envelope templates | trace, cut, score, repeat

one hundred and fifty-nine envelope templates. the most i have ever completed in one grouping. i'm concerned i have some version of carpal tunnel syndrome as my right and left hands have intermittently been going numb but hey, don't they look pretty?


thoughts on | synaesthesia

a couple of weeks ago i was reading this blog and i came across the term "synaesthesia" (or synesthesia). the author asked "how can heather be a brighter name than george? how can a calendar surround you?" it seemed entirely normal to me. i thought, "i know exactly why it's brighter! and of course a calendar can surround you. the reason heather is brighter is because h's are orange, and e''s are red, whereas g's are black! and my calendar obviously surrounds me, it's like a racetrack and i'm in the center." 

okay, crazy right? it's even crazier for me because i assumed everyone thought this way. synaesthesia is when multiple senses come together. for example, when i hear sound, i see colour and space. others, when then hear numbers see visual maps or associate them with personalities. and a very rare few, hear words and taste it on their tongue! 

when i was little, i used to ask my friends "what colour is december?" and most of them, without fail would say "red" or "green." and i said "black." because in my mind, it is. just as september is very red, february is undoubtedly green and june and july are various shades of orange. part of this has to do with the fact that certain letters for me are certain colours. f's are always green and j's are bright orange. "friend" is green, "foe" is green etc. and when i think of days, months and years i don't just think of it, and i don't imagine a traditional calendar. i literally feel myself in the space of time and can "see" the years, months or days ahead, in varying patterns.

i have trouble imagining how others think of these things, if they aren't experiencing what i am (what do you mean march isn't on the other side of the track and it's not blue??). but on the other hand, i suppose it's hard for you to know what i am seeing/feeling. below are some quick drawings of how i envision thing like a year, a week, a decade, the alphabet and numbers. and give me your feedback on how all this sounds to you or let me know if you have a certain degree of it.


feature art friday | jennifer sanchez

surreal, natural, technical, digital, geometrical, fantastical - this artwork* by 20x200 artist jennifer sanchez blows my mind in every possible way. there is something to be said for artists that create something so loose and free, and yet are able to form it into a composition that is pleasing to the eye. to me that is a sign of a true artist. sanchez describes her work as a study of relational space and illustrations of "perpetually changing environments." in my mind, she is a modern day kandinsky.

* there are some amazing pieces with giant fields of black as well.


fifty-two projects | project thirty-eight

this is project thirty-eight of fifty-two projects. for more completed projects, click here.

project thirty-eight | on one of those rainy days when the season is not quite ready to make its shift into the next, those noticeably different, quirky days that bridge summer to fall - take a picture outside the one window you always go to when you just want to stare outside and feel comforted by the fact that you are on the inside looking out to the whole world.

alterations | none.

this project particularly resonates with me because this is actually one of my favourite past times. when i was younger i used to love being wrapped up all warm in bed and opening the window a crack so that i could feel the cold air and peek at the snow falling to the ground. nowadays i like to stare out the window of my balcony, or duck outside knowing i can come back in at any moment. i like to watch the wild winds blowing the leaves of this tree outside, or ponder the thoughts of those at the bus stop down below. and amidst it all, know that i am safe and cozy inside.



what i made | stationery sets galore

it's been a great week for isavirtue. twenty four stationery sets (as seen below) were accepted on consignment at smoking lily's sister store, the milkman's daughter. i also received a large order of sixty-five sets from the papery. woohoo! ok...now i have to go and get to work!


jewelry chooseday | eve cg

i'm loving these simple but uniquely geometricaly shaped pendants/necklaces by eve cg designs. as i get older, i find myself less and less obsessed with big chunky pieces and more drawn to tiny bobbles that have just the right amount of quirk to draw in the eye.


mail art monday | rockin' it old school with the snail mail

i have two special pieces of paper art to share today. the first, is a card from a friend. i went for coffee with this woman last tuesday evening, and on friday morning i got this card in my mailbox thanking me for meeting up with her earlier in the week. how old school cool is that?

the second piece is this beautiful mail art sent to me by my old roommate. she lives in the yukon and clearly used this fact as her creation inspiration! note the beautiful scenery and gruff+grizzly animals! i sense that there was some travel brochures in play here...


sunday seller | bespoke zine

of late i am particularly interested in any written word that is directed at me*, as a young female crafter and all around creative person. bespoke zine is just that and more. bespoke is a refreshing little book of literature that has risen out of the down under to excite and delight young women world wide.

i was lucky enough to get a peek inside issue # 3 and was all around enchanted. not only is each and every page (over twenty!) chock full of inspiring contemporary creators, interesting art forms and useful how-tos (zippers and budgets anyone?), but it's aesthetically pleasing as well! it's clear that the zine creators have a love affair with beautiful fonts and lovely layouts.

after reading issue #3, i feel inspired and even gently encouraged to push myself just a little bit further in my chosen field of artistry. 

the zine is also offered in the more traditional paper form - check it out here!

