World Toy Camera Day 2010

World Toy Camera Day happens once a year and it’s always a good excuse to take out my holga. This year it fell on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend which Boris and I celebrated with friends and family on Bowen Island.

World Toy Camera Day 2010: Forest Path

I love this spot which is just off the Kilarney Lake trail heading towards the meadow. There is a short bridge that crosses the river and it’s a wonderful spot on a sunny day to see the surrounding trees and sky above reflected in the stillness of the water.

World Toy Camera Day 2010: By the River

World Toy Camera Day 2010: Miller's Landing, Bowen Island

This was the first time in a year I’ve taken photos with my holga. It felt really good to be shooting film again.

Light Leaks Magazine Showcase Gallery

Back in April I was approached by the editors of Light Leaks Magazine to do a showcase of my toy camera and polaroid photos. I was thrilled because it’s a toy camera magazine I’ve been reading for the past couple of years, and there’s always interesting work to be seen in it’s pages. The latest issue just went live and you can buy your own copy online.



I’m really happy with the selection of images that have been included in the showcase. Featured here are photos taken with a holga, Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, polaroid, and a P-Sharan pinhole camera.

Variations of film in a holga camera


When Boris and I were in Victoria earlier this year I came across the motherload of medium format expired slide film in a small camera store in Bastion Square. At first I was hesitant to buy it all because most of the film was 220 and I wasn’t sure I could shoot this in my holga. For those not familiar with film formats, medium format film come in 120 rolls which allows for 12 exposures or 220 rolls which allow for 24 exposures (this varies with the type of camera). The larger roll also doesn’t work with every medium format camera, at least that’s what I’d been led to believe. I went ahead and bought the lot deciding to take my chances because of the cheap price of four year expired film.


The shots I’ve included in this blog post were the first taken on the roll of 220 with a holga. As you can see, I had a lightleak and it went through the entire roll. With 220 film the whole camera has to be taped up, including the window at the back of the holga, because the film doesn’t have a paper backing the way 120 does. I’ll add more tape for next time. The trickiest part of shooting 220 is keeping track of the number of exposures because you can no longer see the numbers at the back, as well as being careful to count the number of clicks between frames.

For more detailed instructions on shooting 220 film go read “How to Use 220 film in a Holga.”


10 Good Things from the Weekend


It’s Wednesday, the day of the week that rests exactly at the point between the previous weekend and the one to come. I’ve been having a series of awesome weekends and I wanted to write up a “Good Things” list before the next one happened. Here goes:

1. Hanging out with Boris enjoying some excellent quality time and adventures. I couldn’t ask for a more fun person to spend time with.
2. Taking myself on a movie date to see the documentary Earth. The cinematography is stunning and spectacular, and showcases scenery and animals all over the world. I left the theatre feeling uplifted and inspired.
3. Making plans with a friend to get back on track with a long neglected photo project.
4. Taking a day trip to Stevenston where we spent a few hours wandering around enjoying the fantastic weather.
5. A bit of unexpected retail therapy at the Orb & Arson warehouse sale, which was located where we changed buses between Vancouver and Steveston. I picked up some great bargains.
6. Lunch on the Wharf in Steveston at Pajos. Yum. Good.
7. Sitting in the grass relaxing and watching people fly kites.
8. Taking an afternoon nap on Saturday.
9. Making dessert from sad fruits wizened with age and neglect, and turning them into a delicious apple, pear and rhubarb crisp.
10. Talking to my mom and sister at the same time through the magical powers of three-way calling.

In Memory of David Somers


A few days ago my mom called to tell me the news of my old friend David Somers passing away. She’d been reading the local paper and came across an article in the Brampton Guardian reflecting on his many contributions to the arts and culture in Brampton, Ontario. It mentioned his recent passing at the end of April. I hadn’t been in touch with David in a few years but I had been made aware through a mutual friend that he’d been diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago.

My mom has been diagnosed with cancer twice in the last twelve years. She went through surgery and extensive treatments and has been in remission for a few years now. Boris’ father was diagnosed with cancer last year and has also gone on to a complete recovery with relatively little effect on his overall health. Sometimes people aren’t so lucky, or maybe we (their loved ones) are the lucky ones not to have lost them. My heart goes out to those David has left behind.

