Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Creative Space: Performance Anxiety

In my sewing studio is a half finished evening gown for my daughter. I am not yet panicking, but it needs to be ready for her performance on Saturday. Even though this performance is a big deal for her, she does not seem to be too anxious in anticipation nor am I worried for her. My anxiety does not even lie in what is left to do or the fact that despite my years of experience in dressmaking, I have yet to insert an invisible zipper. The source of anxiety is the fact that this dress is the first outfit that I have made for her since she was a small child and I hope that it will live up to her expectations. The silk dupioni is lovely to work with and I will get an opportunity to use some of my vintage boning that I picked up at the Fabric Flea market (not called for in the pattern but always a good idea for a gown). I am trying take the time to enjoy the process but with all the activities at this time of year not making mistakes is becoming my biggest priority.
Enjoy all the creativity of the season over at Kristy's blog

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Creative Space: What is Waiting on my Ironing Board

My sewing room has welcomed a new tool: a Rowenta Pro Iron! My trusty T-fal is still working but I was getting a little worried as it gets used a lot. The T-fal is fairly light weight which is perfect for garment care. Sewing can benefit from a heavier iron that produces a lot of steam. I have had a few irons in my years of home keeping and have been disappointed with some of them. Many of the more recent models do not seem to get hot enough and almost all of them have an auto shut-off. The Professional model Rowenta is designed for sewers with one of its best features being its lack of auto shut-off. It gets nice and hot and produces a lot of steam. Unfortunately, so far all I have had time to use it for is ironing some of my vintage linen tablecloths like this rosy one. It works very well for linen but its weight would deter me from using it for all my ironing.

The reason for the new iron's lack of use in the sewing room is due to the combination of my children's many activities and the effect of certain flu symptoms dancing through the family. This virus seems to come back to haunt you just when you think that you are feeling better. While I have been under the weather, I have been very thankful for a well organized bedside table well stocked with all you need when needing extra rest: favourite books and magazines, carafe and glass of water, tissues, lovely porcelain flower-shaped tea light, pen holder and basket with lip balm, hand cream and a thermometer. Extra pillows, a reading shawl and my lap top allow me to be inspired by all of the creativity out in blog land.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Elegance and Beauty

Materialistic is not a word that I would use to describe myself, but I love collecting and surrounding myself with beauty and I love to collect books. This blog has given me reason to record and share things that I find to be beautiful. With illness in the family, I have missed the opportunity to photograph all of Autumn's glory so will instead share a picture of one of the columbines that I planted this summer. Despite feeling sick, yesterday I ventured out to bring a friend a birthday gift: the book DV by Diana Vreeland. Books can be risky gifts but sometimes you know when it suits the person to a tee. My friend is as close as any person I know to possessing the legendary dramatic style that was Mrs. Vreeland. Of course, when I gave her the book I started to think of other books that I have about beauty and style icons and guides to achieving beauty and elegance in life. One of those books is one that I have read but do not possess: A Guide to Elegance -For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux. Mme Dariaux, who was the directrice at Nina Ricci, made a substantial impact on me when I read my Mum's copy as a teen and led me to be more inclined to look to some of old Hollywood's stars more than my contemporaries for inspiration. The book also inspired some rather fun fiction that I read in the past year also called Elegance
An early influence for me, as well as legions of others, was Audrey Hepburn and one of my favourite books on her is Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit written with love by her son. I enjoy its insight into her humanity that shines so beautifully in her films and her work with UNICEF. My admiration for her led me to What Would Audrey Do? which I found to be full of useful ways to add elegance and grace to daily life.
Recently, I was able to find a lovely book about another public figure who embodied elegance and beauty: Grace Kelly - A Life in Pictures. I was thrilled to find this book at a second hand book store and makes me eager to review all of her fabulous film roles -good for a quiet Fall evening in! I was reminded of Grace Kelly when I found this vintage train case at the thrift store. It is in beautiful condition made in England by Morton of London. Unfortunately my Internet sleuthing has not given me information about the company. The train case is smaller than others that I have seen but that makes it a possible to use as a handbag. What can be held in the train case suggests what is found in Caroline Cox's How to Be Adored - A Girl's Guide to Hollywood Glamour. A small delicious tome, it includes information on charm, etiquette and personality tips as well as creating a glamorous image. All of the books mentioned require us to concentrate on our personalities to find elegance and style like these beautiful icons of the past. If these women can inspire us to greater humanity, beauty will be found.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hallowe'en creativity

