Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Art at The Green Man!!!! We're almost ready...

Okay, I'm almost ready(ha!).  I don't know where Erin's project stands right now, but Kinza is finished!  So finished that she wore her dress to a wedding!  A wedding that happened last weekend!  But regardless of my seeming inability to pick up my skirt and actually work on it, I will complete it in time for Saturdays big reveal.  That's right I said it, Saturday.  If you happen to be in downtown Charlottetown this weekend to absorb the culture that is Canada Day weekend (You know, Meatloaf, face painting, fake tattoos - culture), or if you are downtown royal watching(Kate - stop by, I have a few dresses that would look totally fabu on you) try and get the crowds to push you by the front of The Green Man so you can see the final looks we have created inspired by Rhoda McLeod's awesome artwork.  Keep in mind however, the new window display doesn't go up until Saturday morning - that's July 2nd. 
So, since Kinza was finished her dress and wearing it hither and thither all week long we exempted her from our last meeting, and it was only Erin and Sheri who were forced to deal with me and my craziness.  Somewhere between meeting #2 and this meeting the color of my skirt totally changed color.  Really.  I swear.  At meeting #2 we all found a fabric in a color that we all thought worked with the top and with the painting.  Great.  I spent a few nights working on a skirt - it would have been one night had I actually used my measuring tape the first time around- I know better, I just don't always listen to myself.
Just trace the outline and cut right?  Note to self: stop talking to Kinza on the phone about how awesome it is that she finished her dress and gets to wear it to the wedding when you should be measuring things!
AND measure.  Measure before you cut.  Then you only have to waste one night working on a skirt that isn't the right color and has to be scrapped. 
I eventually made a skirt that was the right size, but the I tried my turmeric dyed lace with it, and it was ugly.  Yep, just plain ugly.  No nice way to say it.
With some color tweaking by Sheri it almost works.  Almost. 
My mannequin stood in the living room wearing the garish pink skirt with the even more garish turmeric lace pinned haphazardly to it, and every time I thought it might work I slipped my dirt painted shirt over next to it and everyone in the room would shudder in disgust. When I finally got a chance to show it to Erin and Sheri they did their best to keep the revulsion off their faces, and we tried everything we could think of to make it work.
This would(will) be an amazing skirt, it just doesn't work with the shirt.  And I have put a LOT of hours into the shirt.  I am not scrapping the shirt! 

In the end it came down to me finally agreeing that I needed to scrap the skirt and start fresh.  Which I intend to do - very soon(hopefully before Friday night).  I needed to distract myself from the failure and so decided to start my baby sling and to give myself a refresher course in the art of friendship bracelets. 

Back to the Art at The Green Man challenge.  Erin's dress is coming along fabulously.  I have cropped the pictures extensively as I don't want to give too much away.
Erin also started a new job and attended two weddings in the past week, and I think she's doing a pretty bang up job on her dress.  But you'll have to wait until Saturday to see!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sunshine and Scarlet

Notice Scarlet's baby sling for her lamb?  We went fabric shopping as I plan to make my own baby sling.  I spent a lot slightly a lot more than I had intended, but it's a baby!  I mean, come on, how many more am I gonna have right?

We finally had a day of sunshine and warmth yesterday, so Scarlet and I got outside to enjoy as much of it as possible.

My friend Janet surprised us with a helium balloon for Scarlet, and a matching rose for me!  The balloon definitely added to her enjoyment of the day.  We checked out the new exhibit at The Confederation Centre Art Gallery - very cool.  A must see.  The official opening is Saturday June  25th at 7:00.  There are bees and fibre installations and many many other awesome and wonderful things to see.

We took a break from the sunshine at midday and did a little bit of dyeing.  I was inspired by the amazing shades of silk Erin showed us at our last designers meet-up.   So, turmeric and lace in hand I dove straight in.

A few tablespoons of spice boiling away in half a pot of water - I believe in the scientific method.It's all about precision folks.

