Friday, January 29, 2016

Well hello once more.

So excited to say that my kids clothing adventures from the summer turned out awesome!
I did a handful of shows, met plenty of fun inspiring people, and I learned much along the way(namely how to secure your tent in the event of a storm!!).
It was really fun to put my experience in retail to work for myself too.  I am so accustomed to displaying and selling other people's work that it felt really good to finally put all that energy into my own work!

It also felt really good to have my work acknowledged by other makers!

I decided to go with  *goldiemilks* as a label.  you can find it here:


I keep a daily Instagram too: @themisspencil
in case you wonder about my silly world.

Here are some samples:

 The itty bitty swing tank! a most popular item.
 The light little party dress. made w upcycled sari bc I live in little India!
A light summer toddler jacket inspired by the Japanese Yukata.
These were also a hit!

What's next?  Well first thing is first.  We up and bought the place next door and are completing a full gut and reno job on it with the hopes of renting it out. So in between full time momming and art and crafting my energies are spent over there.  
It is such a cool project to completely dissect a house!  While my partner is the building scientist and has a greater scope of knowledge in this department I am a trusty sidekick who is learning to "do" on the job.  Thus continuing on my personal trajectory of becoming a person who can make anything. 

Of course amidst all the things, momlyfe, home renovation, mini tiny itty bitty upcycling business I still have my art chomping at the bit to get out.   A friend asked me if all the projects and the crafting were a good equivalent to just making art itself and sadly for me no it is not.  All those other things require a type of creativity and a type of intelligence but none of them are actually the answer to what I am seeking. 

What am I seeking then?
What is in my gut?
Objects.  To make weird colourful, textured objects and two dimensional works that reflect my accidental permanent state of optimism. 
I do not have a big agenda.  I cannot solve the stupid issues of the world by making art however, by making art, I might be able to make the world a more tolerable place.

Right now my projects bring me joy and bring me income and potential future income.  
Right now I am building stability because you cease to be able to fuck around when you have a small person relying on you for their future.

My actual mantra since Adaire was born has been "I don't have time to fuck around." I have said this to my very patient partner Jack, I have said this to my mom, I have said this to the door to door people that want me to 'blah blah blah', I have said this to the overly yappy sales person at the pet food store, and I might even say it to you one day.  But I am holding onto it as we get into this year because I need it right now.

Welp this has been a rambly post!

Have a good week!
And for dog's sake quit fucking around.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Just makin some clothes for kids

you know, keeping busy.

Working to expand my knowledge, and practice some skills.
Use up some old fabrics, found items.
Make some stinking cute things for my babe and other peoples babes to wear.

So I dress my kid every day.
Which is great because we were gifted soooo much clothing!!
Sadly for the gifters I have passed on much of it. (sorry gang)
Still I sense we have way more than we need/ way more than what our teeny tiny Toronto home can handle but much of it is lovely and cute and there. I 've been duped into owning more than I need.

So why then would I elect to make children's clothes you ask.

I am an avid maker of things.

When I became pregnant I became super excited to make things for my own kid instead of buying.
Now was my chance to change the typical pattern of  Mama has baby, mama buys all kinds of crap, mama carves a deep baby shaped hole into the planet with her crap pile buying skills.
Low and behold, even without me being the central buyer we have a household full of stuff.
I pare and pare down, currently paring as we prepare to celebrate the first year milestone.

I am so excited for my child, she is so much fun she has challenged me to think outside of all of my expectations about everything.  In a way too she has challenged me to strive to understand this stuffing of stuff in our culture. I cannot necessarily stop others from doing it, I can almost hardly stop myself, but I have been and it feels very empowering.  

What I am doing now is taking the old and used things and making new things.  It actually feels good to see my kid wearing something made out of fabric that was wasting away in someones basement.  It feels so good that I am making more and looking to share what I make with others. 

It is a peaceful process.
It brings me joy.

What can you find and remake today?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dear Blogland,

I haven't actually forgotten to write I am simply a new mother who is also a crafter, and an artist, and a kitty momma, and a wife, and a daughter, and a good friend and a...., and a....., and a........ 
This, that and the other thing too.
And I am not apologizing for my absence either. Humph.

Soo much to keep up on in this life my attention to internet is less right now.  
However I am still staying active, I perfected the art of baby wearing while knitting when my baby was sick and didn't want to be put down for naps.  I have completely quit caring about what I look like/ultra streamlining my beautification habits so I can have ten-fifteen minutes in the day where I read about different sewing/knitting techniques or essays on art.  (Currently reading the wonderful BEAUTY by Dave Beech)

I am still working to simplify everything in my life and honestly the internet makes me feel more complicated than I need to be.  Partially because it is a device of distraction and partially because of my own personal mania of over stimulated joy when I see any little thing that inspires me. I get so easily overwhelmed that I need blinders just like those carriage horses in the city.  I spook easy on the internet.  So I keep a distance.
This is why I am not pinterested in the least.  It will destroy me. I have even quit the big all knowing facebook temporarily while I learn to navigate my life as a mother and then maybe I'll leave it forever.

