Friday, April 25, 2008

'Roid Week 2008

Wow, I feel so out of the loop, but thanks to Robayre, from Create-A-Day, I found out about this before it was too late. Here are the details, and my images for the 5 day challenge. Check out all the results on the Flickr Group.

"About 'Roid Week 2008
It's that time again.....POLAROID WEEK! This one is a little bittersweet -- as you all know, Polaroid has stopped making their film. It very well could be the last Polaroid Week we have...

But until that happens, it's time to play! Post a Polaroid a day.

APRIL 21 - APRIL 25, 2008

Five days. Five polaroids. (or more if you're so inspired, just not more than 3 a day)

Starting on Monday, April 21 2008. Stock up on film (!), dust off your SX70, Spectra, 600 or Polaroid weapon of choice this week and start shooting!

Or dig out old squares you've found, stolen, or have had laying around since high school and scan scan scan.

Here are our requests: please post photos you haven't posted on Flickr before. Meaning, give us something new -- don't contribute a Polaroid to this group that you already posted last September. That's just plain lazy. Also, please don't post more than three photos to the pool a day.

C'mon. Play with us. You know you want to.


Cate n' Lori"

Images by Tiffany Teske

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Etsy Alchemy

Hi All! So, I had a bid accepted on Alchemy about a week ago. And I didn't dislike working on this custom order. It all went very well. The woman who put in the request, fell in love with her husband in a barn... a good roll in the hay, perhaps? LOL, where is my mind? Anyway, I have yet to hear the story but she promises to tell it to me. She was very good at communicating with me. And she was open to me experimenting. I did put in the bid that I would do a double exposure but was not sure exactly how. I tried two ways. She picked the darker, more moody one, where she and her husband are less prominent in the image. It is funny, because I did this one on the first try with the idea. It is actually two transfers, on the same paper, which is why it is dark. The other technique was to expose both images on the same piece of Polaroid film, then make the transfer. She provided the images. I sent it off yesterday.

She sent this in her last convo...
"I can't wait to see the item. I love your work and hope you continue to experiment with it. My job title is "Creative Learning Facilitator" in a school district - they actually pay me to be creative. Your work shows your creative side and experimenting with it is a wonderful example of continuing to build your creativity! Thanks again-" So nice! And what a fun job...

Nalgene Upcycle Challenge

Today was the day. I have known for some time that Nalgene bottles can leach toxins into our drinking water. Yet, I thought that it would be fine if I just took precautions, like not letting water sit in them for more than the day and not putting them in the dishwasher (not really sure if either of these help). I have been meaning to get around to buying new water bottles for all of us, but due to expense, and feeling like our Nalgene bottles were still in great shape (which makes me feel bad about buying new ones), I had not. Then, my husband came home and mentioned how they are recalling Nalgene bottles and it got me in gear. Andre tends to think everything will be fine and poo poo health warnings he is not sure of, so if he is concerned, I better be!

The thing that disappoints me about Nalgene is the deception. They sell them at MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) a health enthusiast's favorite store. Something about that makes it seem like they are being not only recommended but endorsed by a company that values health and active lifestyles.

The truth is that most Nalgene bottles contain #7 plastics, which are dangerous in drinking containers, due to Bisphenol A.

As Reuters reports:

Bisphenol A is added to hard, clear polycarbonate plastics like those used in reusable water bottles and baby bottles, as well as the resins lining food cans and in some dental amalgams and sealants, said Aaron Freeman, policy and campaign director at Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy group.

Research on lab animals has linked the chemical to changes to the genital tract, prostate enlargement, declined testosterone levels, pre-cancerous breast cells, prostate cancer, early puberty in females and hyperactivity.

Nalgene does make recyclable 12 oz bottle that is made from non-leaching plastic (see photo above)

Today, I went to Silver Spoon, a children's new and consignment shop in Canmore, to buy Klean Kanteen water bottles.

