Monday, March 31, 2008

Teaching for the Town of Banff

Today I spoke with Kim Coultis, the Programming Director of the Town of Banff, about teaching courses in the fall. She is also one of the awesome people in charge of the Home Grown Exhibit. I am meeting with her on April 15th about teaching. It has been awhile sime I taught, about 1 1/2 years, man, time flies!! I was teaching Polaroid transfer and emulsion lifts at the Nepean Visual Art Centre after Quin was born just before coming here. Oh, and I did teach photography in Mexico in January. But, it has been a long time since I taught dance, arts & crafts, and photography to kids, which is mostly what I would like to do this fall. It will be awesome to be teaching right down the road. Yippee!

I used to teach mosaics, so may do that again, too...

And speaking of classes, I AM TOTALLY PSYCHED, because this session, the Town of Banff is offering a SEWING CLASS!! AND I know the teacher, Sheila Snowsell. I sign right up and hope that there will be enough people for it to run. Look out sewing machine, I will be using you A LOT in the very near future. Happy dance here...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Axe to Grind...

Does anyone else have an issue with the Dixie ads currently running on TV? Their slogan is Make it a Dixie Day. Now, some days truly need to be a paper plate sort of day, like company picnics, family reunions, large gatherings in places where there are no dish room facilities. And I guess if you need a drink of water at the Dr or dentist's office, it is good to have little paper cups. But, even so, it would be better to have a biodegradable option... which brings me back to Dixie. Sure, I am sure they are hurting, being disposable in a world that is starting to wise up to this kind of waste. I am no CEO but I know that when a business doesn't change with the times it dies. So, why then, instead of coming up with a better, more timely, and environmentally friendly option in disposable dishes, does Dixie instead resort to their latest ads, which frankly make me sick?

Ad #1
Little kids, talking about germs, saying no one likes germs, we should not share germs, the something about say good bye to bad germs as a child throws a dixie cup away in their own bathroom! Why would anyone need Dixie Cups in their own bathroom? That is what a bathroom cup is for! I have drank from a bathroom cup, sometimes a communal cup, MY WHOLE BLEEDING LIFE and ask anyone, I am one of the healthiest people I know. My daughter, who drinks from a communal bathroom cup, and who also eats her vitamin after it has fallen on the floor, is the healthiest child I know (and she is not immunized, but that is probably an explosive topic to reserve for another time). Come on, Dixie, people get sick because the world is too damn clean. I can't believe we are teaching little kids to be wasteful. What year is it?

Ad #2
Families sitting down to eat in their own homes, using Dixie brand paper plates and justifying it by saying their family time is more important than taking the time to do the dishes. WHAT?! Do people, aside from the occasional paper plate inside, actually do this? No one I know does this. And no one I know would admit it if they did. And they certainly would not make some lame excuse about family time. Do the dishes TOGETHER! That is what Andre's parents do, and it is down right romantic and probably has been a little ritual that has been awesome for their marriage. Oh man, I can't believe this commercial. It is like, all I care about is my family, screw the earth, other families, and future generations, I want 15 more minutes to watch Dixie ads on TV, THANK YOU FOR CARING ABOUT US, Dixie!

Their website, has catch phrases like "promoting wellness" and "germ pervention". They even have a page called, "When to Use Your Dixie Cup"...

"Your kid's teeth and hygiene are important to maintaining a beautiful smile for life. Keep them healthy and strong by following these simple steps:

- Rinsing after brushing makes mouths healthier and happier.
- Sharing can mean sharing germs. So, get your own Dixie® cup.
- A fun little Dixie cup helps the medicine go down.
- Use a Dixie cup to wash down vitamins.

Come on, Dixie, you should be ashamed...

We are Social Butterflies...

Second night out in a row... Yippee! We love that :) Especially when there is good food.

Tonight we went to a Banquet at Norquay, where Andre is the GM. It was for the Bruno Engler downhill race which is open to people 35 an older. Quin had a great time hanging out and being told she was cute :) We all had a lot of fun.

Bruno Engler was a photographer, mountain guide, ski instructor and cinematographer in the Canadian Rockies for 60 years. As a fellow photographer, living in the Canadian Rockies, I donated an matted and framed original Polaroid transfer of the Lone Pine Trail to the racers prize draw. The man who won seemed to be pleased with the prize.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Home Grown Art Show

Tonight we went to the Home Grown Art Show at the Banff Town Hall. It is an annual event and I submitted a piece for the month long exhibition. This annual exhibition "showcases the work of a wide variety of artists living in the Bow Valley. Some are professionals, while others are amateur artists who create art for personal pleasure." I believe there were even some works by kids and young adults.

