Sunday, November 27, 2011

Xmas 2011: Gifts I Don't Want to Give or Receive, mostly.

Jungle Animals in a Dew Drop puzzle

that's a big drop of water or those are teeny tiny animals... and are they trapped? are they sad?


Girls Pink Spy Kit

it's pink so... not as serious? Doesn't she look smug?
I've got a secret...lalalalala


Alpha Pig

Try Me = the hammer moves a-little-bit


Rolling Stones Monopoly $29.99
Metallica Monopoly $39.99

what's with the price discrepancy? And why are the Metallica guys cartoon figures?
I *almost* want this though. I admit it.

Metallica Monopoly tokens

Rolling Stones Monopoly tokens - I like these


Garden Gnome to paint


Senior Moments game

okay. I don't want to play a game where no one remembers anything or who went last or where you left the scorecard or your glasses or when you last played a game like this... maybe if you're in the market for a game like this then you may be old enough to enjoy


Elvis Bingo

but I won't cast stones as the bands of My Youth are also bingoing
Gen X we now have

Kiss Bingo

as it says "two classics rolled into one"
"is there nothing Gene won't put his name on," my shopping companion remarked


another songster was discovered an aisle over
this was the only action figure in the Super Stars series we could find
this was series 3 btw--more research needed on this I think

A Cool Dozen Ice T's $2.99

we mused how 12 Ice T's would make an awesome army
lined up on an office desk
but spending almost $40 on Ice T figures just seemed a little decadent

Ice T action figure explained


Scary My Little Pony Set

not-very-ponylike #1

not-very-ponylike #2


Wooden Doughnuts

very Canadian

Wooden Doughnuts: used for math, not for the microwave (says so in the small print)


Family Guy Operation

a lot of people like Family Guy
I can't say I am a fan but it has a few moments


Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie Boogie Operation

this *almost* came home with me.
Nightmare Before Christmas is in my top 5 films
ultimately I thought, I am not 8 so I left it behind

Doorprize and Best of Show at 2011 Richmond Hill Potters' Guild Sale

The Doorprize: Red-Nosed Reindeer
stoneware, cone 6 Tucker's Oilspot glaze, metal rod legs, stained glass base


Best in Show: Shark Platter
stoneware, cone 6, studio glazes

Friday, November 25, 2011

Better to Apologize than Ask Permission - Kinmount Shoe Trees

Blogging is a strange communicative form. Most of my posts get a handful of views but some like the one I wrote about the Shoetrees of Kinmount have steadily drawn eyes to this blog week after week.

Kinmount Shoetrees circa 2008

I got an email from a reader advising me the shoetrees were destroyed. On the orders of one local town councilman the trees were cut down. There was no public consultation just a man and his opinion and his ability to get the job done. The trees now only exist in photographs and memories. Here is a recent picture of the shoetree site:

Kinmount, where the Shoetrees were, 2011

There, that's better right? Right??

Shoetrees, like authentic farmers' markets, spring from the zeitgeist of the community. They just start and someone else comes along and says whoa and they add their two cents and then the thing becomes a Thing and people love it because it is Real, not commercial, not "planned" but a space people feel is theirs to add to and to participate in. I was one of the tourists who parked on the side of the road to see the shoes. I guess I contributed to the worsening of the asphalt, one of the reasons given for getting rid of the messy eyesore. I never did get to add my fuzzy slippers or my flip flops to the tree.

It seems to me this is a missed opportunity for the local town. They should have sold postcards and t-shirts and had some local artisan create "make your own shoetree" kits instead of just destroying them. When I drove to Florida this spring we came across a site that reminded me of
Kinmount. In South Carolina they celebrate their local version of the shoetree called The Mystery Tree on Edisto Island. The site made it into Roadside America which directs people to areas to see interesting things when they are on a drive aka tourists, tourism, a local economic boost in these difficult economic times.

Edisto Island Mystery Tree
Image found on the

More background info here:

But I suppose the Kinmount trees were an eyesore to those who had to see it all the time. Many people don't like anything messy or disorderly or spontaneous. That's all risky business that. In fact is it downright Troublesome. Better to have peace, calm, flat, empty, open space...nothing to see here folks...move along...

More about the Kinmount shoetrees and their demolition here

My Life imitates My Art

One Bird in the presence of Another Bird

Indoor Kitty sees Outdoor Kitty

One Bird Noticing Other Bird

Indoor Kitty and Outdoor Kitty about to meet eyes

Richmond Hill Potters' Guild - Fall Sale Today thru Sunday

Today is the start of the three day Fall Sale of the work by the members of the Richmond Hill Potters' Guild. I was helping out with the set up of the members' work and there's some really good stuff. Honest.

Guild Hall: pre sale set-up day
Note the unique environs with all our wares perched atop looms!!
So many looms in one room!!

I made a bunch of things based on the idea of the Messenger. Since this is a public sale it's only happy messages this time round... the theme may carry on in other art media in other venues, but for now here are some of the things I made:

You Are My Island
close up of center of large bowl

You Are My Island large handbuilt bowl approx 24" diameter
stoneware, cone 6, underglaze and glaze

Messenger birds en masse

Two messengers of mine

Red Bird, handbuilt, wonky, cup and saucer set, made by me
cone 6, stoneware, glaze, underglaze

Fellow guild member Diane Thompson also made birds

As did Bev Turnbull

Garden Guardians by guild member Jeff Shortt
I am in LOVE with these characters.
For me they are the best in show.

Happy Happy Joy Joy.

Hope to see you at the sale this weekend.