Thursday, December 9, 2010

We know it's winter when...

... kittehs cannot see beyond the piled-high balcony. My poor Chibi was confused - alas, it doesn't take much to confuse her... Second dumping of snow coming this week-end, but hopefully it will hold off until the end of Sunday, since I'm doing my last craft show of the season:

We'll be 70 sellers strong at St-Michael's Church on the corner of St-Urbain and St-Viateur! Lots of wonderful local talent, great eats, and unique handmade gifts for your friends and family. From 11am to 6pm both Saturday December 11 and Sunday December 12.

Onsight there will be collection boxes for Dans la Rue (meal-type canned goods) and CTV's The Spirit of Giving campaign(lightly used clothing, toys, non-perishable foods), so please bring what you can to make someone else's holiday season a little more merry and bright (^_^).

The show in Edmonton, Make It Edmonton!, was great! Well organized, well attended (despite the Grey Cup parade on Saturday and the game on Sunday) and lots of fun. Tons of amazing artists with beautiful stuff, made some good purchases and trades! Had a super visit with my sister (aka Nancy, my sales associate) and her family too - icing on the cake! Thanks to everyone in Edmonton who came out to the show!_____________________________________________________________

Change is a comin'... I'm starting an outside the studio/house job next Tuesday!!! It's a temporary position until May next year which is perfect since the winter months are pretty scant for me as an artisan. I got a call a couple of weeks ago - out of the blue - to go in for an interview, so I didn't have time to freak out too much, phew!

And well, here I am, ready to start in a few days. I am nervous as heck, but really looking forward to it at the same time. I'll let you know how it all unfolds...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday shows - already!

I'm a bad blogger. I feel better now that that's out of the way.

Some fresh sushi platters...

You can find these, my other jewellery lines and my greeting cards at my upcoming craft shows! Here's my line-up for this holiday season:

Friday November 19: 11am to 9pm
Saturday November 20: 10am to 5pm
Art Etc. Exhibition and Sale
50, Westminster Ave S., at Avon Road, Montreal West
(Bus 90, 123, 105 from metro Vendome; bus 162 from metro Villa-Maria)

Thursday November 25: 4pm to 9pm
Friday November 26: noon to 9pm
Saturday November 27: 10am to 5pm
Sunday November 28: 11am to 5pm
Make It Edmonton!
Alberta Aviation Museum, 11410 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton AB

Sunday November 28: 1 to 4pm
Craft & Bake Sale
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal, 8155 rue Rousselot, Montreal
(Bus 193 from metro Jarry, or bus 45 north from Fabre - 15 minute walk from either metro)
*I will be in Edmonton at this time, but my husband, Jean-François, and my good friend, Yukari, will be at this show to get you whatever you need (^_^) As with all events at the JCCCM, you'll find LOTS of great eats too!

Saturday December 11: 11am to 6pm
Sunday December 12: 11am to 6pm
Holiday Bazaar presented by Old Skool Crafts
Eglise St-Michel, 105 St-Viateur W., corner St-Urbain, Montreal


Can't forget about my kitties, it IS Friday after all! So for Friday Cat Blogging, here's my Chibi (aka Cheeb, la Chibette, Chicken Sally, Cheechee, Chili con chibi) having a snooze. Look at that face.

I tell ya', if I did not have my two cats, I would be a cranky, nasty, smelly (Chibi grooms me), crafty person with crazy high blood pressure. Well, cranki-ER and nasti-ER, my smelliness would stay about the same since I would then resort to grooming myself. Anyway, they can make me smile even on a horribly stressful day.

OK, to the studio. Now.

Um, NOW.

Monday, September 20, 2010

McGill's Farmers' Market!

September always whizzes by, a month of changes and the start of autumn crispness in the air. Love it!

This Wednesday September 22nd, I'll be at the McGill Farmers' Market, on the main campus of McGill University in downtown Montreal. I'll be there from 11am to 6pm at Three Bares Park (not a typo), along with Norma of CaraCarmina and the wonderful fresh produce of our local farmers of course! Looking forward to bringing home some fruits and veggies, as well as organic tofu, raw milk cheese and chocolate, mmmmm... Full list of this year's farmers is here.

