February 24th, 2014 | Comments Off

My partner Boris is a far superior cook than I, mostly because he has a passion for the activity whereas my passion for food lies more with the eating of it. Over the five or so years we’ve lived together I’ve steadily handed off the bulk of food preparation to his care, and been very glad of it. I enjoy his good cooking, while he enjoys a clean home and clothes.

This past December I came to the realization that I found the activities of cooking or baking to be extremely stressful. The reason why is because I did these things so rarely I was out of practice and had lost my confidence in working with food.

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I am surrounded by people who are excellent chefs, and I am lucky to share many good meals made by friends, so I suddenly felt pretty shameful about the sad level my food skills had sunk to.

Immediately I made the decision to turn things around. I have been cooking and baking much more often over the past two months, including trying recipes for things I’ve always wanted to make but hadn’t previously tried. (I’m looking at you Lemon Loaf and Okonomiyaki).

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The situation had me reflecting upon the empowering nature of making things by hand. I should never be afraid to try something new, or have the expectation for perfection. I understand this intimately when it comes to art and craft processes, but it also applies to working with food. Thank goodness for the Christmas baking epiphany because now I am empowered to enjoy the creation of food as much as I love the consumption of it.

September 3rd, 2013 | Comments Off

Earlier this year (which feels like eons ago) I bought a small sketchbook with the intention of getting into drawing again. I’d intended to do it at least once a day but quickly discovered I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to it regularly. Last week I took a break (one where I just allowed myself free time to do whatever I wanted) and managed to pick things up again.

I think of these as doodles rather than drawings, mostly because they are not “for” anything other than the process of creation. They suit my obsessive nature as an artist, and I think of them as meditative drawings. I was curious to discover this is actually a thing.

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doodle

It is very calming to draw without intention. I often start with a very loud mind and slowly it will quiet the more I draw. I have the same experience when I cut paper.

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These are just a few of the doodles I created last week. I’m hoping to maintain doing these types of drawings as part of my practice going forward.

August 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

Over the summer months I’ve gotten into sewing, purely out of a desire to spruce up our apartment. I’ve had a few little projects in mind for ages but until recently I didn’t have my own sewing machine.

For home improvement project number one I wanted to make new slip covers for the throw pillows that came with our couch. I’ve always disliked the fabric, but rather than buying new pillows I decided to sew covers and choose a fabric to add more colour to the room. Dressew was my source for the bold yellow fabric I came away with.

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Slip covers for the throw pillows on our couch

I sewed them without a pattern but found some ideas online to use as reference. Anne advised and assisted me with the sewing as it’s been a really long time since I’ve used a sewing machine. We finished them in about an hour and a half.

The slip covers were the gateway project that led me to buying a sewing machine of my own, because I knew I wanted to make more things. I went with the tiny and inexpensive SY sewing machine from Ikea because I’d read a review that recommended it as a good starter machine.

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And the next thing I knew I was sewing curtains for the bedroom, once again using fabric sourced from Dressew. As with the pillow cases I did not use a pattern. I kept things simple with minimal detail, and sewed together the patterned fabric with a white backing to block out light. My hanging solution was to purchase curtain rings to clip to the top and not have to fuss about with something more complicated.

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Bedroom curtains

I still have so much to learn about sewing, but at least I am learning as I go. I have another project in mind, still sticking with simple straight lines, but eventually I hope to tackle making my own clothes.