Number four wanted me to call this post creepy crafting but I am not sure that it is the best description of our pumpkin at the front door. My husband gets really crafty about once a year and it is with his jack-o-lantern masterpieces. Some years he has made more and they have always been with design detail contributed by the children. Some years he has been on tour with the orchestra he plays in or has a concert in the evening but this year he is home and available for fun. As we have many small children in our neighborhood it is much better to have silly pumpkins than scary ones.

Number three and number four in costume: a grime reaper and Harry Potter. I feel a little bit slack these days in the costume department as these were purchased although Number four is wearing his choir uniform's shirt and tie and a knitted vest from Nanan. Their older siblings had more creative home-made costumes: Pingu, Little Bo-Peep, knight(indoor -tabard, leggings), queen (would let me say she was a princess), fairy, Legolas(elf from Lord of the Rings), and Dark Rider (also from Lord of the Rings). I did make Number three a pretty good bat costume but when you can find some costumes for $20 or less and you know that they have lasting play value it can be pretty difficult to direct crafting time to costumes.

My creative contribution to Hallowe'en this year was a batch of chocolate cupcakes. I tried out edible decals for some of the decoration but found them somewhat difficult to work with and not quite as impressive as the packaging's photographs. I am glad that they were bought at a discount because I know that I will not be trying them again. I made these on Friday night which was a good thing as Number one started having flu symptoms later in the evening and I am feeling them now too. Number two went to a theatre screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a few of her friends and seems to have had fun.

When I was a kid, after Christmas, Hallowe'en was my favourite celebration and it was not because of the candy. I loved getting dressed up and can remember all of my costumes from the age of three. By the time I was ten, I was making them myself. At number four's age, I have distinct memories of the eerie feeling that ghost stories, decorations and even the wind blowing in the trees evoked and I am pretty sure that my children have felt that too. I hope that the richness of this kind of inner life continues to feed them their whole lives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fabric Flea market and Recent Thrifts

Most sewers have abundant stashes of fabric! After a time, we sometimes wonder why we bought so much of it. The organizers of a sale that benefits a public school in Ottawa's urban core have capitalized on this knowledge. The Annual Fabric Flea market brings together sewers (and other fibre crafters) to sell off what they don't want and buy what they do. I was very restrained and bought only two lengths of fabric but my self-control was challenged when it came to vintage sewing notions. I think that I was most excited by the purse frame (on the left hand side of the photo) and the printed bias binding was also a score. I love the packaging of the mending tape and the zip lock bag contains seven fabric covered belt buckle kits. I am looking forward to making a holiday apron with the fabric. Presently, I am drawn to birds in design.

In this photo, the most exciting thing for me is the book. The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction is a book that my Mum has. I remember reading it in her sewing room when I was first learning to sew and I feel it really completes my vintage sewing library. These books were written when the average woman had sewing skills and many women who wanted well-fitted, fashionable clothes would make themselves most of their wardrobes. I will likely scan some of the information to share but another blogger reviews the book here. The second length of fabric I purchased is five metres of shell pink silk. It is 115cm wide so there are lots of possibilities with this fabric. The lady selling it also had the suit pattern that she had planned on using with the silk. Maybe it is because I was making similar patterns in the eighties, but I had no inclination to purchase her pattern (I have difficulty thinking the eighties are vintage). The graphics on the box of boning may have been what prompted me to purchase it but my Mum said that it would be of better quality that most of what you buy now. The best part of this year's flea market was definitely that I went with my favourite sewing buddy, my Mum.

