Saturday, April 28, 2012

early morning sunshine

Dear friends, I've been a tardy blogger lately. Life has been busy and it seems as though there is always something else to do! I miss blogging regularly and will try to be better at it:) Off to the market this morning. Hope your day is grand!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cross Stitch Art

Woo hoo! Here is an example of one of my images that is now available as a cross-stitch pattern!  I have partnered up with GeckoRouge,  a cross stitch company  in the UK to produce cross stitch kits and patterns. There are 8 to choose from at the moment but more will be rolling out soon! The real thing is much more vibrant.

'Sunset Garden Tabby' measures: 17.86 x 14.29 inches
With this cross stitch kit you will receive:

• Full glossy colour cover for reference
• A black and white pattern
• Pre-sorted DMC Stranded Cotton with extra length
• 14 Count DMC Aida complete with an extra 2 inch border around each sides
• Factory Sealed John James Tapestry Needle
• Full Instructions with diagrams
• Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days (Please allow up to 10 - 15 working days for delivery outside the UK)  FREE shipping Worldwide.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Portraits of some artists..

I came across a treasure trove of images the other day....the Life image archives hosted by Google. Warning, it is really interesting, you can search for anything. I just wrote artist into the box and  these are just a smidgeon of what's available.What is really cool is that once you click on a picture, there are small thumbnail pics under "related images" and you can see more pictures  from the roll of film that had been shot. Here are some amazing extras of Marilyn Munroe, (click on the related images to see)
The picture above is Artist Pablo Picasso creating light drawing in Vallauris, France 1949, Photographer was Gjon Mili
Andy Warhol with his Barbie Doll, 1986, no photographer listed.
Marc Chagall painting in his studio, France1949, photographer Gjon Mili
Thomas Hart Benton and look who the photographer is...Alfred Eisenstaedt
Portrait of artist Alberto Giacometti surrounded by his sculptures. Paris, 1951, photographer Gordon Parks.
Artist Henri Matisse, seated in his bed, some of his work spread out before him, drawing in space w. light-tipped pen. It worked with Picasso so he thought he'd give it a go with Matisse:)  Gjon Mili. Taken in Nice, France, 1949.
80 year old Georgia O'Keeffe at her Mexican ranch. 1966, John Loengard

Monday, April 16, 2012

Titanic 2012

There have been a swirl of Titanic events here in the last few days. They honor the poor souls who lost their lives and the heroes who deserve acknowledgement again, one hundred years later. I went to a fascinating fashion show at the Martime Museum the other night, it was the final project for graduating Costume Studies students at Dalhousie University. They had to pick a passenger on the Titanic, research them, write a 20 page paper using primary sources and then design and create an outfit from the undergarments outward.  Historically accurate materials and methods were used. Stunning. As they modeled the clothes, the story of the person was read. My daughter is in this program and was a bit daunted at the work ahead of her.
Yesterday I attended a Spiritual ceremony at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 of the victims are buried.  It was a perfect April day with clear skies and mild temperatures. There were very moving musical performances and some touching speeches. Relatives of some victims were present. I usually visit this spot once a year or so, it is near my home. A few years ago, high in the trees, someone thoughtfully hung a set of windchimes above the Titanic graves. It is lovely to visit and hear the melodies when the place is quiet and empty.
This is one of the most photographed placemarkers, thanks to James Cameron's movie.
The real J Dawson was Joseph, grave 227. He was a 23 year old Irishman. A trimmer, one of the hardest jobs on the ship. Delivering coal to the  fireman at the furnaces. He was off-duty when the impact occurred, but rooted through his dunnage bag to equip himself with his National Sailors and Firemen's Union card  before finally being allowed topside with the rest of the black gang when all the boats were gone.  He was found barefoot because many firemen pulled off their heavy workboots on the deck of the Titanic before the stern inverted, hoping to save themselves by swimming. Such sad stories. Here are some artifacts people have left at his grave.
There were Sea Cadets and other youth groups each standing vigil holding flowers to set on the many graves.
EVERY grave there holds a story.  Most we don't know. The story of John Law Hume is one of great courage and inspiration. Grave 193. He was  Scottish violinist aged 21 who every one knew as Jock and was a member of the Titanic orchestra. A very cheery chap who everyone loved.
 Here's a bit from the Worcestor Gazette....
"New York, April 19.-Of all the heroes who went to their death when the Titanic dived to its ocean grave, none, in the opinion of Miss. Hilda Slater, a passenger in the last boat to pull off, deserved greater credit than the members of the vessel's orchestra. According to Miss. Slater, the orchestra played until the last. When the vessel took its final plunge the strains of a lively air, mingled gruesomely with the cries of those who realized that they were face to face with death.

