Tuesday, February 28, 2012

i only have a few moments before i'm too tired to form a sentence. but it's been a magnificent day. wonderful energy has been cocooning me lately and it seemed to climax today. tracy has turned off the wax until the trees are green again and although i'll miss seeing new pieces sprouting from her wax womb, there is an excitement about what newness is coming from her. i've begun making reversible children's tunics that work 4 ways and i'm growing ideas for the adult version. today i worked in the studio from 8 a.m. until 11.20 p.m. i only came home a few minutes ago because i knew i must sleep....although i wanted to keep going further into the night. the verve is non-stop in there right now. friends i've been missing stopped by today. and brought their bright beautiful creative children. and my parents came with pomegranates for our lunch. a full and lively day it was.

tomorrow we are having an evening sale. come and drink in the energy. it's going to be a great night. tracy is selling her last batch of encaustic that will be available until the warmer weather. and i have the fun new tunics. as well as all the other beauties we offer. tomorrow, february 29th from 3 until 8. 55 mowat avenue in portsmouth village.

Monday, February 27, 2012

so as the winter drones on i realize that the simple little life i lead has many moments of nothingness. but i love these moments. there is a ceremony and celebration to these moments. like tracy and edgar going for a walk around the yard together. or the morning lemon water. or the cats facing off with a window between them. these are all the little glimpses i share here. and they grow from a quick passing moment to a memory. the brevity and flash of emotion that i share is locked into something a little more special because it was shared. this little blog and the people who read it, gilds my life and the moments i find special enough to photograph or write about or both. thank you!

oops, i almost forgot to mention....our midweek sale is on it's way. this wednesday february 29th from 3 until 8. at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village. i am hoping to have some adorable children's tunic dresses ready.....but i might be jumping the gun here. tracy has new paintings and the energy is electric.....so stop by.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

starting the day with a gorgeous carafe of lemon water is beginning to make me feel just a little cleaner inside. tracy and lisa were talking about it a couple of weeks ago in the studio. and i thought it was just simple enough for me to add to my routine. so i slice a lemon in my favorite 1/2 litre carafe and fill it with water before i head up to bed, cover it with a saucer and leave it in the fridge overnight. and in the morning it's a clean and slightly tangy start to the day. i refill it and sip away throughout the day using the same lemon. and since i'm drawn as surely to the beauty of the glass and the yellow circles and the little opaque floaty pieces, it keeps me coming back. as always, the visual is my strongest draw, but it's good on so many other levels too!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

there are days when the studio is tumbling with extra pizzazz. and today was one of them. the snow fell hard and the lovely laura came for a visit in the midst of the storm. i love the glow she brings. she lay on the bed upstairs in the quilt room tucked under the slanting ceiling while i laid out layers for two big bed quilts. we gossiped and giggled and coloured everything with our irreverent attitudes. i miss her.....she's in montreal now for the school year, but is home for reading week. and regardless of the huge age difference (decades...) we always have such fun.

there was sewing and painting and much hypothesizing today. planning. arranging space and time. cuddles with charlie. all swirling around the little white house.
i have a lip balm i found last week in a drawer or a pocket or the bottom of an abandoned bag. a tiny glass jar with a twisty metal lid. and i've loved using it every morning since i found it. there is a flavor a scent a citrusy fresh combination that takes me back decades. but i'm not even sure to where. i don't know if it's the same flavor as a bonne bell lipsmackers from grade 5 that i loved. or a more sophisticated college version. of if it's the exact lemony-ness of the lemon crepes i would crave in paris. i don't know if i'm flushed with the freshness of a lotion i used when i was with a certain boy who made my heart sing. or a pie i shared with someone somewhere. but this lip balm takes me on a little trip every time it touches my lips. and it's a good and happy and very familiar place that rushes through me, i just don't know the details.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

all winter we have had ghost cats staring in our windows. they just watch me as i work in the kitchen. or as i write my blog. they settle on the wide stone windowsills and usually startle me. and there are often interactions with our cats, sometimes noisy brawls throwing their little bodies at the glass. our neighborhood is full of cats. it seems everyone has at least two cats and they wander freely amongst the yards. i guess our little lady cats who like to stay in during the colder months are being wooed by the braver winter wanderers. stella and telulah accept their windowsill visitors and periodically venture out to the back porch, but they'll stay in for another month or so, even though the weather is so mild.
and as for crabby....our odd little cat that annoys and lashes out and creates havoc wherever she goes, but for some reason is everyone's favorite.... just a few months ago we took her to the vet expecting to put her to sleep because of her horrible bowel problems......and now she has gone from skin and bones to plump and happy and as healthy as i've ever known her to be. and yes, this is her, settled in the bowl i have on the counter full of our napkins, thinking i set it out for her and she belongs there entirely.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

