Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heat, Humidity and a Handbag

     The same thing happens here every year. We get roughly two weeks of damp, hot weather where you need to engage in multiple cold showers and you can't get dry enough to get dressed. I do not have AC. With the size and design of my house, it would cost a fortune, and it isn't feasible anyway, since it's only unbearable for approximately two weeks. There are ways to stay cool, and I've been trying to do just that, felting for short periods of time late in the night when it's bearable to handle wool. Now I have completed this bag. I don't have the handles made yet and will work on those later today or possibly tonight. It's supposed to rain today but there's not a cloud in the sky as I write, so it will be very hot long before any rain comes. Then it will be all steamy again. Please enjoy the pics of this pretty bag. The client ordered the fringe on this shape of bag. It's a large piece so will hold lots of items. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to the Wool

     This week has been a mishmash of housework, errands, doctor's appointments and finally getting to work on a large bag. I had been waiting for supplies to arrive as I was out of one of the colors I needed for this, so I was able to catch up on some domestic chores. I've nearly finished the housework, as I've taken advantage of a couple of less humid days to do it. The spare room and bath has been totally cleaned up and is ready for more guests or house sitters, whatever the case may be. I have a function to attend next weekend, but weather will be the determining factor as to whether I stay over night or not. Unless this week is very dry, I won't be camping as the area is notorious for mosquitoes and I'm simply not putting myself through that annoyance. 

     This large bag is an order I received on Canada Day. I will have the bag completed today sometime, leaving me the ropes to make tomorrow. I've taken some liberties with the fringe, adding some curly locks, not shown here and the client loves the look so far, so curly locks on the fringe it will be. I still need to cut a few holes above the fringe. I've hidden some color inside the layers, so I'm hoping the color will show through at the edges of the holes when I  cut them. I'll post more pics later. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Were There ... and There Will Never Be the Same!

     Wow! That was a great mini vacation. When I headed for the city to pick up Lu on Saturday morning it was apparent the weather was just going to be nasty the whole weekend, but we were going anyway. There was an annoying mixture of fog, rain, steam and intense humidity the whole way down but we arrived in Lunenburg without incident. Our first stop was the Ironworks Distillery on the corner of Kempt and Montague. This was worth the trip alone. Such a neat little place, simply revamped from the old foundry structure. It still looks the same outside, and they kept the old beams and floor, deeply pitted from the burns of hot metal. It's a cottage industry and they can't make enough to supply the Liquor Commission, so they only sell their products at their site. This is a pic of their still. They were working on a batch of rum while we were there. After a bit of sampling, Lu and I both decided on a bottle of cranberry liqueur, which was intense, a bit tart and very tasty. 

    We didn't have any luck trying to get into the annex of the Mariner King's Inn to see the mural by my cousin, Deborah Taylor. It's a private establishment and was locked up solid. I was a bit disappointed, but due to the sweltering heat and humidity, I decided not to try another plan and just hit the road for Liverpool. Lu had brought along snacks for the road so we didn't need to stop for lunch. Liverpool was just as hot and sticky. Between light rain showers, we managed to pick up some groceries and refreshments and headed over to visit with Deb, who, with her wonderful husband, Chuck, were waiting for us with open arms!  It's hard to describe the down east hospitality at it's best, but for the next twenty four hours, we were treated like royalty. (Sorry Liz .. sucks to be you!) They made us a wonderful supper and had their guest cottage all made up for us. Deb had even cleverly installed a tarp and huge patio umbrella over the door and patio area which created a dry place for all of us to enjoy the day, as it was far too stuffy inside the house. We were totally spoiled. Yes it rained, but a good time was had by all. Our friend Loran even came up to spend the evening with us. I'm sure the neighbors were relieved when we departed the next day and headed for Loran's, out on White Point, where it rained so hard we couldn't even get outside, so we watched the soccer final on television and got a great takeout of seafood from a local eatery. 

        Just before we headed back to the city the next morning, we stopped at Summerville Beach. The weather had cleared, but there was still some fog laying around and the water there was icy cold! The air there was a bit too cool as well, but refreshing after the stifling heat and dampness. Neither of us were going in the water though.  It was so cold I wouldn't have been surprised to see an iceburg offshore ... if one could see that far through the fog. Well, in spite of Mother Nature, we had a great time. Our drive back was pleasant and we both enjoyed a visit to a Vietnamese grocery store in Rockingham, before declaring the weekend officially over.  We're already planning our next weekend away as we had such a good time. A big thank you to our hosts: Deborah and Chuck Taylor in Liverpool and Loran MacLeod in White Point. When are you coming to visit me? 

Friday, July 9, 2010


     I just completed this piece. It's called "Watching" and it's a statement about our diminishing personal privacy in current society. 

     This picture was taken with a flash in order to make the pupils of the eyes glow. I used Miracle beads which have this property. The second picture was taken without a flash. 

    The art is a birthday gift for an old friend. It is destined to reside on Nova Scota's beautiful south shore at White Point. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Finally Going to Happen

     I have finally been able to make some  plans to visit the South Shore. I've only been trying to do this for two months now, and one thing or another has popped up and prevented me from making the trip. Whether it's been visiting relatives, visiting friends, art sales, social events or other folk's commitments, there's just been so much going on, that I couldn't get away. 

     I just confirmed with my housesitter, so that save me from dragging the dog along with me. My friend Lu is coming with me. Our first stop is Lunenburg. We want to check out a new distillery there as well as pop over to the Cranberry Annex of the Mariner King Inn  to see the mural by my cousin Deb. We'll grab ourselves some lunch there as well, before heading on to Liverpool. 

