Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Spring!

February just flew by again and I'm looking forward to the dawn of Spring. These aren't very springy photos, but they have that celebratory feel I was looking for while browsing through my latest pics in iphoto. I can't remember where we got the vintage day calender at the top, but I was thinking it would be a fun way to personalize birthday cards for friends: Take a photo of their day (or age, but it only goes up to 31 so that really cancels out quite a few people on my list) and have a saying like: 'It's your lucky day! Happy Birthday!' since it has images of Reno on it. I'll have to make a few for fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dean is off to Calgary for the weekend (BRRRR, at -18 I didn't envy him!) and I started working on getting some promo ready for the Portobello West Calgary Market in May. I'm looking forward to my 'Calgary debut' as I'm calling it, mostly because I have a lot of friends and some family there and I always feel like my work is going to a good place when I have connections in a place. I have heaps of details to work out for this show- getting there with all my stuff is a major one, where to stay so I am close enough to the Stampede Grounds, how much work to bring and my booth set-up. Lots to get ready over the next couple of is a day to sit at home with my sick boys and hold them close!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretty Poppies!

There were some pretty poppies in the etsy treasury today! Lovely if I do say so myself!
I'll be at Paper 'n Stitch again this month, so come on by and check out my work, click on my heart and buy buy buy! I am giving a little 10% discount on both of my selling sites (discount code 'papernstitch' for my main site, just mention paper n stitch on my etsy site and I'll refund you the difference. I hope to have a few of my new bottle vases out and up on the site soon- along with a give-a-way t.b.a.s!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

March Forward

Well here's a little up-date on the aloe aristata that is currently blooming in my window! I kept hoping the long blossoms would actually open up. Maybe it does during 'midnight' conditions (it's got to be called a 'midnight lotus' for something) and I haven't quite been able to replicate that. They just have this long shape with this tiny little opening at the tip, I guess big enough for a hummingbird's beak to get inside of it. It's kind of mysterious, this plant, and I'll have to chat with Abby at Kermodi about it next time I see her!
Thinking ahead to my March shows..! I'll be busy with my first Painting show opening at the new gallery initiative on South Granville on Thursday, March 5th, 7-10pm. Today I went by the new home for ON The Rise Artist Collective (ONTRAC), and met with Merete Kristiansen, who, as she said, 'has the rolodex to make this kind of venture happen'. I'm really excited about her vision, background, education (Master's in Art Gallery Management ), and connections (Dad owns oldest gallery in Vancouver), and was pretty impressed that she's volunteering to start this up!
My next gig in March will be in conjunction with The Hermit's CD release party and art show, "Turn up the Art" opening March 14th at 8pm-1am at the Chapel Arts.
And at the end of March, I'll be at Portobello West Market for their season opener with my ceramics, March 28-29 at the Rocky Mountaineering Station, from 12-6!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Big 5 and hand-made Birthdays!

I've been planning Sasha's 5th birthday party this week and I can't help checking in with Sharilyn of Lovely Design as she plans her daughter's 2nd birthday. How adorable are those goody bags and invitations! Too cute and so inspiring!

There is something so great about a 'hand-made' birthday party! So far we have managed to keep our parties at home, have under 10 kids come and keep things pretty simple and fun. This year it will be much the same, but I'm still working on a game plan. Not that my ideas will be even close to how cute little Adelaide's party was...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a bit 'o press

When I first sat down to write down my 'business' plan a couple of years ago, I thought a lot about laying the ground-work for marketing what I do. As much as I knew my work might change and evolve, my strategy, more or less, was to make my work look great! So I hired a fantastic graphic designer and photographer, and we created a backdrop for how to introduce my work to the world, so to speak. The thing I hadn't thought of in my 'marketing plan' was promotion. I kind of assumed that if everything looked good and I did my thing to the best of my ability, that the promotion would just arrive on my doorstep, so to speak. Well, this is sometimes the case, and other times, I realize that I need to put in more thought and effort for this to happen. I've been slowly working on this, but today, promotion has landed on my lap and I'm excited to pass it along!

Someone out there in blog-land (her blog has amazing baked stuff, check it out here ) was kind enough to send me a link to another blog that has featured my work called Serendipity and Spark. Thank you to Carolyn for the great plug! I also checked out her blog where she has some great other finds! Nice.
The Federation of Canadian Painters have a painting contest called Painting On The Edge and they want to use my painting to promote it internationally! Last year I was one of 40 artists chosen out of 700 world-wide for their exhibition here in Vancouver, and while I didn't win $2500 (still a bit bitter about that loss), I seem to have 'won' their favour in the promotions departement! Very Nice!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

ON TRAC Artist Collective on South Granville!

I just received word that my submission for the brand new artist collective, ON TRAC (ON The Rise Artist Collective) on South Granville street has been accepted! Our inaugural exhibition will be on March 5th and it looks like I'll be part of the line-up for this new venture! The gallery space, in the premium location of South Granville (right by Heffel Fine Arts), has been leased out to the collective at an amazingly low cost for the area. This is what makes this collective opportunity so unique and great to be a part of: the cost for the artists involved are really minimal and all sales of work go 100% to the artists. I'll keep you posted with show dates!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love is in the air...

