Wednesday, March 29, 2006

V is For Vital
Having been smitten by the movie trailer, A. borrowed my husband's aged copy of V For Vendetta - a yellowing hardcover of Alan Moore's & David Lloyd's totalitarian nightmare. She's getting a taste for edgy literature (gone thru the Neil Gaimon canon and now she's onto the Watchmen). She enthused so greatly, I decided to read it too as a preparation for the movie. We promised, as a reward for getting out of school early today, we would go to a matinee to see it...I have to admit, since my son gave it a big thumbs up, I've been as eager as A. to check it out.
Cavillers may protest, but I think the movie & the book compliment each other. In his intro. Alan Moore even asks for forgiveness for the mistakes of his youth - so any 'liberties' the director took with the story arguably made the movie stronger.
Hugo Weaving's marvelous enunciation was spellbinding even through the grinning mask and finally we saw why Natalie Portman has received so much acclaim for her acting over the years (we could never figure what the buzz was about having only seen her in the Star Wars movies where she plays a clothes hanger). The whole cast was great - John Hurt (looking more & more dissipated as the years go by), Stephen Fry, Stephen Rea - all brilliant! Beautifully done - with a lot of the imagery taken directly from David Lloyd's drawings. Read the book AND see the movie - it's the only way!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Quilt Show
The much-looked-forward-to Neilson Park Quilt show has finally arrived. Two years feels like a long time to wait for such an excellent show. Well worth the five bucks entrance fee. I took my Mom for opening time on Friday & we just squeaked into a parking space. By the time we left, the blue-hairs were hiking in from the side streets. Some city-planner was out to lunch the day they designed the NPCC parking lot...however, 'nuff said.
There were several beautiful large quilts that I would have liked to take home. I wish such a large dose of inspiration was enough to make me sit down and make my own heirloom quilt. One design that I haven't seen before (used in a couple of pieces) caught my eye - the 'stormy sea' pattern - it gives an illusion of wavy lines with the use of different proportions of triangles & squares. One lady used it to great effect in a large blue & green king-sized quilt. I want it!
Needless to say all the galleries were packed & I was finding it hard to breathe. One drawback of displaying so many quilts in such a small space is that it's hard to step back far enough to really take in the full effect.
My congratulations to the tireless and talented ladies who are responsible for the making and the displaying of the 2006 Quilts. Great job!
In other areas of my life - I've been hunched over my table in panic mode - trying to come up with the Next Big Thing for the Simply Friends Craft Show - coming up soon (too soon!) - April 7&8, 2006. We've had to move to Monora Park, north of Orangeville. It's a long way to drive for not very much profit. I think I'm at a point where I have to decide how much this group means to me. I'll give it a couple of shows & then reassess my commitment. Having said that, I'm having fun with my paper pop-ups. I'm going to try my dragon (featured in a previous entry) in a shadow box (keeping China's economy alive & kicking - Buy Dollarama!). My prototype looks pretty cool but needs finessing.
Really though - I wonder why I bother. Dollarama sells not-too-unfortunate cards for a buck, plus all their other craft items and it's just disheartening to think I can compete. I'm surprised I make any money at all. With the Global Market in full swing I think Craft shows as we know them are a dying venue. I hope time proves me wrong.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The other project was crayon rubbings. They were pretty successful too. I really got into them. We cut card stock into images that were glued onto more cardstock and then we did rubbings of them. I also spent a couple of days making my own texture boards using a variety of 'found' stuff (netting from orange bags, punched-out paper shapes, lace, fabric, hole-reinforcers, etc). I found some Crayola 'metallic Twistables' which worked very nicely, especially on black and coloured paper. You could do some very ornate work with this technique. There's a 'Paper Show & Sale' coming up at Neilson Park. Maybe I'll have a go with this technique for something a little different. The hard part will be coming up with subject matter.
