Optical Illusions and Patterns

Lately in the studio I’ve been taking inspiration from a book on Optical Art that I came across at the library. There is a definite element of optical play in the patterns I create organically and I wanted to figure out how to explore this in more in depth, and with intention.

This is the first pattern piece I’ve created referencing optical art, and is based upon one of the designs in the book. I had to figure out how draw it, and translate it into a cut design so that it would hold together. This is hand-cut from black Canson Mi-Teintes paper, and the actual size is 15″ x 20″.

It’s a striking modern pattern, that feels almost too simple compared to some of the complex organic design I tend to create. I’m going to keep exploring this style and influence on art and see where it takes me.

Art & Craft Social – January 2020

Join us for the latest edition of Art & Craft Social! The event is FREE. All you need to do is bring a small creative project to work on, such as stitching, sketching, crocheting, collage, etc. The Social provides an opportunity to meet new people, get inspired, and learn something new through exposure to the creative work of each person’s project. Please note, this event is at a new location.

Please RSVP through eventbrite to attend as space is limited.

Art & Craft Social
Date: Wednesday January 22nd, 2020
Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: 1610 Clark Drive, Unit 201, rear entrance off of Graveley St

The Return of Art & Craft Social

I’m excited to announce the return of Art & Craft Social after a two year hiatus. The Social was an event I used to host at Hot Art Wet City until the gallery closed its doors in 2017. Now with the co-organizing assistance of my friend Barb Wong, we’re bringing it back again!

Join us on Wednesday June 19th, 5:30pm to 8pm, at the VPL Strathcona Branch located at 730 East Hastings Street. This is a FREE community event to bring together a diverse group of adult artists, makers, designers, and craftspeople of all levels of experience to share and create their work in a social setting.

Each attendee should bring a small creative project such as stitching, sketching, crocheting, collage, etc, to work on at Art & Craft Social. The event is inspired by crafternoons, stitching bees, and art jams people host as private get togethers in their homes with friends. We’re turning it into a publicly hosted meet up where all are welcome. The Social provides an opportunity to meet new people, get inspired, and learn something new through exposure to the creative work of each person’s project.

Please RSVP through eventbrite to attend because space is limited.

Art & Craft Social
Date: Wednesday June 19th, 2019
Time: 5:30pm to 8pm
Location: VPL Strathcona Branch, 730 East Hastings Street

The Power of Making

My partner Boris is a far superior cook than I, mostly because he has a passion for the activity whereas my passion for food lies more with the eating of it. Over the five or so years we’ve lived together I’ve steadily handed off the bulk of food preparation to his care, and been very glad of it. I enjoy his good cooking, while he enjoys a clean home and clothes.

This past December I came to the realization that I found the activities of cooking or baking to be extremely stressful. The reason why is because I did these things so rarely I was out of practice and had lost my confidence in working with food.

photo 1 (5)

I am surrounded by people who are excellent chefs, and I am lucky to share many good meals made by friends, so I suddenly felt pretty shameful about the sad level my food skills had sunk to.

Immediately I made the decision to turn things around. I have been cooking and baking much more often over the past two months, including trying recipes for things I’ve always wanted to make but hadn’t previously tried. (I’m looking at you Lemon Loaf and Okonomiyaki).

photo 2 (5)

The situation had me reflecting upon the empowering nature of making things by hand. I should never be afraid to try something new, or have the expectation for perfection. I understand this intimately when it comes to art and craft processes, but it also applies to working with food. Thank goodness for the Christmas baking epiphany because now I am empowered to enjoy the creation of food as much as I love the consumption of it.

Autumn Sights

As I was trying to decide what to blog about today, I stumbled across some of the colourful photos I’ve taken over the past few months and thought I’d share them here. Most of the photography I do these days is with my iPhone, and I hardly ever remember to share it anywhere other than instagram.

It’s been very grey lately, so these bright colours feel so good to look at.

Autumn sights

Autumn sights

Autumn sights

Autumn sights

Autumn sights

There’s lots more to see on my Instagram page. I share something there daily.

Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

My sweet little lovebird, Yuuki, died at the end of last week. His health had been declining over the past few months and though he seemed to be recovering from a recent stroke, on Friday morning things suddenly took a turn for the worse. He suffered a series of seizures that took his life. I was home at the time, a bit of timing for which I am extremely grateful, and I held him as his tiny life ebbed away.

