We are a community

IMG_7343

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.

IMG_7344

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

IMG_2312

 

A piece a Week – A Tote Bag for the Silent Auction

I promised my friends at the Silent Auction at school that I would make a custom one of a kind poppypeach bag for the silent auction coming up end of March. Inspired by the colours of Spring I found this heavyweight cotton floral fabric and made a large tote bag. The straps are from the hospital – used once and then discarded. The straps are in perfect working order and they highlight the floral print with their brightness. 
A happy spring tote ready for auction
At school the 5th graders wrote their lines for their re-enactment of the Colonial days with Stevensburg with skits of what society was like back in the day. All of the kids had wonderful costumes and Ash was a butler and here he is practicing pouring tea before the big day at school!

Fancy a cup of tea Governor?
Thursday we had the quilting bee at school with the quilts out on their frames and being quilted by the kiddos with beads and embroidery floss. This quilt will then be auctioned off at the Silent Auction. 
Getting ready for quilting with this fish quilt

The weather on the weekend was rainy most of the day on Saturday with lots of rain coming down Saturday night. We had planned a hike to La Honda Creek on Sunday – when I say planned, I mean you have to have a permit to hike here. There are less than 4 miles of paths so it is a perfect hike for a family without anything too strenuous except for an uphill climb (that seems to never end) up a grassy meadow to the vista point. The fun thing about this place was that while we were there for over 2 hours we only saw another couple there and that was up on the vista point when we were heading up there. What a treat it was to be hiking without anyone else around – this is the Bay Area after all and it is extremely rare to have anywhere to yourself! Sunday mornings are perfect for family hikes and this is something I want to do more of this year.

This sign was an indicator to what we experienced for the rest of the day

The hike had a magical quality to it with the rain and winds of the night before the woodland felt like it was recovering and getting itself back in order. I just love all the green of the mosses all over the trees. Everything was sparkling in the morning light as you can see from some of the pictures. There were lots of oak and plenty of redwoods in between paths of green meadows with rolling hills looking up to the huge puffy clouds on a blue, grey sky.

Hey man, a banana slug enjoys the wet weather

The kids found a skull in one of the meadows

Found a bunch of fun guys to hang with! 

Here is the vista point – Welcome!

Looking out to the sea

One of the amazing oak trees growing in this very special forest

Some sun drenched fungi

A piece a Week – All day Summer Camp = Super productive sewing space! Oh and we saw Whales!!!!!!

Last week was a fantasy week and it was so worth having the kids in a full day camp, it really makes you realise how valuable time alone to create is! I had a list of many projects that I had to start or even complete. Now it does feel so good to have a sense of organisation of how I am going to attempt to stock my booth for the FabMo Textile Art Boutique in October. Time for experimentation when designing is a rare thing in the “mum’s world” of bite size time blocks so I have to just make what I know and make it well. So last week allowed me some time to play and experiment a bit more with the fabrics in my stash and ideas in my journal.

I came out with 6 tote bags in process and a quilted feather applique – it looks more like an arrow so I added it to a tote it it came out well. I also had a play around with the digital programs that I used as a designer back in the day so I made up some art prints and tees on Society 6 and Redbubble. The fun thing is that I downloaded a copy of Adobe Illustrator for a 30 day trial and it is so much fun to play with it rather than use it as a work tool. But for efficiency of time, the work shortcuts came in handy to create the pieces I wanted to make. I was introduced to Society 6 by a friend who had scored this really cool pillow on etsy so I thought there is time for some photography so I wanted make it happen with some of my pictures! I like having a presence in both the digital art world as well as the textile arts.

A bag I with my yarn cat design
Pieces to check out on Society 6

Still after I had completed the photography / graphic art project, it was time to move to the more tactile arts and my textile pieces. The quilting experiment was a quilted feather from a quilt design – I did see it on a skirt which looked very cool arranged vertically on the hem. Still with experimenting it is important to play to see how it will turn out. And as it did it was a huge feather. Still a couple of ideas came through that are in production this week! The pieces I did complete last week were a couple of bags quilting different colours together of the same fabric and the other was a floral fabric I found that needed to show off the flowers. Here are the finished pieces – I still have another 4 to complete, hopefully this week??

