Tag Archives: workshops

Fabulous Art Shows, Captivating Websites, Other Good Stuff and a Sad Story



Hey, you wonderful RubyDoggers, I must apologise for the lack of communication, on my part. Life has been ……….. how should we say this? …………. interesting. Isn’t that the old Chinese curse – may you live in interesting times? I’ve made a resolution, though, and that is to post here, regularly.

Now, read on.

Claudia show 3

First, I have to tell you about an amazing art show that opens tomorrow at the Sydney and Gertrude Zack Gallery: Intuitive Mythology by Claudia Segovia. Many of you will remember Claudia’s whimsical Figos from the store. Her and I have discussed a show, for years, where she makes Figos to go with her remarkable paintings and, finally, it’s here! The opening reception is tomorrow, so why not spend a Sunday afternoon getting inspired and meeting the artist?

If you can’t make it tomorrow, you have two weeks to view these fascinating creations, so don’t miss it.

Claudia show 2

Claudia show


Edith WArner

(Art by Edith Warner)

If you’re in North Van and don’t want to make the trek across the bridge, the North Shore Artist’s Guild is sponsoring “Art Under The Arbor” at Park and Tilford Gardens. this weekend.  Stroll through 3 acres of gardens and view works by 30 artists.  Yikes.  Sounds good to me!


Fall will be here sooner than you think and, along with the rain and the darkness, come creative classes. Yippee Ai Aye! The ever-inspiring Shary Barlett will be teaching a number of workshops here, as well as in Seattle, Australia and Bali. Check them out!

As a footnote, Shary is finally getting the attention she deserves and was asked to contribute several chapters to a new NorthLight publication: Encaustic Revelation: Cutting Edge Techniques from the Masters of Encausticamp


“Where’s your church?”
“We’re standing in it.”
“But this is a bookstore and it’s Friday.”
“Yes, but you might also choose to see it as a cathedral of the human spirit — a storehouse consecrated to the full spectrum of human experience. Just about every idea we’ve ever had is in here somewhere. A place containing great thinking is a sacred space.”
~Forrest Church~

Did you know Oscar’s Art Books is closing? I cannot begin to tell you the sadness I felt when I walked in there and saw the sale signs and empty shelves. I almost started crying right there in the store. They were scheduled to shut the doors at the end of April, but have received an extension until someone leases the space.

When we lost Book Warehouse I thought “At least there’s still Oscar’s”, but that is no longer the case. I have shelves filled with publications from both stores, but especially Oscar’s.  There are artists I never would have known about if I hadn’t browsed the shelves there and myriad technique tomes I wouldn’t have known existed if not for the hours Ruby and I spent perusing them at Oscar’s.  (Typically, I perused and Ruby patiently waited under a table or beside a pile of books)

No, the price of their lease did not drive them out of business. No, it’s not because they’re across the street from Chapters. It’s all due to the Internet (read: Amazon). I’ve said it again and again, you vote with your dollars. Do you want small businesses in Vancouver? If you’re a follower of this blog I have to assume you do. So, stop worrying about saving a couple of bucks and support them, folks! Otherwise, they can’t stay in business.  I MEAN IT!!!
P.S. Oscar’s has brought in 2015 calendars, so go get yours. One of my yearly treats for many years has been to spend an afternoon there poring over the myriad choices until finally settling on the one calendar I most want hanging on my kitchen wall for the next year (usually Klee, Chagall or Miro). Looks like this will be my last year for that small indulgence. :o(


Okay, I am SO excited to discover Vancouver has it’s own MakerLab. You have to check it out. They have everything from Laser Cutters to 3D Printers to an Electronics Lab to a Woodshop to a Textiles Lab and lots more.

Creative heaven at Kingsway and 10th!

Check out this video by Jane Davies on how to make stencils (really, more like masks) with your glue gun. It’s brilliant.

Sample - Bingo chips

After you see Claudia’s art show, why not drop in on the monthly ATC swap? It’s still going strong and always looking for new people with whom to swap artist trading cards:

Title: ATC Make & Trade Day
Date: Sunday August 17, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: 1720 Grant St., Vancouver, BC
MOSAIC Community Meeting Room
(just off Commercial Dr.)

Make & Trade Day ~ come as early as noon to MAKE art together, then tidy up for the usual ATC TRADE at 3 pm.

Get more details on our ATC page.

Etsy Banner 10

Hey, folks, here’s a good deal for both of us. If you’ve never bought anything on Etsy, you can sign up through my link and get $5.00 free credit. I’ll also get a credit for every 2 people who do this. Everybody wins!


It’s been sooooo long since I posted I’ve accumulated a very long list of websites for you. I’ve been mulling over which ones to post here and have decided, for today, to simply send you some Pinterest Boards. Some of the artwork just takes my breath away. Clicking on the pictures that interest you will occupy your time for days to come. Enjoy!

Collage, Printmaking, Drawings and Works on Paper
Art Journals
Graphic Collage
Melinda Tidwell



The Artsy Fartsy Flea Market


It’s time to clean up the craft room and let go of all those art goodies you are just not using.

