Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Break Projects

For the past semester I've been away at costume school. Although it's so very interesting and fun, there is not much time left over for my own projects. And, truth be told, I always seem to find some kind of distraction from the many projects that are swimming through my head. But the plague of procrastination ends here and now. Having 3 weeks of break I've decided to Embark on 3 projects:

Project #1: Create a Hawaiian retirement Paradise for Flopsy the dog
This is going to be a Christmas present for my sister. When she was little she had this cute dog plushy toy named Flopsy, since he is very floppy. His increased flop over the years has resulted in many a remark that Flopsy needs somewhere nice to retire in his old age. I've already made his Hawaiian shirt. Now I just need to find a display case, in which He will be relaxing on hammock, drinking out of a coconut and enjoying the lush surroundings.



Project #2: Sew a Regency period dress for myself
One of the projects we had to do at costume school is create a basic block (a basic pattern) to fit another person exactly. I traced mine off from the person who drafted the block for me. So now that I have this master pattern for myself I really want to make something out of it, putting my new pattern manipuation skills to the test. I've always wanted to make a regency dress put I have tones of thin cotton fabric lying around. If I'm really ambitious I may also make a regency corset from this pattern: http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/1830_pattern.html

Project #3: Make a Ball jointed Doll from Cold Porcelain
I've been wanting to make a doll for ages. At first I was going to make it cloth. When I started researching ball jointed dolls I got really excited, especially when I found some straight forward tutorials (such as: http://www2d.biglobe.ne.jp/~dhnoah/make_00.htm). But then the issue of what medium to use came up. At first I was going to go for super sculpey, but was concerned about strength (plus I can't really get my hands on any at the moment). But then I made an amazing discovery: cold porcelain! The best thing about it is you make it yourself from household ingredients. I'm really excited to try it. great video tutorial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0cHT2QsQsIA

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Orsinal: A dose of cuteness

So I was looking for some super easy going online games and I found these super cute ones. They are all pretty simple and straightforward but they are very artistically made. Their music is lovely, inspiring even, and they have sweet pastel colour palettes for the most part. http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Knitting with Chopsticks



A couple days ago I got the urge to learn how to knit. This was spurred on by a pamphlet on how to knit that my boyfriend's mom kindly gave me. So I bought some yarn and eagerly settled in on my couch only to realize I had no knitting needles. However I was not deterred. I looked around for what I could use and I found chopsticks! They were quite adequate to learn and practice on. The pamphlet, however, was beyond me. So I sought out video tutorials online and found a really good one on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9hv44QwQ-A

Today I was eager to start some projects so I went out a bought a pair of needles. To test them out I made a little sweater for my cell phone. Now it's all warm and cozy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Table Numbers and Cake Topper

Last Weekend I attended my roommate`s wedding. Since I roomed with her over the school year I was able to help out with some of the fun, crafty things that she was making. The wedding colours were blue and yellow and the theme could be described as spring picnic. She came up with lovely centerpieces: She collected tin cans and gave them a light spray of blue paint. She put in twigs in the cans and decorated them with her hand-made paper flowers. Then the table numbers, which was the main thing I helped out with, were attached with a cute, little clothes peg.



She also asked me to make the cake topper. It was made from old-fashioned, one piece clothes pegs; ribbon roses and bits of fabric. I used the template from www.craftstylish.com, as seen in my April 2 post.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CD Design Project

Today was my last day of design class. Our final project was to design a CD cover, plus the back cover and also an inside page. We also had to design a poster, a web splash page and a business card for the Artist we chose. I picked Regina Spektor and here is what I came up with:

Web Page

Poster

Back Cover

Sample Inside page (with lyrics)

Front Cover

Friday, April 2, 2010

Clothes Pin Dolls

Recently, as I was browsing online for crafty things I bumped into some of the cutest, simplest dolls I've ever seen. I was also extra interested because I know my roommate was on the look out for a simple cake topper for her upcoming wedding. These work perfectly! They're made out of old-fashioned clothes pins and look great simply painted or fancier, by adding fabric, arms or different heads, too. I found two especially good tutorials showcasing both styles of clothes pin dolls:



Simple bride and groom: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/47412/how-to-make-a-clothespin-cake-topper




Cute girl dolls from: http://goingsewcrazy.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/02/clothespin-doll-tutorial.html

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Philosophy on Art: An Expression of Truth, Beauty and Goodness

In this "Post-Modern" age of defenestrating all conventions in a claim that they are nothing more then that, I think we've thrown out somethings that we shouldn't have. It's like when you throw out your only good knife with all the vegetable peelings. I assume that booting out all those norms that past generations lived by was an attempt to free ourselves from the past. But freedom, I believe, is not synonymous with anarchy.