Wow!  That is really yellow!  And for some reason I still went ahead and did it.
After it dried and I realized how uber yellow it was I attempted to wash out some of the turmeric.  I managed to dull it somewhat, but I am still amazed at the intensity you can get from this particular spice.  I've also dyed some of this lace in tea, and with my dirt painted shirt I thought all the natural colors would work well together.  But that yellow is going to be hard to fit in.  Wish me luck.  The designers and I are meeting tonight with our photographer, so I'll get everyone's opinion.  
Scarlet comparing the before and after.  She has arms.  I swear.

Our dyeing done we waited for Gabe to come home from school and then we hit the waterfront.

Yep, the balloon came too!
One last awesome thing from our day.  Overman (who definitely deserves his own post) was manning the Green Man counter for me, and he made this: 
How awesome is that? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HAT - Racoon Bandit from Adam Perry on Vimeo.

You may not have known that I'm married to a rockstar. Well, I am. And he's in this video. It's from Racoon Bandit's first album Campcraft.  Their new album - Into The Hills is available at The Green Man and Back Alley Music in Charlottetown, or to the world at large through the website The video for Hat was made by local Island film maker Adam Perry. Adam is pretty busy these days, but I managed to get a few answers to some important questions.

Important stuff first:
1. You've recently been filming with Chef Michael Smith, do you now hate your own cooking?
Are you kidding? I'm learning how to cook from a world famous chef and I'm just imitating what he does. Simple and easy with classy results. I'm more than just a pretty face, Kelly.
2. You've been involved in a lot of comedic web-series' is that because you hate real film making?
Well I suppose that depends on your definition of "real film making" because I think creating a web series is the real deal.  

3. Who would you rather have as a Dad - Larry David or David Cross?
Larry David for sure. Can David Cross be my Mom? *I suppose just having a Dad would be nice. Growing up without a Dad was tough. Father's Day is never easy.*

Yes, Larry david can be your Dad, and David Cross can be your Mom.  But only if I'm your step-sister(and I get the bigger bedroom).

4. What's the one movie you need to make before you die?  Will it have a. a killer goldfish with a penchant    for  fine champagne  b. a young teenage girl allergic to movement or c. Jackie Chan with a serious stomach ailment?
They're all tough choices and I hate that I'm now thinking about my death, but I like B. I'm picturing a teenage girl strapped to a hospital bed, but it's not just her movement she's allergic to, it's all movement - so she wears double eye-patches and the bed is bolted to the floor. Did I mention she's a beautiful singer, because she is. An orderly makes youtube videos of her and she becomes bigger the Bieber.

I can't wait.  I'm going to start singing lessons.  I think that role is made for me - except for the whole teenager thing...can we shoot it with a super 8 camera?
5. And last but not least: Profile PEI has been called, and I quote(myself), 'The greatest media arts piece to ever be created in the maritimes'.  Who was your favorite character? Kellster or Jer Bear.  Think carefully Adam, very carefully.
Kellster for sure. Jer is a close second. But I like the guy in season 1 episode 20 @ 1:21seconds in
That guy was really good.  I don't know why he wasn't used more fully in the 2nd season.  His character had such depth and amazing potential.

Now the boring stuff:
Where should people go to find more of your film making prowess?
There's all kinds of oddball stuff here:
but my most recent work is Food Country: WARNING: You'll learn something

*I have a Dad. He's awesome. I just felt like fibbing
I'm glad you came clean Adam - Dad's hate fibs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How My Childhood self Imagined I Would Dress as an Adult

