Thursday, April 30, 2009

Making, making...

Hard at work the last few days, getting some new stock ready for Ladyfest's Tarts 'n Crafts in Ottawa next week-end. I recently rearranged my workspace with JF's help and it feels great to actually look forward to go to work in there every day. It's already back to its usual cluttered state, but I know now I'm just not cut out to be neat. As long as I know where everything is and it feels good to work in, then I'm ok.

Here's some of the chiyogami pendants and earrings I was working on yesterday. The paper is cut and then laid on a layer of polymer clay; now they are waiting to be put on their second layer/base clay, which will also be hand-cut. Thank-goodness for my trusty pasta-roller! I'm also testing some glue-on bails, using different adhesives to see which one sticks the best. I'll post some photos of the finished product when they're done.

This is a prototype of a bead I've been fiddling around with for awhile, with varying versions. Other ideas are a-brewing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

So many happy years...

My parents got married on April 26th, 1952. Here they are when they were a-courting.

And here they are in the mid-late 80's some time, not sure of the exact year. I love both of these photos - very warm and happy.My dad passed away in 1993 and my mom in 2006, but I'd like to think that their spirits are celebrating together today. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad (^_^)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday cat blogging... study buddies

My husband, Jean-Fran├žois, just finished had his final exam last week, and he's pretty relieved the semester is over. He will be taking advanced Japanese for his final six credits and will have his degree next year at this time! I am so proud of him for going back to university to complete it (^_^) And yes, although his Japanese was always better than mine, I could always boast that I understood more than him - not the case anymore!

You may remember that Chibi seems to be more my cat while Ebi is definitely JF's. Well, here's proof that Ebi loooooves JF - draped over him for support while on the computer:

Here are the study buddies again, Ebi making sure JF makes no errors with his kanji ...

I love my guys!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Orizuru cards

Hard to even tell what these are, eh? Let me pull back a little more...

There we go - now you can see that they are folded cranes, or orizuru in Japanese (oru means to fold, zuru or tsuru means crane). This is a traditional Japanese origami (folded paper) design that has become easily recognizable to many around the world, is probably the most popular design that people learn to make. Although I was born here in Montreal, I learned to fold this when I was pretty young - don't even remember exactly when!

The crane represents a lot of good things in Japanese culture: peace, fidelity (cranes mate for life) and honour. In Japanese mythology it is thought that the crane lived for 1000 years; if you fold 1000 cranes you will be granted a wish, hence the custom of folding 1000 cranes prior to a wedding to ensure a happy marriage. For more info about origami, see here and here.

None of the cards I make have any text in them; having a bilingual customer base here in Montreal means I would have to make both English and French cards - with blank cards language doesn't matter, but this way I really feel that the image on the card (in the case of my stamped cards), or the folded design has to express some kind of heart-felt sentiment.

These orizuru cards work perfectly for wedding and get well wishes, as well as for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's and Father's Day. They are lovely to send to a friend who is feeling down, or even to someone mourning a loss - I like to think of the crane as a messenger of hope of sorts.

The folded crane is also strung with silver or gold thread so that the recipient can hang it as a decoration and remember that someone is thinking of them.

The second part of the card is where the giver writes their message; this is made of two pieces of paper folded into a pocket in which the crane sits, to keep the message hidden until it's opened.

And finally, packaged cards, ready for a store here in Montreal, and for my upcoming craft show in Ottawa, Tarts 'n Crafts. You can also find them in my Etsy shop!

Gotta go and finish up the rest of this batch!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Upcoming craft show

I'll be in Ottawa on Saturday May 9th for Ladyfest Ottawa's Tarts n' Crafts sale, just in time for you to pick up a super-dee-duper handmade Mother's Day gift for mom, or for any spring and summer birthdays! I'm really excited since the line-up of creators and crafters looks pretty darn impressive. *note to self: I must make some sales BEFORE letting my inner shopper loose.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Get with it, girl!

Having a little trouble settling back into "normal" life after the production of that big taiko show. I've only now gotten around to cleaning up my workshop (all my post-Christmas craft show debris!) and it's still in a rather frightful state. At least I can see the surface of my jewellery table now - part of it anyway.

I have dreams of having a huge workspace studio one day. Where, even if I'm splayed out all over the place, I still have enough surface to work on. My polymer clay work is pretty contained, but I need two tables for both my jewellery and paper creations. I have a small room though, so I just have to try and keep it a little neater. I think some more reorg is in order and I really do have to get rid of some stuff (remember I have the hoarding gene).

Just listed these yesterday:
Will be taking more photos in the coming days!