Dream a little dream of… an art studio

One day (soon I hope) I would love to have a my own space to create, paint and hang out (close friends would have an open invitation to share and play with me too). Right now my space is located in my bedroom. It’s nothing fancy but suits my need for now. I have a large bedroom so it’s not that bad but *sigh* I (and always have) longed for my own and “real” studio and yes, with an sink!

In the meantime, get my fill of inspiration and great ideas from Houzz. I have had my account for many years now and love hoarding away images in my Ideabooks. These images make me smile, dream and hope.

Here’s my curated “Studios” Ideabook. If you aren’t already on www.houzz.com, you should be. It’s wonderful.

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Craft Fairs, Art Shows, Festivals and Sidewalk Sales Are Coming! Are your ready?

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Photo source: Unsplash.com

Attention Crafters, artists and artisans: Craft Fairs, Festivals, Art Shows, Bazaars and Sidewalk Sales Are Coming! Are your ready?

Spring is around the corner (really, it is) and this means it’s time to rejuvenate your look for 2017. You’ve sewn, painted, knitted, crocheted, beaded, sculpted all your beautifully handcrafted items throughout the long and cold winter months for the seasonal fairs and you feel that you are all set to go. But are you really? With so many people vying for attention and sales at craft fairs and festivals these days, now more than ever, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd.

Signs, promotional cards, banners and posters can help you gain more attention and more sales

Don’t get lost in the sea of table tops this year. Your artistry, talent and craft are on display and you need to attract and keep eyeballs (and wallets) at your table for as long as possible.

You cannot afford to overlook your look in 2017 – Claim it

If you are in the midst of preparing for the craft fair and festival circuit this summer, let me help you boost your promotion strategy and bring your craft and talent the attention it deserves.

Contact me and we can make your idea happen!

Gouache & Acrylic (matte and metallics)

Today I decided to experiment with my paints and wanted to see how the high pigment but matte quality of gouache and the equally unique pigments in my metallic paints would play against each other.

I really like the result. I used a high quality archival Touch marker to outline my forms.

I feel as though I may have been channeling Klimt.

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Behold my own FB Page & Shop!

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Well, I’ve done it! My very own Facebook Page.

After managing other Pages for many years, I finally have one of my very own to keep an eye on.

It’s very new and very empty right now but trust me, over the next few weeks that will change. I intend to give my personal Facebook profile a break from the artsy posts and use this as the centre of my creative pull.

I hope you will join me here @handmadeinmind and see what I am making, crafting and experimenting with. As my Page indicates “Handmade in Mind” is aimed at providing handmade and one of a kind crochet pieces for those who are not interested in wearing what everybody else is wearing and aren’t afraid to make a bold style statement.

Now if you want something quick and already made, you can purchase one of the items from the Hand Made in Mind Shop (more details about that in the next paragraph).

About the Shop! The Shop will mainly focus on my one of kind crochet items – my explorations. There will usually only be one of these items available. Those designs can also serve as the basis of a collaboration with a client too.

As I sharpen my photography skills over the coming weeks, more of my designs will appear in the Shop.

My art pieces will not appear in the Shop but rather will remain as a separate post with the option for more information, purchasing details or for commissions. I’m not married to that decision but as with all things, change and evolution is inevitable.

Thanks in advance and I hope to interact with you and, of course, answer any of your questions here; on my Facebook Page.

 Thanks a bunch!

Leaves & Flowers, mixed media on handmade paper

This is a piece I worked on during the last week of 2016. I used a sheet of paper I had tucked away for over 10 years. It’s truly a one of a kind.

I loved working on this paper and started searching online for more. To my dismay, there nothing really like this anymore.

All is not lost! I have discovered a new interest in this process and plan to continue my mixed media exploration on quality handmade paper.

I am lucky and live in the Montreal area and found Papiers Canal Papers on Saint-Patrick Street in Montreal. They make a variety of machine made paper which is fabricated from fibres left from clothing industry offcuts, white tee-shirts, blue denim and flax straw from farmers.

My next projects will be using this type of paper. More to come!

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Size: 24×36 inches framed

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a little dabble in some fabric design

My latest design has been uploaded to Spoonflower as of this morning. It’s called peas and onions. I am excited to see my three designs in real life. Coming soon!

Once I receive my sample proofs, I will officially start selling them. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, you can take a look at them on the Spoonflower site directly by clicking on any of these three images.

peas-and-onions
peas and onions by josyan mcgregor

rings and things
rings and things by josyan mcgregor

quand le soleil
quand le soleil by josyan mcgregor

three pillow covers in three days

So on Wednesday morning this week, I decided to throw myself head first into a sewing project which would teach me to be more patient and double-check my work before sewing. Yep, I learned the hard way that there’s no such thing as a Command-Z in the sewing-world.

Wednesday, November 23

I had completed a quilt top (a small one) a few weeks ago and so I figured I could make a pillow cover. First things first, I had to make my quilt sandwich and then figure out how to hook up my walking foot and then attempt to “quilt” my mini-quilt. Wow! One bent needle and a few hours later (darn walking foot!), I finally managed to correctly hook up my walking foot to my sewing machine and then I went ahead with the quilting. Nothing fancy – straight lines and a couple of diagonal stitches.

I then proceeded to make the two section panel backing for the pillow (it’s an envelope style).

