Sunday, 16 November 2014

Holiday Happenings

Christmas One of a Kind Show & Sale

I am so excited to be back in the One of a Kind Christmas show! I'll be there in a newly designed booth (a 10 x 10 corner!) with lots of new work to show off.  I am doing the six day section of the show which means I won't be there when the show starts on the 27th of November, but I will be there as bright eyed and bushy tailed as I can be from December 2nd until the show ends on the 7th in booth P38.

December 2nd -7th (this is when I will be there!)

Direct Energy Centre (Halls B + C)
100 Princes' Blvd., Exhibition Place
Toronto, ON

Tuesday, 10 am - 9 pm
Wednesday,10 am - 9 pm
Thursday, 10 am - 11 pm - Late Night Shopping!
(perks of late night shopping include free parking in the evening and a DJ spinning some tunes)
Friday, 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday, 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm

I also must take a moment to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council and Harbourfront Centre for awarding me with an exhibition assistance grant for this show.  There is no way that I could have done this without them and I am eternally grateful. 

Sugarplum Pop-Up - Holiday Art Market

A lovely little pop-up shop in my neighbourhood.  Come check out the charms of downtown Burlington and the lovely handmade things at the Sugarplum Pop-Up


November 22nd - December 19th

No Vacancy Art (at the heart of Village Square)
422 Pearl St
Burlington, ON

Thursdays - Saturdays, 12 pm - 9 pm
Sundays, 12 pm - 6 pm

Edy Roy Glass Gallery - Holiday Glass Show

If you are a glass lover, this gallery is definitely worth checking out. They have a great selection of contemporary Canadian Glass.


November 22nd - December 21st

Edy Roy Glass Gallery
652 Spring Gardens Rd, 
Burlington, ON

Thursdays - Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm
(also available by appointment)

27th Annual Canadian Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition

This will be the 5th year I will be participating in this great show in the lovely Ottawa.  If anyone is in the area it is sure to be a beautiful show. 


November 29th - December 31st

L. A. Pai Gallery
13 Murray St
Ottawa, ON

Happy Holidays everyone! 


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Exciting Fall Happenings

As most people know I was working a contract job in an office for the last seven months. In the last week I've gone from this:

to this!

I am grateful for the office work because it provided me with some much needed stability at a very unstable time.  It allowed me to make investments in equipment that I needed to set up my own torch (and let me tell you there is nothing better than working at your own torch after years of schlepping my stuff around to other studios!)  Mostly, it helped me appreciate what it is that I do, and gave me some renewed motivation to get back at it full steam ahead.  I am so happy to be back at this full time, at least for the time being, while I prep for the 2014 Craft Show the inaugural event organized by Craft Ontario and also the One of a Kind Christmas show.  

While working in an office definitely allowed me certain freedoms, setting my own schedule again allows me completely different and wonderful freedoms.  For example if I want to stay in bed until noon dealing with business emails and working on a big grant application all the while snuggling with my cat and eating peanut butter M&Ms, then that is my prerogative! 

Here is some info on the show coming up this weekend for anyone who wishes to attend.  It's going to be a great show with so many talented artists.

October 10 - 12, 2014

Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Toronto, ON

Friday, 11:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, 11:00am – 5:00pm

Admission to the Craft Show will be by donation at the door. Big or small, whatever you can afford or deem appropriate.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

OOAK Spring & Summer Show Updates

I am well overdue for an update, so here it is: 

First I should mention the One of a Kind show and how it was pretty much exactly what I expected it would be.  I made some nice sales and met new customers, people seemed to dig my new work which felt really good especially after all of the uncertainty going in. Naturally, I gorged on delicious food from the food vendors (crostoli will always be my favourite). And I was so happy to see so many of my amazingly talented and lovely friends and of course meet some new ones!

The other side is that I got to deal with just as many rude people as I had predicted.  I experienced people who scoffed at my prices and some who even told me to my face "oh I could make that".  Thank god I have a sense of humour, and also thank god for the hilarious woman who told me all about her drug use in the 70s, people like that make the days go by quicker.  And lucky me, these types of folk always manage to find me and tell me their stories!

Unfortunately the rudeness is rarely contained just to art shows.  I had someone ask me today why I don't make "real jewellery".  Again my sense of humour kicked in and I told her I much preferred my "imaginary jewellery".  It still stings when people say ignorant things to me though.  Before she spewed her rudeness at me and after an already frustrating morning I had some retail therapy and ordered from one of my favourite etsy shops Nervous System.  I purchased a beautiful and long coveted 3D printed necklace/pendant that I am now even more excited to show off!

Oh and here are some pictures of my booth at OOAK for your viewing pleasure: 

Most of all I want to give a big heartfelt thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for the exhibition assistance grant.  There is absolutely no way I could have done the show without that help.  Artist friends if you don't know about this amazing program, check it out

The biggest thing it allowed me to do was invest some money into a new display for some  of my new work.  Also a big thank you to my friend Adam of Ignition Guitars and his CNC machining skills and generosity with his time. 

