Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 118 :: Friday April 27 :: Ottawa

Make something out of wood. (Any kind will do: twigs, sticks, toothpicks, construction scraps, etc.)

There is a dog park close by, and it was easy to find enough sticks lying around to create these little stars. Fun!

Day 117 :: Thursday April 26 :: Ottawa

Go out of your way. Travel somewhere you wouldn't normally go today specifically to create something inspired by that location.

Confession: I cheated... It was raining on Thursday, so i actually did this on Friday... I know, i know, boo me :(

After work, instead of my usual 20-minute walk home, i headed west. Fifty minutes and two buses later, i had made it to Britannia beach, one of my favorite places in the city. But it was no sunny day at the beach – it was cloudy, super windy and it felt like a zillion degrees under zero... which is why my little sand castle isn't the most elaborate one i've ever made. but it has a star-shaped base, and a little pine needle flag, so it doesn't really matter that i felt like i was getting frostbite while making it, right? :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 116 :: Wednesday April 25 :: Ottawa

Create something using an old map or something that ends up looking like a map.

It seems that every time I head home to New Brunswick on vacation, I come back with a road map of the province... and so one of these maps was sacrificed for today's assignment, my very own little ode to road trips. Now, who wants to go for a drive?

Day 115 :: Tuesday April 24 :: Ottawa

Find or buy a kit of some sort (like a plastic model kit, a craft-making kit, or an electronics kit), get rid of the instructions, and make something that's not at all like the intended result.

I picked up a Glitter Pie kit called 'Art studio in a box' (go ahead... check it out. I love how stars follow your cursor!); the included instructions suggested I make a tooth fairy box, little paper house or corsage. Instead, I made this little shooting star with polka dot fabric, sequins and glitter glue. Fun – and i now have a bunch of fun supplies for a future assignment!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 114 :: Monday April 23 :: Ottawa

Make something out of toast or bread. You can even make your own bread from scratch; recipes are easy to find online or at the library.

Why make my bread from scratch when there is delicious oat & honey bread sitting in my pantry? ;) This itty-bitty peanut butter sandwich was the perfect complement to a light dinner before heading out to competitive ultimate tryouts.

Day 113 :: Sunday April 22 :: Ottawa

Paint the town red. Work only with red materials today. Try working on a red surface for a real challenge.

Time to celebrate that our local hockey team, the Ottawa Senators, are kicking serious butt in the playoffs! Here is their logo done in red Sharpie on red paper on a red ottoman - Go Sens Go!

Day 112 :: Saturday April 21 :: Ottawa

Work with a few free paint swatch samples found at most hardware stores and use them to create something new.

Oops! It's Saturday, and having forgotten to stop by a paint store to get swatches earlier in the week, well, I don't have them. Instead, I used Pantone swatch postcards, which are this close
to paint swatches. And why a heart instead of my usual stars, you ask? I'm a member of a '365 creative' group on Facebook; where members are all doing their own daily project. Once a week, the group founder challenges everyone to create something inspired by someone else's blog/project: this week it was Ellen's Daily heART. It was fun!

Day 111 :: Friday April 20 :: Ottawa

Make a facial expression on your plate from the leftovers of a meal today. Bonus: Get other people to do it too! You can write expressions on slips of paper and have people randomly choose them to make it more challenging.

Leftovers? What leftovers?! was really, really good vegetarian chili! :) I do like the idea of a 'group creative facial expression leftovers', and just might challenge friends next time we're eating out.

Day 110 :: Thursday April 19 :: Ottawa

Work with mistakes. Spill some ink, milk or other liquid and then go from there.

I couldn't find my little bottle of India ink, so food coloring was a good second choice for these little blown drips. I especially like how dark the colours turned out - not what I expected at all!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 109 :: Wednesday April 18 :: Ottawa

Play in the dirt. Go outside and create something in or with the first patch of dirt you can find. 

A few minutes into my walk home from work, there's an artificial lake.  Since it's connected to the Rideau Canal, it's drained at this time of year and is a very nice, albeit rather large, patch of dirt. I walked along the edge of it until i came to a suitably muddy area – and this was more than mud, it was thick, grade-A mud, almost like thick clay. I grabbed a stick from the ground and hopped on wobbly rocks to draw this mini-maze... a complete throwback to my childhood: my mom, sister and i would spend many a cottage day on the beach at low tide, drawing huge mazes for each other to walk in/solve on the wet sand. I wouldn't try walking in this mini-maze unless you're wearing rubber boots!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 108 :: Tuesday April 17 :: Ottawa

Create something in the steam on a bathroom mirror or other steamed-up surface.

This was one of the best assignments to prep for: I took a very long, very hot, very relaxing shower... but wouldn't you know, it still wasn't hot enough to steam the bathroom mirror! It took a further five minutes with the hot water on at full blast to create decent steam (and incidentally turn my bathroom into a sauna), but voilà, some little stars :)

Day 107 :: Monday April 16 :: Ottawa

Have a ball. Make something out of a ball or make a new ball out of something else and then play with it.

