Brooklyn Art Library visit

In 2011 and 2013 I participated in the Sketchbook project organized by the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. I was sad that I didn’t get a chance to go to either one of the vernissages or catch the exhibit in one of the many cities it toured in. You can only imagine just how excited I was when I finally had a chance to visit the Brooklyn Art Library last Saturday.

 

It was amazing to see a library filled with sketchbooks, to finally see my books as part of this permanent collection and to get a chance to see other artists’ work. It’s incredible that the Sketchbook project has grown to include works from over 35,000 artists from over 135 countries.

Here is a bit more info on my sketchbooks:

My 2011 sketchbook “Below the Surface” is a a collection of very personal self-portraits consisting of poems and illustrations. The books toured the US from  February to July, 2011 to Brooklyn, Austin, Portland, Atlanta, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Winter Park Florida.

My 2013 sketchbook “J’amerais mieux te connaître” was a reflection of 2012 – a year full of change, opportunity and travel. I got to travel across Europe and spend some time in Hawai’i on business. The simplicity of pen and ink takes away the noise surrounding each place and shows the purity of my love for each of these places. The books toured from March to August 2013 to Brooklyn, Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

If you are in NYC take a quick subway ride to Williamsburg and visit the Brooklyn Art Library. Definitely worth a visit.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Ciao

Anja

 

 

 

Book cover

In the Spring I got to work on an exciting project that I wanted to share with you all.

The Swiss author Patricia Aschilier was looking for a custom illustration for the cover of her new book “Elfie”. I felt very honoured to have been asked and I truly enjoyed the process of creating an illustration for the cover of a book. While drawing the dove I couldn’t wait to read the book and find out more about its significance.

To make sure I don’t ruin the book for you I am just sharing a short description:

At 44, Petra a devoted wife and mother of three finds herself lost and decides spur of the moment to go on a trip to find herself again. The trip is full of exciting adventures, interesting encounters and new life lessons, which in the end show her the right path.

elfie-cover

If you are interested to learn more about the author or on how to get your own copy, here is the link to the author’s blog Patricia Aschilier. Please note that the books and blog entries are written in German.

Definitely a great read and I am very proud of how the cover turned out.

Ciao!

Anja

 

 

 

DIY Christmas gifts – T-Shirt quilt

My favorite time of the year (except summer) is the time leading up to Christmas. I love how friendly people are, the beautiful Christmas decoration, Christmas music and I love giving gifts. The process of looking for the perfect gift or even better making the perfect gift for somebody you love. The anticipation of them opening the gift and the happiness and surprise on their face. I often make many of my Christmas gifts for my family and friends and this year was no different. I made Christmas ornaments for my friends (watch for DIY part 2 for instructions), I framed one of my screen prints for K. and the pièce de résistance this year is the quilt I made for him. He is a huge Star Wars fan and has been holding on to his old Star Wars T-Shirts. They have been sitting in a bag in our basement for years and he has refused to get rid of them. Years ago I had seen a quilt made from old T-Shirts and I thought that it would be a perfect way to recycle his shirts into something he can continue to use. He absolutely loved it and we have been enjoying naps on our sofa over the holidays covered with our warm and eco-friendly Star Wars quilt.

It was easy to make, so if you have a collection of band T-Shirts or souvenir shirts from your travels, this is a great way to make something that you can continue to cherish for many years to come. Here are step by step instructions with some pictures.

T-Shirt quilt

T-Shirt quilt

  1. Wash all your T-Shirts.
  2. Layout your shirts on the floor and decide on the size for each square (I made them all the same size but you could have different sizes. I decided on the size based on the shirt with the largest graphic).
  3. Create a template from a piece of cardboard.
  4. Place the template on each shirt and outline using a fabric marker or you can also use a Sharpie and then cut them out using scissors.
  5. Once you have all shirts cut place them on the floor and decide on the layout (I didn’t have enough shirts so I used the back of some of the shirts to add blank squares).

    Decide on the layout

    Decide on the layout

  6. Start sewing each horizontal row by placing the first squares together (with image area facing each other) and sew using a straight stitch. Then add the next square etc. until you have each horizontal line sewn together.
  7. Before you sew all the individual rows together, press the seams apart on the back and pin in place.
  8. Place the first two of the horizontal rows together (image area facing each other), make sure to line up the seams and pin in place.
  9. Sew using straight stitch and repeat with all rows.