It was also the unveiling of the maquettes (miniature models) made by the finalists in the 2008 Banff Public Art Competition.

It was both a well run and well attended event. I would say there were about 200 people over the course of the two and a half hours we were there. There was awesome food, and the town hall was a nice place to have all the works of art. It was a bit like an art treasury hunt as it was on walls, in cases, and in several different rooms all through out the building. I would say there were about 50 works of art. Photography, paintings, wood working, sculpture, mixed media. Of course because it is in Banff I woul say that 85% of it was landscape or wildlife based.

My piece was one of the more unique pieces, which is fun. It was kind of the joke of the night between my friends and family that my work was at the bottom of a wall case in a hard to find area but I took it in stride, since you win some, you lose some. I really entered this exhibit to get to know other artists in the community and I was content to sip some wine, gobble cheese, and watch my Quin play with the other kids, while socializing. We saw some familiar faces which was great. I also met a woman named Kelly, and her daughter and husband, and we hit it off and were invited to Motoring Munchkins tomorrow. Fun, fun!

After the exhibit we went to Sylvain and Mariana's for awhile. They will only be here for a couple more weeks, which is a bummer. "Ana" is Q's second mama. We will miss them :(

When we got home from their house, there was a voicemail message on the phone. It was someone, calling me from the art reception (earlier in the evening) who works at the Town Hall. He had seen my piece, Self Emerging, which is a gelatin plate monoprint incorporating one of my color images that I made black and white for the piece. He wants to purchase it! That of course was the cherry on an already awesome evening.

I have to say, that since I started creating work for myself (last February for the Erotica exhibit in Chelsea, Quebec)and not for its marketability, I have sold almost everything I have exhibited. That reinforces things for me, makes me more confident as an artist, and inspires me with possibility. And I am THRILLED that the two works that I have exhibited in Banff were both bought by locals. Awesome :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Morag - The Great One

Ok, so I FINALLY finished a participatory art project called the Dollar Store Doll Makeover Challenge. I say finally because poor Morag was staring at me in her "Before" state from several areas (I kept moving her) in my studio. I found out about this challenge while teaching a photography course in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in January. I was doing a search on Polaroid submissions and this challenge came up. I was thrilled because it is based in Calgary, with participants from all over the world. I picked my doll from 100 on the site, and received her soon after I got home. She was sent to me for free in exchange for me making her over, photographing her on Polaroid in her "before" and "after" states, and writing a bit about her life. The images and story are sent back to the Secret Society of Analogue Art, posted to the site, I keep Morag.

I love the concept of participatory art projects. Over the course of this project I have exchanged several emails with Pamela Klaffke, who is the brains behind the project, and the whole Secret Society. I feel the same rush that she does about putting a concept out there and seeing how it evolves and what it becomes, when so many are involved. She is doing all this without a grant, which is huge since it cost her $9 just to mail my doll, which cost her $1, to me in Banff, which is pretty much up the road from Calgary (Canada Post sucks for shipping within our own country, don't get me started...). I feel I have met a kindred spirit (I love the internet) whom I can get to know since she lives close by. I plan to submit work to her creepy wonderful and review of meats projects. Pamela has me inspired to create my own challenge.

So back to Morag. I chose Morag because she seems a bit sad, a shy wallflower. I turned her into an art photographer who likes to take tasteful, nude Polaroids... LOL! Here is Morag, before, and after, in a dress made of stash fabric and a Polaroid and tulle, and a wicked collar, also made from a Polaroid. The text reads like this:

"For years, I had put myself on the shelf, so to speak... I was surrounded by creative people and the tools to be creative myself, but I was content to let fear hold me hostage. One day, I could hear the voice of my grandmother, who used to tell me when I was small, that my name was Scottish for great one. Tears filled my eyes when I remember how she had told me no to let being small get in the way of my being great. I got down from the shelf. I have decided to live up to my name."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

She Knows What She is Talking About...

"If you want a good life, be an artist"
Doris McCarthy, Painter

I truly believe that for many people you could replace "artist" with their passion, but for me, I have to agree, that artist is the way to go... And kudos to Ms. McCarthy for being able to say so much in such a short quote.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunflower Daydream

"A lot of what fascinates me about photography is its ability to act as both the document and fiction, to be both true to life and completely removed from it." Ri Anderson

Well said! I was planning to post this image today and just happened to pick up one of many notebooks kicking around in the studio and found this quote which I wrote down ages ago. I love serendipity!! Here is a double exposure Spectra Polaroid print, one of a kind, that I made at the Calgary Zoo in late February. It is both reality and fantasy. And it is one of my favorite double exposures I have ever made. It has inspired me to start making prints of my originals and to hold onto the originals for the time being...

