Post hiatus post haste blog post

I’m not even sure that title makes sense…
Ooofff  definitely my longest blog dry spell. I did three posts in September! Geesh, what a go-getter I was.
Here’s a list of all the things that have happened since my last post…

1. Halifax Crafters Winter Market – always so much fun. Maple’s second show at a whopping 4 weeks old. Fun was had by all.

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2. Holidays with both my family and my partners family. The Davar/ Listons meet the Murphy/ Papierski’s (minus my biggest bro…) !image

(family walk on Citadel hill)

3. My partners grandfather passed away. Very sad and right before he could meet his great granddaughter. Death is always a shocker no matter how old you are. The silver lining was being able to see family again so soon after the holidays (a rarity unfortunately) and having Maple meet her great-grandmum who was over the moon hanging out with this little squirt.

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4. So much snow. SO MUCH SNOW

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5. Also ice… Ice everywhere trapping us all in our homes for weeks and weeks…

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6. Halifax Indie Wedding Social. My first ever and, although the weather was despicable, there was a great crowd, the other vendors were lovely and I’ve received a ton of custom wedding work since.

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7. Halifax Crafters Spring Market! The sun even came out and the crowds beat out last year’s numbers in the first day. As always, a blast…

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8. More snow, not as much but enough to piss everyone right off, just enough to crush their hopes of spring.

OK, a bit of a truncated list, but I’m doing this on my phone while Maple plays on the floor so, I’m just giving you the highlights (and I’m probably forgetting a lot…)

So here we are May!!
Gearing up for my very first East Coast Momma Collective show taking place tomorrow, May 2nd at St. Mary’s Boat Club. Looking forward to it and I think the sun might just be out!
Will also be stopping by another craft show this weekend, this time just as a customer. The Dartmouth Makers are hosting their first ever show at Kings Wharf this weekend and it looks like it’s going to be great. Admittedly I missed the boat on applying as I had already been accepted to the ECMC show and was strongly advised by friends who have done it not to do two shows in the same weekend while being a breastfeeding momma. So after some hemming and hawing, I’m feeling good about skipping out and just being able to go to a craft show with my family. (Also I hear there is a holiday show in the works so I’ll definitely hop on that one!)

Hooray! All caught up.

OK with any luck it won’t be 4 months till my next post…

on to the next thing…

Relaxing here on a Monday morning post Halifax Crafters Society Spring Fair… realizing that I have only the next hour or so to relax, then it’s back to work! Received a slew of repairs and custom work that I need to get cracking on and time to start preparing for my next show- the NSDCC Summer Craft Fair in mid/ late July at Victoria Park. This will be my first NSDCC fair and I’m really looking forward to it!

First off, the HFX Crafters Spring Fair was a hit! So many amazing artisans and crafts-folk made for so much eye candy it was hard to stay focused (and not spend all the money I made!) Here’s a few shots of my table and of the fair at the Olympic Community Centre a few seconds before the doors opened:

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In other pretty spectacular news, my journal was featured on television thanks to Reverend Bob down at Plan B Merchants Co-op. Plan B is an AMAZING shop here in the North End on Gottingen St. that caters to artists, antique collectors, vintage clothing lovers, freaks, weirdos, coffee drinkers, video game players, oddballs and the like with a fabulous collection of things from about 60+ different artists, designers, curators and collectors. This shop is a gem and I am honoured to be a part of the Plan B family. SO! Plan B is associated with a site called The Gift Network which is essentially a collection of awesome little Canadian boutiques that are featured on the site that you can buy directly from. So if you love a little shop in Toronto but can’t get there to peruse, you can hop on the Gift Network, find your little shop, buy that cute thing you wanted and have it shipped to your front door… awesome. 

Anywho, here’s a clip from the show on the theme of Mother’s Day gifts… and although they don’t mention Mule Mother, it’s pretty sweet that my boombox notebook made a tv debut… click the link below!

Mule Mother Notebook TV Debut

 

last of winters days

March has been nice and steady with lots of good news all around. The days are getting longer and the weather warmer (although today it’s -18 C), always welcome. Halifax opens up like the flowers and people start to roam the streets with bare skin and happy faces. It’s a funny thing that I noted here in Halifax that I felt was a bit different than where I grew up in Massachusetts. It hasn’t happened here yet, but as soon as the weather gets a tiny bit warmer folks tend to really shed their clothes! I usually see people in tank tops and shorts when I’m still rocking a scarf. Maritimers are tough, I am a big cold Masshole baby.

