Monday, March 30, 2009

Down to Earth

I just returned home from a lovely weekend away with Old Friends. Correction - 'long-time' friends. In our minds, we're no older than we were when we hung out in High School. That's how 'Long Time', we are.

For over two decades, we have been meeting each spring to catch up with each other. For as much as things change, they stay the same. Still laughing about the same silly things that tickled us many, many years ago. Now, it may take all four of us to fill in all the names and details of the events - but even that process is great fun. For a brief time, we journey back to our early teens when we believed, with great confidence, that we were as worldly and wise as we ever would get, and certainly, needed to be.

In honouring 'Earth Hour' on Saturday, we turned off all the sound and lights and lit the candles. That was certainly no hardship. A glass of wine, or cup of tea by candle light is a most lovely way to nurture friendship at any time. Such quiet and ambiance that embraces conversation should be/could be part of our routine on a regular basis. It would be lovely with whomever we are blessed to spend time with - our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, friends, neighbours ... even just ourselves. Imagine how much more peaceful and tranquil our world would be... Our World that we hold in our heart and hands, and the World in General.

It seems that there was fairly good global participation in Earth Hour and the organizers were pleased with the reduction in energy. I suspect that a good many who did turn off the noise of life, found a completely different type of energy - and liked it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Five Years

When you have small children in your life, whether they are your own, your grandchildren or other little ones that are dear to you - you can see time pass before your eyes. You blink, and that tiny babe is a toddler and then instantly, a little person.

Five years ago today, a precious wee angel came into our lives. It seems like moments ago that Nick walked down the hospital corridor, gently holding a wrapped up little bundle. I said - 'Well.... ????' 'What do you think?', he answered proudly. I knew immediately by the pure magic in his eyes and the tenderness in his voice. He had wanted a little girl so badly. I got all choked up.

When I went to the room to see Jaime, naturally, the emotion was high. I like the anticipation of having everything a surprise - not just the gender but the name of the little one who joins our world. I never ask what they'll be naming the baby ahead of time. When Jaime told me that they were calling her 'Lauren Isabella Marie', the floodgates opened. Brian's Mom, Marie, had passed away a year earlier. We missed her so much & knew how excited that she would have been to see Nick and Jaime blessed with their little girl. With that and the pure awe and gratitude at the miracle of birth, that moment is etched in my heart forever.

Our precious little angel has grown into a lovely little girl. She has brought us so much joy and sunshine. She's kind and wise, fun and loving and very independent. She tells me often, - right out of the blue - "Nan, I love you". I hope she doesn't outgrow that spontaneity - it's so endearing. She says that Scotty is her Best Friend and that her two favourite places in the world are Chucky Cheese and Newfoundland. She adores her Mother and likes to have her near by and she's very much a Daddy's Girl. And he is still as smitten as he was when he first carried her down that hallway. The light that he carries in his eyes for that child - and that we all carry in our hearts, illuminates all our days. Happy Birthday Lauren Isabella Marie.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Rabbit Transit"

The first Rabbit of the season is on Ebay this week. One minute it seems like Easter is so far away, that it's not time for the Easter creations - and then suddenly it's upon us and there isn't time for more than a couple rabbits for the year.

I SO enjoy making these little guys - I should have started a lot sooner.

It's also featured on the 'American Holiday Artists' blog site:

Have a visit there & you'll see some exceptionally creative & amazing pieces - a prolific group of artists, that I'm so pleased to be associated with.

Suzanne does an amazing job of keeping the blog current with what is being offered by the group at all times ... MUCH better than I am at keeping up with this one.

So bookmark it and go there
regularly for some 'eye candy' and inspiration. All the members have a blog or website & you'll get a chance to meet some amazing artists that you might not otherwise get a chance to be introduced to. They are on my 'Creative Friends' blog links as well.
Great fun to go visiting people's studios & meet new folks without having to leave home!