I've read somewhere that when a ball dreams, it dreams it's a frisbee... and since ultimate is sometimes referred to as flatball (since, obviously, our 'ball' is flat and frisbee-shaped), what better to make than a frisbee-hugging ball? Unfortunately, it didn't fly very straight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 106 :: Sunday April 15 :: Ottawa

Go to a thrift store and buy something to work with today. Why not give it back to them after you document it?

I made it to Value Village with about 15 minutes to go before closing time, so had to be quick... as luck would have it, I turned left past a row of shelving and there it was: a working Lite-Brite!!! At $4.99, it was a steal. Back home, i decided to show my support for the Canucks in anticipation of their third game in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Love the final result!

Day 105 :: Saturday April 14 :: Ottawa

Make something impossible. Can you trick the eyes into believing they're seeing something that they're not? For inspiration, look online or at the library for classic optical illusions.

Aaahh... completely uninspired today. Since these are a bit weak, i'll give you two for the price of one! Up first, the car pinch, in which i'm holding up this full-size, slightly heavy Mazda:

Second, here is yours truly riding a scooter. How is this an illusion, you ask? Because scooter-riding isn't really in my skill set... therefore the scooter was taking me for a ride instead of the usual other way around! Black bar used in an attempt to throw off the DMV should i ever head in for my motorbike license :)

Day 104 :: Friday April 13 :: Ottawa

Regress. Work as if you were a young child or baby. Use the materials they might have access to and/or with only the skills and abilities they have at that age.

Fingerpainting time!! It's Friday the 13... so this is a black cat (sorry, didn't have black paint) and an apple tree. The paint set i bought came with fun stencils, so couldn't resist adding a few stars and snowflakes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 103 :: Thursday April 12 :: Ottawa

Create something with the napkin (paper or cloth) that you use at a meal today. Extra credit: Leave it behind for someone else to discover.

I went for dinner with a friend at a favorite Italian restaurant, and we both had a fun time figuring out how to shape a napkin into a star. This used both our napkins, and we left our paid bill tucked under one of the points for our waitress to discover.

Day 102 :: Wednesday April 11 :: Ottawa

Write a palindrome. Bonus: illustrate it! (Palindrome: A word or phrase that when read backward is exactly the same as when it is read forward (though changes in punctuation and spacing are allowed). A classic example is "Madam, I'm Adam".)

Writing a palindrome took forever!! I had the rats/star part right away, but figuring out the rest wasn't so easy... i admit to googling lists of words starting or ending with certain letters. I also learned what a sistrum – plural: sistra! – was: "...a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Egypt. It consists of a handle and U-shape metal frame, made of brass or bronze. When shaken, it produces a sound that can be from a soft clank to a loud jangling..." (thank you, Wikipedia!). So really, not only is this project pushing me to be more creative, it's also teaching me new things. Who knew?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 101 :: Tuesday April 10 :: Ottawa

Flip to a random page in a book at hand and make something inspired by the first sentence you read.

I love Neil Gaiman. A friend tipped me to his literary works not too long ago, and i've been working steadily through every short story, novel and comic book of his since; as luck would have it, i currently have one of his short story collections, Smoke & Mirrors, sitting on my bedside table. I opened it to this fantastic sentence: "It was raining when I arrived in L.A., and I felt myself surrounded by a hundred old movies." Wow. This is the Photoshop collage i made from it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DAY 100??!!

We interrupt the daily flow of creative assignments for a short announcement...


It hasn't always been easy, and honestly, some days it was very, very tempting to forego that day's assignment (in the same way that some days, you opt for the BigMac over the gym, video games over sleeping, driving over walking, sleeping in over the early productive weekend morning...), which is why i wanted to pause to say THANK YOU.

A giant, heartfelt thank you goes to:
  • Friends who have put up with my constant blog chatter (including agonizing, wailing 'this assignment is ridiculous! How on earth will i do this today?!'). 
  • Everyone who has helped along the way, either by making suggestions, pushing me in the right direction, making appearances on the blog, encouraging me, being in love with a particular creation, leaving comments...
  • Those people i've never met who started following my blog after it was featured on Make Something 365 (i'm following your blogs in return, and it's so inspiring to see your creations!)
  • Anyone else who is reading this :) The blog is nearing 2000 page views, which to me is absolutely incredible. Thank you.

Here's to the next 265 days! 
Thanks for reading, 
gstar :)

Day 100 :: Monday April 9 :: Ottawa

Make something new out of an old T-shirt. It doesn't have to be wearable when it's done, but if it is, document it while someone has it on!

Hmmm. My main problem with this assignment was that i donated all my old, i-never-wear-this-anymore t-shirts to charity about a month ago... was there still a t-shirt lying around to sacrifice? Thankfully, at the very bottom of the drawer was this Hart&Huntington shirt (below, left), just begging for a little transformation.

