Thursday, July 17, 2014

Medicine Hat & Fitness Club Fiasco at the Casbah

We used to have to go to Toronto to attend a show put on by Matt of Exhale Events, but now he's moved to Hamilton, which is pretty great. Needless to say, The Medicine Hat, Fitness Club Fiasco and Liam Finn played at the Casbah on July 15.

This line up was particularly exciting because of the acknowledgement FCF & The Medicine Hat both had this year in scoring as finalists in the CBC Searchlight competition. I'm so excited for them both. In other news, I had to go to sleep before Liam Finn went on but here are photos from the locals.

The Medicine Hat

Fitness Club Fiasco

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quick & Easy Crocheted Rag Rug

I have tried making many rag rugs. I've braided, sewed, crocheted, and more. Most of them were way too time-consuming, turned out lumpy, frayed, or turned into a bowl (oops!). Where were the rag rugs for people who can't sew those braids flat no matter how hard they try??

It wasn't until I saw this simple photo that my rag rug world exploded. It was all, "Wait... you can crochet around fabric? HOW DID WE NOT KNOW THIS??"

That brings us to today. You CAN crochet around fabric, and it is incredibly fast and fun to do. As long as you know how to crochet flat, you can do it! And if you don't know how, it's as simple as increasing just enough so it doesn't ruffle or curl. There is lots of give and take, you can usually fix mistakes the next time around.

So far I've used about 15 old t-shirts, along with some pants and scrap fabric. This rug will likely grow at the pace we destroy our old clothes. It is a work in progress for sure.

My favourite thing about the rug is it makes a great baby play mat! I used this a lot when M was very little, so she could roll around on the ground without bonking her head on the hard floor, or slipping on a blanket. She likes it too, but won't stay in one place for long anymore.

I sincerely hope that if you've taken the time to read this, you'll also consider making your own. Happy rug making to you!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Cahoots: a Festival of Faith, Social Justice & DIY

One of the things I've been working on so far this year has been helping to plan Cahoots Festival. Boy has it been a lot of work so far, but will be so worth it. The poster was a blast to make. I really haven't done much digital illustration of people, so this was a great chance to practice drawing all sorts of shapes and sizes. I'll also be doing a workshop on DIY Zine Making.

What is Cahoots? 

Cahoots will explore how faith communities struggle for justice. How do we stay resilient and strong to oppose injustice while building a new world? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus in this age of injustice, cuts to essential social services, destruction of our land and the poisoning of our water by multinationals, deportation of migrants and refugees, and the further industrialization of our prison system?

 At Cahoots, we will ask questions together, listen to unique and remarkable people, sing freedom songs, practice skills, and create together as a diverse community of faith.

Learn more & register at the Cahoots Festival website.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIY Macrame Plant Hanger

One of my many maternity leave goals was to use up my accumulation of rope. I had previously crocheted a rug and made flags for our wedding, but still had so much.  The only solution I could think of was macrame, so plant hangers made logical sense. They are lots of fun to make! Tying knots brings ya back to friendship bracelet days. Of course, plant hangers can be used for more than just plants. Our globe fits nicely, and is less heavy for hanging over heads.

There are a lot more tutorials online since I made these last fall, but the one I found most helpful was Macrame Plant Hanger Tutorial by Lowe's. Yes, Lowe's the hardware store. I also tried This Year's Dozen's version [above  left] which is prettier but did use a lot more rope. Once you get the hang of things it's easy to just merge patterns and make up your own. It does require math skills to know the proper lengths of rope you'll need, but winging it is fun too.

After six hangers the rope has come to an end. Our next challenge will be getting this lily to bloom again.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Adventures in Linocut: Animal Edition

Let's face it, linocut is a blast. But, I haven't done a lot since I posted the tutorial for linocut a couple years ago.  I've really only made one more thank you card design. It can be a bit intimidating, because linoleum actually costs something, unlike most crafts I do.

Lately I've been very inspired to get back into it and try and learn more. It's hard to think in negative/positive/backwards space for me, so I always find it a challenge to carve out exactly what I am hoping for. I guess the challenge is what makes it fun.

Here is one I made today, as a draft for part of a new album campaign thank you we're working on.

Linocut Inspiration

Below are some artist friends you need to check out, that have been particularly inspirational. Ben is a craft wizard who married one of my bestest friends. Sarah has catholic worker themed prints that rule, and happens to live close to Hamilton. Buy their stuff!

'Bison' by Benjamin Wildflower. Visit his Etsy shop here.
'St Eustace's Vision by Sarah D Fuller. Visit her Etsy shop here.

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