Posted on

Intentional Living for a Sustainable Life

If you look up the definition of intentional living you will come across words and phrases like conscious attempts, life choices, attitudes, deliberate decisions, purpose, self-awareness, and the list goes one. Recently I watched a Market Place episode on plastic waste and it’s impact on our environment. As I sat there watching I was appalled by the lack of knowledge and concern of how our lifestyles are impacting the environment. Yes, this includes my own ignorance! I was struck with guilt the very next day when I made a quick stop at the grocery store. A plastic bag for the tomatoes, another for the lettuce, …the avocado, does it really need to go into a plastic bag, and that one lime I bought…

The story continues as I proceeded to the checkout and realized my reusable bags were at home. Really?!

I thought I was doing my part, growing my own vegetables, composting, recycling, and making products that are better for the environment and better for my family. After all, I chose to use water-based ink over plastisol for screen printing. What does that matter when other areas of my life are contributing to the problem? Better yet, how am I going to fix this problem?

First, a quick definition to clarify goals and intentions.

  • Goals and intentions are not the same but work well together.
  • Goals are set in the future and have a destination.
  • Intentions are in the present and focus on how you live in that moment.

Back to the question I asked earlier. How am I going to fix my problem? I have decided to set intentions and goals that revolve around helping our environment. Simply put, I want to recognize and live my values daily, with intention, to help meet my goals that include reducing my footprint.

The Project

I love fun bags and totes and I love creating items that are not harmful to our environment. For me, having pretty totes that are multi-functional sets me up for success – I am more likely to have totes with me when I have to make that quick stop at the grocery store for one or two items. Let me be honest here, one or two items usually turns into more items than I can carry with my two hands.

Natural Cotton

It is important to me to use natural fibers in my creations. This bag is made from 10 oz. natural cotton. The design is screen printed with water-based ink. Functionality is also very important to me. The printed design portion of this bag creates four deep pockets for books… The main large section (16″x 14″) is perfect for the “one or two” items from the grocery store or for carrying books and lunch on the way to work. I included an inside zipper pocket for my phone and a key clip. I also decided to incorporate leather handles to add a little class.

Moving Forward

As I move forward I am excited to make a variety of totes incorporating an assortment of custom surface pattern designs. I plan to make some of the bags with canvas handles and others with leather handles. To keep it fun, I will introduce color into some of the designs. I am excited to start creating!

In order to help fulfill my daily intentions and environmental goals, I will be designing other environmentally friendly and sustainable items. For those who have joined me on this journey, thank you, I will keep you posted.

For more images follow me on Instagram.


As I have bags or totes for sale I will post them on my Etsy Store.

If you don’t think using plastic is a problem, check out the Market Place Episode on Plastic Waste. Every little step helps!

Posted on

Where Have You Been

Or should I say…

Where Have I Been?




Where have I been is a very good question?  I have been here, busily working.  Early this year I decided to change the focus of my website to reflect where my art venture has taken me.  I have come to realize that doing something well takes time, but I am still here and I am excited to give everyone a glimpse into what has been keeping me so busy.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s start there.

…I love screen printing apparel, and creating unique designs. 

Along with creating beautiful designs and screen printing, I think it is very important to be aware of the impact that we are having on our environment, and be proactive in making changes that will have less of an impact.

Combining these two elements, screen printing and the environment,  took me down a long path of research, exploration, seeking industry advice, consulting with other artists, and lots of practice.  I have a box full of shirts that have become shop rags to prove it.

Using plastisol inks would have been easier.

  • Plastisol inks print well on all fibers, not just natural fibers.
  • Sourcing water based inks that I like, is a little tricky, especially here in Canada. 
  • Plastisol inks print well on dark shirts.
  • Plastisol inks won’t dry in the screen. 

Plastisol ink would have saved me many head aches and moments of frustration.


So, why even bother with water based inks?

  • Water based ink is better for our environment, and that is the number one reason for me.
  • No harsh chemicals are used in the cleanup.
  • The feel of the water based prints is softer than plastisol.
  • New advancements in water based ink are making them easiler to use allowing artists to create halftones, detailed work, and produce beautiful rich images.
  • Working with water based inks means I have to work with natural fibers, which can be harder to source and a little on the pricey side, but it is exactly the path I want to head down.  Products made with natural fibers are sustainable, biodegradable, better for our skin, and last longer than synthetic fibers.   I am still working on the best way to incorporate natural fibers into my art line, so stay tuned as I work through the progress.  I will post updates on my progress, sources, and any useful information that I find along the way.

