December 30, 2010

Embroidered Pillow Slips


I embroidered a pair of pillow slips for my parents this christmas.
The tree branches were stitched freestyle, and the blossoms are made of french knots.

December 23, 2010

Macarons


Today I made macarons! I made two kinds: brown ones with cocoa powder and nutella centres,
and pink ones with strawberry jam. I found the recipe on this blog,
which has a wonderfully detailed description of the process, and I will summarize it for you here:

BASIC MACARON BATTER
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar

-The egg whites should be left out to thicken the night before at room temperature.
-Sift together almond flour, icing sugar and any dry flavouring such as cocoa powder.
-Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar.
Gradually add white sugar and any wet flavouring such as vanilla or food colouring.
Continue whipping until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
-Fold in dry ingredients quickly but thoroughly until there are no dry clumps.
-Use a spatula to spread the batter along the side of the bowl,
folding it until it reaches the consistency of thick flowing lava.
Do not over-mix, or the macarons will have no "feet"
(the crumbly-looking part at the bottom of the cookies).
-Pipe the batter into little coins onto a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
-Let them sit for an hour so that they develop a thin "crust" and are no longer sticky to the touch.
-Bake at 325°F for 13 min. Let cool. Peel off the parchment paper.

December 18, 2010

Owl Eyes

 
These appliqué owls were designed as a birthday present for a friend.
They are made from pieces of felt and scraps of fabric, including one of my father's old ties.
I loved them so much I decided to stitch them onto a set of hand-sewn pillows.

December 3, 2010

Off to Australia

I just shipped my very first etsy purchase off to Australia!

November 19, 2010

Little Projectiles Shop

Just in time for gift-giving season, Little Projectiles now has a brand new online shop.
I've posted a whole bunch of pendants for sale and a calendar with prints designed by me.
If there's anything else you've noticed that you would like to see for sale,
leave a comment and let me know!

November 16, 2010

November

I've been very busy lately, mostly with knits and crochets and also some prints.
Here is a hint of what I am working on - I don't want to ruin the surprise
for those who will be receiving these as Christmas gifts!

October 22, 2010

Darby

Ballpoint pen on paper.

October 19, 2010

Chuck

Ballpoint pen on paper.

October 17, 2010

Amandine

I've decided to start drawing portraits again!
This one was done entirely with a blue ballpoint pen using a photo reference of my friend Amandine. 

October 15, 2010

Pelvic Skeleton

3"x2" mini pelvic skeleton – I made this just for fun!
Molding the main skeleton was a bit of a mind-bend – I never realized how much the coxal bone resembles a sort of abstract Mobius strip.

Materials: polymer clay, wire, acrylic paint, high gloss resin

September 10, 2010

Four More Pendants

Materials: polymer clay, acrylic paint, high gloss resin

August 27, 2010

Bird Pendant

I wanted to make a ceramic pendant for my second little sister's birthday.
Not knowing much about ceramics, and not having access to a kiln,
I decided to cheat and make one out of polymer clay.
I rolled out a clay coin with a little hole at the top and hardened it in the oven.
I drew the design onto a piece of paper so that I could get better detail, and painted over it with
cobalt blue acrylic paint.
I then glued the paper onto the clay, covering it with several layers of white glue.
I finished it with a thick coat of high gloss resin, which created a slightly domed surface.
It's not ceramic, but I think it looks pretty close!

August 18, 2010

The Real Slakah

Slakah the Beatchild poses with his shiny new action figure.
Can you see the resemblance?

August 3, 2010

Beatchild Action Figure

This character is based on Toronto performing producer Slakah the Beatchild.

I modeled it out of white polymer clay, painted it with acrylics and lacquered it with a high gloss resin.

August 2, 2010

Quilled Card

I made this quilled card and attached it to a bottle of Veuve Clicquot as a wedding present
that is to be opened on the newlywed couple's 10th anniversary.
I had never done quilling before, but I think the little strips of coiled paper add an elegant flourish!

July 9, 2010

Wax Paper Ornaments

The skeleton of these little ornaments is made of armature wire, 
and they are covered with a layer of white wax paper.

