Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 58 :: Monday February 27 :: Ottawa

Life size. Make something as big as you possibly can! If it's something representational, see if you can make it life-sized (a giant cardboard elephant, a drawing of a person your height, a cloth car you could fit in).

It snowed some more today, and it was quite fun to seek out the perfect untouched patch of snow to make this life-size snow angel.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 57 :: Sunday February 26 :: Ottawa

Use a disposable plastic bag to create something new today.

The Academy Awards are on! After seeing all the red carpet fashion, only a stuffed-animal-size evening gown will do! This was lots of fun to make – the neckline 'roses' were the bag handles, cut off and knotted. My only regret was not having thousands of dollars' worth of diamonds to accessorize!

Day 56 :: Saturday February 25 :: Ottawa

Make something heavy seem light.

I went a little outside the proverbial box today in that what I did fit the assignment, yet nothing was actually created. Huh?

After a mild few weeks, winter returned like a lion yesterday and left a lot of snow behind. While walking home post-work in the snow and wind, I passed many people shoveling and snowblowing... It made me think about  growing up in northeastern New Brunswick, where visiting family in winter almost always meant coming home after a long drive, late at night, and finding a mountain of snow in your driveway – one more hurdle to clear before a well-earned rest. Then the thought of a friend who is currently on a well-deserved vacation in sunny climates (i know, lucky!) came to mind.

So today, I snuck over to his house and shoveled his driveway. The snow was about 20cm deep, and heavy; the mini-snowbank courtesy of the plow came up to my knees. It took just under an hour to clear it all. I even sprinkled salt on the icy patches on the walkway.

The best part? I had a smile on my face the entire time. The snow might have been heavy, but it felt light - because i was being kind to someone. Bonus: it was a wicked core workout :) My only regret will be to miss the look on my friend's face when he comes home – i'm not telling him i did this!

Update: the friend found out, and sent me this message: "Wow... that was really kind of you. (...) Boy my neighbors must be ashamed of me... what kinda guy disappears and lets a girl come over and shovel his driveway by hand!! (...) It's a really nice writeup (...) and a thoughtful touch (...) You have totally surprised me (...) i guess you know how happy i was to have had a good samaritan :)"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 55 :: Friday February 24 :: Ottawa

Write an advertising jingle for something in nature (a bird, a tree, a cloud). Bonus: Make a commercial to go with it!

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause to welcome guest creative James! The two loves of his life (don't tell his girlfriend!) are the colour purple and the number 55, and since today is Day 55 he jumped on the chance to collaborate to my blog. He's a whiz with crafting fun sentences and had no problem coming up with an advertising jingle – and i was more than happy to turn it into a commercial.

The advertising jingle, to the tune of "Oh Canada":

Oh purple starfish
Obtaining one is your wish
You must go to MEC
Or be in eternal anguish
With pride and joy, you'll watch it grow
Loving ev'ry second, we know
From far and wide
You'll return to rest nightly by its side
At only $9.99
Forever yours it'll be
If you mention 'purple' you get the fish food free!
If you mention 'purple' you get the fish food free!

And the resulting commercial:

Day 54 :: Thursday February 23 :: Ottawa

Connect the dots. Make something only using dots. The dots could be stippling from a pen, the circles cut from paper using a hole punch, or even small, round price stickers.

This little doodle, inspired by colour blind tests patterns, was born while killing time between two ultimate games in the igloo known as Ben Franklin dome. Big thanks to Josianne for suggesting the colours and for keeping me company!

Can you see the number?

Day 53 :: Wednesday February 22 :: Ottawa

Make something in which the sense of smell is the essential component.

First thought: 'oh, that's easy, i'll just burn my dinner'.

Second thought (i blame the bouquet from day 47!) : flowers. I'd seen this style of layered collage before  – where parts of the image where added on top of the original to give a 3D effect – and thought it might be fun to give it a shot. Little scrap pieces of foam core board helped separate the flower layers. As for the smell part? It doesn't really come across well via the blog, but the flowers were sprayed with perfume!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 52 :: Tuesday February 21 :: Ottawa

Work upside down. Create something in such a way that you have to rotate it 180 degrees to display/see it when it is finished.

I was really stumped by this assignment, and turned to Facebook out of frustration/desperation. Unbelievably, a friend was online at just the right time and immediately reminded me of ambigrams – a typographical design or art form that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction or orientation. It really got me thinking, and so i present: my very first ambigram! Yes, it's the same if you stand on your head to look at your screen :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 51 :: Monday February 20 :: Ottawa

Make something that would not normally be considered cute and cuddly into something that is.

