Monday, September 20, 2010

I've been having problems coming up with anything to post lately. It's not been for lack of experiences worth sharing; it's been a long, busy summer and lots has gone on. I think the problem has to do with my camera. Or lack thereof. Back in May, I misplaced my battery charger and I've been cameraless since then. And I hadn't realized until this happened just how visual I really am, how much I depend on my camera to capture the amazingness around me, and how I often use those pictures to inspire me to share here, later.

The charger is still in a black hole, but after spending a little time digging up inspiring things on the internet and reading an open, honest letter from a friend I really relate to, I feel filled up with stuff and somewhat desperate to post something. So here we are.

Autumn's coming. My room's a mess and my life feels, all at once, like it's full of potential and like it's on pause. Everything feels like it's waiting to be done but I'm never going to get to it, never going to catch up. And by everything, I do mean boring crap like hauling all the extraneous things out of my closet, but I also mean important things like taking that trip and calling that person and trying to write that story.

Yet despite all that, I do still feel happy. Thank goodness for cats and people you can really talk with.

Anybody else feel this way?

While floating about online earlier, I found a favourite song of mine from before college. Summer's over, so listening to it now kind of jives with how I'm feeling. I've missed my chance for a summer's day on the road now, but at the same time my whole life's ahead of me.

There's no video, but the song should still play.

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Open Thank You Letter

To My Mystery Mac's Employee,

This past Saturday, my guy and I had a day in town. One of the very first places I visited was one of our town's two bead stores, on a hunt for a new sort of necklace wire. I found some things, made a nice little purchase, and we were on our way. (As you may guess, the bead store isn't Seguin's favourite place to be on a sunny Saturday morning.)

We spent most of the day puttering about, just enjoying one another's company. As such, I didn't really think about my purchase again until the very, very end of the day, as I was settling into bed. I often take a few moments, as I'm lying there, to think about tomorrow's plans. "Sunday breakfast, work on that bracelet, maybe try out some pendants on those new wires.......uh oh."

I knew instantly I had lost the bag. Lugging around books and peaches and homemade jam, I hadn't realized it was gone and I had no idea where I had left it. Nearly midnight, there was nothing to be done for it but to lie there and make new plans for the following day. "Call the grocery store, call the library, call the ice cream shop...."

Sunday morning, I called every place I had been the day before. I reached the end of my list with no luck, just a new list of two places to call again the next day, as they weren't open Sunday. I spent the afternoon trying not to think about it, and I did pretty well for a worrier such as myself.

But in the back of my mind, I was bothered. I'd bought a nice pile of stuff on Saturday, and spent an amount I didn't care to spend again so quickly, especially on all the same stuff. Plus, I was really excited about some of the things in that bag! Pretty new colours of beads, supplies to make new necklaces and new earrings, plus special new wires I was really excited to try out, as I had a feeling they would make my creative endeavours that much easier.

In my head, I debated the chances I had of getting my purchases back. It wasn't as if I'd lost a wallet or a cell phone. As the value of what was there wouldn't be obvious to the average person, there would be less temptation for somebody to keep such a find for themselves. On the other hand, if someone who found it was a beader or a crafter themselves, what a score! Who would find my bag?

I also thought about the many lost and found bins I've seen myself, over the years. So many things that people never come back for, important things too! Car keys, prescription glasses, really pretty mittens! What if my stuff ended up where I wouldn't know or think to look for it?

This morning, I called the last two places on my list, to no avail. I was bummed. I was out a chunk of change, and I wouldn't be able to get to the bead store again until the following weekend. A whole week's preparation time for an upcoming show lost! I told the story to my friend and co-worker Niki, who suggested I call the bead store in case I'd left my package behind. As we both knew from our retail experience, that sort of thing happens all the time. So I thought I'd give it a shot.

This is where you come in, Mystery Mac's person. On the third ring, my lady at the bead store picked up and said abrubtly, "We have your stuff." I was stunned for a second, then after establishing she had caller ID (and that she remembered where I worked) and expressing my relief over the news, I found out what happened. I didn't leave my package at the bead store, I left it at Mac's convenience, the very first place I had called!! And you, you wonderful person, you didn't just stick it in a lost and found bin, or put it somewhere it could have been taken from or forgotten about. You saw the receipt and brought it back to store whence it came, where it would be safe and sound until I tracked it down again.

So for that, I thank you. Thanks for noticing my purchase had been left behind and thanks for doing something that would ensure I would get my parcel back. Thanks for being honest, thanks for doing that little something extra, thanks for being awesome.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


This weekend, I was in Oakville taking part in the Sheridan Alumni Show, part of the school's annual open house. It's a long trip to make (especially by transit) but worth it for many reasons.

For one, I always enjoy visiting Oakville. I lived there for over three years, which for me, is long enough to develop a home like feeling of attachment to a place. I always get a little nostalgic kick out of riding the same old buses, passing the same sites and walking the same streets, even eating the same things I used to eat when I lived there. It's also neat to see what's changed while I was away. A new business here, a pretty garden there. So that was nice.