With Valentines day in 2 days I am trying to conjure up a romantic Valentine moment to share with you all.
It would have to be back when Dean and I were first married and living in this tiny little house in the middle of a field in Langley (1 Hr from Vancouver) for $450 a month. It was a sweet deal, but as it was, we were usually just scraping by, livin' on love. I came home from school (university folks, not high school) to find red rose petals strewn all over the kitchen floor all the way to the bedroom. I looked at Dean, dumb-founded and horrified, saying: "What happened to the roses? Did the cat do this?"; to which he said: "Isn't this romantic?"; at which I replied: "Is this going to stain the carpet?"
So to all the romantics and pragmatics out there: may you be smitten and heart-warmed over the next few days by the gestures of love that are bestowed upon you! Happy Valentines Day!
With love and warm wishes, h.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Rick...

Jan at Poppytalk had a special request last month asking if anyone had any ideas about how to display/store a guitar collection. I just had to join the Guitar Home flickr group on this one! I don't quite have 12 guitars to find storage/display for, as she does, but we do have quite a growing collection of 2 guitars, one banjo, one massive music man amp, 3 violins, and a record collection that, in my opinion, is out of control. She is once again requesting photos and ideas on displaying guitars, so if you or anyone you know has a little music room that is full of instruments and is well displayed, take a photo and pass it on!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Breaking My Mold..

This past month I've embarked on a mold project with a 'master moldmaker' that has his studio down the street from me (I'd give you his website but he doesn't have one, contact me if you want details). Mold-making and slip casting is quite foreign to me- I am a potter at heart and have always loved making work on the wheel. Last year at this time I met Russell and thought about what it would mean to take some of my designs and make molds out of them so I could produce larger quantities without the same kind of physical labour that throwing involves. However, last year my ceramic studio was all of 190 square feet, and multiple molds take up space on cupboards. Furthermore the whole process of mixing up slip and pouring molds is really different than wheel-throwing and I really felt that my studio wasn't equiped for me to go down that road quite yet.
This year, I have a better idea of which designs I want to invest a mold into and I have the space to embark on this idea, so I took the plunge. Here's how it has looked over the past 2-3 weeks - step one being make a plaster mold 12% larger than the original (shrinkage rate), make lovely and perfectly sealed 2 part mold from plaster master model, part 3, the first pour. So we'll see how the rest turns out- with clay, the minute you change one core element, all the rest have to be considered. Here's hoping I can find a great slip recipe that goes with my current glazes!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Images

I have always had a passion for circles and stripes of sorts. There is something that always draws me in, whether it be organic or geometric, I find something really beautiful about both elements, especially when seen in nature. These shapes or patterns have often emerged in my work and I couldn't help noticing that it was circles and stripes that I was once again drawn to when I was out shooting some photos during our time away this past week.
As for our time away, it was a much needed break from life at home; our kids loved the attention they got from us and we enjoyed the last bit of winter that we got to have up in Vernon with some out-door skating and sledding. Good times, good food, good friends, good kids- it can't get much better than that!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Turn Up (the art)

I'm always excited to get involved in shows when there are some really great people involved! This show coming up in March is just one of those! The Hermit drummer and song-writer, Hamish, lives down the street from us. We started getting to know his family a couple of years ago on our evening walks and bike rides as their oldest son is the same age as ours. Hamish recently quit his day-job to do music full-time and he is loving it. This CD release party and art show has been something he's planned for a little while now and I'm really excited to be involved. It's at the Chapel Arts another great venue in the city- an old funeral parlour that has been converted into an Art and Music Venue! I've been in a group show there before with the Eastside Culture Crawl so I'm looking forward to being back with a new bunch of artists- my good friend Sherri Koop included!
Art show will be March 8-29th, opening night CD release party will be March 14 8pm-1am. You can check out the Hermit's music on their myspace page.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So we are taking off for a few days to go to the Interior of BC to stay with close friends of ours: a yearly tradition for us. It's great to get away from the demands of the studio and just to draw on what is around me for inspiration. Last time we were there I did this drawing with these berries above- just a really quick sketch of the shapes and coloured them in with pencil crayon for colour reference.
It's the kind of thing that I need to do more often: drawing, that is. I wish I could say that I draw daily. Drawing has never really been my strong point- I'd sooner paint or sculpt something than sit down and draw it, but at the same time, I think it is really important. I took a few drawing classes during art school, and when I moved the studio I had to go through all my stuff again and sort and sift through the stacks of drawings: what to keep, what to throw away, what is relevent, what is really bad. I was pretty ruthless. When I'm good and famous it will be tough to say I threw stuff out- stuff that might have been worth more than the paper it was on. But by then I'll be dead so it won't make any difference for me:)

Midnight Lotus

I bought this 'aloe aristata' for my dear at christmas-time from Abby at kermodi living art . She is at Portobello West Market and there is something really special about how she chooses plants and pots together. Nature itself is so lovely and beautiful- Abby has a special way of finding these most amazing plants and then growing them in such a way that is truly an art in itself. What is also cool is that without a lot of care on my part, this little plant is now growing a little shoot from the centre and I think it's actually going to flower! I'll be sure to take a picture when it does as my blue thumb might be bursting with such pride that it might actually turn green.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Well it takes a little while for me to get from here to here. But it's all up and the site looks all fresh and ready for a little while now, thanks to a few key people. Anyways, go and have a looksy at the new photos- you've probably seen a number of them here on the blog and on my selling site, but still- it's great to see them all together up on the website. (Something about checking this one off my list of things to do in the new year feels like I've really accomplished something, not that I did the photo editing and up-loads, mind you, I just co-ordinated and paid for that effort to get done...)