As I'm babysitting Sushimakki (my cousin's car) for a few days, I was really hoping to find a way to incorporate it into the project somehow... and wouldn't you know, it turned out to be the perfect subject for today's assignment.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 50 :: Sunday February 19 :: Ottawa

Be a minimalist. Work only with white materials today. Try working white on white for a real challenge.

I can't remember the last time I made paper snowflakes... Must have been 10 years ago at least! Today seemed like a good day to give it a go again. And who says they have to be round? :)

Day 49 :: Saturday February 18 :: Ottawa

Quantity over quality. Work with a lot of something. It could be dried grains from the kitchen, a jar of buttons you have in the closet, or all of your t-shirts.

I recently read Noah Scalin's book 'Skulls', which showcase roughly a third of the skulls he created during his skull-a-day project. One piece in particular was really appealing: it was a skull made of uncooked rice, and had been shaped with a chopstick. Today's assignment gave me a chance to give that medium a try.

I debated what to make for a while - my own skull? An ultimate player laying out? A giant grain of rice??? - but looking at the grid on my cutting mat, a font seemed the logical way to go; and as a graphic designer, what better choice than Helvetica?

Day 48 :: Friday February 17 :: Ottawa

How tall can you make something that stands up on its own?

Completely uninspired today. Sadly, this is the best I could come up with - a pile made from the groceries I picked up on my way home. I promise to do better tomorrow.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 47 :: Thursday February 16 :: Ottawa

Work with flowers - artificial or real, live or dried, picked or bought.

The plan: buy small bouquet of real, live flowers on way home from work. Put them in vase. Go to ultimate, then tear out the petals and create something with them when I return.

The problem: in the few hours I was away, the flowers bloomed and I really, really, really didn't want to take them apart anymore...

So I didn't. I used only the petals/leaves/stems that I had originally thrown out. It wasn't much to work with, but now i have two bouquets instead of one :)

Day 46 :: Wednesday February 15 :: Ottawa

Face it. What can you do with a face – yours or someone else's? This doesn't have to be face painting, you could use food or something else to decorate it, or try molding it into a new shape with hands or tape and documenting it.

I went for dinner at The Works tonight with my cousin. While waiting for our burgers to arrive, he asked how the blog was going, and i revealed that i was planning on taking care of today's creative assignment as soon as the food arrived – using my salad.

This might be the fastest i've done a creative so far – and i blame the burger in front of me! I couldn't bite into the elk patty/caramelized onions/fried egg/pineapple/purple beets/gouda deliciousness soon enough. Om nom nom!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 45 :: Tuesday February 14 :: Ottawa

Create an image with masking tape or any other kind of tape, for that matter. Try making it on a nontraditional surface. Extra credit: Leave it for others to find.

These bird silhouettes on my apartment door were a trial-and-error process: masking tape was a bit see-through and made layers look weird; duct tape blended in too much with the paint colour, athletic tape is too expensive to use in this fashion.

Thank goodness for electrical tape! This turned out to be a fantastic medium: it's wonderfully stretchy and lays flat when doing curves! Excesses were easy to trim with a blade for perfect shaping.

As for the 'leaving it for others to find' part - I guess the newspaper delivery guy will be the first to see it in the morning :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 44 :: Monday February 13 :: Ottawa

Make something that lights up. Work with an existing lampshade or put a small electric light or candle inside of something you make.

Due to donating blood earlier today, i'm fairly tired tonight... so looking to do something simple. What's easier than freehand-cutting a piece of card stock with an x-acto blade? Bonus: inside was a scented candle, which stayed lit until it was time to go to bed. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 43 :: Sunday February 12 :: Ottawa

Learn something new. Ask a friend to help you do something using a technique or skill they're good at.

Perhaps inspired by day 40's yarn challenge, I asked a friend to teach me to knit. I knew just the person to ask: Karen casually estimates having done over one million stitches in her life (!!!) and she turned out to be a great teacher. She patiently supervised my first two rows, then i'm proud to say that the rest was done completely on my own later in the day. I was actually surprised by how much i enjoyed doing this, and don't think i screwed up too bad... yet! 

Day 42 :: Saturday February 11 :: Ottawa

Turn today's junk mail into something much more appealing.

