Sunday, November 29, 2009

I’d Rather Be on Bird Time

We’re heading to the airport in about an hour to pick up Emma. She left Maun in Botswana on Friday night and flew to the country’s capital, Gabarone. From Gabarone she flew to Johannesburg, from Johannesburg to London (an 11 hour flight) and right now she’s somewhere over North America heading on home. In all, Emma will have spent 22 hours in the sky over the last couple of days.
Somehow flying seems way more efficient if you’re a bird (or even a monarch butterfly). No need to worry about luggage restrictions, customs, airline strikes or missing your connection. Maybe one of these days we’ll have figured out teleportation and will be able to get from Toronto to Botswana in the twinkling of an eye. On the other hand, I guess the longer it takes the more aware you are that the world is a very big and very varied place. All this ruminating about flying makes me think about I’d Rather Be on Bird Time—a mixed media canvas I did a couple of months ago. I didn’t name it until I’d finished because I really didn’t know what I was doing with it up until the moment when I added the birds. But somehow I think my birds appreciate the unpredictability of it all.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Extra-Ordinary Jolly Christmas Sale

Our annual Extra-Ordinary Jolly Christmas Sale—organized by Karen Arts—will take place on Saturday December 5th 2009 from 10 am till 4 pm at the Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue, Toronto Ontario M6S 3H9.
I will be selling mixed media art, digital prints, collage sheets, new CDs of images and my book: Creating from the Inside Out.
Here’s a list of the other artisans and their nifty creative stuff.
Karen Arts – Works of Arts
Beautiful and unusual gemstone bead and silver, one of a kind jewelry
Carmi Cimicata
Resin, paper and fibre embellishments, buttons, magnets and baubles
Mary Ambrose
Eclectic / vintage style jewelry and home accessories
Marissa Decepida-Wong – MDW Designs
Collection of unique jewelry, hand-made cards and art pieces.
Aracely Cruz
Quilled art and collection of exquisite ribbon jewelry
Sharon Ginsberg
Fabric boxes, vintage, framed tree ornaments, doggie knits
Martha Brown
Soft and sparkly ornaments hand-crafted from fabric and aluminumFor instructions on how to get to Swansea Town Hall, just follow this link.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthday in Botswana

Emma is into her third week of volunteering as a human rights lawyer in Botswana. This is a picture of the faux African hut where she’s living. It has air conditioning, a TV and a fridge which I think is hilarious. I don’t think she ever imagined that roughing it would involve central air, although it is over 90 degrees every day.
Emma celebrated her birthday this weekend by going on a safari to the Okavango Delta with two of her friends. She saw hippos, impalas, cheetahs, lions, elephants and giraffes. At one point she was just a few feet away from two lions eating a baby impala. “If that doesn’t make you a vegetarian nothing will, Mom,” she told me when I talked to her today. Nevertheless, Emma said it was the most exciting weekend of her life. So in honor of Emma’s birthday and the great continent of Africa, here’s a mini collage sheet of mainly African wildlife to download.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lily's Fourteenth Birthday

I didn’t have any Kraft dinner to give Lily for her birthday today, but she seemed delighted with her dinner of cheese and spinach ravioli with green beans and broccoli. One of the great things about having a dog is that they don’t complain about their food. They’re usually just delighted (and grateful) for anything you manage to rustle up. At least Lily is. I thought her appetite would decline as she got older, but no: she would happily snack 24 hours a day if I let her.
There’s no doubt that Lily is showing her age though. Her eyelashes have gone white and she sleeps a lot more. However, she still chases the neighbor’s cat (unsuccessfully of course) and jumps up onto the couch without any difficulty. As anyone with an elderly pet knows, you don’t want to even consider your beloved going. It really squeezes your heart just thinking about the inevitability of it all.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

David and Leigh

David and Leigh are planning a lovely church wedding in Austin, Texas next year, and they had their civil ceremony yesterday at Toronto City Hall. It was a beautiful day and you’ve never seen two people happier about getting married than David and his sweet Leigh. John and I were the witnesses, and Emma, her boyfriend Bryan, my parents, my siblings and most of my nieces and nephews (plus partners) were there too. After the ceremony we all went to the Peter Pan Bistro on Queen Street for brunch. (John and I had our first date at the same restaurant in 1980 so we thought it would be the perfect spot to celebrate).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What do people really want?

Yesterday Jennifer and I had a discussion about participating in art shows and craft sales. We agreed that neither of us could figure out in advance what people actually want or like. When you can do this, then you’re able to tailor your work to meet the demand for what’s hot at the moment visually.
Unfortunately this doesn’t always translate into positive feedback or sales, so that’s why I just follow my own personal agenda and hope that people will get me (although I must admit that I don’t get my own self most of the time).
Take this mixed media piece in my show for instance. The main reason I made it was because I wanted to use the magnifying mirror I’d found on one of my jaunts to Active Surplus with Mary. I don’t know what pleased me more, the serene way in which this work unfolded or choosing the title when I finished: Her Inner Aviary.
So far no one is as enamored of this piece as I am …i.e. it hasn’t sold yet. I really can’t say this bothers me because I have been doing well sales-wise with my show. I also feel that if my art children don’t find their real art home, they’re always welcome to come back and camp out with me—or in this case: roost.

If you haven’t seen my show: Creating from the Inside Out, it runs until November 15th at the Peel Heritage Complex in Brampton. You can click here for more details or visit to see the slide show John put together of my show.