Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Framing isn’t all that important, in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes, I get to feel like it can make peoples lives just a little bit better. While I was in Vegas, for the framing conference, I also had a chance to meet up with another artist involved with Regretsy. Cybele was one of the people featured in the book and she does a broad range of multimedia works. I had a great time hanging out with her and her partner Botielus (the Squeezebox Hero). Part of our time was spent just hanging out in her house and, as is typical when visiting artists, we started with a bit of an art tour. While discussing her work, (and the framing, since I can’t ignore that issue) we got to a small pastel work that was very striking, but in a totally inappropriate frame. It turned out to be a memorial portrait of her brother  and had been put into that frame as a temporary thing, just to make sure it was protected since pastels are so very fragile. We talked a bit about some possible treatments and then moved on to other things. Near the end of our wander, she showed me an older work that her brother had had framed, before his death. It was an interesting study-level work, but the framing, while very lush, (including museum glass!!) didn’t really suit it. As we talked some more, she admitted how much she disliked the whole thing. While she appreciated that her brother had cared enough to frame the art she had given him, it bothered her at how much he had spent on what she felt was a lesser work and the mismatch between it and the framing just aggravated the wound. Looking at it, as we talked, I slowly realized that the colours of the framing, while off for the art it contained, were perfectly suited to the pastel portrait. It even looked like the size was pretty close. The idea that it might be possible to switch the pictures was something that worked for her, so we went and pulled the portrait off the wall to check the sizing. It turned out to be only be slightly smaller than the picture that was in the frame. While I have the full set of framing tools at home,  I’ve also learned ways of making do with more basic equipment but there were still a few things that would be needed to safely open and re-close a frame. Being in the home of an artist, I figured the odds were good that she’d have things on hand but it turned out that her brother had purchased a group of small scale framing tools so I was fully equipped to get to work. The other big area of concern was going to be both removing the existing piece and attaching the new one, since it was floated, above the mat, on a piece of foam-core. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the original framer had used archival ATG to hold it place, so it not only came up cleanly but was able to be reused for the portrait. The fit was just perfect as well and the placement of the foamcore was slightly off-centre, for it being on the horizontal, but once we swapped it to the vertical for the portrait, it was ever-so-slightly up-centred, which perfectly compensated for the small size difference. The colour match of the portrait to the new frame was so much better than the art that it was made for that it was a bit of a shock. She loved how it turned out and that was the most important thing. It might not be all that vital, but being able to make a change, in something that she will look at every day, from a negative to a positive experience is very satisfying for me as an artisan. Overall, I found it a bit eerie how well it went together as well as her brother having had the needed tools on hand. Some things are just meant to be.


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A day at the falls

Now that we’re through the busy times of the summer I really wanted to get

Rainbow Bridge and Niagara falls

away for at least a day or so. (August seemed especially long, partially because I ended up being open on most of the Mondays) One of the benefits of living here in Southern Ontario is that there are so many great places to visit that are easy to reach by car. Deciding to take advantage of that, we headed out after closing on Sunday and ran off to Niagara Falls. I had only been there once before, for the wedding of some friends nearly 15 years ago, and had never gone to the American side. We spent our closed day Monday enjoying the great weather and scenery. Most of the edges of the falls are part of a State park and you can get entry to the whole thing for only $10 a day, per car. Dad and I walked through most of it and took a bunch of pictures of the falls but didn’t go on the Maid of the Mist or head down through the caves. (we’d both done those before, on the Canadian side) All in all, it was a fun trip and felt just like a longer vacation. Considering how close it is, we may even end up going down there again!

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We had a violent hail storm in town about a month ago.

the new(ish) van!

