from the lake

Inspired by an idea I saw on Pinterest a while ago — using white ink on dark rocks — I painted these a few days ago. I found the stones by Lake Huron in the summer. 

This one is inspired by the barnacles I saw in Hong Kong on the rocks by the seashore. The stone has some fossilized corals in it.

 

This one has a tiny shell embedded in it :D

 

I painted the outline with white acrylic and a tiny Chinese calligraphy brush, and then coloured inside the shapes with fine tip markers.

On a separate note, today Toronto saw the first official snowfall of the season! It was the feathery kind of snow too and it stayed on the branches for a while. The red berry bush I showed you the other day looked gorgeous covered in snow, but I left my camera at home! Oh well… maybe it will snow again tomorrow…

Happy Thursday, everyone!

 

awesome finds for Christmas crafting

Today and tomorrow are International Buy Nothing Days. I thought it would be a good day to share with you my giant pile of crafty Christmas gift ideas, so instead of buying, we’d be making! :D I’m obviously biased but, Make Something Day is even better than Buy Nothing Day!

 

Homemade glitter for all your decorating needs! How-to on Say Yes to Hoboken.

 

Better than the ordinary microwave wheat bags — a monster wheat bag to relieve aches and stress AND to provide comic relief! How about that? Instruction on Desert Bus Crafter.

 

Aren’t these beautiful? Made from the glass pebbles found at the dollar store. Love the wire work. Step-by-step instruction here.

 

Similar kind of glass-like pendant, but made with TP rolls! From Mega Crafty.

 

Squeeze n’ sniff pumpkin pie, stuffed with pumpkin pie spice! How Brilliant! Pattern on Craft is Cool.

 

I love how it’s named — a crocheted hug! Reminds me of how hoodies are called “bunny hugs” in Saskatchewan :D A clever design of a scarf sewn into a sweater by Planet June

 

Never knew that this kind of shirts is called a Dolman tee. But this will be a present for myself  :D How-to on Trash to Couture.

 

Also from Plant June — shrink plastic rings!

 

The sweetest felt flowers from Strawberry Chic, would make an awesome brooch!

 

Cuddly robots for the kids! Pattern and how-to on Ric Rac

 

Nail polish + 1″ pin + ring blank = an awesome ring! The magic formula of craft! I love the infinite possibilities for the inside of the ring — like making a mini collage with found objects! Which makes it an excellent idea for a holiday crafting get-together :D How-to on We Heart This.

 

And now, a good, solid, practical gift. For ear buds or coins! Instruction on Dog Under My Desk.

 

And what about some hand-dyed yarn for the fellow crafter? Maiya Knits introduces a rather unique way to permanently dye wool using Kool Aid! Must try!

 

Now one thing I will buy is the work of other artists / artisans. Michelle Made Me has some brilliant patterns for sale (very affordable!) for making ornaments with the simplest everyday household recycled materials — like TP rolls! I love the intricacy of this thistle ornament, especially knowing that it’s made of  the humble loo roll!

 

Also love the egg carton folk!

 

Happy crafting!

 

 

 

deep fall

 

Took these photos today outside of the building where I have most of my classes. There was a giant pile of leaves…

And these berries, which look like the wolfberries in Chinese soups. But I don’t think these are wolfberries. They come from the centre of pink flowers…

 

And then the flowers dry up…

Happy Friday, everyone!

november movember

Can’t believe it’s almost the end of November! 

Mike’s been fundraising for Movember, and last night while video-chatting with my sister and my parents on Google+ I noticed a new mustache feature! XD (It’s kind of a face recognition thing where the mustache follows the person’s face on the screen.)

So the screen shot above is me with a fake ‘stache and Mike with a real ‘stache. There are even different kinds of mustache…

 

FUN! :D Do give it a try if you use Google+!

