10 years ago Comments Off on And so it begins

And so it begins

It’s that time of year when most crafters/artists get ready for the holiday shows. I wasn’t sure that i would be participating in any of them, but i am glad to announce that i will. 

Part of the reason that i can do this is because i have a whole schwak of stock from last year which makes me confident that i have enough for the season. 
I am also very lucky to have the support of lovely dear Dave. He helps me create buttons, takes care of little max for a few hours while i work in the studio. 
In just a few minutes all three of us will venture into the basement and put some things in order so that i can fully start working there. Max has been in the studio at least twice and both times was wide eyed with intrique. I imagine he was dreaming of all of the things he can get his little paws into! In time, i am sure!!
This week i am focusing on vintage paper packs and one of a kind buttons. I will post more as the week goes on..

10 years ago 2

mama and artist

When i became pregnant, i was surprised at the amount of people who told me that I had better get all of my arts projects finished before the baby came because it would be years before i would do anything dance-performance-visual art related again unless it was with and for my child.

Of course for me, this is not my reality. I have heard many women who talk about how there life before children was full of art and how that ceased upon the arrival of the little one. Sometimes their tone of voice was angry, resentful and sometimes just tired. When I heard that,I vowed never to become one of those women.

You see, i have been an artist for much of my life. Thankfully it’s how i make a living. But it’s also how i express my joy and sadness, how i explore thoughts and ideas that might not be clear. Art is my life. And i just can’t stop with that now that Max is here.

In fact, the addition of this brilliant child in my life just inspires me to create more. Yes, it will look different than being in the studio from 9 to 5 every day. I will be tired. My husband will take Max so that i can create. And yes, there will be days that i do nothing at all.

But at the end of the day, i will have been both mother and artist.

And i will be happy and my son will be proud.
10 years, 3 months ago 4

The Friday Shine featuring Tosca Teran of Nanopod!

This weeks Shine is the ever inspiring Tosca Teran of Nanopod Studios.  When i met Tosca a few years ago, i was impressed by her ability to create jewelry that seemed so biological, so organic, so from the earth! We soon started following her work and seeing her at different art and craft events around the city. Her work combined art and science in such an accessible way as she created jewelry and sculpture.  A very shiny spirit, i think that the world should know more about her so i asked her about her inspirations and about her work with glass and metal.  

Check out some of her work at her shop, website and blog!  Enjoy!

Could you tell us about what inspires you? 

An uncle of mine was an undersea photographer in the 70’s. He worked for the US parks and services dept., and went out on the Calypso quite often. He would visit bringing stories, amazingly beautiful gigantic colour photographs of corals, sea anemones, and fish, interesting shells, etc., and share them with me. I was fascinated and wanted to dive with my uncle and Jacques Cousteau. I wanted to live in this undersea world I was learning about… As a child, pretending I was a scientist I would wade through local marshes and creek beds collecting tadpoles, frogs whatever I could find to bring home and watch grow (to my Mother’s dismay). I always had smelly Sea Monkey tanks on the go, and was super happy spending hours staring at water droplets, blades of grass, or whatever else I could literally dig up, under my microscope. 
 Later I would hitchhike to tide pools off of Bolinas, or Drake’s Beach (I grew up in the SF Bay Area) and spend hours observing the life forms. I was a full on nerd. I listened to music that was not popular with my friends; TomitaKlaus Schulze, Synergy, later Brian Eno.. electronic, and ambient music of the 70’s. My father inspired this! I was a huge fan of sci-fi novels, and films. LOL! Several films that embedded themselves forever in my psyche are Fantastic Planet, Silent Running, and Logan’s Run. Yeah, well what can I say? Watch them and you will see how they’ve filled my work. I spent hours developing story boards, collecting sounds with my tape recorder, and drawing worlds I imagined and dreamed of.

How did you end up working with metal and glass? Is it something you set out to do? 

When I hit middle school and high school new mediums found their way into my hands for creative expression. “Jewelry” was taught at Redwood High School and although it wasn’t an elective for Freshmen (Seniors only) the teacher didn’t mind me cutting class in order to learn this ‘trade’. Mr. Lamante, was not the friendliest but he taught me how to cut stones & cab them, scrimshaw (basically tattooing ivory) how to make my own tools, set stones, fabricate, and lost wax casting. Meanwhile, my fav courses were still science, chemistry, and art. 

After high school I continued studying goldsmith and silversmith techniques through assisting and apprenticing professionals. Along side this passion for working with metal was a computer programming passion! 

Throughout the 80’s, and into the 90’s I worked with metal, selling and exhibiting my work through small boutiques, galleries, national shows, etc. 

In the late 80’s my brother worked for Arrowsprings in California building kilns/annealers for glass artists He desperately tried to get me into glass via flameworking. He made beads, and pipes and sold them at the Renaissance Fair. I was not interested (at the time) in what I thought of as craft (a four letter word). On top of that- Hippy craft! As a metalsmith I  was often looked down upon by other ‘artists’ as a ‘jeweler’ due to its associations with craft, so I was not about to start making beads! 