It's also nice visiting Sheridan itself, which I do with less frequency, but for the same reasons. It's only been three years, but wandering the halls after the show, I was surprised by how many little memories came back; classes I kind of forgot about, things that used to be routine.

And it was really nice to see all the work by the current students. This is probably cliche, but I feel like people are getting more and more talented every year. It was also inspiring. It made me wish I was back in school, so I could spend as much time being creative as I used to do. As such, I found myself vowing to make better use of time I do have, and to pursue other ideas I have before I forget how. (That can happen, ya know.)

The best thing of all though, was the people. I didn't see any of the folks who graduated with me, but I did see my teacher. We had a nice little chat and I received some encouraging words from her, which still means a lot. I also saw others from years above and below myself, and met some great new people as well.

One of my favourite things about doing a show like this, especially one with people I feel a kinship with (as alumni of the same school, of course) is doing trades. There's always so much talent at the shows I participate in, but I can't always make purchases. So it's great when someone enjoys my work as well; then we can strike a deal.

The first bargain I made was with Mary MaKenzie. She had just graduated from the ceramics stream of the Craft and Design program, and was making all these crazy peices inspired by the defensive (and sometimes offensive) aspects of some plants. They were really neat; tangley delicate jumbles of thistley, pokey, twiggy bits. They reminded me a bit of the sea, of coral and driftwood, and I overheard a show goer who thought of insects. Mary says they are landscapes of sorts, which I think also made sense.

The piece I traded a leaf necklace for was one of her smaller ones, this lovely little dish with a glass puddle bottom. I love the delicate colour and the detailed pattern. Very pretty.

The next bargain I made was to trade an organza gathers necklace for this lovely bird pin. The artist is Kerri Andreas, who has just finished her second year in the textiles stream and is heading into a Harbourfront residency for the summer. In addition to textiles, Kerri fuses glass, and so was able to make this silkscreened pin, which I chose because of the blue and the bird. But it was a tough choice. She also had some great fabric neck pieces, some pretty decorative bunting, wall pieces and more. She was really very sweet and great to talk to. I hope to see her again next year.

Finally, I got to make a trade I'd been planning on all day, a pretty ribbon bracelet for this great gummy worm pendant. It was made by Emma Gerard, who was a member of the glass stream around the same time I was attending Sheridan. Her whole table was just delicious, an assortment of flameworked penny candy favourites. I hard a really hard time choosing between a swedish berry pin and this gummi worm pendant. Then I had difficulties choosing colours! But now I've got it, and I can't wait to get it on a chain and wear it. Emma told me she's hoping to go to NASCAD (I think!) to study jewellery. With the talent she already has in glass, I think she could create some really fantastic things.

With all the time I spent preparing for this show, I didn't get a chance to write about the other show I was at recently, this one for Sheridan's Illustration graduates. There was so much incredible talent, I grabbed several business cards just so I could keep an eye on their work. If I get a chance this week, maybe I'll post again to share that great stuff as well!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Finds, Again

This weekend, Saturday, April 17th, I'll be in The Finds in downtown Huntsville, demonstrating my techniques and showing my wares. My first meet-the-artist appearance at The Finds went quite well; lots of people wandered in, had a chat and watched me work. So I'm looking forward to this weekend's event.

I'll be there a bit longer this time around, from 11 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. I've not yet decided whether to demonstrate my Magpie Lace necklaces or to work on corsages instead, but either way, I plan to have fun and be interesting!

If you're in the area, and haven't seen my work yet, come check it out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Official.

Things are getting a little out of hand.

I've got a few too many projects on the go at once and as a result, little piles of work-in-progress living in various spots around the studio.

I think it must be time to get myself a few little bins or baskets, to keep fabrics together and to stop poufy little flower experiments from ending up under my work table.

Must be nice to be one of those naturally tidy sorts. =P

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I've loved this song for a while, but only just watched the video for the first time last night.

Monday, March 1, 2010

That's What Happened.

Jen, John, Jordan, Seguin, Megan, Dimitra. Lucas and Jeanette too. Wine, Mario, Evident Utensil, stop motion videos. Chinese noodles, ginger ale and vitamin water, bread pudding, girl time, lazy morning. Comics. Snowy walk in the sun and an almost-accident in the creek. Cuddley cats. Food at the Pub, suit jacket and glasses, mushroom village dress. Apples to apples, laughing and laughing, drawing and ridiculous stories. Cat ears, safety vest, cowboy hat, red cape. Jawbreakers and coloured ice cubes. Sleeps on the couch. Friends at Family Place, eggs and toast and bacon and lots of juice. Tummy ache. Michevious Captain Kirk and airplane crashes. Wandering the Independent. Sushi, guacamole, veggie chips, mini eggs, macaroons and wine. Overtime and one last gold. Cute baby and tired toddler. Angry Nerd, popcorn, Christina Ricci and James McAvoy. A bit more Mario and more Apples to Apples too.

That was the weekend.