Tag Archives: sheep

20171107_111122

I MAKE A FLYING VISIT TO THE ROYAL WINTER FAIR

Thanks to Barry Finn, publisher of THE RIDER newspaper (www.therider.com), I made a flying visit to this year’s ROYAL WINTER FAIR in Toronto armed with my cellphone camera and a media pass!

Just arriving was a lovely surprise…look how pretty the boulevard in front of the Enercare Centre looks (below)20171107_101441I met up with Barry at the media office then headed straight for the Ontario Equestrian booth to drop of copies of the current issue of The Rider.  Here’s Barry delivering newspapers to Saskia Samaroo, the organization’s administrative coordinator who laughed at me when I asked her to “strike a pose”!20171107_113909And then Barry corralled Saskia & Brandon Hall, OE’s marketing & communications coordinator, to show off their new logo.  www.ontarioequestrian.ca20171107_114105(0)Below – Barry met up with horsewoman and tack shop owner, Laurence Authier, of Laurastackroom.com  who will soon be moving to Ontario (from Quebec) to train for eventing competitions. Good luck, Laura!20171107_121700Over the years, I’ve attended many Royal Winter Fairs, sometimes working in the Australian Shop booth to help promote my home country and sell Aussie clothing and accessories to the horse and cattle folks. Owner John Keating always reminds me of “Mantracker”…what do you think?20171107_123056In the Spirit of the Horse exhibit, I found these kids enjoying a ride on mechanical horses – personally, I would prefer a real pony ride but at least these beasties don’t get tired or upset with screaming, kicking kiddies…LOL!

And check out this friendly horsey who was right into the patting and cuddles. The kids adored him!

Me? Well, I just love my chooks!  That’s what Aussies call chickens and these little red hens were so cute to watch. I felt kinda bad for them, not being able to run around and peck at worms and bugs, but it seems they were pretty contented hens…

And speaking of contented critters, check out these lovely heifers….20171107_124209 20171107_124216This year, there were a number of fine artists in the Heritage Court and I ran into one of my faves, Kari Serrao, surrounded by her fabulous (and very elegant) beasties.20171107_12003520171107_120049And don’t you just love the little piggy top right corner? Such an adorable wee face…  Kari does pet portraits, too, so check out her site: www.kariserrao.com

Across from Kari I found this comfy cozy display…hello, Santa – I want one of these cushions please.20171107_120831 20171107_120836Do you remember seeing the news about “goat yoga”? The lovely folks from Haute Goat brought in the Dwarf Nigerian goats for the yoga session last week. Here’s their booth inside featuring all their goat-milk products. You can also stay at their farm B&B outside of Port Hope, just 50 minutes east of Toronto  www.hautegoat.com  Below, co-owner Shain was busy today selling products and sharing the Haute Goat story with visitors.20171107_122239 20171107_122337 20171107_122313OMG…what the heck are these? Giant pumpkins…wow!20171107_124536And here’s the butter carving display (below) – it used to be a major event at the show in previous years, with massive carvings being displayed in giant “storefront” type windows around the equestrian ring. Now, just a few smaller carvings in a refrigerated trailer. How sad.  They also used to crown the annual Butter Queen but I think she, too, has gone the way of the dodo. 20171107_124433As I left The Royal, the cityscape looked beautiful but oh my, how all those new condos and office towers have dwarfed the once-proud CN Tower now. 20171107_130739 20171107_130925Thanks again to Barry for his media pass, and to all the folks I met today. Hurry on down to the fair to check out all the animals (I didn’t go into the barns as I forgot to take my allergy pills) but there are horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, bunnies and even a llama or two – the show closes on Nov. 12th. Details & directions: www.royalfair.org

 

