Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review - Part II

We had some of our first guests for Canada Day. I went to the Etsy meet-up and got featured in their video. I started a Western Zodiac linocut series, to go with the Chinese Zodiac series. I made a rock garden. I started a series of linocut monograms. I helped run a craft show for our team! Etsy featured my portrait of Mme. Wu in the blog 'Short Stories' series. Like the rest of the city, I was sickened to hear of the shooting on Danzig, but living with a journalist meant I learned about it earlier than many. We hosted the T.E.S.T. 3rd Annual "Spring" Handmade Market, complete with post-show cocktail party (where two mysterious strangers showed up and systematically ate all the cheese)! My shop reached 1500 hearts. I made a portrait of Turing, for his centennial year.

Taurus774rock garden aboveMme. Wu and the Violation of ParityTuring853

I got a summer cold and ear ache, but went to hear the Bloggess read, none the less. It was hilarious. I negotiated a magazine cover. We had a housewarming party. We made our vacation, driving through Ontario, the Adirondacks in NY, NH, Vermont and into Maine, then up to New Brunswick, to visit his family and old friends. While camping on Deer Island, by the shore, complete with tidal whirlpool and Minke whales by our campfire, we got engaged! We drove north to Quebec and back to Ontario, to stay with my family at my late step-mother's cottage (and announce our news). We were (happily) upstaged by my brother and his wife, who announced they are expecting their first child!

a nest of rabbitsMinouette guards Thai dinneranti-moths broadside pillowDeer Island

My portrait of Mme. Wu graced the cover of Physics World! I made a portrait of Hypatia, and sold art at the Queen West Art Crawl. RJH re-did the roof of the garage! My Shar-pei linocut was selected to be featured on an Animal Planet show! I attempted to plan our wedding on a very tight schedule, but had not luck. RJH and I explored the events of Nuit Blanche.


I started a series of linocuts of Canadian provinces and territories. I wrote about Lise Meitner for Ada Lovelace Day (celebrating women in STEM) and a California science blog QUEST wrote about me! The Finch and Pea wrote about my portrait of Mme. Wu. My attempts to plan the wedding continued to be foiled. I made more bees and my work will appear in a booklet on local bees (which will include profiles on the collection of local artists interested in the biodiversity of bees). I enjoyed my first Hallowe'en in a home of our own, and giving out candy to all the kids.

OntarioLise MeitnerMelissodeshalloween2012

RJH got promoted! I redesigned my blogs and shop. I had an interesting and flattering business opportunity (still waiting to hear... fingers crossed... but will be flattered either way). I ran what I called 'Santa's little sweatshop' in preparation for the Holiday rush and plans for craft shows. I participated in a two-day Wandering Winter Craft Show at Magic Pony, while RJH edited photos live at the Grey Cup. I made a lot of pillows, several of whom are dinosaurs.

OrnamentstorosaurusViolet3minouette table

I did another Wandering Winter Craft Show at the Gladstone Hotel (while RJH dealt with the fall-out of the soon-to-be-famous sherling-coat-wearing Ikea-shopping monkey). Then I did the Movies And Makers show at the Fox Cinema. For the first time in years, I found myself mid-December with outstanding xmas shopping; for me, this is a calamity. I had previously, assiduously avoided entering stores in December, since I am both a bit claustrophobic and I found it effectively robbed me of any xmas spirit. I managed to finish shopping by the 20th, though (since, I must be in love, there is nothing else which could compel me to enter stores during the Holiday crunch) I did help RJH a bit after that. My laptop gave up altogether, and RJH surprised me with an early xmas gift - the MacBook Pro on which I am currently typing. I took on a custom order for three Classical themed prints on a tight deadline. We were really pleased to briefly host Lady R. & D and their tall and charming toddler E. We would hope they return and can stay longer in the future. I had a quiet Solstice at home with RJH. We spent xmas eve at my father's with his new girlfriend and her boys. We spent xmas at my mother's (after RJH got off work, having generously volunteered to work Christmas day). I had an enormous number of brunches.