On June 14th and June 15th, RubyDog’s will be hosting The Artsy Fartsy Flea Market at New Westminster Quay.  The focus is on selling art and craft supplies, books, magazines and ephemera.  There will also be a few tables available for those of you who want to sell some handmade items.  As well, I’m going to have a ‘free’ table to which you are welcome to add some goodies and I’ll be setting set up a crafty table to occupy the little ones while you’re shopping.  Dancing with balloons

If you want to split the weekend with a friend, whereby one of you is there on Saturday and the the other person is there on Sunday, that’s fine with me.  As well, if you only need 1/2 a table, let me know and I’ll try to match you up with somebody who wants the same. If money is a challenge, we can work something out.

New West Quay is a fabulous space.  There’s a circus school for kids, Donald’s Market for healthy grocery shopping, an excellent food fair, a retro furniture store and an artisan shop.  Parking is $1.50 per hour or $6.00 per day, but if you buy $15.00 worth of groceries from Donald’s Market, you’ll be refunded $1.50 of your parking cost.  A sky train station is right across the street, for super easy public transit access.

New West Quay will be posting the event on their website and I’ll soon be distributing flyers.  If you have a space to put up a flyer, let me know and I’ll email a copy to you.  If you want to distribute some around your area, I’m happy to meet up with you or snail mail out a few.

I would greatly appreciate it if you, my fabulous customers, would promote this event through your own blogs, facebook pages, twitter accounts, contact lists, etc.  The more people, the better!

Artsy Fartsy Flea Market Facebook Event Page

Okay, we really have to stop torturing animals.  I am getting quite sick ofdolphin-wallpaper-2the barbaric acts we perpetrate on our animal friends.  Please sign the petition to bring a referendum to vote halting the captivity of whales and dolphins in Stanley Park.


And, while we’re on the subject of respecting our animal neighbours, here’s a wonderful film taking place next Tuesday at the downtown SFU campus.  Live and Let Live

On April 17th, it’s the final Studio Art Grad Show from Capilano University.  Despite huge public outrage, Capilano is cutting out it’s 40 year old art program.  As usual, in the face of budget shortfalls, the arts are axed.  This is your last chance to view the amazing talent from this university.

It’s being held at Gordon Smith Gallery at 2121 Lonsdale Ave. in North Van. from April 18th through the 25th, daily from noon to 5 pm.  The opening reception, which is always fun, is Thursday, April 17th, 6-9 pm.

Another great upcoming event:  The Stone Soup Festival at Britannia Community Centre on May 10th.  There will be artists and garden info and free soup and author talks and workshops and music and ………  It’s held both inside and outside the community centre and is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.


molly 2



You have to check out Molly Rausch’s postage stamp paintings!  Take a really good look at them. The stamps are not always obvious.




The South Delta Artists’ Guild is hosting a juried show in August with a grand prize of $1000.00.  Called ‘Oil and Water’, the final submission date is June 27th.

Hey, here’s yet another fabulous library discovery:  Free events and workshops! 

You can learn how to use WordPress, Twitter or Facebook, listen to author talks, send your teens to a Manga group or DIY night, play some board games, learn how to grow veggies, join a book club, get your finances in order, etc. etc. etc.

Looking for an artsy fartsy quote?  Check out Robert Genn’s list.

Visual Fabulousness:








Letterpress Drawers, Workshops and Other Good Stuff


As I’m writing this, I realise the sound of raindrops has been in the background for quite some time.  When did that happen?  Just yesterday I was sitting outside a coffee shop soaking up the sunshine.  It was soooooo wonderful.

Guess what?  I have LETTERPRESS DRAWERS!!!!  In all honesty, I really thought I would never be able to say that, again, unless I decided to sell a couple of my own.  In the past I got my supply from a retired printer who seemed to know pretty much everybody in the business.  About a year and a half ago he told me they were now extremely hard to find. Then, a wonderful customer contacted me and offered 12 up for sale.  Her school was going to throw them away!

Letterpress - California
I’ve already sold 3 just by mentioning to people I have them, but that leaves 9 for my faithful newsletter list.  So, here’s the scoop:  At 10:30 on Sunday (Mar. 16) morning, I’ll be at Continental Coffee on the NW corner of Main and 27th.  I thought I’d be sitting there in the sunshine, but it looks like I’m going to have to let go of that daydream.  Anyway, if you’d like to buy one ($50.00), drop by.  If you know you want one for sure, let me know and I’ll reserve it for you.

There are a gazillion things you can do with these, but here’s the latest project I came across:http://blog.thriftybydesign.ca/2013/07/printers-drawer-is-now-funky-memory-box.html  If you want more ideas, search ‘Letterpress Drawers’ and ‘Printers’ Drawers’ at Pinterest. 

If you’ve been hankering after one of these vintage babies, now’s your chance.  It’s not like they’re making them anymore.

SharyShary Bartlett is back from her hiatus.  Yippeeiay!  Since the demise of yours truly’s shop there aren’t many options for workshops, unless you like taking them online.  Fortunately for us, Shary is still teaching; everything from Mixed Media to Photo Altering to Encaustic and more.  Take advantage of it.  Shary is a wonderful and generous instructor.  You’ll love her and learn lots.   Creativity Courses with Shary Bartlett.

