Word book!

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A while ago I made a cloth word book for my pre-schooler, and we’ve been looking through it lots lately so I thought I’d blog about it! It was a super satisfying project although I did have some technical issues with the final binding- didn’t really think it all the way through and it was very fat when assembled- way too fat to fit in my regular old sewing machine. So I did some hand sewing and used my bookbinding training to piece it all together and so far it has withstood some rough handling. I drew the pictures, designed it all up and then had the fabric printed digitally. I lined the pages with quilt batten to make them more substantial which did contribute to the tricky sewing challenge but I think was worth it. I loved making the illustrations – I’m definitely inspired to do it again. IMG_0962.JPG

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La La Land

"bobbletrees" by kate austin

“bobbletrees” by kate austin

"bibbons" by kate austin

“bibbons” by kate austin

I’ve been working on some patterns in series and I thought I would share a bit! This is from a new collection I’ve been working on called La La Land. La La Land is a place where I spend a fair bit of my time to be honest, and I really like it there. As you can see, it’s a colourful, whimsical place. I’ve been hanging out in La La Land doing a lot of drawing and painting and dreaming lately. I think La La Land would be pretty sweet all over a kids room, or a nursery- definitely some velvet and soft corduroy  would be ideal here in La La Land. I see curtains, pillows, bed linens, lampshades, wallpaper and even some cozy jammies– the perfect setting for imagining, playing and dreaming sweet dreams!

Theory of Change!

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Today I wanted to share some of the results of a fun and cool project I have been working on recently!

5 years ago my dear friend, the incredible Seanna Connell, and I founded a non-profit, ArtBridges, to connect, inspire and encourage people working in Community  Engaged Arts and Arts for Social Change across Canada. Over the past few months, we have been involved in a strategic clarity program, working with a great consultant to hone our message and our vision for the future of ArtBridges. It’s really great timing, because when we started we had a 5 year plan and now, after 5 years, we have accomplished what we set out to achieve and are ready to tackle what comes next! To help guide us over the next 5 years, we worked on a “Theory of Change” — a roadmap of what we do, who we do it for, and what we aim to accomplish! I was given the task of creating a visual representation of this Theory of Change, and, with a ton of help from our awesome group, here it is! I love it- I really think it captures the spirit of ArtBridges- and I’m excited that we have this tool to help explain the great work the ArtBridges team is doing!!! I love making art and injecting more colour into the universe, and I also love supporting other artists and people committed to making the world a better place for everyone. I really believe in the power of art to elevate and enrich our lives, and I’m so proud of this great project!!

 

 

 

 

 

Orange and Grape Pop Explosion

starburst by kate austin

starburst by kate austin

I’m having a moment with a riff on one of my all time favourite colour combinations: orange and pink. This time it’s orange and grape. A pink so fuschia it’s almost purple. I came up with this pattern thinking about those crazy pop rock candies – this is what I imagine happens inside the mouth of the pop rocks eater. There’s lots of little explosions and then occasional whoppers. I would love to have a chair fully upholstered in velvet with this pattern, and I would definitely enjoy lounging in that chair in my corduroy skirt and jacket in the same pattern. Eating a creamsicle, drinking grape juice, and reading a book covered in this pattern of course!!!

The Blog with a Heartbeat

Bird dress pattern by Kate Austin, from the movie Heartbeat by Andrea Dorfman (2014)

Bird dress pattern by Kate Austin, from the movie Heartbeat by Andrea Dorfman (2014)

Hello long lost blog! I had a lovely summer holiday and now I’m back in the studio with some fun news to share! It’s Film Festival season and one great movie which premiered at TIFF and was the gala at the AFF – and which I hope everyone gets a chance to see!-  is Heartbeat by Andrea Dorfman- it’s seriously wonderful! And it features a pretty great dress made by Sarah Haydon Roy, the wardrobe designer, in fabric designed by me!!! The dress stars in a really key scene which I totally won’t give away except to say– it looks amazing and Tanya Davis, the star of the film, rocks in it!!! It was a lot of fun working on the pattern and with the amazingly talented Heartbeat team. Here’s the original pattern design in a couple of colorways…

bird dress fabric light by kate austin

bird dress fabric light by kate austin

bird dress fabric dark by kate austin

bird dress fabric dark by kate austin