June 18, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things

My little sister's favourite things:
· pink things
· pumpkin pie
· starbucks
· shoes
· aqua-coloured things
· malibu rum
· beachy things
· green tea
· purses

For my sister's birthday, I decided to make her a collection of magnets of all her favourite things.
So I asked her for a list, and this is what I came up with.
I made the little items out of Fimo, painted them with acrylic paint, glued magnets to
the back and covered them with a coat of resin.

Which brings me to resin: the coolest things ever.
My friend came over last week and taught me how to use it.
I never dreamed it was so simple!
I always thought it was super-toxic (which it probably is) and extremely smelly (which it isn't)
and very messy (which - as long as you cover your workspace with a garbage bag - it really isn't).
There are essentially two simple steps to applying resin: mix + pour.
And then wait for 12 hours before touching them (which is the hardest part).

May 23, 2010

Self-Watering Glass Planters

I actually don't remember where I first found this idea, but the minute I saw it,
I thought it was brilliant and had to make some self-watering glass bottle planters of my own.
The clear glass jars act as a water reservoir, and there is a string that draws the water up
through the neck of the wine bottle like an artificial root.

I cut the tops off the wine bottles by scoring a ring around the bottle,
heating it with a candle, and quickly dunking it in cold water.
The rapid temperature change causes the glass to crack along the scored line.
It is possible to sand the glass after, to get rid of the sharp edges, but I didn't bother.

I planted basil and thyme, because those are the two herbs I cook with most.
I also plan on planting one with cilantro, as I have recently become a cilantro convert.

UPDATE: For the first few days, these SIPs (self-irrigating planters) actually did not work. 
The soil dried up quickly, and I was watering them from above because I felt bad for the plants. 
Then one morning I noticed the soil was quite moist. 
Upon closer inspection, I could see that the roots had latched on and intertwined 
themselves to the string where it meets the earth. So if you plan on making your own SIPs, 
you'll have to wait a few days before they start irrigating on their own!

April 16, 2010

Quilt

Several years ago, when I was still in school, I decided to make a quilt.
I chose to sew it entirely by hand, and it needed to be easily
portable so that I could bring it with me wherever I went.
I ended up doing most of the sewing in my Critical Thinking class
(which I really liked, but where I never felt the need to take notes).
I pre-cut the triangles, so all I needed were a needle and thread,
and a few pins to sew the little squares together.

April 8, 2010

Flower Cake

A while ago my friend took me to a cute little tea/cake shop called the Red Tea Box on Queen Street. They had the most beautiful cakes I had ever seen, and I immediately decided I wanted to become a cake decorator. I inquired about the prices of some of the larger wedding cakes and they were in the $3,000 range. At first I was shocked, but then realized that these weren't ordinary cakes, they were works of art. Just because they were edible, there was no reason they couldn't also be considered sculpture.

Anyway, as these things go, I eventually realized that making the transition from film editor to cake decorator was probably not the right career move. But I was inspired by the challenge.

I had never baked a proper cake, let alone worked with fondant before. Being the frugal person that I am, I decided to make my own fondant using marshmallows, rather than buying the more expensive stuff - which I am told is more pliable and much easier to work with.

I'll admit it wasn't the most tasty confection - the fondant was sickeningly sweet, as most fondants are - one bite was enough to give you a sugar-headache for a week. And the oval shape was not the most adventurous, but I was pretty happy with my first attempt at cake decorating. Who knows, one day I might still quit my job and knock on the door of the bakery down my street, asking if they'd like to hire me as a resident Cake Sculptor.

April 6, 2010

Skylar and Raoul

 
I forgot about these little puppets made back in 2007 until last night. I made Skylar, the emo kid, and my friend Maya made Raoul, his unlikely buddy, as a birthday present for a mutual friend. Skylar is wearing blue Chuck Taylors and has a love poem in his back pocket.