I generally avoid scouring the Fall/Winter shows until mid Summer to avoid over-exposure to trendy colors etc.  But with the miserable weather we've been having I've finally accepted the fact that there may not be a Summertime this year, and that we are moving straight into Fall.  So I gave in this morning and perused a few shows.  And to my surprise I kept finding pieces that reminded me of how I dressed as a kid(it may or may not have something to do with the fact that I was digging through old photos all weekend).
To begin.  Balenciaga:
I spent most of my childhood in the eighties, and what eighties child didn't covet mesh?  How I longed for a proper mesh top that I could pair with a scanty tube top.  Did I ever own one? No.  I instead had the more appropriate grade two version.  A t-shirt with half a mesh tank sewn on the front.  It wasn't exactly what I was after, but it was better than nothing.  What else does this model have that every fashion loving girl in the eighties needed?  You guessed it, blue eyeshadow.  And if my grade two self had been allowed to wear eyeshadow it probably would have been applied quite similarly to this models-more on my make-up prowess later. 
Next up, two looks from Betsey Johnson.  If we are going to talk childhood dressing and we are going to talk eighties then we are going to talk Betsey Johnson.  The above look has all that amazing distressed black denim.  I don't know if I actually wore denim in the early eighties, but if I had it probably would have looked similar to this.  I have a VERY distinct memory of sitting on a punk rockers lap riding home from a friends birthday party at West Ed Mall.  He had a mohawk that just wouldn't quit.  I was in love!  With his clothes! To this day I have an affinity for authentic punk style.  But who doesn't.
Betsey Johnson look number 2:
Head to toe purple?  Head to toe pattern?  What young child doesn't want to wear this? Okay, my daughter doesn't.  But she would love these pants.  She'd just wear them with pink sparkly shoes, a striped t-shirt and a polka-dot scarf(I think Betsey would approve).
I LOVED the Betsey show.  I cannot stress enough how awesome it was.  Go and look it up right now.  But come back when your done please!!  I also love that she's started a new line Pink Patch, that is sort of a re-hash of all her best sellers, only everything is under $100!  Brilliant.  Thank you Betsey.
This Mui Mui dress could have been in one of several family portraits from about 1982-1987.  The years that my only dressy dresses were crazy drop waisted abominations.  The turquoise green one with giant white polks-dots still haunts me to this day(it suddenly occurs to me that actual pics from my actual childhood may have  served this post well)(if you really want to see them just stop by the house some day and I'll drag out several boxes full of photos for you to peruse).  The Mui Mui show had a very strong forties vibe and has some absolutely gorgeous pieces.  Not to be missed.
This delectable Elie Saab piece made the cut today simply because it is one beautiful piece from a beautiful show.  And because it's red.  And every single day of grade one I wore a red dress, and a name tag that said -Kelly-  cause that's my name.  This may or may not be an accurate story.  There are a lot of pictures of me in the same little red dress, and I remember distinctly how well it twirled when I spun around, so that's good enough for me.
Does this Elie Saab number remind you of anything eighties?  Hmmm?  Think musical  Okay, well, it reminded me of this:
Now do you see it?  My sister had a black dress with a glove on it and the word 'Thriller', and they were made of silver sequins!!  Life is so cruel!  I had nothing, nothing to compare.  To this day I love anything that I can wear that will create a little disco party in the sun, and distract people whilst they drive me about.  And on the 'Thriller' note, we come to my last picture for today's post.  It's not so much for the dress - no offense Dame Vivien Westwood - you know I love you darling- it's for the model's styling.  Specifically the make-up.  During 'Thriller's' heyday my sister and I both went to dance classes.  Jazz to be precise.  And when the big end of the year show came around what song did my sister get to dance to?  You guessed it -Thriller.  She was all zombiefied and cool looking.  Ripped up clothes and crazy make-up.  What song did I get to dance to?  I have no idea what it was, but it was not cool.  I was dressed in a little twirly polka-dot dress with a white fake-straw hat on(okay, so maybe it was a little bit cool).  I had a pretty little parasol etc etc.  Definitely not Thriller cool.  So the second we got home, before my Dad had a chance to get pictures of us in our costumes, I ran into the bathroom and gave myself one giant black lipstick eyebrow - cool.  And that is how I appear in the pictures from that night.  Thanks for the reminder Dame Westwood!

So in celebration of childhood and Michael Jackson and all things early eighties, let's go put on pretty dresses and horrifying make-up!  

P.S. - I gathered all the pics for this post from  Enjoy.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just a few bits of news I thought deserved to be boxed up and tied with a bow.  First of all - get thee to the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.  I have an installation piece in the emerging artists gallery, part of an exhibit there called Warming  Up.  The pieces all deal with music and the music scene in and around Charlottetown.  It was amazing to get a chance to do a piece for the Gallery, and to have my work showcased alongside so many other amazing artists.  the exhibit is only on display until the 19th, so get going.  Quick!