There was only minor damage to the trees but it was severe enough that our van was damaged with dents all over it. We’d had it for quite a while so it ended up being written off by the insurance company. While we still have the Smartcar, (it’s damage was minor enough that it’s just going to be repaired) we need to have a van for transporting all the great finds that keep the shop supplied. (and so we can do deliveries when needed) After looking around a bit the parents found a newer one that they liked and it came home this week. It’s also a Honda and looks a bit dressier, in it’s flashier gold paint, than the old one, at least in my opinion. Considering how bad the storm was, I’m sure we’ll be seeing quite a number of other newer vehicles around the town and it looks like the special hail repair team will be kept busy here for at least a couple of months!

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Getting everything organized and running the way we want is always an ongoing process. One issue we hadn’t dealt with has been transportation.

Eric, the Smart-a-bee

We have a min-van and it’s been great because mother can go out on her hunts and we have no trouble transporting the (typically small, because of the small size of the store) bits of furniture that we offer. The drawback was that the van is a big vehicle and often more car than we need for some errands, plus it’s been limiting to only have the one car. Considering that we have the van, it made sense to go for something small and gas efficient that would let us do those quick runs easily. (and would also be more environmentally friendly than always using the van) After looking around we quickly came to the obvious conclusion that a Smart Car would be the best fit to our needs. With some more focused research and looking we made a final choice and this one came home with us last night! It is a 2008 Passion model and we’ve decided to name it Eric, the Smart-a-bee. (which also means it has it’s own theme song) In the spring, we may look into having it decorated with as a mini-billboard for the store, (lettering in the same green as the building would look good) but we haven’t decided about that for certain. We’re all really happy to have something perfect for just “buzzing” about!

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A trip to the beach

We keep intending to go exploring on our closed Mondays and it almost never happens! This week we really made an effort to get away and headed out westward.

the shore of Lake Huron

We stopped in Mitchell and had some amazing raspberry sour-cream pie and then continued onward. By the mid afternoon we had made it to Bayfield, on the shore of Lake Huron. The day was lovely and warm and it was wonderful to roll up my pant legs and walk in the surf. It was warm enough that I would have gone in for swim if I’d thought to bring a swimsuit, but we weren’t that organized. Next time we go there, when the weather is right, we’ll make sure to be fully prepared. I am incapable of walking a beach without looking for treasures so I came back with a couple of water-shaped fossil stones as well as a few pieces of beach glass. I’m not sure what they will end up in but I’m sure they will be just what I need for some piece down the road. All in all, it was a lovely day-trip and a nice little break from the routine.

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I had another piece of vintage luggage with some great stickers that I also wanted to show off. This one is a small travelling trunk. It has the metal exterior and a small wooden

vintage Cunard Line sticker on small trunk

shelf/divider on the inside that you’ll see on a full sized trunk, but it also has a handle and is much lighter. Empty, it’s easy to lift with one hand and carry. Full, I’m not sure I’d want to have to go far with it. It has a number of ship and train stickers, most having to do with a journey between England and Montreal in 1953. They travelled on the Cunard Ship line and the labels are in wonderful condition. Shortly after it arrived in the store I was watching a movie on television. ( The Talented Mr. Ripley ) It’s a beautifully shot film (directed by Anthony Minghella) that’s set in Italy during the 1950’s. The title character travels by boat from New York to Italy and there is a shot where you see his luggage and it has the exact same sticker! It just made me feel a bit closer to all the beautiful and exotic places that made up the background of the film.

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Last week, on our closed day, we took a mini-vacation to Toronto. It was a mix of work and fun since we had some shopping to do and also wanted to visit some old haunts.

Hyatt Regency Toronto lobby

Heading in to arrive early evening, we stayed right downtown at the Hyatt Regency, which was amazing, since we could walk easily to most of the places we wanted to go. (the photo is of the lovely water feature in the main hotel lobby) We wandered up and along Queen street and then went a bit farther north into Chinatown and stuffed ourselves with a great dinner. (although it was too late in the day to get anything at my favourite bakery) The next day was really busy with a ton of shopping and running about. I was able to get a bunch of mask making supplies I was running low on as well as some other things we really wanted to have on hand for the new season. We also picked up the new computer for the store. It was a fun, busy couple of days but we loved taking a break in the big city!

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