Saturday, 31 August 2013

Crochet Obsession

You may remember my last foray into crocheting, which also happened to be my first.  It started with one crocheted flower, and quickly multiplied into a blanket with 320 flowers.  Click HERE for a quick reminder.

Well I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately and getting rid of all kinds of stuff I don't need or use anymore.  I de-stashed a bunch of awful yarn that I was never going to use and rediscovered some other fun yarn. 

This is what started it all:

I naively thought: "Oh I will just make a few squares."  Within three hours that turned into a trip to Michaels to get more yarn, and photoshop planning of what my new blanket will look like. 

I told myself that if I was going to obsess about this, then I was at least going to learn something new.  So one of the block patterns I picked had the little bobbles!  To my surprise they weren't all that difficult either.  

I love this pattern:

This one is really simple, and I love the nice spring green:

In trying to remember how to crochet and getting back at it I have a better appreciation for how much easier crocheting is than knitting.  I remember when I had learned how to knit how impossible I thought crocheting was.  This attitude may have been helped along by the fact that my mum almost gave up trying to teach me because I was "too neurotic and fingery" for crocheting.

This blanket will be a little bit more simple than my flower insanity.  Only 48 squares!  I already have thirteen and a half done too!  By the time I am done it may actually be cold enough to use the blanket too! 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

July Shows

Seems I have been neglecting this blog again.  I'm going to go ahead and blame Instagram for that.  Let's blame Candy Crush Saga while we're at it.  Oh and the four shows I did in July, that'll do it too. 

Show # 1:  Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition!

It was a refreshing change to be showing some of my new work and not my candy line at this show.  Although it was sort of strange having completely different conversations than I was used to at shows it was definitely a welcome change.  

People seemed to like my set up and despite being a little bit MacGyvered, it worked really well.  One lady even told me I was a genius!  I don't know if I would go that far, all I did was drill some holes in some dollar store cups and turn them upside down and attach a plexiglass sheet on top to create a pseudo jewellery case.  If that lady wants to think I am a genius though, who am I to stop her?

Loving the design of the signs this year!

As well as all of the other amazing art to see in the square, Ai Weiwei's beautiful bronze zodiac sculptures circled the pond.  

And then there was the weather... Of the four years I have participated in this show it has rained during set up three times.  At least the rain this year wasn't the torrential downpour thunderstorm of the other two rainy years.   Mother Nature graciously waited until tear down for the thunder and the monsoon. 

After hearing some horror stories of tents collapsing because of rain I invested in some hula hoops to keep the roof of my tent braced so that the water didn't collect and build up on the roof.  Take that rain! 

Despite the hula hoops there was still one problem corner.  Instead of constantly poking at it like the people in the tents surrounding me, Dad came up with this solution.  Genius! 

Despite all the rain it was a nice weekend and it was so nice to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones along the way.  

Show # 2:  Guelph Art on the Street!

Then we switch to completely opposite weather!  Mother nature really came through for this one.  It could not have been a more perfect day: sunny, nice breeze, not too warm.  Guelph is one of my favourite shows to do just because the people are such characters.  One of my first encounters during the day was a man rolling around in his scooter loudly proclaiming "Ahh a junk show! People sellin' junk!" 

I would have preferred a quieter show though, this fellow played some combination of a banjo, a guitar, his suitcase as a drum and a kazoo for hours.  I think he knew about 5 songs that he played on repeat.  My favourite part of the day was when one of the other artists came up to me (after he had moved across the street and only slightly further away from me) and asked me why it was "honky tonk time" in her booth?   In conclusion, kazoos are the worst. 

Show # 3:  Jewellery Pop-Up Shop!

Then I did a little pop-up show at the Port Credit Emporium in Mississauga.  It was about 500 degrees when we were first setting up.  I have actually never been so happy for a big thunderstorm to cool things off.  It really made a huge difference for the rest of the weekend, especially because there was no heat related crankiness!

It was sort of strange to be doing a show inside in July.  It's just not what I am used to I guess but it was a refreshing change, especially because it involved significantly less stuff and therefore less schlepping. 

Just before I left on the opening night I took this shot of some mammatus clouds!  I have a bit of a Pinterest obsession (Seriously, it's a problem.  Follow me if you dare) and I was so excited to see these clouds for myself and not just over the interweb!

Show # 4:  Haliburton Art & Craft Festival!

My favourite show and mini vacation!  The weekend became Dirty Dancing themed after a conversation about "carrying a watermelon" (this is my new favourite term for doing something awkward).  

It wasn't uber hot this year like it was the last two so there wasn't a prevalence of bikini time but there was definitely some swimming involved and maybe even a little dancing on the bridge!

The vendor dinner was wonderful as usual, such a nice way to catch up with old friends at the show and a chance to meet some new friends at the same time (and spread the Dirty Dancing joy!)

And because sleep after all that clearly wasn't important I have been working on some new things, hopefully I will have some photos in the next few weeks.  I absolutely love working in Sandra's studio.  Such a bright and welcoming studio, and no empty promises!  Even better!  

I was playing around with a muted down colour palette last week.

Here are some of my crystal colour tests.  I am painfully aware that they sort of look like popcorn, apparently everything I make resembles some kind of food!  Some of the colours may be cut from this palette, but it's nice to see a big variety before you pare it down.  I kind of like a mix of the pale transparents and the opalline ones.  I was trying to find a way to get some of the fine veins like in some gems and minerals and the solution was kind of hilarious and counter intuitive to everything I am used to.  Burn the glass.  All the awful scum I generally try to avoid, well now I can do it on purpose to create exactly the effect I want.  Go figure.

I am also doing some electroforming tests with chainmaille.  Those photos are definitely for another blog post though. 

What was my reward for this busy month you ask?  I got my wisdom teeth out!  I've only heard horror stories from other people about how much pain they were in for days afterword.  By some miracle, I was completely fine.  I didn't even get super puffy chipmunk cheeks to show for it.  I was moving boxes around and running errands the next day.  This may have something to do with the fact that I only had my top wisdom teeth.  I went to a dentist once years ago who asked me if I had had my wisdom teeth out.  When I told him that I hadn't he asked me in a condescending tone if I was sure.  He then asked me to explain the absence of the bottom wisdom teeth.  I told him that I must just be lucky. Well Dr. Jerkstore, this is an experience I definitely would have remembered.  

Speaking of that, hopefully I will remember to update this a little bit more frequently!