Tuesday, 29 April 2014


with people is one of my favourite things to do, and the Saturday playshop in Cranbrook was no exception. At Creative Display and Design at the College of the Rockies there were 9 newbies to meet and a student with whom to reconnect.

Prior to the start of the three-hour period, I re-designed my 'booth' so it more closely resembled a dog's breakfast.

 Would you like closer look?  It doesn't get any better!

We spent some time working on right brain/left brain exercises including a Mind Mapping exercise centred around their chosen product.  The colouring was obviously a favourite - see how intent they are?

After a intense discussion about what constitutes good design and eye catching displays, the participants took some time to list all the things that were wrong with the display - well over twenty items without even thinking hard.  What worries me is that they enjoyed it so much!

I could tell from the exercise and the stupendous list that they thoroughly 'got' the principles, and you can bet that those retailers and marketeers will have fabulous displays when they put their own together.  Can't beat that for focus!  And the best part?  I've some new friends in Cranbrook and environs.  

Friday, 25 April 2014

Arts, culture, crazy heads and tea....

...what a dynamite combination.  Alison Bjorkman's Tea Party at the Ingham Centre this past Tuesday evening was a delight for all the senses.

With an amazing array of teapots created these past months in a new range of glazes and styles,

there was one,

 after another 

after another to lift and test.  Best of all, they were all gorgeous.

It was another chance, too, to check out the Crazy Head show.  This Day of the Dead head is Andrea's homage to the Mexican celebration.

I ‘Ave an ‘Ead Ache
Ceramic, LED lights and a wee bit of gritted teeth
by Andrea Revoy
I very much enjoyed this dual brain head from Brandy Hunt.

Left or Right? by Brandy Hunt (left brain side)
Left or Right? by Brandy Hunt (right brain side)
And I can see that Alison has a darker side to her - caught me unaware!
The Grim Reaper Hits the Road
Scarf, upholstery materials, really big earring
by Alison Bjorkman
 This luscious silk head is yummy - I LOVE the hair!
Screwed, Blued and Tattooed.
Head;  Silk, screws, string, indigo, logwood and myrobalam, dyes.  
Base; mixed media, fused glass.
by Anne Fetterly (head), & Janet Holder(base)
Maureen and Audrey obviously had a blast with this one.
Bird's Eye View
Vintage birdcage, feathers from a boa and a whole lot of sex appeal
by Maureen Cameron, Audrey Herridge
 Words just cannot describe - must be seen to be believed, and appreciated!
Dahling! If you must!
Extreme mixed media awesomeness by
Jacqueline Wedge

Nightmare Nightlight
Ceramic by Sandy Kunze
This 'nightlight' really makes me smile - can you imagine a child waking up to this?!

These heads and more (I managed to miss a couple -  and you can check out my Roadside Crosses entry here) will be auctioned at WineArt on Friday, May 30 this year.  You will definitely want to be there to bid on your favourite, taste some terrific wines and support the Rotary. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Arts and Culture...

...everywhere this week in British Columbia, not the least of which is at the Ingham Centre here in downtown Creston.

Home to the 'Gluten Free' and 'Crazy Heads' shows, it's chock-full of fabulous artworks.  In the Gluten Free show, participants include Bruce Paterson, Sandy Kunze, Andrea Revoy, Alison Masters, Anne Fetterly, Alison & Bart Bjorkman and Claudette Osterreicher.  Here are some of their works:

Anne Fetterly's onion-dyed fabric panels
Alison Masters' work

Andrea Revoy's weaving
Andrea Revoy's clay chandelier
Alison Bjorkman's new line of tea ware - Tea Party tonight!
And if that's not enough to whet your appetite, you can check out some of these Crazy Heads:

Watch for more photos on Friday, including some of Alison's Tea Party.  In the meantime, I do hope you get down to check it all out!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter on this Good Friday...

With the moisture in the air outside (read morning rain/hail), it's a good thing to be playing in the studio.  I've been making a card for a special milestone birthday from Gelli prints.  Luckily, Bill doesn't follow my blog, so I can post it even though it's just going in the mail today!

Bill loves country, so the boot was a perfect choice for him.  And I can blame the whole thing on Alice, his wife, who is a good friend, a fabulous artist and a card-maker extraordinaire. She's the one who taught me the joy of receiving a hand-crafted card in the mail.  

