new chapter

I was invit­ed to an altered book work­shop a while ago. It’s a great way to jour­nal. I altered a few more pages after I went to the workshop.

The above is a sec­tion that I man­aged to fin­ish in the work­shop, done by glu­ing many pages togeth­er in the end of the book, then cut­ting a win­dow through all the lay­ers, then glu­ing it down to the back cover.

I then tried to exper­i­ment with this tis­sue paper paint­ing method, but I think one needs to use spe­cial tis­sue paper that “bleeds”, which are not the ones from the dol­lar store. So any­way, I thought I’d paint an octo­pus instead. The Chi­nese char­ac­ters say “octo­pus of prose”.

So then on the next page I tried mak­ing a found poet­ry, and this was when I real­ized that this book (which I picked up many years ago from a “FREE!” bin at work because the cov­er was a very nice teal colour but I actu­al­ly have no idea what the book is about) is actu­al­ly set in Toron­to! It’s a bit hard to read in the pho­to so here’s the poem:

well…

In the meantime,

pause

on the dusty shoul­der of the Don Val­ley Park­way, feel­ing the cars swish by on their way to King and Bay.

This was a time of

trust

made every­one nervous

limped along the gravel,

the one hum­bling period

No mat­ter where

remained a rich tourist

the Holy City

At night, it shimmered.

Then I worked on the cov­er. Weav­ing words and hand­made paper and the roars of an Alber­tosaurus (she’s from my Tyrrell Muse­um ticket).

The book form lends itself nat­u­ral­ly to mir­ror image print­ing. I thought this looked like a sea drag­on rising. 

I called this piece “Myceli­um Run­ning,” which is also a very cool title of a book about the unseen organ­isms that keep the bal­ance of the earth. Myceli­um is the veg­e­ta­tive part of a fun­gus. Not the roots, but rather the branch­es. And the mush­rooms are the fruits of the fun­gus. Myceli­um is vital in ecosys­tems for its role in decom­pos­ing plant mate­r­i­al, and it com­pris­es of some of the largest organ­isms in the world. 

This is called “minc­ing my words,” made after I roy­al­ly failed a job inter­view, and remem­ber­ing oth­er inter­views that did­n’t go as I hoped. With pieces of my hand­writ­ten notes from school and resume, and feel­ing like I was pre­tend­ing to be who I was not, going in cir­cles and nowhere. The weav­ing on the left and the X’s were a way of me say­ing “NO” to the whole thing. 

This is my favourite. It’s called “Revenge of the Upside-Down”. But we, we who are female, we who are racial­ized, we who are dif­fer­ent from the so-called norm, are not back­ing off. 

Close-up of the glit­ter and determination!

So, I thought it’d be fit­ting to post about this project today, and to end the post with this par­tic­u­lar image, as I’m tran­si­tion­ing from full-time front­line work to aca­d­e­m­ic work in the fall, start­ing a new chap­ter, wad­ing through uncer­tain­ties, chas­ing a dream. 

In the mean­while, I’ll have a sum­mer with less work and more time for craft and fun adven­tures :) Stay tuned for more projects and pic­tures! Thank you for jour­ney­ing with me, always.

 

 

caturday

Photo 2016-01-06, 6 04 25 PM

Paint­ed some pet rocks one day. Mag­i­cal spark­ly cats! :D

The white one lives on my desk at work now, gift­ed the yel­low one to my desk neigh­bour. Going to pick up more rocks from the beach when the weath­er gets warmer, and paint more cats :D

Also, final­ly vis­it­ed the very first cat cafe in Toron­to!

Photo 2015-12-15, 2 07 12 PM

As expect­ed, the cats are most­ly sleep­ing when we vis­it­ed. But it’s still nice to hang out :)

Photo 2015-12-15, 1 54 18 PM

Photo 2015-12-15, 2 04 53 PM

The Cat Cafe takes in cats from the Humane Soci­ety, and the cats can be adopt­ed. These two are best buds and must be adopt­ed together :)

In oth­er news, I bought some rein­deer moss the oth­er day and made some ter­rar­i­um neck­laces for the shop. I thought they looked pret­ty nice. This one had some agate chips and laven­der in it.