Craft? Yes, yes, I do. Art, craft, fashion, decor. They all seem to be on I heard of this latest online selling community, on Create-A-Day, and then again on an Etsy forum. What peaked my interest is that this site is based out of Toronto, Ontario, CANADA! Yippee!! Although the tag line "Creativity Without Borders" indicates that everyone is welcome. And being Canadian based certainly doesn't seem to be stopping artist, crafters, and designers from all over the world from signing up. I see many familiar Etsy faces. I did join. Who can say no, when all uploads are free for one year. Traffic seems slow, and there isn't really that connected feel I get on Etsy, knowing there are tons of people on at any one time. However, if it catches on in the real world the way word has spread on Etsy, then the sky is the limit.

PS The image above is from the front page of the site. It was not taken by me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy to say that I received word that I will be among the 58 selected artists (out of over 100 who submitted) who will be in the Homage Show at Cube Gallery in Ottawa from June 4th - 29th. Don Monet, who has become a friend over the course of the four Cube group shows I have participated in, is always comes up with awesome themes. I love submitting work for consideration to Cube. I though the show would be later in the summer so I am bummed that I won't be at the opening. The artist I plan to pay homage to with my piece is Julia Margaret Cameron.

The Echo, 1868, by Julia Margaret Cameron

I had a difficult time chosing between her and Robert Mapplethorpe. I love them both but would rather do Mapplethorpe, but I don't think conservative Ottawa would be very receptive...

Self Portrait, 1985, By Robert Mapplethorpe

Friday, March 21, 2008


It always starts the same way.... I am looking for something I know that I have... somewhere.... I think... maybe I got rid of it (highly unlikely since I am a pack rat and I rarely get rid of anything useful)?... maybe I only think I bought it (found it, accepted it from someone else getting rid of it)? it has got to be in my studio... or the garage... or the closet... it is here SOMEWHERE.... It IS here SOMEWHERE.... IT HAS GOT TO BE HERE SOMEWHERE... URGH!

Time to ORGANIZE. It IS spring. I never seem to get to the end, I just have starts and lurches toward organization and then the bottom falls out of the plan. I always think I need more stuff in order to organize, more plastic totes, more glass jars, more shelves when actually I guess I probably just need LESS STUFF. But, I have accepted that this won't happen. So has my husband (love you, Babe!).

All this stuff is part of who I am. It fuels my creativity and allows me to create on a whim. I am my own art/craft supply store, LOL. And since I can barely part with even the smallest scrap (paper of any kind is my downfall) I need to find better ways to know where it all is. Any suggestions out there? I am open to whatever anyone else with my crazy obsession for keeping everything for a collage, or you-fill-in-the-blank-now crafting project, can suggest has worked for them. In the meantime, I will continue to look for the bulk bag of pin backs I KNOW I HAVE SOMEWHERE and put that project on hold until I find them. And I will keep going through the boxes, getting side tracked by the lovely ephemera, and take a few more pics of my messy studio :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sew What?!

Oh geez, I would be a sewing fiend if I would just trust myself. I learned how to sew in high school, and have paid two different sewing diva friends to teach me since, and I have still never made anything more than a simple sheath dress, a tank, and a couple of skirts. I have so many ideas... and I have a sewing machine... come on already! I can be one of those people who trusts myself to learn from a book or the total opposite and need to be shown by someone step by step... for the machine I feel I need the step by step. I can hand stitch with out any problem ;) Anyway, I asked Maureen, at Victory, for some lessons. She can't do it for a month or more but suggested I find a good book in the meantime. So, today, while in Calgary picking up our good friend, Jean Marc, who is visiting from Ottawa, I checked out the titles in Chapters and I think I found the one. It is called Sew Subversive and it pretty much starts right at the beginning and seems easy to follow. Now I just need an Etsy sale or two so I can buy it. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Banner Day for Food!

Actually, it started last night... Andre brought home a slew of seafood from an event at work. Sylvain and Mariana had some, too, so they brought theirs over and Andre made a delicious scampi we ate on pasta with fresh asparagus.

