Posted in Art, Environment, Homeschooling, International, Poll, surface design

Creepy before and after

Our new home has a backyard, greatly appreciated after so long in apartmentland.  The enthusiasm may wane when the grass starts to grow and needs to cut, we’ll see.

Only thing is, this is part of the deal …

IMG_0002AT LEAST it’s not facing the house, but it’s firmly settled in the ground and not for us to remove (rental).  Young Sprout did NOT like seeing this from the house, let alone playing near it.

First attempt was to place a garbage bag over the top.  That lasted a few days and then blew off into the bramble bushes.  The middle of the bramble bushes.

IMG_0003This is somewhat of an improvement.  From the house, seen in profile it rather looks as if it’s facing a firing squad, and apparently Young Sprout and Pirate Girl have used their rubber dart guns for target practice, although I’m positive they would not have ever seen a firing squad since they don’t watch a lot of movies.

I used some recycled Indonesian cotton that had been used as packing in an international move and is great for surface design, soy wax resist, etc.

Posted in Environment, Homeschooling

Upcycled Art Supply Box

Young Sprout (my grandson) is about to start kindergarten and is enrolled in distance education, meaning that my daughter Umm Sprout will be his main instructor with curriculum, supplies and guidance from a teacher.  Much is supplied through the program but we need to get a few things together ourselves (nothing like the regular back to school shopping I had to do when my two were in school though).

One thing is to provide the child with what the parents guide calls a Beautiful Junk Box to be stocked with egg cartons, cores from paper towels, boxes, clamshells from salad, etc. to enable the student to get creative and make models and do crafts on her or his own.

I found a good sized extra sturdy box in my storage locker


but it needed some oomph.


contact paper to the rescue!

And it’s already partly stocked with cores, boxes  and cheap ribbon, which I just happened to have on hand.  I have ideas of other stuff to put in that is already here but should consult with Umm Sprout first.  Am also planning to label the box using an 8-1/2 by 11 inch mailing label.  Again, I want to consult with my daughter as to what she wants it to say.

Apparently they also need a box for math manipulatives but I just happen to have shoeboxes available which are probably a good size, and enough left over contact paper to do a coordinated cover.

Interestingly I phoned around before setting out to buy the paper and a deservedly famous local hardware store had the big box store prices well beat!

Posted in creativity, Environment

Elusive elastic

Unable to find the elastic I know is lurking somewhere around the house, I’ve been running around to drugstores, quilt and embroidery stores, for two days.  Everyone has Velcro but regular elastic is much harder to find.

However, Gala Fabrics came to the rescue and instead of having to buy a vast quantity in a plastic blister pack, they cut off the yardage I needed and packed it in this precious repurposed sewing pattern!

Young Sprout was in tow, behaving beautifully considering he had just missed a chance to go on the bouncy castle because the volunteers were stopping for lunch, so I didn’t push my luck by browsing their fabric sale although some bright red paisley is calling my name!

Posted in baraka, productivity

Chameleon Bag


I know I said I was going to be less like a chameleon, but I figure that doesn’t apply to clothing …

This felt bag is from Nepal via Fibres of Life fair trade handicrafts of Calgary.  It’s beautifully made and hopefully will last a long time, ESPECIALLY as the silkscreened panel can be changed at will.  I indulged myself and got the two shown here.  The brooch shown with the cranberry panel is felt and a button and was an extra.

Hmm, I’m already thinking that extra panels could be easily constructed out of this and that for further fun and self-expression.  Stay tuned.


One great thing about this one is that the handle is nice and long.  Usually when I go purse shopping, I can’t find anything I like with a long enough handle.

This past week I worked for 40-1/2 hours, much in connection with the community quilt.  Next week will probably be less productive as there are things on the home front that have to be taken care of.  But hopefully I’ll fit in some creative endeavours too.

Posted in Art, Environment, quilting

Recognition at Last :-)


It’s so cool that someone was sweet enough to grab me a chair AND make a label out of repurposed organic cotton!  It was especially cool because the label was made and waiting when I arrived at the Organic Islands festival this morning.  This is going to be attached to my office chair.

About 40 people have designed blocks for the community quilt, which is plenty to make a decent sized quilt that can be displayed next year.  Ideas for the next one are already percolating away … and I had a really great time. There was a really good vibe and the children were so positive and creative.

sunset0001It’s such fun to watch small children dip their paintbrush into every colour and then splash away.  The organic cotton jersey used for the prayer flags was great because unlike paper it doesn’t disintegrate no matter how loaded with paint it is.  Children were encouraged to hang them up to dry and come back later to take them home, but a lot were left at the end of the day.

The flag above is by me, using very liquid acrylic paint.  The colours almost remind me of Jacquard Setacolor, but these blended better.