Speaking of November, I celebrated my birthday last week. Mike made me a cake :D

 

… and he got me a plush llama! (the chicken noodle soup was just randomly thrown in there for the photo…)

I’ve been wanting a plush llama for a long time! Mike’s the best :D

A couple more weeks and we’re into December! I usually start Christmas crafting around October, but have been too busy with school this year. I can’t wait till the semester ends in the second week of December — I’ll be doing nothing but crafting, drinking tea and eating Toffifee. Mmm. 

Have you started Christmas crafting yet? 

Wishing you a happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

river stone

I was inspired by the long chain necklaces that a friend always wears. So while down on Queen Street West for a school project last week, I quickly stopped by my favourite bead store to look at their stone pendants. 

I bought this one because it reminded me of Niagara Falls — the emerald green algae underneath, the rocks on the cliff, the gush of waters roaring down.

 

It’s drilled through the middle lengthwise so I put a piece of wire through, made a double-loop at the top for the chain and a coil at the bottom to secure it. Not sure if that makes sense… my brain’s kind of fried after a day of writing… here’s the back of it so you can see what I mean…

 

I also didn’t have one long chain so I linked two together, like so…

 

Ta-da!

 

Makes me happy to look at it because it reminds me of water, and the wonders of creation. It’s the small things that help me get through crunch time >_<

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

 

 

weekend wonders

These pictures are from last weekend in Niagara Falls, I finally get around to posting them! :D

 

Saw the sunrise as we began our journey…

 

Had to immediately go to workshops when we got there (I was there for an art therapy conference, you can see my work from the workshops here and here). Sneaked a peek at the falls from the hotel window at break.

 

Night out on the town. Mike calls it “Canada’s little Las Vegas”. We had fun being tourists :D

 

We went to the wax museums. Here I am in the Boulevard of Broken Dreams (painting by Gottfried Helnwein), a version of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

 

At the Dinosaur Mini Golf (we didn’t golf, just took pictures with the raptors — they’re raptors, right?). Couldn’t help but think of this when I saw them. XD

 

Finally went out for a stroll on Saturday afternoon. You can see a bit of a rainbow in this one :D

 

Rainbow! I thought this picture looks like a vintage postcard. It was taken with the Zumi, as with all the other pictures that don’t like Polaroids in this post. (except with the wax museum one. The museums were too dark for the Zumi, so I took it with my pink point & shoot.)

 

And as we walked closer to the Horseshoe Falls we saw the double rainbows! :D That was definitely the highlight of the trip!

 

I could just watch the water falling over the edge all day. My camera couldn’t capture this but just before it falls, the water isn’t very deep and I could see all the brilliant emerald-colour algae on the rocks underneath the water. The water was so crystal clear. It was such a beautiful sight.

 

And to top it off, Saturday was the opening night of the festival of lights in Niagara Falls — fireworks! :D 

 

And we drove home under the glorious orange sunset. 

The weekend away was really a wonderful gift. Though I had to rush to get lots of school work done before I left it was totally worth it. I’ve been to Niagara Falls a couple of times when I was a kid but I never really appreciated the gushing waters as much as I did this time. I just found it so moving and I’m not quite sure why. I suppose one’s perspectives change as one ages, and maybe I’ll find out why I’m so moved by it next time I visit.

Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, and wishing you a great start to the new week ahead!

 


 

moon flowers

Another piece I made at the conference on the weekend. From a workshop on the art of practicing gratitude. We were to make a gratitude scroll or wall-hanging that reflects the people, events or things we’re thankful for. 

So this is what I made, moon flowers. The moonlight that nourishes the flowers during dark times.

 

I took this picture in the hotel lobby, with the faux antique wall.

