Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I swear, it's like a competion in my 'hood with the spooky decorations, and smoke and sound tracks. It's awesome!

halloween 005
halloween 009
halloween 007
halloween 006

The tiny little unicorn and the toddler dressed as a dragon were pretty adorable, but I love the clearly homemade costumes. The theme this year was 'Things you can do with cardboard boxes.' This icluded a washing machine, dice, and a stop light which were all great costumes.

Also, neighbours insisted on giving me candy, even though I was just out to see the kids, since they don't seem to visit apartments. This is good.

The photos aren't very good, but I thought I'd share -especially this one:
halloween 008

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Natural History

Ah, yes, what we have all been waiting for... a way to combine our raging obsession with the wunderkammer, the Cabinet of Curiosity, with... the holidays. In fact, Natural History is rather hip, for home decor.

The Mad Scientists of Etsy challenge for October is to re-invent the ornament in the light of science. So, this is what I've been up to:

natural history all
natural history reverse

This collection of ornaments ranges from the microscopic radiolarian (inspired by the 19th century German naturalist and artist Ernst Haeckel) to the Moon in scale. Mammals are represented by their largest member: the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). The insect class is represented by the mighty traveller, the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). The fungi are represented by the pretty, but poisonous fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).

fly agaric ornament

Cause who doesn't want poisonous mushrooms on their tree? Bwhahahaha!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spontaneous performance art in Parkdale

balloons in Parkdale

As I walked home along Queen St W through Parkdale, I passed the helium balloons caught in the telephone wires. The elderly man in front of me stopped. He was wearing a surgical mask and didn't look very steady on his feet, but he picked up his cane and brought it to his shoulder like a hunting rifle. He aimed at the balloons and then mimed the backfire as he shot them with his imaginary gun. One of the street punks said, "Hey old man, you living in the old days?" He pretended he didn't hear and continued on. A few paces along he found something else he thought he'd like to shoot and whipped up his cane, bringing it perilously close to my face. "Oh, I'm sorry," he said, but I merely swerved and assured him it was alright. He has the freedom to play make-believe.

evolution of the wheatpaste man

The wheatpaste man evolves. He lost his face. His sign has been defaced, and now, he has two bows.

stripespaint explosion detail
behind the fence
detail of the Dufferin jog graffiticomputers
opinionated snail
flying stump face
felt hearts and stars
heart with skull and crossbones
Gnome on the tracks

Ever seen the gnome on the train tracks?

run run run with bow and bunny

I like the sneaker wearing sneakers... fractal footware.

rococco skull
tag sky over Parkdale
homes with tags
stripey tagsParkdale heart
Parkdale mural artParkdale mural
Parkdale mural globe

I sort of love the naiveté of the geography depicted. There appears to be a prototypical Frenchman, somewhere approaching Moscow, a Chinese man lost in Siberia, St. Basil's and please-tell-me-that's-not-Stalin are deep within China. Meanwhile, Brazil is north of Newfoundland and Central America didn't make the cut. In a clear indication that we do not live in igloos here, there is an igloo firmly planted in Greenland.

words on the wall

The stencil read:
You have not
yet fathomed
what a creative
entity you are
because you
doubt what you
are when you
sease [ sic] and allow
yourself to
flow forth you
will have your
of expression
simply allow you
to be and dont
compare your-
self to

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

unplanned days

Flowers Dundas W
Dundas St. W

Dundas St. W. has this whole colour scheme going these days. It's all cyan and mustard and pumpkin...

Massey Hall

I had a nice day yesterday, starting with brunch with the girls.

swimming Aztec
Photographs shot from within a moving vehicle are not always successful, but when one sees a truly spectacular um... giant Aztec swimming with dice and flowers on a wall bordering a parking lot, one must take one's chances.

eyeball and grafitti
Queen W woman

I got to purchase fabric, ogle boots and get a chance to have a hot shower. We followed this with sushi and Black Books in front of a roaring fire.