    All squares sewn together

    All squares sewn together

  10. Decide on the size of your quilt (the size of your sewn together T-Shirts or do you want to have a border around).
  11. Choose a fabric for the back (I decided to use a nice warm fleece), and buy quilt batting (make sure to get some extra batting).
  12. Place fleece on the floor add quilt batting and place T-Shirt front on top.
  13. Use large safety pins to connect all 3 fabrics together (I used one safety-pin per square).
  14. If you are making a border with the fleece like I did, fold over the fleece and pin together.
  15. Pin corners.
  16. Sew along the border of the quilt.
  17. Sew the corners (I sewed them by hand with a blind stitch).

    Hand sewn corners

    Hand sewn corners

  18. Connect all 3 layers together throughout the quilt by placing a couple of stitches wherever the panels meet. This will ensure that the fabrics don’t move around. Remove the safety-pins.

    Place a couple of stitches to connect all 3 layers of fabric

    Place a couple of stitches to connect all 3 layers of fabric

  19. Snuggle up on the sofa with your warm quilt and have a hot tea or a hot chocolate.

If you have any questions just let me know. Enjoy!

Love

Anja

air necklace available through ethicalcommunity.com

My air necklace is now available through ethicalcommunity.com . I will continue to add more jewelry over the next few months.

“Wear air in support of lung cancer research”
We all need air to breathe and to live. I have seen first hand the struggle of not getting enough air into your lungs anymore. The concept is graphic, clean and creates a nice balance between the simply graphic type and the organic shape and material of the beach glass. The square air pendant is handmade from recycled .999 fine silver and is combined with a piece of beach glass. Each piece of beach glass is unique and different just like the lives effected by lung cancer.

Each of my fine silver creations is individually sculpted by hand, imprinted, sanded, fired and polished creating a one-of-a-kind piece. The fine silver used is made from 100% recycled silver, reclaimed from photographic and x-ray materials and combined with water and a non-toxic binder. Through the firing process the clay binder and water are burned off and a strong, sparkling and eco-friendly piece of jewelry emerges. All silver scraps, shavings and dust are collected and reused to help save our planet.

100% of the profit is donated to lung cancer research.

Make sure to check out the rest of the site. It’s a great resource to find out about ethical products from beauty products to food to beautiful things for your home.

Ciao!

air necklace

Humane Society visit

Over lunch a few of the girls at work and our dogs (Luna, Ninee and Guss)  went to the Winnipeg Humane Society. We had seen on twitter that they were in need of rawhide for their dogs, so all of our dogs gave up their allowances to buy them some treats. We even got a tour of the entire facility and got to see all the puppies. On top of having wonderful staff and volunteers, the building is also very beautiful and environmentally friendly. They tried to include as many local building products as possible and they even have a rainwater collection system. Just all around an incredible place!

Here are a few pictures of our trip. Luna also got a new winter jacket from their cute little store.

Ciao

cutie

sharing the love

will keep me warm this winter

Great painting technique

We are currently renovating the upstairs of our house and I have been thinking of doing something special on the wall behind our bed. I love the look of wallpaper but didn’t really want to go through the hassle, plus if you get tired of the look then it would be so much harder to change. I was asking myself why I couldn’t recreate the look of wallpaper with paint. I’m an artist after all! I started looking around on the internet for stencils and found lots of really nice ones. Most of them a bit too girly for K. but I ended up finding one that we both love. A great pattern of circles overlapping. Modern, clean and geometric!  I got the stencil in the mail  last week and this weekend I finally got to try it out. We painted the room in 2 different greys (Benjamin Moore Whitestone and Gull Wing). The original idea for the stencil was to use a varnish only so that the effect would be very subtle. I did a test strip in the studio and realized that it worked well on lighter colors but that the Gull Wing grey was too dark for it to work, so I adjusted the plan and used the Whitestone for the stenciling. It took 5 hours to complete but it is so worth it. The end result is amazing. Here are a couple quick photos. I will make sure to blog again once the bamboo hardwood floor is down and the room is put back together.

Here is what you need for this project:

•Paint – 0 VOC (better for you and the environment – you don’t use very much paint so maybe you can use up some paint from a previous project. Think green!)

•Dense  paint roller

• Masking tape

•Stencil (I got mine at cuttingedgestencils.com)

•Spray adhesive (optional – I didn’t use it and it worked out fine)

•Lots of patience!

Just think of the possibilities. Be creative and green at the same time.

Ciao

Anja

First row of stenciling

worth the hard work