mail art monday | the mail art challenge

happy e-course launch week!!! boy, am i excited!* i have absolutely no illusions that anyone will be lining up to register for this course but i wanted to note two things before i get into my mail art monday post.

one | there is no specific session time. anyone can register and participate in the course at anytime.

two | the course will officially be open at midnight this wednesday night. however, the course is open for purchase now but invites to the private course website will be sent on august fourth.

so, mail art monday. when i first introduced the mail art challenge, i was optimistic and placed six for sale on etsy. they are now all sold! so tonight i made some more packages and you can purchase them here. i hope to receive some mail or some images from more of the previous buyers any day now!

* should i maybe say "girl, am i excited!"?

sunday seller | jessica durrant

i was so delighted that watercolourist jessica durrant agreed to be a contributor to the "make art a part" e-course. in the creation section of the course, jessica will teach you how to create your very own cityscape, like the ones below. it's not often i do this but i find myself drawn back to jessica's etsy shop over and over again. i flip through her paintings, in awe of each and every one. there is something really unique and magical about them. and like cate parr from silver ridge, she takes the art of watercolour and infuses a very modern vibe into it. 


my art | rainbow stripes

as i was putting together the acrylic painting project for my "make art a part (of your life)" e-course, a technique i was writing about reminded me of a piece that i painted years ago. it now hangs in our front hallway but time and travel has warped it.* it may have to come down at some point but it took me three months to create so it will be difficult for me to remove it. there are seventy-two lines of colour, and not a single one of them is repeated. even if some of the colours are similar, i can promise you that they were mixed with entirely different colours of paint.

*what actually warped it was it's first life. my friend and i decide it would be fun to mix paint with water, fill balloons with the mixture and throw them at the canvas. unfortunately there was too much water and not enough paint so there was only a light layer of colour and i painted over the canvas a couple weeks later. the water likely warped it first.


feature art friday

j and i went to a fine arts show today. we were very judgmental which usually isn't my style but some of the pieces were so boring they made me want to cry. i heard over and over that the show was juried and hundreds of works had been turned down. now don't get me wrong, i'm very open-minded - i just expected to see the best of the best. that being said, here are some of the ones i loved*:

* sorry for the blurry photos. photography is never allowed at these things but i sneak photographs anyways. maybe its wrong but its the one rule in the art world that i can't get behind. we live in the twenty-first century and pictures and the internet are unavoidable. ideally i would like to have photographed each placard with the artists name and the title so i could put credit where it's due, but i was too worried about getting in trouble (and i totally did but i feigned ignorance).


fifty-two projects | project thirty-seven

this is project thirty-seven of fifty-two projects. to see other completed projects, click here.

project thirty-seven: track down a picture of every place you have ever lived. not the geographical location but the physical structure you called your home. 

alteration: no alterations.

341 wilson

clearly it's christmas. i won't lie to you and say this is my first home. my first family house was in brampton, near etobicoke/toronto where i was born. my only memory of the brampton house is eating baby bell cheese by the fireplace. speaking of fireplaces - the one above is the backdrop to our family christmas photo in our townhouse on wilson drive. those are my three brothers (or should i say monkeys?). and i'm pretty sure my mom made that ceramic glazed cat on the mantle. i guess my father is taking the picture!

 356 wilson

in case you missed that, we moved across the street when i was in grade seven. we were big fans of this house because it had two washrooms and a huge backyard. i had lots of parties there in the summer. in the above photo i am dressed for my grade eight graduation. i thought it was grown up to have short hair so i chopped it all off right before grad. you can bet your bottom dollar it was my father's idea to have me pose with the boat.

1074 abbott

gosh, it was such a toss up between posting a picture of the actual facade of the house, and this picture of me standing by the garage looking like a total dork in my high-school uniform. i didn't even need glasses. i love love loved this house because my parents let me have the biggest bedroom upstairs with an adjoining bathroom. we all called it "my little apartment." and it always felt like one. my dad agreed to paint one wall RED and that + the bathroom meant i was one happy teenager. except when my brothers would bust into my room - because for a long time i had no lock on the door. 

mac house

this is my dorm room in university and that is my roommate heather. the night before my birthday my roommates surprised me with an impromptu party at midnight, hence the lei around my neck. it's always been a big joke (read: annoyance) with my friends that i am not much of a hugger so when the clock struck midnight, heather attacked me with a full body hug.

