making sh!t for your girlfriend since 2007


soon come

Craft Mart ~ Nov 8 (6pm - 11pm) & Nov 9 (11am - 7pm) ~ Hamilton Artists Inc. ~ 155 James Street North, Hamilton
Halifax Crafters Society Winter Market ~ Nov 30 & Dec 1 ~ Olympic Community Centre ~2304 Hunter Street, Halifax
City of Craft ~ Dec 14 & 15 ~ The Theatre Centre ~ 1087 & 1095 Queen Street West, Toronto

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It was only summer at night.

So there I am on the last hot day in August (there weren’t many), reading next to Grenadier Pond in High Park, thinking a lot about the summer that wasn’t, trying to accept that that day – the last afternoon off I would have in a while – I’d be solemnly sprinkling a fistful of dirt onto the season’s casket. The last few months simply had not been hot enough, sunny enough, the days – even after adjusting for daylight savings - somehow not long enough. The one thing I could admit though, was that for everything it lacked, the summer certainly made up for in some stellar sunsets and night skies, killer dusks and golden hours, bulbous glowing moons ready to crush us whole. Maybe it was just all y’alls Instagrams, but those summer nights – resentfully cardigan-clad  – were absurdly beautiful.
It’s a small consolation for everything that didn’t happen this summer. The projects that didn’t get finished. The friends that never got hung out with. The people that never got met. The dress that never got worn. That beach/park/patio with the twinkly lights you didn’t spend enough time in. That album you didn’t listen to. That song you didn’t dance to. That ONE hot night you should’ve gone out, and stayed out, but didn’t. The superhero costume you were gonna make for your nephew’s fourth birthday. The health problems that never got sorted.That flight you didn't book. That recipe with the figs and the cheese. The road trip to Detroit. The books you didn’t read. Oh god, don’t even think about the books.
Which is what brought me to the park that late afternoon in the first place – an opportunity to continue reading Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby which I had started two months before. And because the Universe is the way it is, and because Rebecca Solnit is, quite frankly, The Shit, I came across this passage – where she writes about making apricot preserves - just as I was in the thick of this sappy wistfulness:
 I wish that I could put up yesterday’s evening sky for all posterity, could preserve a night of love, the sound of a mountain stream, a realization as it sets my mind afire, a dance, a day of harmony, ten thousand glorious days of clouds that will instead vanish and never be seen again, line them up in jars where they might be admired in the interim and tasted again as needed.
 Sentimental,I know, but still. She had basically just crawled into my brain. Because what I wouldn’t have done to put up a handful of those moonlit evenings, as well as that very moment itself – the (finally!) hot sun on my shoulders, the soft quilted picnic blanket (that I have yet to finish quilting) under my legs, the smell of the pond (whatever, I like that smell) – the last of the very few summery feelings I’d had all year. It was all too much. I packed up my shit, I rode back to the studio, and for christ’s sake I made a fucking necklace.
It has four Full Moons. Each one occurs in a month during which I experience some kind of major attitudinal shift or upheaval about life in general: the Harvest Moon in September, the Cold Moon (or Full Nights Moon) in December, the Pink Moon in April, and the Thunder Moon in July. How do I know about these moons? Because how could you not google various moon-related shit after the nights we’ve had?! Farmer’s Almanac, get familiar. A small cluster of twinkly pyrite stars hangs above them.
The summer is over, and no matter how many freaking vintage mason jars you’ve managed to collect, you can't put up those summer nights. Lord knows I tried.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Sixteen years since the death of Biggie Smalls. In his honour, I've made some 5x7 prints of the image from my Biggie Moleskine. Folks have been asking for prints so I made some even though I was like, what, people don't use pen and paper anymore?? Get outta here. They are available online THIS WEEKEND ONLY! Click here to purchase. Oh, no shipping fees either, because I love you.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Freedom to Read Week (February 24 - March 2)

