Monday, December 31, 2007

Bye Bye 2007! Hellooooo 2008!

New Year's Day Do's and Don'ts

Avoid breaking things, crying and wailing on the first day of the year, if you don't want to continue the pattern for the entire year.

Babies born on 1st January is said to be the luckiest of all throughout their lives.

Do not let money, jewelry, precious items or other invaluable things leave your home on New Year Day. Do not pay loans and bills or lend things to anybody, if you do not want to show just-entered fortune the way to leave during the year. People go to the extent of not taking out garbage or even not dusting their carpets on this day to ensure that nothing goes out of home during the year.

Dress well throughout the year by wearing new clothes on January 1.

Evil One and his attendants and servants hate din and loud noise. So, scare them away by being as loud in New Year celebrations as possible. Church bells are rung at midnight for the purpose too.
Full larders, cupboards stocked up with food and wallets and purses full of money bring prosperity in New Year.

If you have to deliver presents on New Year morning, leave them in the car since New Year Eve on December 31st.

If you must take something out from the home, let someone come with the present inside the home first.

Never leave the home before someone comes in first. First footer in the house should be ushered in with a warm welcome and should not have flat feet, cross-eyes or eyebrows stretching out to meet in the middle.

Pay your bills and loans before New Year Eve, so you don't have any debt left for New Year.

People do not wash hair on New Year and wear festive red clothing for happiness all the year round.

The direction of wind during sunrise on New Year morning prophesizes about the coming year. Wind from south foretells fine weather and prosperous times ahead, wind from north foretells bad weather, wind from east foretells famine and natural calamities and wind from west foretells plenty of milk and fish for all but death of a person of great national importance. No wind means joy and prosperity throughout the year.

Token amount of work on first day of the year means advancements in career but starting out a serious work project is unlucky on New Year Day.

Washing dishes and doing laundry on this day is said to lead to a death in the family during the year.

These superstitions courtesy of

Made Fresh Today- Dec 31/07- Queen

Of A Regal Nature

This is a free-standing sculpture, approx. 5" x 2", of a queen and her kitty. I rarely make things like this out of friendly plastic, though that's what the material was developed for: sculpture. I have wanted to create 3D objects more often but the time pressure of shows, and school, and orders don't leave a lot of space for research and development.

January is as close as I get to real down time and usually I like to just snooze the month away if I can but really, I should take advantage and do some R&D. This January I'm going to try to do some of the experiments that have been rattling around my brain. You never know what idea will be a really great one. And in my experience, you have to get a lot of bad ideas out of the way before the good one comes along, kind of like getting warmed up you know?

Anyway I like this. We'll see where it leads me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Season's Greetings

Christmas is past and the New Year is almost upon us.
I just wanted to say Hello to anyone who's reading this and I wish you a great 2008.

Christmas Cactus 2007
size: 1" x 1/2"
materials: friendly plastic & glass beads

Illustration Friday: Soar

Just like Dorothy and Toto, you can soar unexpectedly and reap benefits never even imagined.

This is my first contribution to Illustration Friday
It is made entirely of friendly plastic, 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size.

Day Olds - Dec 29 2007 - Swamp Things #1 and #3

I made these years ago, maybe 2001? Maybe earlier. 1998? I had just started experimenting with drawing and painting and mixed media. I remember that I was selling in the lobby of the General Hospital here in town, and I had several different subjects in this style. They were all triptychs, as in a series of three related pieces, all made in this way. I had giraffes, dragons, moose, frogs, fish, cats and dogs. All of them had friendly plastic accents. Some were more successful design-wise than others. For what they were, there were a lot of steps. I haven't made these since. I do lots of one-offs, lots of experiments, and I usually just bring them to a show, hopefully sell them, or if I don't, they come back home with me and I misplace them to be found years later.

BTW I was at the General Hospital with my friend Tim of Mobius T-shirt fame and we loved going there to sell as they had THE BEST HOSPITAL FOOD ever! I know, I know, this is really not what you expect, but their scones! OMG they were to die for... oh. Probably I shouldn't say that when talking about a hospital eh? Hmmm.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day Olds - Dec 28 2007 - The Queen Bee

I started cleaning my place today. I always find doing this very overwhelming and I never stick with it long enough to make a real change.
I hope that's different this time, time will tell, but the best part is finding things you forgot about. This piece falls in that category.

Oh my Queen Bee. She's all that and a bag of chips.

She measures an impressive 2 1/2 feet tall x about 2 feet wide. She's made of masonite that I cut freehand with a bandsaw. I then gessoed the masonite and painted it with acrylics and glued it together with wood glue and used a lot of small clamps to keep her pieces in place. Her shoes, purse, crown, antennae and facial features are all made with friendly plastic.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

All I did today was stare out the window

So I went to bed last night wondering if it was really going to snow as much as they said it would, this being 45-60cm, almost 2 feet of snow in the next 24 hours. When I got up and saw a 4" band of snow across the windowsill of the bathroom window in the second floor, I thought oh oh, the weatherman is right today. We all know they're sometimes wrong. But not today.