Art vs. Craft. It wasn’t really until I moved to Toronto in 2001 that I heard the term, ‘Maker’. And met a community of people that weren’t afraid of the word- C R A F T. In fact, they embraced it! 

 Oh yeah, back to glass. It seems there has been many occasions where glass has found its way into my pieces, collaborations, and installations. Most of the time through found objects, or friends that worked with glass in some capacity. In 2004, glass artist Catherine Vamvakas-Lay traded her workshop in glass blowing for one of my 8 week courses. That was it! I was hooked and wanting to learn how to work with glass in any way possible. At the time I shared a studio with goldsmith, Catherine Allen known as the Fishbowl. Catherine left Toronto and I took over the Fishbowl turning it into Tank: fire + metal the fire part had to do with me bringing in two flameworkers from a near-by studio of their own. 

I need a positive environment and the ability to create my own world to work out of so, I founded nanopod: Hybrid Studio aka nanotopia in 2005 and have been working with glass along side metal ever since. 

I’ve studied various glass techniques in Brooklyn with Anna Boothe, Corning NY with Suellen Fowler, Jesse Kohl, and Loren Stump. 

I was a featured artist at SOFA, NY represented by Urban Glass Brooklyn in 2009 and was awarded three scholarship this year for glass studies at the Penland School of Crafts, The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, and the Pilchuck Glass School which I am traveling to August 12th. 

I love the immediacy of glass, its sense of flow and movement. Colour is also an important component. Glass is an incredible medium I feel every artist should try on.

Advice to emerging makers?

Make stuff, express yourself! Don’t worry about current trends, and work that is salable. Read this book: Art & Fear!
Be happy, and make/create what you want to, what you feel – from your heart. This work will be appreciated. You are not alone.
10 years, 4 months ago 4

Linky McLinkerton – Toronto Crafters

 For the 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge, today’s focus is to share some link love.  I am hoping that this will be a regular feature on my blog that has different themes each week.  

As someone who has been vending at Toronto Art and Craft Show for the past few years, i have had the grand pleasure of meeting a lot of talented and generous artists and artisans.  For my first linky post I would like to highlight a handful of Toronto bloggers. 

Thimble – This was one of the first blogs i ever read, and it really inspired me to start my own blog.  Full of tutorials, recipes and great music links! 

Sweetie Pie Press – The very talent Becky Johnson might just be one of the wonders of the world. I met Becky when she used to perform her quirky style of comedy around town.  These days she is travelling all around Canada and the States with her one of a kind zines and buttons and crochet goodness.  Her travels take her to the most interesting places.  She has a knack for sharing wonderful stories of crafty goodness.  

What you LoveAprile Elcich creates stunning collage pieces. She also has another blog where she features other collage artists.  Check out Not Paper here!

Needlebook – I totally appreciate the versatility that Claire Louise Milne has.  From illustration to sewing, to handspun yarn, she’s great.  

Fieldguided – Simply beautiful photography and great inspiration!

Carmi’s Art/Life World – Carmi posts almost everyday and showcases some fine art cards and jewellry.  

10 years, 4 months ago 4

The Friday Shine featuring Writer Sarah Selecky

gold dragonfly, originally uploaded by girlcancreate.

A few days i posted some tips about welcoming more creativity in your life. I recieved a handful of emails telling me that #6 really resonated with them. I shared a story about my grandmother and how she believed that people should show their shine!

That same afternoon, while in the backyard, i noticed this brilliant dragonfly with gold wings was hanging around my plants.  While i did pool exercises, she flitted around, and then while i weeded the garden, it became clear that she was hanging around for a while.  She stayed in my garden for about an hour and a half.  Now, maybe i am a bit superstitious, but i took this as a sign that i have to continue to share the shine that i know in my own life. I took a photo of this lovely creature and soon after she flew away! She definitely showed me her shine! 

After some thought, I have decided that every Friday I am going to showcase some of the shiny creatives that i have met in person or on line. 
Without further ado, I would like to introduce our first feature of the Friday Shine, author and teacher Sarah Selecky. Her first book of short stories, “This Cake is For the Party” has quickly become one of my most favourite reads. Sarah’s stories are smart stunningly crafted stories that give us a glimpse into modern lives. The press has been really positive and i would suggest getting a copy at your local store or online!
Aside from writing, Sarah is a talented writing teacher who teaches classes and workshops at various locations in Toronto and beyond. She also keeps a great Twitterfeed with daily writing prompts. If you are looking for some quick inspiration to kickstart your writing practice, i would highly recommend this!
For more about Sarah and all the magic that she creates, please have a look at
Stay tuned for more of The Friday Shine! And if you have any ideas of who should be featured, please feel free to email me at