Last week was the final week of our Arts Focus classes at our school, it is always a fun ride for the 12 weeks of the year with the art show after the first session of 6 weeks. Following on is the second six-week session, and the art show will be on view at City Hall beginning next week. I have my class of 26 kids artwork on show, and this time I managed to get a broad range of pieces from hats, fabric collages, pipe cleaner dolls, embroidery, Felt LED cuffs and Felt Animals. The quilts are just beautiful with is super cool cat fabric and a dragon quilt as well – thanks to the parent volunteers of the sewing team who choose and sew up the quilts for this session. The quilt will be offered for bids at the Silent Auction to the parents of the kiddos who were in the sewing class.
I always enjoy what the kids create, and this time we had some extra time, and they could make another project focussing on their stitch work and embellishing. The hat and the bunny were created by kindergarten children who used their stitches in an interesting way. The bear in the centre pic is made by a 2nd grader who took great pride in her work. I love to see anyone enjoying the needle arts and to see kids stretch themselves by experimenting is such a joyful experience!
Speaking of seeing experimental needle arts in action… Monday I taught a sewing workshop at the Mountain View Public Library on making a small purse from repurposed interior design fabric from FabMo. The fun part is always seeing what fabrics people choose for the purses – this project only needed 3 pieces. I like to see how people matched or mismatched their fabric to get the desired effect. I have worked with these fabrics for a long time, and it took me ages to feel free working with a tonal collection of fabrics or even just mixing the patterns. The class was 12 adults and about a quarter of the class completed the project in the 1.5-hour class – a lot of time was spent deliberating on the fabric choice! Still, once it is on the sewing machine, this project is a breeze.
I will leave this week with my International Women’s day, A day without a woman picture. The Pussyhat project wanted to see some hats up on their website for the day, so I found my rainbow and pink pussyhat. To go with the rainbow theme, I found this delightful picture my daughter made for me years ago with rainbows and black crows. It seemed relevant for the moment showing that no matter how many black crows (or darkness) is on the horizon there is always love and rainbows. I enjoy being part of a community be it at the library or my school, and we work together for the common good of all – now and always. Peace xo
That’s the Public Enemy song we used to listen to in the car hanging out down at the beach – now that is da biz!
Following last weeks cubby project with my daughter’s 3rd-grade class, here is what they looked like as a completed collection – I love this as an art installation and the bonus is that it is used to hold the kid’s binders and their work.
As I have two weeks of minimum days my days of preparing for the Textile Art Boutique have been shortened! I had to work extra hard last week and do a lot of prep and make to up the inventory so I can get going when I get time this week to do anything. Today was a complete right off with zero time to do anything except hand sewing and unpicking. With some luck and preparation, I can get some work done this week.
Last week I finished two smaller tote bags with outside pockets. Also, the denim tote bag collection is continuing with a checked pink bag. Plus as I felt a bit of a robot with just doing and making I needed a break to do some prototype design with a clutch purse. I love the Missoni fabric sample I have used though it needs some fine tuning for the next one I make.
Sunday was a family day with Bike Palo Alto! and my friend Cherie’s birthday gathering so we made some yummy baked goods such as a chocolate chip banana bread and lime coconut muffins. I volunteer with Safe Mountain View with Cherie and John, to promote safe riding for all in the city and it was fun to ride in a protected bike lane that led directly to a middle school. As Safe Mountain View we are trying to get some of these throughout the city so it is safe for all of us to get around. Hopefully, the City of Palo Alto can advise Mountain View that it is super easy to install and does not cost too much!
The kids are enjoying riding in the protected bike lane and feeling safe from the cars. At least the cars know that you cannot cross the white bollards on the road and cut off a cyclist.
One of the reasons we joke about why the bike lanes are not happening is how expensive the green paint is in Mountain View! Just to see this paint creates an awareness and not to drive in them, I am just pointing to the green paint right there in the city right next to Mountain View that it is possible.
Currently, my middle schooler is driven to school every day as I do not trust the roads he would ride on to get to his school – too many people distracted on their phones going to work. If this was a reality in the city I live in maybe he could ride to school on his own and I would feel confident that there is an awareness on the road for cyclists. Unfortunately, for now, construction of apartment buildings and development are a number 1 priority of this city without thinking of the impact of the infrastructure of the city and what does this mean for the traffic – just more cars and pollution!
I found this interesting info about camping in a book from my daughter’s classroom when I was waiting to go home from school. This is what we enjoyed for my husband’s birthday over the weekend. Friends from our school organized this trip to Memorial Park near Pescadero, in the summer and we thought what a lovely way to spend a birthday weekend under the redwoods! Yes, I can say camping is quite relaxing though the preparation and organizing for a night out in the woods can be quite demanding especially after a big week!