It's Saturday.  Even if mail was getting delivered today, my building is, via a large sticker on the front door, a junk mail-free zone. This means that the only junk mail to enter my place today is in the form of flyers wedged in my daily Citizen.

Murphy's law dictates that there shall be only three flyers included (instead of the usual half-inch thick stack): Shoppers Drug Mart, SmartSource, The Bay. And they all have a very valentine's day theme. Hmmm. Inspiration finally came in the form of a candy heart in The Bay's flyer. After cutting up various shades of lipsticks/dresses/backgrounds and making a cute collage with them, here's the result! (note that the yellow envelope is part of the book)

Day 41 :: Friday February 10 :: Ottawa

Think big. Create a large version of something that would normally be much smaller.

My love affair with Sharpies continues today! Leftover label stock, green paper and a poster tube combined to make this larger-than-life ode to my favorite permanent marker. If only there was a pen nib large enough to fit inside...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 40 :: Thursday February 9 :: Ottawa

What can you do with yarn? You don't have to know how to knit or crochet; you can try yarn painting or just experiment.

Yarn. One more item to be added to the ever-growing list of things that I do not have lying around... at least, not in ball form. Solution? Use a knitted mitten, with some fun little add-ons done with label stock and my trusty Sharpies. The result is awfully cute and definitely a favorite. Yup, that's a tiny frisbee it's holding. Don't you just want to play with this little critter?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 39 :: Wednesday February 8 :: Ottawa

Write a haiku about something that happens to you today or that is in the news. Bonus: Illustrate it!

An unfortunate recurring theme of this blog is that i seem to tackle the day's assignment late at night. Today is no exception... as i sit on my little blue couch, all comfy in pjs and a blanket, teeth brushed and hair slightly damp from my earlier shower (aka completely ready for bed), the task of coming up with a clever haiku seemed an impossible challenge. Being at work from 6:30am to 8:15pm will also contribute to brain-dead-syndrome. Blaaah.

So, please no mocking. I really, really tried. Zzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 38 :: Tuesday February 7 :: Ottawa

Work underwater. Fill up a large bowl, vase, or old fish tank with water and create something inside of it.

Problem: I do not own anything resembling a large bowl, vase or old fish tank. In fact, the largest clear container i could dig up is... a pint glass. Hmmm.

While scrounging around for some plastic, i came across a work manual that had a clear plastic cover. *lightbulb moment!* The cover promptly got cut up into strips, the Sharpies came out, water was added to the glass and the now-coloured plastic strip inserted into it. Position everything in front of a white background... aaaand... done!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 37 :: Monday February 6 :: Ottawa

Make something with a stapler. You can staple things together or, heck, just work with the loose staples. Even the stapler itself can be transformed.

Must be office supplies week in this book! Beddazzling my office stapler would have been fun, but since I'm still daydreaming about winter wonderlands, i used today's required staples and leftover green paper to create this little winter scene. Hot chocolate, anyone?

Day 36 :: Sunday February 5 :: Ottawa

Take something old and make it look new.

Easy-peasy! I'd been meaning to give a shine to this favorite silver necklace for a while, and since it fit perfectly with today's description – it's now done. Yay!

Day 35 :: Saturday February 4 :: Morin Heights

Create instructions that others can use to make something and then have someone try it out.

Written instructions after pondering in bed for 30 minutes, listening to others in room sleeping and trying not to fall asleep as well:

Materials: bread, cream cheese, bacon, raisins or small nuts, knife
1. Toast bread
2. Cut toast into circles. Make one big and one small circle.
3. Cover toast circles with cream cheese.
4. Add raisin/nut eyes and button; add bacon arms and hat.
5. Eat!!

The next morning, i enlisted a volunteer to make it, and voilĂ ! Snowman toast :) The perfect start to another day of winter fun in Morin Heights's winter wonderland. Bring on the snowshoes!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 34 :: Friday February 3 :: Morin Heights

Work with wire. Thin-gauge wire can easily be bent by hand, so no special tools are required. You don't even have to buy wire if you have some paper clips handy.

Work on this one took place in two parts.

Part one: bending paper clips into heart shapes.  Done mid-afternoon at work while waiting for a rather large file to process on my computer screen.

Part two: the actual assembly, was done with friends in the Quebec countryside, by a fireplace, while planning the next day's snowboarding/snowshoeing/hot tubbing extravaganza :)

Thanks to Grady, Maya and Morgan for helping out and for modeling the results!