Looking into my backyard, I watched all morning as the snow overtook my solar lights, which I probably should have taken in by now, but they were useful to mark the progress of the snow. What you see here is a good foot of snow over the course of the day.

Kitty X lives in a whole other strata. 3 feet from the ground is her point of view. She won't go out into the snow at all, but she likes me to open the door so she can peek out the screen into the backyard. She sniffs the air, and this counts as "going out" to her and that means when she "comes in" she gets kitty cookies in her bowl. So we go through this game a few times a day. By the late afternoon her view was totally blocked.

She gave up and pouted.

Meanwhile at the front of the house some guy decided he was going to drive in this. Uh huh.

Every 4 feet the car got stuck, spun its tires, dug in deep, and these two guys grabbed their snow shovels and dug him out. Every three or four feet. I have no idea how far this guy got. You'd think he'd stay put, but no. Some people will not let a little weather stop them. I hope he took his shoveling minions with him.

I did at one point open the door to get a real look at poor Santa Star!

I put this Christmas decoration out for the first time ever this year. I've had it over 10 years I think, a fabric stuffed Santa with a black poodle on his lower half (nothing says Christmas like a black poodle folks!) and after only a week out he gets totally dumped on by the snow.

*sigh* Santa Star I know how you feel.

I just hope we get a sunny day tomorrow.

Thank goodness it's Winter Solstice soon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It came to me in a dream

Well. After much worry I finally retrieved the images from my memory card that I knew I took but didn't show up! Why I was desperate to do this was to show you this.

Friday night after the first day of the Carp Xmas Show I came home and the house smelled like gasoline. I live in a row of townhouses and the heating ducts are common to us all so when they repaint a unit, we get the full force of the fumes. The last time that happened I woke up in the middle of the night with a giant throbbing headache. So when I woke up at 4:30am Saturday morning I just got up. What was good was I dreamt this painting. It was on my mind when I opened my eyes and so I just got out the paints and did it. It's on a 24 x 48 canvas. I love it. Why I never thought to invert a character is beyond me but here it is. I can see many more like this and variations of this to come in the future. Thank you subconscious.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Carp Xmas Sale Tomorrow

Well it's my last show of the year tomorrow. The year has gone quickly by. It was a very productive and busy year. A good year. I have my final printmaking class today with my final critique by the instructor. We had our final drawing class yesterday, painting is Friday and photography on Monday. Then, with all this and my shows out of the way, I have to clean the ceramics studio for next semester, and find the time to make presents for friends and family. I'm looking forward to some personal art-making. Even feeling excited about it.

The only thing giving me some doubt is I think my cold may be re-asserting itself.

There have been some wicked throat bugs around and I had one about two weeks ago.

I walked around in my leopard print fleece pyjamas for 5 days,
drinking tea from a fantastic teapot
that I didn't make but did get to glaze
when it wasn't claimed for three semesters at school and destined for the garbage can. Too beautiful for that I saved it and finished it. Even with all that beauty I still felt awful.

And now I feel it in my throat again. I feel really tired again. And all I want to do is sleep but I have work to do so I have to work. And to that end I'd better go before my energy gives out. Better find some chicken soup. Ah! What better than Winnie the Pooh and chicken soup, together again?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Replacement Moose for School of Art

After selling my moose at the school art sale, I was required to bring a replacement for the empty spot it left on the gallery wall, so here's a second moose showing its lovely face.

Moose In The Hood is your young, or your casual moose, dressed comfortably in a black hoodie. Back in the day, we used to call this style of top a kangaroo top... anyone else remember that?

And now for the weather

When I left for school yesterday this was view down the row from where I live looking north to the neighbouring yards. Snow and more snow. I thought my class could even be cancelled but having missed my 2 classes for the term I have to get there or fail my class, so I got there. In the Byward Market in front of the school it looked like this
and looking into the market it looked like this

If you look you'll see someone with an umbrella. I never know what to think of people using an umbrella against the snow. I suppose it'd be good to shield you from the wind, and I guess the falling snow, but it seems very ineffective somehow, and just another thing to deal with on top of the extra layer of clothes, the mitts, the hat, the scarf... is it really all that much of an advantage to use the umbrella in a snowstorm?

And when I got home this was waiting for me

a snowy doorstep and nowhere good to put my coffee down while I searched for my keys
standing calf deep at the
trying to get in the house.

Most winters I've gone through the whole season wearing running shoes. This is a winter boot year for sure. Unless it all melts soon...

A girl can hope.

Bathroom Surprise

So at the show I find the bathroom, and here, in this very careful school, full of things of wonder for the children, I find a box of wooden matches in the bathroom near the "No Scents Allowed" sign that's in the bathroom too. It struck me as odd... you?

Friendly Plastic for the Show

Lest you think I am not making friendly plastic, here's an artsy view of the sunlight kissing the shiny surface of my offerings at the last Christmas sale I was at. Lots of new designs for me, no chance to get pictures as it's been go-go-go, straight from school, to getting ready for a show, to at the show.

Denise Atkinson had her fantastic bears at the show. The brown one had a tongue, teeth and claws. I couldn't resist this photo-op. Look at the drama! The menace!