Saturday, April 5, 2014


Just trying to make it to the end of the semester here...never mind the mess!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Intro to Material Culture

I am going to looooooove this class called SOSC 301. It's mostly lecture, no tests, no group assignments and a few small assignments with a final project. Yay! The only reason I signed up for it was that I needed any SOSC class, and it was the earliest one available. Naturally it's too easy to get caught up in visual culture at an art college, so thinking about "stuff and where it comes from" as a macro level is really exciting.

We watched some slides by photographers who photographed people, their belongings, and sometimes both. The idea was to get a sense of who the person was from their belongings. Here's my purse contents:


Our first assignment was to make a list of all the things in our bedrooms from memory. The second part is to actually make the list. The third part is to swap lists so that another student can draw inferences about us. Whoever gets mine is in for a puzzler :-D Another project is a "personal, reflective essay"..

The textbook for the class is Understanding Material Culture by Ian Woodward. I forked over $63 for a dead tree version. The Kindle versionw as $35...but the Android Kindle app is really finicky and I kind of need my book to be available :-D

Friday, December 27, 2013

So Much Catch Up!

I can't believe we're coming down to the end of 2013. I really don't know where fall went, except that it seemed like I was living each day in the present, not really able to plan for more than a week in advance. Certainly it was not a dull last few months...but it would be nice to get off the carousel :-) I got an A- in my Fibre 212 class. I find it harder to get A's in studio classes I just never seem to have what teachers are looking for. But with Laura as a guide, I found myself making all sorts of new and interesting things, stuff I wouldn't try on my own. Our last project was to make a home installation, and then the plan was that we would all go around and view each one. Unfortunately we had a frightful blizzard here at the beginning of the month that slowed everything down. It was taking two hours to get to work and back :S Instead, my classmates and I did our best to take pictures of the installations. Thank goodness for my new camera, because my old one would not have been able to handle the poor lighting so well. I was really looking forward to having my classmates over. I bought a lot of snacks, told hubs, "Hands off!" and made punch even! Needless to say, I now have a lot of good reference photos for still lifes and the project ended up being more than I expected. You can click on the photo below to see the whole set up!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

So Much Catch Up!

October went by so fast - I changed jobs, volunteered for lots and was elbows deep in making paper. Let me take you back in time to September, for our second Fibre 212 project. Now that we've had a couple of snows, I really appreciate having these photos to look back on.

It was a super long day at ACAD, from the time I got on the bus at 7:30 to the time I got home at 7:30. My fibre class went on a field trip to a farm in Bragg Creek, owned by friends of the teacher, Laura. We had a late start because we waited for everyone to show up, and then one person went to the wrong place where the cars were parked. I rode with Laura in her old Volvo station wagon, because she knew where she was going, naturally!

Bragg Creek is a little strip of a town about 45 minutes north of Calgary. It sustained a lot of flood damage in June, and there were still piles of rubble and former houses just off the main drag. Our hosts for the day were a couple named Lynn and John, both artists. They have this cozy little house and a couple of barns, and chickens, although I didn't see any. They were so happy to see a gaggle of art students! Lynn made cinnamon buns and we all gathered in her kitchen for tea and coffee before going on a tour of the property. There really weren't any "no's" - just don't go onto the neighbouring property and watch out for a severe drop near a creek. It was a perfect day.


This is where I should stop and tell you that the reason we were stomping around in the woods was to create land based sculptures with natural or extra materials. Sometimes these are called earth works - think of Christo or Robert Smithson. The property afforded lots of material, such as rocks, water, grass, hay, trees, and dirt. I came prepared with grubby clothes, garden tools and rubber boots. Some of the young folk had bare legs and really impractical clothing. City people! :D

I really didn't know where to start. It was a picture perfect day and so much potential! Mowed paths meandered all over the place, and I chose two trees on opposite sides of a path to get started with. I tried wrapping string around the trees, then thought about braiding string...ugh! I thought about weaving...frig, the morning was getting away from me.

I was covering for two people at work during this time, so I wasn't feeling very creative at all. Finally, after a couple of false starts, I just decided to just gather as much straw as I could. It was time consuming because it was interspersed with quackgrass, and it was about 11:30 when I committed to the idea of making straw men/teepees something. There are rules to art that go like this - If it's not working out...make it big! Make it red! Make lots! Make it naked!

I opted for making lots and fashioned seven bundles to put on the path. Just as I had finished, the gentle rain that had been pitter pattering picked up, so I packed up and went back to the house. Fortunately I wasn't the first one there. Around 3pm we went around critiquing everyone's work. When we got to mine, all the bundles had fallen over - probably by the rain or maybe a deer barrelling through. They looked neat on the ground, but we stood them up again. Usually one needs to say something substantial for a crit, so I spoke about harvesting, and how barriers are often self made and poorly constructed.


I enjoyed the exercise so much that I want to do more projects like that. It was a really good opportunity to do something different that I might not do on my own - such is the benefit of art college!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gift Art, Part Two!

Hello dear readers! I hope to start catching up on blogging again. September was a whirl of papermaking, being three people at once at work, and then somehow October turned into a new getting a new job and more. Crazy times!

As I mentioned in my last gift art post, if you get to know me long enough, chances are that you will get a piece of art from me! Here is a piece that I made for Pam of Always Artistic. It's a folded ACEO of her sun conure, Jessie James. I wanted to make Pam a gift for being such a great friend. I just couldn't seem to fit all of Jessie in until I thought "outside the box". It was folded and fastened with a yellow strip of paper. Thanks Pam for all you do for ACEO fans by organizing swaps and resources.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Calgary Mini Maker Faire

We did something extra special on Saturday - attend the Calgary Mini Maker Faire! It seems like a Maker Faire was something I could only dream about and wistfully sigh about when mentioned on Twitter. The Faire had everything going right for it from the admission price ($10 student yay!) to the location at the Alberta College of Art + Design. It was the perfect setting with displays on the main mall and some of the painting classrooms used for fun stuff like a kids activity centre, zombie make up workshop, and Protospace member projects. One room was labelled Blinky Stuff and it did not disappoint.
Not only were there homebrew projects and 3D printers on display, but also old timey crafts and artisans. There were steampunk sculptures and clothing, and a fibre arts booth. I was able to sit down and test out the Cricket loom. It's one thing to see it on the web, and another to get a feel for it in real life. The other
The coolest thing about the Maker Faire was that it was very kid friendly. There were lots of little girls running around and I'm so happy the parents took them there. It's often bemoaned that there aren't enough women in STEM careers, but what a great way to give them an introduction to the world of tinkering and technology. My husband also loved it too. He was really excited talking to makers about their 3D printers or circuit boards. He's the biggest nerd I know, but doesn't get out and network a lot. Somehow I get the feeling that the next Maker Faire won't be so mini! Here are some Instagram snaps I took (in case you're wondering, the photo on the left is a 3D appetizer printer that uses cream cheese!)