Extra special giant hugs and thank-yous to Roger Carter and Adam Gallant without whom the sound element of my music 'room' would have been absent, and also to Linda Wigmore(the voice on the phone) and Matt Bowness for volunteering to help with all the grunt work(a pregnant lady with a broken foot is not very good at grunt work - trust me). 

There will be no 'Art at The Green Man' update this week.  We are all busy being busy and were unable to meet this week(and I was too embarrassed having accomplished nothing since we last met).  We have a tentative date set for Wednesday of next week, so I'll be sure to post pics as soon as they arrive in my inbox.  On the weekend a friend suggested that we do this every few months and at the end of the year have a fashion show/gallery exhibit to show off all the pieces together.  Damien - I like the way you think.  I may have to step back from actually making anything for the next few months(new borns really have a way of taking up ALL your spare time), but I can certainly(attempt to) organize folks.  If anyone is interested in providing artwork for this or in making something inspired by someone's artwork please get in touch.

I posted several weeks back about a set design I was working on.  The crew has finished shooting and have been editing like mad.  They've started posting episodes online.  If you're interested you can see it here.  Watch closely I make a brief appearance in episode 2.  

I almost forgot.  I recently won ad space on another blog.  Check out Kitsch Cafe.  A great collection of vintage, fashion and lifestyle posts...remind you of anything?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 2nd Meeting of the Minds

Monday night the designers taking part in the Art at The Greenman show all gathered for our second meeting of the minds.  It was a chance to show off our progress - and to share opinions, and to eat tasty snacks(thanks Sheri!). 
Kinza Mae started off our night of show and tell with some new sketches, and her latest fabric choice.  After our first meeting she was so fired up that she woke up and sketched out some new ideas in the middle of the night.

After showing us her fabric and sketches we proceeded to  thoroughly confuse her by trying our favorite fabric combinations.

 Then it was my turn.  If you remember our first meeting(here), you know I forgot to bring my fabric and my sketch book.  Luckily we met at my place this week thereby narrowing my chances of forgetting everything quite considerably.  I showed off my progress.   I showed off what I had initially forgotten.    
It's funny how you can think you have just the right mix of elements, until you show it off... speaking of showing off , doesn't the clay painted lace look awesome(pic above)?  I'm working on more today!=
Next up was the fabulous Erin Arsenault(Stay-stitched).  She has being doing a little fibre manipulation of her own.  Check out these amazing colors she got using dyes she made from foods!  So beautiful!  
I'd like to say I'm inspired by her amazing new colors she achieved, but I'm not, I'm jealous.  I've totally committed to painting with dirt, and Erin gets to play with onions and green tea and cabbages and spices. 

I can't get over the intensity of the colors she achieved.  Go turmeric!  
So we will all keep plowing through and hopefully by next Monday there will be more awesome pics by Sheri Inman(and maybe I'll remember I'm going to have my picture taken and brush my hair and put on a clean shirt.).  I hope to have my top fully painted and the final hemline cropped and stitched, and the base of my skirt cut and stitched.  My piece is so overly embellished it's crazy!  I'll post pics of the paintings we each chose soon as well! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tag - your it

I'm making tags!  Why the hell not?  It's not like I have anything better to do with my time...I'm totally procrastinating from about a zillion things.  But, I was inspired to make tags this morning, so making tags I am.
Not only am I making tags, I'm also taking pictures as I do it.  And now I'm forcing you to look at them!  Muwah Ha Ha!  My evil plan is working!  I refuse to procrastinate on my own! 
And now that I'm done I have to find everything in the store that I've made and stitch one of these babies into it.  Which unfortunately is only about 3 things right now.  But when that's done - in 2 minutes time - I can do a bit of this:
Yep.  That is what it appears to be.  I'm painting(destroying?) lace with dirt.  Cause you know that's just the kind of thing I do.   It's for the Art at The Green Man show coming to our window late this month.  I'm meeting with the other designers(and our photographer) tonight, so hopefully I'll have an update and more of Sheri's awesome pics on Tuesday or Wednesday.  To see a glimpse from our first meeting have a look here. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another DIY Quickie - and who doesn't love a quickie?

