Monday, June 27, 2011


Still catching up on Andrew's word of the week assignments. With any luck I will be back on track by next week.

• at this time of my life I think of foundation garments. No?
   Ok, I'll get more serious.
• the base that holds my house up straight? 
• the underpinnings of plantings in my garden?
• the wire in a piece of jewellery I'm creating?
• the core of who I am? Now that ones just seems so big - but - that would be my Mom and Dad of course, but also, my brother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that have come and gone through the years, who have ultimately shaped who I have become.

 This necklace is strung with heavy gauge wire. A strong foundation if you will.The pearls are quite light and the stones are quite heavy but the combination successfully hangs together to make it harmonious. Just as the foundation supports all pieces equally, so too is this an example of an overall cohesion of size, texture and colour making it a striking piece of jewellery.

The one thing I have learned is that a strong foundation makes for a strong individual. I may not have the biggest family, or the closest family but what I have, has given me great overall cohesion. My ying and yang have a strong foundation.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


My word of the week from Andrew is - bring. At first I thought of what I like to bring when I go to someone's for dinner — flowers, wine or a dessert — or what I like to receive when someone comes to my house for dinner — flowers, wine or dessert. And then, I thought, what do I like or always bring with me, whenever I travel, even if it's for the day - my camera.

I have my Dad to thank for the love of the camera. I got my first Kodak Instamatic when I was nine. I then graduated to the hip pocket camera with the size 110 film, for the sleek Kodak moments. By twelve  I was ready for a full on 35mm camera, with all the lenses. I loved to shoot. I was the one at the party that always had the camera. As cumbersome as it was in those days, particularly with all the lenses, I took it with me on camping trips, weekend trips, backpacking trip through Europe, to my graduation at U of T, to friends weddings, christenings, anniveraries, parties, corn roasts and just a walk in the High Park. My camera and I were one. I shifted from Konica, which my Dad loved, to Nikon, which I loved. I bought film in bulk, and took up precious space in our kitchen's freezer, to always have it fresh and on hand.

I once considered pursuing photography as a profession, but decided to keep it merely as a hobby I enjoyed. I didn't want it to become work. I knew I was always a visual person, so  bringing my camera, seemed quite natural. From age ten to thirty five, I shot photos like there was no tomorrow. Then, I put my camera down for a few years, and it all changed. Digital.

I must confess, it took me a long time to feel comfortable with a digital camera. Even now I only have a basic point and shoot Sony cybershot, which, has done me well. I know what my next camera is to be, but love the convenience of this little modern digital pocket camera. It fits in my pocket, my purse & even dangled from my zip line belt as I cruised the rain forest canopy of St. Lucia. What's not to love about its convenience?

I know it is just a matter of time before I graduate again, to a larger digital camera, as I have been frustrated with the lack of control & zoom that I have with my current camera. I always had my camera on manual, in the old days, now I just hit the shoot button, and occasionally adjust whether I want the flash on or not, and maybe use the baby zoom.

From the trivial, I have a photo of the pie plate that cracked while I was baking my Canada day strawberry pie, to the important, photos of my godson catching frogs when he was a couple years old, the visual history has always been important to me, so I record it all. And what I have discovered is that what seemed trivial, sometimes becomes very important. Bringing my camera along, has allowed me to discover that.

Wow, I really went on a tangent about bring, but to me, bringing my camera along, is a must.
Thanks Dad.
My cracked pyrex plate. Very sad.

CNE Air Show & me getting a burnt nose.

My friend Vicki making a snow angel - how classic is that!

Jolijn and I cycling the hills above Florence - a fun memory.

HBC Christmas Windows - a tradition.

Lunch with Margaret and my Mom at Ward's Island -  annual summer treat.

Now this seemingly trivial photo, for me, reminds me
of all the wonderful times I've shared
when I've been with my Aunt & Uncle in their kitchen.
We all love good food, & in this photo, wondered
how we were going to save this poor burnt beer can chicken.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Still working on my backlog of words from Andrew. Glow being the next in line. The glow of a fire — a traditional log fireplace, a gas fireplace, a campfire, a candle, perhaps a fireplace full of candles. I do enjoy all of these glows.

Now the glow from genuine neon lights always gets me glowing. I've always loved the iconic Sam the Record Man neon sign that hung on the facade of their flagship store on Yonge Street in Toronto. I can recall flying home from somewhere at night, and the flight would circle the city, and you could easily pick out Sam the Record Man downtown. Sadly, those lights are no more. It was the end of an era in many respects when the changing times closed Sam's, and they turned off their lights.

Love the glow of the lights of Times Square & Broadway, in the west end in London and any small town that happens to still have them fired up on restaurant or drugstore.

The glow of New York City.

The glow of good design. The Italians know how to do it.

My personal glow, when out of two busloads,
I was the only one who managed to find the man selling medals,
for managing to climb to the top of the Great Wall of China.
My friend Barb couldn't believe I found a medal man.
I was medal deprived as a child, and have since made up for it.

The glow of fun lighting.

A classic glow.

The glow from a Tucson staple.

The glow of Shanghai.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Where was Andrew finding these words? Glitter. It so didn't inspire me. I think because I am so not a glitter person, that I did not feel bonded or remotely interested in this word. I have dabbled in it, and have the odd yearning to wear something with a sequin or two, only to learn that in the long run, it is not me. It is merely a fleeting lust for the sparkle. I think of sequins, and loud clothing & a certain generation of women in Miami when I think of glitter. Glitter rock of the 70's? The big glittery disco ball hanging above the dance floor? I lived through the 80's glitter era, and don't have fond memories of the fashion. Big hair. Big shoulder pads. Sparkly things where they shouldn't be - not that I think they really should be in most places anyway. I remember walking down Yonge Street in Toronto when I was in university, and looking in the window at Master John's shoes, with the ginormous platform glitter rock boots à la Kiss and Elton John. I guess Liberace was the first Glitter star, and that was long before Gary Glitter. I remember an episode of "Here's Lucy" when Liberace wore a jacket that lit up in the dark. Now, his jackets did have a style all their own. So, glitter, despite the mixed connotations for me, did make me think, and commit, that I am not a glitter gal.

Alas, I did don these glittery ears, once,  for a photo op.

Said photo op.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Andrew stumped me on this word. The first thing I thought of was Aesop's Fables. And then I went blank. What about a fable? Where did he want me to go with this word? How did I photograph it? How did I design a piece of jewellery around it? Yikes. This was a tuffy for me, and it kept me from my blog for a while. I kept checking the weekly words, and they only continued to stump me, and I continued to avoid them. But then, Andrew, challenged me to write again. I knew I would, but thought I would just wait till a word came along that spoke to me. I'm guessing though, that the whole point of this exercise is to challenge myself, and think outside the box, or just to think, and express, instead of feeling blocked. Fable conjured up images of horses & mythical creatures, & giant man-eating plants. 


Then it hit me — Pinocchio.

 A fable. An Italian fable. What's not to like? This cute little wooden puppet who wants to be a boy, who had issues with his nose and the truth, and yet, a life lesson was learned. So, fable — Pinochio, presenting a succinct life lesson — as a fable should.