The inspiration: I used to have a 'deconstructed' Gap tank top (navy, unfinished seams, perfectly worn-in) that i wore all the time in the summer... since it's long gone, i thought why not make a new one? It didn't take long to cut off the sleeves and 'boat neck' the neckline, and i'm very happy with the results. Thanks to Megan Berry for claiming a few minutes of fame by modelling the new and improved shirt!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 99 :: Sunday April 8 :: Ottawa

Use the world of insects as your inspiration today.

Happy Easter! This little bug eye/kaleidoscope pattern would also look great on an egg, don't you think? I hadn't worked in pencil crayon in ages – it used to be my favorite medium in high school – so it was a great chance to reconnect with it. Maybe i'll keep the crayons out a bit longer...

Day 98 :: Saturday April 7 :: Ottawa

Work with time. Try making something that is only visible in a long-exposure photograph. Drawing with a laser pointer, flashlight, or a sparkler in the dark are a few options; you can even create an image by moving the camera itself. If you don't have a camera that can do the job, see if a friend can help.

I used the 'fireworks' mode of my trusty little Olympus Tough camera for this one, and moved it around to capture the light of a single tealight candle. The letters were made one at a time. Super fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 97 :: Friday April 6 :: Ottawa

Make an invitation to an everyday event you wouldn't normally invite people to. Bonus: actually send them out.

Oh, this one was fun! Here is the invitation/promo flyer I made for my ultimate team's upcoming game. I emailed it out to my teammates – it was so well received that it might become a weekly thing. Be sure to cheer for Chow Down on Wednesday!

Day 96 :: Thursday April 5 :: Ottawa

Work backward. Work in front of a mirror, looking at what you're creating only in the mirror until you're finished.

I don't really do makeup... so this seemed like a good chance to look up some video tutorials online and give it a try. This is my attempt at a cat eye using liquid eyeliner and a touch of mascara - and yes, I did poke myself in the eye in the process!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 95 :: Wednesday April 4 :: Ottawa

Ask a stranger for a suggestion of what to do today. Explaining what you're up to is part of the experience! Bonus: Get them involved in the actual thing you make.

As i went about my day, i pondered exactly which stranger to ask... Someone walking past me on the street? The person sharing my seat on the bus? Finally, i bit the bullet at the gym and asked Kim, who was working out nearby. I then went off on my next circuit, and when i returned to my log, i found the following note attached to it:

Sounds good. It didn't take me long to think about who to call! Mom was first... voicemail. Next call was to wish-sister #1: Sparta in Montreal... voicemail. Last but not least, my last call was to wish-sister #2: JoJo in Toronto... voicemail. Boo! I left them all similar messages, explaining my task and wishing them a fun night. 

Update... all three got back to me. Mom left me a sweet voicemail; Sparta and Jo some love via text messages and Facebook. I really wish all of them lived closer to me for some real live hugs!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 94 :: Tuesday April 3 :: Ottawa

Nothing rhymes with orange. Work only with orange materials today. Try working on an orange surface for a real challenge.

Orange bell pepper + orange plate = a fun little pattern. And bonus – it will also be a yummy addition to tomorrow's lunch.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 93 :: Monday April 2 :: Ottawa

Nuts and bolts. Make something with any nuts, bolts, screws or nails you have lying around. Borrow or buy some if you have to.

For as long as I can remember, my toolbox has included a box of 1000+ finishing nails – finally, a chance to do something with them! I chose to create a skull, in honor of Skull-A-Day creator (and author of my super awesome creative book) Noah Scalin. Thanks for inspiring me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 92 :: Sunday April 1 :: Ottawa

Write a letter to yourself at another time in your life (past or future). Bonus: send it to someone who is currently that age and discuss it with them.

I wrote to my past self, but the contents of the letter are a little too personal for this blog. I have no idea who I could send it to, so it shall remain safely tucked in this little envelope :)

Day 91 :: Saturday March 31 :: Ottawa

Use dry coffee beans, dry or wet coffee grounds, or even liquid coffee (in a cup or not) to create something today.

As I'm not a coffee drinker, this assignment first involved a trip to the nearest corner store for some take-out coffee! I grabbed a bunch of napkins at the same time to use as a canvas. The process was a bit trial-and-error, as the 'spills' were drying quickly; but it was still fun.

Day 90 :: Friday March 30 :: Ottawa

Make a piñata and destroy it! Bonus: Have a party specifically for the occasion.

Wait – what?! A piñata?! My first reaction was to kiss my evening goodbye... then i got to work. The shape was made with an empty box, a roll of toilet paper and some balled-up newspaper; the papier-mâché part went a lot quicker than expected. I let it dry overnight and added the tissue paper on Saturday. Voilà: a unicorn head. I haven't destroyed it yet, but will document when it happens – which just may involve frisbees :)