The 100 Day Project (The Last 50)

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I am more than a bit behind on following up with my 100 Day Project, since it ended in July, but let’s pretend that’s not so far in the past. After finishing my first 50 days of animals, I needed a bit of a change. At first I thought I would do 50 more birds, since a painting filled with birds has been an image stuck in my head for a while now. I thought, I’ll paint 50 birds that I see in my yard (nope, even though we do have a ton of birds that visit in the summer), then maybe 50 birds in Saskatchewan (nope). I finally decided on 50 things that I could find in my yard, and this was fun because it was Spring when I started and things in our yard were constantly changing and growing and all the wildlife was coming back out (and yes, we do have a resident backyard squirrel and many wild jackrabbits that scoot around the neighborhood). Each day I would go on a bit of a hunt for what to include – at first this was easy with loads to choose from, and sometimes I would take a cutting of a plant to paint, and sometimes I would take a photo and work from that. My husband surprised me one day with a photo of that robin’s nest with the brilliant blue eggs that had been secretly built in the back corner of our little pergola. After the rain the mushrooms came out, the stawberries appeared, and plants flowered at different times. Near the end though, I really had to get creative, which is why that tiny little gnome (the only not-found-in-nature item) was my last addition.

Maybe this is obvious already, but I did not plan out in advance where to place each drawing – I just started with the blue jay and filled in spaces from there. Had I done the drawings individually and had the ability to digitally move them around or change their sizes later, I might have changed up a few things, but in the end it’s part of the charm for me.

This way of working, of adding everyday to one bigger project may have been more satisfying than making individual drawings – I could constantly see the progress, and everyday my kids would come home from school and try to figure out what the newest addition had been. In the end, I love this piece because it’s so specific to our yard, as it is now. It made me look close, see what was happening in the sky and on the ground and I got to know those seasons better. Also, because it ended up being kind of personal, I always intended just to keep it and there was no expectation that this would become something for sale. That was nice.

I loved this project. I made a ton of drawing/paintings and remembered why I love that process (it makes my mind more still and focused, which is a magical thing for this spinning top that I have in my head, constantly). Again, I didn’t feel the need to share about it overly in order to keep motivated – as the giant page filled up, it created its own momentum. In short, if you’re thinking about doing the 100 Day Project – do it. Keep it simple and within a very short time period every day. Keep going, because whatever you make, the end is going to be kind of amazing.

 

 

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Let’s Make Dolls

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I had so much fun teaching this class (and who knew I could talk so long about fabric?). 10 lovely ladies joined me for the afternoon and they each created their own unique doll – some with button joints, some out of linen, and some with ears in places that the makers weren’t expecting, but that were a delightful surprise anyway. A room full of whirring sewing machines, and creatives who are so encouraging to each other, well, doesn’t get much better!

Thanks Summer

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I enjoyed this summer so much. So much more than the summers of recent years, and this happened simply because I decided I was going to enjoy it. I did very little doll making work, and instead we slept in, crafted endlessly, went to camp, rode our bikes, played sports, and saw our friends. Classic summer.

I stepped away from social media and from documenting my life in any way other than photos I actually wanted to take. And for a time I felt released of the pressure to tell anyone what I was making or doing. Because I wasn’t posting, I wasn’t responding, and because I wasn’t selling, I didn’t have to follow up on that. The to-do list was short, and there was lots of room in my head to think about other creative things. And I remembered, oh yeah, you do truly have to take a long enough break for this to happen. Nothing is going to collapse, you’re not missing out.

I perfected baking cinnamon twists and gifting them to neighbors. We grew sunflowers that are just now blooming, we had a birthday party for Bruce the tiger, and I mean, who is going to win World of Dance?

Thanks summer, you were the best in a decade.

Boolah Baguette and Bamboletta

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I was delighted to be asked to collaborate again with Bamboletta Dolls! Bamboletta produces handmade, Waldorf-style dolls on Canada’s west coast – Christina runs a beautiful company and each doll is the work of so many people! This time around, we paired one of my animals, one of their sitting friends, along with matching clothing and a coordinating animal headband. There were 11 sets in total that were snapped up and have already found new homes. So grateful for all you doll-loving ladies out there!

Projects like this are an incredible amount of work, and these were in progress on my studio tables for almost a month. I really thought about my fabric choices and stuck with soft, natural materials for the clothing – using mainly organic cottons and hemp. When I look at these photos I see so much hand sewing, from each little flower and detail on the headbands to the sleeve openings of the jackets. Seeing everything together in the end was so worth it for me, and it feels good to have completed something on a larger scale. Also, the answer is yes, I will be making more unicorns ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Winter into Spring

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It is still very much winter here, through these first days of official spring – and in the last few months of hibernation, so many dolls were made and sent to new homes. I have a long wish list of dolls to come up next : more people dolls of all sizes (6″, 10″, 14″) will be listed in my shop in April, and I have had so many requests for bison that they will be coming soon too (please be in touch if you would like the inside scoop on that!). I will admit, the spring sun is lovely, and I do love sneaker season…

Happy Spring!