Photo 2016-01-17, 5 55 52 PM

Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good week­end! :D

 

 

hope

hope is like a country road

 

“Hope is like a road in the coun­try; there was nev­er a road, but when many peo­ple walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
Lin Yutang

(Acrylic on raw can­vas with oil pastels)

 

In the past years I’ve been work­ing / intern­ing / vol­un­teer­ing in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ty agen­cies, run­ning groups that use expres­sive arts to sup­port women in deal­ing with dif­fer­ent chal­lenges. Time and again I wit­ness hope grow­ing like wild­flow­ers amongst and with­in peo­ple as they work togeth­er and share expe­ri­ences, wis­dom, joy, and pain; each per­son a light that bright­ens the path for oth­ers. I think this is true in many oth­er com­mu­ni­ties and groups too.

And I’m grate­ful for you. I don’t think I say this enough, but I so appre­ci­ate the time that you take to vis­it, your inter­est in the things I make, your kind and encour­ag­ing com­ments. Whether we’ve spo­ken or writ­ten to each oth­er or not, I cher­ish all of the con­nec­tions that we’ve made through this space. 

Thank you so much! And I hope you have a won­der­ful weekend!

 

letting go week 5: pile of clothing

feb4 pile of clothes

 

A pile of cloth­ing, which looks a bit like land­scape in picture.

It includes two jumpers that I cro­cheted but did­n’t wear much, but makes some inter­est­ing pat­terns in the pic­ture. Also in the pic­ture are a t‑shirt, a cro­cheted bolero, and a jean skirt I made from a pair of jeans.

And this week we are say­ing good­bye to Lar­ry on Mike’s par­al­lel blo­gi­verse. 

You might also notice that the head­er image has changed! :D I post about many dif­fer­ent kinds of crafts on this blog but I thought the friend­ly mush­room real­ly rep­re­sents what I like and what I like to make the most. And it’s all spring-like and cheerful!

Have a hap­py Thurs­day, everyone!

 

 

 

letting go week 4: puss in boots

jan29 puss in boots

 

This week I’m let­ting go of a Puss in Boots fig­urine that I got from a Hap­py Meal. I was just going to sim­ply add to the orange mark­er draw­ing some black water­colour boots, but then I got a lit­tle car­ried away with the colouring.

Oth­er items this week: An egg-shaped stress ball, a small ceram­ic mask wall dec­o­ra­tion, a cou­ple of Kinder egg toys, an unopened PEZ with Nemo on it, and a whoopee cushion.

And if you did­n’t know already, I’m hav­ing a give­away of the Giraffe neck­warmer as part of the let­ting go project. See this post to enter by Fri­day :D

Have an awe­some Wednes­day, everyone!

 

 

letting go week 3: crocheted sushi

oh my good­ness every­body! Haven’t been around here for a long time! A lot’s been going on, but I final­ly made it — I found five things that I’m let­ting go of this week. Here’s one of them…

jan23 crochet sushi

 

 It’s a set of cro­cheted sushi I gave to Mike years ago, might have been before we even start­ed dat­ing. They’ve come back to my pos­ses­sion after we were mar­ried, and they have been sit­ting in a cor­ner col­lect­ing tons and tons of dust. They weren’t very well-made (the hook I used was too big and I used most­ly dou­ble cro­chet stitch­es rather than sin­gle cro­chet, so they’re a bit wob­bly), and I’ve since made lots of things for Mike that are in bet­ter shape (like ground­hog, young krak­en, peas, and donut, just to name a few). It’s hard throw­ing out things with a lot of fond mem­o­ries attached to them, but let­ting go makes space for new things. 

