What is Craft?

Just got back from San Francisco and I feel like taking action.  I’m tired of being in a guild that does nothing, well it isn’t that they do nothing I guess… they are just afraid of change.

Sooo… I’m going to put together a symposium of speakers.  One speaker per month from June 2014 – May 2015, and from this I’d like to see a group form.  One that does more than just have monthly meetings – maybe this group won’t even have monthly meetings – but instead has a core group of people that meet to organize events in the community,  plan workshops of all levels, and other stuff.  I’m thinking that the speaker symposium will be free and then after that a non-profit organization can form (or maybe a profit one) you can join and get discounts on the workshops and events, etc.

I think I want the speaker symposium to revolve around the them “what is craft”.  I feel like everyone talks about ‘what is art’ that now we can have the discussion about ‘what is craft’.  My Dad made an interesting comment when I was talking to him about this idea and he said that craft is a skill where as anyone can make art.  His example being that people make a circle of rocks with a feather in the middle and call it art.   Of course every sentence I write i’m arguing the other side in my head.  But I think that makes this an interesting topic.

My Creative Space May Soon be a Reality

Remember way back when we had one of our first meetings and we were all talking about carving out some creative space for ourselves?  I think I may finally be getting around to it now.  Our new apartment has this little nook in the bedroom which I think will be perfect.  I like that it isn’t in the living room, and since we won’t be getting a two bedroom for quite some time I think it is a good spot.  So here it is before any renovations.  I got the table for free at a garage sale today.







There a few swatches on the wall but the one i’m going with is the one just under the window sill to the left of Logan’s tail.  The walls right now are lemonish yellow and i’m changing it to a sandish-mushroomish colour, leaving the window sill and heater white.

I’ve started a pinterest account and i’ve been pinning ideas if I see something online.  I’m looking for fabric for curtains next.  But really I’ve got to get the painting done before anything else can go in.  I’ll post pics as I progress.

Re: Feeling Guilty – Picture Frame Wall Decals

I had this idea…

What about using some picture frame wall decals to stick up your photos.  They are removable yet strong enough to hold up a picture.  You can most likely find them in London somewhere, the pic below I grabbed off etsy.









I found a place to live in Vancouver again, (I’ll tell you about it on sunday) so I’d like to post some before pics and then some after pics… it’s a bit of fix er upper, but tons of character.  Most of my creativeness will probably go into that for a while, and the thesis of course.

Feeling Guilty

As it’s been a while since I last heard about what my creative friends have been up to, I figured it was well past time to check in.  And what do I discover? Someone’s been making chocolate (as well as me envious)!  And looking over Elizabeth’s pictures of her blanket I was struck with the fact that I haven’t knitted anything in months!  Shocking! Just goes to prove that the only creative thing I’m about to do for awhile is write papers.  Hardly inspiring, but quite mind-numbing.

I think I can safely say that the only creative thing I’ve done is create a mural on the side of my wardrobe out of the pictures that my friend sent me.  The real challenge will be to figure out how to put up some artwork on the walls without putting holes in them.  The white paint is just too drab.  So, any suggestions on how to make my room more homey, I’m open to creative ideas!

La Belle Cocoa

So I’ve had my first foray into chocolate making. I bought a chocolate making class from one of those “cheap” deals like Groupon (which always seem cheap until you get your credit card bill), and finally got round to using it. The class was held at Cocoa Nymph, an expensive boutique chocolate shop in Vancouver. The class began with a lecture on the history and science of the cocoa bean and chocolate, and then onto some tasting of various different types of dark chocolate. Though I already knew much about chocolate, I did learn a few new things, like the fact chocolate does not caffeine, just a similar substance call Theobromine.

Then came the “hands-on” part of the evening. We were learning to make truffles. We were each given our own, small slab of ganache (which is dark chocolate and heavy cream mixed together, poured into a mold and cooled), and some small cookie cutters and knives. As it turns out, unless it’s a particular simple round shape (like a heart), the ganache was a bitch to get out of the cutter. I tried making a few stars but they ended up looking like starfish after the seagulls had got at them. At that time I gave up on the cutters and started shaping the ganache freehand. I thought it would be like plasticine or playdough. However, it was more difficlut than that, as the chocolate kept sticking to my palms rather than to what I was shaping. It was all I could do to resist the urge to lick my hands, which was frowned upon in a public kitchen setting.  Anyway, I managed to shape a star, a few balls of various sizes, a moon, triangle, a fish, and a heart. Then came the enrobing step. A large heated vat of fine, liquid chocolate was placed on each table and we were shown how to drop our truffles into the chocolate, coat them, and then remove them carefully from the chocolate. I was pretty good at it, my only real “problem” was having a hard time tapping the extra chocolate off, meaning all my truffles had an extra thick coating of chocolate on them.  Then we decorated them with chocolate sprinkles, little curls of white and pink chocolate, and even transfers of edible ink. So this is how they looked in the end:

Chocolate Truffles

I was pretty happy with most of them. The only real mistake as such is the star (to the right of the fish above), which after being coated in extra thick chocolate and cocoa powder really does look like a lump of poo. If had been presenting these to someone as a gift, I would have cut off the little, messy bits of chocolate that had stuck after enrobing, but they were just for me, so I wasn’t going to waste extra yummy chocolate. In the end they were delicious, for which I cannot give myself the kudos, as the kind women at Cocoa Nymph had prepared the ganache and tempered the chocolate. I feel I learnt enough that I want to try making truffles again in my own home, this time with extra flavours like rose, orange or almond in the ganache.

Hello World!

Well, I have created my blurb in our “About US” section and am now ready to get to the business of neglecting yet another blog. Like a delinquent mother who keeps getting pregnant only to have her children seised by social services, I have been a writer for quite a few blogging adventures only to see them dwindle*. However, to stick with the metaphor, this time will be different! I promise to make a concerted effort to devote a fair amount of time to this blog. Mostly, just to keep me on track with my projects and to have fodder for cross-posting on my other blog. I mean I already cross-post my random and ridiculous thoughts on facebook, twitter and google+, why not with blog posts?

And what do I mean by projects? It’s not all cross-stich and macrame! (actually it’s neither of them as I don’t how to do it) But instead any kind of creative endeavour I may have. I am trying to rekindle my creative side both for fun and profit! So stay tuned viewing several, you may yet see something interesting…

* The delinquent mother metaphor only pertains to blogging – I’m actually a pretty good mum.