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Sunday, 18 September 2016

August in Toronto

As you may know, I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada's largest city.  My mom, sister and two brothers and their families live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  I left Toronto in 1989 and now live here in beautiful Victoria, BC.  However, I do miss my family and the big city with all it has to offer.  Every year I travel back to T.O. (Toronto) to visit and take in a show, event or major tourist activity.

This time I took my husband and my friend Marian back with me.  Now Marian has never been to the "centre of the universe" so I was interested in her take on my home town.

It was a fabulous visit indeed.  The first thing that Marian noticed was all the brick homes (the west coast is in an earthquake zone so very few brick houses).



She loved the view from the top of the CN Tower:






Then there was the fantastic Ripley's Aquarium at the base of the CN Tower:




We went in the evening after the crowds as during the day it took us one hour in line to finally reach the top of the CN Tower!  So many tourists, I had no idea.

We also visited the Toronto Zoo, specifically to see the baby Panda cubs.  We were not disappointed as they were so adorable!




The mom was fun too as she was busy eating bamboo.  Apparently, they have to eat a hundred pounds of bamboo every day!


We also visited the Distillery District and the Brickworks (both reused as quirky areas with shops and farmer's market):





The photos above are the Brickworks with a large farmer's and artisan market.  The Distillery has more restaurants and high end shops as well as quirky sculptures:








Victoria has a lovely quaint Castle but Toronto has Casa Loma:



We had to take Marian to one of the wonders of North America, Niagara Falls.  The day was warm, the sky blue and the sites marvellous:






Besides all of the site seeing we spent a lovely day at a family BBQ and a day at the Canadian National Exhibition.  We went shopping, of course, in both Little Italy,  Kennington Market, and downtown.  We had gelato and Italian food and hot chocolate and Italian cookies and ... (I must go on a diet!).

The shopping is divine for craft supplies: ( I do miss the big city selection, just look at the ribbons at Mokuba):



Until next year Toronto.  I do miss you and especially my dear family and friends in Toronto, but I also love my new town, Victoria.



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Mysterious Fashionista

The Cloth-a-dollics are having a doll challenge this September called "Mood".  Since I am going to Toronto for vacation and will not be back until the week of the doll club meeting I decided to make my doll now.

I decided on which mood I wanted and I choose "mysterious".  Now I have always wanted to make a fashionista doll asI love, love watching Project Runway.  I remembered a "haute couture" gown made by Mondo Guerra in Season 8 (I think) of Project Runway that I loved.  I googled the gown and started collecting appropriate fabrics:


I choose the fabrics (I did make one change as you will see).  The colours are true to the original gown.  I used the Arley Berryhill "Candlestick Diva" pattern for the doll and off I went.

Here is the finished face of the doll:




I wanted to try colouring the face with bolder strokes (inspired by the talented Linda Misa) and I used watercolour pencils, art pencils and sigma markers.  I used three different yards for the hair.




To make her "mysterious" I added a hat fascinator that covers part of her face.



As you can see, I substituted the yellow cotton for a silk checked fabric to add more lustre.  
Here is a final close up of the hat I made using bias tape stuffed with pipe cleaners.


Does she look "mysterious" enough?  She is quite tall at about 23" in height without the hat and 26" with the hat.  I had fun making her and hope that she will be enjoyed at the big reveal in mid September.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cardinals Abound

Did I mention that I love to create cloth figures with steampunk?  Well this time I started with a design by "Frowning Francis".  I used cloth for the cardinal body and the wings are made of foam board.  The legs are wired and I added polymer clay for the beak and claws to make them stronger.  I then went to town on the steampunk additions (industrial revolution, science fiction fantasy and victorian fashion touches).  I titled this piece, "Time Flies at Cardinal Speed":


 I made the base by adding "Tim Holtz" fabric scraps and time pieces to a hardwood plank.  I had a lot of fun using upholstery tacks, wooden and metal gears, fabric tape measures, keys and watch faces:


As the cardinal tells us, "Encourage your hopes, not your fears"!
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