Friday, May 29, 2009

Recent Finds & Fancies...

If you know me well, you will know that I don't often buy things for myself. For starters, I don't have a lot of time to shop- having 2 active boys is part of that, and we live over the bridge in North Vancouver so the great places to shop take some co-ordination with our shared vehicle. Nevertheless, I did find some new things recently that fit my budget and suited me just fine and I wanted to share them with you!
I more recently needed some new earrings for spring and found these extremely cute, hand-woven beaded earrings by TQB Designs on her etsy shop. I love them and they've been the perfect little accessory for me for spring and into the summer: especially because my glasses are lime-ish green on the inside of my frames!
My recent score happens to be my new desk for my office spot at home! I found this in the alley by our house and walked by it a few times before having the kids come out and haul it home with me. We had this huge long table that both Dean and I shared for an office and I was tired of the eyesore taking up half our living room. We could work side-by-side, but I wanted a more compact option. I'm thinking of painting the bottom part of the desk: the top part is actually melamine. Right now it looks kind of shabby-chic scuffed up with paint chipping here and there- but it's got great lines and great legs!
My other purchase not so recently, but which I'm still looking for a frame for, is this great print from Sycamore Street Press. I really like Eva's designs and the letter-pressing on this one is really lovely. Inspired by Blue & White Dutch Pottery- I just had to get it! She only did 100 prints- I got #93 and I have a feeling they're all gone by now. I've photographed it in a recent 'Sally Ann' find of mine- an old crate that I'm excited to use for displays at Craft fairs this summer.
Well, we've had a busy week over here but I'm looking forward to a glorious, sunny weekend. I'll be gardening, turning on the sprinkler for the boys, doing a little clay work on our porch as the studio's a little stuffy in the summer, and finishing off some applications for the up-coming fall season. I'm sure there will be a couple BBQ's with friends in there to round out our weekend, so it should be a good one!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Today, 7 years ago, I gave birth to my first child, Johnny. My husband wanted to call him Seven originally, but I thought we should call him after most of the men in our families who have John in their name somewhere. Johnny's birth and labour were pretty intense with a long road to recover afterward. My 'saving grace' in the situation was that I had an incredibly healthy and joyful baby that I couldn't help but feel blessed! I absolutely adored Johnny as an infant, and since I had a paid maternity leave at the time, my energy was spent on caring for this new life that had been given to me to care for!
7 years later we celebrated Johnny's party at a park up the street, with 7 friends. We had a photo scavenger hunt in the park, played a capture the flag game (that turned into a tackling game pretty quick so we switched gears after that happened...), had a water-balloon launch, a piniata, play time at the park and a pretty sweet cake that I made with soccer guys on top. It was one to be remembered!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ellen from The Long Thread posted some lovely etsy finds on her blog this past week and included my turquoise poppy teapot!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Saying so-long Spring, hello Summer!

Well one last tulip shot before we get into Irises, poppies and all the other summer flowers that have begun to bloom out in my yard. It's going to be a glorious weekend here in the city, and I'm off to the studio to work towards my solo show at the BC Gallery of Ceramics! Stay tuned and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Windmill

Something I've wanted to do for a while was pull old Super8 film from my childhood onto my computer. My parents had been able to transfer some of the Super8 footage onto a VCR tape a few years ago, but whoever worked on it mixed up all the images and clipped them off in odd spots.
The fragmentation of my childhood on film is somewhat like my memory of these early days. There are clips missing, it's often without sound, and the timeline of events gets lost in the foggyness of my memory. However, there is something so lovely about these scenes of the Windmill from the Steinbach Museum and Historical site. The awkwardness of my dad's filming techniques make it so nostalgic and 'homemade', and yet the scene of my sister, myself and a little boy watching the arms of the Windmill go past us is a scene I want to see over and over again. I watched this with different music to it, but due to copyright I decided it was best to leave it without sound for now. Anyways, it's a work in progress, but I wanted to share it nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My weekend linocut project!

This weekend I worked on a lino-cut project for some little thank you cards! Thank you cards don't have to be big- sometimes smaller ones are great for little notes and a personalized one with a hand-printed lino-cut can be a lovely way to say thanks. I haven't done a lino-cut in years- my memories of linocuts are from grade 9 art class where the lino was so stiff you would have to put so much pressure and effort into carving it and invariably you would stab yourself with the carving tool! The new 'speedball' soft carving plates are really easy and quick to carve. In no time I had my thank you cards finished and printed off!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Victoria Day and a local etsy find (and SALE)!

Well, it's Victoria Day Weekend out here and bliss in a teacup are celebrating with a little sale in honour of Queen Victoria's Birthday! I think what most caught my eye about this Vancouver etsy shop is the contemporary and sweet use of these hoop frames! My memory reserves these hoops for cross-stitching lessons at girls club that felt painfully slow for me- but I love their fresh take! They also have hoop frames with fabric as little inspiration boards - so clever! 'bliss in a teacup' are Richard and Rebekah Brittain, a half kiwi/half Canadian couple living in Vancouver. Their list of interests and hobbies reflect incredible talent and I've already marked them as one of my favourites on etsy, just so I can see what they come up with down the road! Their blog is also worth a visit with lovely photos and beautiful staging of their work!
P.S. I just checked out their blog today and they are celebrating their 1 year anniversary! How lovely and congratulations!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Georgia Straight Article!

