Friday, April 30, 2010


paper shreds

up there is the detritus i jettisoned from my paper shredder, just one of many frantic yet needful activities undertaken from our departure. by 10:00pm, we make our escape - it's a little behind schedule (as per usual) but it is still an accomplishment. the odometer reads 288328 km. i feel like that pile of ragged paper. it begins...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

loose ends.

as i waddled about queen street with my button bags in tow, i manged a quick visit into the knit cafe today. guess what? the hang for hive series #1 (my big crocheted triangle) has been extended a bit. the next window display was being done in-house so they are going to call the change over as their whims dictate. enjoy more triangle, queen street west!

filling up for departure.

in the midst of all of our packing and sorting and scrubbing and short-napping, i found time today (and yesterday evening) to fill up some local toronto shop with sweetie pie goods. first of all, i finally made it by art history, katharine mulherin's new art and vintage retail space at queen and dovercourt. i have been meaning to go by there for a while now and am so glad i managed to squish in a visit before shoving off. it's kind of like a collection of everything in my home - i mean, not exactly, but in broad strokes. there's friendly matter on every shelf, too - sarah mcneil, tara bursey...

art history (15)b

art history (6)

art history (11)b

i was a little too harried and insane to take in the exceptional collection in all its detail. even from a cursive glance, though, it is clear that katharine's specific curatorial perspective on art, craft, objects and space comes through. her artistic visions tend towards the scrappy in a way that makes seemingly ephemeral pieces seem sacred and sophisticated. i will have to consider the shop more profoundly upon my return home. in the meantime, i suggest you do the same.

there are also freshly restocked buttons sets and loose buttons at the good catch general store, mores buttons at type and commissioned artist sets at the paper place. hopefully that will keep you locals sated during my trip. if not, just let me know. i'll miss you, toronto!

ps - i also just threw together a flickr set of indie boutiques i have visited. holy cow, it's a lot! i bet there is more lurking in my account but it's a start...if you're into that sort of thing. further pictures of many of these boutiques can be found there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


oh, just filling the good catch general store up with buttons before we leave and calling leon on the ocean phone.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

tirelessly wirelessless (and other pressing matters).

i am currently very unexcited about the fact that when i got up today (after a very late night and too little sleep), our phone (and thus internet) was dead. this is really not what i need right now. regardless, i still have small news and photographs to share from this roncesvalles avenue cafe.

yesterday evening, i went by the trip print press to pick up our vendor call flyers from nicholas. he was weirdly apologetic on the phone about some defect is saw in them. he's nuts; they are so beautiful. i posted a more verbose account of the whole thing here (but the pictures are the same). note the button love in the last image. when are we going to do that letterpress artist set we were talking about, nicholas?

trip print 14b

trip print 16b

trip print 17b

Saturday, April 24, 2010

chalk full.

shannon uses the internet weird.

you don't have to give me a home made chalk board (with magnetic paint undercoat) to submit songs to my road trip playlist. but you know, this one was nice. thanks, shan!

Friday, April 23, 2010

sword of your face.

my very wonderful friend shannon has been working tirelessly (and sometimes tiredly) for what seems like forever on sword of my mouth, a post-rapture graphic novel collaboration with jim munroe (he the writer, she the illustrator). now it is finally ready to be launched out into the world.

because work begets work, shannon has decided to celebrate the completion of her slavish daily drawing buy offering free facebook profile images to as many people as she can handle drawing. in exchange, you just have to share information about the book and its launch via said social media site.

personally, i am hoping that shannon gets around to drawing everyone on facebook. her hands will atrophy and fall off, but the internet will be so much cleaner to look at.

you can find all the details for the book launch here.

for all the details about how to get your own free shannon face, look here.

let us all fulfil our narcissism and/or appreciation of shannon's deft pen. and let shannon's viral dreams become a reality.

update 04.26.2010: due to popular demand (surprise, surprise) shannon can only keep doing these drawings until may 4. i think some bigger blogs have picked up the story and she is starting to get really swamped.

pure light explosions.

office blurs 12b

for some brain-dead reason, i could not for the life of me remember how to make my camera stop taking ridiculously long exposures. it's so simple, it's very embarrassing. but the reverend and i are working so hard these days that many things are slipping past our beleaguered brains. after figuring our my stupidity, i took a few goofy pictures using camera functions that i had to dig out of the recesses of my consciousness. that second picture really expresses what life is like here in the middle of every night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


grant's opening 6b

grant's opening 7b

i had the extreme pleasure of attending the opening for grant heaps' new installation, lupe fiasco's daydreamin' - a grant heaps remix, at made this evening. grant's work blows me away in general - like always. the sheer volume of meticulous stitches and placements in every piece is astonishing. in this case, i think i have to find a moment between fits of packing and cleaning to go back and take the installation in. art openings can be too social for me to really absorb the work on display. daydreamin' is also installed in made's cooler. it's an intimate confinement for the work, but makes for a competitive space to enter on a packed opening night. i shall return. you should go check it out, too.

congratulations, grant!