A banana slug found by the creek where we were hanging out and relaxing after a big week. Hopefully, this guy found some tasty foliage and was kept out of harm’s way!
The week started out with my monthly program at the Mountain View Public Library with Sew Sew with FabMo. I am the FabMo representative who creates little take home projects working with FabMo fabric from interior designers and smaller textile design companies that would otherwise end up in the landfill. I had a class of 8 people who enjoyed making embroidered cuffs – a cuff is a bracelet with a snap to hold it together and we go through the process of sewing a front and back, sewing a snap and embellishing the fabric and then sewing the whole cuff together. I have a link to the tutorial on this blog if you want to try your hand at sewing one. Everyone is so happy when they leave with something that they made themselves and very thankful for the class, so it is a joy to volunteer to teach something that I really love.
Another side project I am enjoying with my Italian friend Cristiana from Pebble and Fire is an Art Play every 2 weeks sharing our skills. We visit each other and work together, have lunch and finish a project. Our first project was a ceramic pinch pot that Cristiana helped me create – it is a geometric salt cellar. It was so fun to create and learn new skills in ceramics that I may have missed when I went to the adult education classes. Cristiana is super skilled at hand building I love her style, so it is such a treat.
And this week we worked upstairs in my sewing room and Cristiana wanted to make a pillow case so I made her the pattern and we did some applique and made an envelope backed pillow cover. It looks just lovely on her couch and the little whale is made from denim and we embellished the heart from the red fabric we used on the back. It was so much fun to see my friend enjoy sewing as last time we went sewing together it was at an Etsy event in San Jose making lunch bags which was easy for me but not so for Cristiana. At least, this time when we worked together it was a bit more relaxing. I am looking forward to our next project together and it is such a great thing to do to learn something new and spend some time out of the usual.
In between, I have also been preparing work for the FabMo Textile Art Boutique that I am working towards. Here is another denim tote I have made using some beautiful linen I found at FabMo. I also made completed the sunglass pouches I worked on last week and made 3 skirts from stretch fabric – whew that inventory is coming along nicely!
Today I worked with the kids at school helping them choose colours for their cubby project where they are making an art installation using fabric I found at FabMo. They are staining the wood with a 1 part acrylic paint and 2 parts water where the wood absorbs the colour and creates a translucent effect with the wood grain. I love it and cannot wait to see the finished installation in the classroom.
Playing around with circle skirts I discovered that with the incredible drape that a Sari has it makes a perfect skirt. The hem on these lovely fun skirts are over 6 yards so it takes me an hour to apply the finish to the hem. This is my favorite as I love the colors and mix of the patterns. This was added to my collection for my final Holiday Gift Show last weekend – how good it feels to be able to relax now!
Get swinging in this Sari – which sold to a friend for their grand daughter as a gift!
At my friends house we had a holiday and gift boutique which was fun meeting some new people in a pocket of Los Altos I am familiar with my acupuncturist and grocery store there. Ideally I think with shows at home, publicity is key and maybe shoot for earlier in the season when shopping is on peoples minds. I think last weekend was just for last minute gifts with a lower price tag. Still it is always a learning experience with each show that I do.
My table of goodies ready for sale
Last week was also the final class for the Fall session of our Arts Focus classes at school! It was so good to see the kids really enjoy making the pipe cleaner dolls – so much imagination in making them. The first pic is of the group quilt project that the children made the squares for and they were quilting buttons on it to complete the quilt before binding. What an amazing achievement for the whole class to work on two quilts. Next up in January is the Art Show at City Hall and that is always exciting to see each art class present their works.
A pipe cleaner doll by a 2nd grade boy
Love the hair on this pipe cleaner doll made by a 3rd grade girl
Oh and how can I forget on Thursday night last week the kids had project night and they each presented to me their projects that they have been working on in class. My son working on this amazing Family Trip Project and virtually booked all the flights, accommodation and activities using his math skills for us to go to Lanai, Hawaii (I don’t know how we can access the place 98% of it is owned by some rich guy). He also presented a 3D printed project which was a holder for his ear buds for his computer – they got to use engineering and design skills, how lucky is this 10 year old – working on real world projects!!
My daughter designed a habitat for a venus fly trap – check one of them out here, looking very healthy indeed. The project was fascinating learning about what the fly trap needs to survive. I had to try and catch a fruit fly with tweezers to feed this guy on project night – maybe I will have to employ my Karate and chopsticks next time to be successful (watch The Karate Kid).
Feed me Seymour!! (Little Shop of Horrors – reference)
I was so happy on Sunday I went for a bike ride but by the time I reached half way and turned around I saw this huge grey cloud I rode straight into and got drenched by the rain, it felt so good!!