Then and now, now and then....

The  ole chestnut as I like to call it on the left was the first ever bbb made; the one on the right our 20th anniversary version.  I would always bring the first as a mascot to shows etc and the same chat would occur:  I would like that one. It's not for sale just show..... So finally I woke up. The technique has changed but the overall affect of weathered paper is hopefully the same.  At a recent art fair I sold all 4 that I had !

The logo which grew out of my family crest - reminds one of the boars head on a Gordon gin label?   morphed into the  black lab with wings and the latin moniker remained.  Fortune favours the brave brown bag of course.

 Pop goes the BBB!




so po goes the bag 

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Hello/goodbye Rio!  Now that the Olympics are over, I am recalling that seeing the waterfront/ coastline of this city was as much a highlight as the event itself.  So unusual: both steeped in its European ancestry and yet very modern.  However, the backdrop of the natural beauty of Brazil, the amazing rainforests and the immensity of the Amazon river and the jungle adds mystery to its exotic beauty.  Well, for us North Americans exotic, for Brazilians it's their backyard natural.

Many years ago through my designer friend Trish Ewanika of the Toronto fashion boutique Ewanika I was introduced to NAWA:  a natural rubber textile made by an indigenous tribe of indians by the same name who still call the amazonian jungle their home.  I am still researching how it came to be but briefly the process is cotton sugar sacs are coated with the milk like sap of the rubber tree; then smoked over an open fire and the end result are these 'hides' of gorgeous brown material.  It is finicky to work with and reacts over time as any natural material does. 

Hermes made a bag of this material, I have made several attempts using it as trim and I am now working on entire bag ........  hopefully completed before the next Olympics!!!


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'Missoni' birdnest

Missoni mangia your heart out!  I love your knitwear and sense of colour but this is what happens when one leaves wool out in the garden for the Baltimore Orioles.

The weaving technique is remarkable.  Found hanging precariously high up in a maple limb that was quite exposed to the wind off the lake.  A Missoni throw are so luxurious and may cost thousands.  Maybe if we left more wool out and some instructions ..... In any event, if I were a Baltimore Oriole chick this would be a pretty nice place to call home. 




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Mid Century Bathing Beauties


I have always wondered who took the photo?  Circa 1942, the men were overseas and the ladies on the shores of Lake Erie at Erie Beach behaving themselves!   Erie Beach incidentally will host a 100th anniversary reunion this August with fireworks and festivities. Think this photo would cause some fireworks.   Here's my mother and her friends.  I grew up referring to them as aunts even though they weren't actually relatives:  Aunt June , sometimes 'typhoon June', Aunt Barb, Aunt Phyliss  and Rosie who always , no matter what the occasion looked perfectly posed!

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Catherine Berka and NILI Slow Thread

Colour, sunlight, texture, the stunningly beautiful shawls of textile designer Catherine Berka, seated on the left amidst her wool felted 'family' describing the artistic process to my family friend, artist/sculptor Pixie Shaw. I,m taking the photo)  I met Catherine for the first time last year at the Upper Canada College holiday market in Toronto, an annual fundraiser for the school where she and I were both vendors.   Catherine's exhibit was across from mine.   Our first point of conversation was admiring each others work and then there was a discussion on wooden toggle buttons.  Call it show small talk.  She uses wooden buttons on her textile pieces and I as a casual fob closure on the BBB.  We both agreed sourcing them from China was absurd even embarassing!  Oh if we only knew someone who was an avid stick/button collector and we could make our own with a bit of ingenuity.  With that Catherine said y'know I should ask my neighbour, we often meet, I walking our dog in the ravine and she, an artist collecting interesting shaped branches wood. I did not miss a beat and promptly chirped with a rhetorical raised eyebrow: Pixie???? I had no idea she was Catherine's neighbour.  Talk about it's a small world story .....  Catherine said why yes!  So thanks to Pixie and the search for buttons we have all met.  And Pixie like myself, has had the wonderful experience of seeing Catherine's beautiful work.


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