I think that this idea of convention vs. universal truth is key in unlocking the true definition of art. I once read a book that asked the question "what is art?" and the conclusion was basically that it is any expression that one makes of their feeling. Thus, if someone spits at the ground out of disgust, that is art. Suddenly, there are no universal norms, and art can be anything. Who's to say what makes something good art or bad art.

I can't deny that art is an expression. Usually an artist is inspired by something and they feel the impulse to express it. So yes, they are expressing a feeling. But what then, one might ask, is an inspiration?

A friend of mine recently just pointed something out to me on this subject. He wrote: 'Poetry for me (like all artistic beauty) is like capturing that feeling of "the first time"--a "first time" for real and personal joy. For that encounter when your spirit and the soul of the world met in profundity, and freshness.' What occurred to me is that inspirations are actually "first time" realizations that don't want to be kept in. Such a realization is so powerful that we are moved to express it.

But what does one realize? Do we not feel an amazing awe and satisfaction when something clicks in our head? When we finally understand some truth, discover some beauty or realize the good in something? The artistic process, I find, is one of such discoveries. It is a process of growth and learning. This is a very different image than that of the artist who splatters paint in constant angst and frustration. Not that art can't be used as an outlet for emotion. But the question is: Is it a process by which we grow as people, or is it one where we are captive to a vicious cycle of destructive emotion? Or, more simply put: Is it building us up, or breaking us down?

I think that making art is supposed to be uplifting experience. And I think that we need an ordered framework for that to happen. Just like cake batter will never find it's fulfillment without a pan. So too, I think that yes, art is an expression. But more specifically I think true art expresses our discovery and encounter with the truth, beauty and goodness of the world.

True expression cannot come without order. Only the truth will set us free. We couldn't live without objective Truths. That is what art is a testament to.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Current Projects

Well, I actually have some art projects going on that I can't get out of. This is a very good thing, because if I left them to my own motivation they would, in all probability, never happen.

The first project, or really series of projects, is for my design class that I'm taking this semester. The current project is a collage that deals with a social issue. I've desided to deal with the effects of industrialization and consummerism on our wellbeing and that that of the world. I should have it done and posted by the end or next week.

The second project is one that I signed up for online. It is called the bead journal project. This simply means that I need to make a piece every month for one year that includes beads and is like a visual journal entry for the month. I'm really looking forward to it especially since I've never beaded before (except for simple braclets and things when I was a kid). There won't be anyone enforcing that I follow through or marking my work, but I'm hoping the fact that I signed up officially will be enough motivation. I also have a special plan for the pieces at the end of the year, but that is a secret. (http://www.beadjournalproject.com/index.htm)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Peace and Joy of a New Year

As I wrap up my degree in humanities I am anxiously thinking about what to do next in my life. But my worry is easied and I experience a strange peace and joy, two words that we often hear around Christmas time. But why?

The answer is not far, however it seems distant in the swamp of consummerism that is our culture. If we just step away, take a quiet moment and reflect on what this season is all about we find the key. Yes, a baby was born in a stable over two thousand years ago. But that has a direct impact on our lives today--that baby grew up to be our Saviour. He is the son of God, and He gave Himself completely as a gift to us. That makes all the shiny presents under the tree seem worthless. After all most often they were bought and wrapped with little effort or struggle. In other words, we are loved more than we can possibly ever imagine. The thoughtfulness and sacrifice of our families is but a pale image of that infinite love.

So if God created the whole universe, knows every little hair on our heads and loves us infinitely what do we have to worry about? Well, nothing! We are completely taken care of. Of course we still have to do our parts. God loves us enough to respect our free wills. But He will always be there to help us though everything we go through. Whatever seeming misfortunes and hardships we enounter God will be there and He will bring good out of it. We simply need to keep our eyes on Him so we don't fall into the icky swamp around us.

Now if that's not occation for deep peace and joy within us, I don't know what is!

And that's also the reason why I love art. The wonders of God are reflected in creation. The beauty and awe we find there are infinitly greater in God. The artist makes little creations of his/her own in which that is emphasized and pointed towards.

I feel it is my broad vocation in life to create little works of art that Honour Him by showing little glimmers of His truth, beauty and goodness.