Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Signing off

August 11, 2012

The date of the first post of Out of the Mending Basket. Kyra and I were making jam. I was also experimenting with a year of buying nothing new.

Almost eight years later, I continue my journey to make and make do. However, the blog is no longer front and centre in my process. I did think it was time to stop once before; however, I found myself missing the writing and reporting so I compromised by cutting back to posting three times weekly.

Taking a rest for Christmas 2019, I found I was no longer missing it and actually forgot completely about it until recently.

It is now obvious that it is time to wrap it up and focus elsewhere.

Thank you to everyone who read my ramblings and a special thank you to those who took the time to comment.

In the meantime, here is the finished Christmas quilt I posted about prior to Christmas.

Connie :)

Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas mayhem

Years ago we decided to make Christmas a simple affair and try to avoid the over-consumption that we are encouraged at every turn to embrace.

When the children were little their gifts were limited to four items: something they wanted, something they needed, something to wear, and something to read.

As they got older, we tried other ideas. For a while we drew names and the gift had to be handmade. This was fine by me and there were many creative gifts given; however, eventually some family members were tired of making.

At another time, we drew names to fill each other's stockings. Again, some people were more enthusiastic than others about finding little items to fill a stocking.

Currently, we are drawing names for a gift. Our limit was $50 but this year we raised it to $100. With only four of us, we have established a family rotation as some people are easier to find gifts for than others and random draws are just too, well, random.

The maker still tries to make items but some years are more successful than others. This year, not so much. Logan did get new socks in the last month or two. In addition, his original pair were mended.

However, there did occur a frenzy of making Santa ornaments for co-workers. Running out of supplies, I still need to make four more, but they will have to be after-Christmas Santas.

The Santas get eyes 
Then they get played with for a time.

Adding the hanging thread.

In the background, the original Santa with bead eyes.

A little more playing with the Santas.

There were also many other things to attend to and the blog slipped off the to-do list. Perhaps I will do better in the new year.

In the meantime, best holiday wishes to you and yours. See you again in 2020.

Connie :)

Monday, 16 December 2019

Lemon and lavender shortbread cookies

Christmas baking is done, at least until Kyra gets home. But the cookies are baked and in the freezer. Some have already been given away, others are being slowly consumed.

The final variety I tried were lemon and lavender shortbread cookies.

There were some challenges getting the dough to stick together. I tried the suggested rolling, chilling, and cutting, but couldn't make a log. I ended up rolling out the dough and cutting out simple circles. The recipe suggested sprinkling lavender on top to embellish, but after two trays, I saw that the embellishment just fell off.

They are tasty and the recipe made a lot. I was running out of containers in which to temporarily store them.

The later ones were starting to puff a bit, I think the dough was getting tired of being squeezed and re-squeezed. Next year, I will try it again with a smaller recipe.

Connie :)

Monday, 9 December 2019

Sybil Andrews

From Sybil Andrews was an English artist best known for her stylized linocuts portraying daily life. Influenced by English Vorticists like Wyndham Lewis, Andrews did not rely on perspective to convey space. Instead, she overlaid dynamic forms and figures in action, as seen in the work Speedway (1934). Born on April 19, 1898 in Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom, Andrews began her artistic career as a welder's apprentice, constructing airplanes during World War I. After the war, she taught at the Portland House School, it was here she met the artist Cyril Power. Power became a major influence and mentor to the artist, who spurred on Andrews to pursue a career in art. The pair became collaborators for almost 20 years, co-authoring prints under the name “Andrew Power” and even produced a series of sports posters for Wimbledon and Epsom Derby. She went on to study at Heatherley's School of Fine Art in London until 1924, and later taught at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London. After spending World War II welding ships, she moved to British Columbia, Canada. It was in Canada, that the artist gained widespread acclaim and recognition. Andrews died on December 21, 1992 in Campbell River, Canada. The artist’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Brad and I headed down the Glenbow Museum this weekend to see the show celebrating Sybil Andrews. The show is on display until mid-January.

Sybil was a woman of many talents including welding, woodworking, music, and of course, art.

The exhibit is interesting and I will definitely try to get back for another look before it is over. I loved the art work and was moved to purchase On the Curve: The Life and Art of Sybil Andrews. Hopefully I can get the book read before I head back for my second look.

I love that print of the women marching off to the flower market.

One can still purchase a variety of Sybil Andrews prints, including the flower girls. Most list 'price on request', but I did find one with a listed price of 40,000 British pounds.

Definitely NOT my budget.

Connie :)

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Christmas gift quilt

In an attempt to use up Christmas themed fabric I have made bags, wrapping cloths, various table toppers, and other items. There was still a pile of fabric.

Hopefully this is the final solution. A Christmas gift quilt.

My original plan was a 4 blocks by 4 blocks lap quilt; however, it seemed a tad small, so I increased it to 5 blocks square. Now needing 25 blocks meant I was dipping into non-festive fabrics.

The block that is second from the left has a too-light bow on it and I have been contemplating picking it out and finding something darker. Or, since it is only one, I may leave it.

I was able to make three blocks in the early morning before work.

There are a handful left to sew together, hopefully in the next day or two. AND I have just learned of a place in Calgary where I can go and quilt my own quilt on a long arm machine!

Connie :)

Happy Birthday Carol! 

Monday, 2 December 2019

Thing to Wear

On Saturday, I had a fun filled art and fibre tour arranged for Brad and myself. Well, fun-filled for me, but Brad wanted to be there too. Or so he said.

Our first stop was the current show at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta University of the Arts, formerly known as ACAD. We arrived right as the gallery was supposed to open, but had to wait a bit until the key holder arrived.

The show is called Thing to Wear and is a collection of kimono-inspired garments by Bill Morton and his students. It is curated by Jolie Bird.

The show was particularly enjoyable having just spent a weekend with Bill at Natalie Gerber's studio. It was also nice to be there all on our own for a time.

In addition to traditionally dyed and fabricated kimono, there were many kimono that had been eco-dyed. It looks like saskatoon berries leave a nice purple.

One kimono was made from handmade paper.

Kimono deconstructed. This display illustrates how the fabric was used from the loom with no shaping or cutting. There would be little or, more likely, no waste.

Natural dyeing information.

There were numerous samples of Bill's stencils. Having had limited experience cutting the mulberry paper, this kind of detail is awe inspiring.

The indigo samples:

The show runs until December 14th and is really worth a visit.

Connie :)

Friday, 29 November 2019

Sewing for Santa and other tasks

It has been a week full of disparate tasks and projects. On the home front, not much has been accomplished. There is still baking to do and projects to wrap up.

The week started with hanging two preschool art displays. The children heard about Helen Frankenthaler in October, an American artist who loved colour. They made cotton banners dripped with food colouring.

In November, the children learned about Emily Carr and her pet monkey, Woo. They painted pictures of Emily's Trees.

The banners even looked good from outside the building.

Santa's bag required a makeover which was more complicated than I had anticipated.

It is now done to the best of my ability and I have vacuumed everything in sight that got covered in the white fur.

We also made the pre-December trip to Costco and had to spend an evening getting groceries. Evenings dissolve in a flash.

There are a couple of errands I need to accomplish tomorrow and then it will be nose to the grindstone!

Connie :)