"Klean Kanteens are made from #304 stainless steel, the material of choice in the food processing, dairy, and brewery industries. Stainless steel is easy to clean, durable, inert, sanitary, toxin-free, and non-leaching."

Stainless steel bottles outlast plastic ones. And they don't take on odors. The only thing about these bottles is that you can't put hot beverages in them. But we have a couple stainless steel coffee mugs. I am happy to have made this change. We are ready for our upcoming road trip with our 12 oz sippy cup, and 18 & 27 oz bottles.

So now, I throw down the guantlet, and I hope you will rise to the challenge. First, dump your Nalgene bottle for a Klean Kanteen. Second, come up with a way to recycle your old Nalgene bottles. I thought about donating mine to the local thrift store, but then felt awful. I don't want to put other people at risk. So, I need to come up with a way to reuse and upcycle my bottles, three in all. There are obvious uses, such storing items in them. But, I am hoping to get more creative. And I am hoping to hear from others. Please leave a comment here if you have ideas. And send images to me at

Monday, April 21, 2008

Blame is On Sheasy

So I am going to "blame" my latest creation on Sheasy. She was the inspiration so I will thank her rather than blame her.

I made this for my friend who just had a little girl. The current pic is of my daughter when she was a new babe. I am going to replace it with a gift certificate for a photography session for my friend's little one. As some of you may know, before moving to Banff, I owned my own portrait photography business where I went to the homes of my clients and shot black and white images of them. You can still see this on my website, which is badly in need of a revamp... Whoa, got off the subject there. Thanks, Sheas!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ahhhhh, the Weekend....

So, as an artist, who has been self employed for almost 10 years, the weekend is not normally seen as a big deal. My schedule can be all over the board so I don't live for the weekend like someone who works Monday to Friday. My husband, Andre, works pretty much 7 days a week from November to April, as the GM of Norquay, a ski resort. This is the first weekend they are closed. SOOOOOOO, Andre, also known as Daddy/Papa has his first weekend off in months! YEAH!

Currently, until the beginning of May, we have our friends, Mariana & Sylvain, staying with us. They were working at Norquay, so they also have the weekend off. Everyone slept in, we had a big breakfast of eggs with the works, and then Andre took Quin to Motoring Munchkins for the first time since October. We had planned to make a snowman this afternoon, but the snow is too powdery. After a short while outside we came in and made homemade hot chocolate with on the stovetop with milk and some almond chocolate I bought in Mexico in January.

Enjoy my little photo essay of a perfect snowy weekend day apres outdoor fun.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Winter AGAIN!!

Ok, so I have lived in winter climates for all of my life (aside from one winter in Florida and one in Arizona), yet I still always think that just because the calendar says it is spring, that it actually is. And mind you, I love winter, it is my favorite season, so if I am ready for spring, my least favorite season (due to all the trash that suddenly appears when all the snow has melted), then everyone must be ready. After a beautiful weekend, last weekend, I figured it would not be snowing again. HA! I live in BANFF. Why would I think this? So I did, so Monday I woke up to a blizzard. But, it stopped by noon and the snow melted away by 2 PM. Then, it was nice for three days. Then, today, we woke up to a blizzard, AGAIN. Only this time, it lasted all day. And it left behind a foot of snow, that is still here. And I have a smile on my face from ear to ear...

Play Dough Fun

It is kind of cooking meets creating. And it is fun to work with something so forgivable. Kind of like environmental art, unless you take pics of what you create, there is no record and it is gone forever. That is refreshing...

But seriously, I had not made play dough since I worked in a daycare centre in high school. I thought it was time for Quin to have some. She picked blue. And she has shared it with everyone who has come to the house, and let me tell you, adults LOVE this stuff. My husband and a good friend have both spent over an hour making, squishing, and cookie cuttering. Mariana even showed Quin how to make play dough tortillas :)

Here is the recipe in case you need to have some fun this weekend...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tangerine Dream

My current showcase is being featured on the front page of Trunkt today. I LOVE the color orange! It is just so darn cheery while being completely sophisticated at the same time...