I won't bring ALL my stuff since the tables are small, but I'll have a little of everything. Worked on some cards today... doo dee doo ♪ ♫ ♪

Friday, September 10, 2010

New (ish) cabinet for my workshop!

My bro-in-law, Chris, was in town last week to help his mom clean out their basement and garage in anticipation of her moving in the next couple months. Sixty years of accumulated stuff - I was impressed with how organized everything was; goodness knows I'd just be living in a heap of a mess if I ever lived anywhere that long (remember I have that hoarding gene).

Chris' late dad had a wonderful woodworking and repair workshop (I think he was an auto mechanic or an electrician); most the of the well-maintained tools and equipment - ie, all of it! - had been given away, but this amazing metal cabinet that his smaller pieces were kept in, was still sitting in the basement. The drawers are wide and flat, perfect for larger paper pieces - I was thrilled when they said I could have it!

My enthusiasm was quelled somewhat when I realized just how grimey it was once we got it home. It didn't seem to matter how many times I washed it, there was always another layer of black that could be wiped off; it IS metal after all ... Jean-François suggested lining the inside of the drawers, but I was thinking more of the quick and painless route. A little online research and I decided to paint it. Krylon "Outdoor Spaces" in a can had become our toxic friend.

Here's JF finishing up the main part of the cabinet.

Before and after of the drawers...

Friday cat interlude: Chibi had to test the spot where the cabinet would go. She hates looking at the camera.

Tadaaaaah! Raise your hand if you love mossy green!

Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. O.! This cabinet will serve me well and will hopefully help to clear up some of my table space. Three tables in this room and I still can't manage to get rid of the clutter... I have the hoarding gene AND the clutter gene.

Will be writing more, had a great summer and have a busy season coming up! Happy week-end everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saturday - La Récré! Recess!

I'll be back at the Marché la Récré (French for "recess") outdoor market in Montreal's Mile End this coming Saturday, August 21st. You'll find me in the schoolyard of Ecole Lambert-Closse, corner of St-Urbain and Bernard, from 10am to 5pm.

This is one of a several neighbourhood outdoor markets that have been popping up in our fair city this summer; you can find artisan-made creations, vintage treasures and great eats all in the same schoolyard, under the summer sun! Lots of good stuff to be found, see a partial list of the sellers on the website. Thanks to Dana and Guerlain for all their hard work and big smiles (^_^)

Some new sushi platters for ya! Litte surprise gift with any sushi purchase !

Friday, August 13, 2010

Matsuri Japon - Japanese festival in Montreal!

Come and see me at Matsuri Japon in the Old Port this Saturday, August 14th, from 2 to 10pm! Lots of new jewellery designs to show you!
Venez me voir au Matsuri Japon dans le Vieux-Port, le samedi 14 aout, de 14h à 22h! J’ai des nouveaux designs de bijoux à vous montrer!

(*this shot is from 2008)

I will also be featuring cards & prints with real flowers, by Jackie Bassett of PetalPop Designs.
Je vais aussi présenter les superbes cartes & imprimés avec des vraies fleurs, par Jackie Bassett de PetalPop Designs.
This year’s edition of the matsuri will be along the water, just below Rue de la Commune between Blvd St-Laurent and Place Jacques-Cartier. Taiko drumming, Japanese dancing (odori), martial arts demonstrations and great food throughout the day – you can even wear a traditional yukata! Easily accessible by either metro Champ de Mars or metro Place d’Armes. For a map, and a schedule of the day’s activities,

Cette année le matsuri aura lieu au bord de l’eau, juste au sud de Rue de la Commune entre Boul St-Laurent et la Place Jacques-Cartier. Tambours taiko, la danse japonaise (odori), démonstrations d’arts martiaux et la bonne bouffe japonaise toute au long de la journée – vous pourriez même porter un yukata traditionel! Accessible en métro, soit la station Champ de Mars ou Place d’Armes. Pour une carte et un horaire des activités de la journée,

Looking forward to seeing you all there! Au plaisir de vous y voir!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Powell Street Festival July 31 - August 1!