At a community wide garage sale I found this vintage sewing table. It needed a little cleaning up and I need to find a small screw that will work for the little knob waiting for it in one of the drawers. The rounded sides of the table are bins to store your handwork and have hinged lids on the table top. The crocheted lace was thrifted and the orchid was a gift from my Mum-lucky me!

The two lamps picture here on the buffet were purchased from the same vendor later on in the sale. My Mum thinks that they are probably from the late forties. They cast a beautiful light in the room and I cannot wait for their debut at a party.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Creative Space: Autumnal Inspirations

Autumn is an exciting time in our household: two of our children have birthdays, the concert season starts up again and cooler temperatures inspire many of the indoor pursuits that make a house a home. While I am not presently playing any concerts, I have benefited as if I had. The beautiful bouquet of flowers pictured here was presented to my husband at a concert he played on Monday night and I get to enjoy them!

Today is my eldest child's nineteenth birthday and it somehow seems a bigger deal than many of his other birthdays. I am walking around somewhat in shock that I am old enough to have a nineteen year old child. It really seems like only yesterday we were driving to the hospital with Mozart's Duo Concertante playing on the car stereo. I remember waking up from a nap and having my water break, then leisurely taking a shower and then eating some toast and tea. Number One was born a few short hours later and our whole world changed. Every body's life changes when they have a baby but ours changed differently than most as we soon discovered that our new son had Down Syndrome. This is not a post about disability but inspiration. I like to think that my son's special needs have inspired me to be creative even if creative means figuring out how to laugh at a situation rather than cry. I have certainly needed to find time for myself so I could make things and I feel fortunate that my temperament was accustomed to doing so. Because there are many things that Number One cannot do, I have learned to see more of what is there (in the world) than what is not and relish the little things like fall flowers and chocolate cake. The birthday cake I made today is our standard recipe using the Moosewood Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe. The whole family enjoyed about half of it after singing Happy Birthday and really the day did not seem so shocking after all.

Here is another Autumnal tablecloth that is inspiring me to keep the cake keeper in use. See what others are inspired to create at Kristy's blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thankful for Family Thrifting

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and I have a lot to be thankful for: a beautiful (relatively) healthy family, a comfortable home and (almost) enough time to be creative. I am also thankful for being part of a family that possesses the thrifting gene. My Mum has been visiting from Victoria for the last few weeks and we have enjoyed more than a few visits to my local haunts. We have had a great time and found some real treasures.
I think that we spotted this Buxton jewellery box at the same time. Mum treated me, insisting that all my vintage costume jewellery needed a home. She also put hours in cleaning and polishing the leather. I have thoroughly vacuumed the insides and just need to replace some of the satin lining as it was previously removed in two sections.
I plan on posting more about the vintage jewellery in future. I love wearing it and always receive many compliments when I do. I now have enough of a collection that when I see a piece I have to really love it or know it to be a collectors piece before I purchase it. This weekend I will go to the Fabric Flea Market with my Mum to look for vintage sewing treasures.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Creative Space or How Inspiration can prevent you from blogging

The last few months has been full of bursting at the seams inspiration: travel, music, family life, gardening, food, thrift finds, and creating little bits of beauty in and around the home. Many memories have been created and although I have taken the photographs to document them, I have yet to share through this blog. I have barely even kept up with my favourite blogs that inspired me to start to write about all that feeds me creatively. While I can know that my trip to England interrupted my habit of posting, I never would have expected to be away from it for so long. I suppose it is like a fitness routine where the more workouts you miss, the harder it is to get back into the routine. It is very easy for other aspects of life to fill up the time that it takes to create a post and while I enjoyed the break I missed the sharing.
I cannot possibly catch up all in one post so I thought that I would just share something small. The picture above is from our second day in England when we where punting on the River Cam. This is just one of the beautiful sites along the river with plants growing right out of the walls. We were in Cambridge for two weeks in July and saw many people dressed for weddings at the various Chapels and Churches in the city. Many of the guests were wearing fascinators. Two weeks ago, I made my own version to wear to the wedding of good friends. I had altered her dress to fit her including hemming it which meant that I had a few feet of tulle about six inches wide. Using a thrifted headband (the colour of the dress I planned on wearing) and a lone vintage Sherman earring and other scraps in my stash, I fashioned this little trifle. I think that I was the only one wearing any headgear or a hat but I enjoyed wearing it anyway.

