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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ouf! I finished the cable sock!

Last October I gave myself a challenge. I always admire the cable knit. And I love making sock's so I chose this pattern for my first cable project. It was not as easy as I thought but I finished it! I would never consider knitting cable sock's for sale. This kind of work takes lots of time. Be advise, if a knitter gives you a pair of cable socks it can only mean one thing... this person loves you!

I love my sock's, and if I ever make another pair of cable sock's I would definitely not use a varigrade yarn. I worked so hard on the pattern but it's hard to see the definition with this kind of yarn.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The story of my Singer Fashion Mate 257!

I had been talking to my parents about this sewing machine for months. They promise me that Santa would bring it to me if I was nice. That Singer would be easy to get because I already know I was a very nice little girl. We celebrated Christmas with my sister who was already married with five kids. I was thrilled, I knew it would be the best Christmas ever! Lots of people, lots of food and finally I would get my Singer sewing machine!

I can barely describe the expression on my face when I unwrapped my gift.... it wasn't the right machine.... it was some plastic, kid, toy sewing machine! It had to be a mistake! Santa must've been confused! I would NOT accept this gift, no way! After all I had been a very, very nice girl and I would not accept anything less than the promised Singer.

I also remember the face of my mother who was so embarrassed and upset with me. She knew that my sister had to dig deep into her wallet to be able to buy me this gift. Quickly she pulled me alone and told me to be nice, accept the gift, thank everyone, and at my birthday I would get the sewing machine I wanted.

A month later, my Dad bought me a Singer Fashion Mate 257. It was the best birthday gift a seven year old girl could get! My Singer has been with me through all my 20 plus moves. In the back of a truck across Canada and in a cargo hold of a plane. I always made sure it followed me.

Here it is, my forty year old trusty friend. The tool that I express my creativity with...

In the last four years I also acquired this Pfaff serger. I haven't develop the same love that I feel for my Singer. It'll take time. But it's a great tool to work with and I couldn't think of sewing my Cycling Caps without it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A new Moo

Finally, on Friday my new Moo arrived. I definitely should've ordered sooner. I changed the design for most of them! The first 100 mini cards disapeared so fast that I had to use the old homemade cards. I didn't take a chance this time I ordered 200...

Friday, December 4, 2009

For the love of paper

I just posted two new ‘Hand Made Journals’ and it made me think about how I first started my love affair with bookmaking.

I’ve always been attracted to the feel of nice paper in a beautiful handmade journal. As a young woman I kept many journals. I would buy a cheap book only for the inside pages. Then I would transform the cover with collage and drawings. I still have them all and promise myself to read them in my old days!

When I attended art school, I took an elective class of papermaking & bookbinding with Sharyn Yuen. Wow! I already had the love for paper but she gave me the tools to express that love. I made many books that year…

‘Nikohl’ is a book I made to remember precious moments in the life of my dear friend, while she was fighting ALS. It’s a collection of my photography along with short stories we shared together.

I have made this book in collaboration with my husband. It is a symbol of our life coming together in one book with each side showing photographs of our families. My husband is Chinese descent and I was raised near the ocean on the east coast of Québec. We brought forward our differences side by side in this handmade book. And symbolically tied this story of our togetherness with a piece of bamboo joined with beach wood.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First we take Tokyo then we take the world!

When Galstudio became so big that it needed it’s own corner in the house, I had no choice but to take over the dining room.

Right away I installed a large world map to visualize all the places I would sell to. To think that I could make something that could be enjoyed across the world is overwhelming. My first sale was the “Paris-Roubaix Cycling Cap” going in North Carolina. I can just remember the excitement, what a rush! I put the first pin on my map. With each new sale I added a new pin. Soon the east coast and the west coast of America was covered. I knew that I would sell in Europe and the UK eventually but the real surprise came last week when I sold in Tokyo. I’m as excited today as when I place my first pin last March. I am so grateful to have found Etsy, a place where I can express my creativity and be recognize & rewarded for it.

I see a bright future for Galstudio. Now that I have taken Tokyo I can take the world!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hommage to Gilles Carles

Famous Quebec filmmaker, Gilles Carles left us yesterday, we will remember him always!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Winter Cycling Caps

Here is the complete collection of winter cycling caps for 2009 /2010. Seven caps in all, plaid is a must this winter at galstudio with lots of houndstooth. My customer favorite so far is "Winter with Bobet cycling Cap" but I have a feeling that they might all be really popular.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My funky Laptop Tube's made especially for your Macbook

Take a look at my newest product!

