Protect What You Love Exhibition

Growing up in the Swiss alps I always felt a deep connection to nature and cared about protecting our environment. I am sure my parents were at times annoyed by their teenage daughter giving them lectures about recycling and sustainable living. I didn’t realize though that they took what I said to heart until this summer when my mom told me that to this day she turns off the water in the shower while shampooing her hair. What seems like a small thing to do, she had done for over 30 years because of what her teenage daughter told her. It filled me with hope and it proofed to me that we can all make a difference by changing our own way of living and educating others.

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As a teenager (circa 1990) with handmade environmental activism poster on my wall “Please be nice to mother nature”

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Expansion of environmental activism message to throw pillows. 🙂 (circa 1994) “Please be nice to mother nature”

Over the past couple of years, the environmental crisis has been weighing really heavy on me and I have been working on a series of encaustic paintings about the impact humans have on wildlife.

Our oceans are full of plastics, our forests are on fire, the ice is melting, sea levels are rising and animals are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate. As average global temperatures rise, the land and all the species that live on it suffer: Heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and dust storms are growing more intense. The rising temperatures combined with other ways in which we have degraded forests, prairies and shorelines around the world now put food security, human health, and ecosystems at grave risk.

It is becoming urgent that we significantly reduce our emissions, consume less, buy sustainable products, eat less meat and plant trees. Based on a report issued by the UN and the world’s leading climate scientists we have less than a dozen years left for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. Anything beyond this will have a significant impact on our lives as we know it. I truly believe that we can turn this around by making an effort. We don’t need to live a perfect zero-waste lifestyle but if enough of us make some changes to how we live the impact will be immense.

Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird, and mammal go extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” rate and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs. The thought of so much wildlife going extinct is very sad and I want to do everything I can to protect what literally has provided inspiration for my art for the past 30 years.

My hope is that this newest exhibition helps to increase awareness about the negative impact we have on our wildlife and that it provides inspiration to take action to protect our world and its wildlife. Each painting within this series tells the story of a Manitoba animal and one of the reasons why the animal’s survival is increasingly challenged such as deforestation, loss of habitat or global warming. 10% of all sales will be donated to a local organization Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (PWRC). Their goal is to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife in Manitoba and to successfully release them back into their natural habitat. I am very impressed with Pulse Gallery for agreeing to donate 10% of any of my sales to this amazing cause. It’s very heartwarming!

From Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 Pulse Gallery at the Johnston terminal at the Forks will be featuring a few of these works and for one night on Friday, Sept. 27 (7-9pm), all works from this series will be on display.  I hope you can join me for a night of art, wine, snacks and feathered friends from Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (they are bringing a couple of owls they are currently rehabilitation).

I hope to see you on Sept. 27 from 7-9pm!

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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

Exhibition poster and invite

I am so excited! I just received the printed posters and invites for my solo show. I wanted my materials to have the look and feel of a vintage travel poster and I am really happy with how they turned out.  A big thanks goes out to my friend Charity for the design and to Prolific for the printing. Now I just have to start promoting my show and of course finish all the pieces for my show.

Ciao

Home Sweet Home poster

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

Mother earth

I wanted to share this beautiful video in honour of all environmentalist that are fighting every day to protect our world and are willing to put their lives in danger to do so. Sadly there are many that have lost their lives at the hands of criminals that are exploiting the earth and its inhabitants. It makes me sad and angry but I am so thankful for such incredible people who are fighting for all of us and are fighting to protect our home “mother earth”. We can all do our part. Even small changes count. Just think of the impact small changes can have if millions of people participate.

Be gentle to mother earth! We can’t live without her!!!!

Ciao

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

Xmas sale

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year already when we all start thinking about Christmas shopping. My good friend and fellow artist Charlene Brown and I have joined forces this year and are putting on a Christmas sale at Charlene’s studio. Please come visit us….drink some coffee….do a little shopping (pottery, jewelry, photography and textiles)….Nov 26 & 27, 12-5p, 1178 McMillan.

Xmas sale