Persephone2012 treeminouette tree topper

Overall this was a year of upheaval for me, and I experienced both some of the most difficult things and the most wonderful. My contract ended, and my daily work shifted dramatically from mostly applied science, to mostly art. I'm still trying to find the right niche: work which I love and can do here in Toronto, and from which I can make a good living. We lost my step-mother. We bought our first home, moved and dove into repairs and making it our own. I had some successes with my art, including a magazine cover, a TV appearance and another exciting opportunity. We got engaged to be married! My brother and his wife are expecting their first child - the first grandchild in my family. RJH got promoted. We spent our first Christmas in our own home. In my experience, most years have fewer milestones than 2012 did.

I hope in 2013, we'll have our wedding. I hope to make new steps in my career. I'm excited to meet my new niece or nephew. Most of all, I hope my love ones, friends and family, are happy and healthy, and I wish all the best to all of you.

2012 in review - Part I

I found it revealing to try this last year, so I thought I'd do it again.

I started my terms of venery series and had a couple of items on Etsy's front page. I was selected as a finalist for the Mini Print International - Asia Pacific! I exhibited at the Year of the Dragon printmaking show in the Distillery district.
Winged WalrusLong: The Dragonbumblebee 003

My groundhog with thermochromic shadow proved popular. I reached 1300 'hearts' for my shop. I completed the patchwork for my Space Jellyfish Fractal Triangle Quilt, complete with NASA imagery and block printed panels, and my Bioluminescent Comb Jelly Lightbox - my foray into combining electronics with my art. The lightbox was written up by Adafruit, which made me really pleased.

groundhog 002spacejellyfishtrianglequilt9combjelly007

We continued the arduous process of house hunting in earnest. Much to our own surprise we succeeded in buying our first house, with our first offer! It's not uncommon here for people to have to make many offers before they succeed or to be looking for months, or even years.

I completed my Polar Bear and Aurora Lightbox and taught the polar bear to speak Italian (with the help of my Arduino microprocessor). RJH finally got an iPhone (trust me, this was an event). I was sad to see that an arsonist burned the High Park play castle, after all my years of living across from the park.

This month was an emotional rollercoaster, as my job situation worsened and my step-mother's health grew worse. She died on March 22. All of her family had a chance to visit during her last week. We knew that she could not survive, but we did not know she would die so soon. I spent a lot of time with my father, her mother, siblings, her children, other step-children, in the immediate aftermath.

Polar Bear and Aurora Lightbox

My artwork was shown in Australia for the Mini-Print International Asia-Pacific. We packed up the apartment to prepare to move. I made a block printed bumbleebee in electrically conductive ink which senses the viewer capacitatively and buzzes (since the sheet itself is a speaker, thanks to a simple circuit and a magnet). I made a thermochromic portrait of Wilhelm Röntgen, which reveals his skeleton, much like his discovery: x-rays. I confessed to 'readers' block' due to the unusually low number of books read. I reached 1400 'hearts' for my shop. I had some items shortlisted for the 'Handmade Olympics'. RJH celebrated his birthday in our new home. BigScience suddenly decided to let me know some info about power, which required me to be extremely creative with large batteries and work continuously in the lab for the last week of the month. Meanwhile, we managed to deal with all the bureaucracy of moving and buying a home.

Roentgen x-rayedmtc 020

I had another birthday. Big Science demanded my equipment, with 2 days notice, so I recruited RJH to help with the physical labour involved in preparing an instrument to be deployed to the bottom of the ocean. Then, they failed to pick it up. However, we were moving house so only found out when the department's shipping and receiving called me at home. Considering the miracle of having prepared it for its deadline, while moving house, and the risk that it would miss being taken to sea, this was quite the blow. Eventually it got to the coast.

We were happy to be in our new home and found we have remarkably friendly neighbours. By the end of the month we had learned that one neighbour was displaying signs he was in need of help for some mental health issues.


There was a torrential downpour and Union Station was flooded with gray water; mercifully, I was at St. Andrew station, so I managed to get home, slowly. We learned that our troubled neighbour looked like a pirate, complete with parrot - though extremely improbably, this is actually true. Luckily, it seems he received the help he needed. BigScience left my instrument ashore because, while it works to specifications, its communication signal strength was too low to drive the cable assigned. I was unable to view the transit of Venus, because it was cloudy, but I enjoyed the event nonetheless. My laptop began its slow deterioration to uselessness. I launched the new 'About' page. We discovered our laundry room roof was not only leaky, but rotten and infested with ants. RJH fixed it! I started my series of under-recognized local bees.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading is sexy LII

The Japanese Mask, 1884, Gustave Claude Etienne Courtois. French (1852–1923). 