Spring Things
This is one of the projects we did in the Early Years Workshop. A paper bird multiplied by 3 & hung on strings to celebrate the return of the spring birds. The best part was using my nifty paper punches (ovals, stars, tiny circles, flowers & hearts) to perforate the birds some cases almost to ribbons. Working on their fine motor skills.
Equinoxal Ills
I've been sick for the past three days - a migraine that went bad, if that's at all possible - I mean migraines are bad enough. I have to be careful at this time of year because it doesn't take much to make me sick and I think a combination of factors did it to me this time. The Chinese have a 'Change of Season Soup', so it's not a 'just-in-my-head' malady.
It's been a busy week starting with our Lady's Art Playgroup on Sunday. I was the featured guest artist & we did Pop-ups. Although there were only two people who showed up, it was fun and it's always encouraging to share other people's enthusiasm. We started out with maniacal bunnies and progressed to cats, chickens & other Easter fancies. Now I have to figure out a way to package these creations for my craft show...make some money.
Monday & Tues. I did art workshops with Ontario Early Years - a drop-in program for parents & children (infant to 6 yrs). That was good. Haven't been in the company of young moms (& 2 dads) for years (since I was at that stage!). I enjoyed the dynamics of the group & once the kids warmed up to a stranger in their midst, we all had a good time. Much easier to do this with the parents on hand - I could sit down & let them worry about discipline and helping out with the things the kids couldn't do. I way over-prepare for these things because I never know what to expect until I'm there...but it usually pays off (because I'm prepared!).
This being the March Break - I took A. out Whitby for a familial walk in the wild. Always a good March Break thing to do. And it was wild - windy, cold and lots of busted ice floes for my nephew to whack with his stick. We came home muddy, wind-burned & with some cobwebs blown out of our brains, as well as a good appetite.
Yesterday A. was taken by her other cousins for a few days of country living. It's what she lives for! Actually, she'll probably go shopping, swimming & watching movies in town, because her cousins like to ESCAPE the country living.
Today I recuperated - mostly in bed. P. was off to painting class, the college boy was off to college and I was disinclined to do much of anything, still being short of breath and head-achey. Fortunately I had an excellent read to keep me company - a pithy take on the working (as in career) woman's life. "How Does She Do It?" by Allison Pearson. A breathless & sometimes claustrophobic ride on the Working Mom's Rocketship. I have no experience of this kind of life, but I'm finding it a fascinating read - Ms. Pearson is a helluva good writer. All this reading won't do my headache any good, but at least I'll feel like I accomplished something today.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Fir Tree
Six years old
Apron of spring green,
Stiff dark petticoats beneath.
The breezes bade her
Curtsey to me.
Bottle-brush fingers
Tickled my face.
Her skirts brushed the grass
As she dipped and swayed.
Bare toes dug
Into cool, black earth.
She admired her shadow
And smoothed her skirts.
(Her sisters scolded
Her teasing ways).
But I could see
She just bristled with joy
For all of being such a
Stiff little maid.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I entered a conte drawing in the EAG Member's Choice Show on a whim. Three years of getting back into Life Drawing has produced a huge stack of work and that's only one night a week. P.'s pile is even bigger - it's starting to take over the bedroom. Someday we'll have a two-storey bed!
Anyway, I was thrilled when a lady phoned to buy my piece. I have just delivered it today and apparently it will hang with her Muhlstock nudes. I am honoured. My humble sketch will be in very good company. Don't think I'll quit my 'day' job to do the fine art thing yet though.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I have the Calligraphy Guild to thank for my latest foray into paper-folding. They had an amazing show of envelopes decorated and addressed with calligraphy. It was beautiful and intriguing and their next show was the contents of the envelopes. One lady had created a folded paper dove with calligraphy written all around the wings and the base. I was smitten! Always a closet origami folder - this was another aspect which I had never thought about. Of course the web is rife with paper-folding/pop-up sites, but I went my own merry way, hunched for many days over my desk and now I give you some of the results. It is a very much a work in progress (as are all artistic endeavors) but already I've done a few workshops, with more planned for people who are as excited about this art form as I am.

Thursday, March 02, 2006