Day 33 :: Thursday February 2 :: Ottawa

Use pens as your material/inspiration today. Draw with them, use them as construction material, or ...?

After reading today's assignment, i was a bit stumped – but unlike the usual 'what on earth can i do with this?!', it was more of a 'oh, the possibilities!!'. Have i mentioned before that i absolutely love sketching with pens?

I decided to take some extra time to pick a suitable subject. Unfortunately, there isn't much free time between the gym, work, staff meeting and two back-to-back ultimate games... so of course it's now half past midnight and instead of sleeping i'm attempting to faithfully reproduce my right cleat in pen.

This one is dedicated to all the ultimate players out there :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 32 :: Wednesday February 1 :: Ottawa

Make something ephemeral. Can you create something using a material that will dissipate quickly, like soap bubbles, smoke, butter on a griddle, or cream in coffee?

The best grilled cheeses start with butter in a pan... in the shape of a star. Om nom nom!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One month down...

...eleven to go! I'm now 1/12th of the way through the book, and so far i'm loving it. Sure, some days it feels like a chore, but it's always so satisfying when done!

In case you're curious, so far i've used: pen, paper, Sharpies, a paper shredder, maple seeds, fridge magnets, bananas, cardboard, cookie cutters, bread, ice, a screwdriver, a hammer, tea leaves, a UAE bill, sponges, x-acto blades, hemp string, snow, shoes, boxes, reusable bags, a car, paper clips, post-its, water, clay, safety pins, Lego, newspaper, scotch tape, scrapbook adhesive, berries, leaves, sticks, electrical tape, a photocopier, lined paper, toys, felt, a glue gun, a city bus...........

Off to do today's assignment! Read all about it tomorrow :)

Day 31 :: Tuesday January 31 :: Ottawa

Make a path for people to follow and invite people to try it out.

I did something in public today. I also told a bunch of people about this blog. Not sure which one was more nerve-racking!

I had made a bunch of cardboard dashes and a larger cardboard X before leaving for an evening meeting; the idea was to make a path once there and get people to play along. But while waiting for my connecting bus at the deserted Lees station, i wondered – what if i traced a path from the shelter to the bus stop?

The only other person there looked at me very, very strangely as i dropped the X and dashes as fast as possible, knowing there would only be one chance to get a photo before everything got stepped on. A bus pulled in (the dashes outside the line were blown over by the bus), the picture was taken, exiting passengers looked at the ground questioningly then went on their way. I then picked up my soggy cardboard props, threw them in the trash and hopped on the next bus... and smiled during the entire ride.

Day 30 :: Monday January 30 :: Ottawa

Play time. Play with toys: if you don't have any, borrow some from a friend with kids, and maybe even work with the kids!

Good: i'm finally feeling better! Bad: i really, really wish i still had Lego... it would have been perfect for today. The idea of simply popping Lego Pirates of the Caribbean in the PS3 and taking a picture of the screen did cross my mind :P

Continuing on the Tokidoki theme started yesterday, i used my little Unicorno to represent a day in my life... be it reading the morning paper, playing on my iPod, looking at stars, night-time reading, working on the daily creative assignment or playing ultimate – it's all there :)

Day 29 :: Sunday January 29 :: Ottawa

Make a disguise for yourself, a friend, a pet or an object. See if you can fool anyone with it.

So... sick... yet somehow found the courage to dust off the glue gun and make this little felt mask for my little stuffed toy Adios. The felt is glued to a semi-stiff paper backing, the string holding the mask is glued between the felt and paper. I originally wanted to add feathers, but seeing as it would be very un-Adios like (he is, after all, Tokidoki's rather cute representation of the grim reaper) ended up leaving it as is. Now, time for a nap on the couch.

Day 28 :: Saturday January 28 :: Ottawa

Back to school. Use traditional school materials like number 2 pencils or lined paper notebooks to make something nontraditional.

The main discovery today was that when my brain feels full of cotton balls, the creative juices aren't flowing very well. My only outing of the day was to buy orange juice and lined paper (!), and most of the day was spent blowing my nose or resting. As a result, this is the best i could come up with... it still is pretty cute.

Day 27 :: Friday January 27 :: Ottawa

Dreamland. Use a recent dream as inspiration for what you do today.

I read this one over and over before going to bed last night, in the hopes of having a good inspirational dream. I woke up 10 hours later, at 6am, with a stuffy head, runny nose and vaguely remembering having dreamed of traveling/travel destinations and tiger graffiti... i took notes, blew my nose, dozed off. Got up an hour later, worked a full day, got home, changed into my pjs, sneezed, blew my nose for the 745th time and doodled this.