I am deeply saddened by this loss because though Yuuki was just a small bird he’s been a big part of me for the past ten years. He came into my life as a shy and skittish ten week old who was terrified of people, especially their hands. He was a green peach-faced lovebird at the time, and through some form of magic eventually changed his colour to bright yellow. As he grew older it was beautiful to see him develop a much bolder, cheekier, and goofier personality, but always with a sweet temperament.

I thought it had been too long since the internet had last seen Yuuki...

Yuuki made the move from Ontario to Vancouver with me, tucked into a small travel cage as we flew across the country. (His longest flight ever!) He made it feel more like home while I adjusted to life in a new place, and we were never far apart in my series of tiny apartments.

Rarely has Yuuki looked so magnificent...

He loved to stand on people’s heads (especially mine) because it was the best way to be social and have a good view of the action. He loved splashing in water and would make do with the tiniest drinking glass if he could stick his head into it. Yuuki was completely obsessed with the fish bowl when we had goldfish and would perch on the edge drinking and splashing in the water oblivious to the fish.

Bird bath aftermath
Yuuki has his morning bath in the fishbowl
It's hard to clean the fish bowl when there's a lovebird in the way.

After Boris and I moved in together we had the habit of allowing Yuuki to hang out at the table with us during meals. He would inspect the plates for imaginary crumbs, and sometimes attempt to bathe in our mugs of coffee and tea. He was always very bossy with Boris, biting at his hand and reminding him of his status of low bird in the flock.

Sweet little boy

As Yuuki’s health declined his colour began to change from yellow to red, which was an indication of issues with his liver. He also lost the ability to fly, and after the stroke he became really uncoordinated with his footing. He wasn’t the same independent little bird anymore, and wanted to sit and cuddle into my neck or be held constantly. I hated seeing him this way and though his loss is devastating, I’m glad he didn’t have go on like this indefinitely.


Boris helped me bury Yuuki in a lovely spot in the back garden of Anne and Horst’s place on Bowen Island. I couldn’t imagine leaving him anywhere else but there.

There are many people who met Yuuki over the years, or became familiar with him through Flickr and Instagram. I would love to hear from you if you have a special memory or funny story about Yuuki. It would be a small comfort as I continue to grieve.

One View, Two Days

A break in the rain with sun on the North Shore.

Twilight walk along the Causeway on Bowen Island

Boris and I spent a week on Bowen Island over the Christmas holidays, as we’ve done for the past few years. It was a very rainy Christmas but I still managed to get out for a walk each day. This is the same view of the North Shore mountains taken about twenty-four hours apart. It’s one of my favorite views on Bowen.

Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III

This is from a few weeks back when I dropped in on the most recent Butchers of Gastown event. They were preparing a bazillion different types of seafood and they were in need of eaters.

I’m a really good eater, and I brought a few friends. It was a really enjoyable evening of fun and food.

Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III
Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III
Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III

Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III

Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III
Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III

Foodists, Butchers of Gastown III

Read more about the Butchers of Gastown on Foodists.ca

My Weekend In Photos

The photos only hint at the awesomeness of my Canada Day weekend.

Yuuki is cute at breakfast
Yuuki visits the breakfast table.

Field strawberries and a horse on Westham Island.

Wind Waves
Geary Point, Steveston
Boris silhouetted against the sky
Beautiful skies in Steveston.

Poppies on a side street off Commercial Drive.

Beautiful garlic
Garlic at the Kitsilano Farmers Market.

First swim of summer
A view of the water in New Brighton Park Pool.

I hope you had a good weekend too.

Beautiful Things At The Vancouver Farmers Markets

One of the things I do at my part-time job with Foodtree is take photos at the farmers markets. We’re really trying to promote local producers and connect people with where their food comes from. I use the photos to add to the Foodtree database, but also for things like blog posts. I thought I’d share some of the photos here as well.

Opening Day of Trout Lake Farmers Market - radishes
Kitsilano Farmers Market: yellow oyster mushrooms
Opening Day of Trout Lake Farmers Market - rhubarb
Opening Day of Trout Lake Farmers Market - fiddleheads
Opening Day of Trout Lake Farmers Market - lilacs
Kitsilano Farmers Market: spring onions
Kitsilano Farmers Market: tulips

There are so many beautiful (and yummy) things at the farmers markets. I’m so glad the season is now open.