Monday, March 26, 2012

A Machine Embroidered Little Man

Back in the early Fall I learned a few machine embroidery techniques in my Surface Embellishment class. It's probably my least favourite technique I have learned. I don't have much of a kinship with machines. I'm never 100% confident while using them, I can't trust them like I trust my hands. When sewing with my hands I have complete control over every movement and I'm able to move at a pace that I'm comfortable with. I also just prefer the look of hand-embroidery. However, you can produce some really amazing embroidery by using a machine. Check out out local textile artist Judy Cooper's blog for some great examples of machine embroidery.

Although I had frustrations with machine embroidery. I was inspired enough to make an embroidery of my cat, Little Man. His nose is made of silk thread and so soft to touch.
This is the image I drew my design from.

These are some of my favourite photos of Little Man. He is such a little angel.

Here's a two-minute video of LM being his sweet self while playing with a bit of wool.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Turtle Mug!

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!

Hope you're all having yourselves some responsible fun this weekend! I have spent my weekend working The March of Mugs at Alexis Templeton Studio. We're featuring a variety of mugs made by potters all across Atlantic Canada.

I've had to stop buying pottery until I come home from New York at the end of August. I've had to stop buying a lot of things actually, I have a lot of money to save for that trip so living like a mouse is what I need to do. If you're a pottery lover like me, it's very difficult to look at new work and not buy it all! More than difficult, it breaks my heart!

THANKFULLY my parents are the sweetest ever and offered to buy me the mug I had been eyeing when they popped by the studio today!

It's a turtle mug! Isn't he AWESOME?! My boyfriend has named him Larry David, hahaha!

This mug is made by Potter / Sculptor Candy Gallant of Sweet and Sour Gargoyles and Crooked Pottery Barn. She lives and works in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island.

This lady has a wild imagination! Here are some more photos of her work from Alexis' Studio..

They are just the coolest. Come check out these mugs, and many more, Alexis Templeton Studio will be open from 11 - 6 tomorrow!

75 Quidi Vidi Road ( near Belbins )


Monday, March 5, 2012

The Tale of the Missing Rusty Triangles

I'm more than a little frustrated this morning! But I can't start the story there, oh no, it goes back about a month ago.....

I had planned to to make a silk dress for one of my final projects, it was to be dyed with a combination of rust and natural dyes. My vision was to create a pattern on the silk with the rusty metal bits (they would leave behind a black colour). I initially bought a few packs of metal washers but quickly realized they were galvanized and would not rust. I attempted to return them at Canadian Tire but had lost my receipt, so I was out nearly $20. 

After a conversation with my instructor and some knowledgeable friends, I decided to purchase some sheet metal and cut out triangle shapes to rust, so I did. I went down to Jenkins and Puddicombe (ya know the place on Water Street west with the Tin Man in the window?) and got me  four square feet of sheet metal, it was a bit much but I figured I could use it for other projects at some point in time. I picked up a set of pricey tin snips from Crappy Tire and slaved for two hours cutting that sheet metal. It was damn near impossible, every attempt at cutting just got me a few more millimeters. In two hours I had less than a dozen triangles, this was not good. I figured it was the tin snips fault so I went out once again and bought a $5 pair that cut like a dream ($5?!?). I spent one evening sitting on the floor of my living room blasting my tunes and cutting triangles. I pumped out 100 that night.

The cutting of the metal caused the triangles to curve so the next night I spent some time hammering them all flat (I would need them to lay flat on the silk to get the effect I want).

Now it was time to start the rusting process. I kept the triangles damp in a bin for weeks occasionally sprinkling salt and putting them outside to to get oxygen. They were rusting very well and were about 90% rusted last night. I wanted to start the dyeing process over reading week (it takes several days) so I thought I should speed up the last of the rusting by putting them outside one last time.

I had a late night of working on a proposal and playing Super Mario Bros. 3. As it was nearing 5 am and I was finally ready to hit the hay I remembered about my triangles and thought that I should bring them inside. It had been raining and snowing for quite some time and my bin with the triangles was no where in sight. Panic began to set in. I had spent so many hours making the triangles and so many weeks rusting them and I hadn't even started the dyeing or construction of the dress. I HAD to find them. I threw on my coat, gloves and boots and grabbed a flashlight to start my hunt. I was relieved to find the bin upright behind the shed, but not a single triangle was inside! It must have toppled over on it's adventure to the shed, which is about 20 feet from where the bin was first placed. I dug on my hands and knees with the flashlight in my mouth through the fresh inch of wet snow all around the area where I found the bin, no luck, it was very hard to see. I went back inside to dry off and wait for daylight. I returned at 6:15 am with a shovel in hand and spent an hour and a half shoveling every inch of our back yard. Every possible route that bin could have taken. I got down on my hands and knees again and felt every bit of that earth hoping to find at lease ONE triangle. I saw an orange tinge in the snow multiple times but was disappointed to find clementines time after time.  I walked through the neighbours yards and at one point caught a man staring at me from his kitchen window. My neighbours must think I'm insane. At around quarter to 8, I decided to give up, not because I wanted to but because I was soaked to the bone and freeeeeezing cold.

I just don't understand it. I had put that bin outside before, many times leaving it over night, the back of my house is never windy. I guess the few hours of rain and snow was enough to take it on a ride. But it really didn't move very far, and was upright when I found it. How on earth could 100 metal triangles completely vanish?!? 

Boggles my mind. 

Breaks my heart.

I don't even know what to do now. I was so set on this design idea, that it's very difficult for me to even consider anything else. One things for sure, I definitely don't have the time to redo the whole process. Why oh why did I have to put them outside one last time, they were fine the way they were...