Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Sun is back

I've been terribly lax in my mess making lately, more than a little scatterbrained, and my time management skills seem to have slipped down the drain. *sigh* BUT today is a new day and I will regain control! I will! I WILL!

I stepped back, took a deep breath, and holed myself up in my cocoon and made these pretties last night.

I just love the little quotes from that gem of a torn up children's book hiding in my stash.

Perhaps it's the weather that has me discombobulated. It's been pretty darned chilly and drab around here for the past few days. Not in the least spring-like! But the sun has returned today and so I'm hoping that once again the windows can be thrown open.

Despite the two bouts of hail we've seen, the garden seems to be doing pretty well so far. Sure, a few things have already been nibbled at, but I see a few little things that are so far untouched too. Here's a few pics of our garden (last week before the chill).

The soil looks mighty lush! In no time at all this will be a jumble of squash vines. 

Just a portion of our garlic. Good thing the Mr. and I both like the stuff :)

Pretty violets of spring. I use to collect these for my Oberon's Love Potion. If I can find the recipe I'll post it for you.

Mr Pixie built these for the peas to grow upon. I think they're rather nice and can't wait to see them covered with tendrils.

The boxes in the distance are for salad greens. They heat up the ground and let us harvest leaves earlier than we would otherwise.

And finally our rhubarb. I do hope we get lots and lots this year.  The past couple of years we've only had a little bunch or two. I'd like a whole pie's worth thank-you-very-much. Mr Pixie said I might just get my wish this year!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Working Digitally

Do you digital collage? I've been dabbling, and some of my work is a sort of physical/digital hybrid.

This image is almost an entirely physical mixed media collage. The wee white 'sparkly bits' and floaty hearts were added digitally.

Alpha Stamps is now offering digital collage elements and I got to play with a few images (and add a few of my own!). The following two pieces are entirely digital...

While I don't think that anything could replace working with paper and the physicality of cutting and pasting and playing... there's something to be said for digital work. Digital collage often has an amazing 'other world' feel to it. If nothing else, working digitally can help to make the impossible an almost reality :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Three Little Cottages & Mask Workshop

Here's three little cottages gussied up with Graphic 45 French Country papers.

I really like the Tiny Chipboard House Kit that is the base for these because it comes with all three houses. To vary the height I added a 3 Inch Tall Candlestick Holder and a chess piece.

They look mighty cute here BUT I bet these wee places would make a great little spooky village!

ALSO... if you live nearby and are interested in a bit of paper crafting, I'm hosting a mask making workshop at The Gates for the Brighton Arts Council.

If you have tickets for the BAC Masquerade Ball on May 18th, the workshop is FREE! The workshop is $10 for BAC Members, $25 for non-members BUT you only pay half price if you donate your mask to the BAC's fundraiser auction. There are still a few spaces left, contact [email protected] or call 613.210.0851 to reserve your spot.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Happy Anniversary House

Tomorrow marks the 3rd anniversary of our move into this drafty old house and the town of Brighton, Ontario. Our moving day is a pretty special anniversary.

In the three years we've been here, I think I've given a single update about the 8 months we endured prior to the move. To be honest, my husband would prefer if it was never mentioned again. The thing is, about two months ago, I realized I hadn't thought about our ordeal in a couple of weeks. You see, for over two years, I still thought about what we went through every single day.

Before we moved into this house we spent 8 sleepless months in a neighbouring town. We had left all of our family and friends, and moved 3 hours from everything we knew for the chance to change our stars, but ended up in a nightmare.

We found ourselves in a very pretty house across the street from a commercial establishment that demonstrated absolute disregard for it's residential neighbours and environmental codes and standards, with excessive noise emissions. We found ourselves in a town where the mayor, and city officials would tell citizens that we were "troublemakers" and "shit disturbers" for trying to abate the issue. It was a place that I was labeled as a "drain on society" because it never occurred to anyone that I might work from home. A place where I was told a city counsellor referred to me as "that bitch" at the gas pump.

This wasn't a little bit of daytime noise. I could hear this noise from every room in my house, even the basement. My floor and doors would vibrate from it. It was like having someone stand behind you and hum in your ear, or a plane flying overhead, for hours on end, day and night. I believe the longest stretch we recorded was 36 continuous hours.

The lack of sleep caused directly by the noise, deeply affected me physically and mentally. I cried daily. I would cry at the kitchen sink, not because there was noise, but because I knew it was coming. Things got so bad that I was placed on prescription medication so that I might be able to sleep in my own home, BUT even medicated, the noise woke me.

One night, after hours of continuous noise, we filed a complaint. I told the dispatch not to send anyone because I knew there was nothing they would do, I just wanted something on record. The dispatch was confused and said that any time noise was excessive we could file a complaint and didn't understand why I thought nothing would be done. The police showed up and the officers told us we were wasting their time and preventing them from doing more important things.