They have all moved to San Antonio, Texas! I would have really enjoyed getting to deliver them in person. I've always wanted to go to San Antonio. I like to even SAY 'San Antonio'. Sounds like a wonderful place to live.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gallery Photos

Close ups of the pictures for the Gallery Show:
The factory used to make rollerskates - hence the skates & old tin lunch box. To the right are the big red steel sliding doors & left is the little booth and stair way up to the work area. The lady to the right in the photo above & the man behind her - he's centre, with the moustache & she's on the staircase below - are my Great Grandparents - immigrated from Ireland.
I love that these people, who have been gone from this world for so long, can have us gazing into their eyes, still having a presence here. If it weren't for those two people - where would I be??

Gallery 96

In the photo above, the top picture is mine - a close up of it is in the subsequent post.

I'm pleased to have recently been accepted as a member of Gallery 96 - a local Artist's group that has been part of the Art landscape in Startford and area for over thirty years. They are a diverse & talented group of artists in many different mediums - it's an honour to be associated with them.

It's especially exciting and rewarding for me to make new Art Friends right in my own back yard. It also has afforded me the opportunity to stretch and grow in different areas of artistic expression.

It was really fun this weekend to participate in my first 'Opening'. It was especially cool because two of my girls came in to be supportive. The show, entitled 'Industrial Strength' was totally devoted to "Factory 163" where Gallery 96 has recently acquired space & where they host their exhibits. The building is a wonderful old factory, a very important part of local history, when manufacturing was very much part of the fabric of Stratford. The exhibit was so interesting, with all the different perspectives of the same space, done in different mediums. The show opened Saturday and runs until April 5th. There are some details on the website and some other cool events that will be happening:

I did five prints for the show - two actually sold, which is an unexpected bonus. I love the 'feel' of the old building - I can envision the people at work there in the 1920's. The stairs are worn down from the hundreds of feet over the years. For me, being a Lover of All Things Old, the old factory is pure inspiration. As was getting to participate in this show and getting to meet new Friends in Creativity.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lady Bug, Lady Bug ... Fly Away Home. Really.

When I was a kid, it was a big deal to find a lady bug. In this area, they seemed to be as rare as a four leaf cover & we considered them as Lucky. You'd gently let them sit on your finger & recite ... which was actually kind of cruel, but well intentioned ... 'Lady Bug, Lady Bug, fly away home, your house is on fire and your children are alone.' Lady Bugs were cute, they were pretty, they were Happy. They were Good. They ate the Bad Bugs.

About four years ago, we had such an onslaught of Lady Bugs that they lost their lustre around here. They became a pest themselves. Thousands upon THOUSANDS of them decended upon us. They'd be flying into your food, you'd be picking them out of your hair. I couldn't even work outside - the bugs would 'ping' me as they hit in a drunken stupor. When you picked them off, they left a disgusting odour. One particular day, a swarm of them went through and covered the outside of the doors in unbelievable numbers. We truly had to sweep them off Brian when he came in the house. Strange & gross.

The last couple years, we've gone back to having a more normal number & we're happy enough to have them again. But I'm wondering if there's a cycle for them & this might be another Lady Bug Nightmare year. My studio window faces the south side. The warmth of the sun has awaken the dozy flies that have been hibernating in the cracks. And Lady Bugs! Hundreds & hundreds of them already - more than I have ever had up there EVER. I do believe that is the possibilty of Too Much of a Good Thing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Ebay for '09

These children and their sheepish steed have immigrated to Clare, Michigan, to live with a lady whom I would so dearly like to meet in person. It is such an honour, that she continues to be interested in my work over the years. She has more pieces of my work than anyone in the entire world ... including me:) Humbling indeed.

FINALLY, I've got something done for Ebay. I'm really wondering what I've been doing all winter. Seems that I should have been creating/producing more effectively. I think I was busy -can't remember. At any rate, I've got a start now & with some focus, perhaps I can keep it up for a bit. Add Image

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Robin is the One

Around here, the Robin IS the one who brings the hope of Spring. No one quite trusts that it's on its way until the Red Breast is spotted. With great excitement, you'll hear the exclamations ... "I saw a ROBIN today!!!".

