Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

I have recently developed a serious addiction to Swedish Crime Fiction. It, of course, started with the Millenium Trilogy. It got me wanting to look for other authors of the genre. My boss Patrick shared this sentiment, and has been collecting novels by other Swedish writers and loaning them to me (!!!). The first books he passed along were the Martin Beck series, ten books written in the 60's and 70's by the Swedish couple Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. This is them in the picture above. Don't they look great!? This series is really wonderful, and was highly influential to many writers in this genre, within Scandinavia and beyond, including Stieg Larsson. The stories are really well crafted with an engaging cast of characters whose lives and perspectives evolve as the series progresses. Sjöwall and Wahlöö were committed Marxists and there is a strong thread of social criticism running through the series. Having absolutely no idea how to pronounce their names, or countless other names in the books, I turned to the internet and found this really helpful blog page. I recommend it for Larsson fans too. Now that I've finished this series, I've moved on to the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It is also so so good. Next in line is an Iclandic writer. Every once in a while I have to wait a few days before getting a new stack of books from Patrick, and I'm forced to read something else for a little bit. I blame Sjöwall and Wahlöö for the fact that it took me 6 months to get through Anna Karenina. Ha.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Autumn

I've been totally slacking here lately - with good reason! I've been super busy, working long hours at the gallery the last two weeks while we've been installing new exhibitions. Plus I've had a ceramic commission to finish at our old studio and I just completed my first painting commission - three pieces for a print application (I hope to share more details soon), which I was approached with only two weeks before the deadline - the deadline being the same day as the exhibition openings we were working towards. yikes

It worked out well that all this business happened in September, because I always feel a surge of energy at the beginning of the Fall. You know, that 'back-to-school' rush. Even though I haven't been in school for five years, I still feel that sense of anticipation and excitement to start something new. Everything is done now and things are getting back to normal, so hopefully I can get back in the habit of posting more regularly.

For now, here is a random picture of a bug that I took on our camping trip last month. Does anyone know what kind of insect this is?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tank and Steve

Tank is a huge dog. He is some kind of mix of things including Husky and Malamute I think. He is very gentle and quiet and so well behaved. He has one brown eye and one blue eye which is shaped like a star. He really is my favourite dog in the whole world.

Steve is Sarah's latest guinea pig. She has always had at least one guinea pig, and he is the one she's got now. He is the colour of caramel and makes funny noises. He is pretty ridiculous. We took him swimming. He didn't like it. At all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Back in Thunder Bay I got to spend some time with my childhood best friend Sarah. She's really more like family. The kind of best friend you can't remember not having, and can't imagine not being close to forever. 

We went to her family's camp on Lake Shebandowan, just the two of us, her dog Tank (my favourite dog in the whole world) and her guinea pig Steve. We walked in the woods, took pictures of beautiful sun flares and mushrooms, collected moose bones, red books in hammocks, went sauna-and-skinny-dipping, made homemade macaroni and cheese, ate strawberry rhubarb pie my mom made, listened to the handful of old records her family keeps out there (primarily Fleetwood Mac - Rumors and the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack) and she taught me how to sail for the first time (so fun!). It was perfect. Like, really really perfect.

I think Tank and Steve deserve their own dedicated post, so that will come next.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kakabeka Falls street fair

One highlight of my recent trip to Thunder Bay was a quick visit with Adam and Miranda to Kakabeka Falls (a little town and provincial park just outside of Thunder Bay) for its annual street fair. It seemed like half of Thunder Bay was there. There were cars parked along the side of the highway in a long line leading way out of town. I regret not getting a picture of that.
I kind of wanted this turtle footstool. Pretty cute.
Miranda and Adam posing with my favourite signs in town. 
Kakabeka Falls is full of small family run businesses, many of which have been around forever and have awesome signs. 
I guess this is the kind of juxtaposition you see in a small tourism-based town. There is a mineral shop in the laundrymat. I got some nice stuff from here. It was a surprise to see more than just amethyst, which is in every gift shop in Kakabeka or anywhere near Thunder Bay.

Friday, September 10, 2010

pretty pickles

A few weeks ago I made some pickles from garden cucumbers with the help of my friend Kerri. We mostly used regular little pickling cucumbers, but we had enough of these beautiful 'lemon' cucumbers to do some pickles with them too. They turned out so pretty and very tasty. Also, this is the new Marimekko bowl I bought at Finnport when I was in Thunder Bay recently.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I am so excited for this show!


Narwhal Art Projects invites you to experience The Dazzle, a study and celebration of collection fetishism. Collaborating with over thirty different artists and assemblers, Narwhal presents a cabinet of wonders that reveals the mysteries of the world through an installation of enigmatic treasures. Inspired by early 17th century Wunderkammers, The Dazzle exists as a microcosm of our world, capturing diverse specimens from a wide array of studies including natural history, geology, mathematics, archeology, magic and mythology. Mirroring early explorers who used the Wunderkammer to showcase worldly discoveries from distant lands, The Dazzle unearths artist creations fabricated through internal mind mapping, resulting in an awe inspiring collection of the bizarre.

Contributing artists include Stephen Appleby-Barr, Joe Becker, Katie Bethune-Leamen, Rory Dean, Nicholas DiGenova, Shannon Gerard, Katy Horan, Melinda Josie, Adrienne Kammerer, Peggy Kouroumalos, Christy Langer, Ginette Lapalme, Jamiyla Lowe, Derek Mainella, Noel Middleton, Megan McKenzie, Julie Moon, Jennifer Murphy, Jennifer Muskopf, Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, Jessica Polka, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Jennie Suddick, Carly Waito, Jacob Whibley, Selena Wong, Naomi Yasui and the Wild Unknown.

The Dazzle runs from Sept 9 – Oct 17 with an opening reception Sept 9 from 7-10pm. Selected artists will be in attendance.

Opening reception:
Thursday Sept 9, 2010


If you are in Toronto I would be thrilled if you could come!
Here is one of the six new paintings I'll be showing:

Pyrite ~ Oil on masonite ~ 5 x 6"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010