Oth­er items:

A pouffy wine-colour skirt, a pair of slip­pers I nev­er wore, a cro­chet lace hat, and a very spe­cial cro­chet neck warmer called Giraffe.

Giraffe the neck warmer is very spe­cial because I’m going to give it away on this blog! :D I still have to take bet­ter pho­tos of it, more details to come soon!

 

Until then, be sure to check out Mike’s post this week in the par­al­lel blogiverse!

Take care, everyone!

 

 

 

letting go week 2: books

jan14 books

 

Looks a bit like a sail­boat, but it is in fact a stack of five books, includ­ing a few craft books. All of them were giv­en to me, so now I’m going to give them away to oth­ers who might enjoy them :)

Be sure to check out Mike’s post this week in his par­al­lel blo­gi­verse*, Project Brew­ster.

To read the back­ground sto­ry of my Let­ting Go project (i.e. why the messy, form­less draw­ing?), see the first post here.

Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

*Any­one here a Fringe fan? :D

 

 

a project of letting go

Check out Mike’s new blog, Project Brew­ster! :D

It’s a bril­liant project of de-clut­ter­ing. His goal is to give away, donate, recy­cle, or throw out five things a week for a year.

In the mean time, I was also look­ing for a reg­u­lar art exer­cise for the new year (sim­i­lar to the square-a-day project, but less time con­sum­ing). Inspired by Mike’s project, I fig­ure I could do the same de-clut­ter­ing thing, and in the end we’ll have a much less clut­tered liv­ing space! :D 

The slight dif­fer­ence in my project is that instead of tak­ing a pho­to of one of the things I’m giv­ing away/donating/recycling/throwing out each week, I’m mak­ing a blind con­tour sketch of it. So it’s a project of let­ting go of things and a way of prac­tic­ing let­ting go of per­fec­tion­ism at the same time. And because I rarely draw. I think I’ll learn much from the art prac­tice itself.

Week 1: green (turned brown­ish) sneakers

jan7 shoesI bought these shoes on sale for $10 when I was 17. I’ve only recent­ly stopped wear­ing them because there are holes in the soles. They’re the old­est pair of shoes I have.

Oth­er items this week: More shoes with holes in them, and a few pairs that felt fine at the store but kind of tor­tured my feet when I start­ed wear­ing them. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, a pair of pink bal­let flats I wore at our wed­ding. They start­ed cut­ting into my heels when I wore them sev­er­al years lat­er and now had blood stain in them :S so they had to go :( That’s okay though, I have plen­ty of pho­tos of me wear­ing them at the wedding :)

 

Have a great start to the week!

 

 

 

drum roll please…

A huge thank-you to every­one who have entered the give­away! I was real­ly quite ner­vous when I hit the “draw” but­ton… The first ever gen­uine mud­pie give­away win­ners are:

 

Con­grat­u­la­tions!!! :D :D :D

 

Day at the Farm goes to Alma.

 

Origa­mi goes to Kate.

 

Curi­ous Nat­u­ral­ist goes to Natalie.

 

And Abstrac­tion­ist goes to shestitch!

 

Awe­some­ness! I will con­tact you by email short­ly for your mail­ing address­es. I do ship inter­na­tion­al­ly :D

 

AND to thank every­one for your support…

Shrim­panzee wall papers! :D

“RAWR!”

 Dif­fer­ent screen sizes:

1280 x 1024
1920 x 1200
iphone

 

Shrim­panzee is one of my favourite squares, and from the com­ments I see that he’s a read­ers’ favourite too! So I asked Mike to help me make wall­pa­pers to share (yay Mike!).

For the rest of the squares, I’ve giv­en some away as gifts, and I think I’m fram­ing the rest of them, togeth­er in a large frame :D

I will cer­tain­ly have more give­aways in the future!

 

Have a bright new fab­u­lous week, everyone!