Oh and some updates since my last "ray of sunshine" post:

First and foremost, I love my office job.  The company I work for is amazing, and I will be incredibly sad when my contract is up.  So many people have been awesome and encouraging about this decision and I thank you! There have been a few exceptions that have given me this terrible look of pity when I tell them where I am working.  To these people I say: I don't need your pity.  So much stress has been lifted from my life and I'm the happiest I have been in a long time in a lot of ways.  Feel sorry for someone or something that actually needs your pity, because I definitely don't. 

One of the best things about having a bit of security is that I am able to pick commissions and shows that I really want to do.  I just finished up a commission for a lovely lady in Ottawa a week or so ago and I truly enjoyed working on it.  I feel like it's rare to have someone that knows what she wants but is easy going and also appreciates the value of something handmade (a great quality that I wish more people had). 

Here is a little peek at my "froot loops" commission:

And now I am gearing up for summer shows, I really can't believe it is already that time again! I will be doing three this summer, here's the low down:

Beaches Arts & Crafts Show

It will be my third time participating in the Beaches show. I'll be braving all the nonsense Toronto traffic, why don't you join me? 

The details: 

When: Saturday June 14th - Sunday June 15th
Where: Kew Gardens Park, 2075 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON
Times: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (both days)

Next on the docket is: 
Guelph Art on the Street

This one has become one of my favourite shows to do, mostly because the people of Guelph are always a delight and always give me high fives.  I could always use some more high fives if you want to visit this one. 

The details:

When: Saturday July 12th
Where: Quebec Street, Guelph, ON
Times: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm 

and finally:
Haliburton Arts & Crafts Festival

And of course another favourite is the show up in Haliburton, this will be my fifth year at the show! 

The details:

When: Friday July 25th - Sunday July 27th
Where: Head Lake Park, 23 York St, Haliburton, ON
Times: Friday noon - 6 pm, Saturday  10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm

So come visit me at one of the shows, I'm usually good for a hug or at the very least some high fives. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

An Honest Update

I suppose an update is in order since I haven't written a post since October.  Though this is the first time I have been even a little bit motivated to do an update and I think that’s sad, don't you? Truth is I think I have fallen out of love with art over the last few months. 

The truths of being an artist:  sometimes, it really sucks. Worrying about money is one of the worst things. It’s difficult when your income relies on so many factors beyond your control.  Will people actually show up to this event? Will this gallery pay me on time?  How many people will say incredibly rude things to me at this show just because they feel like they can? 

Let me tell you, it’s really hard to care about making work after you lose money at three shows in a row.  There is something very deflating about that. It’s hard to get excited about making new work when in the back of your mind you are wondering “will people actually want to buy this?” When even a little part of you thinks the answer is no, production stops. 

I saw this web comic last week (by artist Lauren Purje) and it really resonated with me and it’s really fitting with this post:

I still get that itch to create, but lately I could care less about making anything that remotely resembles jewellery.  In an effort to make something, I have taken to crocheting.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I have crocheted since the beginning of January.  In that time I have finished a (giant) blanket I started in the summer, started and finished a completely new blanket, two scarves and a little storage basket – which could also be used as a really ugly hat. 

Next week I start a “real job” and I am actually really excited about it.  It’s a five month contract position in an office and it will be the longest I will have had a steady paycheque since 2004. That’s a decade. This is something I have considered for a while now.  It was actually a move I was prepared to make in August after a less than stellar summer. I had some amazing opportunities in the fall, namely a semester working back at Sheridan, but all that seemed to do was prolong this decision.  I’m pretty lucky to have gotten this job in a job market that is pretty dismal.  Thank goodness for previous office experience too.  

It’s difficult when people don’t take what you do seriously. “Oh, you’re an artist? So umm… what do you do all day?”  My example for today:  After I am done this post I am going to do a mock setup of my booth at One of a Kind in my basement so I can take measurements for something I need made for my display and then do a bunch of drawings until I have the winning design that I will use. After that who knows, I’ll have to check my list of about 50 things that need to happen before the show.

I think there is an assumption that if someone is not necessarily making tons of money that they are also not working hard enough.  I once dated a guy who thought exactly that and wasn't afraid to tell me so.  People like this are quick to offer unsolicited advice, which leads to my least favourite sentence in the world: “you know what you should do….” 

You are probably wondering if I am quitting art altogether.  The answer is no, but I need to take a few steps back.  I am still planning on doing some shows but being gainfully employed for now will allow me to be much pickier with the shows I do participate in.  Hopefully without the pressure and anxiety of trying to make a living just from making art I will be able to fall back in love with it again.  

With the Spring One of a Kind show coming up in about a month, you might see how a lack of enthusiasm would be a major problem.  It is slowly starting to come back though, largely due to the fact that all of my eggs are no longer in one basket.  Over the past couple of days especially I have found some renewed motivation and production has resumed.  If you want to come to the One of a Kind show and check out what I have been doing I would love to see you. 

Do I like talking about these things? No. Do I think it’s important to talk about them anyway? Yes. Was it difficult for me to write so honestly?  Absolutely, but it would have been even harder for me to write a fake flowery and insincere post about how beside myself excited I was for a show. Things are not always sunshine and rainbows in this world and I am not going to sugar coat that.  But I am lucky to have the support of people who love me.