About a third of my life is spent around books - reading books, selling books, cutting books up and making stuff with them. I couldn't imagine not having books around me, and the idea of not having access to particular books because some people feel they are inappropriate for whatever reason (sex! swearing! homosexuality! drugs!) is something I can't even wrap my head around. But, it happens. And in learning a bit about Freedom to Read Week - an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom - I see that it happens a lot. Even here! In Canada! A lot of those novels you begrudgingly studied in high school (and would have really enjoyed had you just picked them up on your own and weren't told to read them) were challenged (if not straight up banned) in this country at some point and I wish that my English teachers would've spent a few moments having that discussion before shoving The Diviners down my throat. I mean, what better way to get a bunch of rebellious teens to read something than to tell them why a lot of people don't want them to read it? C'mon! To celebrate Freedom to Read Week and to promote its headline event, CENSORED (details below), I made some book mobiles to hang above a collection of challenged books in the window of TYPE - a place where you can find all kinds of provocative, profane reading material.
I know it hurts to see books chopped and screwed up like this, but if it's any consolation, they were damaged and bound for the pulp mill anyway. I like this idea of exploding, labyrinthine, tentacular pages coming to life, ready to unfurl and consume you the way books do.
Some of these mobiles will be all up in the The Garrison tonight for CENSORED, a story-telling event hosted by the Book & Periodical Council and Raconteurs featuring Lisa Charleyboy, Catherine Frid, Steph Guthrie, Ken Setterington, Susan Swan, and Bruce Walsh sharing personal stories of censorship. You should go!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Does the body rule the necklace, or does the necklace rule the body?

After weeks of making Valentine's Day crap for other people, it's really starting to feel as though life is simply taking and not giving so last night I took a few hours to make myself a little something.
I think Morrissey was my first true love. As a teenager, I never kept a diary - I transcribed Smiths lyrics. Still Ill might be my favourite song - though as soon as I say that at least two dozen others come to mind. But this one works better as a necklace so, yeah, let's say it's my favourite. The thing that every Morrissey and Smiths fan will tell you is that each song, each line, feels like it's been snatched out of your brain - every album provided a soundtrack to every thing that ever happened to you ever! And you'd think a woman of my age would have outgrown that sentiment by now but on the real though, I distinctly and fondly recall one magical and freakishly warm night just this past October when
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn't like the old days anymore
No, it wasn't like those days
Am I still ill ?

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

All washi tape everything.

Cross my heart, this is the last heart thing.

There is nothing in my life that doesn't have washi tape on it. Why anyone would use plain old scotch tape when they could use washi tape is beyond me. Does that make me a tape snob? Because I would be fine with that. I covered some wooden hearts with my favourite tape patterns and stuck a pin on the back because Valentine's Day is next week and all the kids are doing it and so what if I want to wear one of each at the same time, it's my sweater and I'll do what I want.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heart strings.

Obviously Valentine's Day is lame but it's such a good excuse to make ridiculously cute shit in the prettiest colour palettes EVER. This tiny heart bunting has rose and raspberry pink, gold, turquoise, mint and olive green hearts, strung together with neon pink thread. At approximately 4ft, it will romantify the crap out of even the most dank-ass basement apartment. Go on, string it up, and invite your crush over for dinner and cook that bitch some food. He/she will hardly notice that your plants are dried out and dying -  because who even has time to water them? Don't concern yourself with what they'll think about that huge pile of  four months worth of mail on the kitchen table which your crippling anxiety prevents you from opening - they will be so distracted by all these adorable little hearts hanging everywhere!
I can only get away with making stuff like this once a year so I'ma milk it. All this and more available at the Junction Flea this Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do you Dream of Real Love?

