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Archive for July, 2015

IMG_6193I’d been pulling the pair of anatomical hearts out of the stash periodically for years. I’d look at them, think about possible uses and then decide I didn’t love that option enough. Over this past winter a pair of tiny frames came in and I loved that they were small enough to be used as jewellery. While I’ve had a few similar sized square ones pass through my hands, I found the hard edges read as too harsh. These, on the other hand, not only had a great vertical oval shape, but also had lots of in-scale details on their edges. One was just the right size for the smaller of the two hearts. I went with an antique wood backing piece, for the great grain texture, and painted it white. The heart projects forward a bit, but not too much. It is just clearly three dimensional. The chain was from the stash and I was lucky it was long enough since the weight was just a perfect balance to the pendant. It has already been snatched up, but I still wanted to show it off.

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We will be closed this weekend for Saturday, the 18th of June and Sunday, the 19th.

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IMG_6878So we got full confirmation that I’ll be part of the Artists Alley at Fan Expo in Toronto this Labour Day weekend! I haven’t been back since 2012 but had a great time at Comic Con this March. (Fan Expo is much bigger and busier, so I have to expect that it will be quite a bit more tiring) I will be sticking to pretty much only the stuffies since space is so limited. While most will be my usual range of plush curiosities, I’m also indulging myself with making some fanart bears. I’ve been loving the Marvel movie Avengers and couldn’t resist making a few Winter Soldier versions of Bucky Barnes. (there is a whole thing in the fandom about Bucky Bear) The few I brought with me all got snatched up at Comic Con, so I’ve been working on a some more for Fan Expo. (and putting a few of them up in the Etsy shop as well) This is one that I just finished and I especially love his face. The base bear was a limited edition one, so it isn’t surprising that he’s so nice, but the outfit and arm prosthetic turned out really well too. I’ve got a few more one-off pieces that are underway too (I want to have at least one in honour of Agent Carter star Haley Atwell, who is one of the guests) and have been hunting some bits and pieces for them. When you find yourself saying things like, ”Look! I just found the cutest mini sub-machine gun!” you start to wonder if you’re heading down the right path in life…

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raspThe garden keeps developing and it looks like a few of the longer-term investments are starting to pay off in terms of fruit production. One is the thimbleberries. Unlike our everbearing raspberries, they need to fruit on second year canes and it’s taken a few years for them to spread out enough so we are getting more than just a few to taste. The first year canes also seem to be good eating, as far as the bunnies are concerned, and they all got mowed down to under 2′, over the winter. (which was taller than the years previous where they were mostly eaten right down) That doesn’t seem to have stopped them from producing, so the deeper snow is probably why we’re actually getting a crop this year. This was the early morning haul yesterday and I got almost as much in the late afternoon. The berries are much larger, (most are almost the size of a thimble) a bit sweeter but not quite as tasty as the everbearing, but even so it’s really nice to have a decent run a couple of months before the big flood.

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This is probably the simplest of the altered paintings. Finding pieces to work with isn’t actually as easy as it may seem. Part of the hunt is choosing ones that are just bad enough. Georgian bay "after" I don’t want to be painting over works that have any real artistic merit but also am not interested in the truly terrible things that are so often what’s available at the price they need to be. I also only want to work with actual oil or acrylic paintings. With those, it’s possible to properly blend in the overpainting but with prints, it just sits on top and while you may be able to get a decent photo of the finished piece, they tend to look awful in person. On top of all that, it also has to have room for the changes. I like ones that have a sense of incompleteness about them. This was one that worked really well, from my perspective. While it is clearly Georgian bay, and not completely bad, (even with it’s abundance of “happy” trees) the large, empty expanse of water in the foreground came across as boring and unfinished so it made a great canvas for the addition of a “Nessie” style beastie. Georgian bay "before" Painting in the white water ripples around it took almost as much time as the beast, but I think they help tie it into the original artwork and look less like an add-on. (the down side of that is people thinking I did the whole thing, which has happened a couple of times. I think big “altered painting” signs are the way I’ll have to go)

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pink roses

IMG_6700Last year we put in a new flower bed at the end of the path. It was filled with an assortment of different roses collected from other spots on the property. One was an old style high-bush one that had come through the east fence and while surviving, wasn’t doing well in the shade of the large conifers. We weren’t sure that it would make it due to the small amount of root that came out with it, but it got through last summer and showed some growth. This year, it started out strong, set a bunch of buds and has been in constant flower for almost a month. It has pretty, full blooms in a pale pink that are also quite strongly scented. (unlike most of our other roses) Considering how well it is doing and the abundance of flowers after only one year, we’re planning on looking for a support structure for it and the white climbing rose next year.

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