Sunday, September 30, 2012

Milton Antique Show

Wow, where did today go? I wanted to post some pics of the outdoor antique show I attended for two hours yesterday morning but the day has flown by so I'll make this quick.

Another cool shot from one of the displays in the Tattered and Torn booth. I always stop in to see these ladies, they have such beautiful displays and amazing pieces available (sadly, usually out of my price range), it's always a treat to look around and see what they have on offer.

I could have gotten myself a statue of David but decided to leave it behind for someone else. :)  I was more tempted by the gold chairs!

I loved this hoosier cabinet - you don't usually see them with the flour bin still intact!  It was (I thought) a steal at only $695.  Again, way out of my price range...

Loved the colours in this 70's cookware display.

It wasn't until I went to take this picture of this doll house that I saw the ledger sitting beside it through my viewfinder.  Of course, I immediately picked it up and bought it!  It's from a dry goods store from the 1940's, very interesting to read the various entries.

One of the dealers tried to sell me this windmill which was standing above his booth. Only a dollar, he said.  I told him if he sold it to everyone who came by his booth that day, he'd be sure to make a lot of money over the day!
And yes, as my friend Kate Mckinnon says can always be found at every flea market, there was a jaguar!  This one was rather regal and adorning the base of a funky lamp.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lives Lived

I feel like that was the theme of my day today.  It started with an 8 a.m. visit to an outdoor antique show in Milton.  I only had two hours to look around (will share the details in tomorrow's post), but seeing the type of things that are on sale at these shows always makes me wonder about how the people who used to own them lived their lives, and how they'd feel knowing these items were now on display and for sale, about to become a found treasure for someone else, so many years later.

Like these wigs - who wore them and to what events? No doubt they were dressing up for something special.

Who used this typewriter, filled these suitcases, sat in this chair?
Goodies on display in the Tattered and Torn booth
By 10:30 a.m., I was having brunch with my mom and our cousin Kathryn in Cambridge, where we caught up on the family news and discussed genealogy while eating a fabulous brunch at Cora's, a restaurant chain that serves yummy looking concoctions that look like this:
Kathryn's waffle, buried under fruit and whipped cream
We then headed to the church where the memorial service was being held for our cousin Laurene, who passed away last week at the age of 86.  This was the main reason for getting together today, a sad occasion but also pleasant and interesting to see family that we don't see often.  Stories were told, tears were shed, hymns were sung.  It was a nice service and hopefully a comfort for her immediate family.  At the reception afterwards, there were many, many family photos on display, including this one of the dearly departed Laurene as a child, which I love:

Afterwards, my mom and I went to the cemetery to visit my grandparents' and great-grandparents' graves.  Alas, we couldn't find the one for my other great-grandparents - hopefully next time!

As always, we also stopped at the headstone of the Canadian woman, Millicent Milroy, who claimed to have been married to Edward VIII (who more famously married Wallis Simpson) when he was visiting Canada in the 1920's as the Prince of Wales (you can read more of her story here.)

Ah, yes.  Isn't it interesting how the lives we live are full of connections, mysteries and stories that are often left to be told only by the people and things we leave behind.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Belle's Turn

It was momma cat Belle Neige's turn to be spayed today.  All the momma cats that I foster eventually have to be spayed, once their kittens have stopped nursing and their milk dries up of course.  Hopefully before they go into heat again (Maggie was the only one who has done that since I started doing this last year - what a terrible few days that was, for both of us!).  That way, there's a finite number of kittens being born, we're helping to stop the cycle of stray cats getting pregnant and having more and more kittens.  Now we just need to find homes for these little darlings!

She didn't like being in the carrier or the drive to and from the vet, but everything went fun and she seems quite happy to be home again.  She's been eating and drinking and even chased a little bit of paper across the kitchen floor for a few seconds.  The rest of the time, she's been tired and ready to sleep but purring loudly when I pet her.  I put her and the kittens in their room for the night a bit early tonight so we can all get some rest.  We were up early this morning so I could take her to the vet by 8 a.m. and no food or water after midnight last night, so now we can all get back to our regular routine.

I've told her she doesn't have to go back in a carrier or in a car until it's time for her to go live at her forever home.  She seems fine with that arrangement.
Such a pretty girl!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Switching Gears

After 4 fast-paced, colourful, energetic classes in 3 days with Dina Wakley at Bizzy B over the weekend, it was time to switch gears on Monday night (after working all day) and head to Articulations for my second week of drawing class.  When I arrived, I explained to the teacher that I wasn't sure how I would do, seeing as I was already feeling completely overstimulated and exhausted (in a good way) from the weekend.  As it turned out, slowing down to draw in black and white seemed to be a good thing for my body and soul.  It forced me to switch gears, relax and focus.

First we worked on drawing things with texture, like this feather, using ink and bamboo brushes and charcoal:

A roll of string, a dishwashing scrubbie (stretched out) and a shrivelled up orange were my next subjects.

Here's a closer look at the petrified object that used to be an orange (which Beth forgot in the bottom of her knapsack years ago!)

After the break, we drew tonal scales from light to dark. 

Then the teacher Beth and Mikki, one of the store owners, set up lighting so we could sketch eggs and their shadows.

Beth took this picture of me while I was drawing.  I was so focused on my egg, I barely noticed!