It went well, or so I thought. Much to my dismay, I sewed one of the back covers panels wrong side up. Oh well. Live and learn.

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Thursday, November 24

On Thursday, I decided to try again. This time, I had no completed quilt top but I did have lots of heavier weight fabric which my Mum had given me which could do the job.

Super keen to get stuck in, I was cutting and measuring and cutting and measuring by 8 am. I decided to use two different fabrics for the back cover panels (about equal weight of course). I even went as far a making my own accented binding for the panel which would be featured on the outside of the pillow cover.

After creating a simple folded over edge for the panel which would not be visible on the back, I began pinning my pillow together. Sewing the four sides went well and I was super excited to see my final pillow. Oh and I remembered to cut my corners before turning over so that they would be nice and crisp.

Result: Oh no! Well, I didn’t double check (okay triple check) before sewing and so assembled my back cover panels in the wrong order. (Sad trombone)

This means my beautiful and neatly done accented binding panel is basically hidden behind my not-so-fancy panel. My sewing on that panel is still clean but I was devastated that I had made this mistake. Plus I used white thread so it’s so obvious now. ACK!

P.S. The front is awesome though 😉

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Friday, November 24

This morning, I was determined to do the best job of the week (third time’s a charm, right?). I got an early start and set up space before the third attempt. I measured and cut and made 100% certain that my edges, panels and patterns were all in the correct order and all good to go before the final sewing.

The result! Ureka! I did it!

I even used a fancy stitch for the accent binding. 

I wonder what the next week’s project will be?

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modern quilting, graphic design, podcasts and a new life path

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My absolute first quilt top with fabric I had available. Negative space, as far as I am concerned, can be anything you want.

I have fallen in total love with modern quilting – there I wrote it. Prior to this and to my own embarrassment, I was a quilt snob. I certainly appreciated their place in fabric and textile history but in no way did  I consider this traditional form of craft in my design or aesthetic vocabulary.

After all, I am a lover of colourful graphic patterns and scandinavian design. I love Marimekko’s bold flowers and simple lines. I drool at thought of Charles and Ray Eames’ body of work. I have watched Helvetica and Objectify many more times than I care to admit. I am fascinated by architecture, specifically Brutalist Architecture! There was no way that quilting fit within all that. I mean, right?

Some background

A few months back, I was an avid tech podcast listener and had been since 2002, but I was looking for something new. I was simply burned out on technology.

Something more… me

I am in my late forties, I am at the stage in my life where I need something that will re-ignite and inspire me to get back on the right path. I want to rejuvenate the next part of my own creative journey.

Enter Sandi

One day on my commute to work, I simply searched for two keywords: creative and podcast, and there it appeared. I listened to my first Crafty Planner Podcast on Google Play Music and was instantly hooked and the rest, as they say, is history. I would literally never be the same again.

Through Sandi Hazelwood’s Crafty Planner Podcasts, I have been introduced to quilters / makers / artists like Jacquie Gering, Heather Jones, Frank Palmer, Libs Elliott, Karen McTavish; fabric designers like Tula Pink, Heather Ross, Amy Butler and finally, sewists / designers like Cal Patch and Annabel Wrigley and much much more.

The world of modern quilting was totally new to me and I loved it. It awakened the sleeping artist inside of me. As a research maniac, I could not get enough of the images and creative vision I was seeing. The endless possibilities that this medium can open is mind-blowing. I can now see how architecture could be interpreted through modern quilting and textile art. There you have it, I have finally found a way to combine my love of architecture, graphic design, fine art, textile art, fibre arts, bold colours, line art, simple patterns, negative space exploration and conceptual art.

Over the last 3-4 months, I have listened with enormous focus and intent and I have laughed and openly wept at my many “ah ha” moments while listening to Sandi’s sensitive, honest and intelligent conversation-style interviews.

The other important reason I am writing this post today is because I’d like to thank Sandi. I’d like to let her know, that she has played a huge part in my soul search and my ultimate reconnection.

As a graphic designer, I have had many opportunities to create but in the end, I have realised that my style of “creation” is definitely more hands-on. Creating texture will now be my focus.

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This was an improv piece (zesty pi) with colours I love. The flowery pattern fabric is from a 70’s bed sheet which I have held on to for years. I have lots but I am being super selective as to when I use it.

It’s been a turbulent but enlightening couple of months for me personally, professionally and creatively and I now find myself with the time to develop my thoughts and my art.

I am promising myself a long and thoughtful meander along a largely unknown path filled with new hope and energy. Let’s see where it leads.

Database and why it’s crucial to your success (blog post for my day gig)

Very proud of this article!

Building and nurturing interactions, loyalty and awareness for donors, volunteers as well as the public at large is the root of data collection.

Read the whole article here: http://www.phil.ca/your-database-is-crucial-to-your-success-why-not-give-it-some-tlc/

inspiration is everywhere

flower plateA few years ago now, my long-time boyfriend and I stopped on the side of the road to take a look at one of those random yard sales. This is the only thing I purchased that day. It’s a beautiful graphic example of what I love best. Bold and simple flowers with the colours I am drawn to always – yellow, orange and green. What can I say, I am a child of the 70s and this is my aesthetic. I love to have my breakfast (only) in this plate and before it’s deteriorates further, I wanted to take a picture of it to remind myself that even everyday things can be a source of inspiration.

Plate: Snowhite – Johnson Bros – Made in England – Stoneware, Garden Party