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!