Once in Liverpool, we're going to be staying with my cousin Deb at her home and gallery

     On the second phase of our trip, we're going to be spending some time at White Point. No, not at the famous Lodge, but might as well be, as we will be enjoying their beach. On of my dearest friends lives practically on the golf course there and it's just a short skip over the fairway to the beach at the Lodge, only we'll be at the far end of the beach;  the Lodge being at the other end. All we need now is good weather. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Great Canada Day

     I couldn't have asked for better weather! I was able to drag myself out of bed at an early hour, feed and secure the dog for the day, and get on the road early. I grabbed a coffee at Tim's in Elmsdale for the trip in, and arrived at the free artists' parking area early. It wasn't far from there to the artists' area and after registering with the coordinator, I was directed to a table at the far north end under a canopy. It was the only table that had a canopy! The early bird gets the worm! In this picture of the Halifax Dartmouth Ferry, I was located directly behind the vessel. The air was crisp and refreshing, and there was barely an odor from the Harbor. The sewage treatment must finally be up and running. To my right were some painters who had their dog with them, a beautiful male whippet. However, they were in full sun so I was a bit concerned for the dog. Directly across were a nice lady and her son selling t-shirts and bags with fabulous silk screened fish prints on them. I loved the art and found out the son did the design, this was his first selling event and he was going to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. To their left was a pottery table with wonderful, original things of all types.  

     It didn't take me long to set up. I brought a table cloth that just fit perfectly, whipped it over the table, fussed with it for a bit, duct taped it down and laid everything on the table. Still Going Strong, my old ladies sculpture, took front and center position and I hung the purses from the canopy support bar over my head. Looking around, I decided I had the very best spot on the boardwalk! It was only a matter of minutes before two lovely ladies came and chatted with me for quite awhile, then purchased several items. They also took my card for a friend. Great! 

     One of the painters approached me and asked if I would mind sharing my shade with their dog for a little while. I had no problem with that so had a very pretty dog tied to my table for about an hour. He was a people magnet as well. I got to meet a famous former mayor of Dartmouth which was nice. A very nice lady. Quite a few of my friends stopped by and they were very kind to purchase a few items, some of which were a bit higher end. I even received a commission for an interesting purse. I'll be making it next week and look forward to designing it. It's a unique concept based on two of my other pieces with elements of each. 

     In return for dog sitting, I asked the painter to watch my table while I went in search of a bathroom. It wasn't far and on my return I stopped to chat with a very sweet Pakistani lady who was selling lovely treats from her native land, in the middle of the terminal building. I ordered a lentil samosa, and while it was heating up she told me she was 70 years old (she sure didn't look that old!) and was taking the rest of the summer off after this event. The samosa was delicious! When I returned to my booth, and I'm calling it a booth now as I feel very special having the canopy, I'm the envy of the other sellers as they're in full sun. Some have brought large patio umbrellas. Good plan except the wind was picking up. They were beginning to spin at an alarming rate! Then it was calm again. The next few hours were much the same, with occasional gusts that forced me to rearrange my wares and tack some items to the table. 

     The first disaster of the day happened shortly after 1 pm. The young man across from me walked out from between his table and the pottery table. He tripped over the table leg and caused the pottery to go flying! Oh my goodness; what a tragedy! The casualties were the unique but obviously top heavy sign the potters had made, from pottery, with their shop name on it. Also in pieces were a piece that had been on a wrought iron stand. Such a shame. The look on the boy's face was heartbreaking too, as he clearly wanted to die. I was afraid he might cry, adding further shame to his already shattered inner being. His mother came to his emotional rescue and made things right with the pottery folks. I'm sure they were pissed though. For an artist, each piece is dear to the heart, and we constantly hope to find a home for them where they will have the respect they deserve. 

     Another drama soon ensued. Two of the sellers from inside, a young man in a red shirt and an older gent in khaki shorts approached the bicycle police in a frenzy. Red Shirt was using some pretty foul language and saying that Khaki had "laid his hands" on him.  I heard the part where they were beside each other inside but didn't hear exactly what happened. A couple of the terminal security arrived. Could they not find bigger men? These two giants drew looks from sheer size! Red Shirt slunk off back to his table, leaving Khaki talking to the authorities. Red Shirt had been hanging out at my booth earlier (booth; notice the attitude I've developed over this prime real estate) and he was just plain weird. I was glad when he buggered off. Khaki and the Two Giants headed back inside to have a chat with Red Shirt. I saw them later in the day working in close proximity of each other and successfully ignoring their neighbor's existence, so I guess it all worked out. Khaki had the popcorn stand and Red Shirt was selling God knows what, looked like fridge magnets and key chains but I wasn't going close enough to investigate. 

     A great gust of wind came up, sending those aforementioned patio umbrellas airborne. The one shading the t-shirt folks landed on the pottery table, sending more precious pottery to the cement. It was hard to look. I really couldn't watch this. My heart broke for the t-shirt family. The potters only stayed for a little while longer, then packed up and left. So did the painters next to me. I stayed until 5:30 pm, then packed up as well. I was among the last to go and there really wasn't a lot of traffic on the boardwalk by then, as everyone was seated at the free concert or the beer garden. I didn't make any great amount of money, but a lot more than I came with, and the entry fee was so low it was really a great day. Lots of cards were given out to sincere people who were genuinely interested. Overall,  I was fairly pleased and well attend this show again next year.