So last year I made some Gregory Isaacs-inspired Valentine's Day cards. This year I decided to turn Valentine's Day card-making into a tradition and came up with this: a limited number of painstakingly cut and paste mixtape cards on some Highschool sweetheart - or, if you're old like me, Junior High - nostalgia shit.
You might recognize the text - I had a crush on you since REAL LOVE - from the Notorious B.I.G.'s Dreams (Just Playin'), in which he declares his...affections?...for a number of R&B...well, bitches - Mary J. Blige in this line in particular. It's one of the few rap songs that actually makes me cringe, but all objectification and misogyny aside, that line is killer! It wasn't until I heard Mary J. Blige's Real Love that I even realized boys existed. This line totally resonates with pre-teen Knittah. Where were you in 1992? Who were you all butterfly-tummied and sweaty-palmed over when the Biggie and Blige remix came out? This card is for that person.
Japanese paper with the tiniest gold flecks on the back of the card leaves just enough room for you to write your Real Love - that one who sets your heart free -  a sweet or totally raunchy little love note. A very small number of these Biggie Smalls DREAMS Valentines will be for sale at the Junction Flea this Sunday (along with some other goodies that I'll be sharing here throughout the week) which you should totally check out:
 Lovers Rock cards will be available at the Flea, too, but you could also find those at Kid Icarus, Desmond & Beatrice, or online here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


These tiny little sea urchins are made out of paper! I've been obsessed with paper clay lately, and am pretty amazed at the level of detail you can get out of it. I have bigger plans for these little sculptures, but for now I've turned them into slightly creepy ornaments.
The string attached to each ornament is also made out of paper! PaperPhine in Austria makes the most amazing paper yarns and twines, and they come on these gorgeous wooden bobbins. I can't lie, I totally bought this stuff for the bobbin.
Paper Scultpure Urchin Ornaments will be available this weekend at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, and next weekend at City of Craft in Toronto.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What happened to the summertime cookouts?

Today is the 15th Anniversary of the death of Biggie Smalls. I chose to honour his life the best way I know how: with a slice of metal and a jeweller's saw. I wanted to include a Biggie-inspired necklace in the Love & Money show at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in December 2010, but unfortunately I didn't finish it on time. Actually, aside from a couple of crude sketches, I never even got around to starting it. Armed with a dozen saw blades and a fresh new sheet of brass plate, I decided to spend the entire day listening to Ready to Die in it's entirety over and over for about five straight hours while I got the job done. The pendant reads Things Done Changed. Which is my favourite Biggie track. Which includes my favourite Biggie line: Because the streets is a short stop / Either you're slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot. I credit the moment I heard that song, that line, as the moment I started to pay attention to rap; the moment I began to value it as storytelling, social commentary, as something I needed to know about. Lyrically, it might not be Biggie at his best, but if that line doesn't smack you across the face, then I don't know what to tell ya. The pendant is carved entirely by hand. After making a sketch of the lettering, I stuck the sketch onto the metal, and started by sawing out the inner negative space, like this: As a personal challenge, I like to carve the whole thing out in one piece. If the lettering is done right, it's usually works out and I don't have to solder or connect any parts together. After it's all carved out, whatever's left of the sketch is peeled off, the edges are filed, and I attach some chain to the top. I probably won't wear it.
Well, maybe just once. R.I.P. B.I.G.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hopefully she got some teeth...

When god gives you a toothache, make gold tooth key chains.
Is there anything more distracting and miserable than a toothache? Probably a lot of things, but when you're experiencing one, particularly one that lasts five months, it's hard to believe there are worse things the body - or the face, at least - could endure. Until I finally went in for some dental surgery this past January, teeth were all I could think about for months. And the nightmares, oh god, the nightmares. I think everyone has had that dream where all their teeth fall out; in mine, they rattle around my mouth like Tic Tacs. Some are swallowed, some spit out. I made these key chains to distract myself one afternoon, to help alleviate some of the anxiety I was feeling about being knocked out and having my face sawed into to extract a bitchy wisdom tooth whose roots had practically grown down into my stomach. It didn't help, but here they are.