now there is light in the sky when i open my eyes in the morning. the days are swiftly becoming longer. there may be quilts on the line again soon. edgar and i are venturing out on morning walks again. but it's still cold. and the lake is open....it didn't freeze at all this winter....and in 8 sundays or so, we'll probably have screens on the windows. and the sounds of summer beginning to tune up.
today i'm making quilts. for orders. quite a few. i took the weekend off and now i'm feeling a bit stressed. i had hoped they would all be done by mid-week, but that's tomorrow and i don't see that as even remotely possible. so the holiday was lovely, but i must find my groove again.
while edgar slurps his water and the garbage trucks rumble past and the sun sits up straight for this new day, i am happy for this new and shorter week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

the sun is strong, hitting my eyes and distorting everything i try to see. there is a cat purring behind my head. and otherwise, silence. the house is still and sleeping although it's almost 9 am. on a monday. but it's a holiday. and holidays are really a delightful thing to find in february. a morning that can begin slowly. and build the way you want it to build. shaping the day instead of letting it be shaped by all the things that must be done. we are out of coffee, so i'll boil up a pot of tea. and wake up tom by starting to run my bath. the sound of water flowing through pipes and hitting porcelain is surprisingly loud. the clawfoot tub tucked in it's corner of our bedroom with a table of books. mavis gallant. proust. those go-to books i can pick up and enjoy for ten minutes anytime, but never read through to the end. the perfect start to a holiday monday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a mild morning. i'm still drinking coffee and puttering around as i try to clean the house. i made crepes for breakfast. and in the process smashed my bodum. when i make crepes it means i'm feeling settled and content OR that my usual feeling of contentment has slipped away and i'm trying to re-claim it. today it's the latter. however, the morning crepe making may have worked. tom is off to work. i'm still in the tanktop and underwear i slept in. edgar is fed and having his mid-morning snooze on the sofa. a sudden swirl of snow has come from nowhere and is drifting around the windows in snowglobe fashion. and i'm in my favorite corner with coffee and a laptop. i'll get back to work soon. but for this moment i'll just enjoy the feeling of a cozy february weekend morning.

Friday, February 17, 2012

paris has been holding my hand the last 24 hours. just walking along with me. she does that sometimes. the sky is marble, sitting behind stone structures and clipped winter trees. and when i arrived at the bookstore last night in the midst of rain and temperatures that were neither pleasant nor miserable, a pile of newly arrived mavis gallant books smiled at me in the back room as i was hanging my coat. i picked the top one and tucked it under my arm. and soon i was underlining although it wasn't mine yet. but it was mine. i just hadn't handed over the money yet. wonderful stories and wonderful words and it all drips maniacally with paris, without necessarily being set there. it's like paris sits on her shoulder and pecks little bits of itself into her flesh so it bleeds like a virus into her words without being seen.
i hope she stays with me all day....paris, and now mavis too. they add an extra layer of artfulness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

today the light along the lake kept me briefly in it's spell. i had a touch of spring fever. the day was warm and foggy and april-like. and i kept finding reasons to leave the studio on little missions. which isn't normally the way i work. i'm happiest at work, finishing project after project, knowing that tom or one of my amazing friends will come by with coffee or a bagel and a few minutes to visit. but today i was flitting around town banking and shopping and shipping and enjoying the energy of the day. but i did finally settle in and get quilt tops finished. and tonight, i'm exhausted, not sure that i'm writing coherently, but i needed to put some words down before i slept.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

we are just a couple of days away from valentine's day and love is in the air. although the rebel in me is strong and i shy away from holidays that dictate a certain celebration...i love valentine's day. maybe it's the gloomy frozen time of year, but i find a shiver of excitement all day. i remember as a child anticipating my father coming home on valentine's day. it was always dark outside by the time he arrived home. but the house was lit and cozy warm. and he would burst in the door with roses and a big sappy card for my mother. and a bottle of childish drugstore perfume for me with candy and a card. there was a quickening in the air. an extra charge.
i have been making valentine cards all week. little handmade cards and envelopes. and origami collage valentines. i asked a friend to try using some of my papers in her skillful origami folding. she made me a bag of winged hearts and dropped them off yesterday. and i immediately got to work finding ways to make them quirky and kitschy and edgy and fun. vintage images. words. little handprinted notes. they are adorable and are part of our sale today.
our studio is open today, sunday february 12th. the little white house at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village. from 10 am until 4 pm we'll be open for you to find lovely items for yourself and the ones you love. sam olan has a gorgeous guest exhibit of photography you won't want to miss. we look forward to seeing you....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

the moon walked me home last night. it sung behind the trees and pulled me along it's tunnel of light. i'm missing the moon this morning even though the sun is bright and the air is tranquil. still i will count the hours until i see her again tonight. she has mastered me, the moon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

tonight i didn't leave the studio until about 9.30. i'm trying to maintain a balance between my family and the workshop. but there is a magnetizing energy there that builds swiftly on itself, and i find it difficult to extricate myself from the glowing rooms with towers of books and fabric and possibility. i've been making little collage pieces this week. small and accessible, finely chosen and formed, but still edgy and quizzical. there is a tabletop of these little beings ready for our sale on sunday. they feel like they breathe, these little creatures. oddly beautiful. singular and familiar. and untitled. i have a hard time finding their names. i'll make more tomorrow, i feel them tumbling from me.

