Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy (belated) Holidays!

Oh my, where have the days gone!? I just returned today from a week in Thunder Bay with my family for Christmas. It was lovely. I hope you all has a wonderful time with family and loved ones, or just taking a little time for yourself to rest and enjoy the season. xoxo

Friday, December 17, 2010

an orange canary and a vampire squid

This is the first time I've posted a video. I hope it works.
I just looove this video.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

adam and the amethysts

I'm working on a very exciting project right now: cover art for my brother Adam's new album. You will have to wait until it is released to see the full artwork, but for now here is a sneak peak of some unfinished details. I am so happy to be doing this for him. He is the best brother ever, and I really love his music SO MUCH. His last album, Amethyst Amulet received some great critical praise:

The pop hit of the summer!

While evincing the intimacy of an apartment recording, it is also brimming with overlapping instruments, tempo changes and ambitious arrangements. The result resembles the precarious balance between innocence and sophistication that Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks have been known to strike.

I’ve fallen in love.

Montreal’s newest shimmering gem.

They meander quietly through ethereal psychedelic moments and a Neil Youngish understanding of the lyrical details that fill a songs with endearing personality. At 13 songs, Amulet could go on a while longer and still remain a beautiful piece of contemporary Canadiana.

The project has the pedigree, the creativity, and most importantly, the songs to make Amethyst Amulet the must have record for the summer. The songs are drenched in reverb, and sparkle like sun kissed water. Truthfully, I am not sure I’ve been as excited about a Canadian artist since I first heard Miracle Fortress. His understanding of what makes a pop song challenging and still enjoyable is incredible.

I'm so proud of him! You all have to check out his new album when it is ready. I'll be sure to let you know when it is available.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

no knead bread

Here's my first attempt at no knead bread in my new dutch oven. I'm probably the last person in the world to try this fantastic recipe. It seems to have exploded through popular culinary consciousness since appearing in the NY Times a few years ago. There are a few things I'll try differently next time, like add a little more salt and bake it at a slightly lower temperature because the bottom burned slightly, but overall it was a pretty successful first try. It sure looks good! And it tastes great too. I can't believe how crunchy the crust is! And the inside is very soft, moist and, as you can see, bubbly. I can't wait to get creative with this recipe! This dutch oven is making me more excited about cooking/baking than I have been in a long time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

early xmas present to myself

I've been dreaming about getting a Le Creuset dutch oven forever, and a sale on cookware at Williams Sonoma on the same day that I was out doing my Christmas shopping was irresistible. The thing is, I ended up buying a Staub dutch oven instead of Le Creuset. I just fell in love with this grey one. And none of the three colours they carry of the Le Creuset felt right for me, plus the Staub was $50 cheaper. So, Staub it is. As soon as I brought it home, I christened it with a big batch of roasted butternut squash soup. I love this little sticker it had inside saying "This product was inspected by Cristophe Remi for your satisfaction." Merci Cristophe! I love your name and I am very satisfied. I can't wait to try using it for this bread. Do any of you have any dutch oven recipes to recommend?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Swedish Wildflowers

I sure wish I could have bought this when it was up on Etsy. Isn't it wonderful!? 
I found it through Google Image Search about 10 months after it had already been sold. Bummer.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

fierce bunnies

Sonja and I did our 2nd Annual Fierce Bunny Photo Shoot at my place this weekend. It was really fun. Sonja is back from the Yukon to present her bunnies at the One of a Kind Show here in Toronto from Nov. 25 - Dec. 5. She will have an astounding array of heartbreakingly sweet bunnies, some of the favourite prints from last year, and of course prints of the photos we took this weekend. This is one of my favourites

Monday, November 15, 2010

sphalerite finished

I finished this guy a couple weeks ago. It was a fun one. Lots of colours! Look at my rainbow palette:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Even with our hot summer this year, I didn't have much success with my purple tomatillos. If they had full sun all day they would have done better, I'm sure. I got plenty of little fruits, but only a few fully matured. They really are beautiful regardless, which I suppose was the main reason I wanted to grow them. So maybe they were a success after all.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

autumn garden

aka gnarly mess of mostly dead weeds

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

hello november

brrrrr... time for coats
image from here

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This Sphalerite, more than any of my other specimens I think, benefits immensely from being lit well and magnified. It has so much detail and crazy iridescence that is difficult to see with the naked eye because it is so tiny and dark. Under the greasy iridescent metallic coating it is actually a dark transparent rusty red stone. Without the light hitting it in the right way, it just looks black. I think it's going to be fun (and a big challenge) to paint.

On a side note, it is so hard to take photos in my house in the evening. It is just too dark, and I lack the skills to compensate for the lack of light. I apologize for the badly lit blurry photos which will likely become the norm here, now that it's getting dark earlier and earlier.