20160415_145001

A WALK BACK THRU TIME IN TORONTO’S HISTORIC CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD

Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day that I decided to down tools and step away from the ‘puter to enjoy a leisurely stroll thru one of Toronto’s historic old neighbourhoods – Cabbagetown. This was where I lived in the late 70’s when, as a starving actor/waitress, I shared a 3 storey semi at the end of Wellesley Street with 3 other actors & musicians, and next door to the fabulous Carole Pope & Kevin Staples of Rough Trade fame (Canada’s edgiest new wave/punk bands of the era).20160415_133443Above left is #445, my old house – I had the large master bedroom on the 2nd floor front – the dormer that jutted out over the front porch was the cosy alcove where I had my bed. Next door at #443 (above at right), I would watch an amazing procession of fabulous celebrity house guests knock on my neighbour’s front door …all manner of music stars would hang out with Carole when they came to town. I remember watching legendary Dusty Springfield wander up the garden path one afternoon – how exciting!  Cabbagetown was a haven for artists, actors, musicians and hippies back then…it was affordable to share the houses, most of which were run-down shadows of their former grand selves. But at the royal sum of $500 a month all inclusive, we still never quite made rent on time…LOL! But walking east on Wellesley yesterday, heading into this charming little enclave (below) brought back so many memories of innocent (but fun) times….come take a walk with me now.20160415_132759The residents association has been busy over the years, creating walking tours of the streets and gardens and they’ve posted all sorts of plaques designating certain homes as historical landmarks. I never knew a member of this famous Hollywood family once lived on Wellesley Street…did you?20160415_132834A couple of blocks south is a street full of picturesque workers’ cottages, now sympathetically renovated to suit their 21st century owners – this is Amelia Street. I always loved walking along here back in the 70’s as although most of these homes were rundown and scruffy, you could see the great “bones” and 19th or early 20th century design elements. Look at these gorgeous little chocolate box homes….20160415_14432420160415_14440420160415_14441420160415_14473320160415_145018I remember wanting to move into this charming 1920’s/30’s apartment building (above) as it looked so cool, even 40yrs ago when it was rather shabby and unpainted. Rent was about $275 to $350 a month back then…now, probably closer to $1500/mo.
This was once a cute handcrafted furniture store (below) when I lived in the ‘hood but it’s now been made into a private residence. Wouldn’t it make a lovely little antique shop or even a cosy tea room?20160415_144847This (below) has got to be one of the cutest cottages on the street, now the home offices for a design firm…20160415_145413…and opposite that is this modern make-over. I love the back-split balconies and the paint colour.20160415_145127Of course, being a vibrant community there are always notices posted about upcoming events as well as pleas for help finding lost loved ones. On one lamp-post I saw this rather sad flyer…I hope Lefty comes home soon!20160415_145154On a happier note, I took a quick side trip to the Riverdale Farm (below) – back when I lived there it was still called a “zoo” as they had all manner of exotic beasties living there including highland cattle and some bighorn sheep…50 or 60 yrs ago they kept a sad assortment of wild animals including bears and big cats in tiny cruel metal cages -I think the old deserted bear house may still be there down the back near the ravine. But yesterday it was all about the cute baby farmyard critters…20160415_141258 20160415_141351 20160415_142218 20160415_142256 20160415_142059 20160415_141708 20160415_141645 20160415_142415Opposite the park and farm used to stand Jeremiah’s Ice Cream Store which served up frozen treats to generations of families. Now the shop has been made into a private home (below) but at least they still operate an ice cream and snack food bar out of the side window. 20160415_141107In the park stands a noticeboard pointing out all the houses that once were home to various leading lights in Toronto and Canadian history (below). These correspond with the plaques posted on each property (like the Walter Huston one). Sadly, I couldn’t find a plaque for one of Canada’s greatest Olympic ice skaters and fine artists, Toller Cranston, who had a home and studio on Winchester near Parliament Street. I remember walking past, looking up into his studio window and seeing Toller busy painting – he would often wave back at me. I think it’s time to make amends and get the 70’s groundbreaking ice skater and avant garde painter properly acknowledged.20160415_143423As I walked out of this timeless village and back into reality on Parliament Street, I walked past Nettleship’s Hardware – this store has been there for decades and I remember when I worked part-time at Tom Foolery (one of the first vintage clothing stores in the city back in the 70’s), the owners and I used to hang out with Donny, the son who ran the shop. I betcha he’s still there. Must make an effort to go in and say hi next time I’m in the neighbourhood.20160415_145927(0)So I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial stroll thru my Cabbagetown. I definitely recommend visiting, esp the first weekend of May when they host a neighbourhood-wide Forsythia Festival. The trees are just now starting to bud and there are a few early spring flowers popping up…so much to see but make sure you look up as well, then you’ll notice antique weather veins such as this one (below) or you may even spot a couple of pink flamingos still dressed in their winter scarves & toques (bottom).20160415_14403520160415_145048

20150606_144413

STROLL WITH ME THRU THIS WEEKEND’S RIVERDALE ART WALK

What a beautiful sunny afternoon in Toronto…perfect for strolling the aisles of this year’s Riverdale Art Walk, visiting artist friends (like the fabulous Kelly Grace, above) and meeting new talented painters and sculptors. You still have another day to visit yourself – on Queen St East in Jimmie Simpson Park (details at bottom of this blog). Joining me on my artful trek was Erena, my BFF who is also an art collector who appreciates discovering new talent. I introduced her first to Sheila Thompson (below), a fibre artist whom I first met at the Artists’ Project a couple of months ago.

20150606_133532 20150606_133541www.sheilathompson.ca

Next, I was inspired by the beautiful, photographic quality of Marsha Strycharz‘s still-life paintings (below)

20150606_133833 20150606_133843www.marshastrycharz.blogspot.com

I really liked the contrast in style exhibited by fine art photographer Felicity Somerset (below) who offered framed prints of industrial rust and weathering close-ups, as well as the delicate hummingbirds and flowers featured in her packages of notecards.

