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On November 22 and 23rd, I’m going to be in Kitchener City Hall as part of the Altekrea show. I’m bringing the stuffies, the steampunk jewellery and a few other things I’ve been working on. There is going to be quite a mix of artists and I’m looking forward to it since I missed the festivities last year.
They’ve given us, the participating artist, an opportunity to talk about our works in advance on their blog and I’ve put together a short post discussing my favourite, recent creation, the Batterfly. (I know I shouldn’t have favourites, and I do love then all, but some just have that extra spark) Check it out and I hope to see you there!
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I didn’t intend to take such a long break from this blog but it just sort of happened.

leopard dragon baby

leopard dragon baby

It’s been a really harsh winter here with the heaviest snowfalls we’ve seen since we moved here. Not only has a ton of snow fallen, but it’s stayed so cold that it never gets a chance to melt. There have been several days that the highway has been closed and the extreme cold has made getting around unpleasant. It’s also made it very difficult for me to take pictures of things so I’ve just been really bad about photographing my work this winter. (as well, the custom framing has been busy)

In the interest of trying to get back onto the blogging and picture-taking horse, I risked some frozen fingers and shot some of the new mutants. This one is a variant on a prior design but it’s a different dragon body as well as a slightly different head.

I’m going to work on experimenting more with shooting pieces indoors since I have a whole group of new jewellery using some of a wonderful lot of antique keys we found in the fall. I also have some more Steampunk masks and assorted other new bits and pieces to share so will try to keep up a more regular posting schedule. As for the studio hours, I’m keeping them as “by appointment” and we see how things are going in the spring.

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Making muffins

I just got introduced to a new food blog, Bake at 350I haven’t had much of a chance to go through the archives but had to try a recently posted recipe. Nutella-filled Banana muffins. It was one of the first entries I’d read there and it grabbed me, partially because we happened to have both some over-ripe bananas and Nutella on hand. I went ahead and made up a batch. It was a bit more work than my usual banana loaf recipe, but not much more and the instructions and recipe were both clear and easy to follow. I had to make a couple of minor modifications, mace replaced the nutmeg, since we didn’t have any on hand and they are pretty close. I also substituted brown sugar for half of the called-for white. (that was done simply because I really like using them both in banana dishes) I also used standard muffin liners rather than the pretty, folded parchment ones pictured on her site. They smelled great while baking and we all tried one, while they were still warm. I had intended to add the Nutella, but as either a result of our personal tastes or the swap of mace for nutmeg, none of us liked it on them so they stayed plain. The finished product is much more of what I would call a cupcake than a muffin, since they are quite sweet and rich without any need for icing. They made a lovely treat and the recipe got immediately put into the “keeper” file!

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Since it started up in late 2009, I’ve been getting a daily laugh at a site called Regretsy.

Drinkers Medal with 3D liver

It started as a humour site that pointed out many of the awful/icky/ridiculous things people list on Etsy. While that still happens, it's also evolved a bit in that the woman who runs it, April Winchell, is also tired of the factory resellers as well as bunch of other problems and has been giving them exposure. This is not some little, never read thing either, she gets millions of hits a month and a book came out last year. It's often not nice, there is a ton of foul language and she really likes making fun of bad "mature" art, so it's not work safe, but I have to admit that it's frequently hilarious. One of the other things I like is that she's been donating all the proceeds from the site to charity. Not any big fund, but smaller amounts to specific people to solve a problem. As a cancer survivor she's been mostly staying with people struggling with it and/or Etsy sellers. This past month a team was formed on Etsy itself in support of those goals, called April's Army, and I signed up. The plan is to have a group shop that will offer donated items once a month where all the proceeds go to someone in need. This was the first month open and the funds went to a young man named Jason who has had pancreatic cancer, beat it and now qualifies for an experimental vaccine trial that will be happening at John Hopkins. All the money earned will help pay for his travel expenses. My item was a “Drinkers Medal” done in the style of early 20th century service medals and it included a 3D, pink glittered liver from the vintage “Visible Man” model. It sold on the first day, (like most of the shop) and I just got confirmation that it's arrived safely at it's new home. It was a ton of fun to make and I'm thrilled to help out a good cause, now I just have to figure out what to do for next month!

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I always ask to see pictures of how clients use my masks, and it’s a thrill when one shows up.

silver Venetian mask as table display

I recently sent a pair of the ornate feather-crowned masks out and Susan was kind enough to send along a picture as well as an explanation of how they were used. She is a designer and was doing the decor for a fundraiser. Old books were wrapped in parchment, with the cause along the spine, and each table had a pair of masks. The photo shows my silver and brown mask. The gold and white one didn’t make it to the event but was snagged by one of her other clients beforehand. The silver one was going to be donated to the events silent auction, so I hope it raised some much-needed funds for a good cause. She also has a stunning blog that showcases her work and you can see some more pictures from the Masquerade event. She put together a number of the decorative masks pictured there and it goes to show how you can get some great looks dressing up some of the plain plastic blanks with a bit of creativity.

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I did another on-line interview about my masks recently (it is the season, what with Carnival )  and I just realised that I never posted the link. Eek! It was by Jewelz Creatives on her Artfire blog. Check it out!

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Artfire encourages it’s members to blog about their art and interests and even provides a platform for us to use! I’ve been settled in here long enough that I didn’t choose to move but I still think it’s a great concept.  Some other artists also spend some time talking, not just about their work, but things that grab their attention. As a result, I just did an interview for Created Sensibilities about the masks and my process. You can check it out here!

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