It’s that time of year again. Dressember is the month of the year when I will join thousands of advocates around the world in a campaign to make a difference in the fight to end modern day slavery.
This is the third year I have participated in Dressember and, although it is a cold month to be wearing a dress every day it ends up being a simple choice for me. If I can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking by pulling out dresses instead of jeans then I will. I need your help though. I have a fundraising page where you can donate to the campaign. I am posting about the campaign here on my blog as well as on instagram and pinterest; please share my posts with others who might be want to be involved.
In 2014 I raised $1200, in 2017 I raised just over $1500 and in 2018 I am aiming for $1800! This year, just to mix things up a little I am going to wear the same dress for several days in a row, styling it a little differently each day until I run out of ideas and switch to another dress. We will see how that goes. I’m starting with a dress I made in Australia so it must be about twenty years old. That doesn’t make it vintage but perhaps it counts as retro!
Back in 2014 I participated in Dressember, a campaign to raise funds to end human trafficking. Once again I have committed to wear dresses every day of December for the same worthy cause. Wearing a dress every day can get a little chilly here in Canada and tends to look a little fancier than my usual jeans and sweaters so it does prompt some conversation. Wearing dresses all month is my kind of a challenge though; I like fashion, I make dresses, so combined with such an vital cause, it’s a good fit for me. This year my daughter, Alexandra and our friend, Nan have teamed up with me and our goal is to raise $2500
The challenge is certainly not to wear a different dress everyday, some participants wear the same dress all 31 days! The campaign is about freedom and justice.
Dressember equips a community of advocates to fight for the dignity of all people, leading to the protection and freedom of millions.
Check back here during the month to see how I am going with my fundraising or click over to my fundraising page to help me meet my goal. Right now our team has raised 13% of our $2500.
I am updating my instagram and pinterest accounts to show ‘proof of dress’ and will be back to post some photos here on the blog also.
Our first unit in the new year was pottery. We spent three mornings at a pottery studio with a wonderful pottery teacher and the resulting creations were very impressive. As there were just three participants for this unit each student had a wheel to use. On the first week all three made several pots.
During the second class they trimmed the pots, tidying up rough edges and putting a “foot” on the bottom if desired. They also had time to make things by hand if they wished.
The final class was spent glazing which took a while as there were many pots and numerous choices for designs and combinations. We were all excited to see the finished products after their final firing.
B11 has spent hours creating a stop animation lego version of “The Hunger Games” Trailer.
Before Christmas we did a short three week unit of coloured pencil drawing. We used both watercolour and wax or oil based coloured pencils. Just as my art teachers had done I had my class drawing fruit. Fruit are a manageable subject to be completed in a short time frame. Even though the time was relatively short I stressed that the longer we spent building up colour with the non watercolour pencils the more depth and realism we could achieve. It was not just colouring in a sketch.
Our warm up exercises before drawing the fruit were to complete several solids concentrating on the light and dark areas, shadows and shading.
The final technique in our printing unit was monoprinting, so called because no two prints are ever the same.
We used leaves and grasses which were readily available outside. (It was a while ago, before the snow came). We tried different methods for making a print including applying ink directly to the leaves, rolling ink on glass then lifting it with the leaves and taking a negative print after the ink had been lifted. The detail we were able to achieve in the veins on the leaves was surprising.
Our children have made some fairly elaborate gingerbread houses with friends over the years. This year B11 and I went back to basics with a yummy little gluten free cottage.
Houses made in previous years:
2007 Lighthouse and Little House on the Prairie
We continued carving and printing our linocuts and designed a second smaller one each as well. Here is a squirrel S12 carved .
The lino cut below shows the amount of carving required to create a design with little or no background. As you can see in the card the finished product looked great. L14 printed it in red ink and sponged extra colour onto the paper after printing. I bought speedball printing ink for our second week and it worked well.
A15 printed her shoe in a few different colours and we are hoping to print it three times in colours which will work in her room then frame them.
My own linoprint is posted on my paintings page
Several blogs I read post links to a selection of interesting posts and sites each weekend. I am not promising anything as regular as that. Any readers visiting here know that there is nothing regular about my blogs at present but I have come across a few posts lately that really appealed to me so I thought I would share.
Take a look if you like:
- I love wearing scarves so this post was right up my alley: 25 Ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes. I most often wear my scarves in the “The Modern One Loop” but within 48 hours of watching the video I had worn the “Infinity”, the “Bunny Ears” and the “Hidden Knot”! I’ve even taken to rearranging my friend’s scarves while they are wearing them.
- I was quite taken with a post by Layla from The Lettered Cottage. She posted some photos of a very whimsical campsite where she and her mother spent a few days, along with a very personal list of Things I’d tell my 17-Year-Old Self.
- I came across this dress which is quite lovely. So…I am going to see if I can make one just like it.
- Having been introduced to slacklining when we bought one for B11 a few years back, all of us were astounded by the trailer for I Believe I Can Fly. We have now bought the documentary and I can’t wait to watch it.(HT: Cup of Jo)
- B11 and I were impressed by these paintings by Alexa Reade. They are not quite what they seem or perhaps they are.
As a lead up to creating some lino prints we spent one week designing potato prints. Although it may have seemed like a step back into kindergarten it was a good exercise to get everyone thinking about positive and negative designs and carving the mirror image of what they wanted to see in their final print. The lino blocks are of course a little pricier than potatoes so the preparation was worthwhile.
B11 created some car logos, cars being his current passion. I carved a leaf and some abstract patterns. There was a paisley design, a few names and letters, an eye and a quite impressive albeit mirrored image world map.
The following week we began by designing our lino cuts. Everyone had to decide whether they wanted to create a negative or positive design. One way you carve your design out of the lino block leaving lino around the design. The other method is to carve away all that is not your design so that it remains at the end to be inked. Once the designs had been transferred or redrawn on the lino blocks everyone started carving. The carving tools are very sharp. A few of the students made me nervous. Band aids were needed!
The first prints were done using Stampin’Up Craft ink and the coverage wasn’t too bad; the smoother the paper the better the print. I am going to get some ink specifically designed for block printing and see what the difference is.