Concept Development: Narrative and Language, Proposal

As a child, one of my favourite books was Red is Best. The story features a young girl named Kelly who is arbitrarily enamored with anything red, finding those items to be superior to their differently coloured counterparts. For example, she thinks her red mittens are better than her brown ones, not because they’re warmer, but because they make better snowballs. Also, her juice just tastes better out of the red cup, as opposed to the green one.

This book is one of the many that I remember reading back when I was young. I remember liking the fascination Kelly had with colour, and how determined she was to describe to her mother how all of her things that were red were the “best” in some way, so that her mother would understand. Kelly was simply describing her favourite things, though our favourite things are not always necessarily the “best” things.

For my project, I thought it would be interesting to share some of that connection to favourite things through a project involving embroidery and old photos. There are a number of items in my life that I really enjoy, and consider to be my “best” things. Items that come to mind are my blue rain boots, my favourite coffee mug, and of course my cat.

The idea is that I would take a number of old photos from the Toronto Archives, and incorporate my “best” items into them, sharing those items with others. I could embroider the shape of my boots onto the feet of a person standing in the rain fifty years ago, my coffee mug onto the desk of a former mayor of Toronto, and my cat onto the couch in the sitting room of an family that gathered together decades ago. The reason I’d use old archive photos is because they are available to the public with no copyright issues, and they also hone in on the strong connection of nostalgia to my favourite things.

This project would open my eyes up to more of my favourite things, perhaps things I hadn’t considered favourites before, so I’ll have that connection to the subject matter in addition to my childhood connection to Red is Best. The project is very personal and reflective in nature, which I think will make it fun to work on.

Trending: Geometric

I am all over this geometric trend that is currently happening.

I love the dynamic lines and colours choices of these blocks. They could be stacked for interior decoration. They can also be interactive, to promote creativity when sitting at the desk. They can also be made with child-safe materials, to become a toy. Fun!

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These paper gems would be a fun activity to do with kids, or can be used to hold light-weight gifts.

Paper gems

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Travel Corkboard Map Tutorial

I can’t stop stumbling upon DIY and craft blogs. It’s amazing how much good material is out there!

Here is a tutorial for a bulletin board map from Life Blessons where you can mark places you’ve been to. I think I may be creating this, with US and Canada, and instead of places I have been, perhaps pin places I’d like to go (unless one eventually outweighs the other, if that’s ever possible).

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Concept Development: Ritual and Repetition, Proposal

We handed in our first project proposal today. The project is called Ritual and Repetition, and we are required to make one hundred items, producing approximately two per day. I’ll be making 100 cat toys, all the same, though different material, based on a design from Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. On her website, there is a pattern for a fish-shaped cat toy, but the design in the book is more simplistic. This is important because I will be making so many of them that I need to cut down on the production time.

I was inspired to make cat toys through Penny’s behaviours. Although she is a cat, and can be unpredictable at times, she has specific rituals that she carries out each day. A prominent one is how she acts when Matt or myself enters the apartment from the hallway. She runs directly to the area rug and flops down, waiting for a belly rub. She also plays certain games with us only at specific times of the day. At night she sleeps on my side first, then eventually makes her way down to her own bed nearby.

These rituals resonated with me while thinking of ideas for this project, which is primarily ritual based. Penny does these same things every day, and for the project, I will be making the same thing every day. I have decided to combine our ritualistic ways into something new that we can both enjoy. Every day, I will make two new cat toys for Penny. Since she may be alone for large portions of the day, Penny needs toys to play with and stimulate her. I will fill this need by creating fabric fish toys that are stuffed with catnip. Every day I will present her with these new toys as a ritual, and watch her play with them.

The toys will require the daily actions of cutting, sewing, stuffing, and stitching. The process will include pinning two pieces of fabric together, facing out, then cutting them in the shape of a fish with pinking shears. I will then sew along the edges, leaving only a small gap between the thread and the outer edge, leaving an open area at the tail, where I could fill the toy with dried catnip before stitching it closed. Afterwards, I will either embroider eyes for the fish, or affix a button.

I am interested in using a variety of materials for the fish, such as felt, corduroy, tweed, cotton twill, or whatever I think might be interesting to try. I will also explore different options for the eyes, such as the buttons or embroidery I mentioned above. Finally, I may experiment with varying shapes and sizes to see if they generate a different response from Penny.

When the project is completed, I’ll have one hundred cat toys, and Penny will have played with all of them during the course of their creation. I am fond of the idea of combining my ritual of creating them with her tendency to create her own rituals. Through giving her new toys every day, I am curious to see how she will respond, and if she will start to pick up on the ritual and come to expect new catnip toys every day.

Pinterest

So there’s this pretty nifty website called Pinterest that I’m currently obsessed with.

And I mean obsessed.

At first I thought it was kind of silly. Let me explain…

Pinterest is a website that provides cyber space where one can collect images and organize them into categories. Initially I thought this wasn’t the best idea for me since I’d just collect these images and lust over items that I can’t afford. And trust me, I don’t need any more of a push to make unnecessary purchases!

However, I later discovered that these images that you can collect, or “repin,” correspond to links where the image was initially found. (This is ideal, however not all of them do link back.)

I’m particularly interested in DIY tutorials. This DIY trend has fully sucked me in and left me wanting bigger and better projects. Pinterest contains many DIY projects on blogs that I may have never come across if it weren’t for the links.

So, to sum it up… I am in love with this website!

Speaking of Fuzzy Faces…

Since I took the time to introduce my cat, I should probably inform you of my boyfriend Matt. He is the best. Seriously. He is the most loving and supportive person I have ever met. *dawww*

Penny, II

I’m so in love with our kitty, that I must post more pictures of her. These pictures show off her personality (and my obsession with her fuzzy face).

Penny

Our cat Penny is a big part of my life. She is the first pet I’ve ever had, and she has quite the personality. These are some pictures of her as our little baby in her first six months.

She is now in her terrible two’s, which I’m guessing is about equivalent to her teenage years. I know she is technically an adult after the first year, but I’m convinced she is in a teenage mental stage because she snaps back exactly the way I used to. If something isn’t slightly to her satisfaction, she’ll let us know! Having said that, she is quite the friendly cat, though a little jumpy, but will easily cuddle up on anyone’s lap, as long as she’s not too busy tearing through our apartment!

Next Post

I know this is a place to share my musings of my projects in my class, but I think I’d like to expand that idea and include all art/craft/design/food ideas, pictures, and links. I believe I’ll be better able to post more frequently if I feel that I have the freedom to talk about anything.

I’ve had a journals and diaries before, and I sometimes find it difficult to write on a regular basis. I’ll be honest: I don’t like to write. I like to make. My program at school is mostly writing, so I probably made a poor decision when I chose one of the few writing-based programs at OCAD U.  Seeing as this is the third school I’ve attended, there’s no way I’m changing now!

In short, expect many broken sentences, pictures, and links!

P.S. Did you know you can dye buttons?


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Greetings.

Hi. I started a blog. I hesitated in writing the first post because,

a) I’m still sluggish from the holidays, and

b) I’m imagining writing the most witty and amusing blog posts and, let’s face it, I just don’t have time for that nonsense.

So, I bid you adieu and leave you with images from Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room, that I stumbled upon* two weeks ago that features a show that will (hopefully) brighten your day. Enjoy!

*Okay, so I saw it on facebook.

This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids stickers kids installation art
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UPDATE: We actually talked about this in class! Weird.