Sunday 17 March 2013

Old Homes

Over the last year (or so) I've felt increasingly to have lost my sense of nationality.  I was born Canadian, but my family only adopted it as a home a few years before I was born.  Before that, they were American for a while and I, too, am considered American by default - or, more technically, 'born abroad', but I've never lived there.  And, for the last 3+ years I've lived and made a home-of-sorts in a country with absolutely no familial or ancestral anchor.  Besides all that, I have basically no voting rights in any of those countries.  A citizen, but not really so.  It's a strange feeling, but the semi-vagabond life A and I have led for the last few years has really taught us to rely greatly on ourselves and we've been extremely fortunate to have found some incredible and kind friends who have helped us along the way to make a home simply where we happen to be.  

I usually think of North America (primarily Canada) as the place where a great many family and friends live, but I don't often feel a nostalgic pull.  In fact, as the days approach to a flight back, I tend feel a bit queasy.  I guess I've always felt this way about 'going home' - I used to feel sick every time the bus rode past familiar markers on its route from Toronto and into my hometown of London.  

When we went back last summer it had a been a while since we'd visited last and our 4 weeks on that continent weren't shaping up to be any kind of relaxing holiday.  I didn't even feel the need to pack my digital camera.  I just threw a mostly-working old Lomo camera I had from a flea market without really caring if any pictures came out.  I know this is all sounding pretty negative - and, admittedly I was feeling negative about that trip for many various reasons, not even developing the film for nearly 8 months afterward as another trip back approaches.  But I finally did and I'll admit that for the first in a long time, I felt a tiny bit nostalgic as I flipped through some of the pictures that came out...

From the top: a bit of summer beauty from both of our parent's homes; The late, great Felix; Montreal; New York (Brooklyn City Hall hold a tiny bit of significance for us and I was reminded of it as we passed by); Pickering from the GOTrain; Parkdale 

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Crossing over, again.

Things seem to move so slowly this time of year.  I've actually been pretty busy and a lot has been happening, but I still feel so unproductive.  I think this mostly has to do with 80% of life occurring in near-darkness this time of year.  

I have no photos to show any sort of forward momentum in my life, but that train I'm not on is going somewhere.

Actually, I have been and will continue to spend more hours at my desk (with the above view) as I prepare for workshops - one that you can sign up for on the left side of this page! - and, a trip to North America that will include me participating in City of Craft's Spring Show. Anyone who's ever run through the archive of this page will know how close this show is to me.  In fact, we're pretty much staying in Canada for the extra weeks after some travels because of it! (more on those travels later)

Also, there's some other exciting stuff that will unfold over the next months, but I'll save that as motivation to keep up with blog.

Monday 7 January 2013

Everything is just continuing as it was.

I like having a pine tree in my apartment, but its presence this year has meant the opposite of work - its existence in our living room has been of symbol of regret to every invitation and chore for more than 2 weeks over the holidays.  So with everyone now on flights back over the ocean, we chucked this lovely baum to the curb.  I'm ready to fall back into planning and playing out the next 6-8 months.  Something that is a daily routine in this house.

Unfortunately, some sort of horrible haze has my body in a phlegm-y grip and my will to be productive isn't winning.  I did, however, start to fill THIS place up!  The 2 minutes of daylight Berlin currently experiences makes taking proper pictures difficult, but I'll try again tomorrow.

Oh yeah, I'm working on putting together a series of workshops for artists of useful bookbinding techniques.  These will be small group classes where people will get a chance to experiment with some techniques and materials from making a portfolio folder to binding loose sheets and making your own sketchbooks.  Fun stuff!  If this is something that interests you or if you know someone who might be into this, comment below or send me a message!