32 university, 5a.

this was my first real grown up digs. i shared this apartment with four other girls who were all in the same university dorm with me. we felt pretty mature but in reality this apartment did not deter us from acting like total goofs 24/7. in the above photo i'm attempting to do that knee switch dance move at one of our parties.

32 university, 6d.

apparently i like baby steps because this time i only moved up one floor. exact same floor plan, but backwards. this time it was three girls and two guys, a much more subdued combo indeed. on this particular night they took me to see the rick mercer show live for my birthday (really? you don't know who that is? he's the canadian jon stewart!). when we got home they put a party hat on me and we played "would you rather?"

1879 hillcrest 

god, j and i were so incredibly happy to walk into this basement suite when we moved to victoria. since we didn't get a chance to see it in person, we were expecting the worst. i remember when we walked in at 11 pm on august 31, 2008. we saw this giant kitchen, squealed in unison and then j picked me up and spun me around till we both got dizzy.

3614 richmond road

this is a picture i took of the living room when j and i moved into our current apartment in victoria. aside from "my little apartment" in the abbott house, this is probably my favourite home yet. it's a cool set up and perfect for me and my handsome husband. the only thing missing from this picture is miss carefree (she was delivered a little bit later). 

cottage one | severn river

i wish i could show you a picture of this cottage. it was shaped really geometrically and my father built it himself which is cool. i practically lived here in the summers of my childhood. but i didn't want you to miss out on this wicked picture of me at the dock. what am i wearing? i don't know. which brother is that? it's anyone's guess!

cottage two | hope bay 

this is the second cottage my father built. it's neat because i went up each year with a group of friends and each time we arrived there would be more finished. the first year we went it was just a deck and we camped out. the last year we went up here it looked like this!

cottage three | severn river (again)

see that rock there? before my dad built all that stuff (including the stairs), you had to walk along the precipice of that rock in order to get down to the water. oh the stories that rock could tell...it has seen many a good person go down depending on drunkenness, speed, weather and darkness.

cottage four | lake huron

and here we are in present day at our fourth cottage. my parents offered this humble abode to j and i for our mini honeymoon. we took them up on the offer and i don't think i've ever had a more relaxing vacation. it was chilly when we went in april, but we bundled up anyways and sat on the dock there, drinking hot chocolate and staring out at the water...


make art a part (of your life) | e-course teaser

i am so thrilled with all of the projects my fellow bloggers/artists are contributing to the "make art a part" e-course. they are all perfect introductions to new art forms such as photoshop, jewelry, photography, journals, and painting. below are some teaser images from the "creation" part of the course.

learn more about the course here

watercolour | jessica, jessica durrant illustration

 earring tutorial | nataly, beautifully elegant

nature photography | rachell, no mark at all 

photoshop tutorials | lindsay, scenic glory

journal creation | cassie, the veda house

photoshop collage | zoe, pretty zoo

what i made | purple penny farthings

i want to ride my bicycle i want to ride my bike!!! an old friend contacted me and asked me to make full stationery sets as christmas gifts for her family. i can't believe i'm making christmas orders already, but she'll be in europe for awhile so she has to plan ahead. this is the beginning of her custom order - purple penny farthing envelopes:

shop isavirtue


jewelry chooseday | margaux lange

margaux lange must be the andy warhol of today's jewelry artisans because these are hip, modern and make a fun statement about the omnipresence of pop culture images and stereotypical toys for little girls (cinderella ate my daughter any one?*). margaux lange makes adorable, rings, earrings, necklaces and brooches using barbie parts, sterling silver and resin. and since i'm a huge pun lover, lange captures my heart with her slogan "re-membering barbie fondly."

* kidding, i'm more femme than feminist. plus i don't think that is lange's intention, just my interpretation. ;)

monday mail art | lucy a

i am so very excited to share with you the results of the very first mail art challenge! lucy a. from being of sound mind purchased the mail art challenge when it was first posted and after a kerfuffle with the mail system, she finally received it, completed it...and sent it back to me!* i was delighted to find this little goodie in the mail and it was neat to see all the separate pieces i sent out come back to me as a complete creation.

there are so many fantastic little details in lucy's design. she cut out my name and pasted it on the back, the postage is an artsy stamp, there's a man looking up a girl's skirt and a woman wearing a hand drawn hat and pipe. i think she may even have cut my return address out and used it as the address block here! and so i present to you, all the way from wales...

* i didn't even think to have the mail art challenge sent back to me...what a great idea!