Monday, May 24, 2010

The Calgary Rock and Gem Show and More

I can't believe how May is flying by! It's a good thing today is Victoria Day, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.

The first weekend in May was a busy one for my friends Noela Jewellery and Lisa Redfern. We went to Free Comic Book Day, a local handmade venue called Market Collective and the Calgary Rock and Gem Show all in the space of five or six hours.

Market Collective was really buzzing - there was live music and the place was very busy. I liked the setup for the venue in the old Ant Hill Fabric store. It has two levels, although the upper level was occupied by a community bike program and some art exhibitions. One exhibition felt awkward to walk into - it was like a performance thing and it felt like we had interrupted them. There was a good mix of vendors.

The annual Rock and Gem Show is one of those events that falls into the "someday" category - the timing is never right or I just haven't gone for some reason. This year was my first year and I was amazed by how busy it was. We squeezed into the last remaining spot!
The whole community hall was set up with display cases in the middle and vendor tables around the perimeter. The sheer amount of variety stunned me as we shuffled to look at fossils, gems, rocks and beads. I was determined not to spend money, but found a few things I couldn't resist like a shell nazar (left), some blue beads by Inspire Beads (below) and hematite circles.

I enjoyed handling some of the fossils up close, like nautilus halves and petrified wood. We saw petrified mammoth ivory, which is popular for carvings due to the ivory ban. There were a lot of great artisan pieces there and I wish there was time to see them all. Seriously, it's an all day event! On the other hand, if I had stayed longer, I probably would have spent more :-D

I really should not have been too surprised by the turnout. Geology is a popular occupation here in Calgary due to the oil and gas industry, and we're close to the badlands of Alberta. It was just so nice to see so much enthusiasm for a part of nature not everyone thinks about. I'm not sure what I'll do with my beads yet. Maybe I'll find something to go with them at the Oasis Bead Show in June :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Calgary Honkers!

I have been lucky this year to get some Canada geese pictures. Here's an adult I saw near where I took a picture of a whole family down by the Bow River. Click for larger.

And here's the goose family! I really want to upgrade my camera...the 12x zoom is nice, but I want more :-)

Canada Goose Family

You know, timing is everything with birds - they're fast and you have to be in the right place at the right time. I took the family picture on Thursday and the adult on Friday; when I walked by the bridge this morning, I saw just an adult off in the trees. I'm glad I had my camera with me and dawdled on the way to work :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sing A Little

This papercutting is based on a photo I took in Banff, July 1st, 2009. My family and I always go to Banff for Canada Day because there's so much going on, and it's free to get into the park. I spotted a male sparrow near the city hall trying to catch flies. I took a series of photos of him, mostly blurry, but two shots came out very clearly - in the one I reference for this drawing, you can see that the fly is just a little blur. I bet sparrows live for days full of tasty flies!

This project wouldn't have been possible without a generous donation to my paper stash by my friend Scott, a fellow schnipster. The silhouette is cut from black handmade paper that is very fibrous and so soft. It was like cutting fabric. Click for a larger view.

Paper ::: 8x10" ::: May 9, 2010

Christine Bennett
Purple Pony Art

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another one of my hobbies...

Livejournal recently had a Writer's Block question about things people collect...well, as you might have seen from my YouTube videos, I collect model horses. Many people think at first that model horses are like model cars, and while some people do enjoy repositioning, rehairing and repainting models, most of mine are straight out of the box!

In fact, I just unboxed this beautiful silver fella, Esprit, Breyer's 2010 World Equestrian Games model. I only get a couple of new models every year nowadays - with over 300 Breyer and Peter Stone horses, so space is a bit of a premium!

One of the many facets of showing model horses is photo showing. This is where you take pictures of your horse, find a show to enter (either online or snail mail) and wait for the results. They are fun to enter and I used to be really into it! I had a really poor camera though - an Olympus Mini. Now I have a great camera and no enthusiasm for photoshowing. Go figure!

I love Esprit so much that I just had to take some pictures and this one was my favourite.

Etsy Alberta Team Sale!

The Alberta team is having a week long sale from May 1 - May 7. There are over 70 participating shops, including mine, where you'll receive a free magnet of your choice with each purchase.