Work on the new school continues and in the meantime some of the students are in tents and some under the trees. We had a big storm yesterday and everyone ran for cover. No one complained–in this very dry country every drop of rain is appreciated.
Archives for January 2013
It is the end of my first week in Kenya. This year I got a sim card for my ipad so can keep in touch right from the village. I have been teaching a class of 60 grade 7 students with Jackie, my last year’s teaching partner who is filling in on her break from university. Those of you who are supporting her will be happy to know she is doing very well.
The first photo shows that the new school is well in its way to completion. But for now students are in the older building, under tents and outside under the trees. Here are the grade sevens getting ready to answer their letters from Park Dale.
In the afternoons I am working with a group of young women and we are hooking with t-shirts. They are very interested and making great progress.
I have my bags packed to the limits with school and hooking supplies–and also my sketching gear–a new moleskine, my paints and three fountain pens filled with Noodler’s bullet proof. I’ve decided that is my favourite way to sketch–straight to the page in ink, no sceond-guessing. It is such an amazing place I am returning to. I am so excited to be in that community again. There is much I hope to do. But I will also take time to capture this very different world in my notebook–and share it with you. That you for all your good wishes both on the blog and by email. Stay tuned for updates.
ps It’s the best when I do get to a computer to find an email from home!
This illustration is from Larry Smith’s Ted Book, a collection of six-word memoirs by students. I love the graphics of this one by Elizabeth Kay Oh–the colour blocks and the pen and ink girl whose wide eye gives all the expression needed–and I love the reminder. Things don’t have to be complicated. She seems to be reading a map, temporarily stopped, but prepared to move forward in spite of complications. Check out some of the other 6-word memoirs through the link–it’s contagious! Smith now has me composing one of my own.
I am enjoying the computer today, as I read my own maps and prepare for the trip ahead. I am going to rural Kenya where I will be without connection for much of the time. It makes me realize how accustomed I am to checking ‘my’ sites, staying in touch with those online places I value for news and ideas and inspiration. I’ve been downloading a few podcats and some music but mostly I plan to go without, immersing myself in a different space and time, absorbing the life and the lessons there. So after this week, blog additions will be from sporadic to non-existent. But I promise to write when I can and fill in the details when I get home. I still have a little bit more to say this week before I go. In the meantime, here is another blog to check out. You may find some inspiration and if you have time, click on Saori Weaving and read that too!
This is an inspiring beaded bag which I found in my favourite second-time-around shop yesterday. I do not have much occasion for evening bags, but if I should ever need one, this is the bag for me. And what an interesting use of colour, shape and repetition–gives me great ideas for a hooked bag, or even a rug. I have been thinking that after the wedding rug, I might decompress with a big geometric. So this might be the beginning of the thought process.
This new Keller travel tote is made to carry all your travel gear. It is 16.5″x 16″ with a 6.5″ bottom, two pockets on the outside and two large ones inside and a metal zipper closing. I like the options of a shoulder strap and handles on a large tote and this tote has an adjustable webbing strap which I ‘borrowed’ from another bag. In fact this whole bag is a reincarnation–it had another life as a jacket and pair of Ralph Lauren pants. I have tried to retain as many of the geometric lines of the jacket as I could. The lining is heavy-duty canvas which gives the bag the strength it will need–and of course a couple of birdbrain graphics to make the owner smile.
I was at a meeting last night and re-encountered one of my hoooked bags. I made this bag about two years ago and it sold quickly–before I had even photographed it. It was like meeting an old friend! I took a couple of photos with my phone so that I could remember it–and share it with you.
I am about to begin hooking with the pile of t-shirts for a new project and the designs on this bag have inspired me. I am amazed how easily I forgot it–just shows how important it is to document our work!
I spent the morning screen printing, a good activity for a damp, dreary day. Above is the polka dot bird on a lovely khaki cotton. I picture it as the lining for bags and totes. Below are some sweatshirts which I screened with the Otter Lake Canoe Company logo and the polka dot bird.
I liked the look of the logo so much on the sweatshirts that I decided to experiment with it on wood. I had no idea if the image would take on the pine, but it worked beautifully. The plan is to make storage crates and smaller boxes with the logo on one end. My next trial will be screen printing on leather–I think it would be fun to make leather pouches with bird graphics on them.