Man, it’s already July and 2020 has passed by both very fast and very slow. I can remember what I did the week that everything went into lockdown back in March. It was like any other week until it suddenly wasn’t.
To be honest, the first few months went by slowly a blur of both depression and anxiety of our new reality and that any life progress we wanted to make in terms of starting a family would be stalled another year for financial reasons caused by the pandemic.
However, the one thing I did find myself having more of was a valuable resource: TIME.
I had been looking at sewing machines for half a year. Almost buying myself one for Christmas, but stopping myself when I think about how much time it would take to learn or if I would have enough time to commit to the hobby. That all went out the window during the lockdown, when picturing an end to it is still unpredictable, so I bought the damn sewing machine.
It’s a continual learning process, and it takes a lot of patience. Every day it tests you a little, fabric gets stuck, thread gets bunched or breaks, but what I found was that making something was so satisfying. At first, I was just upcycling old shirts into new dog shirts, but then I got decent enough to use new fabric to make Bacon some original clothing.
Then we decided to open a shop to sell off any limited amounts I could make with the extra fabric. We called it The Bacon Collection because everything will be limited to a few, so shop it while you can! We’ve already got some sales which has kept me busy in the past few weeks.
Fabric shopping is so much fun and I can’t wait to continue to find fun prints to make into dog clothes!
Yesterday, at my friend’s bridal shower, we made Soy Candles! I learned that soy is better for the environment than regular wax, and healthier to breathe in. The pieces reminded me of mozzarella cheese.
Luckily, we made them in glass jars (not the pulling way) so that I didn’t end up with something like this:
Instead, it looked more like this. I picked the one that smelled like cake of course.
I found this adorable mug at Dollarama that has a mini chalkboard on it. For $2, it came with 2 white pieces of chalk that allowed me to write a message on my cup of joe.
I liked the bright red of the mug, though the material seems a bit like it can easily be chipped. That’s okay, at least such a creative thing was inexpensive! Now I can wake myself up with a nice message or surprise visitors with a cup of tea.
Yesterday, the Static Zine family celebrated the release of Issue #11 at Christie Pits with a mini picnic of treats and goodies.
We were lucky enough to have perfect weather and Sasha Chapin played some music, attracting more potential zine readers.
This month’s theme is Body and contains stories, illustrations and art detailing people’s relationships with their bodies. The issue will be available around Toronto at Sonic Boom and in random indie cafes. They should also be available soon on Etsy.
So far I’ve contributed to 5-11 zines and will keep submitting. You can purchase some of the back issues for $1 on Static Cloud.
I really enjoy being a part of this mini community that shares a piece of themselves through art and writing!
My sister had surprised me with the mini Christmas tree during the holidays. It was perfect for my tiny apartment. Now that Christmas is over, I didn’t want throw it out. Nor do I have much room in the closet to store it.
Instead, I decided to deem it “The Occasion Tree”. It will now reflect various holidays, or just silly themes that I come up with. Since Valentine’s Day is approaching, I decorated it with hearts.
I can’t wait for future theme ideas. Living close to the dollar store gives me unlimited possibilities!
This year, I also promised myself that I would set a bit of time to be creative without being in front of a computer. On Boxing Day, I scored this beautiful set of watercolour paints at Michaels for 50% off!
To be honest, I haven’t painted anything in years but I used to love to when I was younger. Grandpa also enjoyed painting when he was alive and there’s something special about making (analog) art. The rawness and the fact there’s no undo buttons with mistakes is a unique experience in 2015.
I started with something easy and made this birthday card for Mom.
Dollarama actually sells blank cards (for the printer) for $1 a pack. I think I’ll be making homemade cards for all occasions for now on to practise painting!
Static Zine is a DIY (maga)zine from Toronto, edited by a few of my blogger friends. I’ve been contributing since the previous issue on mental health. The topic for Issue 9 was food, so of course I couldn’t resist contributing again!
Here’s my page, a comic that expresses the importance of sharing similar dining preferences in a relationship. The zine publishes 3x a year: March, June & October and features a different topic every issue. Contributors can design and write whatever on their page so it leads to some very delightful and creative pages! Issues can be found throughout Toronto but if you’re from out of town they are also available on Etsy for $2.
I first learned of the Konstruktor’s existence via Laughing Squid. The idea of a DIY camera was so cool so I ordered myself one from Lomography. It’s basically like the IKEA version of a camera. The camera light chamber comes premade but there are instructions on how to build it if you ever feel like taking it apart. The body is plastic and most of the parts you have to twist from the plastic moulding. It also came with a screwdriver and stickers for customers to add their own personalizations.
The box claims that the camera can be built in 1-2 hours. However, it took me 15 minutes to distinguish the screws the first time I built it.
The instructions for the most part are pretty clear. The diagrams are easy to follow but must be looked at carefully. The first time I missed an arrow pointing from end of a spring to a little nook.
The reason I had trouble building it the first time was a defective light chamber. The springs were not strong enough to activate the shutter. I spent 6 hours thinking I built it wrong before considering that it was defective. Luckily Toronto has a Lomography store and I ended up exchanging it. It was a little bit of a hassle to do that though because in-store they claim their inventory doesn’t have any affiliation with the online (even if it was shipped from there).
Anyways, the second time around I built it in 45 minutes.
Here is the camera decorated! I was a bit sticker happy…
I’ve never really owned an analogue camera so the thought of not being able to see photos until later is so nerve racking. I bought some ISO 800 film from Lomography but right now I’m purposely experimenting with (unopened) expired film I found around the house. I made a couple of film winding mistakes in the beginning so it will be interesting to see how those turn out. I’m hoping that having to think more about composition will make me a better overall photographer!
Despite the weird mishap, I do recommend the Konstruktor if you’re interested at learning how cameras work. The top placement of the viewfinder is a cool experience. I can’t vouch for the quality of photos though because I have no idea yet! Don’t worry. I’ll definitely be posting some scans when I get the film developed.