the blue sapphire is the best known. 

Modern alternates to sapphire as September's birthstone include lapis lazuli, diamond, and chrysolite (see also olivine, peridot). 

Sapphire is said to clear unwanted thoughts. 
Lapis lazuli is said to promote the physical-metaphysical link.
Diamond is said to amplify strengths and weaknesses. 
Chrysolite is said to dispel negative emotions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Updates and Treasuries

A quick update -- 

78 Fans
29 blog followers
45 Etsy shop hearts
64 Twitter followers

Here's a screenshot of one of several Etsy treasuries I made recently... 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today I made...

I made a pencil case today.  I started a little while ago by deconstructing a not entirely exciting piece I'd done.  I didn't want to throw it away, since it was quite a bit of fabric, so I decided making some small pencil cases from it would be good.  I bought zippers of the right length over the weekend.  I'm not getting the ends of the zippers quite right, they're OK, but lumpy.  I want to work out a better design.  I'll post a picture soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

ROM part 3

Mary Howard, Floral Pattern Quilt.  Toronto, c. 1940s.
"Busy Bee" signature quilt, 1924. 

Quilts are amazing.  Piecing, applique, embroidery, repurposing fabrics, documenting family history, function and decoration are all part of quilting.  It's even more interesting when you remember that all this stitching used to be completely done by hand.  It still can be of course, but alot is machine stitched today.

Signature quilts were often made as a fundraiser (ie. by the local Church women's group); each of the names shown would correspond to a donation made by that person, the larger the donation the larger their name would be stitched.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ROM visit part 2

Bottles commissioned by Enniskillen Wines (Niagara-on-the-Lake), inspired by ice sculptures.  Hand carved.  Middle: Brad Copping, 1994. 

Mallorytown Glass.  Made from common green window glass. 
Canada's earliest glass factory, at Mallorytown, was established in 1839.
Joseph Heath.  Staffordshire, England. 
Transfer printed earthenware platter.  c. 1850. 
Teapot.  Ironstone.  St. John's Stone Chinaware, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Clay imported from England.  c. 1880-1895.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another ROM visit

I could add these into one long post, but I choose not.  So, part one in sharing my latest visit to the Royal Ontario Museum.  

The ceiling over what used to be the main entrance. 
Artwork for the cover of Canadian Home Journal
Left: Rex Woods, oil on canvas, 1937 (July)
Right: Rex Woods, oil and graphite on canvas, 1937 (April)

Woman's work table, where women would gather to sew, etc.
This beadwork is amazing. 
Small pouch, Iroquois, 19th century.
Wool, silk, glass beads. 
This First Nations clothing is not done justice by this photo. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ATCs and ACEOs

Artist Trading Cards and Art Card Editions and Originals can be a quick and easy project.  You can use them to try out a technique before doing a larger work, as something small and compact you can share with friends, etc.  There are very few restrictions to keep in mind.

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) should be given or traded, not sold.  ACEOs can be sold.

Both should be reasonably flat, and are always 2.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall, so that they fit into standard trading card sleeves. They are often traded by mail, and the flatness also helps keep this easy.

They can be made in any media that fit these rules: paper, paint, metal, fabric, etc.  The back of the card usually includes the artist's name, email, year the card was made, the number (if the card is part of a series), and possibly a title or theme. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tea Staining

I'm preparing for some new work, so yesterday I tea stained some silks.  Many of my colours are bright/dark commercially dyed ones so the tea staining isn't obvious, it just gives a subtle effect to the colour.  I like how some of the colours bleed in the hot tea soak.  This isn't always what you want though so if you're trying this out, you might want to only stain one colour or like colours at a time, otherwise you can end up with (for example) red blotches on green silk.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've got birthstones on the brain at the moment.  Depending on where you come from and what sources you look at, there seems to be a little variation in what birthstones go with each month. 

August's birthstone is peridot, a lovely, translucent olive green stone.  Peridot forms in magma beneath the earth.  The green is due to the iron present within the stone.  Peridot is said to encourage assertiveness. 

Modern alternates to peridot as August's birthstone are sardonyx, sapphire, jade and aventurine. 

Sardonyx is said to encourage willpower and integrity. 
Sapphire is said to clear unwanted thoughts.
Jade is said to encourage calm and empathy.
Aventurine is said to strengthen the heart. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I'm back to adding some listings to my Etsy

I also received a stunningly lovely postcard through Postcrossing today.  I want to use this image to base some embroidery on.  Hmm... 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Musings for Today

I'm wading through piles of 'stuff' on my floor that I'm sorting and clearing out.  I get distracted with other things easily so I am not spending one focused chunk of time on the clearout.

I watched two great programs this evening, one a Nature program on ants, and the next a BBC program about whales.  The first mentioned a website, which I just had to check out, and is pretty amazing - the Encyclopedia of Life.

I also got a new issue of Stringing mag today, which is always fun.   There are some trends in jewellery of late that are very evident, including chain in antiqued finishes.  Looking through the mag also renewed my want to make my own ceramic beads in the future.  I haven't used ceramics before but there are classes available locally.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blog Feature!

A short interview with me is featured on a blog! 


Yesterday afternoon I popped out to the next town over's local JazzFest - free public concerts along the main street.  I was pleasantly surprised to be there in time for Matt Dusk

Today is working on more clearing up, and thinking about pieces to make next.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Start a Project

We all get creatively stuck sometimes.  When you're looking for your next project idea, here's a little help on getting started.  You can use a sort of prompt to give you somewhere to work from.

1 - MEDIA: You can decide first on what media you want to use, which can give you a reason to pick up something you haven't used for a while, or haven't tried before. 

2 -THEME:  You can come up with a theme, or subject matter, that you want to work from.  Try looking through books.  Not just art books, but any books - poems, nature, technology, etc. 

3 - COLOUR:  Either before you have a theme, or after, you can play with colours to help you choose your palette.  Sometimes just knowing the colours you want to use will help you get an idea for subject matter.  Other times you'll have a theme in mind, and then you can play with colours that that theme makes you think of.

Colour pages work well for me.  You can create one speaking to a colour palette you already have in mind, or choose adjective words and make colour pages based on what that word makes you think of.  Your colour pages can be snips from magazines, paint, scrapbook papers, ribbon, drawings, etc. as pleases you.

Here's examples of my colour pages based on adjectives.  The left one is "spicy", and the right is "sweet". 

Friday, August 6, 2010

End of the Week

I was out and about this afternoon, and pointing out different flowers and plants along the roadside.  I thought about how few people my age (or any other age for that matter) can actually identify alot of these roadside plants, backyard birds, etc.  It may not be in the category of essential knowledge, but I do think it's a shame.  My gran and mum have always been interested so I grew up assimilating some of their knowledge, and now I'm quite grateful for it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SNAP Photos from Show

Check out this little feature by SNAP South Mississauga from the Port Credit Outdoor Art Show.  A photo from my booth is included! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It's now Tuesday night.  I spent my weekend cottaging with some friends.  I was away from the computer and from much of my crafty supplies.  A friend had some knitting with her which also lead to me getting some practice. The next day or two will include sorting and organizing my supplies to fit in the nice newly re-shelved closet.