I first met David almost fifteen years ago on my first visit to the Peel Heritage Complex, a public art gallery, museum and archive in Brampton. I was interested in becoming a volunteer and David is the one who interviewed me about my interests. My volunteering eventually led to paid work at the complex in various ways, much of it working closely with David and assistant curator, Judy Daley. I can’t really imagine one without the other because they are both so much a part of my memories there, and they made a great team. They were a pleasure to work with and provided me with great opportunities despite my complete lack of experience working in that type of environment. It was an invaluable experience because I learned what goes on behind the scenes of a museum/art gallery, gave me hands-on experience of putting a show together, and was the first push I needed to start showing my own work in a gallery.

David was more than just my boss at the Complex, he was also a friend. I think that’s how everyone who ever worked under him felt because he was such an engaging person. He was known for his infectious sense of humour and charismatic personality, and always had something hilarious to say. I worked with David and Judy for four years before moving away to Toronto and eventually to Vancouver. I’d been good about keeping in touch with them and would regularly go back and visit, but over the last few years I’d lost touch. It saddens me knowing it is too late to remedy the situation, and I will never get the chance to laugh with David again. He will be greatly missed.

The Art Gallery of Peel and Peel Heritage Complex will hold a celebration of David Somers’ life for friends and colleagues on Thursday, May 28 at 7pm.

Peel Heritage Complex
Historic Peel County Courthouse
3 Wellington St. E. in Brampton

Path of petals

A path of petals

“Pain and conflict are, to a large extent, the result of a discrepancy between the way we think others should treat us, react to us, and appreciate us, and the way they actually do. Many of our miseries are thus rooted in self-pity, the most worthless of all human emotions.”

–Ann Davies, Qabalist teacher

Too true.

Sale: Metal Prints at

I’ve decided to put all of the metal prints I have listed in my Etsy shop on sale. The regular price is $45, now on sale for $35. This does not include shipping. Below are detail shots of two of the eleven prints.

Metal print - Stranded balloons detail

Metal print - posing crow detail

Each is a handmade aluminum metal print mounted on a wooden cradle frame. Size: 7″x 7″ with an image size of 5″x 5″. These prints are made using a heat transfer printing process, and the imagery are my photos taken with a holga camera.

Christmas baking and a Few Good Things

The window at Brioche

It is Sunday afternoon and I’ve decided to take a break from the frenzy of Christmas baking I’ve been up to for the last few hours. I haven’t done baking for Christmas in a few years and I am trying all new recipes. I started with a batch of candied orange peels, then onto chocolate almond bark, with a finale of chocolate truffles. I am waiting for each batch of yummies to cool and set, but otherwise I am done. Overall these were really easy things to make though the citrus peels were the most labour intensive, requiring multiple reboils in hot water to soften and remove the pith. I may do a second batch of these and do a better job with pith removal because they make the taste more sour than sweet.

Good Things from the Weekend:
1. Getting set up with a new cell phone (and plan) that is about one thousand times more advanced than the one I’ve had for almost five years.
2. Baking chocolate chip banana bread
3. Making and sharing Saturday brunch with friends
4. Having a recovered Boris back to the land of the living
5. Getting out for a walk on a rainy but lovely Friday night



Traveling to Bowen Island just got a whole lot faster, easier, and fun with the introduction of the Granville Island Water Taxi service. Boris and I took it over to Bowen on friday evening, and came back on it Sunday night. It costs more than the regular bus and ferry combo, but getting home in an hour makes it all worth it. I’m looking forward to making the trip during daylight hours sometime and enjoying the view of Vancouver from the perspective of the water.

Good things from the weekend:
– Long naps on both Saturday and Sunday
– Adventures around Bowen with Boris and Kirsti that included a stop for hot chocolate
– Finding interesting objects for future art projects at the wild and crazy community garage sale
– Walking through the rainy darkness to and from the ferry
– Eating German apple cake and many other delicious things

A Little Bit of News

Walking back the way we came

The problem with looking back at what I was up to this time last November is realizing I was a much more productive artist then, and I was actually selling work. It’s easy to focus on the things I’m not happy with when comparing to last year and I think it’s a counterproductive thing to do. I need to reflect, but not compare so much because a year later often means different circumstances that factor into artistic productivity.

And on that note, I do have a few things to be pleased about with my work. I have one photo published in the current issue of Geist Magazine that doesn’t seem to have translated well into print but in print it is nonetheless. I’m also pretty sure I have some work in the Plastic Photographer – Low Tech Photo Show , opening Thursday at 2221A Artist Run Centre. I say “pretty sure” because the person I talked to about whether or not my work had been accepted wasn’t very clear with me. I’m planning on checking out the opening regardless. ๐Ÿ™‚