Category Archives: Studio Experiences

The New Accessory of 2020 Face Mask Protection

In the Past

For several years in my early 20s I was a Mask Maker. My small creative outlet helped provide me an income to get to University and then earn a Bachelors of Science. This Spring with Covid 19 on the loose, I was brought back to making covers for the face. This time not for Halloween but for the Health and Safety of Society.

Gwendolyne early years as a Mask Maker
Gwendolyne early years as a Mask Maker

In the Present

This COVID 19 pandemic has changed how we live and think. I can remember March 26th very well, my friend Yvetta’s birthday was around the corner. She was inspired to create a face mask pattern and with that make gifts to protect her friends. It made sense, my studio was all set up for making anything and so we joined forces to create face masks for loved ones and those in our close community. After the 70th had been made, one of my clients asked if she could buy a couple for her family, and that began a production that has lasted 12 weeks.

CanadaDayFaceMask
Man wearing a face mask
Face Masks Red Yellow Blue Measuring Tape Print
16 face mask in different fabrics

The Studio Awakens and Canadian Online Shopping begins

The studio came alive with face mask production. This online selling was really new to me. My Etsy shop AtelierGwendolyne which originally was created back in 2012 was for the American market had not been used much. The Etsy shop became an amazing online selling platform giving clients across Canada a chance to order our custom designed face masks. For the first 5 weeks, Yvetta and I worked long hours a day.

Face Mask production allowed me to keep calm and hold some type of directional purpose.  Finally in the 6th week after learning more about how Etsy worked I changed the currency for our Canadian market. I even pulled out my Nana’s stamp collection for the shipping postage.

Our Face Mask production studio workroom
Gwendolyne holding up envelopes with vintage postage stamps
Gwendolyne wearing face mask
Gwendolyne smiling under a euphoria bloom

Downtime it was Essential

The need of Face Masks was so large and we kept up the pace. Yvetta and I have been an amazing team. Our Spring weather was very challenging for the garden, but that didn’t stop Yvetta from sowing her garden seeds. Our home had the inside space to create and the outside backyard to begin a new summer garden. My dog Cody was always by my side interested in the wonders of the day.

This global pandemic allowed us all to think about who and what we are to ourselves and those around us. Even though it is challenging at times, I believe our world needed to be wakened up. How we communicate and care for one another is the key to a better world. We have a chance to make the change and I for one am working on myself everyday.

Sewing area with color threads
Yvetta planting her seedlings
Downtime Freshly baked Rhubarb pie in the garden by a Garden Elf
Arugala growing in the garden
My best little friend Cody in the garden

One Day at a Time

I hope you visit the Etsy shop to see the Face Masks and read what our clients think about theirs. Yvetta and I will continue to produce through out the year. I will be going back to Film and Television Costume work soon, but there will always be time to make Face Masks for others. Welcome to our Brave New World now where your face mask accessory says a little more about who are you.

The signs of Spring

I have mentioned it before, that change is something we generally dislike. It erupts our routines we come to expect and understand in our lives. But like this leaf in the ice I captured yesterday on my walk in the park, it is the change of weather that brings new states of being. Hurray for change as Spring is close at hand. This year the Persian Calendar has it landing on March 20th. A favourite day to visit the Khorak Supermarket a Persian shop here in Toronto. This supermarket has a bakery that makes delicious flat breads, has unusual fruits, dried herbs, persian sweets and a hot lunch counter to grab a taste of Persian food. I will definitely be taking some friends to see this side of our city next week.

Hand embroidered winter tree with snow falling

This years Embroidery Workshop it has been a lot of fun. The fresh apple pie ritual is now part of our weekly delights and the exploration of new stitches has inspired me for new works a head. This Sunday the 17th is the last workshop. My Winter Tree is finally complete.

A red banner with the words Make things Happen in white block letters attached to a tennis fence photo shot in the night

Many years ago as William and I were riding on our bikes to home we came across this banner “MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”. Someone had attached this banner to the tennis fence in Bellwoods Park Toronto. It was a magical moment to discover it, as it spoke volumes about making life have more purpose. Someone anonymously spent some energy to share this powerful message and finally today I am sharing it to inspire you for this year ahead.

If you feel like commenting on this post I would love to hear from you. Also if you think you might be interested in joining a future Embroidery Workshop this year I encourage you to drop me a message to let me know when that might be the right time in your calendar year for Atelier Gwendolyne.

The Stitching Begins

On January 3rd this year I uploaded the new website that took me 3 months to make. During those focused months, my office became a wild untamed mess. Like all projects once they feel finished it’s time to clean it up. Visual chaos can make a space become so small. It looks great now, feels up lifting, and is still cozy.

Before I began on the website journey, I made myself 6 different shirts designs. The final shirt was the most fun because I made the pattern using my own measurements, putting darts and a single arm stripe in it. It has a sporty feel and I love it. Looking forward to the next one now that I have some time ahead. It is so fun to make things for myself now.

I feel renewed and excited for what this 2019 year will offer. More studio time is definitely in my picture.

This Sunday my Embroidery Workshop began. I was so pumped to get back into embroidery and share my skills with others. I made one of my weekly Apple Pies to celebrate and share with my students. If you are inclined to read my older blog post “No February Blues” click HERE

I was fortunate to have one to one time with my new student Nicole. We covered a lot of ground working together with practicing stitches and working out her artwork layout.