I fell hard for zines and zine-swapping because it was clear that zines were a vehicle for unadulterated, uncensored creativity. At the same time, having a scheduled meetup gave us a deadline and forced us to produce something, no matter how slapdash and last-minute it was. In fact, a slapdash, messy aesthetic was well-suited to this DIY medium that celebrates all things handmade and imperfect (I once made a zine of just lines written in Sharpie about why it was so hard to make a zine).
Making things for other people feeds my soul in a way that buying gifts never can because I get to exercise my creativity and develop new skills, while also making those I love happy. It's a win win!All these ideas are based on either something I received that lit me up, or something I gave that seemed to go over well. It was really nice to remember giving or receiving these gifts, and I hope they inspire you to spread love this Christmas, or at any time of year.
Last fall, after I published my Role Models post on Miranda July, my mom and I were talking about Miranda's project, Learning to Love you More, which was a list of assignments that people could complete and post to the website. Specifically, my mom brought up assignment #63: Make an encouraging banner and hinted that she would love if someone made one for her. I took the hint and scheduled it as a Mother's Day gift.
Back before I started trying to make a living from art, I used to make crafty projects all the time. Lately, though, making pieces to sell takes precedence over making things for other people or just for the fun of it. I want to prioritize at least a little bit of my time for fun projects so I'm going to try to do one every month, usually to give away. This month, I'm starting with a necklace hanger for my bedroom, which we're in the process of redecorating.
This past Sunday I enjoyed one of my two annual crafting traditions: decorating Easter eggs (the other is making Christmas ornaments). I invited everyone I knew and some people I didn't know and set up my living room for an explosion of crafting. During the five years or so that I've been having these parties, I've tried a number of different techniques for decorating the eggs. Tired of dipping your eggs in food colouring? Give these methods a try!
My art room looks like an angry Christmas elf tore through it. The floor is covered in scraps of paper and assorted pieces of gift wrap, and both my desk and my craft table are overflowing with glue, tape, paint, stamps, ribbons, bobbles, and other materials. Why so much chaos? Because I went a little crazy making Christmas gift wrap and wrapping gifts.The mess was definitely worth it though, since I was able to make so much fun stuff. I made four different types of wrapping paper, some bows, and some gift tags.
As you may have seen on Instagram, last week I set up a window display at a popular hotel here in Edmonton. It's part of an amazing project called Green Window City, which invited artists to pair up with businesses in a busy shopping and restaurant district. The goal of the project is to reclaim otherwise wasted materials to make art, and to celebrate Pride Week here in Edmonton. Nineteen installations went up last week, and I feel so lucky to have made one of them.
One year I made ornaments for my family as gifts and I was hooked. The joy of making something pretty to hang on the tree, plus the fact that I've spent most of my adult life on a tight budget and can't splurge on decorations, means you'll often find me pulling out the glue gun at this time of year to make a new decoration or two.
I love hosting parties. It gives me an excuse to do a ton of research on obscure topics and to make things I would never have the opportunity to do otherwise, and it gives all my friends reasons to dress up and get creative themselves. I'm so thankful for how enthusiastically they play along. This year I wanted to do something a little more special than usual, a little bit more fancy. I wanted the theme to have something to do with the number 30 and the obvious choice (or at least, obvious to my boyfriend who came up with the idea in about 3 seconds) was the Dirty 30s.