Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes!

Well, it certainly has been a time of major change for us here at Five Corners! After some fairly large changes in our personal lives and some reflection and careful consideration - we decided to move out of our 'Art Basement'. It was a scary decision but one that definitely felt right for us.

Our beautiful new studio space is now located in my home, a feat which took all of our (admittedly not always stellar) organizational skills. Every single piece of furniture was moved in my home, both home and studio were put through a major spring clean and declutter (oh, the endless decluttering...), most of the existing studio furniture was rehomed (thank you Craigslist and Value Village!) and approximately one million car loads later - Voila! We did it!

Now here's where you are probably expecting photos of our glorious new space, all clean and pristine and organized. Well, the joke's on you because it is still a work in progress. But I do promise to get it cleaned up one day soon so that I can show you all our lovely new space. Because it is awesome! And the commute is even more awesome. Sarah may have slightly different feelings on the matter, but I can now wander into the studio any time of night or day, in my pyjamas, and get to work. And seeing as how much work I have had to do lately, it is a huge blessing, let me tell you.

Which brings me neatly to another big change around these parts. Through a series of events (that are far too boring to get into) I have started working on Custom Pet Portraits. But, being Five Corners' version of Pet Portraits, they are not quite what you would expect! So without further ado - I hereby introduce my brand new line of "Vintage Inspired Custom Artwork"

I am loving them and the response has been fantastic so far!

Custom pieces are now listed in our Etsy shop and more photos can be found on our facebook page. Please contact me ( if you would like to place an order or to discuss the possibilities!

It sometimes feels like a whole new Five Corners, but don't worry our Diet Coke consumption continues unabated. After all, we wouldn't want to change EVERYTHING! What are we, insane?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Spotted: 5C Mascot?

Someone's making good use of our lovingly hand crafted "seating system"! (Spotted at Five Corners Headquarters.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Support Local Artists!

Obviously, we at Five Corners love to make things. I mean, we do have a blog about it. But we also love to give friends and family handmade gifts that other people made. This Christmas, in addition to the things I made, I gave jewelry, pottery, prints, and a driftwood sculpture -- all made by wonderful local artists.

One of the gifts I gave was this print (1 of a series of 4) made by my pal Kathryn to help fund a trip to 
Elephant Nature Park in Thailand for her 30th birthday! Read more about her project here.

It's fun to be able to tell the gift receiver that the artist lives in your city or even to share a story about them -- you can't do that with items from Wal-Mart!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Handmade Parade: Dreaming of a Green Christmas

You haven't heard from us for awhile at least in part because we've had our heads down at the studio making gifts for friends and family. Now that the big day has come and gone, we're ready to share. No spoilers here!

Here's an idea for those of you who get a lot of beautiful Christmas cards, and hate to just toss them in the recycling bin come the end of the season. I saved last years cards to make the gift tags for this year's presents...

And I'm excited to update this idea next year using my recently-acquired paper punch!

Since I have been making a gift tags for the past few years, the older tags that survived are still mixed in as well:

A simple hand-carved robot lino cut

Manila tags stamped with purchased stamps

This year, I made some cloth bags for gifts, which can be re-used in place of paper in the years to come. It was fun to whip up a bag or two each time Meg and I went to the studio to craft. I used up little scraps of fabrics and ribbons and got to be creative and spontaneous with my designs.

While you don't get to rip the crap out of these like wrapping paper,
the addition of a few jingle bells makes unwrapping fun and festive!

I even made a couple of bags for my mom using the leftover scraps of embroidered fabric that didn't make their way into the recycled vintage embroidery baby quilt that I wrote about before.

Stay tuned to see some of the presents Megan and I made for our peeps... and for each other!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I see a free thing and I want to paint it red...

This summer, while on the bus on the way to meet a friend, I passed a pile of furniture and housewares out in front of a house with a "FREE STUFF" sign. How could I possibly resist? When I met my pal Jodi, I mentioned the pile and she was immediately all in... have I mentioned that I have the best friends?! She drove us back post-haste, and was rewarded with an unusual blue handmade blown glass vase-type thingy. And I manhandled this beast into the back of her convertible:

This long cabinet is solid wood and I thought, when I saw a glimpse of it from a moving bus, that it had really cool scroll work on the front. Well, the door is actually kinda plastic-y, with a finish that makes it look like the rest of the wood... but hey, scavengers can't be choosers! 

I had originally been thinking that I might refinish it with Megan for her place, but when she determined that she didn't have room for it, I found a way to fit it into my space. I had some immediate ideas -- I wanted a glossy, slick colourful finish to play off of the outdated design -- but it stayed on my covered patio for a month or two, until Megan happened to offer a can of red paint that she no longer needed. The cupboard pull was simply revived with some black spray paint I had leftover from a past project. My fab new red cabinet works really well in my living room, which already had some red accents, and the entire project cost me $0!

Inspired? Here are a couple of places you can look for free goods in your area:
(These can also be interesting to peruse just for fun, since people post really strange things...) - click on 'Free' under 'For Sale' - click on the 'Free Stuff' link

Do you know another great place to find free stuff, or have a tale of an awesome free find? Please share in the comments!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Material Girls: Neon Tropical Fish

In our 'Material Girls' feature, we dive into our giant collection of fabrics to choose a weird, heinous, or awesome pattern (this time the fabric could be called all three of these things!) and then challenge ourselves to make something great out of it.

This week's version: Neon Tropical Fish. Who would buy such a thing? Snort!

Okay, okay, I'll fess up here. The cloth I worked with here is actually purchased. From a store. On purpose. By me. In my defense, though, it was the very early 90s (true story) and times were different. My mom let me pick this out so that I could try to make an outfit out of it. It was going to be a matching neon tropical fish tank top and Bermuda shorts set, of course. But alas, I only half-finished the project and, while I rocked the tank top at the Wildwood mall on many occasions, the shorts were never made. I had other important stuff to do (GAWD!) like draw, listen to NKOTB, talk about boys, and watch Entertainment Tonight.

So when I came across this in my big bin o' fabrics, I immediately recognized it. And I obviously kept on to my earlier positive feelings for it, because when I pulled it out to show it to Megan, the exchange went something like this:

Me: "Wow! Look at this fabric... It's awesome!"
Megan: (silence)

Me: "I'll bet I can make something RAD out of this!"
Megan: (long pause) "Ummm..."

Well, I'll admit that it's perhaps a fabric that's best in small doses. And it's not like I would wear the tank top/Bermuda shorts set now (probably).

Anyway, I set off to make something rad. My first attempt, appliqué on a canvas bag, was a project that sought to honour the fabric's storied provenance...

Next up, I used the fabric in a quilt for a friend with a new baby.


I think it turned out quite sweet in a child's gift, so I whipped up a matching owl pillow as a gift for the baby's beautiful older sister.


I'm sad to report that the tank top's whereabouts are currently unknown...