Monday, August 5, 2013

summer school

Living Room Perspective
Vancouver has been enjoying the best summer in years. the summer that I chose to go back to school!
i'm currently upgrading my 'senior certificate' in interior design to a diploma at BCIT. i have seven courses to finish before January 2015 to be eligible to write the special exams to become a 'Registered Interior Designer'. (as well as completing thousands of hours of work!).

above is the product of what I've been learning in Computer Technology for Interior Design. the course has covered using SketchUp to draw a small house in 3D and then rendering it in Photoshop. i'm really enjoying the course and have bought a Wacom drawing tablet to draw & colour on the computer.

the other course has been much more challenging. i had expected that Business Communications would be a fairly easy course. after all, i've been writing memos, emails, and letters for a very long time. and i read a lot. well, it's one thing to read and entirely another to write in a hot classroom. it's been a very useful course even if just to teach me how to manage my anxiety.... like anything, it gets easier with practice.

the two courses i will start in september are Joinery for Interior Design and Autodesk Revit. I'm excited to make some simple furniture and reacquaint myself with AutoCAD. And not write reports. Or speak in front of people.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

home made: cooking

preserved lemons
for the past year my husband has been the head chef around our house. it's his way to unwind after a long day at work. and that's fine by me. my preference is for baking and 'project cooking'. but with the relaxed pace of summer holidays I am enjoying doing a little more everyday cooking.
last year I bought yvette van boven's book, "Home Made". a couple of weeks ago I got my hands on Home Made Summer and Home Made Winter and they do not disappoint. great recipes with beautiful photos and lovely illustrations.
I can't wait to try out our new tajine and cook with the preserved lemons. the kids were very hopeful that I was making lemonade with rock sugar. we'll see how they like the salted lemons....


Friday, June 7, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

sad sad news

I had a fantastic sunday: ran my longest run since junior high; watched my daughter's swim practice; went for coffee and croissant with a friend; and spent a sunny afternoon planting seeds and gardening. and the entire day i kept telling myself how truly content i am at this point in my life - our family is enjoying a full life.

and then... sat down with a cup of tea to catch up on reading some of the blogs i follow, and learned of the tragic death of Kathreen Ricketson and her partner Rob Shugg. so terribly sad and a huge loss for their children, family, and friends. Kathreen and the Whip Up blog were such a great inspiration and resource back when i was home with a new baby and just getting back into sewing and knitting. and even though i never met her, she felt like a friend.

i felt the need to do some small thing for Kathreen and Rob's children and you can too. the link is found here. now go hug your kids.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


indigo dyed flags from little coyote
it's no secret to those who know me that i love all things blue. turquoise, cobalt, cyan, prussian blue, navy, ultramarine, and indigo name a few of the hue. my firstborn is named blue.

bill cunningham from the sartorialist
i really enjoyed 'bill cunningham new york' when it appeared on netflix. working on a sewing project and covered head to toe in fuschia feathers, i was struck by the practicality of mr. cunningham's uniform of a blue french utility work jacket. 

blue smock apron from bookhou

but i like my arms to be free and my legs covered. how happy i was to find arounna's lovely blue aprons are in her shop again. perfect for any work -  be it sewing feathers onto a costume or rolling out pastry dough.

and my own contribution to making something blue. reversible tote made of navy and cream cotton canvas with a blue and white striped denim lining. the strap is a piece of vintage japanese indigo cotton with cream woven details. the bag has both an exterior pocket and a pocket on the inside with a 'katemakes' label.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

sketchbook project

last summer i started keeping a sketchbook and learning to draw. the two younger kids have embraced it too. we are all a little more creative with our spare time without cable tv.

for christmas a couple of years ago my mom gave me some art supplies, a sketchbook, and an illustrated life by danny gregory. it was so inspiring and led me some of his other books such as The Creative License, Everyday Matters, and An Illustrated Journey. and so i started just drawing without worrying about how badly i drew. i find it very relaxing to draw some ordinary object while watching movies on the computer.

my little guy (who is 5) draws a lot of robots and battle scenes and does so every day. but today he sat down and drew ordinary objects in our kitchen (see the lower right-hand picture). 1. Vitamix blender. 2. Ice cream maker. 3. Dehydrator. it was so gratifying to see him enjoying doing what i do. i couldn't be more proud of him.

just a small list of the drawing books i can recommend from personal experience (in addition to the links to the danny gregory books above):
  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards
  • Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes
  • Artist's Journal Workshop, by Cathy Johnson
  • The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel Campanario
  • The Complete Decorated Journal, by Gwen Diehn
anybody can learn to draw - it just takes doing it.

start where you are.
use what you have.
do what you can.
           - arthur ashe

Saturday, March 9, 2013

new "toy"

it's been a very long time since i had the time or inclination to post. school, work, christmas, new year's, birthdays, illnesses.... the last few months have been pretty full of life.

my new 'toy' - the collapsible photo booth - means the dreary weather can no longer hold me hostage. it's a bit bigger than i probably should have ordered but  i will just have to make bigger things like pillow covers and bags.

spring is definitely on its way and that always brings the urge create. time to reaquaint myself with my sewing machines, camera, and etsy.