Thursday 22 January 2015

Dusting Out The Cobwebs

After seeing my mom's new blog entry it caused me to realize just how quickly time has gone by and how much change has occurred.  Too much time!  So I gave myself a boot in the butt to try and get the creative juices flowing again.  Please don't expect anything too intelligent or eloquent ... not that you were getting that before...

Anywhoo, I too have made the move to the beautiful East Coast and now find myself living in a wonderful spot on Lake Loon, which is in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  Honestly, I feel so completely at home here.  I don't know why, as I've never lived here before, but I just feel like I belong.  Maybe it's all the charming East Coasters who have so hospitably welcomed me to their beautiful neck of the woods!  I have, of course, had to spend considerable time setting up my new studio space, which was difficult due to the fact that Vickie and I had to "divide and conquer" all our materials we had brought together in the Montreal studio.  I felt like I was 18 again and moving out and we had to divvy up all the makeup!  This time was a bit more civil, I'm sure, and once the glitter had settled (all over Vickie), we were both able to feel confident that we would be able to continue our creative ventures in separate, but not too far apart, studios.  Actually, it should be noted that Vickie has always been very eager and encouraging to me when it comes to pursuing things in the studio and I'm very fortunate to have a mother who is so generous!

So, I've been doing some new work but hope to be able to truly settle in and get more done.  So far, the weather this winter has been too nice to stay inside all day, so it's difficult!

Here's some pictures of new(er) work:


Just a few for now.  Enjoy.  Thanks for checking in, and as always, stay tuned!

Sunday 4 August 2013

Inspired by Nature

Wrapped in Nature's Embrace
Okay.  I'll admit, I've got a bit of a weird, kooky side to me that delights in things edgy and a little "out there".  I also, however, have a soft spot for the beauty found in nature, especially woodland life.  Growing up, we used to spend some time at a cottage up north and one of my absolute favourite things to do was to simply walk in the woods and examine all the wonderful and interesting things growing, living, and moving in there.  I loved the quiet that was only disturbed by the occasional call of a bird, chirp of a cricket or song of the wind traveling through a variety of trees and other flora.  One of the loveliest trees, in my opinion, was always the birch trees.  I loved how their satiny, white bark would peel off in gorgeous curls, and I adored the patterns created by the sooty, dark slashes that would form vertically up the trunk and branches.  It's this love of the birch trees that has inspired some of my favourite jewelry pieces.  Here are a few pics, hope you enjoy!

Nature's Wonder Wearable Whimsy
Birch Branch Necklace with Bracket Mushrooms

Stay tuned!

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Cheeky Monkey!

I'd like to introduce you to my latest creation, Seymour, for sale in my My Etsy Shop

This guy's a bit of a cheeky monkey. I met him the other day while walking to the park on The Other Side. I had heard that the pampoloompus buds had finally opened and the scent was incredible. It's said that by inhaling their heady aroma, one's wrinkles smooth out and you can loose up to five pounds! Well, "Sign me up!" I declared as I marched down the winding pathways that led to Fellatifus Park. This determination is probably why I didn't see Seymour as he rocketed towards me on his skateboard. In fact, it wasn't until he ran over my foot and went flying into a fortuitous pillowfluff bush that was at the side of the path, that I even noticed he was there.

"Hey lady, watch where you're putting your feet!" He smirked as he collected his board and brushed off his toque. "Where're you headed anyway?" he asked me. I told him I was heading off to smell the ripe pampoloompus flowers, at which point he stared at my face and with his characteristic smirk, declared: "You look like you could use it!"

Little imp.

Basically good-natured and fun-loving at heart, Seymour sits approximately 2 1/2" tall (he's about 3 1/4" long from the tips of his tennies to the top of his toque). Entirely hand-made and completely one of a kind, Seymour is crafted out of polymer clay with movable arms and legs. He said he wouldn't go anywhere without his precious skateboard, so we'll be sending that along too.

Perhaps with the proper environment and influence, Seymour can become a fine, upstanding young man...though to be honest, I think I like him better the way he is - cheeky monkey!

Monday 10 June 2013

"Let's Peek Through, The Polka Dot Door..."

So, the other day, as I was browsing Instagram, another of my obsessions these days, I came across a fantastic pic by photographer tonydetroit of a Polka Dot house:
Instantly, the theme-song to a beloved 80's TV Ontario children's show, popped into my head:  "The Polka Dot Door".  I loved that show.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies to think of the times I would sit in front of the tiny, 25" TV that we had at the time, and wait through the opening theme song, excitedly anticipating what "day" it was going to be (each day had a different theme like Imagination Day, Dress Up Day, or Animal Day).  Ahh, those were the days - comfy, wide-bottomed pants; riding my tricycle on the balcony of our 8th floor apartment; and amazing kid programs on TV Ontario. 

This is what happens when you grow up in the make do :)  Me, riding my tricycle on our apartment balcony, complete with fake grass carpeting.

I'm thinking that my love of TV Ontario programming stemmed from the fact that we did not have cable and it was one of the few channels that still came in clear as a bell (well, maybe more like a bell seen through foggy sunglasses...but still...).

So let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?  Back to the days of:

If you were a kid growing up in the late '70's / early '80's in Southern Ontario, you will probably recognize most of the above shows.  The amazing thing is, I used to watch them for their entertainment value.  I didn't realize until now, just how many of them were completely educational!  "Parlez-Moi" had goofy skits with a funny hobo/clown but it was meant to teach you how to speak french.  "Write On" and "Read All About It" were a sitcom and adventure series, respectively, that taught writing and grammar.  One of my favourites, "Math Patrol" had a detective who dressed up as a kangaroo (his disguise, shhhhh!) who had to solve math problems to save the day from evil.  It was fantastic and memorable television.
While I'm sure today's TVO Kids channel has a great amount of terrific programming, the above shows will always hold a special place in my heart and hopefully some of yours as well.