…pulling ink is so much fun.


Our Home

Yes, I love our home, and that is why it is so important for me to do this right.  As I proceed forward I want to learn, grow, and educate for the better of our planet.  It would be a sad day for me (and our planet) if I no longer encountered beautiful creatures on my hikes with my family.

So that, in a nutshell is where I have been.

For more photos of the day-to-day activities join me on Instagram.


We – the current generation – have a moral responsibility to make the world better for future generations.

Priscilla Chan

Posted on

Pallet Art – Wire Art and Clocks

Pallets With Purpose

 

Moments are precious, especially at Christmas when more time is set aside to get together with family and friends.  This is by far my favorite time of year.  I love the change in focus, in pace, and in activities.  In our fast paced world time marches forward at an ever quickening pace making it even more important to be deliberate about setting aside time for family and friends.  For me this is a constant struggle, but relentlessly I will keep trying because I treasure those moments spent with family and friends.

 Enough about me, let’s talk about the wood projects.  I really enjoy taking old wood, that no longer serves a purpose and is usually unsightly, and transforming it into something meaningful and beautiful.  Sometimes the wood pieces that I find have great character due to weathering, age, and flaws; those pieces are the ones that become the most beautiful.  I am sure there is some philosophical connection that could be made to humanity — I won’t go there, but feel free to explore those thoughts and let me know.

 

By far, the clock is my favorite piece.  Although both pieces hold a certain charm, the character in the wood pieces from the clock really give it an old world almost antiquities feel.  Incorporating wire art in the pallet projects is fast becoming a favorite for me.  I like how the rustic look of the wire plays off the old recycled wood.

 

Approximate sizes:

Clock:  20 X 20  pallet wood

Faith Plaque: 13 x 16  pallet wood and wire

 


 

 

A couple quick notes on the process.

  • Make sure your pallets are safe to use and know where the they come from.
  • Barn wood also has a lot of character and works well for wooden art                                                                                             projects and has not been used to ship chemicals.
  • Pictured are the two pallets cleaned, cut, and glued together.  (Thank you to my husband and son.)
  • To avoid having the paint bleed when doing the lettering or numbering I covered the surface with a light coat of Mod Podge.
  • I warmed up the color of the boards with acrylic craft paints mixed with Blending Gel.  The blending gel allows me to control where and how much paint I work into the wood grain by slowing the dry time down.
  • With the surface prepared, the sky is the limit — create away.
  • When I was happy with the lettering I applied a thin coat of Acrylic Wax – Flat to help protect the artwork.

That is a quick rundown of the steps I used in creating the two pieces here.  For the next projects I will add a more step-by-step version including some tip and tricks when working with wire.

 


 

Posted on

Canadian Rockies and Art

Yesterday I had the privilege of observing and talking with a local Canadian Artist in her home town of Banff, Alberta.   Canadian born, Christine Ford has spent most of her life in the breath-taking Canadian Rockies.  Passion for her home, the beautiful Rockies; and painting, is very clear when talking with Christine.  Her passion also comes through in her paintings.  This very personable young artist was more than happy to talk about her beginnings, art techniques, struggles in art, and much more.

There is a recurring theme when I talk with artists or read art related articles (beside practice 😉 ) and that is to find ways to surround yourself with art (and artists).  This will keep you drawing, painting, and creating.  Unless art is your livelihood, where you must paint to pay the bills, it needs nurturing daily to grow.  It gives you a reason and purpose to do art.  What does this look like?  I think for me it means taking a course, setting some goals, entering competitions, being active in an art society, and  even doing some commission work.

If you haven’t visited the Canadian Rockies, plan a trip – it will be well worth it.  I have been to the majestic Canadian mountains many times, and each time I go,  it is like I am seeing them again for the very first time.

Photographs taken by Martin Eisbrenner.  Check out his website…some really cool photos!!!

If you want to learn more about Christine Ford check out her website at www.christineford.ca