It's that time of year again, yaaay!

I'll be in Vancouver's newly renovated Oppenheimer Park, for the 34th annual Powell Street Festival. Come on down for lots of great Japanese food and a schedule packed with amazing entertainment! Lots of music, dancing and taiko (Japanese drumming), both traditional and contemporary. Complete schedule of both days can be found by clicking here.

I'll be in great company as usual, among the many wonderful artisans selling accessories, glass, pottery, soap and lots more. For the list of sellers and a complete programme of the festival week-end, click here.


Finally, photos of some pieces I've been working on! I'll have some of these at Powell Street in Vancouver, as well as at Montreal's Matsuri Japon on August 14th in the Old Port. Other new stuff as well, including these long 'n skinny pendants and earrings, plus a different sushi platter that I'll keep as a surprise... (^_^)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marché la Récré outdoor market

I'll be at the Marché la Récré outdoor market in Montreal's Mile End this coming Saturday, July 17th. It's the first time a weekly event of this sort is being planned, where you'll be able to find artisan-made creations, vintage treasures and great eats all in the same schoolyard, under the summer sun!

It'll be happening every Saturday in the schoolyard of Ecole Lambert-Closse, corner of St-Urbain and Bernard, from 10am to 5pm. I'll be there tomorrow for sure and might make it back for some other dates as well! Lots of goooood stuff to be found, see a partial list of the sellers here.

I'll be heading back to the Powell Street Festival in Vancouver in a couple of weeks, July 31st & August 1st. Looking forward to being back in the newly refurbished Oppenheimer Park and seeing all my Vancouver friends and family!

For the occasion, I decided to make a new fancy tamago maki, or egg roll (hee hee!) sushi! Click to see more detail. Other new pieces in the makes as well!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Ebi! (aka Friday Cat Blogging)

Yesterday was Ebi's 11th birthday, woo hoo! He's been having some kidney problems lately which is common in older cats, but he's on a special diet now and taking some meds so he's doing pretty well. We can tell he's still the same ol' boy because he still charges around after Chibi, and she still takes it from him.

Here is Ebi the ninja on my craft show table cloth that is ready to go into the washing machine. Nothing quite as comfy as laundry on the floor to lie on.

Averting his gaze in this shot below, the ninja truly passes unnoticed...

Remember that Ebi was a birthday gift for my mom; you can read about that here. It's been four years now that my mom passed away - still can't believe it some days. Time goes by so quickly and yet everything about her hospitalisation is crystal clear in my mind, still makes me wince.

He was a few months old in this shot but boy, did she love this cat, her little king!
Well, he's OUR gift now, my little stinker and JF's best buddy - and Chibi's arch nemesis. Happy Birthday Ebi!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'll be here again...

Happy Canada Day everyone!

I'll be back at Impact Galerie today, Thursday July 1st, selling my jewellery and some cards (won't have everything with me - just ask if there's something in particular you're looking for), from noon to 5 or 6pm (might stay later, if it's a good day!):

Impact Galerie, 209 St-Paul West, in Old Montreal just west of St.François-Xavier (street the Centaur Theatre is on), metro Place-d’Armes. Lots to see and do in the Vieux-Port (Old Port)!!!

There will be other talented artisans there too including fellow Etsians, Jackie of Petal Pop and Norma of CaraCarmina - definitely making it worth your while! This will likely be my last day at this store as well, and the next time I'll be selling to the public in Montreal in August 14th at Matsuri Japon... just so you know... ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Selecting fruit...

So we were at the grocery store yesterday and the bins of watermelons were out again - it IS the season, after all. It used to take me awhile to pick my melon, but I try not to think about it too much anymore and go with my gut feeling. I spotted the one I wanted which was on the other end of the bin, closer to Jean-François. I pointed to it and said "that one," to which the lady standing next to him promptly scooped it up and put it in her cart, turned around and rolled her way into the store.

