Archive for the ‘Colours & Textures’ Category

A Feeling, A Fine Line, and Not Knowing

Saturday, May 4th, 2013




While digging around in my closet looking for things to get rid of I found these funny little shoes. They’re shoes from Japan, I bought probably 10 years ago while traveling in Asia. I love them! Yellow gingham, pale denim and tomato red! Subtle, but still fun. Doesn’t sound very subtle, but somehow I find them to be. I have a few things like these shoes that remind me of a feeling I love. That feeling I get when I encounter something that makes me stop and really pause, and wonder whether it’s the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen or the most amazing. It’s not always so dramatic. These shoes I loved right away, but I have a strange brooch I found on Ebay that had me stumped for a week or so. There’s got to be a name for that feeling, that fine line between hideous and amazing, and just not knowing.


Fold It Like Mike Friton

Monday, February 25th, 2013


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The Innovator from Cineastas on Vimeo.

My friend Drew sent me this video. He drove up from Cincinnati (Norwood actually) for a visit back in December and noticed a folded piece of paper I had lying around. It was something I had done a couple of years earlier and he asked how I did it. “Oh, it’s really easy. I’ll show you!” I said. We proceeded to spend the next hour and a half in silence, except for the sound of crunching paper, trying to replicate the pattern (badly). Every 10 minutes or so someone would break out laughing when the absurdness of the situation occurred to them – a group of people intensely folding paper, in silence, on a Friday night!

The orange piece of paper in the video is what we were trying to make. The video is about Mike Friton, a freelance shoemaker, weaver, paper sculptor and innovator who worked with Nike for over 30 years. As he described his processes I noticed we had a lot of similar interests – shoemaking, folding paper into 3-D forms, weaving, I used to run track, and I also have a Bernina sewing machine. If I was an older white guy, I might want to be Mike Friton. How great would that be?

The photo up top is the original paper from a few years ago. Our more recent attempts looked like that, but less crisp, like people with severely underdeveloped fine motor skills had folded them.


Inside Reality

Saturday, February 9th, 2013



This was life yesterday, holed up inside during the snowstorm. I went out only to shovel the porch and walkway three times, and to take a little drive with some friends who have a Subaru. The city was like a super snowy ghost town and the few cars that were on the road were mostly stuck spinning their wheels. One lone biker was wobbling and swerving between the cars, parked cars, and streetcar tracks like a slow moving disaster on two wheels.

I finished my first toque with a pom pom! The last time I made a pom pom was probably when I was 8. I really like the purple section. I think that’s called seed stitch.


The Sun is Shining

Friday, February 8th, 2013


We’re in the middle of a cold, grey winter, and the view out my window is so dreary I’ve taken mood altering (without the use of drugs) into my own hands. Colour! Or color (if you’re American)! I need to see some bright, warm, happy colours!!!

In Toronto, it’s a well known fact that the subway is the dreariest place, with the dreariest faces. The only thing drearier is the subway in the middle of winter. I would love if everyone could just make the small effort to wear some colour. Not black, not grey, not navy. When I’m bored on the subway I like to count the number of people who are wearing something that is not black, grey, navy or some other dark neutral and I usually get as high as 3, occasionally 5. To top that off everyone looks as though their dog or best friend just died, which I suppose may be true, but most likely not. So I like to look at each person and imagine them laughing their ass off, or imagine them getting what they want most in life, and then I imagine what that might be. That’s when things get fun. You should try it.

Here are a few new things I’ve made, to make me feel like the sun is shining, even in the middle of a snow storm. A make-up brush roll, travel case, and drawstring packing bag in light blue, cream, and tangerine orange, colours that make me think of the ocean, the beach, and orange creamsicles.  All available in the shop, except the drawstring bags, which will be available next week. Notice how happy it looks in snow?


