April 2013

Is your paddle clean and bright? Oh man…KEEN and bright? I have been singing this song wrong my whole life.

It’s turning into spring and I’m wearing shorts and I don’t think I can remember ever having been so ready for warm weather. I want to go camping and biking and swimming and paddling through lakes.

canoe 044 (Large)

Speaking of which, this necklace is based loosely on my painting of Pierre Trudeau’s canoe – the one that illustrated Justin Trudeau’s Cottage Life piece about learning to paddle from his father.

canoe 046 (Medium)

It’s made from brass but it meant to be birchbark, though Sean pointed out that it looks like waves. So whichever you prefer! I’m planning to make another with a paddle cut from the centre too.

canoe 036 (Large)

Bagged and ready to roll east with me this weekend for Halifx Crafters!

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Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to the Ontario Arts Council – today it turns 50!

Last year I was lucky enough to receive a Writers’ Reserve grant to research the novel I’m working on right now, but I was just one of the 1, 681 artists and 1, 125 organizations (including Supercrawl) their fundung supported in 2012.

Wherever you are in the world, raise a glass to the OAC tonight. Middle age has done nothing to mellow this organization. Its support is still helping Ontarians turn up the awesome on the arts.


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More suspenders. These ones are a little longer but still adjustable.

Untitled (Large)

I’ve got a new attachement mechanism on these guys. I was having a hard time finding anything other than the sharp-toothed clasps I used on the last pair and wasn’t entirely confident said clasps would hold over the course of a day.

Suspenders 007 (Large)

Made from pumpkin-brown bridle leather. Hardware is brass.

Suspenders 003 (Medium)

Trigger locks that snap around belt loops at the front and back of yer fancy pants.

Suspenders 010 (Large)

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Go east young man…

Hey there! I’m featured on Halifax Crafters‘ website today.

HaliCraft (Medium)

Head over to read all about it and check out the other amazing crafters who are going to be there. I don’t know where you are in the world, but next weekend? Next weekend Halifax is the place the be. I’m so psyched to go!

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There`s a land…

…there`s also a lot of poetry out there. Much of it I hate. A little of it I love, love, love.

I love Bren Simmers. I love Jim Carroll. I love Al Purdy. I love Lizzie Derksen. I love C.R. Avery and I love Tanya Davis.

belt and bag 003 (Medium)

I love Robert Service. My first encounter with him was in elementary school. There was an assembly in the gym one day. There may have a few other activities and orders of business as part of the event but all I remember is this – a grizzled old man with a white ZZ Top beard reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee while pacing back and forth at the front of the gym, hands behind his bent-over back, eyes narrowing and bulging as he spoke.

Belt and bag 036 (Large)

At the time I was kinda scared, but in subsequent years I came to realize the experience for what it was – the single most awesome thing to ever have happened to me at that school (or maybe a close second to Scholastic book fairs).

belt and bag 005 (Large)

I think it had some small part in my actually going north in 2006 and falling in love with everything and everybody up there.

I was thinking the other day, while answering interview questions for Halifax Crafters, about why I make the kind of stuff I do and my main intention is that everything act talisman-esque. Kind of a sartorial touchstone that serves to remind people of a certain place that`s loved or missed. A physical wearing of your geographic heart on your sleeve.

That said, this one`s for Yukon. Block-dyed leather. Hand-painted lettering. Tooled with laurel leaves. A big brass buckle. Waiting to be sized for someone who has been under the spell.

belt and bag 013 (Medium)

There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
   And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
   And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
   There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
   And I want to go back—and I will.




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