Sunday, January 31, 2016

Come learn with me!

I'm excited to announce that I will be teaching a class on February 28 at Loft 112. Come and learn the magic of scherenschnitte or papercutting! If you can pronounce it, you can do it :-D All materials are provided.

Friday, January 22, 2016

2010 Lougheed House Visit

Like most creative people, I'm sitting on a pile of images and sometimes those images take longer than usual to see the light of day! I finally sat down and uploaded 20 of my favourite pictures from a 2010 visit to Lougheed House, a historic home and museum here in Calgary. It was a beautiful summer day, and my Mom and I headed down there to see what was new in the garden. I took along a piece of frosty plastic from an IKEA box and Mom patiently held it higher or lower behind the flowers. The effect worked well - a sort of fake selective focus which my old Canon PowerShot lacked. In pictures of the irises, it added a sparkly effect. A few of the irises and the violas have made it on to cards and magnets and now that I'm looking at them again, I'll probably pick out a few more for craft sales this year :-) Click through to see the whole album.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Last year's holiday horse

I love how I'm so behind that I couldn't post this last year :-D If you're wondering if there was a 2014 holiday horse...nope...that one is half done. Late for this year, early for next seems to be my motto. This horse is made from layers of paper and PanPastel.

2015 Holiday Horse by calzephyr on DeviantArt

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There Must Be A Purple Pony!

With craft sales taking up so much time, it was nice to have a free weekend recently to finish up some gifts for friends, such as this paper and pastel picture.

Moonlight Skate with Princess Luna and Spike by calzephyr on DeviantArt

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Here in the Bennett household we are always looking for new things and new ways of doing things. Last year for Halloween I bought loads of fun toys and stickers for the young ghouls and goblins. Surely the wee ones appreciate Play-Doh over Dubble Bubble and I hate spending money on cheaper than usual candy, and I like to be sensitive to kids that might have a food allergy or diabetes. I almost had this idea too late - making my mini pony colouring book even more mini! It was simple to scale down the artwork, cut up, make covers from card stock and staple together! I squeezed 8 pictures on to one letter sized page, but could have scaled them down to quarter fold size too. Have a fun and safe Halloween peeps!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebrating 100 Etsy sales this week

It's funny - I still have to indulge in the little milestones after all these years. I just happened to be on my cellphone that the Etsy seller app went cha-ching too! It's silly, but worth celebrating :-D If I had more items in my shop, I would offer a coupon, but...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fancy Fashion at Lougheed House

My most recent visit to Lougheed House was a reminder that I don't visit enough. The last time I visited there was an art association in the basement and it has been a few years since they left! Lougheed House is really a local treasure. It's hard to imagine that it marked the edge of Calgary when it was built in 1891. It's actually remarkable that the grounds and house are still preserved. Locals know how Calgary is always in a constant state of construction.

Mom and I visited recently to catch the 1920s "Daring Deco" fashion show. I really enjoyed it because the dresses were once owned by Alberta women and it represented my great-grandmother and grandmother's era. I only have a few pictures of my great-grandmother, so to imagine that she may have once worn such fancy clothes was pretty cool. The 1920s don't really get a lot of appreciation - anything beyond 1950 is thought of as dull and bland sometimes. There were all sorts of exciting things happening such as new textiles, new music and new freedoms for women.

Textiles and clothing tell a silent, but ever present version of history. We wear clothes every day and special clothes for special occasions. Clothing conveys social status and wealth or personal history. Memories are stored in them. Studying clothes is more than meets the eye!

It took me a few moments to realize that the dresses were about 100 years old. That in itself is an amazing fact. Textiles aren't very good at surviving the ages. Pests, disaster, climate and poor storage all count against fabric. Natural fibres naturally degrade and wear and synthetic materials have an end of life too. As a fibre major, I was thrilled to see a sample book of fabric to touch. Fabric is so very tactile and taken for granted. Some of the fabrics felt scratchy, but other ones were very plush and smooth.

Back to the house however - unlike some historic houses where the building and belongings pass from family to trust, Lougheed House had many lives as a women's military barracks and blood donor clinic, so the museum is in the process of repatriation. This isn't a disadvantage at all though - one can still enjoy admiring the architecture and decorations in the house like the stained glass windows and ornate ceilings. It's a lovely place to have a wedding or event, and yes, the staff can help you out with that :-)

The gardens are lovely to visit starting after the May long weekend, but there was much and even during autumn there was much to admire such as ornamental cabbages, rudbeckia and sweet Williams. Our main reason for visiting was to catch the 1920s fashion show - I will be sure to keep abreast of the events at Lougheed House in the future though. And I must return next summer and get some more iris photos.

The conservatory has been turned into a restaurant that is open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.  It was delightful to have a cup of tea from a vintage tea cup :)

Mom and I finished our visit with brunch in the restaurant that used to be the conservatory. It was so dainty to have tea from a vintage tea cup and the staff were kind to let Mom and I split a bacon and waffle breakfast (otherwise it would have been too much food for her). The brunch has a good variety of meals along with a feature dish. The restaurant staff were fabulous and friendly. It's a good place to take small groups or friends. If you visit Lougheed House, check out some reviews on TripAdvisor and remember to show your AMA card and save on admission.