Sunday, March 30, 2008

the frozen mitten lost and found

what a difference two weeks make. apologies to my reader for abandoning this blog for a while. i was running an improv tournament/festival here in toronto that burgled all my waking hours.

this is the blog entry i've been meaning to make this whole time. although, it did make a little more sense two weeks ago.

frozen mitten

found march 12, 2008
front & spadina
as the ice melts on the streets and winter continues to buck its weary head, all sorts of things are melting out into the city. this seems as good a time as any to announce this little project i've had brewing for a while now - the frozen mitten lost and found.

this year, on my birthday, i lost one of my favorite mittens. it was made for me by this lady on barter and was one of a kind. i was pretty heartbroken and retraced all kind of steps all over the city but to no avail. it was gone. and yet i know it still probably exists. but the act of giving up on such a search felt like an admission that the pursuit was impossible, that my mitten was not anywhere i could find it, or that maybe it had vanished all together.

for this reason, i decided to take in wayward mittens in the hopes that someday they might be reunited with their mates. this project also spills into some more interactive/installation-based notions, too, but i still have to propose those so i've yet to find out if they will materialize.

although it probably won't really kick into gear until next winter, i figured i should post pictures of any mittens already collected since the main goal of the project is reunification. if you happen to find mittens, you can also send them to me - just make a note of when and where you found them.

if you are reading this from outside of toronto and feel the call to establish a frozen mitten lost and found of your own, please get in touch. i am also coming up with guidelines for creating sister projects.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

my fist time.

so i was approached by this lovely lady at the valentine's trunk show who purchased my last heart worm note card and then got to thinking about some invitations she needed made for an upcoming party.

we got to talking and later got to emailing and i took on the project. it was my first foray into making printed matter on commission. i've been avoiding such activity because i find commissioned work totally nerve wracking. when it comes to working on demand, it seems you've either got it or you've not got it. i feel as though i've not got it. it's just so much easier for me to make things without worrying about someone else's pleasure of them. and in a case like this, where the imagery has to symbolize the union of two people - whoa, the pressure!

all that said, my commissioners (probably the wrong word) were incredible to work with on this, my first project. they supplied me with great imagery as a starting point, gave me lots of flexibility, and totally appreciated the general handmadeness of my approach.

would i work on commission like this again? hard to say. part of me doesn't want to taint this experience with anything else. i also charged way too little (without regrets, guys, this was a learning process for me) and would have a more realistic pricing scheme for future projects. but who knows? i actually think i may have already committed to doing road merch for my friends, woodhands.

oh, and as an aside, i saw emily martin of the black apple on martha stewart today chatting about etsy and making dolls. what a thrill! i guess this indie handmade thing has arrived. congratulations, emily!

pardon my grain.

as a side note to general sweetie pie operations, we make the (usually) monthly buttons for toronto's trampoline hall lecture series. aitor and/or i also go there and populate the merch table (which includes buttons and this crazy comic book that resulted from the last show i curated, but that's another story). above is the view i normally have of the show. well, that, the back of lauren and carl's heads and, somewhere off in the distance, the stage. if you have not heard of the show, now you have. and if you haven't been to it, you should go. it can be awfully hard to get tickets, though. hmm. i am curating again in may. maybe i can take a few reservations via this blog. hmm. hmm.

aside from being pleasantly reminded of misha glouberman (rhymes with doberman)'s vast abilities as a host last night, we also discovered this article by naomi skwarna floating around in print form. as misha pointed out at the end of the night, naomi's done a really good job capturing the show and all its complex simplicity (and i'm not just saying this because she did such a nice interview with me this past summer. but she totally did.) it also amused me that aitor is featured so prominently in the photo spread for the article. in the print version, he is described only as "a dapper man." who can argue with that?

this was about the only good picture i could take last night. among its many distinctions, trampoline hall is probably toronto's most dimly lit lecture series. also the only lecture series where you can scarf on poutine and guzzle beer. aside from the coke sign in the background, this picture is 100% montreal to me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

ghostwritten #1.

so, this is how this works: i thought it would be good to have this blog ghostwritten from time to time (because i am both busy and boring) so i asked some friends if they were interested. if you can guess who my ghostwriter is (in the comments section), i will give you a prize. but i won't reveal this information publicly. guessing can go on forever. i will just personally contact the first person who guesses right.

here's installment #1:

Holy crap, am I ever bereaved! Seriously. This is a whole new kind of pain. INTENSE. I wrote the eulogy and filled it with all this stuff about how I had always feared this moment since I was a child, but now that it is here, all i feel is joy because she is everywhere with me, and it sounded good, right, like I was totally digging the minister reading it so sincere-like. Enough that I felt slightly like if I wasn't an atheist I would really want to be a minister, I could get into that. But since I came home, just, nope. Not so true. I am just going to fake it til I make it, just like they do in AA. So if I keep up this jolly front forever, either I've never really made it, or I am just that jolly. Only time will tell.

