Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Need A T-Shirt That Says "I Survived My Teenager's Party"

My oldest daughter who just turned sixteen in September approached John and I a few weeks ago about throwing a Christmas party for fifteen of her friends. John and I looked at each other, I remember our eyebrows being furrowed and saying "We'll think about it." We weren't all that concerned about how she'd survive it but how we would. Fifteen teenagers in the house?

So after some initial ground rules which we all agreed on, one of which was no one sneaking in any alcohol, the party was a go. John told her that if we caught anyone drinking we would be forced to confiscate it, take it upstairs and drink it ourselves. We both laughed thinking it was funny......she did not and gave us what I refer to as the "teenager look". So Friday morning before school I was presented with a long and somewhat unhealthy grocery list. Things like pop, potato chips, cheezies, candy canes and pizza. I suggested a veggie platter........again the look.
After school she went downstairs to create a much more festive atmosphere or so she said. Out came the boxes of Christmas decorations and before you could say "Rudolph" the room was decked out and I mean decked out. It rather looked like there was an explosion in Whoville. I suggested "less is more".

We asked her what they'd be doing at this "party" while we were upstairs. She said, "you know, playing DDR ( Dance Dance Revolution, see here) , talking, maybe Twister. John wasn't too pleased with the Twister part as there were going to be boys and he said he remembered being one. Then she said with a horrified look on her face, "your not going to keep coming down and spying on us are you?". With that we asked her if she would like us to come downstairs and "bust a move" to Madonna just so her friends would have an idea what good dancing was. She stood perfectly still and said, "if that seriously happened I would be scarred for life and please never say "bust a move"again". I forgot how much drama was involved in being a teenager.

Everyone began arriving around 6pm. Most of them I know and they are great kids. Our house has and will continue to be an open to door to them. They have always been very respectful, kind and relatively up front........well, as far as teenagers go. So kids came through and stopped to talk while I made pizzas (yes, they were frozen) and chocolate chip cookies (they were from scratch) before moving on downstairs.

Simba our cat was not in a good mood this evening as his peaceful lifestyle had been disturbed and he was mighty pissed off. So while I was taking the third pizza out of the oven he swiped at my leg to show me his displeasure. So to show him mine I put him outside. Five minutes later I sat down to eat, looked out the backdoor and there he was chowing down on a mouse. He looked at me, dropped it and cocked his head as if to say "So sorry I've been in a pissy mood attacking your leg and all but look I brought you a make up present".

By 11pm John and I were fading fast. I mean if it had of been a Saturday night we could have at least kept it together until 11:30 but at this point it was only the music filtering up from downstairs that was keeping us awake. Around 11:35 it all started breaking up as parents began arriving to pick up their kids.

When I finally locked the door for the night, I thought it ended up being a pretty successful party. Nothing got broken, all of the ground rules remained intact (that I know of), John didn't have to pull out any of his fancy karate moves with any of the boys and I didn't have to scar my daughter for life by dancing to Madonna in front of her friends. Yeah, I'd say pretty successful.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Fruitful Darkness

A Fruitful Darkness
Original Work in Paint, Thread, Wool & Silk
Double Matted 8"x10"

I finished the above piece this morning but it won't be available for sale until I take it to my framers which I'm hoping to do today. I played around a lot with the sky colour and ended up wanting to take it in a much more abstract direction. My original sketch seemed to indicate a much more intimate and silent woods and a blue sky just wouldn't have cut it. It almost seems as if you would be forced to walk very quietly if you were there so as not to disturb the rhythm of the forest and that appeals to me.

Janet emailed me last week asking if I would photo the back of my work just so she could get a better idea of the threadwork. So here it is..........I always think the back is quite interesting on it's own.

I think I'll do the Images Studio Tour this fall as well as perhaps Art in Park in Bracebridge. I haven't given it that much thought but I guess I should. Both are good well established shows and since I've been too lazy to seriously persue any gallery representation it may be a good idea.

Oh, and surprise surprise, I also cleaned by studio yesterday. When John walked in this morning to iron his shirt he almost fell over in shock. He uses the ironing board in my studio every morning and it's usually piled high with books, artwork, threads but today......voila.......nice and neat except for under my work table but just don't look there or if you do pretend you haven't.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers......................

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Fine Art Department & An Exciting Weekend

Early Morning
Work in Paint & Thread
Available at the Silverbridge Gallery
Double Matted & Framed

Well what a difference a weekend makes!

Our little Art Appreciation Day in the Village on Saturday ended up far exceeding any expectations I may of had. It was this tiny little show with only ten artists and our first year to boot but wow, did we have people through and yeah.....they were buying. I could have kicked myself for not having more of my original 8"x10" double matted pieces as they sold unbelievably well. They were all reasonably priced anywhere between $75.00 to $150.00. By the end of the day I only had two left which means I need to get my butt in gear today and spend some serious time in the studio. Speaking of affordable art, read artist Lisa Call's latest post Affordable Art - Defining My Own Career. She says everything I've been thinking for the past while but could not put into words.