*edit - In case you can't tell in the photos, the colourful image is just the photo I took and printed out as reference and the painting has only been sketched out so far. When I took these photos I hadn't actually started painting.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

spring 2011

I've been slowly browsing through the Spring 2011 collections, and I can't get this one Costello Tagliapietra dress out of my head.
I want to wear it. Image from

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shary Boyle

I am so excited to be attending the private reception tonight for Shary's new four person show at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Breaking Boundaries. And for those of you in Toronto who haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend checking out her AMAZING exhibition at the Art Gallery of OntarioFlesh and Blood, which is up until December 6. She sure has a lot going on right now. It makes me so happy to see such a brilliant hard-working talented and lovely woman enjoying so much success. Yay Shary!

All photos by Rafael Goldchain. Artworks by Shary Boyle courtesy of Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

I have recently developed a serious addiction to Swedish Crime Fiction. It, of course, started with the Millenium Trilogy. It got me wanting to look for other authors of the genre. My boss Patrick shared this sentiment, and has been collecting novels by other Swedish writers and loaning them to me (!!!). The first books he passed along were the Martin Beck series, ten books written in the 60's and 70's by the Swedish couple Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. This is them in the picture above. Don't they look great!? This series is really wonderful, and was highly influential to many writers in this genre, within Scandinavia and beyond, including Stieg Larsson. The stories are really well crafted with an engaging cast of characters whose lives and perspectives evolve as the series progresses. Sjöwall and Wahlöö were committed Marxists and there is a strong thread of social criticism running through the series. Having absolutely no idea how to pronounce their names, or countless other names in the books, I turned to the internet and found this really helpful blog page. I recommend it for Larsson fans too. Now that I've finished this series, I've moved on to the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It is also so so good. Next in line is an Iclandic writer. Every once in a while I have to wait a few days before getting a new stack of books from Patrick, and I'm forced to read something else for a little bit. I blame Sjöwall and Wahlöö for the fact that it took me 6 months to get through Anna Karenina. Ha.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Autumn

I've been totally slacking here lately - with good reason! I've been super busy, working long hours at the gallery the last two weeks while we've been installing new exhibitions. Plus I've had a ceramic commission to finish at our old studio and I just completed my first painting commission - three pieces for a print application (I hope to share more details soon), which I was approached with only two weeks before the deadline - the deadline being the same day as the exhibition openings we were working towards. yikes

It worked out well that all this business happened in September, because I always feel a surge of energy at the beginning of the Fall. You know, that 'back-to-school' rush. Even though I haven't been in school for five years, I still feel that sense of anticipation and excitement to start something new. Everything is done now and things are getting back to normal, so hopefully I can get back in the habit of posting more regularly.

For now, here is a random picture of a bug that I took on our camping trip last month. Does anyone know what kind of insect this is?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tank and Steve

Tank is a huge dog. He is some kind of mix of things including Husky and Malamute I think. He is very gentle and quiet and so well behaved. He has one brown eye and one blue eye which is shaped like a star. He really is my favourite dog in the whole world.

Steve is Sarah's latest guinea pig. She has always had at least one guinea pig, and he is the one she's got now. He is the colour of caramel and makes funny noises. He is pretty ridiculous. We took him swimming. He didn't like it. At all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Back in Thunder Bay I got to spend some time with my childhood best friend Sarah. She's really more like family. The kind of best friend you can't remember not having, and can't imagine not being close to forever. 

We went to her family's camp on Lake Shebandowan, just the two of us, her dog Tank (my favourite dog in the whole world) and her guinea pig Steve. We walked in the woods, took pictures of beautiful sun flares and mushrooms, collected moose bones, red books in hammocks, went sauna-and-skinny-dipping, made homemade macaroni and cheese, ate strawberry rhubarb pie my mom made, listened to the handful of old records her family keeps out there (primarily Fleetwood Mac - Rumors and the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack) and she taught me how to sail for the first time (so fun!). It was perfect. Like, really really perfect.

I think Tank and Steve deserve their own dedicated post, so that will come next.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kakabeka Falls street fair

One highlight of my recent trip to Thunder Bay was a quick visit with Adam and Miranda to Kakabeka Falls (a little town and provincial park just outside of Thunder Bay) for its annual street fair. It seemed like half of Thunder Bay was there. There were cars parked along the side of the highway in a long line leading way out of town. I regret not getting a picture of that.
I kind of wanted this turtle footstool. Pretty cute.
Miranda and Adam posing with my favourite signs in town. 
Kakabeka Falls is full of small family run businesses, many of which have been around forever and have awesome signs. 
I guess this is the kind of juxtaposition you see in a small tourism-based town. There is a mineral shop in the laundrymat. I got some nice stuff from here. It was a surprise to see more than just amethyst, which is in every gift shop in Kakabeka or anywhere near Thunder Bay.