But yes, it is a bottomless pit of aching lonesomeness and loss to miss the person you have been most intimately close with in your life. Don't push people away to avoid this --it will make you bad, and maybe feeling the very strong pain will be somehow good for you. Or not, who is to say? Not me, whoa!

Ok, are you ready? Man, the funeral home had a website that was like a movie theatre website, with a "Now Featuring" section. I became so hypnotized by it. Also, the fact that you could send your condolences to some invisible message board to the family, that the funeral home printed out and distributed to the family. I wish I could have seen the rejects! It seemed like the best new prank call! But way way worse, because you could do such awful things like pretend to be a ghost trapped in the internet. This was a very relaxing and soothing idea to me.

To distract from it though, let me share something with you. Anyhow, tonight is a blizzard and they even said "DON"T GO OUTSIDE" on the news, so ok already.

I was just walking down the street and some people who I think were on some crack but maybe were on some meth were walking with shovels. One said:
"Why'd you do that for?!"
(the other) "Aw gimme a break."
(1st) "Yeah, I know why you did that. You just started makin' sense, actually!"
(2nd) "Why, then, motherfucker?!"
(1st) "Because I just discoverd YOU'RE RETARDED!!"

I would hate to discover I am judgemental at this point in my life just as much as this person must be saddened by discovering he is deficient (or to use the dictionary definition "slow, or slowed"). I can't even say for certain that judgemental is any different from regular mental: if anything, it must be worse.

Still though. I wouldn't necessarily take a diagnosis like that from someone who fucks his mother. I really wish I could have Cyrano'd that to the retarded one, but there's a storm, and they had those shaky maybe-crack, maybe-meth-hands.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


this is what i do at work. (i have graciously been given some temporary full time employment).

lessons to learn:
1) if you find a pair of argyle socks that you like, stock up. get some different colour schemes. treat yourself.

i see these little slivers of me all day at the edge of the frame as i take pictures of clothes. it's kind of funny. although, i actually did start to feel disturbed last fall when the company started making women's sweaters and i had to pose for pictures in the sweaters and then sit down at a computer and erase my head and hands and body out of them. over and over. i also had to cut my feet off for socks.

here's what i look like as a torso:

creepy. that's what i should be for hallowe'en this year!


here is a picture i wanted to add in the comments section but apparently that can't be done.

this is my friend misha's costume from last year that i plan to best by being a floating torso. photo by margaux williamson.

Monday, March 3, 2008


hey, look, i made some buttons for my friend mack (also known as skyshark)! the reverend and i briefly lived with mack in a rooming house in little portugal, so i am accustomed to the weird bleeps and blops that would come out of his room. but last night i got to see him actually perform with some of his newer gizmos for the first time. it was pretty keen. you should probably make an effort to see him if you live in the toronto area.

the show mack was performing at was a fundraiser for the festival i am producing. yeah, as if i didn't have enough to do, i know. i had a great time and got to perform an opening set with my friend ron pederson for one last time before he goes out to vancouver to do one of those musicals he's always in. ron and i have been performing improv as the national theatre of canada while he's been out here in toronto. much in the way bill richardson declared himself poet laureate of canada, we just saw a vacancy in the name and stepped up. i mean, someone had to. we brought kurt smeaton on for last night's show, too, and really got up to some impressively stupid tomfoolery. i would like to thank you, boys, for helping me have fun again. and godspeed, ron. have fun surviving amid the joggers and kayakers of vancouver.

i know this blog is mostly craft/press related and this post has been off topic, but right now a whole bunch of my time is being consumed by my erstwhile love, comedy. oh, i still love it a bit but i miss sewing and crocheting when i am this involved in the complicated/stressful world of improv again. so, i'll leave you with an image from this month's meeting of the toronto church of craft at the workroom (my one crafty diversion for the weekend - i mended my coat!)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

vintage thing & textile show.

today jen, leah and i wanted to get some vintage things so we went to this show. it's the best if you want vintage things...or textiles.

i got some textiles and a bunch of things. the fabric i got was a vintage brown cotton with blue flowers but i am currently too tired to photograph it (also, maybe documenting everything all the time is weird). the things i got were lots of buttons. some of them have intended destinations and some do not yet. those little guys should be popping up on some new stuff i am making for upcoming fairs and sales. you'll see.

jen and leah also scored some good finds, although i think we are all in modes of financial prudence/fear at the moment.

jen got this amazing ball of fabrics from the 30's/40's (correct me if i am wrong on dates, jen). apparently, such a thing would have been made out of scraps in order to crochet a rag rug. but in jen's case, these tiny strips are perfect for her many forays into miniature patchwork. and as a true fetishist of fabric and print, this ball kind of proposes an endless christmas.

oh, yes, she also couldn't help but get right into unrolling as we wandered around...

this got extra hilarious when we hit the wind of the parking lot.