The new best E.T.A. on when we will have heat and hot water again, is not until Monday, at best. Minouette is not amused with the lack of heat.
Minouette bundle

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Things which have amused me this morning:
that German research vessels specify their length to the centimeter! I have never seen any vessel length more accurate than the foot or the meter, but it fits precisely with my (facetiously held) idea of German-ness. There are certain running jokes amongst marine scientists about research vessels of various nationalities and how this reflects the character of the nation (American boats are dry - alcohol-free*, French boats have wine-holds and dancefloors, Japanese boats have communal baths and serve flying-fish sushi, should the misguided suckers land on the deck). The stereotype about the German R/V Sonne is that (say, unlike Canadian vessels where there are a series of skilled helmsmen who hold station with a combination of luck, skill and magic**) if they need to hold station to do some science, there is a large red button on the bridge, which is pushed by the authoritarian Captain, and through the magic of German engineering.... *poof* ...boat stops even in a gale.***

Things which have not amused me this morning:
Despite their claim that they would send out a serviceperson last night, we still have neither heat nor hot water. I haven't been able to bathe since Tuesday and thus have so far been working from home, not feeling like going to the office feeling slimy. At least it is only autumn. However a cold shower in a freezing apartment is not tempting.

Things which make me wonder:
I went and translated all the items in my shop, so that posting are in both official languages. I had a purchase earlier this week from someone with a French name in Québec, so I debated whether I should write back in French. I decided to send a standard (your loot is in the mail thank you so much) email in English and a brief thank you in French with the item. Today I have a purchase from France. The funny thing is that I had just been wondering at my own sanity for having put all this effort into translating everything, since Google Analytics told me I had very few visits from people whose operating systems identify them as francophone.

*When I casually mentioned I had never previously been on a dry vessel, after a week long cruise on an American boat, the jaws of all the American scientists collectively dropped. Though Canadian vessels are stricter than they used to be; when I was a student, you could buy yourself a duty-free beer for 50 cents from a vending machine on a well-known research vessel. The crew used the proceeds to buy a hot tub. They are a clever bunch.
**In my experience, it is wise to go up to the wheelhouse, now an again, particularly at about 3 am, to give the Officer on the bridge a pep talk, and maybe a butter tart with a coffee. I tend to do experiments which require a lot of station-holding, which is not the sort of thing which is popular with Officers.
***I should make clear that I have never been aboard any German vessel. I have been on many many Canadian research cruises, a couple of American research cruises, and one month-long Chilean research cruise and I have toured a variety of research vessels when they've come to port. I can say that each of these did indeed have a distinct flavour.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What this blog needs... clearly, an alien squid dancing next to a streetcar.

No, there were no alien squid on or adjacent to my streetcar today.*

{via Pink Tentacle}

*There was no heat in my home nor any hot water either, thanks to the City's on-going excavations, but that's another story.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Euplocephalus pillow

Euoplocephalus pillow

Block printed dinosaur in indigo on fuschia with a stripe of herringbone. The reverse is woven silk in turquoise and gold with a up-cycled cuff from a grey men's shirt, complete with button, and tentacle and blossom label.

reverse of Euoplocephalus

cuff on Euoplocephalus pillow

I thought I'd make some more masculine pillows... but somehow, even when the subject matter is a dinosaur, and I employ menswear, I seem to have used fuschia. Maybe I should aim for blue or something. Why do we have colour stereotypes anyway? Did you know that the ridiculous blue/pink thing used to be reversed? That's right! Pink was once the colour reserved for baby boys. Nothing inherently feminine there.

Oh! I sold three prints today. Yay!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ex Libris octopus

Ex Libris octopus
Originally uploaded by the.minouette
I've been thinking about making some more bookplates. Octopi like books, but so do other creatures.

I haven't been creating much, but I'm slowly trying to finish the quilt. The reverse is made up of squares. I am getting there.