Monday, December 10, 2018

1+1+1 Ceramic style

This is my latest ceramic project for the glazing course I took with Linda Swanson, a leading expert in glazes and a might fine teacher.  This is my ceramic abacus,  I had to create coloured glazes from scratch using the chemistry I learned in class. I created nine glazes using various formulas. Then I created test tiles as t-shirts, pants and shorts. Once they were fired. I put them onto kids' abacus so you could mix and match sets. I built the entire thing tackling power tools plus the mystery of chemistry. Mad fun.



Friday, October 26, 2018

The risk of eating like a frat boy

The heartburn, the gas, the bloating, feeling sluggish and jiggly, followed by the pimples. (Even more gross when you add wrinkles.)  It's my own fault. I brought it on myself eating like a frat boy for two weeks.

Why. Did. I. Do. This? I got lazy. I got tired. I got busy. But there is also no denying that the classic Western diet combo of fat, sugar and carbs is delicious. It's the payback that's a bitch.

This summer I ate mostly fresh veggies and fruit straight from my garden and added micro-greens from the local farmer's market. It was delicious and energizing. Keeping to that diet is harder now that gardening season is finished and I just can't walk out the door to grab a tomato on the vine or some kale from the garden. Grabbing fast food was easier than getting my tired ass out of bed on grey Saturday mornings to compete with the hippies over microgreens before they sold out.  

But it does come with a price for the mature stomach.  Lesson learned.  Back to healthy eating and packing my own lunches.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The cure for bureaucracy.

It was a summer and early fall battling City Hall to save our last forest on my little island. Politicians have a special way of sucking energy from you. The cure for bureaucracy was ceramics. This is the first time I have every thrown on a wheel. The goal was to produce some slightly wobbly various degrees. I learned that glaze is a wondrous invention.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Inspiration from Diana Nyad

Assignment #3: Create a figure
I was inspired by Diana Nyad, especially her historic swim from Cuba to Florida. This woman is fierce! I wondered what it was like swimming that distance, alone, throughout the dark night with a possible encounter with sharks. Unexpected visitations became a metaphor for depression, and how it can pop up suddenly while we are swimming through life. However, because I an optimistic that depression can be handled, it's in two pieces so there can be some distance between the great Bummer Shark.

Making an ancient object modern

Ceramics Project #1
Challenge was to make an ancient object modern. I choose the Mayan Corn God -- one of the younger and prettier deities. This how I imagined this hip, cool God hanging out in the 21st century.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Eulogy for 2017

Goodbye 2017. The year of petty annoyances for me and much more egregious problems for others.
Goodbye to the year I turned a glorious 60 with an excitement and contentment I never believed possible.
Goodbye 2017 and to my somewhat gentle lessons made more difficult through stubbornness, hubris, and skepticism.
Goodbye to a year where imbalance took over to show how much we need steady hearts and compassionate minds. A year filled with tackiness, lies, collapsing morals and crumbling dignity. Where brutal honesty was needed but difficult to maintain.
Goodbye 2017 and your prickly lesson that there is a longevity deeper than this human made circus. Flowers still blossomed, and birds still arrived.
Goodbye to a year that asked me to trust in balance being restored even if I can’t see it or know it may not happen in my lifetime.
Goodbye to a year that asked me to stay in the moment, soak up the beauty of the present as it slips quickly into the past.

Goodbye 2017 and your dead, bloated mythology that no longer serves anyone.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to get more abundance in your life

What to feel abundance in your life? What to get a present everyday? Something that makes you feel good, saves you money and keeps you healthy?

Plant a garden. Whether it's flowers, vegetables or herbs, a garden lets you experience abundance. Step outside your backyard or out onto your balcony to see what is being offered to you that day. Maybe it's a sweet flower, aromatic herb, fresh sun ripened tomato or an oversize zucchini.

It's a gift for you. Everyday.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My sweet sweet Tilia tree

I had no idea that the flower from my Linden tree just outside my front door makes such a delicious tea. The smell from its blooms is so, so lovely.

My Ukranian neighbour came over and asked if she could pick some flowers. The Tilia tree is called Lypa in her country and July is known as Lypa month because all these trees are in bloom.  I was delighted to share them and she showed me what to use for tea.

I wait for my Linden flowers every year as a highlight of summer. The sweet smell is carried into the house by the breeze. It's so intoxicating it makes you stop in your tracks to breath it in. One small branch in a vase is enough to fill the house with its scent.

I find other neighbours standing near the tree just sniffing. They look up sheepishly if I come upon them suddenly. I usually go and stand with them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Springtime demolition

Rotten wood
Wobbly floor
Families of mice, ants, bees, wasp, skunks in the shed
Neighbours gazing disapprovingly
At the sunken roof
Peeling paint
The fence lies broken
On its side
like a beached ship
Weeds poking through its bones
It's time to renovate. 

At the coffee shop

Heat has forced us inside to air conditioned coffee and better decor than at home.  I'm eavesdropping.

In one corner are huddled the beautiful milleniums sipping their expensive coffees paid for by mommy and daddy who are busy drinking their own coffee at work. The girls high pitched laughter directed at the nearby boys. They laugh and gossip about classmates, moan about their crabby teachers and explain how life sucks since it's exam week.

The staff leans on the counter, sipping their free iced coffee while scrolling. They look up if someone coughs for attention. 

The stay-at-mom gang just came in with their thousand dollar strollers that tear things off the shelves.  They roll around the tables and seats like tanks with cuteness at the front. With healthy smoothies in hand, they compare complaints about the boredom of babes in the burbs. Out come the phones to share pinterest recipes or take pics of sleeping offspring for mommie blogs. Crying infants break up the group amid sighs of resignation.

A couple are courting in the armchairs, sweetly hesitant, exchanging information meant to impress. They sip their lattes between awkward silence.

The coffee machines purrs in the background to the rhythm of the streaming music.  Summer in the suburbs.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Well Designed Life: Pink Tartan’s Kim Newport-Mimran

I had the pleasure of interviewing of Kim Newport-Mimran who is the inspiration behind Pink Tartan, clothing for the busy working woman.   

Check out the article here in the December Women of Influence.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Falling in love with a tomato

I fell in love this summer, with a tomato. I planted a heritage variety called chocolate cherry. These are a dark reddish brown tomato with a firm skin. They pop open with a warm sweetness. There is nothing more sensual that a sun-warmed tomato oozing flavour the minute it hits your tongue.

I bought groceries at the big chain supermarket for the first time in several months. After picking fresh veggies from my garden all summer, the supermarket version looked half dead.

We take away one of the key pleasures in our short human lives when we substitute industrial processed food. Most of us have forgotten the sweet joy of the backyard tomato or carrot.

It's another one of those simple pleasure slowly being eroded from our lives as we hurry through life pursuing some ridiculous idea of living imposed by stupid would-be feudal lords.

Revolution through gardening. I like that idea.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Look, I've been busy

Collage: After the Gym

Lying in bed. Just finished my upcoming interview with Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the founder of Pink Tartan. I've got dirt under my nails from gardening and hauling debris from the shed torn down. Just finished my preliminary drawing for a new sculpture. I passed my intermediate French course, still can't pronounce ├ęcureuil. Then I remember. blog...OMG...I abandoned you. How can I make it up to you?? Maybe invite you over to Facebook or Twitter? I know it gets lonely here.