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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Easy Child's Art Apron Tutorial

I have 6 grandchildren and the three oldest often join me in the studio. They love to cut, glue and paint. They love to get right into the art making which means they sometimes get messy. For Christmas this year I made them their own Art Aprons that they could wear over their clothes when they are being creative.

The process is quite easy so I thought I'd share it here with you. These aprons can also be used in the kitchen with children who love to bake or cook. Just change the theme from Art to Kitchen.

I bought some raw canvas fabric and cut it into three pieces measuring 15" X 30". Then, using fabric paint, I had the kids print it with their feet and hands. This is best done outside where the paint can be washed away with water if it gets on areas other than the canvas. Once the paint was dry, I heat set it with an iron.

Using a pattern I drew on tracing paper, I cut out the shape of the apron from the printed canvas.
The length of the apron is 22 inches. The width is 15 inches and the armhole is cut out of the top section at 3.5 inches from each side and tapered out to the edge of the apron at 8 inches from the top.

From the left over  8" X 15" piece of canvas, I made a pocket for the front of the apron. I folded the raw edges all around the pocket under 1/4" and pressed them. I then sewed the top pocket edge to finish it nicely. Then I pinned the pocket to the front of the apron and sewed it along the two sides and the bottom, leaving the top open. I used some coordinating fabric to iron on each child's name using Heat n Bond.

I bought a package of double fold extra wide Bias Tape and 2 metres of  matching ribbon in fun colours for each child. The bias tape is sewn all around the raw edges of the apron. Using the matching ribbon, I cut 65 cm for the neck band and sewed it to the top edges of the apron bib. Then using the rest of the ribbon, I sewed it across the front of the apron just under the armholes and above the pocket. This is the waistband and tie. The neck band may need to be shortened with a knot or a few stitches if it is too big for a small child.


This is just an early, quick blog post to get the news out! I've been ACCEPTED into the SAQA show called "My Corner of the World" Canada!! I'm so honoured and excited! Out of 115 entries, 40 were chosen.

I will now have to fill out the necessary paperwork and write a Bio and send it off and then prepare my quilt for shipping to Stratford, Ontario where the show will be set up in the Stratford-Perth Museum. From there it will likely tour to different venues until December 2018.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Canoe Trip Reminiscing

Today is Christmas Eve and you'd think I'd be frantically trying to finish Christmas shopping or making gifts for Christmas but I'm done! So instead I could finish off some projects that have been sitting on the back burner.

Outside the sun is shining and the temperature is about 14C! Not Christmas weather at all. In fact, my husband and I are going to golf this afternoon! Unthinkable! This balmy weather has made me reminisce about our Women's Canoe Trip from the past Summer and I finally finished the little postcard mementos that I make for all the participants. I've posted them below so have a look and be transported back to Summer for a few minutes.

I wish everyone a Wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

French River Eastern Outlet

Whale's Mouth, French River

Campsite at the Elbow, French River

The Elbow, French River

Dalles Rapids, French River

Manoeuvreing up the Dalles Rapids, French River

Wanapitei Bay, French River

Hartley Bay Campsite, French River

Sunset at Hartley Bay, French River

Sunrise at Hartley Bay, French River

Thursday, 17 December 2015

What is Christmas?

These last few weeks, I have been concentrating on getting Christmas gifts crafted, which is why I didn't blog last week. Can't reveal what I've been doing. But today I resumed my neighbourhood walk and got a little more fodder for the sketchbook. As we draw closer to Christmas, there are many more decorations going up in the neighbourhood. You see red bows everywhere, some trees are bedecked with Christmas balls, every door has a wreath and lots of people have evergreen boughs in pots at their front door. During the day you don't notice the lights that have been put out but many homes are ornamented with them and as soon as it gets dark the neighbourhood glows with all kinds of colours. Many people also have those blow up snowmen, christmas trees, santas on their lawns too but this morning when I walked past them, most were deflated and lying in a heap on the front lawn.

But something was certainly missing from all these festive decorations and I realized it when I saw a sign on someone's lawn that said, "Keep Christ in Christmas!" In most of these homes, Christ is nowhere to be seen. To me, Christmas is so very superficial if Christ is not the center of it. It is why so many people get very blue in January because their Christmas is a temporary high and lets them down every time. It is Jesus Christ we should be celebrating and meditating on during this season. That gives us lasting joy. Years ago, I had an idea to do two paintings on board that I could hang outside during the Christmas season. The idea was to get people to think about what they meant. I never did paint them but I did research and plan them. One painting was of a beautiful Christmas wreath and the other was the wreath without needles or decoration but instead it looked like a crown of thorns. The caption was "Accept the Gift". I didn't paint them perhaps because I was afraid of what people would think. I guess that is exactly why I should paint them. Perhaps, I will get the plans out again and get them ready for next Christmas.

The weather was unseasonably warm today so it was a good day to put together my Christmas pot at the front door. Once again I used a lot of my dried and dead plants from the garden to spruce it up.

This is last week's drawing with paint on it. Everything is truly ready for winter but the snow just isn't coming to Toronto.

These are some of the Christmas decorations I observed on my walks. I leafed through the whole sketchbook so far and it is a wonderful progression through the seasons. I hope we get some snow so I can include that as well.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Note from the Curator of "My Corner of the World" - Canada

Today I got an email from Bethany Garner who is the Curator of the Art Quilt Show that I entered my quilt into. It is a bulk email sent to all the entrants which thanks us for submitting our work. She writes:"The entries received for consideration are stunning and a hugely wide representation of the talent, varied techniques and unique and beautifully orchestrated style you each brought into your work for this exhibition."

They received 116 pieces from 73 artists in Canada. I believe the Juror has to choose only 40 pieces for the show. We will be notified later this month if we have been selected. It's exciting!

In the meantime, I have been working on a more traditional quilt with my sister, Ellen and my friend, Nynke and we have got the quilt top completed. We used batik fabric for this one. Batik is fabric that is died using wax resists and has a unique pattern and design. I really like batik fabrics.

This quilt is meant to be hung on a wall so I will be putting a sleeve on the back of it so a rod can be placed through it.

I also went on my weekly neighbourhood walk again this morning and got some sketches down in my sketchbook.

This is a sketch from last week but now it has colour.

This sketch was done to show that winter is near and the trees are now bare. I will put paint to this one too. I also sketched some of the Christmas decorations that various homes are adorned with. I hope to sketch a few more and paint them so when that page is done I'll post it too.