Daisy A Day - Ode to Donna

I recycled/upcycled a frame that I love but that needed some help. The mosaic work is actually in a recessed area where there is glass sandwiching dried plants and foliage. Over time, the organic matter has faded and was really not looking good. So, I decided to replace it with some flowers that won't fade...

I named this post Daisy A Day because I once knew a wonderful woman in Kingfield, Maine, Donna, who owned a flower shop by this name. She and I took the Master Gardeners program together. She was so sweet. She died a couple of years ago and is missed in the community. I hope that where ever you are now, Donna, that you are working in your greenhouse with a smile on your face...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tsotchke Bowls

I have been wanting to make these for a very long time (is that how I start every post?). I have collected many tsotchkes, aka knick knacks, over the years and I am not really the sort to keep them on shelves. And after all, there are not a lot of other things to do with them. I can photograph them, but then what? I love old wooden bowls. I collect those, too. And I don't actually do anything with them... do you see where this is headed? Throw in a love for paper and you have my tsotchke bowls. They are the perfect jewelry holder bowls or odds and end holders... in which case they are useless items put together to house useless items, LOL! Now that I have started, I can't be stopped, so I will have to start listing them in my OTHER Etsy shop, which is now quite pitiful. And I need to refine my technique. I wish I could cut the paper so I can decoupage it into the bowl in just one or two pieces. The way I did this first one was totally expiremental and more like a metal steamer that has the leaves that fold down, but not at all symmetrical like a steamer. It is kind of a patchwork which is not that nice up close. The owl is cemented into the middle with gel medium. Time for bed, I can't write anymore... I am a night owl but it is time to hoot my final hoot. Nighty night all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snow Day?!

Ok, so after a very springy day yesterday, 16C/60F, we were a bit surprised to wake up to a bit of a morning blizzard. Not that it would be unheard of to have snow in mid April, but at about 1 AM it was POURING outside. And at 9 AM, well, there was about 4 inches of snow stuck to everything. A winter wonderland. And once I got over my annoyance that it is still winter, which by the way IS my favorite season, I was a bit overjoyed by the beauty. And Quin was of course happy to don her snowsuit for a bit of a frolick on the back deck...

The craziest part is that we needed to go to Canmore in the afternoon and about an hour before we needed to leave I thought about staying home. Then, all of the sudden, it warmed up and everything melted just like that! I was really glad I had taken the time to capture this fleeting morning gift.

Monday, April 14, 2008

QQ's on the Road to the Bow Valley Quickies...

...which is the ski team for little ones, here in Banff. It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day today, almost too warm for early spring. And it was the last day that Norquay is open for skiing. So, Andre and I decided it was the perfect time to get Quin on her skis for the first time. She has hung out in the boots, and can walk in them really well, but had never been on skis.

She had also been on the magic carpet on the bunny hill but only in snow boots. She wasn't too keen when we got to the hill, she didn't want to put the ski boots on. But after going up the carpet with Daddy she put them on, went down the hill, and came back up.

She seemed to like it more each time. She was so cute waving to me as she came up the carpet. And Papa couldn't hid his pride :) I made a video clip in Andre's phone, talking to the 18 year old, Quin. I can't believe she will be that old someday! It is going to fly by...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Practicing the Art of Stopping Time

Wow, I wrote that! LOL :) The reason I am laughing is that I forgot that I had. I received a convo from Bill, the awesome photographer of the shop, House of Six Cats, on Etsy. He is one of the people who keeps the Poe Street Team rolling. He wanted to let me know that my slogan was selected as the team's slogan. But the way I read the convo, I thought he was saying I could select a prize because I submitted to the contest but not because they selected one of my submissions. After going back to the team site, Poetic Pixels, to re read the ideas I had submitted, to verify that this brilliant one was amongst them, I was pretty proud. I had done a brainstorm and had come up with several. Here they are:

