Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Muffin Will Not Be Ignored!

If I thought going back to school was hard on me, it has been harder for Muffin, my cockatiel. The change in routine has really upset him, as well as not being out as much as he would like. He loves to sit on the hallway mirror, but since winter started, it's kind of drafty there. Sometimes even animals don't have the best sense, and I'm worried about him catching a cold. I guess I haven't written about Muffin as much as I should or like to!

When you live with a pet bird, you live with all their idiosyncrasies, which is why they're like little people. Muffin is more like a toddler, demanding attention loudly! We always laugh in restaurants when we hear a little kid yipe like Muffin.

Right now Muffin is flying into all sorts of places because he knows I'll come get him. He'll fly on top of the radio or the TV or even land on the laptop. It's not that I'm ignoring him, truly, it's just that once he gets to where he's going, he gets bored pretty easily and is off to the next place. Maybe I'm just playing his game and don't know it!

Our household has gotten birdier and I have neglected to mention that we now have a budgie! We got him from the SPCA in August actually. He was a stray and I'm glad that I picked him. He's loud and noisy and that's why we call him Feisty. I have no idea how whoever caught him managed to do so. He flies hard and fast around our house and letting him out is an all day affair! I don't think he'll ever be tame, but that's OK. I'm just happy on a day like today that he's indoors and safe :-) I don't think Muffin likes him, but we'll see. Here's a clip of Feisty and his babbling:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Designed Object

Our next humanities assignment centres around the designed object. We watched an excellent film called Objectified, which is about the design of everyday things. For the assignment, we could make a presentation solo or as a group, as a podcast or PowerPoint or even a zine. I'm going to do an oral report despite the fact that I'm terrified of public speaking. It would just be the easiest way.

I get the feeling that somehow a lot of the presentations are going to be about cell phones, MP3 players or laptops. I have no idea why. It could be because I'm doing my smartphone! I just can't think of an object that I use everyday that I'm super passionate about or feel is intensely personal. Ten years ago I probably would have picked a model horse or something :-) I could do my Coach purse, which I love, but I just don't love it as much as my phone. One of the starting questions is Reflect on how this object's design fits into a story you tell yourself about yourself. How does this object—in particular, its design—play a part in your answer to the question "Who am I?"

In some ways I'm less materialistic than before. Once I started letting go of things, I cared about them less. That's not to say that I don't cherish my wedding ring or a gift that someone has made for me or anything like that. It's just I'm imbuing less of myself in things. Really, I have to, because I don't have the money or the space :-) If you were in my position, what would you write about?

Monday, November 22, 2010


Well, only two Christmas craft sales left to go! In a way I miss not being able to do five or six sales because they’re so much fun. From the setup to the take down, I really enjoy the sales and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the anticipation, or just seeing what will sell or who I will be talking to about my art and photography.

This past weekend’s sale was at the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Association, which is a busy community centre. Our community doesn’t even have a community hall, and really, community halls of a certain age are more like an afterthought - just big enough to be useful for a wedding or a party, and maybe a skating rink if you’re lucky. This community hall has a canteen, a lounge, a bowling alley, a skating rink and bingo. It really is the heart of the community and it was so nice to see so many people come out to support it. My sales weren’t as good as last year, but there were lots of people who remembered me! That was a real warm and fuzzy feeling :-) It was a two day sale, and I had time to go home and make some new cards when I sold out of some photo cards.

My next sale is at the Scenic Acres Community Centre, which is a much smaller community hall. I have been playing around withrack my table displays and it’s kind of funny to see how people like to shop. I have sold a crazy number of large cards so far and I wonder if it has to do with putting them on a card instead of a spinner rack. If that’s the case, I wish I had been doing it all along :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fort Calgary Artisan Fair

We had a great time at the Fort Calgary Artisan Fair on Remembrance Day and I had good sales. The remains of the fort are the grounds and the barracks. There's a museum built onto one side of the barracks and I didn’t realize it was like a mini Heritage Park, which I'll have to visit again. It's crazy to live somewhere for almost 20 years and never visit some of its attractions :-)

The floor plan was tricky. At first we were worried about being on the second floor, but traffic was pretty steady. The draw box was upstairs and we were near where Santa was sitting in the afternoon. The first floor was busier, but had trickier points - I think it would be easy for people near the entrance to be passed by, as well as people at the back. Mom only sold two things, which was really disappointing. I don’t know if it’s a bad time for knitting or what - her checkerboard slippers always used to fly off the table.

I tried a new pricing scheme for the greeting cards as well. A friend suggested I round up my "buy 3" deal to $10 from $9 and it seemed to work. Sometimes the notecards cannibalize greeting card sales, so I had them in a basket instead of the card rack. Next weekend we’re doing a two day sale at the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Centre. This was an awesome sale last year - can’t wait to see how it is this year :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Christmas Cards This Year

Howdy friends! I have sad news - I don't think I'll be able to send out Christmas cards this year. I have always enjoyed exchanging cards with folks online for many years, but I just don't think I can do it as I juggle work, school and a month of Christmas craft sales.

If you would like to send me a card, I would love to hear from you! Send it to: Christine Bennett, PO Box 97014, Calgary, Alberta, T3K 0P2, Canada. Who knows, maybe I'll end up sending out friendship cards for Valentine's Day instead!

I'm kind of glad that Mom and I aren't doing a craft sale for the first two weekends in November. Last weekend was really nice, and I really need this upcoming weekend to prepare.

We'll be at Fort Calgary's Artisan Fair on November 11 (750 - 9 Avenue SE) from 11:30-5 though. We have always wanted to do this sale, but we always felt enhugugh about the date, but every year we try at least one new venue. My grandfather, who passed away in peacetime, fought in World War 2 and the Korean War for Canada. But, this sale has gone on during Remembrance Day for years now, and it includes a morning ceremony. I haven't been able to really take part in Remembrance Day ceremonies for years now - many businesses no longer consider it a stat holiday and sometimes there isn't even a pause at 11. We'll give it a try and see how it feels :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

No Slowing Down!

My fibre class at ACAD is really motoring along and I think I will be writing about it well into the new year! Have you ever had one of those days where you can't get any work done because of so many interruptions? That was today!

Just as I got into the groove of loom weaving, Jane, our instructor, told us about a "life after ACAD" talk given by three recent grads - Brook Fung, Andrea Strand and Anne Fetterly. All three are finding success offline and online in textiles related careers. The point that really stayed with me is that there's weird lull that happens after graduation - suddenly you're out of the protective art school cocoon and into the real world, where you may not have an artsy job or artsy friends.

Then there was about another hour of weaving. Our looms are really neat and simple - just copper pipe pieces put together to make a rectangle. Many people probably learned weaving in grade school, but it's so nice to have proper instruction in it. I have added new words to my vocabulary such as shed, warp and weft. A childhood problem I always had was weaving that bunched up in the middle. It's easier to work the pattern in small sections. Our group theme for weaving is "dangerous weather" and the idea is to play with colour and simple shapes. No Bayeux tapestries here yet! I'm really envious of the second year students who get to use the real looms. It's easy to get bug-eyed and weave the wrong pattern.

It's scary how fast I'm falling in love with textiles. I always have loved fabric and wool, The other day I looked up beginner tabletop looms and I think - I think I might just as for one for Christmas :-)