I started with a boot line drawing from the net, sized to fit the card,

and cut out a Gelli print outline with a craft knife.

I can use the cut-out for a mask the next time I need a good kick....whoops, I mean a boot.

Choosing a complementary Gelli print on a thin mulberry paper,

 I cut out the boot base and 'frilly' stuff (don't tell Bill I said that), with small sharp scizzors.

As you can see, I'm very tidy when I work.

After adding some inked lines, it's ready to glue on to the card.  Do you like it better on the cool ultramarine Gelli print,

 or the warm blue/green cardstock?

I went with the first choice, 'cause Bill is such a cool guy!  Happy birthday, Bill, and an extravaganza of many more more to come! 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wasn't that a weekend?

It certainly was for me, as my first attempt in years at choral music came to an end.  No, they didn't kick me out (but it was oh, so, close!).  The Blossom Valley Singers held their two spring concerts on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, tea included.

With the production master-minded by Eva Beaulac, how could this historically-themed event be anything but stellar?  Eva created centrepieces that portrayed various segments of the Creston-area history, and they were gorgeous.  Like miniature paintings, each one was so filled with tiny embellishments one could have spent hours just viewing them alone.  From children's dolls

 to a reading nook,

a homey kitchen,

 and a fruit-filled basket from the orchard, each of the 22 tables were a feast for the eyes.

 Even the 'darker' side of the gold and silver rush came into play,

along with subtle reference to the water-logged flats.

It amazed me to learn that the bulk of these items came from Eva's own collection...I think she's my new best friend if I can just get her to give me some of her 'stash'.  Can you imagine the mixed media pieces that could be created from these?

The concert itself was beyond fun.  Woven together by song and incorporating everything from the history of mining, farming on the flats, the coming of the railroad, and more, the program was skilfully MC'd by Tammy Hardwick from the Creston Museum.  

One of the highlights for me personally was the opportunity to see the gentlemen of the choir serving tea during intermission.  Apparently this is traditional, and as far as I'm concerned, it's one that should carry on until forever!  I think Gary and Alvin look smashing in their pinnies!

Ruth Huscroft, a direct descendant of one of the original families in the valley, entertained us with her song of homesteading.

The mens' quartet was pure delight, with Norm Dyck, Phil Olney, Elvin Strand and David Handy battling it out in song over softball and cherries. 

I think we look very spring-like in our pastel pink scarves here, and don't the men look hunky in their bow ties and vests?

When the men don their railroad caps (and where did those pink ladies RR caps come from Caroline Martin?), they added the perfect visual to the Railroad Song.

There's a decided change in flavour as the scarves come out for the Barn Dance portion of the program.

Monte Anderson, our estimable accompanist, takes a well-deserved bow - he's wonderfully talented!

You know we're having an awesome time when the whole choir is bent over double with laughter as our incomparable leader, Anita Stushnoff, does it again (we're not sure what she did, but it's inevitably entertaining)!  

Thank you all for such an entertaining and music-filled season.  Thanks too to John, who took many of these photos, and persevered (I suspect with earplugs) through practice sessions at home.  It's been a wonderful experience.

While I'm here, a quick reminder about all the events going on this next week for Arts and Culture week in BC, not the least of which is the sneak peak of The Head Show at the Ingham Arts Centre here in Creston. I hope to see you there!

Friday, 11 April 2014

It's so ugly,

...even a mother couldn't love it.

It all started when I tore back into the studio to burn some Tyvek stencils, which is always fun.

I even like the cut-out shapes - think they'd make good masks.

The first photo above was originally an aborted attempt at a Gelli plate technique I'd not tried before - it desperately needed rescuing. I think the white knight should have been shot at sunrise, don't you?

I had rather more success with some other Gelli prints.  I'm a huge fan of circles and reds, so this one pleases me immensely.

John encouraged me to use an old lace pillow cover on a test drive - love it!

And now I've got a mystery I'm hoping you can solve.  While having tea with Andrea Revoy the other day, she showed me this little goody she found in her yard.  Man-made?  Organic?  What the heck is it?

 About four inches long and an inch or two high, it's surreal to the max.

There's a prize for you if you can tell me what this is - and make me believe you! (Don't ask me what - I've no idea yet!)

If you're out and about near Creston this weekend, I hope you've got tickets to the Blossom Valley Singers concert.  There's no prizes there, but definitely fun music!  Happy weekend, all.
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