City officials outright lied about the situation. They denied all knowledge of the issue despite a full presentation made by affected citizens two years previously. When forced to conduct a sound assessment, a parking by-law officer was sent to sit inside his truck, make notes that the lights were on in our home, and 'record' sound levels of 0 db... an impossibility. There were also claims that no activity was taking place at the location between midnight and 4 am despite video evidence to the contrary.

Now, sleep deprivation and sound bombardment does funny things to person. There were moments in that house when I actually thought to myself "If I just killed myself I could stop the noise!" I knew these were irrational thoughts (so did my neighbour who told me she also had the same thoughts) but I couldn't help it.

The final straw came when harassing phone calls were made because of our involvement in the noise issue... and no one cared. City officials never, ever responded to our frantic phone calls. That should not have been a surprise considering that out of over 50 messages sent to the mayor and city manager we only had seven replies.

We put the house up for sale, disclosed the noise issue, sold the house, and 8 months to the day we moved in... we moved out. (I should add here that out of all of the people in this giant mess our real estate agent was a marvel. Absolutely conscientious and principled, he earned our utmost respect and appreciation during this disaster.)

The day we moved into the Pixie house, the noise stopped, we slept soundly, and our lives improved immediately.

Eventually a proper sound assessment was done at the location and found that the facility was emitting noise up to 80% over the legal limit. Vindication, over a year after we left.

A few weeks later this appeared in a local paper... "We're taking the side of the residents.... politicians failed miserably the very people who elected them. All residents have ever wanted is fair and equal representation." I hadn't cried in the year since moving into our new place, but I shed a few tears reading that.

Truly, it revolts me to think that the people who own and operate that business knew exactly the damage they were doing and yet continued their torture. I remain disgusted by the mayor, city manager, councillors and other city officials who failed so completely and miserably, not only in their professional duties, but as human beings.

BUT, here we are, in this old place, in the ideal little town of Brighton. A town where people wave, say hello and chat to strangers. A real and warm community where we feel like we matter and have a voice. A place where we feel valued, and wanted, and are encouraged to contribute.

Here we are, in our old crooked house, halfway up a hill, surrounded by magic and wonder, feeling pretty damned warm and fuzzy, and oh so lucky, to belong somewhere.

Happy anniversary house.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Flying Bee Theatre with Some Bonus Gorey Goodness

If you spied the Alpha Stamps newsletter this weekend you might have seen a little "Flying Bee" threatre embellished by me. I did a little more work on it for an Edward Gorey themed swap, adding characters from the opening sequence of "Mystery" milling about on the stage. I know that Edward wasn't exactly known for scribbling bees and wasps but his black, white and yellow pallet sort of lend themselves to buzzy thoughts.

Here is the completely finished piece...

The shrine/theatre size is tiny, but very workable at 4-3/4" wide x 3-5/8" tall x 1-3/4" deep.

And a good and proper inside gander...

What did I use?

Masonite Theatre Shrine Kit
Small Theatre Curtains Collage Sheet
Graphic 45 Papers
- Graphic 45 French Country Rendezvous
- Graphic 45 Kraft Reflections Straight to the Point
- Graphic 45 Communique Shutter Speed
Brass Flying Bee
Thin Fleur Dresden Borders - Black 
Baroque Dresden Borders - Black 
Egg Cup
Metallic Mini Brads in 3 Colors

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Mother of All Craft Shows

I have a love/hate relationship with craft shows. I love meeting people and talking about my work. I hate lugging my gear all over the place. I decided this year that I would not do any craft show events.

Then I saw a juried show called 'The Mother of all Craft Shows' with proceeds going to Fixed Fur Life. Ah, what the heck...

So this Sunday I'm off to sling my wares at the show at the River Inn in Corbyville/Belleville and I'm kinda excited about it. I'm so excited I even made some new stuff!

Loads of little Pixie Books... blank inside so that the users can actually write in them :)

They are quite tiny!

And there's some new little fairy bottles too. 

Anyway I'm quite excited and if you happen to go, stop by my booth and say 'Hiya!'

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Happy May Day!

First thing's first... HAPPY MAY DAY! I love May Day. To me it signals the true arrival of spring. The buds are bursting, the daffodils are blooming and everything seems so lovely and fresh. I'm absolutely jealous of people who live in areas where it's celebrated in a grand style. I think next year I might have to erect a May pole and invite a few people over to dance with me :) No matter that my celebration is a bit quiet... I'm still send you all great big wishes for wonderful golden opportunities and much happiness in your households :)

Second... that little ducky is Professor Dukinschnof. He's a new friend at Pixie Hill and soooo flipping cute. My husband is very worried about this fellow because he's become a bit of a pet rather than potential confit. Here's a bonus photo of the Prof. giving me the "Seriously? More photos?" side-eye.

Thirdly... last night I hobbled together a little retail display for my Cellar Fairy cards. I think I'm going to improve on the design then make a few more for my retailers as it looks rather tidy.

And finally...

Check out the sneak peek of the new paper collection from Graphic 45. It's a bit of a departure from their other collections but I couldn't be more excited about playing with them. I've got a number of ideas bumping around my noggin' already!