Then, this morning, Andre had the morning off, and we had a bunch of smoked salmon left. So, we collaborated on breakfast, I made the poached eggs, and he made AN AWESOME HOLLANDAISE SAUCE. Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups 4 dl
3 Tb(50 ml) fresh lemon juice
3 Tb(50 ml) water
1/2 tsp(2.5 ml) salt
3 eggs
6-8 oz(200 g) unsalted butter

1 Melt the butter in a small saucepan. It should be warm, but not bubbling hot.
2 Combine the lemon juice and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, adding the salt.
3 Meanwhile, place one egg and the yolks of the other two in a smallish saucepan. Vigorously beat the egg and yolks with a wire whip for a minute or so, until they are pale and thick.
4 Set the yolk mixture over moderately low heat and whisk in the hot lemon juice by driblets. Continue whisking, not too fast, but reaching all over the bottom and corners of the pan, until you have a foamy warm mass. Remove from heat just as you see a wisp of steam rising. (Do not overheat or you will coagulate the egg yolks.)
5 Immediately start beating in the warm butter by driblets, to make a thick, creamy, light yellow sauce.
6 Taste carefully for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and more lemon juice to taste.
This sauce is really so easy to make, you should leave it to the last minute. It doesn't keep terribly well. Any egg yolk and butter sauce can be kept only warm, not hot, or it will curdle. Also remember that sauces with egg yolks are prime breeding grounds for sick-making bacteria.

Copper or stainless steel saucepans are best, as they transmit and hold heat better than anything else. I often make this solely in CorningWare pots, and find that sometimes the sauce will not set after removing from heat and adding the butter. In this case, return the mixture to very low heat, whisking vigorously until the sauce achieves the desired thickness. Too much heat will either curdle the egg yolks or cause the butter to separate from the mixture.

Difficulty: easy to moderate.
Time: 5 minutes.
Precision: approximate measurement OK.

And tonight, thanks to my Create A Day pal, Sheasy, Quin and I made a Chocolate Guinness Cake for St Patty's Day. MMMMMMMMMMMM! It is delicious! You can check out the recipe on Sheasy Blog.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Women in Art

A friend of mine sent me a video link today. I have seen it before but I could watch it again and again. It features 500 years of women in art. I wish I could get it to show up here so you could click and view but until I figure that out just click here:

It has been nominated for a YouTube award. It was created by eggman913. You can vote for it here: Good luck, Eggman, I hope you win!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bunny Hop Sale in My Etsy Shop

It is time for the Interior Design Team's Bunny Hop Sale! From March 15th - April 6th you will receive 30% off everything you find in the Bunny Hop Sale Section of my shop. I am also have a Spring Clearance where you will receive 50% or more off the items original price.

The other participating shops are:







Thursday, March 13, 2008


She was born in Minneapolis, just hours ago, and her name is Alexandra Lauren :) We can't wait to meet her. And I can't help but envy my brother and sister-in-law, who are spending their first moment with their new baby. We have such fond memories of that time. They are now having their baby-moon!! We love you guys!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ain't Gonna Paint...

Morning! Ok, late morning... I keep meaning to post about this awesome book I bought for my daughter last week when I was rummaging at the local church sale. It is called "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More" and it is by Karen Beaumont. It is fun, colorful, and a great way to get any kid riled up about art! The art by David Catrow is wonderful :) Go out and buy it or see if your library has it...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

International Women's Day

On Friday I was lucky enough to be part of a local art show for International Women's Day! Here is the PR for the show...

"In honor of International Women's Day, the Banff YMCA and the Banff Public Library are pleased to present a Women's Art Show from March 1st - March 31st. The show features artwork by several local women working in a variety of mediums. Everyone is invited to attend the Opening Reception on Friday, March 7th from 7-9 PM at the Banff Public Library."

The library is located at 101 Bear Street. I was able to see the work when it was first hung last week because my daughter has story time at the library on Tuesdays. It all looks great! There are about 10 pieces from photography to mosaic to painting to mixed media assemblage. I submitted one fibre based black and white photograph that I hand printed in the darkroom (awhile back, I am bummed to say I do not currently have a darkroom) entitled "Heidi, Artist & Muse".

