Archive for the 'art' Category


Patchwork Skateboard

I am so excited to finally be able to check off #6 on My Crafty List of Things to Do – design a skateboard! I received my blank deck back in February and looked at it everyday, pondering just what I was going to do. I had the idea to make a piece of patchwork that I might somehow wrap around the deck. I also had triangles on my mind, inspired by the fabric bunting in the workroom’s window that I just can’t seem to bear to take down.

I decided to make use of the workroom’s laser cutter to help with all the cutting. I’ve been wanting to test this out to help doing patchwork. Every single fabric triangle was laser cut and they are all the exact same size. I knew this kind of precision would be really helpful, especially since I had it in my head that I was going to hand piece the entire thing.

Before attempting to put the real thing together. I did a little test piece. I made a small triangle patchwork sample that I tested wrapping and gluing around a piece of plywood. I had purchased a bottle of Martha Stewart’s Decoupage Glue a while ago, hoping it would do the trick. It worked perfectly. To adhere the patchwork to the wood, I applied the glue to the wood and smoothed the fabric on top. I then brushed on a layer of the glue over top the fabric. The two things I learned from doing this test were 1. the wood showed through the muslin pieces more than I liked once it was glued and 2. one layer of glue on top of the fabric was enough. More than that and the fabric started looking dull and plastic-y. To compensate for the show-through on the muslin, I decided to glue a solid piece of muslin to the skateboard deck first and then glue my patchwork on top of that.

Of course all this was started about a week before I needed to submit my finished deck. Even being short on time, I was absolutely determined to sew the entire thing by hand. After doing our Hand Work class, I love having a hand sewing project on the go. Sitting in bed and sewing is so fun! There were a couple late nights, but when I finished sewing all 200+ triangles together, I was so happy with how it turned out.

When I had finished gluing the finished patchwork to the deck, I realized that the back of the deck wasn’t so pretty. I couldn’t have that, so I found a large scrap of Liberty of London ‘Wiltshire’ (from this dress), glued it over the back and then hand embroidered a little label.

The actual auction night was super fun. Tons of people came out to see all the artwork and finished decks. All the decks were so different and lots of them were really clever. Even though Andrew bid on my deck a couple times (so sweet!), by the end of the night someone else had outbid him, so it’s gone to another home. I couldn’t resist bidding on Derrick Hodgson’s deck and I actually won it! I haven’t picked it up yet, but I’m currently trying to decide where it’s going to hang.

All my photos of my work in progress and the Disposable Artshow night are here. Thanks to Freedom Fighter Skateboards and Joey for letting me take part. I’ll admit that I’m already hatching ideas for another deck for next year’s event. Why stop at just one?

Patchwork Skateboard

Patchwork Skateboard

Patchwork Skateboard


My skateboard is done and it turned out really well! I’m going to wait until after the auction on Saturday to post photos of it. I used the laser cutter to cut out over 200 fabric triangles that I hand stitched together. For real. It was kinda crazy.

I dropped the finished piece off at the gallery on Monday and got a sneak peek at some of the other decks. It’s going to be a great show, just look at some of the names on the roster. You can actually drop by 52 McCaul anytime now to see the show. I believe it will be up until this Sunday. The auction and opening party will be held Saturday night, if you’re looking for something fun to do!

Disposable Artshow

Disposable Artshow

365 : 110

365 : 110

April 21, 2010 of 365 : laser cut triangles of muslin for my skateboard design

The Disposable Artshow is quickly approaching. I’m furiously hand sewing hundreds of fabric triangles together for my skateboard design. The auction will be taking place on Saturday May 8!

365 : 64

365 : 64

March 5, 2010 of 365 : fox print by melinda josie

I’m so excited about all the new prints Melinda has been making. I had to get this darling fox. Look at his bushy tail! Then, I really couldn’t say no to this amazing clover print, which she just announced she is also doing in fabric. I want it all!

365 : 20

365 : 20

365 : parks & recreation by leo bolta

365 : 10

365 : 10

365 : morning shadows

Ten days into this project and I have to say, I really love the routine. I especially love how there is a bit of repetition and things are seen from different perspectives. Like this Judy print by Alannah Cavanagh, which can also be seen in photo 3 and 4 (VERY blurry, but it’s there in the background).

365 : 3

365 : 3

365 : on top of my dresser

This photo gives you a bit of a sneak peek of my handmade Christmas gift from Andrew. It’s a gorgeous cedar jewelry box with grey wool felt lining. What you see is only a fraction of it, as it is about three feet long. The poor daytime lighting has prevented me from getting good detailed shots that show it off properly, but I’m working on it!

Also in this photo:

address file by lovely design
ceramic vase by nesting emily
crochet stone by resurrection fern
‘judy’ silkscreen print by alanna cavanagh
bunny drawing by sarah mcneil
wood + thread artwork by rosalyn faustino
benjamin bunny by old weston handmade wonders


Introducing : Aprile Elcich

I love collage. Moving bits of paper and imagery around on a page until the magical moment when they make sense. I used to daydream that one day someone would hire me to make collages in my visual diary all day long. I still think that would be a pretty awesome job.

Local artist, Aprile Elcich, moves bits of paper and imagery to create dreamy pieces of art. Many of them are small and affordable, especially considering the joy they are bound to bring every time you look at them. I have yet to see Aprile’s work in person, so I can’t wait for Sunday’s Kids Trunk Show. I predict one of her pieces will be going home with me.