Enjoy what everyone else is doing in there creative spaces at Kristy's blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Creative Space: Patience or four more sleeps

Patience is a great skill for creative people to acquire. Sometimes we just need to trust that all the work and preparation will lead us to our desired outcome especially when we are not sure what the end product will be. Years of gardening has nurtured the skill in me. You would not bother to plant something without the belief that it will grow but the speed and habit of that growth are never absolutely known. This peony is a case in point. This is our ninth summer in this house with much of the present garden already established by the previous owners of the house. The garden possesses another peony just outside our dining room window that has produced a profusion of blossoms faithfully every summer. There was this other plant that we were fairly sure was another peony but we had yet to see it bloom. The condition for peonies were being met in its location so it was somewhat baffling that it had never bloomed and we could have given up on it. I decided that I would give it one more year in its spot before I would move it. This year we have this beautiful solitary bloom. Definitely worth the wait!

I am pulled away from actually making stuff this week: I am processing an unfruitful appointment with a specialist about a chronic health problem, my daughter got a body cast today that will stay on for six weeks this summer to help correct a spinal problem and I am preparing for the trip to England with the Choir. Of course, I am still planning new projects and am always doings some of the mental preparations for a multitude of plans. Active creativity this week is to be found problem solving and making family meals to suit our sudden heat wave. I like to prepare food that is seasonal and the ingredients pictured here make a salad that I wait all year long for. I love fresh strawberries but would never dream of buying them out of season. We have some developing plants in our veggie patch but not enough for this salad yet. The recipe for the dressing is simple: 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp. oil, 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1 tsp. Poppy, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 chopped scallion. Whisk the dressing up and toss with spinach, sliced strawberries, and almonds or sunflower seeds. The two smaller pyrex dishes are recent thrifts and go with the Butter print bowl that I already have. I will keep my eyes open for the lids and other pieces of refrigerator sets. The cheerful prints and colours make me understand why there are obsessive collectors of pyrex.

I could not believe that I found this Emma Bridgewater Biscuit tin for $1.99 with the sugar tin inside it for free. I am sure that whoever donated the tins did not understand how desirable Emma Bridgewater is. Tucked in behind is a lovely camisole from Jacob and a blue enamelled cast iron dutch oven that I believe to be Descoware as it is marked made in Belgium and I have done a little research as to its shape and colour. I am particularly excited about this find and feel it will clean up brilliantly. More about it in a future post except to say that a enamelled cast iron dutch oven has been on my wish list for quite a long time and I really had never expected that I would find it in a preferred colour and at thrift prices.

The photo here is of the thyme carpet starting to grow in the spaces of some rather ugly cement pavers on the east side of our house. I started planting the space between the pavers with thyme three years ago with replanting when some of the plants did not survive the winter. We now have a beautiful destination in the garden that smells delicious where once there was an eyesore. The patience gardening has taught me has allowed me to know to wait for things our family uses until I can find them second-hand and give them a second life. In parenting, I know that even when an expected chore is not always initiated by my children, it is right for me to continue expect that it eventually will be.