We were stunned. Did she see my special melon-picking talent, or was she just too lazy to make her own selection? Was it something in human nature that made her do that, i.e., I must have that which someone else covets? I settled for my second choice melon, and - HA! - look at this perfect specimen that we cut into just awhile ago. Deeeelish!

Take THAT, you melon-stealing-can't-make-your-own-fruit-selection person! (not a whole lot to blog about this quiet Monday, as you can see - will have some production photos this week!)

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hey everyone! I'll be here today, Friday June 25th, selling my jewellery and some cards (won't have everything with me - just ask if there's something in particular you're looking for), from noon to 9pm:
Impact Galerie, 209 St-Paul West, in Old Montreal just west of St.François-Xavier (street the Centaur Theatre is on), metro Place-d’Armes

There will be other talented artisans there too including fellow Etsians, Jackie of Petal Pop and Norma of CaraCarmina - definitely making it worth your while! The weather is going to be great (ie NO RAIN), perfect for dinner or just a coffee/beer down in the Old Port. Looking forward to seeing you later today.

And... drumroll please (perhaps a little dramatic)... the return of Friday Cat Blogging, with a quick and cozy photo. Jean-François now has an I-pad. Ebi doesn't mind if he uses it as long as there's room for him too.

Bonne fin de semaine tout le monde, et Bonne Fête St-Jean un jour en retard (^_^)
Have a good week-end everyone, and Happy St-Jean-Baptiste a day late (^_^)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perfect day!

I rambled on about my bike a few posts ago. Well, yesterday Jean-François and I went for a 24 km ride! I am not often proud of myself but for this feat I am! The ride was mostly on Montreal's impressive system of bike paths, but we were also on the street and there I was pretending like I knew what I was doing. I guess I kinda know what I'm doing.

This first photo is on the path along Boulevard Gouin, so pretty! Quaint little clapboard houses alongside century old stone houses, with a smattering of pillared mansions (a tad tacky for my taste) and St-Leonard style (Montrealers will know what I mean) duplexes. An odd blend, but makes for great ride-by scenery. This is down by one of the dams, very low water level as you can see.

Riding back home we went through the Miron Quarry which is now home to Montreal's recycling plant. You can read more about the quarry and the bike path surrounding it at this blog who did a great job writing about it!

The path around the quarry also passes right around the Cirque du Soleil's headquarters, which is home to the org's administration, training centres and costume makers. It's almost like a little village. Arashi Daiko, the Japanese drum group I'm a member of, has been hired on several occasions by the Cirque, to perform at their parties, and even once in this building at the training centre, as a send-off performance for the troupe leaving to tour Japan. Very exciting for us!

This large circle of land in their "back yard" must be used for outdoor training and we've even seen their tents set up on it. Maybe it's for testing equipment too. An ideal spot for an inexperienced rider to practice!

After our ride we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. JF waited outside since he doesn't have a lock for his bike so I charged around Maxi grabbing a lot of heavy stuff since I had a knapsack and my bike basket. WELL...having never ridden with a full and heavy bike basket it was a pretty funny ride home. JF wore the very full knapsack, but my bike was rather difficult to steer with a watermelon, 2 litres of OJ, 2 tubs of yogurt, and a couple pounds each of apples, nectarines and grapes. I was laughing nervously all the way home, luckily only a few blocks away.

It was a perfect day! Great weather, the best company and my two wheels :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Earrings to make you feel summery...

New earrings in shop! Got some lovely new chiyogami (paper) - same simple but beautiful pattern in 5 colours. I'll be wearing these all summer!

Not sure about the background in these new photos. Was very excited when I found this placemat at Ikea, since I love the colour and thought the texture would be interesting, but it just looks...well... rubbery. What do you think?

Working on other designs for my upcoming summer shows in Vancouver and here in Montreal, so more to come!

