Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yay! Snail Mail!

I'm so happy that Canada Post's strike is over. It's hard to believe we went just over three weeks without mail. In some ways it's telling of the day and age when the country didn't collapse as a result...but it sure was a pain in the butt! I enjoy getting things in the mail, after all. When I was a teenager and before the Internet, I had loads of penpals and every day was a new opportunity to see what my German, Canadian and American friends were up to.

But, thanks to the strike, I haven't been listing much for sale online. I meant to write an earlier blog post about the digital downloads section on my Artfire shop. The most popular item are the mini calendars, but occasionally something else sells. I love the digital download idea - shipping is free, fairly fast and you can print as many or as little as you need. It's hard predicting just what people want though. Google Analytics tells me that most people would prefer it if they could download things for free :-D $1 is practically free, no?

Here's the newest digital download - a 4.25x5.5" notecard of a Canada Goose that is made for Avery notecards 8315 or similar notecard paper.

Goose Card

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Woven Bag

I'm all registered for school next year and I even got into the beginner weaving class. I'm so excited! It's a small class and has a limit of four students. But in the meantime I wanted to learn more about my new found crafting love, so I went to the library. It seems that weaving is really a niche thing because there aren't a lot of books about it. There are many times of looms, so that's probably part of the reason.

The Woven Bag by Noreen Crone-Findlay by showing off the versatility of lap looms and potholder looms.

Surprisingly, the potholder loom is not something I have in my craft cabinet! I think I will buy a metal one the next time I'm at Fort Calgary as Michaels just has the plastic ones. The potholder loom is usually a kids toy, but Noreen shows off how to weave with yarn on them and stitch the squares together. Naturally a square is also a triangle when folded in half or a diamond when rotated the right way.

This book had great pictures of the projects and lots of good close up pictures of how to warp looms. It's funny how weaving is such a basic skill - and doesn't even require yarn. Some projects are made from upcycled materials such as VHS tape and t-shirts! Down the road when I'm working more I'll probably add this one to my own personal library.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Contest - Where Was I?

I feel so bad that I couldn't get a contest going for May, but the upside is that there will be two winners for June! That's some pretty good odds.

As a photographer and artist, travel is essential to me. Not only do I enjoy travelling and photographing what I find, but I love indulging in the local arts and history. It's hard to believe that two weeks ago I was in Prince Edward Island for a conference. When I was laid off, it was all too easy to give up the trip, but, I figured, I have my whole life to pay off the debt.

Prince Edward Island is Canada's smallest province, but one that is packed with history. Many of the buildings in Charlottetown, one of two cities on the island, are heritage buildings faced in brick or wood-sided houses painted in heritage colours. Charlottetown is also the provincial capital, and this city of 14,000 people is also the home of Confederation - the birth of Canada!

Pottery seems to be overwhelming popular on the island and it was enjoyable to visit art galleries and pottery studios. If I come back, I hope it will be for an artist residency. Travel lets me replenish my catalog of photos and bring back new stories for friends and customers alike. And speaking of stories...

It was unfortunately overcast when I visited this home to a famous fictional Canadian heroine. To win two greeting cards featuring Prince Edward Island's famous red cliffs, what is the name of this house? Comment with your answer by 6pm on June 30 and I'll randomly draw two winners from the correct answers. Prizes will be sent when the postal strike is over :-P

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Patch of Alberta

I have so much to catch up on now that it's overwhelming. I should have the June contest ready for tomorrow. This was one of the pieces I was madly trying to finish as it was a benefit auction donation. It's another little patch of Alberta and it differs from the other ones in that I used three strands of floss instead of six. I also used a combination of colours and that let me get some really neat colour changes. I have to admit, it was hard to let this one go. There was something extra special about it! I did not quite make it to ACEO size - it's about 2.5x3". Things got a little bunchy at the top. Maintaining an even width it pretty tricky for me right now. The piece sold for $50.

A Patch of Alberta 3