a little outtake from a photo shoot this weekend...
We repurposed a vintage wooden puzzle with some missing pieces into a rearrangeable magnetic diorama for the fridge — gluing some magnets on the backs of the pieces. It took a few minutes and turned out to be a lot of fun to play with. Details at Windy.
There is a very hopeful sign at the bottom of this whale that says, "DO NOT CLIMB."
We met some little boys eating their lunch halfway up Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca and together with auggie that afternoon they found, for real: 3 rainbows, a floatplane taking off, 2 enormous spiders, a fire truck, a submarine, a heron, a purple starfish and a cormorant.
The last few months I've been working more at my home studio designing children's books (and also illustrating a new series of books and developing an app for another). So it's a big focus in the house. Last month my son sat down and illustrated his own first book, "Trucks". He made a front cover and a back cover and then asked me to "hold it together" by which he meant binding it. I hope that's what he meant, heh. I had two special round paperclips that we used to hold the book together at the spine. A few weeks later, when I found some time, I scanned in the book and laid it out. He sat next to me to tell me the words. He also had many directions about the design and I gave him some typefaces to choose from. After we were done with that I interviewed him about the book and transcribed it in smaller type on the pages. His drawing style and interests have already changed so much since we did this. It's a little time capsule
I decided to publish it on my issuu account. So here it is, his first book!
This is a dingbat font family is made up of folk ornaments found on Hutsul ceramics of the mid 19th to early 20th centuries. Hutsulshchyna is an ethnic region in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains where folk art and indigenous culture have been preserved. I like this part of their write up: "The font cheers up and evokes positive emotions."
I took Auggie birthday party shopping a couple of days ago at collage collage. He picked out this wooden snake as a present and asked to paint it for his friend. We used the leftover paint from the banquet snake. Then he made up meanings for all the colours for his friend. These are the meanings: yellow means the sun will be out; blue means there will be a blue sky, green means it is summer because there is green grass in the park and brown means there are cars and trucks outside. (I don't remember what red and gold mean because I didn't write them down right away.)
I've had a banquet sew-a-snake-kit in my sewing box for almost 2 years and this Christmas was the right time to make it. The scarf I was knitting for my son wasn't working out and I like to give one homemade thing — I was so excited when I found this in my sewing kit. I used all his favourite colours: orange, yellow, gold, brown, purple and navy. This year will be the year of the snake...the forecast is calm and bright (also kind of sexy — that was right in the forecast) but we have to wait until February. I'd quite like to convert from Christmas to lunar new year. I'm not sure Christmas really works in a rainforest climate.
This snake looked so pretty under the tree. I overheard Auggie showing it around his room. Then he gently broke the news to the snake that he preferred his new Brüder garbage truck (to the snake) and comforted it with a dish of water and the promise of a trip to the garbage dump. If you make homemade gifts, that might make you laugh :)
ETA: If you are building forts, this snake is a very useful companion and fits in all the tight corners that need defending.
ETA more: A few weeks after I made him this snake, he decided to make one for a friend — so he passed it on.
I put up a pattern and tutorial for a doll apron with pockets up on the Windy blog today.
Little Quick began developing another series last year called Sixes & Sevens with Leah Mallen of the great documentary Coast Modern as well as our little Foggy film. We've paused in development to take care of some new Windy business. These aprons were part of the project.
Early morning lights on the way home. Cabin floor on a rainy day this weekend.
I had the chance to go for a walk in the woods and have a really good think and sort out my ideas — get ready for the new year. I have a lot to do. I've been slightly changing direction for a few years now with my work and I can finally see where I'm heading. Somewhere that's a little less cute and a little more calm and hopefully, sometimes beautiful. But sometimes a little tiny bit cute. I'm not going to start striding around in a black turtleneck or anything, if you know what I mean.
Ooh, ok, I think this is a pretty good one. We found a video on youtube called Jim Henson on Making Muppets, 1969, from Iowa Public Television. Jim Henson shows children how to make puppets from household objects like socks, potatoes, spoons and tennis balls. It is great!
Augs and I watched it together and then gathered up some materials and made a handful of puppets and little movies.
The dish mop lion, Auggie was very excited to make a pink scarf for the lion because "he was cold".
Wooden spoon puppet.
The pineapple bird. I put on the eyes and Auggie did the nose with a sharpie. By the way, he was horrified by the feeling of his finger in the potato, so we poked a pencil in the bottom and he could hold that instead. I don't have a picture, though — this is my finger. The pineapple bird is the only one who received a name from the Augs, he is special.
I had a bunch of yarn and old knitting swatches out, so these plastic spoon guys have scraps of yarn and a knitting swatch taped on as hair (or hat?). I cut out circles and rectangles out of sticky labels from my studio and gave them to Augs for the faces to colour and place. He was incredibly careful about placing them evenly on the face — he really likes some things to be straight and even. This is an aside, but I was very slightly concerned about how careful he is with crafts, as I don't want him to feel pressured while he makes things — however, yesterday he created a new technique of covering his hands in different colours of ink, yelling "sputz, sputz, sputz" (and also, "look at my fancy nails") and making crazy fingerprint paintings, so I think he's not turning into too much of a perfectionist and it's all ok. Phew.
My favourite part of this guy are the pieces of tape Auggie put over each eye — they are "goggles". Ha!
These are some pretty wooden toys from Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s. My mother had them in her basement, brought back from a trip to Prague, and brought them out for Auggie last week, still in their packages. I love the peg wheels on the wagon. (The lace-up shoe reminded me of the great shoe cake that cococake custom made for Auggie, when his favourite thing was a shoe.)
There are many ways to make a mini kite. If you would like to make a real kite, there are directions here.) Materials: The only special materials we sometime use are cloth covered wire, or florist's wire to make the string stay up in the air. Where you see "tape" or "glue" in the instructions, we often use little bits of double-sided tape as it is more forgiving. But regular tape and glue are ok, too. The kites on these pages use linen thread and wool for string.Read More