Went for a bike ride this morning and even ventured out into the street in a residential area; I surprise myself with my boldness sometimes (partly tongue in cheek - if you're wondering why I have to muster up courage to ride my bike in the street, please read this post for clarity). Wanted to bring my camera but had to recharge the batteries. I'll go out again tomorrow if the weather holds up so I'll have photos then!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I have written a lot about my mom over my blogging years since her passing impacted me pretty hard, but I've never written much about my dad, who passed away in 1993. Here he is :)

He was born in Vancouver, BC in 1920. In this photo he must be around three years old. So bright-eyed!

Here are the four siblings (the fifth sibling, Robert, would arrive in the household several years later). My dad, Tad, was the eldest and I think he was already a smoker when this photo was taken! Mari is next, then Dan and then George.

Fast forward to our family in Montreal after WW2. Here are my parents with the first four of their six children. This must be around 1958 since my sister Nancy is just a wee thing.

Ten years later, 1968, here is my stunned self with my dad in our front yard. Like father, like daughter - both of us often had our mouths hanging open...

Here's our early 70's clan. I love my mom's funky orange dress (very thick textured polyester), my dad's too-cool purple shirt, my three brothers' side-swept bangs and my sisters' geometric mini-outifits. I am the youngest looking like a small cranky man in a red dress.

Ever the hipsters, here are my dad and my oldest brother Ron in their fine leather duds, at Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC, likely around 1977 or so.

Dad was pretty serious, but he did have his goofy moments. We put those plastic glasses on him with the fake nose attached but it really matches his skin tone and seems to kind of blend in with his face!

My dad was a very hard-working, honest and caring man. When I think back on it now, he was way ahead of his time and an involved father even with everyday stuff - I have clear memories of him bathing me and taking me shopping; my sister even remembers him hemming her new coat because she was so excited to wear it and my mom was in hospital giving birth to me! He took us camping and taught me how to fish - how to put the worm on the hook, how to grab a fish without getting cut by the fins and how to take it off without harming it to put it back in the water. He really enjoyed all the holiday food preparations - he was the kamaboko (fish cakes or patties made from freshly ground fish) king! We could never get it quite right once he was gone...

At his happiest, with his love, my mom.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'll be here...

Saturday, June 19th, from noon to 9pm-ish
Galerie Impact
209 rue St-Paul W., in Old Montreal
Metro Place d'Armes (walk south on St-François Xavier, turn right on St-Paul)
I'm one of several local artisans selling in the lovely courtyard of the gallery. In the case of rain, we're not sure what will happen, so if it DOES rain later today like the forecast says, it might be safer to wait for another day to come by to see me. Thanks for understanding and I look forward to seeing you soon (^_^) More dates at this gallery to be announced soon!

Samedi, 19 juin, de midi à 21h (à peu près)
Galerie Impact
209 rue St-Paul W., au Vieux-Montréal
Métro Place d'Armes (vers le sud sur St-François Xavier, à droite sur St-Paul)
Je suis un parmi quelques artisans qui vendent dans l'arriere-cours de la boutique. Dans le cas de pluie, nous ne sommes pas certains qu'est ce qui va arriver, alors s'il pleut plus tard aujourd'hui comme l'annonce la météo, il serait peut-être mieux d'attendre à une autre date pour venir me voir. Merci de votre compréhension, et au plaisir (^_^) D'autres dates à cette galerie seront bientôt annoncées!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Family BBQ!

Here are some pics from a barbecue my nephew hosted earlier this week when my nieces drove into town from Ontario. Thanks for hosting and cooking, Phil, Janice and Allison- it was delish! Oh yeah, and Granny and Granpa for the yummy dessert!

Phil bbq-ing the chicken that Allison and Janice marinated.

Chowing down on the balcony...

... moved inside for dessert.

Phil, Janice and Allison with Granny and Granpa. Sierra the Boston terrier is Allison's little girl. Thank you Granpa, for the excellent photos!

Now for some older pics of three "kids" above, taken around 20 years ago. Here's Allison dancing with her Bachan (grandma in Japanese), my mom.
And here are Janice and Phil playing with Bachan... or Janice and Phil watching Bachan play (^_^).
Happy week-end everyone!