My interview this past week has been recently published in a full-page article in our Vancouver Arts and Culture weekly newspaper: The Georgia Straight! It's quite exciting to see my work on a full page! You can read about me HERE!

Fiona Ackerman opening at Diane Farris Gallery today!

My good friend Fiona Ackerman's solo exhibition at Diane Farris opens tonight between 6-8pm! Her abstract paintings are pretty amazing up close! There are so many layers and lovely sections that need to be seen in real life to be fully appreciated! Looking forward to going...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A few booth Pics...

Now that my faith in humanity is restored by the safe return of my camera, I wanted to post a few pics of my booth from the Portobello West Calgary Market this past weekend. Spot-lights and poor indoor lighting are making my colours off, but you get the idea. The one thing I realized is how one's booth set-up can be effected by your neighbour's booth more than you may expect. Unfortunately, I had a really tall wall blocking the view of my booth on the one side of me and on the other, an extended clothing rack that further complicated the view into my booth if you came in from that direction. So some good learning on my part since most of my shows in ceramics have been just on one table and not a whole booth. On the whole it was a good experience to be in a new city and reach a different audience with my work. A show in a different city is a big investment for someone like myself, and while sometimes the 'pay-off' isn't immediate, it is an important step in broadening one's market and scope.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Camera Found! Hooray!

Just a quick up-date on my camera- I am very VERY grateful to the honest person who turned in my camera to the Lost and Found at the Vancouver Airport! THANK YOU! I appreciate the goodness in people and am so thankful when we are charitable and kind to each other! It really does make this world a better place to be in!

My Trip

I'm back from my big adventure and show in Calgary and outside of leaving my camera in the washroom at the Airport yesterday... and not noticing until last night... yeah. All went well. Things are a little tainted right now considering, and the lost and found doesn't open until later, so I'm really hoping for an honest finder of my camera, who was kind enough to turn it in to the right place.
Otherwise, the show went well! Thank you to all those who came by- especially to family and friends- the warm Calgary reception was great! Speaking of which, if you are from Calgary, I did leave some work with a lovely gallery in Cochrane (just outside of Calgary) called Saffron Studios. I'm hoping to get some more work together for another little shop in the city in the near future, but I'll keep you posted when that transpires!
Hopefully... I can post pictures of my trip soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So pretty...

I went to the florist before my big interview to pick up some flowers for my vases and I fell in love with these ones in peach and red. Can't remember their name now but my how pretty!

I'm nearly off!

Well my bags are packed, I'm ready to go... well not quite. Yesterday I dropped off nearly all the work at a central shipping site that Portobello West had arranged for us to ship from, so if all goes well, my work will arrive along with everyone else's stuff in time for unloading friday at 11am.
Today is 'interview day' so I'll keep you posted on that, the studio had to be cleaned and prettied up after all the boxes had been shipped off. Tomorrow I leave for a little visit with friends before the big event!
Don't forget if you're in Calgary
Portobello West Art & Fashion Market
Big Four Building, Stampede Park
May 8, 4-9pm
May 9 &10, 11-6pm
over 80 designers and makers of fashion, jewelry, art, and fine craft
$5 admission, kids free
Come by and say 'Hi'!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Local Etsy finds this week...

I have to admit that I don't have a lot of time to peruse etsy these days but these two local craft mamas have got something worth sharing today! The first beautiful vase comes to you via Jill at 'bitfolky' who makes lovely jewerly, knits and makes pottery all while caring for her 3 little children up in Penticton, BC. Check out her blog for some great writing on being a creative mom- I had a few good chuckles re: her day of dragging her 3 ones to stand in line at the passport office. 'Nuff said.
The next line up of Matryoshka dolls comes to you via Little Red Caboose by Ella. It seems her shop has a strong connection to all things Waldorf, which I've heard great things about, but which I don't know much about so that's all I'll say here. I love the little faces and characters of these dolls- so simple and lovely.

Monday, May 4, 2009

heading to Calgary...

I'm packing my boxes as tomorrow the truck picks up my wares and makes the journey to Calgary. Let me tell you that this shipping ceramics thing is no easy task. I'm hoping that everything gets there in one piece for my show at Portobello West Market this coming weekend!

This pre-show time is a little stressful as I try not to forget everything on my growing list along with juggling my kids who always seem to sense where I'm at and become a little more needy than usual as a result of it. Of course an interview with a great local arts newspaper/magazine this week that suddenly came up is only adding a little to the nervousness and excitement.

Friday, May 1, 2009

a day at the farm

It was a great day to get out of the city and be at the family farm today. I had all my table cloths and drapes for my booth out on the clothes line and then it got fun to put up all the vintage tablecloths that Dean's mom has around and take photos.
Got to love the new tractor Dean's dad got this past year, and my sour-faced son's classic first taste of rhubarb this season- even dipped it into sugar and was still cringing. Grandma made up for it at the end of the day making rhubarb crisp and ice cream for desert.