I have completely fallen out of the habit of regularly posting about my reading. Also, I read far less this year than previous years. I think it's because I haven't been commuting to work, which was always a good time to get in my daily read. I'm astonished to see I haven't posted about reading since August! I hope I can recall everything I read and my impressions!

13. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash I read this book because reynardin told me to (roughly 300 times). In fairness, had I taken her advice a decade ago, perhaps I would have been more impressed. He does write very good sort of cyberpunk fiction. I appreciate his skewering consumerist society and the racist and nationalist tendencies he saw in the present and envisioning a 21st century, where our hero, Hiro Protagonist (and I feel we must admire the moxie of giving him such a ridiculous  name) is a hacker/pizza delivery boy for the mob-run Uncle Enzo's CosaNotra Pizza - a very dangerous job indeed. Likewise, being a courier, which involves skateboarding on the freeway after magnetically harpooning vehicles. In this future society, nations as we know them have crumbled into tiny industry controlled city-states, several of which are racially segregated, and each have their own security (including in some instances, genetically-modified, cyborg attack dogs called Rat Things). The story is about his battle to prevent a sort of infocalypse, brought about by a shadowy villain infecting programmers and hackers with a sort of visual computer virus which can infect their minds. His version of avatars interacting on the Internet, written in 1992, is wonderfully creative (if you can put yourself back to what you knew about the Internet in 1992). He writes a story which is fast-paced, which allows for critique of our society, and which even brings in Sumerian mythology. I love origin myths, but I must say, the Sumerian mythology subplot was pretty clunky. I appreciate the desire to credit scholarship, but if you have to invent a reason why someone or something might spew direct quotes with citations into your novel, you might not be doing the reader any favours. Further, if you are then going to decide to twist the myth around, you really had no excuse for such excessive literalism in the first place. Ultimately, I always end up with the same problem reading Stephenson. Hiro's young, female sidekick, Y.T. (again, with the names - say it out loud), not only sleeps with the giant, homicidal Aleut killer for no apparent reason, she also gives Hiro some advice about his own love interest which is dead wrong. She says, "Hiro, you are such a geek. She's a woman, you're a dude. You're not supposed to understand her. That's not what she's after." And this is why Stephenson pisses me off even when he writes a book I can largely enjoy. He makes me want to lock him in a room with nothing but Simone de Beauvoir to read. When he finally writes a novel in which the women are not other, then, I'll be happy. Generalizing about an entire gender is a foolhardy thing for me to do, so I'm just going to go ahead an do something more presumptuous and talk about humankind. ALL PEOPLE WANT TO BE UNDERSTOOD. This is the entire tragedy of the human condition; even when we care about others and strive for compassion, we cannot place ourselves inside another's mind or experience and we still have misunderstandings. The idea that any lover, male or female, is not aiming to be understood, is bizarre. While some might wish for some sort of mystique, exactly how does one love without understanding? The statement that men, in generally, are not "supposed to understand" their female lovers makes me furious. A good author writes characters whose motivations can be understood; Stephenson is too good an author to consistently write these female characters whose motivation does not make sense, who strike me as little more than walking, talking plot devices.

14. Edmund de Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes This is an excellent family memoir by a renown British ceramic artist, a descendant of the Jewish grain and banking dynasty, the Ephrussi family. He investigates where he comes from through the device of tracing the history of his inheritance: a collection of 264 Japanese netsuke (beautiful little carvings in ivory and wood) over five generations. It's an incredible story, from Odessa, Vienna, Paris to Tokyo, and his strives to paint us a picture of his ancestors and their interactions with everyone from Proust, to the Impressionist painters, to Rilke, to a beloved maid who managed to preserve some of their heritage from the Nazis. This is a lovely, engaging book. I highly recommend it.