"It was terrible," said Miss. Slater, who had come from her home in England to visit a brother, an architect in this city. "From the moment the vessel struck, or as soon as the members of the orchestra could be collected, there was a steady round of lively airs. It did much to keep up the spirits of everyone and probably served as much as the efforts of the officers trying to prevent panic." 
The last song the orchestra played was "Nearer My God to Thee". Young Jock perished unaware that his fiancĂ© was pregnant with his child.  This was an extraordinary wreath, complete with full sized violin. The little note attached read, "Forever my hero", left by his great niece, Yvonne Hume.
It is remarkable how after all these years, the story and events still have a profound impact on people. There were visitors paying their respects from all over the world.

This is the grave of tiny Sidney Leslie Goodwin, "the unknown child", who thanks to DNA testing is unknown no longer. The story is FASCINATING and you can read about it here. His grave has come to represent all the children that died that night.
Simple graves, each one with  the same date. April 15, 1912.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New York dreaming

I don't know why, but I love this picture of New York! Lower East side. The Surtex show is happening  this May 20-22  and I REALLY  would love to go. How amazing and inspirational to explore it and then maybe get a booth there one day.  I have a deep hankering  to visit the Metropolitan Museum again. Get filled up with art and beauty. That's my daughter below, I came across this pic and had to post it. Isn't her hair amazing!
Ah yes...New York!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Broke & Peanut

So.....I was on my way to the afternoon tea last week when I came across what I thought was an interesting new shop!  It was dark inside so I put my face to the window and peered inside. It looked a bit bare but there were two smiling girls inside who waved at me to come in!
Well,....... it was an art installation masquarading as a shop! One of the great things about living in a city with a renowned art college you never know what you might stumble across. This "shop" was all about the broke life of an artist. They were selling the lifestyle of an artist for peanuts.
I can't say that I understood it all but it was fun to have a poke about and look at everything.
This is the jar of peanuts around which the exhibit revolves.
How to make your own candle holders. Living the creative life on the cheap, fueled by booze and coffee and late nights.
There were some  notebooks full of cute illustrations
Here are the artist signatures available for peanuts on shards of broken glass. I love  events and places like this. Makes one think. I don't always get it but I find it interesting!
The installation is on until April 14th at 1660 Granville street, 10:30 until 5:30, closed on Wednesday. Here are the two creators, both in their 3rd year at NSCAD. Marielle Dalpe and Barbara Scheed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Afternoon Tea at the Halifax Club

This is the 150th anniversary of the Halifax Club. Originally a bastion for men only,  today women and men are members equally. It is a lovely old building, one of the few in the city that has retained it's character and is full of history, interesting art and curios. 
These chandeliers are made of hand blown Waterford crystal and were hung in 1910, I think. Aren't they lovely?

I was invited to tea here on Thursday,  their first "Afternon Tea" of the season. We had a grand time and the food was delicious. This is the room where we enjoyed our afternoon treat. Very British. There is a piano at hand and visitors to tea are encouraged to play it if they can, and are welcomed to read poetry aloud or tell tales and entertain each other as if it was their own salon.
Doesn't this plate look good? Asparagus &salmon sanwiches, cucumber & brie, egg salad, and tuna salad. Fresh made scones with pots of clotted cream and jam to slather on. Maccarons, two dainty pastries and some fruit. Your choice of tea as well! (because of my new vegetarian/dairy free diet, I did not have these delectable treats myself but was told they were fab!) They sure looked yummy!
Included in the tea is a tour of the building, with delightful tales about past members and stories about the art and curios. Just after the Halifax Explosion, many doctors from Boston and other places who came to help the injured stayed here. This cracked window was the only thing that sustained damage from the explosion and they have never repaired it, keeping it as a small memorial.
The building is fascinating and there is supposedly a resident ghost :) The sad result of a tragic event that happened here many years ago. You will learn about it on the tour:)
The teas are every Thursday from 2:30 until 4:30. If you are interested you can learn more here.
Also, on April the 11th they are having a special dinner in honor of the Titanic with a 5 course meal based on the First Class menu of the ship. I bet that will be quite the evening!
Oh, and as an interesting aside, two of Halifax's most illustrious citizens were never members of the club, Alexander Keith of beer fame, and Joseph Howe, our champion of Free Speech
 (seen reflected below). I actually really like this picture and was trying to think of a way to sneak it in! haha.