the things we do

Now that we’re settled into the new hizzy, we’ve been able to get back into our old routines, and start some new ones. Scott and I are fortunate to each have a work space to putter with our creative endeavours now. There was a time when I had a studio at The Beaumont Studios, but the high cost of living in Vancouver makes that quite a luxury when you’re just starting to try to make additional income from creative work. I had to give it up and tried to work in my kitchen at home. It was possible, but I gradually created less and less since I had to put away everything I was working on in order to cook dinner. I was starting to look at shared studios again, but then we came to the decision to build our pint-sized house.

So, those kitchen studio days are over and I have a shiny new office/studio to work in and Scott has his man-cave where he can work with sound and music to his heart’s content. It’s very exciting and I can feel my desire to work coming back again. I’ve been mostly working with upcycling clothing lately, as I have a seriously large pile of old but still decent clothing that I’m tired of wearing. What better way to make use of it than hack it up and marry it with another piece of clothing? As my skills improve I am making my way towards being able to sell pieces.

Last weekend I completed a women’s shirt, composed of two shirts. It seems inspired by tribal and post-apocalyptic styling, or at least that’s what I concluded upon completion… I often just run with things and see what happens.

There was less sewing involved in this item, and more cutting/remixing to get the end result. My next project will likely involve incorporating my hand carved block prints into some stuff to wear, as I’d like to add a further personal and artistic touch to these upcycled items.

Okay, that’s enough about me. I’d like to share one of Scott’s latest creations. A couple of years ago we went to Cuba for about a week. Scott brought his portable recorder and while I took photos of our surroundings, he recorded the sounds. It’s quite a unique way of bringing back memories, and not something many people will do on their travels. I really enjoy being able to listen just as much as I like to look at photos or videos. Scott has been working away since our trip, organizing files and transforming them into songs. His most recent track blends together a number of recordings that he gathered in and around Vinales, a peaceful valley about 2 hours south-west of Havana. The recordings include chickens, horses, motorbikes and children. How could this be a song, you might ask? Well, have a listen.

If you’ve gotten this far, I thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about what we do with our time beyond building a laneway house.  I have another post waiting in the wings – this time one of our favourite pasta recipes that I concocted when I was given a huge bag of extra-ripe figs while I was a landscaper. Stay tuned if that sounds yummy to you!


collecting for a fresh start

You’d think that since we’re moving into a smaller home, we’d be getting rid of stuff, not collecting more. I can’t help myself though, with this opportunity for a fresh start. I’ve lived in the same space since I was a student and it still has a bit of a student vibe that I’m very much ready to part ways with.

I’ve been attracted to industrial style for years (during the first wave of it’s popularity during my existence) and now the style appears to be making another comeback. Well, that works for me in that it’s easier to find things.

I’ve gradually become more interested in vintage and antique style as well. Maybe that comes with age, as I used to just be all about slick and shiny design with a hint of 60s and 70s retro. Now my taste has traveled into the older decades of the 20s-50s.

I’ve also loved gritty decay for a while now – I’m not sure when it started, but it’s definitely been intensified by my infatuation with post-apocalyptic games such as Fallout. Yes, I am a video game nerd. I can’t tell you how excited I am about Uncharted 3‘s release in November. Ahem.. anyways.

Visiting Cuba in March 2010 was, in addition to being a wonderful cultural experience, heaven for a grit-junkie like me. My camera couldn’t have been happier. The textures and colours on the old buildings there was incredible.
Decayed Grandeur, HavanaThis sort of thing has really inspired my art and sense of design to take on new layers and created more depth to my work and style. I hope to achieve a hint of grit with clean lines and eclectic style in our new home. The next few images are things I’ve been collecting with this in mind. Descriptions are under each photo.

vintage factory molds
These are some vintage wooden factory molds that I found at Restoration House on Dunbar and 18th. I intend to re-purpose some of these to use as bookends, coat hook or key racks, or whatever else seems right once we’re moved in. The one on the left is from Chicago, and on the right is from Carmaux, France.
vintage factory mold
These fit together to make a mold for a hospital gurney caster. From Lethbridge, Ontario. These would make great bookends.
vintage factory molds and keys
The large wooden factory mold at the top is about 1.25 feet long and has potential for a key rack or small wall mounted coat hook. It’s from France. The small round mold was for a dial of some kind, from Chicago. The keys are from india. Two are original antique gate keys and one is a reproduction.
french ceramic herb jars
I found these french ceramic herb containers at a garage sale. They were so charming and cheap that I had to get them. I have 16! A few are quite new but most have a really pretty used and vintage farmhouse look.
vintage turn key
I found these on Etsy from a seller with a great collection of vintage finds. These little turn keys were salvaged from a factory. I have no idea what I’ll do with them yet but I have a feeling they’ll turn into something pretty neat. They have a lovely patina and might work well as the hooks for a key rack, incorporated into one of the factory molds.