15. Andre Dubus III, Townie, A Memoir. This is an extraordinary book. I confess I had never previously read Dubus, or his father, also named Andre Dubus. Now I know I should. This is a beautiful book, a love story (of the cold, and broken hallelujah sort) to his own family. After spending his earliest childhood in Iowa, where his father was studying writing, and then more or less in the woods, he and his siblings grew up in a rough town adjacent to the college town where his father taught, after his parents' marriage failed. The word 'hardscrabble' is not strong enough. His father's income as a writer and college writing teacher, and his mother's income as a social worker, were simply not enough to support two households. The children were loved by their parents, but still lived in poverty, in a place where drugs and violence were the norm. His father, while he could barely afford to take his children out for meals, never truly understood their existence or their struggle, in the other town, over the river. It's the story of how Andre, shaken by his inability to defend his little brother from an adult man determined to beat him up, decides he must be able to physically defend his family. He works to bulk up and learn to be a fighter. In some ways it's a very male story, of this sort of sense of responsibility to provide physical protection, or the instinct to fight and how and why violence erupts. But, he writes not only with stark honesty about his experience of growing into a man and struggling to connect with his father, but with love and compassion for his mother, his sisters and the women in his life. It's also the story of how he became a writer; I'm sure many will also appreciate reading about his process, and his father's and that of the other writers who pass through the pages of this book. You should read this book.

16. Hilary Mantel, The Giant O'Brien In 1782, a desperately poor Irish giant and his entourage, travel to London to try to make some sort of living. O'Brien sings and tells fairytales to entertain, though his mere presence is, at first, spectacle enough to draw a paying crowd. London is the centre of commerce and science, including a formerly poor Scottish society doctor and master anatomist, John Hunter, employer of "resurrection men", the grave robbers who let him ply his trade. Hunter is more than a little interested in this extraordinary specimen. Inspired by true events, this is an engaging novel.

17. Zsuzsi Gartner, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives This is a brilliant, though dark and satirical, and occasionally magical, collection of short stories about evolution, BBQ, lovers who speak Ikea, protective mothers and uninspired art teachers, jealousy, advertising and Olympic mascots, adopted Chinese daughters, anti-science motivational speakers and the TRIUMPH particle accelerator, filmmaking, Haida Gwaii, and sweat lodges, angels, and 'recovering' terrorists. Need I say more?

18. Seth (with his father), Bannock, Beans and Black Tea Stark stories of the famed Canadian cartoonist's father's boyhood, in rural Nova Scotia during the Depression. Sad, but beautiful.

19. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Red - A Haida Manga I heard a scholar argue that in a time with things like graphic novels, we now need different types of literacy. That to 'read' a story told largely in pictures, demanded much of the reader, even if it were not our original idea of literacy. Red certainly interacts with the reader (viewer?) in a nontraditional way (for a book), by employing traditional design language of the Haida, in the form of a manga, with an over-arching structure as well as one tradition-inspired legendary story. The entire book can be read, page by page, as well as one complex drawing.

20. George Lois, Damn Good Advice (for people with talent) This is an interesting book, with of course, gripping and beautiful graphic design. It is written as a series of short points for creative people, though much of it relates more strictly to advertising. He argues, compellingly, that advertising is (or at least, can be) art. He is a braggart, but he had the track-record to back it up, having produced innovative work since the 60s. You'll recognize his Esquire cover with Muhammad Ali as the martyred St Sebastien shot with arrows, or 'I want my MTV' and many other campaigns. He's also endearing with his pride in his ethics (refusing work from bigots, and arguing that one should never knowingly work for bad people), and his history of fighting racism (including spearheading the campaign to free Hurricane Carter). He has no patience for comparisons to Mad Men, abhorring the womanizing, racist, anti-semite, Republican characters on the show - and also claims to have been more handsome than Don Drapper in his 30s. He brags of his 60 year marriage, and thanks his wife (though he confesses he's taken credit for her input through thoughts and copywriting on his work). He also straightforwardly commends good work by others, thanks his mentors and warns the sexists that they are fools. The book is beautiful, and it does contain some damn good advice, particularly about Big Ideas.

{Series so far: books read, more books read, books read, books read continues, more books read, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII,XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XL,XLI, XLII, XLIII,XLIV, XLV, XLVI, XLVII, XLVIII, XLIX, L, LI}

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Brunswick, Black-capped Chickadee and Balsam Fir

New Brunswick linocut

The symbols of New Brunswick, its provincial bird, the black-capped chickadee and its tree, the balsam fir cover the hand-carved map of New Brunswick in this linocut. The block was inked 'à la poupée' (with different colours, black, gold and green, in different areas) and printed by hand on lovely Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper. Each print is 21.1 cm by 20.3 cm (8.3" by 8"). The print is one of an edition of twelve.

