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!!
today is a good day. mainly, for the reason that i have electricity and can work in my studio again. we had some crazy thunderstorms saturday evening that knocked out our power. unfortunately the electric company didn’t turn it on until 4am yesterday. so i spent several hours yesterday cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. we had purchased some durian popsicles a few weeks ago to try, and had only eaten one (correction patrick ate one-i took one bite and decided i didn’t need anymore), as a result there was melted durian popsicle on everything in the freezer. so now our house smells like a combination on durian and kim-chi (there were a couple jars of this in the fridge that i composted because they had already been in there for quite some time). so now with the weather a pleasant 72 degrees outside i am airing out the house. so not much has been going on in the studio over the past few days. instead i spent time at book stores, picking cherries, reading and knitting by headlamp. but it is back to the grind today. my space is quite messy as i am planning my projects, which is a new thing for me, i usually jump right in. so i have been sketching, creating a to-scale diorama of the gallery space (so i can figure out how many pieces to create and how many frames to buy and of what size), gardening, spending time with cute babies and their lovely mamas, and that is about it. so here goes for some photos of all. more creative spaces here.
it has been raining a lot, with a sunny day scattered here and there. terrible weather for gardening and enjoying the outdoors, but fantastic weather for mushrooms!! patrick and i found almost 3/4 of a pound of morels in our backyard this week. signs of spring are also popping up everywhere, as i found the remains of a beautiful blue robin’s egg, the peonies are growing fast and the garlic is getting taller. i checked on our one remaining hive last week and they were still alive, but pretty weak. the cluster was really tiny and the queen had only laid a small amount of brood. we have a lot of weak hives at earthworks as well. i can only hope for the best, but it has been a terribly rough year for the bees so far. but now all the flowering trees are in bloom and i was woken up to the sounds of a spring thunderstorm, so hope is still alive.
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!
it has been a while since i posted last. and since then spring has officially arrived!! yeahhh!! although we are under a winter storm watch for tonight, booooo. i have been a little distracted for the past few weeks, and haven’t been feeling all that well, so i did not have a lot to say that wasn’t cranky and full of self pity. but i have been keeping myself busy. i’ve been steadily working on my sweater, and got to the point where i divided for sleeves and knitted a few inches below that. i was so excited i put the stitches on waste yarn and tried it on. well, it ended up being about 8 inches too big! yikes my gauge was a half stitch off and it will only grow when i block it. so while freaking out i emailed nora, my lovely knitting guru and acupuncturist, and she gave me some advice, some of which i knew and didn’t want to hear. i needed to start over. i ripped it back to the yoke, and haven’t been able to start working on it again. but i redid my gauge swatches and found a better size needle and i will restart again this week (after i finish pouting).
i have also been starting seeds and working in the garden. we had a beautiful warm day on friday and i pulled back the plastic on the hoops and discovered lots of spring growth on the spinach. i also planted beets, carrots, arugula, onions, and lettuce mix. i have some seeds started in the house and more ready to go. my crop schedule is all on the calendar, and seeds are organized. now i just need to make some spring tonic bee food and check the ladies. we have had one hive die in our backyard, and one survive. so i will most likely split that healthy hive this spring. at earthworks we currently have a 76% survival rate, although this is the touchiest part of the season, when a hive that survived all winter can bite it quite suddenly.
so now i need to keep myself motivated working on art, even though i am distracted by the outdoors. i still have not found a good way to manage my time effectively. i have a strange feeling that i will be saying that for the rest of my life. so for now i will leave you with another newer papercut of planting seeds!!!
i am currently working on a post about the hamilton wood type museum. but while it is in the works i will leave you with a photo of some hakurei turnips that i harvested from the garden last week!