Sunday, August 28, 2011

Souvenirs from Spain and Sweden

I took it upon myself to find some really unique souvenirs during my trip in Europe. Among them were a sign saying "WC," the ubiquitous indication of a bathroom (asking for a bathroom likely brought visions of a Roman bath house to the local people, judging from their facial expressions). I also learned that Tove Jansson was not only Finnish, but half Swedish! It brought to mind the charming stories I read as a kid which my mom found in a garage sale or used book store, and also a Finnish store I went into once in Toronto which had a whole mural painted of the characters.
So when we discovered a new fruit (nisperos!) in Barcelona,

I saved the large seeds, and I'm going to use them as beads.

In Stockholm, I found a set of brass buttons which will be perfect to replace the (plastic!) ones on my thrifted black leather jacket. For 30 Swedish Kronor!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sisal Wrapped Balls

I've seen these trendy-looking balls used as lampshades countless times, and found several tutorials on how to make them. Here is my result. When I find lamp parts, this will metamorphose into a lamp.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bird Collage

This collage is another old creation from Famous magasine, and one I've been consistently proud of. There was no real prompt in making it. I just started cutting out interesting shapes from the magasine and it turned into this fantastical bird. I would like to get into collaging again. Maybe I should go back to the movie theatre and start collecting free magasines!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two pieces of wall candy

I worked on these projects during the winter, accompanied by some red wine. Outdoors was ugly, slushy, and grey, contrasting these colourful fun pieces. The stencilled damask one, done with acrylic and gloss medium, was an experimental foray into stencil work and the craquelure effect. I need to find a way to prevent the stencil from sticking to the painting as I'm workign on it. Perhaps make it out of something other than paper? The craquelure effect should have been done with a matte medium on top rather than gloss. Definitely will be doing this again. The other piece was a mixed-media collage incorporated surreal sort of space invaders thing, and I am quite happy with it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Outdated Opinion of Emilio Sosa's Signature Print Dress

So this is my opinion of Emilio Sosa's signature print from Season 7 of Project Runway. I know, I know that was so last year, but I've only just watched it. I have to disagree with the judges' oohing and aahing over the print and the dress. The print looks like those bags that tourists buy upon leaving a new city. Oh and I didn't notice this but apparently it resembles a Louis Vuitton print as well, but I doubt it was intentional, and I don't think they really are that similar.

Tacky destination bag print

Lucky Shot @ Riverhouse Co.

I had the privilege to dine at the Riverhouse Co. in Lakefield, Ontario, near Peterborough, for Easter this year. The chef Karrie's creations were truly inspiring, and the whole experience was charming. I seem to remember having a rack of lamb which was to die for and seasonal veg as a main course. The appetite teaser was divinely seared beef tenderloin sliced delicately onto crostini. Delicious food, and I remember the dessert being just as fabulous, but I rarely remember desserts. Oh wait, it was a fruit pie with lemon ice cream!!! I heartily recommend this restaurant to anyone near the area! You can even boat up to the dock there with waterway directions. I tried to take a couple snaps of the restaurant as we were leaving, but it was dark out. Here is what I ended up with, which I am very happy about! Never mind that it shows nothing about what the restaurant is actually about.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garbage Room Finds

I make a habit of visiting the recycling room of my apartment building as often as I can, and it has paid off. In addition to electronics, which I can turn into e-art, I have found umbrellas, some very interesting jewelry, and shoes.  

Bloorcourt Fair

Yesterday after playing beach volleyball, I biked to the Bloorcourt arts and crafts fair to check it out. I was impressed by the level of skill and design put into the products at all the tables. I met Ting of Acidzip who makes fantastic porcupine quill jewelry and has a great sense of vintage style, and I bought this necklace she made. I love the necklace, and it has been over a year since I have bought any jewelry so I am super excited about it and will probably wear it every waking hour.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Call it a Comeback - Handmade Necklace

I constructed this light pink chunky necklace out of a thrifted old cotton men's dress shirt, brand "Leo". This statement piece looks great with knits and edgy outfits. Personally I think this would be a great outfit:
Call it a Comeback - Handmade Necklace

If I don't sell it by the time I have a camera, I'm excited to take some more pictures!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Have the Best Ideas at Night

It was 11:30 PM and I should have been sleeping, but instead I had the bright idea to take the trip down to the recycling room of my building and see if there were any good finds. I have been wanting to make some cool coasters for a while, and until last night that meant one of two things. First, polished stone coasters of smooth irregular shapes, not really something I can accomplish with the tools I have on hand. Second, slices of varnished tree trunk. I never thought of how hard it is to get my hands on a tree trunk until then, especially in the heart of downtown Toronto. So my bright idea was to harvest a tree product of another kind from the "forest of the city," in other words, cardboard from the recycling room. A few drawings of Canadiana icons and wildlife later, and some kindergarten-reminiscent cutouts later, and voila: a set of Canadiana coasters.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Making My First Basket

Over the past few weeks I've had some dates with Meka who is teaching me how to make baskets! I met her through Swapsity, a site where you can swap items and skills based on a rating system of different users. So far I have finished the base and worked around the corner to start making the sides. It's going to be a fruit bowl because right now my fruit bowl is a giant rectangular Pyrex ugly thing! Its hard surface isn't exactly kind on the tender flesh of the fruit. 

View of the interior

View of the exterior

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Favourite Sandwich

This is an ode to my favourite sandwich ever, apart from a hoagie, but I will talk about hoagies another time. There is something magical about a salt & peppered slice of sweet, juicy tomato from the garden, topping a melted slice of aged cheddar on rye bread. These ones came from a tomato plant left by the previous tenant at the (beautiful & oh so missed) loft in Kitchener last November.

Let me also make a note that mass-produced tomatoes are ok in a pinch but their flesh tends to be hard. I was cutting one up the other day and it sounded like I was sawing through celery! Another good indication of a good tomato is how it smells on the shelf. If it smells like nothing, chances are it will be tasteless.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Motorola Droid AKA Milestone Unboxing

Last November I put a few bids in on a Motorola Milestone, Canadian edition on eBay. I'd had my eye on the Milestone ever since it was rumoured in 2009, but was waiting for my cute little Sony Ericsson to break before getting a new phone, and joining the smartphone craze. I wasn't too concerned about having to wait, because of cheap build quality and my suspicion that cell phones are designed to break within a couple years of purchase. My own phone had been sent in for repairs a few times, relating to keyboard keys not always functioning, and I finally took matters into my own hands and ordered a new keyboard for my Ericsson, installed it myself, only to find out it did not fix the problem. Not only that, but I must not have re-installed the vibrating unit properly, because the phone would no longer vibrate. Anyways, so I caved and searched out Droids on eBay, and had a nice transaction with Wes in BC. 

It has been serving as my only camera since mine broke, and I returned the one I was borrowing for pictures of Europe.