The acrobatic, but rather tame chickadee, with its distinctive black cap, has long been one of my favorites. It's the only bird I can persuade to reply to me; it will actually answer when I cry, "Chickadee-dee-dee!" The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) is also distinctive, with narrow, flat needles are which shiny dark green above and white below and it grows large pine cones. It is native to most of eastern and central Canada and much of the northeastern US. It makes an excellent Christmas tree. Every visit to the province leaves the impression of vast, dense, forest, filled with wildlife, so covering the entire province with the depiction of a tree seemed apt.

I've had the great priviledge of having seen much of this country and having travelled from coast to coast. (I am still hoping to visit the third coast). I've visited New Brunswick several times, coming down from Québec, up from Maine or west from Nova Scotia. I've even spent a couple of frosty weeks sailing in the misleadingly-named Baie des Chaleurs. At least in October, it was anything but warm. The province is the original home of my RJH and his family, so I know I will return time and again. (In fact, I made this as his Christmas gift, but the rest of the edition can be found in my shop).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Happy winter solstice! Here in the Northern Hemisphere, I've always felt that the winter solstice and the coming lengthening of days is worth celebrating. As winter begins here, this will be the shortest day, and while it will be cold in the coming months, there will be more light.

Tyrrhenian Sea and Solstice Sky Credit & Copyright: Danilo Pivato, Source: via minouette on Pinterest

The length of days varies little at the equator, and in the high arctic and antarctic we have the midnight sun in summer and no sun over the horizon in winter. Surprisingly, we can use a Ptolemaic idea to explain this. In Ancient Greece, they imagined that the objects observed in the sky were placed on a series of concentric spheres around the Earth. While we no longer imagine celestial bodies pinned to spheres of quitessence, the idea of the celestial sphere is still useful for mapping the apparent paths of any astronomical body in the sky. From our perspective on the surface of our planet, the sun traces a arc path across the sky, like that in the photo above. On any day this path is of course due to the rotation of the Earth around its axis. Over the course of the year, because of the tilt of the axis, the position of the arc varies as the earth completes its rotation along its elliptical path around the sun. At the equator, the the path of the sun in the sky makes an untilted arc to the north or south of the celestial equator (the imaginary line cutting the imaginary sky sphere in half). As we move away from the equator, the relative path of the sun appears more and more tilted (directly proportional to latitude). This tilt means the paths of the sun at the extremes of the yearly orbit, the two solstices, are quite different lengths. Away from the equator, the apparent path of the sun is quite long (maximal, in fact) at the summer solstice and quite short at the winter solstice. The image below shows the extemes of the paths of the sun on the celestial sphere above a point at mid-latitudes. If you go to higher latitudes this tilt of the two extreme paths of the sun become more and more tilted until the winter path is entirely below the horizon.

There are other astronomical cycles which affect our Earth, but which are not easy for individuals to observe, because they are much longer than human lifespans. These are known as the Milankovitch cycles and include things like procession of the Earth's axis (which moves like the children's toy, a spinning top or gyroscope) over a cycle of roughly 26,000 years.

Different cultures have developped different calendars, often, if not exclusively, based on their astronomical observations. In ancient Mesoamerica, the Long Count calendar broke time into a variety of units, as we do (days, weeks, months, years, centuries, millenia, eons). They had K'in (one day), Winal (20 days), 1 Tun = 18 Winal (360 days, almost 1 year), 1 K'atun = 20 Tun (7200 days, almost 20 years), B'ak'tun = 20 K'atun (144,000 days or almost 394 years), Piktun = 20 B'ak'tun (2,880,000 days or roughly 7,885 years), Kalabtun = 20 Piktun (57,600,000 days or roughly 157,704 years), K'inchiltun = 20 Kalabtun (1,152,000,000 days or roughly 3,154,071 years), Alautun = 20 K'inchiltun (23,040,000,000 days or roughly 63,081,429 years). Today happens to be the end of a B'ak'tun, which while nifty, it is not the end of the Mayan calendar. In the Mayan notation this day would be which would have last occurred at the mythical creation day of this the fourth world, Monday, Aug 11, 3114 BCE (which is no more accurate, of course, than Bishop Usher's date, since of course, our planet is roughly 4.2 billion years old). The image at left shows the east side of stela C, Quirigua with mythical creation date in 13 (or 0) baktun, 0 katun, 0 tun, 0 uinal, 0 kin, 4 Ahau and 8 Cumku and corresponds to August 11, 3114 BCE in the Gregorian calendar (via wikipedia). Now previous worlds in the Mayan mythology only lasted 13 B'ak'tun, but there are inscriptions which refer to the end of the Piktun, which will not occur until 13 October 4772, so it's clear they assumed the world would be around a lot longer than this one solstice. So, if you would like to celebrate, celebrate the lengthening of days (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), or go ahead and celebrate the end of the Mayan B'ak'tun as a notable date to a fascinating culture, or with tongue planted firmly in cheek, the bizarre variation on millennial pop culture myths of the end of days. Strange eschatological misconceptions seem like as good an excuse for a party as any. It'll be a while until we have the next prediction of an apocalypse.

