Monday, September 26, 2016

Quotes: John Steinbeck

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." –– John Steinbeck (1902-1968), American author, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature

Friday, September 23, 2016

Found pattern

Wood offcuts pattern; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
During our August staycation, I cleaned and organized my office and pieced hexagons for a collaborative quilt top. My husband made drawers for the print and paint area of my studio. I can now find things and my husband still has all of his fingers! The drawer offcuts made a pleasing pattern.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Studio Series: Shake-n-make Collaboration

Hexagons panels © Karen Thiessen, 2016
The Shake-n-Make Collective, composed of Liss Platt and Claudia Manley, is mounting an exhibition called The Hand of Craft in May 2017 at the Cotton Factory and they are enlisting help. (I last wrote about them here). On exhibit will be a massive quilt top (approximately 16 feet by 6 feet), which will spell out "Labour" in shades of taupe against a purple background. The textile will be entirely pieced by hand using the English paper piecing technique. Liss and Claudia are piecing the letters, and volunteers are invited to piece the purple panels that are 3 hexagons wide by ten hexagons long (7.5" X 29").

To facilitate this collaboration, Liss and Claudia have been hosting English Paper piecing events where they teach the technique. They provide the hexagon templates printed on freezer paper, fabric strips, and thread. Volunteers are welcome to incorporate their own purple fabrics.

When Claudia asked if I would contribute to the quilt top, naturally I said yes. This summer high heat and humidity zapped my energy. English paper piecing was one studio activity that worked best in my "Zombie" state. It worked so well that I've pieced nine panels so far. It's addictive. In the process of fleshing out my own stash of purple fabrics, I learned that compared to other colours, few fabrics are available in purple colourways. The next time you are in a quilt shop, take a look –– you'll be surprised. I know I was, especially since purple is one of my favourite colours.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Quotes: Jamie Seaton

"One of the wonderful things about books is less that they influence one but rather that they seem to coax into the light ideas that one is already groping for. It's almost a magical process by which one finds oneself led to just the right book, making manifest inchoate feelings or ideas, at just the right moment." –– Jamie Seaton, UK co-founder of fashion and homeware label Toast
* source: Elle Decoration UK, April 2014, p. 73

**inchoate: adj. in an initial or early stage; imperfectly formed or developed

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Video: Bomba Estéreo

via Lynda Barry on The Near-Sighted Monkey, with thanks!

If the corners of your mouth are sagging with the weight of gravity, this video will move them up. I've already watched this video four times and I'll likely watch it again. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Halifax Street Art

Barrington Street Mural; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
While in Halifax this summer, a massive mural by Jason Botkin (b. 1974) caught my eye. He's an ACAD graduate who originally hails from Denver, Colorado and is now a Montréal-based artist and a co-creator and co-director of en Masse Collaborative Mural project. The mural overlooks a sad parking lot on Barrington Street directly across from the Grand Parade, formerly the site of a gorgeous old Birks building, torn down in the early 1980s to make way for a government building. The empty lot has been an eyesore for more than 30 years.
Barrington Blocks Ceramic Installation; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
This Barrington Blocks installation by NSCAD ceramics graduate Catherine Laroche, is interactive. The ceramic blocks are glazed with a different colour (orange, yellow, green, grey) on each of the four sides and rotate independently: they are pixels one can touch. The installation screened the aforementioned sad parking lot. 
Halifax poster detritus; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
And finally, a collage of chance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sandra Brownlee Tactile Notebooks samples

Sandra Brownlee class samples; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
As I was cleaning out my blog photo files, I stumbled across two images from Sandra Brownlee's Tactile Notebooks and the Written Word workshop.
Sandra Brownlee class sample; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
The cut paper is a beauty. Enjoy!