March 17, 2010

Ink in Water


I shot this little video through a clear glass bowl filled with water sitting in a bright, sunny window.
I dripped single drops of blue and red food colouring into the water one at a time.
I then brought the footage into a video editing program called Final Cut Pro,
and edited the images to a song called Spanish Armada by Ratatat.
I boosted the contrast a bit and sped up a few shots, but did not add any other effects.

I actually shot this as a camera test for my newly acquired Canon T2i - if you are
interested in the specs (f-stop, ISO etc), you can see all the details on my vimeo channel
which I share with my creative collaborator and talented cinematographer, Maya Bankovic.
There is another camera test also posted there which was shot by her.

March 13, 2010

Live Projection


Last night I created some live projections for a band called The Skeletones Four.
Over the past week, I had collected a whole bunch of video clips that linked thematically
to their music (lots of skeletons and images that are reminiscent of vertebrae).
There were about 30 clips that I brought into a program called Modul8, which allows
you to mix and sample images similar to how a DJ might sample music.
My friend Jared taught me how to sync up images with the beat of the song and to use
various other modules in the program (a lot of which are open source and allow
you to create all sorts of cool effects).

It was kind of a cross between live video editing and making music with images.
 

March 5, 2010

Mask

For Nuit Blanche 2008, I painted masks for myself and two friends. We romped around the city until early morning, disappointed by most of the art, but nevertheless having a wild time. Several people approached us that night, asking to take our pictures and telling us we were the most interesting things they had seen so far. 
Also I discovered that wearing a mask is one surefire way of getting attention.

Painted with: acrylics, shimmer and glue.

March 1, 2010

Heart Collage

For this collage I cut up passages from various journals: medical journals concerning the heart, essays on the psychology of happiness, articles about the history of heart symbolism etc.
I sketched the image of the heart with pencil, and overlaid it with gear schematics and tree branches. Underneath it all is a map of the city. I put all these layers together in photoshop.

February 25, 2010

Hand-Bound and Reclaimed Journals


I received my first journal as a present when I was 9 years old. I began writing and never really stopped (I'm currently on my 25th). While I don't expect my journals to ever be published as some epic memoir - let alone read by anyone but myself (the horror!) - they have become a very interesting way for me to look back at the different phases and major events of my life.


Over the years I have collected lots of journals. Some of them very beautiful, and others cheap and tacky. It's the cheap and tacky dollar-store journals that I have recently become very interested in. Because the bindings themselves are usually quite solid, they are perfect for re-covering. And the possibilities are endless. Here are a few that I recently re-covered with photos taken from art gallery pamphlets.


And here are a few that I bound myself. The cool thing about hand-bound journals is that you can customize the shape, size and paper. For these journals I used two different binding techniques. The pages in the beige and orange books were sewn together with a needle and thread (the way most hardcover books are bound today) and glued to the cover. The blue book was bound by drilling holes through the paper and weaving in a blue ribbon to hold the pages and cover together.

February 23, 2010

Pop-up Clock


Remember pop-up books? Remember how cool they used to be?

I used to get so excited by the idea of a flat, unremarkable-looking book being opened up to reveal an image in 3D.

Channeling that wonder I had as a child, I decided to learn the principle behind pop-ups, and created this simple little clock card that opens up to reveal a stylized version of pop-up clock gears.

Materials: paper, glue, scissors, acrylic paint

February 22, 2010

Coasters


I found these glass coasters in a little store in Chinatown just on the border of Kensington Market. They came in a package of green, blue, yellow and black, but I just wanted the black ones, so I pulled them out from different boxes and stuffed them all into one package. I took a few B+W photos of different landmarks close to my home, scaled them according to the measurements of the coaster windows in Photoshop and got them printed at Shoppers.

A sort of quick and dirty little projectile, but I think they're rather cute.

February 19, 2010

Bird Mobile

This is another mobile I made just because I felt like having birds hanging from my ceiling. This is probably the most simple project I've posted so far - the birds are cut out of regular white paper and attached to a white thread. I also cut out a few circles and flowers for variety.

