Printmaking

Print I made in high school

Print I made in high school

So I’m taking a design thinking class this semester, and every week we have a new creative practice to try, like meditation or getting enough sleep.  This week we had to engage in something creative that we used to do, but haven’t done in awhile.  I immediately thought of printmaking for myself.  I fell in love with block printing in middle school and high school, and for my senior show in undergrad I made some intaglio prints.  It’s a process that I love, but has definitely fallen by the wayside since I left undergrad.

One of my senior show prints.

One of my senior show prints.

So I made three prints, two of them just one color and the other has 4 layers of colors.  I think my favorite is the Save the Bees print, just because it’s so graphic and bold.  It really highlights everything I love about printmaking.  It was really great to be making art again and being reminded that there is a reason I loved it so much.  Plus to be able to go through the entire process of coming up with an idea, planning it out, executing, and having a definitive product at the end.  It was also good to know that this is something that I am capable of doing without having access to a formal studio.  Watch out, because there’s probably more to come!

Winter is coming

Winter is coming

Save the bees!

Save the bees!

Nighttime houses

Nighttime houses

Slow Fashion October: Weeks 2 and 3 (kinda)

So I missed last week partially because I was busy and partially because I don’t really have anything to say on the subject.  Going small is something I struggle with.  I don’t have a crazy number of clothes, but I always feel like I have too much.  So I’m not there yet, but one of my long term goals is to switch to a mostly handmade, capsule like wardrobe.  So small is aspirational for me, rather than a reality.

Now for week three we’re talking about loved items.  And I’ve picked out a couple of things to talk about.  It’s hard to choose because I love everything that I make!  (Even the stuff that didn’t turn out so great.)  Because I’ve invested the time into something, I get hard core emotionally attached.  But I do have certain items that get more use than my other handmade items.

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One is my backpack.  Colette Patterns released the Cooper bag around the time I had been accepted to grad school.  And it was perfect.  I didn’t want to haul my stuff in my bright blue LL Bean backpack, and I wanted something I could eventually transition into my professional life.  So, despite the fact that I had zero experience making bags and only a little experience sewing, I trucked ahead with making the Cooper bag.  This was tough!  While there’s no measurements to take, there’s still the fact that I have a basic sewing machine and was trying to sew through layers of waxed canvas (my sewing machine was not happy about that).  And then after using it, I decided to make changes.  It originally was a messenger bag with a cotton webbing strap, and the lining was ripstop nylon with pockets on the front and the back.  I switched to the backpack layout, made new straps with waxed canvas, and replaced the lining with a basic cotton and eliminated the back pockets.  I’m SO glad I made those changes because it’s much more functional now.

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Another piece that I made that is well loved is the Avery scarf I made a few years ago.  My mom had gone on a trip to Scotland, and I asked her to please please please bring me some yarn back and she brought back two skeins!  It’s definitely the crunchiest wool item that I have and it totally smells like wet sheep if it gets damp.  But that scarf has helped me survive some really cold Minnesota winters.  When it’s -30 out, I don’t mess around.  I pull out all my 100% wool items because it really does keep you warmer than anything else.  I wasn’t sure what to think of the neutral tones at first, but now I love them tremendously.  It goes with everything and is so cozy and is definitely a winter staple for me.

The last piece I will talk about is my Chrysanthemum mittens.  (I don’t have a picture of them because I can’t find them right now!  😦 Oh no!)  I started these one winter, and then starting putting them of because I figured winter was almost over and I wouldn’t be able to wear them anyway.  Well the joke was on me because that year we got snow in May.  IN MAY!  Two years after that I finally finished the thumb that I had never gotten around to knitting (yeah for 2 years all I had left was ONE THUMB), and blocked them and they were wonderful!  I love them so much and the bring a little bit of happy and pretty to  the otherwise seemingly never ending winter.  I also knit them from 100% wool, and as I’ve mentioned, that’s pretty crucial in places where it gets brutally cold.  Plus it’s nice to impress people when they compliment your mittens and you say you made them.

Slow Fashion October: Week 1

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Woo hoo!  It’s Slow Fashion October!  (And I’m kind of late on the first week post.)  So to introduce myself: I’m Sierra and I’m a grad student working on my Master’s of Library and Information Science, and I also consider myself a maker.  I’ve been knitting for about six years now, crocheting for maybe 3, and sewing occasionally for 3 years.  I’ve also been mending for a long time.  I remember having to learn how to sew on a button my uniform skirt when I was younger, and learning how to whipstitch the hem back up.  I’ve done little bits of mending like that for a long time, but learning to sew on  a machine has upped my game.

As for really getting into the slow fashion movement, I would still consider myself a newbie.  I took a Maker Spaces class over the summer, and that really turned me onto the entire slow fashion movement.  I like knowing where things come from, whether it’s my food or my clothes.  And if I can feel like I can make a difference, I’d like to do what I can.  I just can’t wait to see what the community is like and learn from other people’s perspectives.  I also feel like making things that I wear has gotten me more interested in fashion as a whole.  I’ve never considered myself as being very fashionable, but it helps to develop a sense of style when you make things.  You don’t want to make something and not want to wear it because it doesn’t mesh with what you wear on a regular basis.  (I say this from personal experience because I have done this.)

As for projects this month, I have a couple of mending projects that I’ve been putting off for a while, so this would be a good time to get those done.  I’ve also been working on the Beatnik sweater, and I think I could actually get it done this month!  I have a couple of skirts that need to be finished, so that would be cool if I could get those done.  And of course I’ve got Christmas knitting to get done!  I always have a million projects I wanna get done, but with being in school and stuff, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.