Stay tuned.

Saturday 25 May 2013

Reconciled Differences

This is my dishwasher by the way... in case you think I'm hugging the countertop...that would just be weird

Holy Batcicles Batman!  12 degrees Celsius feels really really cold the day after having a humid ex of 29 degrees Celsius (I clarify Celsius for all you Yankees out there so you don't think I'm literally an icicle).  What the heck is Mother Nature trying to do to me?  Kill me?  Or just keep me huddled under a blanket?

On a more positive note, I'm sure you'll all be thrilled to hear that my dishwasher and I have made up.  It was a long, hard road, but we're finally back on the same page as to what our roles should be in this relationship.  I dirty the dishes, and Mr. Dishwasher cleans them.  That is that.  There was a bit of a hiccup, when, after waiting what seemed like a bajillion years for the new parts to come in, they were found to be DEFECTIVE!!!  Yes, you heard me right.  I hand-washed dishes for over a month, listened to my sons whine and complain like rusty wheels when I made them wash the dishes, only to have the frustrated service guy have to tell me that the new parts don't work.

Seems about what I would expect by now.  But, all is good.  They sent new parts...that work...and they are now installed and I am happy again.  Hallelujah!

 We will, however, have to wait and see if they last more than a few months.  That would be a wonder of technology to celebrate!

Stay tuned.

Friday 24 May 2013

Goodbye Newman

 *Sigh*  I hate saying Goodbye.  That's such a silly thing to say, isn't it?  I mean, does anyone ever love to say Goodbye?  I mean sure, there have been people we've been quite glad to see go, but the actual process is still awkward and uncomfortable - for me, anyway.

And this doesn't just apply to people.  I always find it difficult to let go when it comes to my creations.  Maybe that's because I tend to create things that I like, things that I would be delighted to keep hanging around my house, sitting on my shelves, so I can point at them and say:  "I remember you.  You're awesome.".  Okay, I'm also a bit of a hoarder, and I would LOVE to have a house filled with all kinds of funky, weird things.  Kind of like this:
My husband, on the other hand, imagines our house to be more like this:
How we ever came together and survived, I'll never know (shows you what true love can accomplish!)

The point is, I have a hard time getting rid of my stuff, so the other day, when I got a notification from Etsy that my doll, Newman, had sold, I experienced a twang of sadness.  Of course, I always get excited when something sells, mostly because I'm so happy that someone else likes something that I create enough to want to purchase it.  Plus it justifies my weirdness.  But I do feel a bit verklempt.

But as you know, every cloud has a silver lining (and a puffy, chewy, marshmallow core) and when I opened up the Etsy receipt, I realized who had loved Newman so much as to give him a cozy new home.  It was a very dear old friend of mine.  My best friend from growing up, in fact!  I had moved around quite a bit and we had lost touch over the years.  Truth is, I had not seen or spoken to her in about 12 years!  She had included a lovely note to me, telling me she was happy to see I was doing something that I enjoyed and made me happy.  I just about fell out of my chair, and it may be silly, but the tears started to flow.  I was overjoyed and overwhelmed that this person had found me and reestablished contact.  Since then, we've gotten back in touch, caught up a bit with what's been going on in our lives (Holy Crap does a lot ever happen over the span of a decade!), and plan to meet up the next time I'm in town, which should be very soon.  I'm so excited!

So not all goodbyes are bad.  As I carefully packaged Newman up, I explained to him that he was going to the lovely  home of someone I treasure and I was sure she would take the best care of him (and maybe even let him eat Nutter Butters late at night).

Hopefully this post will encourage you to reach out to someone you may have lost touch with.  You never know what's been going on in their lives and how wonderful it will make them feel to know that you cared enough to seek them out.  Have a great Friday!

...and goodbye Newman :)

Stay tuned.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Do Something Awesome Today

I came across this great Art Print made by Poh Koon while browsing Etsy this morning and it just seemed to strike a chord with me today.  I'm trying to improve on some things in my life and I think that sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the messages to "Seize the Day" or to "Make Today Ridiculously Amazing" and such like that.  Often we start out with the best of intentions but as the day goes on, things will...well...go not so amazing.  Bad things happen.  We make mistakes.  Other people around us will make mistakes.  The oatmeal will boil over and create a burnt, crazy-glue-like crust all over the stove that is impossible to remove with anything short of atomic weaponry.  If we're focused on trying to make the day the best and greatest it's ever been, then we could most likely get discouraged and even give up on the day.  

Well I'm here to say, it's OK.  Today can still be a great day, if you just focus on doing something, anything, awesome today. 

Maybe your awesome is creating something that makes you smile, or helping that person with put their groceries in their car, or washing the kitchen floor, or baking cookies for your kids (I know mine think this is pretty awesome!), or maybe baking cookies for your neighbours kids.  Perhaps your awesome is avoiding doing something, like biting your nails or losing your temper when someone rubs you the wrong way (like when your toddler flushes a light-bulb down the toilet and you have to take the toilet off for the tenth time to get it out and avoid yet another $200 charge from the plumber - seriously, if anyone out there needs a toilet installed, I'm your man).

It doesn't have to be something big, it should just be something that you can look back on the day and say "Hey.  I did that.  And that was pretty awesome."

And the great thing is, you certainly don't have to limit yourself to just one awesome thing.  Maybe you can do more, but the point is, as long as you've done one awesome thing, you can reflect on your day with a smile (even if the rest of the day was filled with dirty diapers, screaming co-workers, or burnt oatmeal).

So that's it for today.  Feel free to share your awesome thing and inspire others!