I have been really busy lately making winter cycling caps and developing this fantastic new product for my Etsy shop. The Idea came from a request from Richard who just receive an early christmas present ... a new macbook! Wow somebody was nice this year!

He wanted to keep his new baby protected, so right away I thought why not make a larger version of the Recycled Piccollo Pouch.

I just love the result. It's water repellent with all that recycled inner tube on the outside. With a heavy zipper to keep his Macbook securely in place and a felt inner lining and a hidden fleece sandwich in between, to give it extra padding.

The best part about these Laptop Tubes is that it gives me a larger surface to unleash my creativity, unlike the Piccolo Pouch where I had to keep the overstitch design really simple.

I see many Laptop Tube's being created in the near future!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

See me on Etsy's Treasury!

Check it out!

My "Winter with The Gentleman Cycling Cap" is posted on Etsy's Treasury list under the Playful Plaid.

I am so happy to see my cap fitting in just right amongst all that plaid.

You gotta love Plaid!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reversible knitting with Addi

Wow! I didn't know nothing about reversible knitting before this book but now I feel confident to take on any reversible project. You will find in this wonderful book great project's for beginner to more advance knitter. Every technique is explained clearly including; drawing's, full frame photo's as well as close-up of swatches showing both sides of the design. The only negative point I could find in this book is the bland choice of color, nothing here gets the WOW! factor for color. I almost never follow a pattern suggestion of yarn and color, this book is crying out to let your imagination run wild considering all the different patterns in your own color palette.
As soon as I picked up this book I knew I wanted to knit something right away. I decided on the "Double Take" neck warmer because it looked simple enough for a first project. I couldn't wait to try my new Addi Turbo and I had some left over of black & gray 100% wool.
The Addi are the best ever circular needle I have ever knit with. The are not call "Turbo" just for fun they actually mean business. Be aware when you try Addi Turbo for the first time, at first you might feel a little by dizzy, it's OK you're just not use to the speed of it! I bet your overall knitting ability will improve too!

Just a few more row's before I finish. I love the nice thickness obtain by the double knit. It's a little bit warm for the mild Vancouver weather, oh well, I could offer it on my Etsy shop!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Elvis rockin' in the house!

Sewing inner tubes has become a passion of mine. I love working with this found material. Although it's been extremely hard to figure out the right combination to use for the thread, the needle and the tension. I'm enjoying the process of trying to push the limit on my late '70s Singer Fashionmate sewing machine.

I just love the new fabric for the inside pouch. Here is Elvis rockin' (above) and the Canadian inspired moose print below. Notice my newly designed label made from inner tubes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray for the Olfa Rotary Cutter!

I knew that the rotary cutter was famous among quilter's, but I don't quilt(yet!) and I didn't understand how this little cutter could make my life easier. Until now.

I found a fantastic 50% off deal including; cutter, ruler and the mat. It was the best opportunity for me to try the rotary cutter and after all if I didn't like it I would still have a new cutting mat. Only after a few cut's I realize how I could never make another straight cut without this tool. I am in love with my Olfa rotary cutter. It does a perfect straight cut every time with any fabric I have tried.

I was so excited about my new Olfa that I needed to find more information about this product. On the Olfa web page I discovered they are celebrating their 30th birthday this year. The first rotary cutter a 45mm blade was introduce back in 1979. Throughout the years many diameters were introduce from 18mm, 28mm, 60mm as well as a decorative edge for the 45mm. Later on, in 1999, we saw the introduction of the Olfa Deluxe model with it's ergonomic handle and safety lock system. The latest model was introduced in 2007. The most advanced rotary is now the Olfa Quick-Change Rotary Cutter, with extra safety features making it the best cutter ever!

I admire this company that takes a tried and proven product and keeps improving it. Olfa rocks!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Winter Knit.

Well it rained in Vancouver most of last week, which means the winter is coming. This is the time I miss Québec the most, not that I miss the cold but I will take snow anytime over rain. There is something magical about knitting by the fireplace looking out at the snow falling slowly to the ground, it's like time stops in this frozen land. So many knitting memories and good winter stories come to mind.