how much is that polygon in the window?

knit cafe 7b

sunny days = glare.

but here it is, my triangle in the window. it's only at the knit cafe for the rest of the month, so go check it out!

while i was taking it, that first picture there reminded me of serena's picture of main street, bruno. serena's picture is grander than mine, but it's so rare to get a 'main street, bruno' feeling in big ol' toronto.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

in bloom.

bulbophyllum falcatum 4b

anyone remember how that weird orchid i got went into flower right away? well, it has progressed. this things is amazing and weird. it flowers in a long fleshy tube covered in little yellow-green flowers. you excited to care for this thing, roisin?

spring tone.

on my groggy morning walk today, i came upon a big heap of ripped up daffodils. i hope for the sake of humanity that a dog or raccoon dug them up. if it was a guy or gal, that was pretty jerky of you. one of my neighbours must be missing their big crop.

but on the upside, i salvaged one and cut it down for my bud vase. it will brighten the bedroom until it whithers. it will also remind me that time is passing and seasons are changing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

gifts from afar.

with all the skies filling with soot, i was quite surprised to be receiving any mail from across the seas. i suppose it is mostly europe that is affected but i imagine this spewing volcano to be choking the life out of all air travel. so imagine my extra delight when i got this package today from the inimitable sarah mcneil - all the way from new zealand.

sarah is, among many other things, one of my newest commissioned button artists. we've been having a multi-month correspondence to develop her sets, the artwork for which i received digitally a couple weeks ago. well, sarah really went above an beyond by putting together a package of originals for me. she also packed the envelope full of other goodies - gocco prints, postcards...well, take a look...

sarah mcneil 2b

sarah mcneil 4b

sarah mcneil 5b

sarah mcneil 6b

sarah mcneil 7b

here is a sneak peek at the artwork for her button sets:

sarah mcneil 10b

sarah mcneil 12b

somehow, sarah's artwork can't help but create an ethereal glow when photographed. in spite of all these lovely marvels, the crowning jewel of this package is an incredible watercolour/collage piece in her loose series of spirit drawings. it's very much like the one i photographed on the first day i met sarah in a chilly toronto gallery art fair.

sarah mcneil 13b

sarah has always known my obsession with it. this really is a generous gift, lady. i don't usually get gifts for asking people to work for me. i'd better get busy making that custom hat. toronto yarn shops beware; i will soon raid you of your muted-toned bulky yarns. i know a lady with a penchant for greys and soft hues and she lives in a place that is going to have a winter soon. i bet it will end up looking like those clouds of ash.

oh, and if anyone wants to come over and frame all this stuff for me, i could make you a hat, too. i bet framing artwork will be my goal for 2011.

i feel really spoiled. but i am okay with it right now. i've been stressed and buoying distractions are an especially welcome cure.

the misanthrope also loves.

look what i found on my pillow a few nights ago. it's a one of a kind special message from my favourite misanthrope. who says hating people means you can't love them?

Monday, April 19, 2010

soundtrack required.

it's happening again. the wanderlust is taking hold. this time, i also feel the need to collect a soundtrack of songs about places so that i play myself into cities, towns, states and provinces while roving. your suggestions are welcomed and encouraged, dear reader. so haul 'em out - states, provinces, cities, counties, mountain ranges...

so far i have some white stripes, sufjan stevens, cub, soul coughing, neko case, glenn miller, brenda khan, michelle shocked and nick cave on my list. what have you got to add?

of note: i am pretty much confined to the united states and canada on this trip.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i'm exhausted.

the trunk show today was entirely lovely. i was especially happy to get to vend beside some folks who we've been wanting to involve in city of craft stuff for a while - stitchface, argyle acorn, arounna...

i only snapped a few pictures that turned out (i used to be so good at documenting - maybe the skill will return). but karyn took a bunch of great shots with her new camera.

i am trying to pare down these days, so i really had to hold back when it came to bringing things home. there was some fantastic stuff, too. i really liked the laser cut birdhouses that melinda's partner, chris, made. and all the great prints from repeat. who am i kidding, i would take one of everything if i could. some samples:

spring trunk show 3b

spring trunk show 5b

i ended up with just one print and one card from deadweight. the print is from sandi's unimpressed ladies series. it will join a growing collection of portraits that is currently seeking a permanent home in my apartment. i think i have just the wall...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

spring loaded.

a late note to tell you, the world, of the wonders that will behold you tomorrow (sunday) at city of craft/the workroom's spring trunk show. the vendors are amazing, i know i have gathered some of my own vintage rummage, and spring is in the air. if you are in toronto, you should probably hop on a bike and mosey on down to the workroom tomorrow.

on a website.
on a facebook.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

out of the hive (and visible to the street).

it's finally up! my headaches are still with me and this shift in temperature really explains it. the first big crochet triangle thing from my hive series project found its way to the knit cafe's window on this drizzly afternoon.

it was too soggy out and my head hurt too much to take more pictures. i will have to come back on a nicer day. but here it is. go visit! say hi! stare and scratch your head!