Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking for Plastic Ants

We were looking for plastic ants the other day. We found a lot of plastic spiders, the butterflies were plentiful as were ladybugs, roaches and beetles. We even found crickets, but not an ant in sight.

I remember bags of plastic ants. Guess kids don't like ants much anymore.

Someone mentioned an Ants in the Pants game,
that maybe we could get ants from that. But there weren't any of those around either.

We settled on ant stickers which ended up being the best choice. This was all for an office prank for C's office. I was just along for the quest. It brought us to a few stores I never go in. One of these was a party store. They came close for ants. They had a miscellaneous bugs bin. No ants. What they did have were

(poor) Key West substitutes: printed vinyl scenes for your wall - 4' wide.
I have to admit I *loved* these especially this one

the wall of water

I'd need this palm to complete the look.

These were other looks


full body suits - look at that pose
Do you think it sells this product?

A pimpstick.

children's high tech weapon

children's low-tech weapon

small bag of babies for those of reproductive age

reminders for those advancing toward post-reproductive age

imagine getting this

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Visiting Hillary House and the Koffler Museum of Medicine

This historical site is to provide me with the inspiration for anywhere between 1-4 artworks to be shown at Hillary House as part of their 150th anniversary celebration this year. As one of the artists selected I will be given access to many aspects of the collection usually off-limits to the public. I need only decide what I will focus on. There are a lot of angles this project could take.

Aurora Ontario's only historical site: Hillary House and the Koffler Museum of Medicine. Celebrating 150 years this year it was the home to 5 doctors, 4 who practiced in the house itself. It was also home to the Doctor's family and many children grew up here, primarily the Hillary family.

Nora Hillary, the last resident of Hillary House.
She lived here from 1902-1993.

Consultation, examination, and surgery room at the front of the house for the Doctor in Residence. This stool was a three legged "lancing stool". The Dr. would sit backwards on the stool, resting his elbows on the back of it so he could steady himself while performing minor surgery.

Tools for the removal of tonsils; basically clamps to grab the tonsil and remove it. The 1914 price list on the wall showed separate prices for this surgery done with or without anaesthetic.

Excision of tonsils (in office without anaesthetic) $10.00 and $15.00

Excision of tonsils and adenoids (general anaesthetic) $20.00 and $30.00

elaborate staircase

well-worn step at the top

"Square" piano recognized as the earliest known piano by a Toronto maker John Thomas Morgan circa 1850

Portable melodeon: a piano-like small reed organ. Dr. Robert William Hillary would transport it to dances and social events where he would play the violin and his sisters or daughters would accompany him on the melodeon.

really intriguing lace pattern

Victorian era flush toilet.
Hillary House was possibly one of the first homes with indoor plumbing in the area.

Portable bathtub made of metal

Electric light switch

Westinghouse Toaster circa1915-17

very nice ceramic teapot

One of several postcard advertisements.
I am very interested in the items in this scrapbook, and all of the postcards in general.

heading out after my visit over more well-used stairs

Sunday, March 11, 2012

8, 9 10 and the 11th of March, in Richmond Hill, 2012

The last few days were super-cold.

Snow off and on.

Even a white-out blizzard that came up out of nowhere on Friday.

And then we have today.

I saw a sign that said it was 21C here. That's really warm. The temperature gauge in the car said 18C at one point. The radio DJ kept saying 15C, but I already knew it was warmer than that. I was restless in the house and wanted to get out for a while. I even had a project in mind. More on that later.

So, I've spent the last few days just trying to settle into Richmond Hill again. It's unexpected, but I felt a bit of fondness for this place.

I love this storefront.

How weird is that? I know I was happy to be flying into Toronto and not Ottawa.

The great big city down below me just felt full of possibility.

And, in my continuing pursuit of a print a day, (yes I am still going to keep my word on this), I am getting out and taking pictures of stuff that I find interesting. Here are a few images.

linocut print submittied to the Ottawa School of Art Mini-Print Exhibition

scales made of raw clay
the start of a large scale project

Geese at the Richmond Hill Canoe Club

Lake Wilcox yesterday

cold sun


Houses in the neighbourhood are selling almost as soon as their signs go up
I wonder how many will be replaced with megahouses?

Warm day today but they are hedging their best with that parka

Friday, March 09, 2012

Look! Here's the next occupant/AIR of 607 Ashe Street-my beloved Studios of Key West cottage

I found the link to a blog by the new Studios of Key West artist in residence. Susan Lenz, a textile artist, now residing in the cottage I left a mere week ago.

I was really intrigued to see how her studio looks when she works. I was so worried about getting black ink onto those cream and white walls, doors and bathroom floors.

Her space looks s colourful compared to when I was there.

LOVE her creations. Take a look: here's her blog

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Hillary House 150th Anniversary Exhibit

While in Key West I came across the call for submissions to the 150th Anniversary Art at the Manor exhibit in Aurora.

Aurora is about 20 minutes north of where I live. The Manor is the only official historical site in Aurora with a history of medical doctors occupying the site. They lived and worked there. The house is full of artefacts, documents and paraphrenalia. As a participating artist I will be allowed to spend some time with the obects that interest me in order to create a few prints expressing my own interpretaion of the site.

I'm really intrigued by this project.

More information on Hillary House can be found here

The images below are from their website. Soon I'll see them, and more, in person.

family momentos


for medicinal purposes

Hillary House, Aurora, Ontario