Here’s detail of the flowers…

 

I crocheted the centre of it. The photo doesn’t really capture it but there’s actually a tinge of red in the centre of the fabric leaves, which goes really well with the yellow yarn I found. Didn’t bring my hooks, but the fabric leaves came with stems. I removed the stem and bent it :D 

 

It kept snagging the yarn, but it worked for the most part. Just kind of interesting for me to realize how attached I am to crocheting and how the idea of crocheting just comes up almost automatically even when I’m just trying to paint. That tells me that I need to put an extra hook in my pencil case from now on so I can have it wherever I go, just in case I stumble across something I can crochet! :D

And then here’s the moonlight…

 

I do think it was inspired partly by the night scene in Plants vs Zombies… I love the tiny mushroom that generates light! :D

And the polka dot feathers I found in the pile of collage materials…

Making things together with other people is such a wonderful, energizing experience. Didn’t realize how much I missed it until I went to this workshop, where materials were just piled on the table and everyone working happily alongside one another, sharing glue, scissors, laughter, stories. 

I’m definitely grateful for this experience.

Have a happy Thursday, everyone!

 

the unapologetic seagull

I went to an art therapy conference in Niagara Falls this weekend. In one of the workshops I attended, we were to create an animal to represent ourselves as an infant, adolescent, adult, and elder.

I most connected with the animal that represented what I hope to be as an elder. It was an unapologetic seagull. I suppose that image of the seagull came to mind because I came across many of these birds when I arrived in Niagara Falls.

Here is my Plasticine seagull, I took a picture of it when I got back to my hotel room. She’s rather small; her body is about the size of my thumb.

 

The wingspan…

 

The next day I attended a workshop about the art of practicing gratitude, in which I came across the quote: today I’m happier than a bird with a fry. So then later on when I contemplated what to put on the community mural (a large piece of canvas placed in the main area of the conference, everyone was invited to add to it) I immediately thought of the quote, and my unapologetic seagull. This was my contribution to the mural.

 

Later on Mike and I were walking along the falls and we saw a seagull standing on the railing, looking like he’s enjoying himself (or herself?) and not one bit concerned despite people getting close to it to take pictures of it. They do have a kind of dignified expression, don’t they?

 

Then after I came home I download the photos from the memory card, and realized that I captured an image of a seagull emerging from the mist of the Horseshoe Falls.

 

Never really paid much attention to seagulls before. But I quite like the idea of the unapologetic seagull. The exercise of creating an animal to represent different life stages is also an interesting way of reflecting on the past and envisioning the future. Perhaps an idea for an art project or journaling?

More art and photos to come!

Have a happy Tuesday! :D

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

What a fabulous idea, drawing on rocks with white ink! Reminds me of the leaf drawings. Another project I can use my silver pen for :D From Paint Cut Paste.

 

An air plant grown in a round lampshade! Now I must find out where air plants are sold. From Design Dreams Japan.

 

Monster pudding cups! The faces are drawn on the inside of plastic cups with melted white and dark chocolate. Find the rest of the recipe on the Zui Blog! :D

 

Pattern for a super pretty lace top on Made by Rae. I’m racing to the fabric store as soon as the semester is over!

 

One of those really simple but super brilliant idea — stamps made with bottle caps and foam stickers! From Mama Jenn.

 

One of the visitors to my blog pointed me to the pea shooter crochet pattern on Ravelry — it’s free! (Thanks Anna! :D) Pattern from What we did on our holy days.

 

Also found this sewing pattern for sale on Etsy for the pea shooter, the sun flower, and the wall-nut! Love the wall-nut. So plushy.

 

Spotted this beautiful macrame owl pattern via That Artist Woman, who made it into a lovely necklace. I kind of envision it being a long necklace, wondering what kind of thread I should use so the owl will be more stiff and hold its shape… and I love how it’s holding onto a twig! 

 

Fantastic Mr.Fox has got to be one of my favourite movies, and so I was so excited to see the Kristofferson and Ash customes! So awesome! From Checkout Girl (great blog too! Must read through the past entries when I can find time).

 

I’m heading to Niagara Falls this weekend! Looking forward to writing a point-and-shoot post when I come back! :D Have a lovely weekend everyone!

 

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