Well today is the day! Friday the 13th or not, it was a Good Omen to see our first robin of 2009 today. Not a great photo - I had to snap quickly before he disappeared. He's headed off to summon his friends.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Trucks, New Cars

This weekend, at the Stratford Garden Show, there was the most unique display. With a theme of 'Wild Things', John Drummond of Greenbelt Farms, transformed his space into an overgrown brush area with a wonderful old flatbed truck. Throughout the little path, there were interesting poems and excerpts from books or songs. It was so cool that I know there are a LOT of people looking at old vehicles as an art form - me included.

Today, I got to drive a 2010 Mazda - I could hardly get my head around that. It seems like just moments ago that the world was fussing about the 'new millenium' ... how to spell it, what to call 'two thousand', whether everything was going to crash at the stroke of midnight. And here I was, in a vehicle of the next decade. A blink of an eye. And a pretty cool car - wish I got to keep it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Puppy Love

Daniel and Stacey came by today with their new babe. At least they SAY that he's a baby. Other than being Very Short, he hardly seems like a puppy at all. He wasn't running around like a maniac, yappy and chewing. He just sat quietly, looking old and wise - a little saddened that his coat didn't fit him real well. He had a Little Puppy voice and a Little Puppy lick. But I seriously doubt that he's 8 weeks old, like they say - with a face like that, he's been around for a Long, Long time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


They can't even GIVE away old encylopedia's anymore - they don't bring a bid at the auction and they won't even take them as a donation at the Book Sales. But I love them.

Change has been so dramatic over this past century, it's hard to even get your head around it. I sit at a computer with the world at my fingertips - world events, the dictionary & wikipedia, educational tutorials, friends who I feel close to, even though I have never shared a spoken conversation with. Incredible. Amazing. Awesome & Exciting. I love it.

But just as much, I love to page through my old encyclopedias and World Books, thinking about the little hands that held them so many years ago and the great excitement they felt at having the world at their fingertips.

I've got a number of them - picked up for 50 cents a set. They're filled with remarkably interesting material, so refreshingly simply explained that they're a pleasure to read. Inventions that were cutting edge, countries that were just entering the industrial age or were so very different than they are today. Fascinating indeed. I especially enjoy the poetry, stories and beautifully detailed illustrations of classics like Alice in Wonderland.

My favourite is a 1911 BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE set, pre-printed from 1899. It's well used and well loved - so tattered and worn that it's amazing that anyone even saved them. It was surely a prized possesion for the Vincent children - their names so carefully enscribed with pencil on the inside cover. I picture them, calling out to each other ... 'Come see this!' or ' Did you know...' - very much like we do today when we find something interesting on the internet.

I doubt very much that a hundred years from now, someone will hold an old laptop or Blackberry or iphone and give even a passing thought to the information that it held. If it survives a landfill site, it will just be a junk piece of plastic with a blank screen. What we use now will be of even less value than my precious old books. They won't be curling up with a blanket & cup of tea, like I am now - saying 'Look at how THIS has changed - oh my goodness - look how THAT has changed.' They hold just as much interest and awe for me as they did for the Vincent children in 1911.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Think Ink

I've been messing around with alcohol ink for awhile now - experimenting and playing. I've stamped on photo paper, tyvek, silver spoons, dishes, old found items, metals, plastics and glass. Once I've got the ink dabber out, I'm looking around for anything that needs a splash of colour.
Last week, I picked up some white tiles in various sizes. I'm particularly loving using them as a palette. The ink flows and interacts beautifully on the smooth, hard surface.

These tiles are are 2 inch squares - some of my 'Tree' series. The colour is much more rich on the actual pieces. I've sprayed these with Krylon to protect them, which has given them a matte finish.

I'll be doing a class this spring with the inks. I'll post the date on my website when I get it together.