(x-posted to magpie & whiskeyjack)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Andromeda, Cetus, Perseus and Pegasus


This is a linocut of the Greek myth of Andromeda. Her mother, Queen Cassiopeia bragged that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, or sea nymphs, angering Poseidon, god of the sea. He sent Cetus the sea monster to ravage the coast of the kingdom as punishment. The King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia were advised by an oracle that they needed to sacrifice their daughter to Cetus to save their land. She was striped bare and chained to a rock by the coast. She proved a very lucky princess, because who should happen by but the hero Perseus, fresh from his successful battle with the snake-headed Gorgon Medusa (whose head was in his sack). You see, Medusa's head turned the living to stone, which made it quite the useful weapon. Further, Pegasus the flying horse was born from the stump of her neck, so really this defeating Medusa was win-win for Perseus. He, of course, fell in love, slayed the monster and married Andromeda.

In the print, the monster Cetus encircles the rock on which Andromeda is chained. Perseus is shown descending on Pegasus, his flying horse, to battle the monster. You can see a couple of snakes peeping from his sack. Some versions of the myth suggest that Perseus was invisible at this moment, since he was wearing Hades's helm (note: Harry Potter was not the first to have a cloak of invisibility), but through the magic of printmaking, Perseus and Pegasus are made visible. (Flying horses are far more interesting when you can see them. Or perhaps, this is moment before he donned the cloak.)

Most of this story is commemorated in the night sky. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus, Cetus and Pegasus are all constellations.

The print is in a variable edition of 6 on lovely Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, 11 inches or 28 cm square. The block was inked 'à la poupée', with different colours applied directly to a single block. The sea is royal blue, the sea monster deep red with yellow eyes, the hair and wings on Perseus' helmet are yellow.

(May replace this with a higher resolution scan once I get Photoshop on my early Christmas gift).

Thursday, December 13, 2012



This is a linocut of the Greek myth of Persephone. The ancient Greek goddess Persephone, beloved daughter of Demeter was kidnapped by Hades, god of the underworld, and taken to his home where she was tempted with many delicious items. The pomegranate proved the most irresistible and sealed her fate. For the six pomegranate seeds she accepted from Hades, she was required to return every year for six months, where she became Hades' queen. During her absence (autumn and winter) her mother the grain goddess grieves, and the plants whither and die until they are reborn on her return; this explains the seasons.

The print is in a variable edition of 6 on lovely Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, 11 inches or 28 cm square. The block was inked 'à la poupée', with different colours applied directly to a single block. Persephone is deep indigo, with red pomegranate, lips and poppy and golden wheat.

I've depicted Persephone with a poppy and wheat crown for symbolic reasons. She was an agrarian goddess, hence the wheat. The poppy was used as an offering for the dead in Greek and Roman myth. It is associated with sleep, including eternal sleep. The bright red colour of the poppy is also a promise of resurrection, much like spring coming with Persephone's yearly return. (Which I discovered when I dressed as Persephone for a Winter Solstice feast and costume party one year).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Movies and Makers

One last chance to find things from secret minouette places at a sale before the holidays! This one promises to be a real event. I've never had the chance to do a Movies and Makers show previously, but they sound like a lot of fun. This Saturday, I'll be selling minouette items in a movie theatre! Come check out Movies and Makers at:

Fox Theatre
2236 Queen St. East
Toronto, ON
M4E 1G2

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wandering Winter Craft Show the Third

This Sunday, December 9th, I'll be doing the third of the Wandering Winter Craft Shows, at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. I hope you can join us that afternoon!