* i was given the chance to review this product but was not offered anything except the chance to read a full issue!

thoughts on | friendship

friendship is  finicky thing isn't it? when i was younger it was drama rama 24-7. and i wasn't even one of the girls that thrived on drama. it's just unavoidable at that age. when you are developing into a mature being, there are missteps and misjudgments along the way - you sometimes hurt people. i like to think that much of this wears off by the time you become an adult, or perhaps i have learned to surround myself with people who share the same beliefs about friendship as i do.

beliefs which include the idea that life brings us changes - the hardest of which include moving apart (both geographically and metaphorically). i have friends from all aspects of my life, but few of them live in the same city as i do. in fact, sometimes i'll go weeks, months, even years without seeing or even speaking to these people. so are they still friends? i say most definitely yes. i believe there are certain people you click with and even though you may not see each other for years, it's fine. when i finally do see my old friends, i know they are true when there is no awkwardness or lack of conversation. for goodness sake there should be tons of conversation after all that time! 

if you were to put me in the same room with my old leadership club buddy, my university residence roommate or my best friend from grade three, there would be no hard feelings. i don't always get in touch with one of my graduate school friends who was in my bridal party. but i know - i just know - it won't be a problem.

this isn't to say other people always feel the way i do. i've had friends become angry with me when our communication becomes lacking. this type of friendship isn't for everyone. some people need to maintain contact through phone calls, skype, emails and letters at least once a week to feel like the friendship is true - that's just not how i feel about it.

how do you feel about friendship? is it necessary to talk every day or every week? does location play a role? 

 my two friends that i met in highschool in 1999 - here in 2007

 the same group of friends in 2009


feature art friday | janet morton

when i worked at the kitchener-waterloo art gallery in ontario, i met a textile artist name janet morton. she is possibly one of the kindest artists that i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. she was creating a large scale installation for one of our galleries in which the room would be painted dark red and morton's knitted flowers would crawl up the wall on vines. i was tickled when she told me about the knitting bee she had put together to create all of the flowers, and i was even more delighted when she let us create stamens using white pipe cleaners and bottle caps. i used to love spending time in that gallery space while the exhibition was on so those are the type of images i have included here today.

however, morton is also known for creating cozies, specifically object cozies such as televisions, chairs and lamps etc - but also giant house cozies!! - click here.


fifty-two projects | project forty

this is project forty of fifty-two projects, for more completed projects click here.

project forty | list the years that you have been alive. then, in a word, sentence or paragraph, write down a significant memory from each year.

alterations | the thing is, i have terrible memory. i have trouble remembering specific things, or life changing moments or really...anything at all. so all of my memories will likely be "fleeting" thoughts except for the most recent years.



one | burying my face in my pillow that my nana made me*
two | baby-bell cheese in front of a fireplace
three | riding a tricycle on the street while we moved into the townhouse on wilson ave.
four | wearing matching pajamas with my brother
five | kindergarden classroom with the sinks at the back
six | trading lunches on joy day at christmastime
seven | eating giant pancakes made by dad at the hungarian bay cottage
eight | getting in trouble with madame mount for laughing during french class
nine | waiting for a friend put her hair in a bun, jealous she knows how from dance class
ten | watching a classmate pee her pants while we read the secret garden
eleven | deciding not to wear a bra despite having done so for two years already to feel grown up
twelve | wearing green eye shadow one day and realizing how dumb it looks
thirteen | taking my heels off at grade eight graduation
fourteen | choosing math class over a hawaii trip
fifteen | getting punched by a girl while wearing neon pink pants
sixteen | accidentally trying to ski down a double black diamond hill
seventeen | making yorkshire puddings with my boyfriend
eighteen | getting a butterfly tattoo and not knowing the tattooists were probably laughing at me
nineteen | finally getting the chance to properly kiss my future husband
twenty | buying my first real queen sized bed
twenty-one | discovering contemporary art
twenty-two | getting my first real job(s) at an art gallery
twenty-three | driving through saskatchewan and looking up at the night sky
twenty-four | yelling at my thesis supervisor and then breaking down in tears at work
twenty-five | trying so hard not to cry while marrying the love of my life

* i had to ask my parents for this one. burying my face in my comfort pillow is still something i do today!


jewelry chooseday | weasel factory

i'm loving these geometric bangles by weasel factory on etsy. the unique angles, the thickness and what appears to be acrylic reminds me a bit of the old martha sturdy jewelry. what's super unique in these bangles is the way the two materials are married together to create a beautiful and cohesive design. 


sunday seller | blackbird studios

when i went to a local craft show on october first i felt right at home!* there were tons of neat vendors but the one that was by far my favourite was blackbird studios. paige makes the most beautiful ceramics but she makes it even more unique by adding images. to me these images are the perfect clash between modern indie symbols and traditional ceramic decoration. but she doesn't just limit herself to pots - she creates some amazing jewelry as well!

* if only i could have participated! but i heard about the show much too late.