If your habits are anything like mine you have a plethora of ugly fabric shopping bags hanging around the backdoor of your house.  I'm always picking up re-usable bags, but they are often not very attractive and tend to get left behind places after a few uses. This DIY will solve that problem.   I also have a few drawers of old t-shirts that I can't/don't wear anymore, but I'm emotionally attached to them and can't throw them away or tear them up to use as rags.  Today's DIY will also solve that problem.  Two problems, one DIY.  Perfect.
My T-shirt and shopping bag ready for transformation.
Supplies Needed:
-one T-shirt with a cool image.  This is a great way to salvage old shirts that no longer fit or are otherwise unwearable.
-one reusable cloth bag
-needle and thread or sewing machine
-measuring tape or ruler - or you can just wing it

Difficulty level - This project is suitable for all sewers from beginner on up.

Step one: Measure the logo that needs to be covered.
Step two: Measure the image on the t-shirt.  This image just happens to be my friend Dave Stewart  who writes a monthly graphic movie review.

Step three: Cut the T-shirt image large enough to cover the logo on the bag.

Step three point five: Pin the logo to the bag:

The awesome thing about working with t-shirts is that they are knits which means...they don't fray!  You don't have to worry about folding your edges under - unless you really want to.

Step four: Sew it on.  You can do this with a machine or by hand.  It's a pretty fast sew so I usually do mine by hand.  A nice watching TV but still feeling like I'm accomplishing something sort of  project.  Maybe you could do it while watching an old horror flick - I think Dave would approve.

Here's a little trick of mine (and anyone who sews regularly).
Don't worry, I cut that ugly tag off.
Start sewing between your layers, this way the extra thread is sandwiched between t-shirt and bag never to be seen.  Clever non?
Somehow I neglected to take an actual sewing picture.  I left about a cm of t-shirt overhang around the edge. If you feel like showing off your skills use a contrasting thread color, or try an interesting stitch.

After you've stitched around all four sides of the t-shirt just tie off your thread and presto an awesome new bag that's actually attractive and that you won't be tempted to leave behind every time you take something somewhere.

Ta da!  A much better bag.

Dave's T-shirts had the name of his column/comic(what do I call it?) on the back, so I added it to the back of my bag too.


I'd like to thank Dave for his un-knowing participation in this post.  Dave, if you'd like to come by the store some time I have a token of my gratitude for you.  It may or may not be a grocery bag with your cartoon likeness on it.  And for the rest of you, thanks for playing along.  I know my next trip to the grocery store is going to be way more interesting due to all the cool bags everywhere.  If you like movies and/or Dave's likeness, or if you think you like stuff I like go check out Dave's blog Bloody Terror.  Some of Dave's 'And Yet I Blame Hollywood' reviews are animated and can possibly be found on the web somewhere.  Maybe someone could post a link in the comments if they know where to find them?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1st Meeting of The Minds

So I had the chance to sit down with Kinza Mae Baker, Erin Arsenault, Rhoda McLoed and Sheri Inman Monday night.  They are the creative minds that have agreed to be involved in the Art at The Green Man project which will be appearing in the store window June 24th.  Rhoda brought a ton of her artwork for us to gush over in person, and we brought our sketch books and fabric samples.  Well, Kinza and Erin brought their sketch books and fabric samples, I brought one piece that I've been working on and forgot my sketchbook AND the fabric and lace I needed some input on. Sigh.
Sheri has been awesome enough to tag along and take some photos of the process (I'm thinking about asking her to tag along with me everywhere I go and take pics of everything I do).  Here are just a few to whet your appetite.
Kinza discussing one of her design ideas.
Erin's sketchbook with Rhoda's version of 'Venus' .
Erin muses over some fabric.
Me pointing at lace.  Lady in a painting straining to have a look.
Getting a chance to see Rhoda's work in person was great.  She's only been painting for 3 years, and we were all loving seeing the richness of her work.  I changed my mind about 10 times during the evening, but I'm back to the one I originally got inspired by(I think).  I need to make up my mind pretty quickly as the deadline is going to sneak up on me!