I'm finding new sock's books at the local library. If you are into sock's and love cable this is the best book for you. "Sock Innovation" is a fantastic book, it clearly explains the different techniques involve in making sock's. From cuff to toe options making it easy to design your own sock patterns.

For my first cable sock I decide to use one of the 15 designs included in the book. At first look it appears easy enough and I love the big cable running in the back.

Well it wasn't as easy as I thought, I had to redo it about three times to figure out the proper gauge to use for the yarn. I had to because I wanted to use my favorite sock needle #00. After looking at this picture I realize that using the variegated yarn does not show well the beautiful pattern. Oh well this is the yarn I have and it's still a good project for my busy hands!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My favorite logo's of Mary Maxim.

I was looking through the many beautiful Mari Maxim patterns that my sister had sent me and I notice how different the logo changed. It seems that the company changed the logo every ten years or so. I looked everywhere on line to find some more information about the history of their logo. All I could find was the history of the company on their web page and on Wiki.

Here is some of my new collections of patterns above and below. I made a composite of all the different logos I could find online. Notice the one on the left top corner (the badly crop one) I had never seen that one anywhere before. Too bad the only image I have is cropped.

I wish I could find a reference on all the logo's used by Mary Maxim!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On the road with Galstudio cycling caps: tested & approved!

My friends, Pam and Toby just came back from a month bike adventure through the Oregon Coast, up into the High Cascades and down Northern California. I am so happy to share these picture's of their fun odyssey putting my cycling caps through a great test.

The result: The Galstudio cycling caps both past what Mother Nature could throw at them with flying colors!

Toby has the Capello del Nero cycling cap. Custom fitted for his big melon. And Pam has the Pyrenees cycling cap.

Still life...
Capello del Nero cycling cap, vino & courgette!

Toby & his trusted Galstudio cycling cap at Crater Lake.

Pam with her Galstudio Pyrenees cycling cap at the top of drizzly summit.

Thank you to Pam & Toby for the test.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moo in the house.

My new Moo Card.

My Moo hang tags have arrived! Here are the ten I designed. I didn't get the color on the back like the original design. In the back of the card is a roomy white area to put the description sticker of the cap.

I absolutely love my cards and I am going to order my business cards at Moo too. I will definitely change the logo for white. I think it just looks better.

I also changed the label inside the cap. I could not find a place to make them so I decided to make my labels myself. I heat press my logo onto a piece of bike tire inner tube, then I sew it on the cycling cap.

The hang tag that matches the label inside the cap!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Introducing: The New Galstudio!

Introducing my six hang tags...
more to follow.

Boredom is my enemy. Why would I settle on one design where I can go crazy?

I have the luxury to be the designer so I can do whatever I want.

It's my first six designs & six colors. The solid color is in the back of the card. I had so much fun finding the new design. The new font for Galstudio is white and there's also a new banner. I'm in the process of designing a new website where folk's can buy direct. I'm excited with my color choice, ok ecstatic!

I had my hang tags printed and I am waiting patiently for them in the mail. As soon as I receive them I will get my business cards going!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I fall for plaid!

My newest Fall colours!

Wow, look what I found at the fabric store. I can see lots of new caps being made with these wonderful plaids. My favorite is the second from the left, a nice blend of mostly wool with just enough polyester to make it easy to care for.

Shopping for fabric in Vancouver is challenging. You would think that a city this big would have better fabric stores. You definitely need a car here, because the interesting places are few and far apart. Here the spots I consider worthy of interest:

In first place, Textile Clearance House, 5550 Fraser Street. In my opinion this is the best place to find a deal or to find that special fabric but don't expect friendly or helpful staff, you will not find it here!

Second place, Fabricana, 4591 Garden City Rd, Richmond. Now, if you have a few more buck's and you want the ultimate fabric store experience on two floors, this is the place where your creativity can flourish. You really want to check it once a year during the sales event, a must. Do not take it personal if their staff have the tendency to be condescending!

Third place, Dressew Supply, 337 Hasting Street. They have all the notions you will ever need, the prices are affordable and the choice of fabric is great. Their staff will simply ignore you until you line up at the cutting table, which is OK by me. I rather find what I am looking for... by myself. The major problem with this store is that you need cash! no credit here, they just got the debit machine installed. Who knows when the credit card is accepted. They are located just beside the downtown core and Gastown. So ride a bike, take the bus or be prepared to go around and around to find parking.