Beautiful big tulip with a gorgeous green background

The reverse of the bag with a different background

Super shiny disco design using strips of the same fabric
After the week was out we celebrated down the park with a lovely bottle of Malbec from Argentina – there has been some really good wine coming out of Argentina that we have scored and I even think I had some at our wedding. Ahh a good glass of wine on a cool summer evening with your friends on a picnic while the kids are playing, that was heavenly…

On Saturday we went whale watching to Moss Landing with Blue Ocean Whale Watch. How can I imagine that the first time we go whale watching we see whales feeding, playing and breaching just a short distance away from the harbor. We were in a 60 foot boat cruising along and there were the whales – so graceful and elegant. That tail of theirs gently curling through the surface of the water beneath. They are wonderful to watch and it is truly an experience that will live forever in my memory. After the whales had fed and were not showing off as much, we went over into the deep water and saw so many dolphins swimming and playing around with sea lions. It was so special to see dolphins in their natural environment happily playing with the boat and enjoying the interaction with the people – they are such happy creatures. We saw such an abundance of sea creatures from the sea otter and sea lion in the harbor to the whales and then the dolphins. The ocean really is a mysterious place that we have to respect and I think experiencing how fragile the ocean can be with over fishing and pollution. This tour made me realise that we really need to respect the beings that live in it and do whatever we can to preserve this very special place. I made this video of the footage I took that day – I did not take my camera as the operator takes amazing pics and sells them on her site, easy just go for a boat ride and watch the whales!

One of Kate’s amazing pictures on her website – how amazing is this picture!!

A piece a Week – A Bag Design for Rickshaw Bags Design Contest in collaboration with SF Etsy

Yet another week that flew by with many things to do and the completion of the year book for my son’s class I had been working on. That was a huge task but I was thankful that we had a lot of pictures to choose from! It was just like the old days working as a graphic designer to a deadline and sending my work to print – thank goodness for the experience to complete projects and make the deadline.

The cover of the 40 page yearbook – green is a popular colour with the Stingray mascot

I had my ceramics class on Wednesday to have some time to play and with a bit of luck I do hope my planters come out as I planned – ceramics is a very tricky medium and I know that a lot of experience is needed to get things right. A lot of keeping track of what works will add to the success of a piece – experimentation is fun though random! This week it was a lot of hand building and seeing what I could do without slab building and using moulds – I will post some pieces once they are fired and glazed.

The big event this week was the Maker Faire all day on Saturday, starting at 6am! I decided I would volunteer this year for something different and an opportunity through the SF Etsy team to volunteer with Swap O-Rama-Rama came my way. I worked over 5 hours on my shift and it was a very long day but so much fun. There was never too much idle time as there are people coming through the tent all the time – it was very inspiring to see what people were making with discarded clothes. I had read about Swap O-Rama-Rama ages ago in a sewing book and thought ooh it would be fun to be involved and little did I know I could get a gig to be part of it!

I love the Bubble Guy!!
In action at the Swap O-Rama-Rama tent

Sunday was a day of a couple of kids parties with some resting in between. My plans for my next projects are in the works and I found some fabric from FabMo to upcycle into a design for the Rickshaw Bags Design Competition for SF Etsy members. The brief is to design a bag flap for their range of the zero messenger bags – I have seen them on a couple of etsy buddies of mine and they are the perfect size messenger bag. My idea was to do the rail quilt design that I saw recently at a volunteer gig with my hula teacher – she is super crafty and makes loads of toys and quilts for people in need. So I sliced up some fabric at 2.5″ each slice and then pieced it together to see what I could come up with and voila a diamond shape pattern known as on point in the quilting world – who knew that this idea of quilting would translate so well with these fabrics! I am very happy with the design and the look on the bag is certainly very stylish, if I do say so myself 😉

The rail quilt design on point using some stunning FabMo fabric
The Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag mockup

NoBloPoMo – Day 7 – Arts for all kiddos!

We had our second class of our Arts Focus program today at our kids school. We have a 6 week arts program with classes that include textiles – sewing, textiles – weaving and dyeing, material exploration, ceramics, paper, animation, photography, 3D, drawing and painting, global beat, performing arts and printmaking. I am helping out the Arts Focus – textiles, sewing class and it is so much fun working with the kids and their little projects – today we are working on a group quilt project and each child gets their own little squares to piece together. Here is some of the action…

Sewing away at a quilt square!