20150606_134119 20150606_134130 20150606_134433www.felicitysomersetphotography.com

Mark Glebersen is one of my Toronto art heroes – his MJG Gallery is fast becoming the go-to gallery in Leslieville and here he is (below) representin’ with some colourful, joyful pieces….

20150606_134529 20150606_134633www.mjggallery.com

As I watched visitors entering photographer Lorie Slater‘s tent, each and every one of them smiled, pointed to familiar scenes and spent a lot of time guessing locations of the subjects she paints. Behind Lorie (below) is a graffiti of Felix the Cat located in an alley near her home…she told me she took the photo only a day or two before someone painted over it so she was pleased she captured the scene before it was too late.

20150606_135154 20150606_135222www.lorieslater.com

Loved the crows featured prominently in Katherine Palmer‘s paintings (below). You could almost hear the caw-caw!

20150606_135744www.katpalmer.ca

I first met painter Karola Steinbrecher up at Schomberg a couple of years ago and fell madly in love with her chicken pictures (below). I find something very comforting and cheerful in her work which makes me feel a little guilty about eating KFC! That giant rooster on red background (below) is going to be MINE!

20150606_140143 20150606_140325www.karola.ca

Rob Croxford!!! Who doesn’t love this guy’s work? Great sense of fun, intellectually stimulating, conversation starters, locally themed…and affordable. Bravo, Rob, another great show for you.

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20150606_140742www.robcroxford.com

Another fave of mine is Ian Busher (below) – in fact, I have one of his pieces hanging in my place right now. I thought Erena would enjoy meeting him and seeing how he works in the different mediums.

20150606_141140 20150606_141145www.studiobusher.com

I love discovering new artists I’ve never seen before…like Roberto Centazzo (below) who works in marble mosaics. Stunning to view in person, sorry my pics don’t do them justice. His elephant mosaic is made completely from stones found down at the Leslieville lakeshore…wow!

20150606_141717 20150606_141728 20150606_141839www.stonefolio.com

Sculptor Jeremy Guy (below) exhibited some of his more manageable pieces at Art Walk – I hear he has a sculpture garden with huge, over-sized pieces. Jeremy’s work is very tactile and you are encouraged to actually touch the artwork here.

20150606_143211 20150606_143220 20150606_143227www.jeremy-guy.com

Walking into Jessica Masters‘ booth (below) was a very calming experience. Her soft pastels beckoned me in…I felt as though I could escape right into her pictures, onto the sands of Maine and chase the seagulls. A lovely talented lady with charming stories for each of her pictures.

20150606_143445 20150606_143629www.jessicamasters.com

The uber fabulous Kelly Grace (below) was well-represented with her tiny perfect portraits as well as some new works (bottom pic). She was trying out a new hair ‘do which made me jealous…I so need a cut’n’colour!

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20150606_144453www.kellective.com

Atten…shun!  Brian Harvey strikes a pose between two of his Toronto streetscapes (below). Brian and Stewart Jones (who didn’t participate at this show) are two of my fave Toronto streetscape painters – each offers up pieces with great personality & atmosphere, and a colour palette that matches perfectly their real-life locations. Brian told me the diner was actually a New York City view, but the green-toned alleyway was a view not far from his home.

20150606_144902 20150606_144910 20150606_145031www.brianharvey.ca

Lois Shaw posed alongside one of her large format paintings of giant chili peppers…what a fabulous foodie picture! Can’t you just see this painting hanging in some classy Italian eatery? Lois has actually been commissioned to paint something just like that for a client’s new kitchen and needless to say, it was a big hit.

20150606_145416 20150606_145442 20150606_145527www.loisshawfineart.com

Dog-lover Zoey Zoric (below) offered some striking poochie portraits that attracted a lot of 4-legged as well as 2-legged fans. I got to meet a lovely collie who came in for a drink of water and a cool-down with Zoey who was also promoting Happy Tails Rescue organization – they rescue, foster and adopt out small furry friends. If you’re looking for a new pal, drop in to her booth on Sunday and pick up some information or visit their website: www.happytailsrescue.ca

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20150606_150528www.zoeyzoric.tumblr.com

The last booth I visited was that of Kari Serrao. Love love looooove her farmyard animals with their soulful eyes staring back at me. Another booth that made me think twice about my steak and eggs, bacon, lamb chops…. so Erena and I went for sushi after visiting show…thanks, Kari!

20150606_151311www.kariserrao.com

Tomorrow looks like a nice, sunny day but go early as there is some rain coming in towards the end of Sunday. Check out the official website for details: http://www.artistsnetwork.ca/see-art-buy-art/riverdale-art-walk

Thank you for supporting Canadian artists!