Sweet, sweet curiosity.

This blog is all about things I have made. You can find intense embroidery, paper quilling mania, crazy gingerbread houses, masks, puppets, steampunk clothes, ornaments, wackiness and sculptures on this site. So have fun and check it out!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Animal photography at the Toronto Zoo!

I don't know if anybody else has taken advantage of those silly coupons that get sent out EVERYDAY from companies like Groupon and WagJag, but occasionally they have some good ones.  We got a deal on going to the Toronto Zoo, (10$ for 23$ doller tickets) so we went on our frugal adventure and while we were there took some fun photos of different animals.

I have to say I love Rhinos. I took an amazing amount of photos of them. The photo above is my favourite from the African Rhinos.
Here is an Indian Rhino, very different looking. I didn't know till we went that there was more than one kind of Rhino!

This one part of the Zoo had all sorts of butterflys flying around your head as you walked through. It was completely enchanting and kind of terrifying at the same time. I watched where I was walking very carefully!
I love elephants.

Normally I am not a lizard/snake person. But the colours of these two were totally fascinating.

Zebras are just so cool.  I love how stark the black and white contrast is, the patterns are just mesmerizing.
The tiny aquarium they had for all of these cool jellyfish was so keen.  I have really only seen jellyfish on the discovery channel. They are so fluid and graceful, it's just beautiful to look at.
Polar bears were the other thing that we took a massive amount of photos of.  Paul loves them and I do too. Though for some reason they were the saddest of all the creatures, This one I took a photo of kept covering his head and the other one made the same repetitive swim in the water, They just looked the most trapped of all of the creatures in the zoo.

That being said, I would definitely go to the Zoo again. It was fascinating and felt like we were on an adventure.I also feel really inspired to use these images in other forms of my art.. we'll see how that turns out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chalkboard table and candied chairs!

My previous post I put up pictures of my hutch that I painted. So here I will now show you my Table and Chairs.  As you can see from the above photo, I painted the table in chalkboard paint! It was a lot of humming and hawing trying to decide what to with the table top, we wanted something we could use, have fun with and enjoy.  So, we did it although we did have some issues picking the right roller ( if you do this don't use a foam roller, only fabric really works well.)
So this is what table looked like before we refinished it.

and This is is afterwards.  We also bought cheap place mats and tablecloths so that we could cover up the table if we needed to be a bit more adult. 
Here is a picture of what the chairs started out as. We took off the seat, painted and reupholstered.  The seat cushion took us forever to pick the fabric because we wanted it to be a nice pattern, the right colour and kind of a thick fabric. We could not find that, so we improvised. We found a light weight fabric that was the right colour and design, then we covered it in clear vinyl. The whole look together looks like candied furniture. How perfect for us!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dang that's a bright hutch!

 The news in my oh so exciting life right now is that my 7 year old table from IKEA has ceased to function. I think a piece of furniture that was pretty cheap to begin with has paid for itself by lasting for 7 years so no loveloss there, however in the search for a new table to replace my defaulted IKEA one, I found a gem.  I must admit that I am a lady of low means, and can be described as "resourceful", "frugal", "treads carefully when money is to be spent" or just plain old "cheap". However one of my favourite thrift stores in my area is the New Hamburg Mennonite Thrift Store.  They have a lot of furniture and great craft supplies.  What we found when we looked was a table, hutch, 4 chairs, all together for the low, low price of $79.00. (The Tags on it read 150 so it was marked down. We got a deal!) Most of it is solid hardwood, but there were some not so pretty panels that we decided needed some love.  So we spent far too long in a paint store figuring out colours and went with some pretty wild ones. 
 The Colours are called "Venetian Turquoise" and "Limelight". Pretty wild for us. It took a really long time to pick the colours but after awhile we just decided to be gutsy and go with it. I would say it's a really big improvement from what it was before, definitely updated but the 60's/70's lines from the furniture come out nicely still!

We are also painting the table and chairs, but those aren't finished yet. I will post pictures when they are complete.

I'll embroider that origami!

For This hoopla swap round on craftster.org my partner said she liked Japanese things so I went looking around for images..I am not one of those people who likes to steal directly from wists/pinterest for inspiration, so I wanted to come up with something new. I was looking around and I found this origami paper design with different designs in each fan. I decided to something like it myself. Working out the pattern was a little difficult but I figured it out.
Here is the pattern I worked out which you are welcome to use:
I had to enlarge it a bit, because the fans were way too tiny when I started out.

I also used a silly fabric for embroidery, it is a rather thick striped fabric almost like a corduroy, I would not recommend this. Every time I put my needle on one of the ridges it was more difficult to get through. So sometimes the tension was uber funky.

 I started out thinking that I might use this as an exercise to try out new stitches and filling stitches but then I thought, I should use some imagery so I picked the koi,
 the hiroshige wave,
the cherry blossom, peony and matryoshka dolls.
 The rest of the fans are all improvised or experiments in types of stitches (which was totally fun in and of itself).  New Stitches on this would be  the french knot (which is so fun to do once you get the hang of it), Chain stitch, Blanket button hole stitch and the long and short satin stitch. I am really realizing that there is a whole world of interesting stitches that I am not using so I am going to try and incorporate them more into my designs.