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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Latest Project and Latest Giveaways

This is my latest project:

It may not look like much but ever since I saw this project on the 'net, I'd been obsessing over the idea of it....'til I finally gathered all the necessary supplies to make it.

First I had to haul out to Home Depot which is on Stone Church Rd. here on Hamilton Mountain. It took me two buses and both were long trips. I got a long piece of MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) for around $8 and I got a guy in the lumber department to slice it in half. He assured me I could carry both pieces back home on the bus but I knew I couldn't, so I left one of them there. I was told that all scraps get donated to Habitat for Humanity so I felt OK about paying for it and not taking it home with me.

Then when my husband and I were at the Ottawa St. "Sew Hungry" food truck festival I went back to the fabric store I went to with C two weeks before that, and got this really groovy chevron-patterned fabric. I also got 2 layers of batting (the stuff you use in a quilt) and used J's staple gun (and her help!) to staple it all down. Here is how it looks from the back:

I guess we should have placed the staples closer to the edges of the fabric but I'm not too worried about how the backside looks. The batting is sandwiched inside and I intend to use this to press my crafts.....things like heat-setting the ink in my screenprinting, affixing interfacing to pieces of fabric for stiffening purposes, even to press my husband's work shirts (which I never do but there's always a first time!).
This is a bracelet I made for my friend J....the one I mentioned above)
 And this is a piece of pottery I gave to my friend JS who recently turned 90! I had made this in Seattle, WA a couple of years ago. This bowl was from the era when I started to really know what I was doing and was throwing really well!
The rim is strong, the curve inside matches the curve outside and the thickness is uniform throughout!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Did you know that a "druk" is simply a round bead? One of the most common bead shapes there *is*. By the way, "druk" rhymes with "truck". I read this on my local bead supplier's website. Bead FX is in Toronto  and they must be new there because they're in the East End. *I* used to live in the East End (briefly) but never knew of them.

Even though I'm in Hamilton now I order most of my beads from Bead FX. Hamilton has a paucity of bead stores!

Anyway, I had recently asked my Mother-in-Law if she could get me some "mature pea-sized turquiose beads". Now that I know better, I can say "druks" next time. I hope, however, that "next time" I'll be there in person! The annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show attracts thousands from all over the world and you can't find a vacant hotel room if you tried! That's why I'm so grateful to have family living there and who I can stay with.

She got me the beads and I got to work. It took me about 2 months on and off but I finally finished it tonight:

 I got the cool, Petroglyph shank button at a favourite Tucson store called Fabrics That Go....not Fabrics TO go like I thought but Fabrics THAT Go. Someday I'll ask the people that work in the store to explain the name....

By the way, this is one long bracelet that wraps around the wrist three times and is, as far as I know, vegan! That black cord is waxed (with paraffin) cotton and I wax the sewing thread with synthetic wax. I can't vouch for the drops of nail polish I use on the knots, though......

Friday, 25 January 2013

These are some pictures of what I've been up to lately. I recently finished a 10-week pottery course at Mohawk College here in Hamilton. It was Foundation I and although I've kind of gone past the foundation stage (because of the year of pottery I took in Seattle) I thought that if I wanted to make a career of pottery I should begin at the beginning. Or start from the start as Mike Reno would say!

The jewellery pics are some bracelets I made with the gemstone beads I've collected from the annual Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, AZ. My husband's family is from there and we go to visit about twice a year. The gem show is on in early February  but we're going out this year in late February so we'll miss it. No matter; I've collected way too many gemstones as it is! Besides if  I ask nicely my Mother-in-Law will pick up some turquoise (my favourite!) for me!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

It's Raining in Hamilton

Wow, I don't really have a lot to say, which is why I haven't posted in so long. I just wanted to post something so that if there are any readers out there (Hello? Anyone?), they'll know I'm still around.

I haven't been  taking many pics lately although I have some in mind for a local Hamilton photo safari. Here's what my husband and I have shot so far, at the Hamilton Aviary:

We're going to the Festival of Friends at the Ancaster Fairgrounds this weekend. The Bangles on Friday night and the B52s on Sunday night! All free. There are other bands playing but these are the only two I want to see. I'm actually looking forward to it with more than a little trepidation because I haven't been to an outdoor show in years. Crowds make me panic so I don't know how I'll handle it. At least E will be there to help me.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Hamilton Frustration

I've needed new orthotics for many months now. After attempting to get some from a Dr. in Toronto just before we left town (bad idea), I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and try out that Dr. Scholl's service that I've seen advertised on TV. I don't know if it's a machine that you stand on or walk on or what......but I located the closest service. It was at a store called Factory Shoes up on the mountain.

I went with my husband on his way to work. I got off the bus when I saw the store on the other side of the street. Imagine my surprise when I realized that there was no way to cross! There was no cross-walk! To add insult to injury, the rain started coming down harder and most of me got wet while waiting for the bus to get me out of there. So I was cold and wet and had to go home without my orthotics.

I can't believe how un-pedestrian-friendly this city is.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

French Knitting

That cardigan you see below got completely ripped back (the pieces did, I mean). At first I thought it might be cool to design a dog sweater, a very basic dog sweater. Then I happened to be speaking to my friend IM. She's originally from France and she told me it was really cold in France right now and she would love some handknit hats for her family. And she would pay for them too!

Every knitter's dream, to be paid for knitting! So I immediately switched gears and started making a hat with some of the Tanis Fibre Arts yarn in  the "Stormy" colourway from the abandoned cardigan.  I've only gotten a few rows done so I won't post any pics right now. I decided to make the hats in the rib stitch since I don't know the sizes of the recipient's heads :-)


When we lived in T.O. I used to go to this organization called CHIRS. I was excited when a clay class was finally added to the roster of activities. Soon after the end of the class my husband and I left Toronto and moved to Hamilton. If you know about the process of making things in clay you know that they need to dry completely and go through 2 firings in the kiln. You also know that a lot can happen at the glazing stage. Since you're never really sure what colour you're going to get it's best to be as much a part of the process as possible.

Well, I couldn't be, because I left town! The facilitator emailed me pics of the glazes and I made my choices. Now, I've had a kiln blow out the colour of my pieces before and I think that's what happened here:

The pic of the test tile that was e'd to me was bright green. I figured at the time that maybe it was bright green because of my monitor settings but that I would choose it, anyway.

Here's a closeup:

We saw a lot of salmon when we lived in Seattle and I became fascinated with them, especially their hooked mouths.

The only person I blame for this glaze result is myself. I originally thought about just getting my bisque ware and glazing it at a later date but I was in too much of a hurry to get my fish sculpture back!

I also don't like the way that one fin looks, the one at the front on the bottom of the salmon. It looks more like a flipper from a sea turtle. Wrong species!! I'll know for next time. They're all learning experiences, right?