"Making Art Through the Lens..."
"All Photography, ALL THE TIME"
"Obsessed with the Art of Photography"
"Driven to Capture Creativity"
"Capturing the Past, Present, and Future"
"Practicing the Art of Stopping Time"

I think that they picked the best one (and I am a bit embarrassed by the one I think is the worst "All Photography, ALL THE TIME"). Fun, fun!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Banff Springs in the Spring

The Doyons have been here visiting us since Monday. The weather has been nice, even a bit of snow! They have skied Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Norquay. Not bad guys!! Today, Diane decided to take a break from skiing to hang out with Miss Quin and I. We did tons of walking, first on Banff Ave before lunch, and then up to the Banff Springs after lunch. The weather was a bit chilly but that didn't stop guests from using the pool! We did go inside and it was cool because while I have been there many, many times for tea, dinners, ice skating, and just to look around, I happened to take Diane down a hallway I have never been down. There was a sushi restaurant, behind a wall with a large aquarium. Have to try it out someday!

My images came back from the Gimme Polaroid Show in San Fran. Nothing sold but it was a cool experience. Shady Lanes is supposed to be making a book from the exhibit images, I should contact her about that...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ANOTHER Custom Order

When it rains, it pours, apparently. This is for an Etsy buyer. It is a double sized bamboo tile pendant, using the client's images.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Custom Pendant for His Love

I made this custom pendant, using the client's image. It is a romantic little story. The customer is in a different state than his love, and he had me make this for her birthday. All is well, he is moving to be near her this month. Yeah! I have a soft spot for long distance romances, my husband and I actually lived in different countries (US and Canada) for three years. It was only a 6 hour drive, and we went back and forth A LOT, but it is tough. All is well now, can't believe we did that. Funny how life allows you to do things that need to be done when they need to be done, then you look back and think, "Was I CRAZY?!".

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vintage Inspired Chocolate

Dad and Tillie, my little sis, were here for 3 fun filled days. I am 34, my sis is 9. We didn't get any crafting in, but we did make it to the antique shop and the thrift store to go rummaging. I found an awesome set of copper molds, that Tillie was able to talk the shop guy down from $18 to $12 (she has the guy wrapped around her little finger, he just loves her!) so I bought them. And this awesome apron for $3! We went home and melted chocolate and poured it in. They set up in the fridge in very little time and popped right out of the molds. Easy-Peasy. And oh so cute! This makes me want to go out and find some delicious Belgian chocolate to use. Anyway, as luck would have it, Andre and I went to Mariana's birthday party at Bruno's Pub tonight and guess what I gave her as a gift... chocolate and a scrabble tile necklace :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Changing The Face of Time

A very very long time ago, as is often the case, I saw this craft, and thought, "Someday, I will do that". I even bought the clocks, one from Ikea and one from the thrift shop. And "someday" came this week!!

I would have to say this craft consists mostly of picking a beautiful paper, tracing the circle from the old clock face, and being something of a clock maker. The thing that took the longest, and to me was the most fun, was taking apart and putting back together the clock. For someone who is not always patient, I am actually really surprised how much I got into it. I was able to pull everything apart and to remember how it all went back together. And I didn't break anything. It was actually quite relaxing. The alarm clock was much more difficult than the wall clock. But it, too, is back together, AND IT WORKS! I love the confidence I get from completing a craft (or project, series, etc) that I set out to do. And it is great to bring those new skills forward to a challenge.

I plan to recycle/upcycle any decent clocks I can find with this technique...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Scrabble, Anyone? It's About Time...

I did a lot of crafting early in the week, not sure where the week has gone... Here are some fun Scrabble tile necklaces I made because the bails I ordered finally arrived!!

I have been meaning to make these for a couple of years, that is how long I have had the Scrabble tiles. I love it when I FINALLY do something that I have been looking forward to for so long!