Why collage? What is it about paper that gets you so excited?

Aprile : Well, I have always loved books and been completely surrounded by them, and I was—wait, still am!—a packrat with them. But I think where actual technique is concerned, I’m a bit impatient. I used to love drawing and painting but they take so long! Collage is something I can enjoy in my spare time (what little I have of it) and I don’t have to worry about anything but glue to dry…

What are your favourite places to scout for materials for your work?

Aprile : I used to use magazines, but now I use all vintage materials. I love shopping for things at old bookstores (particularly Ten Editions on Spadina, which has a 50 cent ephemera section hiding at the back), antique markets, and libraries for their discards.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Aprile : An entrepreneur (really!) or a teacher. I used to always pretend I was in charge of things, haha. I was an only child so I spent a lot of time day dreaming about restaurants, cafes, bookstores, and art galleries I would open.

What is the best art-related advice anyone ever gave you?

Aprile : Umm, is “never give up” a cliché answer? Haha. Of course I’m drawing a blank now, even though there have been many supportive people in my life regarding my artwork, with plenty of helpful things to say. I can give a piece of advice that I certainly learned, which is to always feel good about what you’re doing. Art is so subjective that there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you do. The only important thing is that YOU like what you do. Then you will be happy forever : )

What is your earliest crafting memory as a child?

Aprile : My Nana and Papa (grandmother and grandfather) were hugely impactful on my creativity. My Papa did carpentry and fancy woodwork as a hobby, and my Nana was into all kinds of crafts. I spent a lot of time there learning all there was to learn (and making all there was to make!)

Aprile Elcich : blog / etsy / another blog

Introducing : Aprile Elcich

Introducing : Aprile Elcich


I’m not too sure how we ended up in the middle of June so quickly, but the official start of summer is this Sunday! Which coincidentally is also the date for the Garden Party Trunk Show. We have some familiar faces and also quite a few new vendors at this show. I’m excited and I’ll be on the lookout for a bunny of some sort to add to my collection.

We had the pleasure of having Krystal Speck and her colourful ceramics at the Love & Rummage Trunk Show and it’s a treat to have her back. I just love the folkloric imagery and saturated colours she uses. With wedding season upon us, I think her lovely vases would make a beautiful wedding gift or perhaps just a summertime gift to yourself.

You took both textiles and ceramics at OCAD… How do you feel that textiles have influenced your ceramic work? Do you still do textile-based work?

Krystal : Textiles have played a huge role in my life…my mom’s fabric collection was the greatest discovery I made as a child. I think her gloriously patterned fabrics were what originally inspired me to be artistic! Clay came into my life much later. As a result, I can’t seem to paint a pot without looking to textile patterns first for inspiration.

I still sew whenever I can find time, though my sewing machine is angry at me right now for neglecting her. I hope to eventually incorporate textiles into my product line, and have my two loves come together again: clay and cloth!

You wrote a great post on sustainable ceramics. As an independent artist, have you found it challenging to ‘green’ your practice? Have you been able to incorporate any changes that you are particularly proud of?

Krystal : Yes, you would assume that as an independent artist it would be easy to make your art practice very sustainable. But I’ve discovered it really depends on your chosen medium and your financial situation. For example, I would love to own a solar-powered kiln but this isn’t a viable option at the moment (for both monetary and geographical reasons). There are some small things I’ve been trying at my studio such as: collecting and filtering my used water to remove glaze ingredients that would otherwise be poured down the drain, reclaiming my slip (liquid clay) and bagged clay to be reused, and firing full kilns with work I’m pleased to fire into permanence.

I know you’ve recently started an entrepreneurial program. What is the most useful thing you’ve learned so far about business?

Krystal : I’m currently taking part in Bizstart, an amazing eleven-month business incubation program started by YES (Youth Employment Services) which allows you to work full-time towards launching your own company. I think for creative business people, the most important factor is learning to price your work correctly and confidently. We all love to spend our time designing and making, but you have to sit down and “crunch” the numbers, as they say. For example, I see a lot of crafters selling great products for low prices. This is good when you’re starting out, but once you cross over in to becoming a business you have to make sure you’re paying yourself for your time and talent! Happily, I think people are gradually becoming more aware of the value of handcrafted objects and are willing to pay fair prices for handmade.

Sunday marks the first day of summer. What do you most look forward to in the Summer?

Krystal : I most look forward to eating big slices of juicy watermelon in Trinity Bellwoods Park, having morning coffee with good friends, swimming at Ward’s Island, and whenever I can muster it, visiting my family in Muskoka and swimming some more! (Can you tell I’m excited?)


All photos (except #3) courtesy of Krystal Speck


Did you have a great weekend? I did. I love coming home after a trip, settling back in and feeling freshly inspired. This week should be action packed here at make something. I’m continuing my Paris posts, introducing you to some awesome designers (for the upcoming Garden Party Trunk Show) and announcing a fun giveaway (later today)!

I’ve been collecting snapshots of Space Invader‘s mosaic pixel installations for many years now. (from New York and my first trip to Paris many years ago) He’s one of my favourite street artists and I knew I’d be able to add more to my collection while in Paris, since that is where he’s from. I was pretty thrilled that I spotted eleven ‘invasions’ during our trip but I just found out that in Paris alone, there are over 763 invasions. Whoa. That means, I only collected 1.45% of them. That’s not a very high score. I hope to do better on my next trip.

Awesome video of an Invader installation here and an interview here. I have a really big weakness for mysterious street artists.