They’re Back!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The New Friends site is back up!  They make the most amazing weavings, but their site was down and I couldn’t find many images. It’s now back up with lots of new work. These are some of my favourites. I love how all those textures and colours are jammed in there. And I’m not quite sure why, but they remind me of being in Argentina.

All photos via New Friends

Dark & Stormy

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

New to the Natural Dye Collection – Dark & Stormy. Inspired by the drink (rum and ginger beer – yum!) not Hurricane Sandy, which has left us with grey skies and rain for the next few days. As with the rest of the Natural Dye Collection, the fabrics are hand dyed in a multi-step process using plant extracts and minerals, so shades and patterns vary with each item. Check out the Dark & Stormy line at The Made & Found Shop.

Pictured above are the Dark & Stormy Travel Kit, Travel Case, and Makeup Brush Roll.


The New Trading Cards

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

I think I may be developing a new mini obsession with hand woven rugs. Funny that this could happen since rugs to me were something older people bought and collected from their travels, usually a little dark and dreary, intricately patterned, in mostly burgundy, navy and gold. It might just be that nothing had ever really caught my eye before my stay at that Fenelon Falls cottage or I’ve officially crossed the threshold into being “older”.

Yesterday I found these mini hand woven wool rugs in the basement of a fabric store. They are tiny. Most of them measuring less than 1′ x 1′ and some of them a little wonky in shape. I was told they are from Morocco or India, but they seem more Moroccan to me, judging from a quick Google image search. I was also told they are used as placemats. Some more research is probably in order. For now I would like to think they are mini rugs perfectly sized for stuffed animals, or they’re some old form of trading card that kids would collect and trade. You know, in some far away place where kids are really into rugs. Or maybe they are starter/training rugs for twenty-somethings to build an appreciation. Some may even call them gateway rugs . . . okay, sorry that was horrible.


(Fenelon) Fall(s)!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Spent last week with some friends riding out the last of the warm weather in Fenelon Falls at the most amazing cottage. It was the perfect place to be for the transition from summer to fall. The cottage itself was so beautifully moody and dark, like being on the set of a movie, especially with the fire going every night. Maybe if someone was to make a Canadian cottage version of In the Mood for Love (one of my all time favourite movies) set in the country, it could be filmed there.

What topped the list of things I liked most about this place was probably all the incredible rugs in every room and hallway. The best ones were the red, white, and black ones that ran down a long dark hallway, which I need to find a decent photo of.  I’ll have to post those in a later entry, along with all the strange and surreal things we did on this little trip to the country.


Seeing the Trees for the Forest

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

People often say they’re inspired by nature and I thought I got it, but maybe I didn’t really get it. Sure, forests are nice, but nothing really that mind blowing. Then on a recent hike through Lion’s Head Provincial Park I think I started to see it –  amazing colours, patterns, textures, and odd little things growing everywhere. Is this what people are talking about?


Not Angola

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Just a few pics from a super last minute trip to Anguilla in February. Anguilla is an island in the Caribbean which I had actually never heard of before going. It’s a beautiful, quiet island north of St. Maarten that maybe a lot of other people haven’t heard of either, because every time I tell someone about it they think I’m saying I went to Angola.

We met all kinds of sea things and creatures on that trip, which I took pictures of with my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 that goes underwater. Luckily for us Garvin, the manager of the villa we rented happened to be around and showed us how to skin and gut the fish we bought for dinner one night. We had a triggerfish, snapper, and parrotfish and each one had to be prepared differently. He said if he had known we wanted fish he could have taken us spear fishing! I say that with an exclamation point because I’m imagining it to be more exciting than it actually is maybe?  I don’t know.

And a cute stray puppy! There were stray dogs and puppies everywhere.  Some of them walked with limps because they’ve often been hit by cars, but this one was unharmed. It really enjoyed eating chicken and fish. And finally, my favourite stray, the ratty one at the very bottom, which I’m not even 100% sure was a dog at all. Kind of looks like some strange otter. He and his buddy were hanging outside the local supermarket.