This month I took part in the Eyelevel Gallery Printed Matter and Zine Fair. Organizer Brendan Dunlop put together a great mix of printmakers, publishers, zine makers and all round printed matter related folk for a fun afternoon of fundraising. Here’s a few shots I took with my phone:

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(Behind my table are some fine selections from the Eyelevel thrift shop)

Following the printed matter fair, I was accepted to the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council! The application process includes submitting pieces of work to be juried as well as a pretty thorough writing component. This was the first time I had really articulated in writing my processes and inspirations. I found the application alone to be really helpful just in understanding my own design aesthetic and process. The response was really thorough and constructive, and again this was the first time I have really received any kind of design or craft criticisms. I hold my work up to a pretty high standard and I feel like things are looking tighter all the time, but most of the feedback I get is from beloved friends and family who always have great things to say. Or its the general public who, if they have something critical to say, usually tend keep it to themselves.  So the feedback from the NSDCC was extra important and good! It definitely lit a fire under me and is pushing my work to a higher level of awesome. They didn’t accept one of the books I submitted, but I felt pretty alright about that because it was one of the first antique photographs I made over a year ago (which doesn’t seem like a long time but I’ve made so many books and have learned so many things between now and then).

Acceptance to the NSDCC also means two more highly attended craft shows a year which is fabulous for business and also for meeting other crafty folks around town. It’s great to meet new people who are making a living off their craft. It seems like such an impossibility at times and it’s good to stick together and share tips and recourses.

Getting the books even tighter and more detailed and refined means streamlining my process a bit better so I picked this badboy up from the Ebay…

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It’s made everything about 10 times faster so I can concentrate more on the fun things like designing and less on back breaking paper cutting.

Finally, the last of the good news this month… I got a job at a daycare and my food service days are numbered! Muahahahaha! Trying to actually imagine a world where I get paid to play with kids and spend most of my time owning and running my own business…. so soon!

OH WAIT One more thing. My partner is defending his Masters thesis in architecture tomorrow! Check out this amazing work he’s been buried in for the past… well four years here. So proud of that fella…!

so long, February

It’s getting to that time of year (in Atlantic Canada anyways) when folks start talking spring. In the past few days, I have heard many people express their done-with-winter sentiments, and although I do to a certain extent agree (I will always chose warm over cold), I feel this winter has not been my worst by far. Ice skating has kept me outside (also lack of an automobile), the days haven’t been as grey as usual and, although I never feel like I am not doing enough, I’ve been getting things done.

Leaving all things up to the last minute has been my forté for as long as I’ve been me. As was the case with my last deadline- an application to the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, which I delivered one hour before deadline. It’s always the writing that gets me, and it wasn’t even that involved (this application). It was really just explaining things I already know, but for some reason, writing gives me terrible anxiety… (this is essentially why I started this thing-a-ma-blog… to get over being a bad writer…) I was thinking the other day that if I could invest even a quarter of the energy that I output when I’m scrambling to meet a deadline 3 months before the deadline in small increments, I could save myself so much anxiety… In a perfect world.

 

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On the much more enjoyable side of things, my friend Marc Comeau, owner of Old Birch Workshop, his lovely lady Ashley and I took a trip to the Tandy Leather Factory in Dartmouth the other day to get some supplies. I think this was only my second or third time in the shop and I must’ve somehow missed meeting the shop dog, Hunter. I fell swiftly in love with this unbelievably lovely pup. Here he is chillin’ on the hair on cow hides…

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…and here’s leather worker extraordinaire, Marc with Hunter in the shop

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Definitely go check out his stuff. He’s only just begun his biz and already he’s created quite a buzz (that is so corny sounding, I’m gunna LEAVE IT). But really, there is some gorgeous leather work coming out of that studio, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better.

Tandy Leather has so many gorgeous leathers and I love going in for a visit. It is a bit out of the way from North End Halifax  (I think there is one bus and it runs every hour and a half or something) so it’s great when friends with cars and leather hobbies ask you if you want to join them (thanks Marc!). I picked up some great new material and along with the heaping pile of beautiful leathers my partners’ folks sent over from Manitoba (thank you again so much for that!!), I’m going to have some really lovely new books for the Eyelevel Gallery Zine and Printed Matter Fair in early March and the Halifax Crafters Spring Market in early May.

In other very exciting news, I dropped off a fresh selection of journals and book kits at Plan B Merchants Co-Op  (here’s the new set up)….

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and got some great press! – Mule Mother Books’ DIY Book Kits were featured in this weeks edition of the Coast here in Halifax, NS along with some pretty lovely words about my stuff. Check out the write up here.

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Made for a super day, feeling pretty grateful and motivated to create.

So, you know, winters not been so bad. I’ve lined up some deadlines that’ll carry me through these last few gloomy weeks with some more in the works and I’m feeling pretty good about this little operation I’ve got going on here.

till next time, over and out.