As I go simple I ask myself what are the things I wish to use my time for?
The list is as follows:  family time, healthy food, knitting, sewing, drawing, painting, walking, gardening, friend time, book time, running time, quiet nothing time.

Given this list I should prolly ditch the smart phone.

Anyhow here is a quick picture of a stylie winter set I just made for a fundraiser.  It is a pair of upcycled mittens, and head band accompanied by a super thick neck cowl.  I normally work with itty bitty yarns and meticulous patterns so I found knitting so big to be quite a joyous event.

All the proceeds from the raffle that this charming gift is a prize for will go to support Delisle Youth Services . A cool organization that works to help teens in the city cope with the variety of challenges that they face.  It is important that young people are supported in our culture of strange media, social pressure, and complicated lives, if you are interested to learn more click the link and find out more. 

Maybe you are super wealthy and you can make a donation to them, that would be rad.


Caring is totally cool. 

(What would Raffi do?)

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Marks We Leave Behind.

At one of my contract jobs this year there was an area with plenty of old leathery seating.  I discovered these old seats while trying to find a quiet place to read during my longer breaks.  The seats sat in a perfect row basking in the winter sun with little tables in between where one could take one's lunch without the staff room nattering.  
It was my ideal escape from the day.  I also quietly observed the others who found peace in this odd little corner.  Mostly it was other people who had reading to do and nursing mothers.  A pretty peaceful bunch. 

What I discovered there after lunch one day brought on feelings of disrupted privacy, and surprise but only in the hilarious way that an old leather chair could do. 

As I got up to go one after~lunch, conscious that I had left a flock of crumbs on the seat, I turned to check and dust it off when *GASP* there it was as clear as could be my perfectly preserved but/thigh/lady part image impressed into the old leather seat.  Like a little leathery mould of my booty left behind for the next sitter to ponder.

Immediately I gave up feelings of violation for those of curiosity and checked all the other chairs.

Butt Prints Everywhere!!!! 

How exciting!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I learned something really cool this weekend

So my partner of many years (10+) and I finally decided to get married. 
We decided it almost exactly one year ago while hiking around in the great smokey mountains.
We then told everyone that we were planning a wedding and then something happened, I got pregnant.

Increasingly all of my wedding concerns dissolved into concerns about how to be an awesome mom, a solid partner, and still keep my head about me, care about the world, the cats, art and craft.... etc...

As my gears shifted some other people's gears did not.  I was faced with some individuals in my life perpetually wondering if I was going to this wedding show or that wedding show, what silver I would like at my wedding, what kind of dress I should wear,  what about a caterer, what about a baby sitter for the wedding because our baby might disrupt the ceremony (!!!!).

In the face of a wedding my opinion has always been, "oh, cool let's have a picnic and go swimming!".  As it turns out many other people expect a little bit more and because of this pressure whole affair stopped making sense to me.  

As we are "expecting" there was also the question of will you have the wedding before the baby?  How will we let all the relatives know in time?  Party?  No Party? 
In the end we decided together that a simple little city hall ceremony would do the trick.  
I went in and got a licence and booked a date and we told no one until the day before when I sent out a little note to some friends in the Toronto area asking if anyone could be a witness for our wedding.
Ten or eleven friends came out, we had a short little ceremony and proceeded to go out for nachos and champagne.

It was actually perfect.
I found my dress for 16$ at a thrift shop, made my own hair piece, did my own hair and makeup.
Voila, the easiest thing looked so good!
Not only that but the whole day felt good too.

I discovered why it felt so good as I spoke to my pals about it at the pub.
Several of them are married couples who's weddings I've attended and they each expressed to me how they love the way we chose to do it.  Not only was it so completely "Us", but that the day was so unhindered by the out of control bizzaro wedding pressure/ wedding culture.   We didn't need any of it and thus were free from the superficial ideas that seem to dislodge the actual meaning behind a wedding in the first place.

This realization is something I always knew but needed the experience to reinforce.  It was a moment not unlike watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" EVERY Christmas just to be certain you get the vibe of love and family right.  Now that we have had the experience I can honestly tell you all that a real wedding has nothing in the world to do with all that hustle and fuss.  The hustle and fuss is for those with spare money and time and something other than love to prove.

My next challenge however is attached to a wee little promise we made to host some kind of reception where the family gets to celebrate..... After the baby is good and strong.

I am working on a way to share what I have just learned with everyone in the form of some kind of celebration.......... I was thinking of a quilting bee potluck keg party where people get together and share.

We'll see if that goes over.