stella sitting upright on the iron floor grate, with a rush of hot air moving her fur and forcing her eyes closed as she soaks in all the warmth. edgar loudly slurping water from his bowl. the washing machine upstairs a muffled circular sound through the floor. my hair is damp on my neck and i'm eating an orange, trying to find a rhythm in today. i have an appt and a few supplies to buy before i can get to the studio. and that throws off my groove hugely. i'm happiest, rolling out of bed, into yesterday's clothes and straight to the studio. the rare times that actually happens are my best days. productive and electric with energy. yesterday i was pumping in the paper room. so many great image connections were happening. the potential is always there, it's just my job to notice the magic and put it all together. i plan to re-claim that energy today.

i believe my groove has been found. and i'll go spend an hour in the paper room before my appointment and get the supplies afterwards. thus intercepting the desperate feeling of losing the entire morning. so, off i go!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

i think edgar might have given me a cold. is that possible? he seemed under the weather over the weekend. and his nose was running. and now my throat is getting sore and scratchy and i'm coughing and just feel like one of those crappy colds is invading. i have a bowl of organic kiwi.....i'll eat those and maybe the punch of vitamin c will make a difference.
i've been in the paper lately.....my paper room has a strange sense of organization, that is really anti-order. i find precious little scraps that i've saved my entire life. and it is a random joy to find them. there is no spot for me to find them next time. they will just work their way to me when it's their time. and i won't know when i'll see them again. yesterday i found a lovely little slip of a paper that was my entrance ticket to a zagreb museum in 1987, and i found the tiny tattered box that held my grandmother's little tin of tiger balm from the 50s or 60s. an ink drawing of a torso that i did 15 years ago surfaced yesterday as well. and a long and detailed letter i wrote in 2003 but didn't mail. and then the images that i've cut and saved for a decade or more. each one i recognize like a friend until i finally choose it to glue into an image. and then it's energy changes entirely. then it has been chosen and it loses it's individual identity and becomes part of the piece. it's fascinating.
i've been organizing the paper room to make it function better for me. spreading it over two rooms is what i needed. so there is a room to make a mess digging through the piles and cutting and letting paper fly everywhere. and there is a room for gluing and doing the detail work. it seems to be working. a wonderful little collection of collage was born yesterday and i feel there will be more today.
this sunday, february 12th, the studio will be open from 10 until 4. come visit us at the little white house at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village, to find lovely affordable gifts for your valentine. tracy's son, sam will have a photography exhibit of hearts found in nature. and to make it more of a gift....he's donating a portion of the proceeds to an animal charity (i'm not sure which one...) we are looking forward to a lovely day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

the week is starting. the little white house across the yard that is my studio is calling. and i'm readying myself for the day. my fingers are sore from hand sewing my little fabric vessels. they continue to bloom from me. in the evenings watching tv or a movie or last night during the superbowl or even visiting at the neighbors...i have a little bag of thread and scissors and my fabric wrapped cotton rope. and i'm building vessels.
today i'll work on collage in the studio. cutting and gluing and arranging pieces to make little slaps of art. our studio will be full of artful and subtle and unassuming hearts for our sale this weekend. little items that have been stripped of the forced media soaked romance that is easy to find. we will have little bits of art with an organic flow. perfect valentines. maybe a little whimsy. photography that makes you smile.
our sale is on sunday, february 12th. the doors of the little white house at 55 mowat ave will be flung open at 10 am. and we'll be there until 4. make us part of your sunday outing and you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

i woke up this morning and read for a little while in bed with stella on my chest staring into my face and tom sleepy breathing beside me. the sun was up and bright already. it felt like a proper saturday morning. i slipped out of bed and came downstairs. i let edgar into the yard. and i poked around on the computer, reading blogs, sorting through photos, shaking the groggies out of my head. i heard the bed creaking through the wooden plank floors upstairs as tom got out of bed and found his slippers and his favorite brown hoodie. he just came down and smiled at me and sang nonsense words to edgar. he kissed my head and played with edgar's ears. and started to fuss about in the kitchen, feeding edgar, making us coffee, loading the dishwasher. i can smell the woodsy sharp flavor of coffee swimming through the air now. tom has made me laugh out loud a few times already. it's a good morning. i'm sipping coffee. tom has turned on a sports show and told me we're going for a little drive soon. and meagan just texted me, inviting us to come for crepes. the day is in full swing and i have a feeling it's a good one!

Friday, February 3, 2012

this week i've been a little off. i was sick earlier in the week and just couldn't seem to find my footing after that. this morning the house is humming around me nudging me back. there is sun and mild air and i will sing my way into the day. although edgar barked me awake a little too early, my tub is running and i can feel the day rushing into me. so i'll get the happy in my blood and start making stuff again. valentines is just around the corner and our sweeties need presents. so, i'm sipping black coffee, tasting a mild paris february day in every sip, and am off to make an astounding mess in the fabric room. i'll be a vision of loose threads by the end of the day.

next sunday, february 12th, the studio will be open. there will be a lovely and subtle valentines theme. and wonderful organic art hearts from emerging artist, sam olan. we'll be welcoming you from 10 until 4. now i have to head off and start working.