Time for a refresh

Update time!

Vacations get me all fired up to be creative, but alas, during the last week of my holiday I fell and sprained my thumb.  Sigh.  It is, of course, the thumb on my dominant hand.  I’ve been getting very antsy about not doing anything creative, but I have come to realize that maybe I need to turn my thoughts to what I can do, rather than focus on what I can’t.  I decided this week that it was time for a bit of a website overhaul, and so it has begun.  You won’t find any “construction zone” blank pages – I’ll just start making little changes here and there.

Please let me know your thoughts on the changes, and especially let me know if something isn’t working.  Hopefully this will be a fairly smooth transition.

Thanks for all your support!  Here is a picture of Smudge helping me needle felt (which I can do for short amounts of time).

A Tacky Twisty Tree

Every year at my office, there is a fundraising campaign for The United Way and other charities.  I am one of the canvassers, and I get involved in different ways.  This year I decided to participate in the Tacky Tie contest.  We were provided with thrift stores ties, and told to go crazy.  The ties will be voted on with purchased tickets, and the two winning ties will be worn by executive.

I chose a clip-on tie so that I wouldn’t have to worry about how the tie would be tied after a lot of unbendy hot glue was attached to it.  Turns out this was a really smart move.  Here is a picture of the back of the tie (I forgot to photograph before starting to paint on the front), one with the first coat of paint, and one with the final blue (although purple sparkle was added to give the impression of a night sky).

Stages of the tie

Stages of the tie

Now the fun part… attaching all the tacky goodness.  I decided to make a tree, and one of my coworkers had the wonderful idea that I should make it three dimensional.  I used gold foil and silver pipe cleaners to build the tree, first cutting a hole in the tie for the string of lights/leaves to come through.  I found some reindeer ornaments in the dollar store, so I took one apart, and attached the two halves to the base of the tree.  I found that the gold was just too, well, gold, so I added some black paint to the “bark”.  It was a little too tiger-y, so I added some muted gold sparkle paint… Success – it became much more bark-like.

Almost done

Almost done

The reindeer weren’t standing out enough, so they got a coat of paint/sparkle as well.  Another coworker provided me with some wooden animal cutouts, so I tried to turn a rabbit into a cat… it might have turned into a squirrel.

And here is the finished product… It doesn’t bend, and could probably be used as a weapon, but it was sure a lot of fun to make!

Finished!

Finished!

Smudge was very patient through the whole process (she only tried to eat the foil once or twice, and only walked over the wet paint a few times), and was “rewarded” by being put into a Princess of Darkness costume.  I’m sure she was wishing she had misbehaved a little more if this was a reward…

Smudge, Princess of Darkness

Smudge, Princess of Darkness

 

 

This is the end… of my vacation

That’s right… the trip has ended. It’s always tough to reach the end of the vacation, but it’s also lovely to be home with a very needy cat and some fresh clothes.

The journey from Winnipeg to Vancouver went well – we even got to be door monitors on the train – we learned how to open the doors in case of emergency. When the air conditioning stopped for a few minutes, we were tempted!

I won’t yap on and on (for once!), but will end this trip journal with photos. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on ideas and happenings, but those are for another post…

So excited!

Photos… GOOD photos are so important, and I think they are something that many artists struggle with… I know that I certainly do!

I’ve been reading blogs for tips on building a light box/white box so that photos can be consistent in terms of lighting and quality.  I found several using a large cardboard box that would probably have worked well, however there is the problem of storage.  I’m quite sure that Smudge (aka the Princess of Darkness aka the cat who is more than happy to “help” with any crafty endeavour) would be thrilled to have a new cardboard box to destroy, er, play with, but that defeats the whole pristine photo environment.

Periodically I check on UsedVictoria.com for those hard to find items, and, as often happens, they came through!  I found a portable studio and lighting kit – it has its own lights incorporated into it, and it folds up into a large briefcase-like case.  It is the dearest thing!  I haven’t taken photos of it or in it yet, but hopefully will do so over the next few days.  Stay tuned for some (hopefully!) professional-ish portfolio shots.  Fingers crossed!

Smudge in a box

Smudge in a box

Roving, roving, everywhere roving…

Today was the first of two Christmas ornament workshops (still room in the second workshop on December 13th – see the Classes page for more details) – it was a lot of fun… a great bunch of students making some pretty fabulous ornaments!

Table decor

Table decor

The snowman likes chocolate...

The snowman likes chocolate…

Last night, after I had put together all the material for the class, I decided to make one last ornament.  Smudge decided she had been ignored and shooed away quite enough, so she decided to “help”.  Sigh…

Smudge "helping"

Smudge “helping”