wow, it has been a really long time. and i have a lot of projects that i have been working on for the last 9 months to share! so here we go. in the spring detroit finally got it’s very own farm and garden store, called detroit farm and garden (that we will refer to as dfg from here on) opened by my friend and neighbor jeff. i, along with my talented friend nina created the logo for dfg. i made the center image for the logo and nina did the rest, including creating the font in the word detroit! after the store opened jeff asked me to come in and talk about creating some signage for the store. he had made two huge chalkboards that sit behind the counter. they are made from plywood painted with chalkboard paint, and he envisioned that they would house information on bulk items, new products, classes and any other pertinent information.
blank looming chalkboards
each chalkboard is 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. as i did some research on chalk i discovered that those handy chalk pens don’t work so well on chalkboard painted boards. they look great, but they leave a ghost image after erased, especially color pigmented markers, as the material is too porous and the pigment seeps in. they apparently erase just fine on a regular chalkboard. so we went with regular chalk, which is harder to work with in some ways than chalk markers. the first thing i did was decide how to divide up information and make a small to scale mock up of the boards and get a basic idea of how much room to allocate each area. then i figured out how big the text had to be for it to be legible from the door.
chalkboards being gridded off
using painters tape (one of my favorite tools to always have on hand!) i marked off the boards into sections and to make sure that the text was straight and evenly spaced.
left board sketched in
right board sketched in
after the board was gridded off i drew everything in with regular white chalk, which was sort of like sketching in with pencil. next i made sure that everything looked as it should and was spelled correctly.
starting to put color in
after the initial laying down of information i went in with the colored chalk to make it pop!!! and then many hours later it was finished and extremely colorful!!
it popped really well in the space as jeff was working with a limited color palette in the space, following the colors in the logo. you may be surprised to hear that a farm and garden store would have a color palette at all, but this is not your average farm and garden store! it has all of your farm and garden needs, and it is a very well put together store. there is a better photo of the chalkboards and the store itself in this slide show from the free press. this post is very process heavy, mainly because i personally love seeing how people do the things that they do, so when i remember to document the process i will post it here, as well as the final project!!
and a few words, but not many.
this is what has been happening. unearthing garden beds from layers of mulch, lots and lots and lots of rain, harvesting the last of the kale and turnips from under the hoops, finding a nest of baby bunnies and then scaring them away, trying out new recipes, almost completing a sweater and realizing that it is way too big but not having the heart to rip it all out yet, flowers inside the house and a few outside, starting seeds for transplants, and a fancy fast new-to-me bike. happy spring!
this past week i was in between knitting projects. i finished one and was waiting for the gauge tests to dry for the next. i have been knitting so much lately that it felt weird to not have a project going on. so i decided to make something small with some yarn i had laying around. almost three years ago i made my first stuffed animal. i gave her to patrick, as he gets the brunt of things i make on a whim. well this creature still lives at out house, and i decided to make her a scarf. it is very small, ridiculous, and cute.
i think she looks warmer. in other news after the thaw of a two weeks ago, and before the other dump of snow last week i investigated our quick hoops in the garden. we actually had some lettuce, spinach, beet greens, minutina, and turnips alive. so i harvested some greens and turnips and we ate salad, and quick pickled turnips with dinner. de-li-ci-ous! anything coming out of the garden in february will taste good, just for the pure amazement of it.
even though true spring is still a ways off, i can feel it in the air. my thoughts have drifted towards damp earth, sprouting seedling and the rush of pollen and nectar. i checked the bees today at earthworks and had surprisingly fewer deaths than i had anticipated. they are anxious for spring, as am i. soon the maples will be blooming, and it is all downhill from there. the maples are the first real pollen source for the ladies, and a welcome source of protein. gwen (my beekeeping cohort) picked up a mass of shop lights from the hardware store for various growers in the area today (to start seedlings under) and dropped ours off to me after we checked the bees. so now i am thinking of making my crop schedule and plan, of mixing soil, making bee tea as a spring tonic for the ladies, the smell of fish emulsion and just looking for an excuse to be outside. i am thinking of the urgency of spring, but also reminded to slow down, inhale, and realize what a beautiful life i truly have.