I am SUPER happy to have discovered pmd Recycling Solutions.  All that stuff City Hall won’t accept in their recycling program?  These guys will.  They’re based in Victoria, but come to 4 locations in the Lower Mainland on the 3rd Saturday of every month (that’s this weekend).  They take hard plastics, acrylic, batteries, electronics, styrofoam (yes!), bicycle tubes, etc.

We might as well keep on going with the recycle theme:

– The second annual Recycled Art and Resource Expo is coming up soon.  It’s taking place on April 4, 5 and 6th in Bellingham.  Mucho fun and well worth a drive across the border.

–  30 Creative Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Old Stuff

Shary 2Here I go, again pointing out an exhibition in TorontoDreamers at Arta Gallery .  I really had to, though, because the incredibly talented Emily Cooper is one of the artists.  It was seeing Emily’s work that convinced me to let go of my attitude to digital art.  Which was that it wasn’t art.  I saw her one year at the One Of A Kind show and was blown away.  She’s also the generous soul who scanned thousands (literally) of images for me to use in my collage sheets.

How about something a little closer to home. The Spring Group Show at Kimoto Gallery features new works by 25 of the gallery’s artists.  Runs from March 15 to 30.

Do you know about ‘made in’  magazine?  Am I the last to find out or did I make a great discovery?  You can buy a printed copy but, for free, you can download the pdf file.  Check it out.

basecamp05-837x390I am constantly humbled by the creativity and imagination I see all around me.  It is truly amazing what people can do.  Who would ever have thought of buying up retro trailers, putting them in a huge warehouse and calling it a hostel?  I love, love  LOVE it!  The only downside is that baseCamp Hostel is located in Bonn, Germany.

When the aforementioned Suzanna emailed me and offered to spend an hour or so helping me out with WordPress I decided to visit her site. Much to my dismay, I saw she had created a website for Margaretha Bootsma.  Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with building an artist site, it’s just that it is now In Memoriam.  I did not realise Margaretha passed away in 2011.  I once took an 8 week collage course she taught at the Art Institute of Vancouver. An immensely talented woman, you may be familiar with her giant piece that adorned a back wall of MEC for many years.

I think we’ve all been aware of the serious lack of funding for music and art in our schools, but did you know it extends to the shops, as well?  I certainly did not.  If this is an area that’s dear to your heart, you can help out by donating to your favourite school:  Project Shop Class

Okay, I think I’ve covered everything.  Time for your websites:shary 3

The Ultimate Pallet site 
Anne Patay
Margaret Suchland
Martha Marshall
Helen Thompson
Mitsuru Koga
Steph Houstein
Speaking of imagination, I’ll bet you never thought of doing this with books.

And, that’s it.  Hopefully, I’ll see you on Sunday.  Even if you’re not interested in a drawer, drop by to say hello.  Oh, yah, don’t forget to sign up for this blog.

Big hugs,



The Curious Flea


This weekend RubyDog’s will have a table at The Curious Flea, an all-weekend flea market focussed on mid-century modern, kitsch, steampunk and up-cycled art treasures.  It’s at the New Westminster Quay.  Parking is cheap and it’s only 1 block from the New Westminster Skytrain Station.
How to get there:  River Market
Saturday, Feb. 22:  10:00 to 5:00
Sunday, Feb. 23: 11:00 to 4:00
Come visit us!

Call For Artists
The North Vancouver Community Arts Council is looking for artists to participate in show titled “The Reclaimers”. If you create recycled art (and if you’re reading this blog, it’s highly likely) you have until March 1st to make a submission.

Hey, I found this great Meet-Up group – Vancouver Urban Sketchers.  If you’re into drawing, even as a beginner, check them out. They meet at different places to sketch together and are totally open to having newbies join them.


Have you seen the courses offered at the Pacific Northwest Art School??!!??  Yikes, some of my favourite arts and crafts books are written by these instructors. Jesse Reno will be there, too, for those of you who never had a chance to work with him in Vancouver. And the icing on the cake?  -The school is on Whidbey Island!  Go to their website and drool over the courses.  Trust me on this.

Are you sitting in Toronto, reading this post? Lucky you! On right now, until Sunday, is The Artist Project, Toronto‘s celebrated contemporary art fair.  One of our own is there – Lori Popadiuk –  so make sure to drop in and say hi if you’re fortunate enough to visit the show.


Mati Rose

Some websites to peruse:
Shalene Valenzuela‘s fun and witty sculptures
Mati Rose’s bright and fun paintings.
Scott Bergey was an airplane pilot who didn’t even try creating art until he was in his 30’s. I, for one, am glad he did!
Three Artist Book Pinterest Boards:   Mara K    –  Artist Books and Pages    Anastasia Dupont – Bound     Mirta Valdes – Libro

Oops. Almost forgot to tell you about the ATC update.  I’ve posted the monthly themes for 2014 on my ‘ATC Info‘ page. You should go to the swap one month. It’ll get you sitting down and making art.

Now, I have to stop writing and finish pricing goodies for the flea market. Hope to see you there!