I need this kind of patience when I tell myself there are only 4 more (three when publishing this post) until I leave with my two younger boys for their choir trip to England. I know that I will experience many inspiring sites and sounds that will fill my creative space for a long time. For other creative spaces, check out all the other posts linked on Kristy's blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Latest Thrifts

I hope all the fathers in your life had a great day. We had a fairly quiet day that started with me bringing my husband his morning coffee in bed. He usually does it for me so it was the least I could do. Number 3 brought him freshly made waffles with butter, maple syrup and maple flakes on them. He often makes pancakes on the weekend but this was done with no ceremony and was a bit of a surprise. I did not think to take a picture so I have put in one of my husband's favourite flowers in our garden, the poppy!

When I walk into a thrift store, I make sure I cover all my essentials that include aprons and linens, cookbooks, china, pyrex, sewing supplies and brooches. I also always look at the carts the staff are using to restock the shelves. That is where I found this two volume cookbook from Gourmet Magazine. My Mum has a slightly older(I think) version of this set. This printing is still in its presentation box and the books still have their protective plastic dust jackets. My daughter found the Christmas menu tucked inside. It is from the Carleton Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ottawa. We have lived in Ottawa since 1990 and I do not remember there being a Four Seasons Hotel in the city while we have lived here. When we arrived in Ottawa, we were shocked to discover how few good restaurants we could find and how expensive the good ones were. I would have tried any restaurant at a Four Seasons Hotel at that time. A few years before my Nanan (maternal grandmother) treated my mother and myself to one of the best dinners I have ever eaten at the Four Seasons Vancouver. Ottawa has improved markedly in availability of good food since the nineties but we are not quite as interested in eating out these days and tend to stick with a few favourites. The tea towel has a fibre content label stating it is made of linen and cotton in German.

I could not resist this apron. I do not believe it to be vintage which is a usual criteria but it is charming. Its construction suggests it may have been commercially probably for tourists. I am not sure if it is Russian with her headdress being a Kokoshnik or whether she is wearing an Ukrainian Vinok. Does anyone have an opinion? She would be perfect for wearing while making holiday treats.

I love finding sewing and crafting books. I really have not been to many garage sales this year but an ad at the grocery store mentioned a sale with sewing stuff! That was enough to get me out. I could not resist some of the retro kitsch in these titles as I am slightly nostalgic about the rock painting and candle making of my childhood. The sewing books are very useful but this sale just got better and better.

Twenty-five cents each for these still very current patterns. The top pattens might even entice my daughter to learn to sew. The sale got even better.

There was fabric! Lots of fabric. The four pieces on the left are Laura Ashley and the middle print in greens and purple is Daisy Kingdom. The pink print should work well to line a bag but the blue piece at the back right of the photo is three metres of silk. I think I hear a early '60s sheath dress calling out for this fabric. Maybe I even have a vintage pattern that I will not have to re size in order to make up such a dress. I forgot to photograph the more utilitarian fabric lengths I bought. It was the only sale I went to and sometimes one is more than enough: I found great stuff and I met two sisters who were very friendly and enjoy sewing as much as I do.

Many others also love garage sales. Check out what they are sharing at Rhoda's blog

Friday, June 19, 2009

Six (un)important things I love

I have been tagged by Katherine with the following rules:
Pick 6 unimportant things you love
Mention & link to the person who tagged you
Tag 6 of your favourite bloggers to play along
(don’t forget to comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been tagged!)

Well I have changed the title a little bit because everything I love is important to me even if it is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Apart from life's essentials anything can be important to someone. I am not including my family in this list because they are essential and come before sleeping and eating if needs be. After that:

For me music has inspired how I look at and respond to the world and even how I think. As a little girl, music made me dance and my days were filled with song. I loved standing by the piano at ballet class with my hand on the sound board. I was able to identify songs and ballet music and at a very early age was fascinated by anyone with the ability to play an instrument. It should not be surprising that most of my formal education prepared me to be a flutist. This path was derailed by a serious hand injury and my Father's early death but was not completely abandoned. I am married to a full-time musician who played violin professionally for the first twenty years of our relationship and has added the viola for the past two. He also conducts a community orchestra that I usually play in.
With his multiple disabilities, Number 1 does not seriously study an instrument but has benefitted from music therapy and enjoys experimenting with a variety of instruments. He is happiest when listening to music. Number 2 started to play the 'cello at four years old and became skilled enough to be learning some of the Bach Suites for solo 'cello a few years ago. She started to play the french horn at eleven in her school band and it has become her principal instrument and of course, she loves to sing and sings well. Number 3 started the violin at six and endured his lessons for a year. He was never satisfied with how it sounded and asked to learn to play the harp at eight. This past year he also started percussion in the school band and singing in the Choir of Men and Boys. Number 4 has yet to start formal instrument training. We have suggested violin or piano as we have those instruments and the ideas have been met with no sustained interest. He heartily enjoys singing in the choir and has expressed the desire to play the trumpet. Number 4 will likely start lessons on the cornet (related but slightly different than the trumpet) when we return from the choir's trip to England.
While I grew up listening to and still enjoy almost all types of music, I inevitably have favourites. If I found myself on a desert island with an old fashioned phonograph (desert island -no electricity or batteries) and one record to last me all my days, I would pick one with a Mahler symphony on one side (maybe number 4 or 5) and Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs on the other. I have done a little you-tube surfing but have yet to come up with the specific recordings that I might want.

2. Books
Books, and more importantly reading have been (along with music) a salvation in my life. As a child, I suffered from chronic poor health and experienced more than a little social isolation. Both of these situations were made manageable by the reading of books. The physical act of looking at books engaged me long before I could read and some of my earlier memories involve the illustrations in my favourite volumes. We lived in a remote community but my house had a rich library and books were often treasured gifts. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series was a childhood favourite that helped me connect to my own Grandmother and develop my love of history. By the eighth grade I became a lifelong fan of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. I still do not quite understand my love of Hardy at that age but the Austen makes sense. I am not capable of picking a favourite but a small library of favourites contains many of the classics of English Literature, some more contemporary fiction in addition to as many art, design and other reference books as I can afford and store.

3. Flowers and plants
For beauty (and practicality), plants are the winners. I cannot really describe my appreciation of and for flowers and other plants. Working beside my Mother in her greenhouse as a school-age child contributed to it as did observing my Father keeping bees but words cannot fully express my admiration for the plant kingdom.

4. Useful things with history
Aprons, tablecloths, kitchen utensils, buttons, sewing notions, travelling trunks, pillowcases, utilitarian furniture -difficult to specify all but if it was a useful object that shows its age and could be used as originally designed or repurposed I want to rescue it and find it a home. A careful line needs to be walked here because I could wind up with a pile of junk. My husband requires me to state a very strong case for said object and such scrutiny usually leads to something pleasing in the end.

5. Tools for creating My sewing studio, sewing machine,fabrics, notions,my batterie de cuisine, my laptop, camera and everything else involved in the creative process delights my senses and sparks ideas for new projects. For me,whether it is mending kid's clothes, making a meal, or working on a long dreamed about art piece, a creative life is essential and the correct tools help make that possible.

6. Sparkle with patina
This last thing is a little newer to me than the other (un)important things. I have always tended to wear very little jewelry and have slightly understated clothes but in the last few years I have often added a vintage brooch to whatever outfit or outer-wear I might have on. I have a few new pieces made in a vintage style that I use for winter coats, etc. but I really enjoy the vintage brooches best. I like that I am giving new life to something that was previously enjoyed and they just make me smile when I look at them.
Here is just a few of my collection.