February 18, 2010

Little Creatures


I was inspired by Adam Elliot's film Mary and Max. It is a beautiful stop animation film - a very sensitive portrayal of a man with Asperger's and his friendship with a young girl named Mary. When Mary is a child, she is obsessed with a TV show called the Noblets. She loves the characters but her parents cannot afford to buy the Noblet toy collection, so she makes her own out of sticks and pebbles. These are the little creatures I was inspired to make.


And of course, they are made of Fimo! They were shaped out of white Fimo, with sticks for the arms and legs, and little pieces of wire. They were hardened in the oven and painted with acrylics. After they were dry, I covered them with a clear coat of glossy acrylic varnish. They each stand a little less than 2" high.

They are probably the ugliest little creatures I have ever made, but I think they all look genuinely happy, like they are celebrating some joyous occasion. When my roommate first saw them, she said, "I like that they're all carrying gats."

February 17, 2010

Cabinet of Curiosities


This little 4"x4" shadow box frame combines my obsession with miniature elephants and the cabinet of curiosities. The shelves are just pieces of cardboard cut and glued to the back of the frame, and the objects are things I have collected over the years (two of the elephants were originally beads from a necklace I received from a friend when I was in Grade 5).


The four-leaf clover is the only one I have left.

When I was a child, my family used to go to the same cottage every year on Georgian Bay. In the middle of the yard, there was a little patch of grass that was always full of four-leaf clovers. Every year, my sister and I would jump out of the car after the 2 hour car ride and race for the clover patch to pick as many four (and sometimes five) leaf clovers as we could find. I used to tell my little sisters it was a magic clover patch, but secretly, I would wash my hands after because I suspected it must have been a chemical spill that caused them to mutate.

February 16, 2010

Old Man


Fimo is one of my favourite materials to work with. It is soft, easily shapeable, never dries out, hardens in the oven at a low temperature so there is no need for a kiln (and it is cheap!) It comes in a variety of colours, but I prefer to use just white, and paint it after hardening. The paint offers an extra layer of texture, and it can be blended and shaded in a more subtle way.

This old man puppet was created for a stop-animation that I never ended up making. His head, face, hands, buttons and shoes are made out of Fimo. Because he was going to be used for animation, his arms and legs are made from armature wire, so he can pose in different positions. His clothes are made from one of my old t-shirts.
I still don't have a name for him. Although I think he is a sort of Old Man and the Sea type.

February 12, 2010

Paintings


Black and white acrylic on canvas, 8"x12".

I painted this as a birthday present for a friend. It is based on a photo I took of a fire escape in Montreal.

Also, I received two beautiful paintings from friends for my recent birthday, and I thought I would include them here.


Mixed media on canvas 6"x12" by Maya.

Maya is my roommate, this an amazingly accurate portrait of the street we live on. You can see the CN tower in the background.

Acrylic on canvas 6"x20" by Dusty.

February 10, 2010

Birthday Presents for a Friend


My friend and I have had several conversations recently about the feeling that we are losing our minds - that our memories are slipping away, especially from our university years, whole chunks are missing. So for her birthday, I decided to make her a unique present: a memory journal. And I would start it for her. I emailed her friends, asking for fun/embarrassing/adventurous memories. They could be a single sentence or several pages long. I printed them out on different types of paper - blank white, cream, lined, graphed - and bound the paper into a little book. I also scattered a few illustrations of birds and branches. The idea was that the memories would be ordered randomly between the blank pages of the journal, because that is how our minds work - we have random access to all our memories (that we haven't yet forgotten), and there is no real rhyme or reason to the order in which we recall past events.


I bound the book by folding the papers into bunches of four or five sheets, and sewing them down the middle. I created the cover out of two pieces of cardboard, and covered it with some pretty hand-made paper. Then I glued it all together.


The second present I made was a scarf. I've known how to knit since I was a child, but I had never done cable knitting before (the braid pattern in the middle). I never learned how, because whenever I looked up knitting patterns, they seem to be written in a secret code that is impossible to crack. So I turned to youtube, and quickly learned the basic concept to the "twist" look: skip two stitches, knit two stitches, then go back and knit the stitches that you skipped. I had no idea it was so incredibly simple. Once I understood the basic concept, I was able to make up my own pattern, which you can see in these pictures.