True Blood is over and I'm a little sad about it. But I think things wrapped up pretty neatly on the series finale. I couldn't help but print this baddie up for the occasion. Now available in the shop!
For it's inaugural year, an initiative called Cultural Hotspots will be featuring the south area of Scarborough by celebrating
culture, art and community. I was invited by craft maven Kalpna Patel to
participate in her window installation project "Please Come Again"
which transforms an unconventional space and brings it to life through
the lost art of visual merchandising and striking displays.
Say Yes and Ask Questions Later
you aren't familiar with Kalpna's work, get to know it - it's
inspiring. I was both honoured and scared straight when she asked if I
would create an installation. I loved the idea of this gallery of
storefronts coming to an area that hasn't ever been mined for art
installations before. I'm always griping about living so far out east
from the downtown core where all the cool stuff happens. So the
opportunity to do something that I've never done (and have always wanted
to), and the chance to work with an ace in her field, and bringing some
craft to an area nearby are all the reasons why I jumped in with both
The Big Idea
The storefront that I was assigned to isn't
really a store. It's the Crossroads Business Improvement Area office.
What these folks essentially do is market, promote and revitalize
businesses in the area, which in this case is between Victoria Park
Avenue and Warden Avenue. Kalpna came up with the concept of creatively
displaying names of businesses along that strip. It was a simple and
effective idea that gave both purpose and meaning to its storefront.
a letterpress artist, I was excited to execute the vision. For this
project, I knew I had to get type that was larger than what I
owned. It's not often that I get to work on things larger than
5x7", so this was a treat. I selected various fonts with serifs and a gothic trade and sizes between an inch and a half to 3 inches in height for visual
interest. The primary press used was the Morgan Line-O-Scribe flatbed which has a bed
size of 14x22". For the smaller signs, I used the Mini Showcard press. This was all very fitting because these antique machines were originally used by small shop owners to print temporary point-of-sale signs. The business names that were printed were, for the most part, selected
at random. Other names, Kalpna and I just really liked the sound of
regardless of the business type and its current state of operation.
The Community Notice Board
BIA asked if I could help address their promotional flyers situation.
Up until the installation, they would tape announcements of events to
their windows for passer-bys to read. But it looked plain, scattered and
a little untidy. I decided to create a notice board disguised as
another piece of storefront signage. It's simply a corkboard covered in
felt and "Crossroads of the Danforth" hand-painted in a fashion
reminiscent of old-school signage. The board is now prominently showcased with the dual purpose of either displaying the business name or
a collection of flyers neatly arranged.
project was a hell of a lot of fun to work on. I only have big hugs and
thanks to give to Kalpna for trusting me to see it through. She was a
huge help in the actual installation. I brought the supplies but she
brought the know-how.
My hope is that people who come
upon the window stop, look, read, wonder and smile. The display will be
up for a month, so if you are in the area (or even if you're not), have a
look-see and please do check out the other window installations created
by fellow artists. Each of them are truly unique and a sight to behold!
I loved working on this first communion invitation for a little girl named Luna Fragolina. How wonderful is her name? Luna's mother requested a simple design printed in a strawberry red colour. I adore the large script cap and the tiny srawberry amidst the copy. This design is light, playful and sweet!
While looking for crochet projects, I've realised that I like to work
big! That is, with a big hook and big yarn. I find it easier to use than
small hooks and thin yarn. That and the piece works up really quickly
with a big hook. So, I thought I'd try making a crochet rug and my first
one turned out well, so I went ahead and made another. I love the feel of these rugs. I used cotton sheets so that they're nice and cushiony to stand or sit on.
part, for me, is the making of the yarn. I used thrifted bedsheets and
it takes a while to cut them with scissors. I opted to do that instead
of tearing the sheets because I knew I'd end up tearing the strips right
through and I prefer to have the yarn as one continuous piece. This nifty tutorial is what I used to turn the bedsheets into yarn. There are plenty of crochet rug tutorials out there and even videos, including this one. I used a 15 mm (Q) hook and the rugs came to be about 3.5 feet wide. For the next rug, I'm hoping to make it even larger which means I'll be looking for thrifted king size duvet covers!