I would like to see what these other bloggers love:
Fine Hand
Little Lovelies
Tweed Thoughts
Two Pink Possums
Thrifted Treasure
Fuzzy Dragons

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Creative Space: Out and about

Sometimes the need to be creative takes a back seat to the creative needs of other family members and lately that seems to be the case for me. In addition to all the winding up of activities, this family did a little travelling this past weekend. Numbers 3 and 4 dance but being boys they do not have a lot of male company in their classes. Last Saturday, No.3 had an opportunity to change that for a few hours when he auditioned for this production. Along with about three dozen other boys he got to put himself through his paces with others his age. He would now like to try taking some hip-hop and tap classes as well as his ballet and stage classes and he made a new friend from near London, Ontario. He is pretty sure that he will not get a call back because there were a few boys who were really advanced that were asked to stay a little longer and he is just happy to have had the opportunity to audition.

While Number 3 was at his audition, the rest of the family decided to have a picnic lunch in a nearby park. Adjacent to the park is a popular destination for Toronto families through many generations. Within this site there is a museum that tells some of the history of the area and of the immigrant experience in Toronto. We enjoyed meeting the volunteer interpreter Kay and her story. I took lots of pictures of the buildings and plants which I will put up on my flickr account. I was quite taken with this mule form of sedums.

The whole neighborhood of Cabbagetown is made of beautifully restored nineteenth century small houses or cottages. I took many pictures of all the little individually architectural details with this one very finished.

The ones I like the most show a little of their age.

Does this look like these chairs are on the curb? I was not sure and I did not have the room in the van but I was sure tempted! I have wanted some of these for awhile so maybe they will show up closer to home. My family was groaning that I was taking a picture but you find inspiration where you find it which leads to what I spotted in ritzy Rosedale.

A pink garage! I love the whimsy of this scheme but its locale reminds me that wealth can help when it comes to eccentric expression. We have a deep, lipstick pink front door but I not sure that candy pink would work in our suburban neighborhood but the ivy across the roof line might.

After the audition, the whole family did the quintessential Toronto tourist experience and went up the CN tower. We chose not to go up the additional Sky Pod as it was expensive enough just going to the observation deck. The view of the city is spectacular and certainly changed from when I ate lunch in the restaurant as a teenager in 1982. The restaurant is much fancier than when I ate there so long ago although my meal of Salisbury Steak was Canadian Haute Cuisine at the time. We chose not to feed our family a dinner at elevated prices and found an Indian restaurant nearby which was more appreciated with more down to earth prices. (Sorry for all the bad puns!)

So after getting cosy with the public sculpture, we hopped in the van to start our long drive home. While this was the farthest away day trip we would try, the kids have proven to do well with road-trips which has inspired me to think of some new destinations.

For creative spaces closer to home spend some time travelling through Kristy's blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Creative Space: Where my mind would rather be!

As we are presently working on our taxes for self-employed income which requires some creativity but not the kind you share, I thought that I would post about something more creative. Behold the puppet theatre that I made for No. 4. It is photographed in my sewing studio because the playroom is still suffering from the studio make-over (had to put the stuff somewhere) and the addition of a drum set. The theatre was a Christmas present that was not too difficult or expensive to make. The challenge was coming up with a design. I wanted to make something light enough for a child to be able to move yet strong enough to be used regularly.

Cardboard makes up the form and shape of the theatre. The kids had previously received an Ikea cardboard puppet theatre that had issues with stability and durability. I created the size and shape I wanted out of cardboard which I then stapled to one inch pine strapping to re-enforce its form. Using spray tack, I applied polyester batting to the panels and then used the same spray tack to hold the fabric. I wrapped the fabric around the frames and stapled into the wood. All three panels were created this way with the central one being larger and having the opening which I re-enforced with 1/2 inch strapping. The hardware for the curtain was installed before upholstering the centre panel. The panels were attached using four hinges and the staples were covered by hot-glueing decorative tape around the frame as shown.

The fun part was the decorative trims and the curtain. The printed fabric and the curtain fabric were both in my stash but the trims had to be purchased. Remember to have a bowl of ice water handy when using the hot-glue! Now sit back and watch your children entertain you, puppets optional.

I will be distracted from helping my husband finish the taxes by all the creative spaces at Kristy's blog.