Day 26 :: Thursday January 26 :: Ottawa

Make something portable (or that seems portable) that normally isn't.

I pondered this one aloud at work... until a coworker suggested that i put wheels on my bathtub. So wheels it was! You can't really tell from the picture below, but these cardboard/electrical tape/duct tape wheels are 5.5 inches in diameter – which puts the photocopier size in perspective. Let's roll!

Day 25 :: Wednesday January 25 :: Ottawa

Work with nature. Go to your yard or a nearby park and collect materials to work with.

Does this book not realize that it's winter in Canada? And that most materials would therefore be buried in snow?! Grrr... A quick stop at Patterson Creek on my way home (including slip-n-sliding down the ice-covered stairs) yielded the following materials:

• little red winterberries
• sole leaf caught in scraggly bush
• cold, crusty, frozen snow
• little branches covered in sharp, prickly thorns (discovered the hard way, of course)

But i do love winter... so here is what resulted:

Day 24 :: Tuesday January 24 :: Ottawa

It's not easy being green. Work only with green-colored materials today. Try working on a green surface for a real challenge.

Paper collage time!! This is perfect as my cutting mat is green, thus providing the green working surface. I used various green shades of paper, and a green Sharpie to produce this fun little beach scene. It's probably the dream of many at this time of year :)

Day 23 :: Monday January 23 :: Ottawa

Waste not. Dig in a recycling bin for all of today's materials. 

Er, no. It's pouring rain outside! Instead, i'm sticking with my indoor recycling pile (aka the stuff i have yet to toss into my building's outdoor bins) – which is almost all newspaper.

Confession: I watch The Bachelor... and the on-screen roses were inspiring enough to create a 'vase' out of an empty tapioca cups box, then fill it with paper flowers. Quick and fun! Now back to the drama on tv.

Day 22 :: Sunday January 22 :: Ottawa

Create a bridge. Connect two things in a creative way. It could be small enough for an amoeba or big enough for an elephant to cross it. 

It's a beautiful day outside... so i tried to find inspiration via a nice skate along the canal. No luck! The idea for this one finally came later at night, watching Cars on tv and looking around my living room for materials. Repurposing the string from Day 17's eye patch, I added some paper clips, two bottles of beer for posts and one daredevil little Lego dude. Tadah!!

Day 21 :: Saturday January 21 :: Tremblant

Write a ten-word love story. Bonus: Illustrate it!

After a cold, yet fun day of snowboarding, i discussed this assignment with my riding buddies. Lots of silly suggestions came up (example: "I love you. This will not work. What the eff?!"), but nothing that i felt was good enough. Later at night, curled up in my top bunk once again, brainstorming words on the back of an envelope (my first direction was poetic), inspiration finally struck... "They met on a chairlift and rode into the sunset." Soon after, this little comic strip was born. It's definitely one of my favorites so far.

Day 20 :: Friday January 20 :: Tremblant

Buy or make some clay (see instructions on page 238) and then use it like you never have before.

Yes, the book comes with clay-making instructions!

Today is the first day where i felt i wouldn't be able to complete this creative assignment... and to be fully honest, the little clay snowboarder below was created past midnight. I woke up late this morning, rushed to work, then left for Tremblant with a group of friends immediately afterwards. Being social meant no 'alone creative time', so this little guy was done in the comfort of a shaky top bunk right before going to bed. The small amount of clay i had to work with came from a Cranium game (neither bought by me nor made)... leaving me feeling like i broke the rules more than once today. Boo. I vow to do better tomorrow.

Day 19 :: Thursday January 19 :: Ottawa

Create something that floats on water (it doesn't have to be a boat).

But i really want to make a boat! This little vessel, fashioned out of a paperclip mast, two post-its (back-to-back) sail and a cardboard hull floated happily for about 15 minutes... about the same time it took to make.

Day 18 :: Wednesday January 18 :: Ottawa

Work with the things you find in your car (or a friend's car if you don't have one).

Fact: i don't have a car. If i'd planned this one in advance, i may have been able to access one of the two cars i sometimes borrow, but that was not to be. I considered going to work early and using the company van – but since i'm not really interested in working with empty Tim Hortons cups and assorted fast-food wrappers, that was a no-go. Thankfully, a coworker was nice enough to let me raid her backseat. This is what came of it.