Textile Clearance House has a 50% off notions sale this weekend, got to go now!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creativity on demand!

"IdeaSpotting" by Sam Harrison, 2006."

I bought this book a long time ago, but I never read it more than a few pages at the time. Now, that I'm reconnecting with my creativity I find myself longing for inspiration. I just love this book and how it makes you think and look at your surroundings ... with new eyes!

This book is also full of great inspiring quotes, all I can tell you about it is that I try lots of new things all the time!...

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new"
Albert Einstein.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wow, Saturday already!

You know this week went too fast, I was going to show you the fantastic Fruit Pie I made last weekend. Well here it is anyway...

Shortbread crust, cream Pâtissière filling, strawberry and black berry glaze with black currant jelly.

This is the first creative step towards making an inner tube pouch...

I just love the process to choose the fabric, zipper and the thread. It's a great way to utilize all those little pieces of fabric too small for anything. I found this old thread in my stash. I really don't know when I bought that!

I want more of this @ $.30 thread!

I've been looking around for awhile now, to find the perfect bobbin holder. It's always too small, too pricey, never holds each bobbin individually. I was frustrated with the unraveling thread while changing bobbin at least twenty times to match the color of my pouch. It's not the best looking but it does the job just fine, no more tangle bobbins! I filled it up so fast I guess I have to make another one.

Cheapest, most efficient bobbin holder made from reclaimed foamcore.

Ta-da! I finished all my new recycled Picollo Pouches.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Mary Maxim Memories...

I was born in a small community in northern Quebec, and like most families we didn't speak one word of English. My mother had no problems figuring out the patterns and just by looking at the image, knitted many wonderful Mary Maxim sweaters. As long as I can remember my mom had a sweater on her needles. I don't quite remember where she got the wool or the pattern's but it was always there in my childhood. A fond memory. Everybody in my extremely large family received at least one finished jacket. It was a ritual, my mom would choose the family member, and they would sit down and choose from the catalogue. I don't know how long she would spend on a jacket but she made many each year. Talking about love for your craft!

My mom was the worst knitting teacher. I even had to threaten her to teach me a garder stitch. Well, the threat was minor but the dinner was late that evening. I was around four years old!

Too my surprise, my oldest sister told me that she had saved all the pattern's after my Mom passed away, twelve years ago. My sister sent me this special package, a few days ago, and I was surprised to recognize my own handwriting along with my Mom's on those old patterns. I wished my Mom had recorded who received which sweater. Here are some of the oldest pattern's...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Orders up!

Twenty caps down, twenty to go...

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the board today, bookbinding & breadmaking.

One might think that making bread and making a book is not the same, I would argue this, for me it's all the same. It's all about creating with your hands and your heart.

All by hand...

I take my bread making really seriously, no bread machine or mixer with dough hook can compare to the ritual of making bread by hand. The choice of the flour, the mix of different grains, feeling all the ingredients coming alive under your hands, kneading the dough, rising the dough again, kneading the dough once again, baking and tasting the fist piece of warm bread with butter... what a joy!

Book in the making...
Bookbinding is also a great way to express my creativity. I usually gather material days even weeks before I begin any real work. When I have enough material, only then, I place every thing on my table and let the ideas form in my mind. By assembling the different items I begin slowly to see the finish book. Usually I will leave an unfinished book on my working table, I realized that by allowing more time for my ideas to mature I can see clearly the finish book. From that point I can already feel the book in my hand, the texture of it's cover, the extension of the closing strap, the weight of the paper... what a great feeling!

Ready to go on my galstudio shop!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to Galstudio Blog!

I'm so excited to launch my new Galstudio blog. My husband has nagged me for months on end to start blogging. So, without further delay here it is!

I'll be sharing some of my creative processes, craft ideas, thoughts, rants & new products developing for sale on my Esty shop.

Like today, I went over to see Tracy (Jett grrl bike studio) to ask her for more tire tubes. And, you know, she gave me some. She's become my official rubber supplier!
I also found a jackpot. I bought over 50 zippers,I don't know exactly what I'll do with it. These are the strong plastic type, I just couldn't resist!

My messy table!