Here's Marilyn doing the same thing:

I thought I would be tired but the three hour class just flew by and I felt a lot more energized by the time class was over. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday with Dina

To finish off this past weekend, I took two more classes with Dina Wakley at Bizzy B.  In the morning, we made a bird journal.  We decorated the pages and the cover using several of the techniques we had learned in the past 2 days, using acrylic paint, stencils and Dylusions inks mostly, then painted our birds (can't tell you how, you have to take the class to find out but trust me, everyone ended up with beautiful paintings!) and bound the books together.
Front cover
Inside flap
Back cover
Inside back covers
Here's Dina doing a demo.  As you can see, her hands are moving fast - that's how she works.  "Done is better than perfect" is her motto and by golly, it's a good one!

After another delicious lunch prepared by Kelly Belton (who also took part in both of Sunday's classes!), in the afternoon, we made an accordion book that featured tags decorated with encaustic wax. I had taken a class in collaging with encaustic wax in the past but that was using a melting pot method (pots of coloured wax melted and then painting the collage images onto the surface of your piece).  In this class, we used special irons that are made for encaustic wax.  Much less fuss and quite easy to use. 

Here's Diane, hard at work starting to decorate her tags.  She and I sat side by side for all 4 classes. laughed a lot, shared supplies, etc.  Now we're bonded for life!

Paris was the theme of my little booklet.  I had brought collage items with me to go with that theme and here's how the little booklet turned out:
It ties up prettily with a

I stayed later after class and decorated the reverse side of the book with French/English dictionary text, as I didn't want to leave it plain:

I am pleased to report that I finished all 4 projects from the 4 classes I took with Dina.  That is definitely a first for me and it's so nice to have the finished items to show my friends and family when they ask, "what did you make in class?".

All in all, it was a great weekend, many thanks to the staff of Bizzy B, who did a fabulous job hosting this weekend, as usual.  I had lots of fun hanging out with my tablemates - Daniza, Diane, Keitha, Lorraine, Annette, Susan and Mary - and really enjoyed learning from Dina, who makes her projects fun and easy to do.  Looking forward to her next visit to Toronto, hopefully it will be soon!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Paper Towel Free For All

How a foster mother discovers that the kittens are now big enough to jump up on the dresser where the paper towels are kept - when she comes home to find this:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Journaling with Dina

What a wonderful day we had yesterday, art journaling with Dina Wakley at my favourite store, Bizzy B.  We first decorated six journal pages, which took most of the day, and then assembled them into a journal and decorated the front and back covers.  Once again, Dina kept the class moving at a quick pace and once again, I am thrilled to advise that I actually finished the project.  So glad not to have another U.F.O. (unfinished object) in my collection, which often happens after a class, despite all my good intentions.

Here are some pictures from our day:

Gathered around for a Dina demo (classes are usually smaller at Bizzy B but the demand for this one was so great, they added more people and a second journal class on Sunday morning!):

Daniza (who works and teaches at the store) showing me one of her pages:

A delicious lunch was provided for everyone in the class (just one of the special perks offered by Bizzy B when you attend one of their all day classes) by Kelly Bolton, one of my fellow Journal Junkies:

A group photo of most everyone (except Vicki, who was somehow in the washroom when this photo was being taken, and some of the ladies who had left a bit early) with their books:

The front cover of my journal:

My journal pages, which look like nothing I could have imagined creating before today and now I can't wait to make more!
the writing on the left is one of Dina's stamps - love it!

Flowers painted by Keitha. I accidentally used
her painted page instead of my own to cut
them out. She graciously forgave me and I
am forever in her debt.

This one is so not my usual colour palette and
I'm excited about the result!

The back cover:

Me and Dina with the little book I made in Friday night's class:

Two more classes with Dina today, I know they will be equally fabulous!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Winter is Coming

Not only is this the motto of the House of Stark in my current favourite books, the Game of Thrones series written by George_R._R._Martin, it is also a fact of life for us Canadians.  We live with the knowledge that summer won't last and sooner or later, the cold weather will return.  It happened this week actually, the temperatures have definitely turned cooler and we know in our hearts that those hot, humid days have come to an end for this year, although hopefully we still have several more warm days ahead. 

But before the snow arrives, we first have the season of fall to enjoy.  It officially began today, on the autumnal equinox.  (Don't you just love that word, autumnal? I do.)

I took this photo last night of the front of someone's house.  I love the combination of the colours in the leaves of the tree, the green in the windows and the white stone lit by a spotlight - it suggests the three seasons of summer, fall and winter to me.  Life is rarely black and white and this time of year, the weather is just as unpredictable, as one season passes into another and a third approaches.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dying for Dylusions

Tonight was the first class in a weekend of fun with Dina Wakley at Bizzy B.  We made the cutest little journal book from just one piece of paper:

And there were extra tags left over.

Considering that we all started with a very clean slate, the fabulous colours of the finished result were such a treat for the eye.

Here's my buddy Annette, whom I was pleasantly surprised to see tonight after a year or two since we last took a class together, showing what was to become the cover of her journal.

Here are some of my classmates hard at work. That's Dina on the right hand side in the paint covered apron, supervising our efforts (I'll get a better photo of her tomorrow).  She's a great teacher - very easygoing and encouraging.  She kept the class moving at the perfect pace to be sure we could all finish our books by the end of class.  Her motto is "done is better than perfect".  I like that!  And she was clever enough to know what to do when I realized about 10 minutes from being done that I had decorated the inside of my book upside down - oops! (surely I'm not the only one to have done that?)

Already my fingers are looking a little crazy and there are still two more days of using the Dylusions inks to come!  Oh well, nobody said making art would be tidy. :)