check out more creative spaces here, as always.
it seems that i have a bit of catching up to do! happy 2011, i hope it is a great year. i haven’t even started reflecting upon 2010, as i am just coming down after all of the holiday busy ness. i always feel a bit flat in january. holidays are over, detroit is gray and cold, and all i want to do is listen to audio books and knit. but i have some work ahead of me for the year, so i need to get myself in gear. 2010 was a pretty amazing year, that went by so quickly! we are still harvesting out of the garden, mostly just spinach now, but it is still alive under row cover and plastic. patrick harvested the last of the lettuce on new years day to share at dinner with friends. it was amazingly sweet and still so exciting for me to see fresh things coming out of my garden on january 1st!! our floor is littered with seed catalogues and we are picking out what will be planted in the garden this year. i love crop planning for our garden, i spend days figuring out what we have, what to order and then make a calendar of when to plant and start what, with a corresponding map for the garden of where it goes. patrick ordered us a new broad fork and claw tool. planning for spring is what gets me through the winter. we have also been baking a lot of bread and pizza (as we received a pizza stone for christmas), watching movies, cooking, having adventures, and sleeping. winter is a time for recouping from our busy lives. but what great ones they are. i have a few posts lined up for the next couple weeks, and resolve to be a more consistent blogger this year!!!!
need some holiday gifts? want to support local artists and beekeepers? have we got a deal for you – this saturday 2pm – 6pm the little house is having an open house. you can sample some of the recently bottled meads, get some prints, holiday cards, and detroit wildflower honey. we may be having friends selling other gifts as well. afterwards you can check out noel night downtown! if you need directions to the little house shoot me an email at
staceymalasky (at) yahoo (dot) com
i wanted to share a piece of artwork that i completed a couple months ago. last fall i made a paper cut for the publication art&work. exhibitions have been happening in different cities across the u.s. to coincide with the publication. my friend nick put one together in detroit! i decided to take the piece that i had made for the publication and reproduce it much bigger. so i got some tyvek, painted it black and started working. the finished piece is in 5 pieces and measures about 5 feet by 5 feet. it is by far the largest thing i have ever made, and it was really fun. it looked so huge at our house, but then looked strangely small on the wall of the gallery. it just came home a couple weeks ago and i put it up in our dining room, where once again it looks huge. patrick asked for it for his birthday, so i happily obliged. here is a photo, and not a very good one at that. but i am getting someone who knows more about photography to take pictures of my work this winter.
first i want to say thank you to everyone that came out for garlic fest!!! we had a great time and it all came together in the end. i will post some more about garlic fest later on. this is about garlic art. patrick and i decided it would be a good idea for me to create some artwork to sell at the garlic fest. i did not have enough time to put something together to letterpress print, so i decided to do some screen printing. i of course have only screen printed on one other occasion, and i also have the amazing ability to make anything more complicated and harder for myself. so i decided to print two days before the prints needed to be done. i struggled a lot with trying to get old emulsion off the screens. there was one clear screen that i coated with fresh photo emulsion, but i spent hours trying to get the stuck emulsion off the other screens. in fact it is still on there, so if any one has any tips on recovering locked screens i would greatly appreciate it. the actual process of burning the screen and printing it went really well. after pulling my first print i was again amazed at how magical the process of printing is.
the prints started piling up and soon i was tip toeing through my studio because they were all over the floor. i also found that i became print happy. scrounging around the house for blank articles of clothing to print on before the ink dried.
the original piece of artwork is a paper cut i made then burned directly onto the screen. i did get the emulsion off of this screen but i had to take it to the car wash to power wash it out.
i sold 10 of these at the garlic fest, but made an edition of 33. so if anyone is interested in purchasing one for $15 send me an email at staceyspiderspun (at) gmail (dot) com they come on a variety of papers, so indicate a preference. in further news i will now be blogging at the little house blog as well.