The opening was wonderful!! My friend, Mariana, came with Quin and I. It was race night for Andre at the hill but I was thrilled when he showed up at about 8:45 PM. There was delicious food and wine, including amazing cupcakes from a new local bakery called Cozy Cave. I am so bummed I didn't photograph the cupcakes!! Quin was thrilled that she was allowed to help me eat one. She held it in her two little hands like it was TREASURE :) Cozy Cave has the MOST BEAUTIFUL window displays ever. I will do a feature one day... There was even entertainment; two local women sang and Kim Mayberry, Quin and my belly dance teacher, and a librarian, AND the organizer of this event, DANCED! It was amazing! She is so great at it. She dances at The Balkan, a local Greek restaurant on Tuesday nights, in addition to teaching at the Banff Centre on Thursdays.

AND AND AND the BEST part of the evening (aside from Andre showing up as a surprise!), the icing on the cupcake, or the cherry on the cake, or the pièce de résistance was that MY PIECE SOLD!! Now, I know I am a professional artist but there is nothing like selling your work. I will never tire of it. And it is always amazing to sell it at the opening. It makes the event more memorable and I LOVE that I can meet the buyer. And in this case, I had already wanted to meet the buyer, who is a local photographer, who was also in the show. It is the highest compliment to have a fellow artist, in the same medium, buy your work! So thanks, Kirstie Tweed :) Kirstie is the owner of Orange Girl Photography in Banff. She is Orange Girl, a color we all know I am also a huge fan of! She has a lovely canvas print of a couple, the woman is pregnant, reclining on the bed with their golden retriever. I am happy to meet such a talented local photographer, as well as other artists in the community.

It was a lovely, lovely evening in celebration of women!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


So, I learned a lesson... the internet is a big place! Especially when it comes to recipes. I made waffles a couple of weeks ago, using a recipe my husband found that I made while viewing his laptop. THEY WERE THE BEST DAMN WAFFLES WE HAVE EVER MADE AT HOME, which is saying something considering my record with waffles. I have tried several recipes but they are always dense, not light and fluffy. I have high standards when it comes to waffles. Mike, at Riverside, in Kingfield, Maine, where I lived for years, made the most incredible waffles and I had at least one a week. Anyway, to make a long story short as to why I am going on and on, we found a recipe for chewy on the inside, light and crispy on the outside waffles. And we were carving them again the other day. Well, neither one of us had saved the recipe to favorites, something so easy to do. I had even thought about it when making them, then forgot, DOGH! So, we spent hours looking for a new reipe and in the end it was ok, but not like the other one. Although maybe we have just idealized those first ones to the point that nothing will measure up... Hard to say, but I do believe the butter vs cooking spray on the iron for the first batch made a lot of difference. Lesson learned... and if you know of the perfect waffle recipe, please post a link!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rummaging, Shrimp Scampi, Self Doubt...

Today was for rummaging, and frankly nothing else much got done. It was a beautiful day here in Banff, sunshining, snow melting, deer and tourists frolicking in the streets. Q & I had a slow start and made it to our big destination about 2 PM. Can I say how much I love to rummage? And what an awesome word is that anyway? Rummage... doesn't sound like the typical verb but it is a definate action word the way I do it. Quin is quite experienced as well. Church rummage sales are the best (actually maybe rummage sales only happen at churches, unlike yard sales or garage sales...). Tons of stuff, great prices. And this sale, at the Catholic Church was far better than the last church sale. They were starting to pack up when we arrived but we still found plenty to take home, including a 1967 set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas with the most amazing illustrations...$5 for the set!! And $2 for about 25 mini board books I can alter. Free patterns, one from the 40s for a cat costume. I will have to scan and post that one. Tons of fabric scraps. Oh joy! And I just love the little church ladies, who remind me of my grandmother and who love my daughter. They are so generous and give her things we didn't pay for and barely make me pay for the things I do. I spent $21 on tons of loot.

Thing is, as much as a I LOVE to collect these things, I always feel a bit guilty that I have so much stuff!! I think it is the curse of being a creative person. I see potential and inspiration EVERYWHERE. Mixed media is just an excuse to collect it all. Oh well, today was sure fun, and so will be making something, someday, with the finds.

Andre was home for dinner and together we made a wonderful shrimp scampi. I would never get rid of my vintage and used cookbook collection but I must say we are really enjoying cooking with the laptop. Search for a recipe than make it with the computer on the island (we might regret this someday...). My current favorite sites at Epicurious, The Food Network, and the site for the Take Home Chef (he is so cute!).

I had not been to Keri Smith's site in awhile. She had a little boy (naturely, way to go, Keri, I know exactly what that is like!) a couple weeks ago named Tilden. Congrats! I followed a link to her blog titled How to Feel Miserable as an Artist... It says how we all feel from time to time and actually, was just what I needed this evening to help me unslump myself...