At the show I was also approached by the owner of Ridge West Gallery which is fairly new. She wants to represent my work as well as do a show with me new year. I'm going to meet with her within the next little while and take a look at the space. I also met two new friends Marc & Brian who are fairly new to the village and who own the beautiful Verandah's B&B. They are interested in purchasing a piece from me once all their renos are completed. Really great guys who also happen to be extraordinary chefs. If your ever in the area it would be the place to stay.

Another new venture I'm totally excited about is Tracy Helgeson's new blog The Fine Art Department. Tracy is not only an amazing artist in her own right but also a great supporter of other artist's work as this I can testify to from first hand experience. She is a remarkably kind and generous person. This new blog will be dedicated to showcasing various artist's work plus a link to where you can purchase their art. Check it out and bookmark it if you would like. I have a feeling it is going to be a big success.

Guess I've rambled on enough for one post and I do need to get into the studio. I've got my eye on a couple new galleries that I would like to approach. Recession or no recession everyone loves art.
Have a good one.......................

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Work in Thread

I came across this piece yesterday while I was trying for the umpteenth time to clean up my studio. I had put it in one of my desk drawers and simply forgot about it. It was one of the demo pieces we did at the Carol Shinn class I took last summer. I liked it when I completed it but having had some time away from it I must now say that I love it. You can't really appreciate the texture of this unless you see it in person. Although it only measures 6"x4" the entire surface is covered in layer after layer of thread. Time consuming but well worth the effort.

On the movie front, I watched one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen a of couple nights ago. If you have the chance to see When it is over I promise it will stay with you. Away From Her was directed by Sarah Polley and tells the story with a woman, her husband of 45 years and her onset of Alzheimer's Disease. To me it was a film that chronicles the persistence of love.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My New Love

In August my friend Judy and I were back to school shopping with our kids at the dreaded mall. When we got tired of following them around she took me into Timothy's and bought me my first chai latte.........I've been hooked ever since. So imagine my surprise when I came across Tazo's Chai Latte at my local grocery store. I've been buying it on a regular basis although it is a bit pricey at $6.89 a pop but it does last me for an entire week. Oh, look at me justifying my newest addiction.

John even bought me a hand held frother for my birthday a few weeks ago just so I could make it appear more authentic.

I do have a few rules about my new guility pleasure though and they are as follows.........

I never have one in the morning. It is far too hectic here and I would be drinking it without actually enjoying it so what would be the point.

I only have one a day which continues to make it a special treat.

I almost always have it at 3:00 p.m. while I'm watching General Hospital which is probably something else you didn't know about me. I've been tuning in since I was about ten years old as it was one of my mom's favs. And although it is always quite predictable I still enjoy 3:00pm when I take a break, check out what's happening in Port Charles and sip a chai latte with froth.

On a totally different subject..........we've gotten our fair share of snow. Snapped this photo yesterday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Work in Paint, Wool, Silk & Thread

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Art Appreciation Day in The Village

City Streets
Work in Paint & Thread

Lately I've been working on a local event which will take place in the village on November 22nd from 11 to 5pm. We are calling it "Art Appreciation Day".

Last summer the President of our Community Association approached me with an idea in which we would celebrate the overwhelming amount of talent in this area as well as make a bit of money for the community association. Since I agreed this was a great idea I was put in charge. This is a scary thought because I am not what you would call organized. I think the intention is always there but the end result never quite matches up. This morning I was trying to find an email address for one of the artists which I had scribbled on a piece of paper but then I have about 75 pieces of paper here on the computer desk. Haven't found it yet but I did find a chocolate bar left over from Hallowe'en which was still quite tasty.

Back in the studio I do have two pieces I'm currently working on. Dwellings is a piece I'm extremely happy with. When I first started working on it there were a few times when I thought I might give it up as I just didn't feel it was coming together properly. In hindsight I'm so glad I didn't because I really love it. That seems to happen with much of my work. The second piece I haven't named yet but it is a landscape with a hell of a lot of trees. Believe me all that thread work is time consuming. I'll post when they are completed.

So if you happen to be around our tiny village on November 22nd and are looking for original art for your home, we'll be there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And today the world smiles as one

Monday, November 3, 2008


Days Like These
Work in Paint, Thread, Wool & Silk

So yesterday was my 48th year on this planet. Yup, another birthday has come and gone. For as long as I can remember I've always spend some part of the day reflecting on where exactly I am in my life. This year I made a conscious decision to not do that. Instead I chose to just "be". Sounds easier than it is but I really wanted to spend an entire day just moving through it and living moment to moment.........appreciating how very lucky I am. I wanted to enjoy the simple things that often get neglected in everyday life.

John and I spent the morning getting the backyard ready for winter. Putting away outdoor furniture, dumping dead plants that I forgot to bring in before the frost came and raking some stray leaves. Kissed the girls "goodbye" as they left for a school conference which will last for a few days.......hugged them just a little bit tighter than usual. Spent a small amount of time in the studio finishing up "Days Like These". Did a bit of yoga. My friends Kelly and Joan came over and we shared a bit of wine and a lot of laughs....simple things.

All my friends on Facebook left "birthday greetings" and I received phone calls from close friends and friends who live further away. I have been thoroughly gifted in my life with wonderful, thoughtful, kind friends. At times I don't know where I would be without them. John made dinner again last night....delicious. Afterward we watched an old movie and wondered how the girls were doing..........simple things..........just simple things