Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Binding and stringing along...

Here is the information about the Victoria Beach Sale that will be happening this weekend.  I am nearly 'ready' for it, but anyone who knows me also knows that I am never totally prepared ahead of time, and use every spare minute sewing things onto cards and tweaking any little thing that can be tweaked.  My set -up will be slightly different this go round, as I have a few new display shelves that I will be adding onto the table that is supplied.  I hope to be adding more new elements to my space as time progresses so that it is more personal and not just a 'table'.  The space at the sports club is rather limited though, so may not be able to proceed with a total 10 by 10 space as is usually available in other venues.  I hope the weather won't be too hot...the building is ancient and the air conditioner is noisy and not very efficient.  It is though, the beach, so one can't expect all things to be as citified as they would be in a modern showplace.  The atmosphere is so laid back and shirts and shoes (for some) are almost optional.  Lots of the folks come in wearing their bathing suits or cover-ups and it's nice to be in such a comfortable and casual setting.  That is not to say that the art work and other items on display are casual...quite the contrary.  For a beach setting, the quality is surprisingly sophisticated.  The organizers, Merrilee and Nancy Lou are very accommodating and do a terrific job, which unfortunately often does not get mentioned.  Kudos to them!!

Hubby Dan and Marvelous Molly will again be located in the foyer of the building.  For the past several years they have helped to 'man' the table that supports the local East Beaches Animal Shelter.  Molly is so blind unfortunately, that she won't be able to see all the passers-by, but I am sure she will be as welcoming as ever, enjoying all the lovable pats and strokes that she gets from the patrons.  And she will welcome the occasional doggie kiss that she will get from furry friends who accompany their humans to the sale.  All the pets that come are so well behaved, one hardly notices that they are there. 

I have been working on some new additions to both the home and personal accent pieces that I will be bringing.  These are photos of the front and back of a new artist journal that I am putting will be ready...I just have to bind it together.  The covers are so warm and tactile.  It is hard to tell which should be the front or the back.  If I hadn't put my name on the inside cover, one would have been able to use the book from both sides, seeing as how the pages are blank.   That makes me wonder if I should make my next journal reversible.

For one of the inserts (in what I designated as the front cover), I used the tear away technique and then stained the impressions with Liquitex burnt umber.  I also used that for the antiquing on the faux ivory.  On the back, the insert was done with a different texture.  I doubt that one will know what it is unless I tell.  Would you venture to guess?  It isn't a contest, but if anyone thinks they know, they can email me and I will disclose the source.  It is a type of texture that I use very often, and I have several 'types' like this and am always on the lookout for more interesting ones that come out amazingly well when used with certain clays.  I have beads for the spine but have not decided if I will add them, thinking that it might be overkill.  I might leave the binding cords long, and make the addition of beads an "optional" thing...

One other thing that is new will be the Kumihimo cords that I've worked on for the last 6 to 8 months.  Last year I made myself a kumihimo loom as I couldn't wait to order one and it was so simple and costless to make.  I have made about 10 necklace length cords and now I just have to finish the beads to match.  Since the cords produced with the Kumihimo are rather thick, it is good to have the cording made first, so that the beads can be fashioned with large enough holes to accommodate the cording.  Otherwise, it is a struggle to get the fibres through.  I have an interesting palette of yarns and fibres that I have accumulated for the cords, and will have a small sample of the finished necklaces at Victoria Beach and a few more at next weekend's sale.

And now it is time to wrap things up and get busy with the rest of my binding and stringing.  No doubt I will be stringing the last necklace as we make the one hour drive up to the beach on Saturday morning. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What's that smell?


So I have been away from the computer for the past week or so, and here is what I have been seeing in the evenings while doing 'nothing' during the days.  I was at Victoria Beach for most of this past week, sweltering during some hot and humid weather.  Of course, the beach beckoned, but with the recent fish fly period, even the finest sand couldn't draw me there as the beach wasn't at its most beautiful, and the stench was rather choking.  The smell only lasts for a couple of days and now it is mostly gone.  During the evenings however, the weather was much cooler and the views of the sunset you see here attest to the beauty of the location, even though I took these pictures with my lowly Blackberry. 
Now that I am back in the city, I will begin (in earnest) some polymer clay work as I have a couple of big sales coming up at the end of this month (one at the very location where these photos were taken) and the other in our neighboring province during the August long weekend.  I have made a few innovative pieces and am working on some cache coffrets.  I just made the lavender sachets for them as I have been in sewing mode for the past two days. 
First I made a 'crop top' blouse which I am hoping to paint, and then finished up with these easy little lavender pockets.  I had this fucshia organza which I assembly line stitched and then filled them with the lavender.  The 'scoop' was made about six years ago from polymer clay.  It was the perfect size to fill the pockets.  I love using hand constructed implements or ancient 'found items' when I am doing my art work.  It just makes them so much more "authentic". 

When I was putting the lavender in the bags with my little scoop, I felt like some old apothecary in a chemist's shop...all that was missing were the myriad drawers of herbs or other ingredients that would go into concocting some potion or cure-all.

Here are the steps...easy enough.  First I sewed the bags, then turned them open with this old looping tool, and then there's the scoop filling the bag and finally the finished little item.  They each hold approximately one teaspoon full of lavender, which is enough to make a cup of tea or just to provide enough fragrance to make you think about the fields from whence they came.

Here are the finished bags, all tied and ready to be put into their little receptacles. 
You can also see the little scoop.  I remember making these...a real made-from-scratch invention.  I do enjoy doing those kinds of projects when time permits. 

And now, as time is fleeing, I had better get on to my real work for  the day....