Photos: Dominican Republic

I visited the Dominican Republic for one week earlier this month, and I had a great time. The water was crystal clear, the beaches were made of white sand, and the sun was hot: around 25-30C everyday! The showers didn't have hot water until after 4pm, so it was best to swim in the ocean during the day (it was so warm), and then shower in the afternoon. The Dominican Republic is a beautiful lush island full of friendly people and signifigant history. It's the place where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492, so there is a ton of old buildings dating back to the 1500's in the capital city of Santo Domingo. A lot of Spanish influence remains on this island in the architechture, culture, music, and of course the language.

BELOW: This pic below was taken on Calle El Conde, the main shopping strip. I fancied it up a bit in Photoshop, using bokeh from pics I took in Nova Scotia. :)

BELOW: The Panteón Nacional, was the last building constructed by the Spaniards (1748) in Santo Domingo.

BELOW: Posh café's in a pedestrian-only area of Santo Domingo.

BELOW: The Reloj de Sol, erected in 1753, is one of the oldest sun dials in all the Americas. It was used as the official time-teller and could be seen from the government offices in the Casas Reales. This dial sits atop a large stone pillar and has two vertical dials or faces. The Southeast face is to measure the morning hours, and the Southwest side is for the afternoon hours. The large metal plate with its raised parts show the hours by the shaded markings.

BELOW: This is the oldest church in all the Americas! Construction on the Catedral de Santa María la Menor begun in 1514 and was completed in 1540. Fronted with a golden-tinted coral limestone facade, the church combines elements of both Gothic and baroque with some lavish plateresque styles as exemplified by the high altar chiseled out of silver.

BELOW: A hotel sign in Boca Chica. Most hotels were lined with barbed wire, and even some residential homes used a smaller barb for their fences.

BELOW: I saw breathtakingly amazing sunsets each and every night. :)


Etsy: SALE!

Everything in my Etsy shop is now on sale until the end of Sunday (tomorrow). Starting Monday my shop will be closed for 2 weeks because I'm going on an early Xmas vacation in the sun à la Dominican Republic! :D



Plush Art Show: 2 shows opening this weekend!

I have several plush pieces in a couple of shows that open this weekend...


The first show is Go Ask Alice @ Paul Cumes Fine Art Gallery. The opening reception is on Saturday, December 5th from 6-9pm. The show runs from Dec.5th to Jan.7th. The gallery is located at 131 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA.

White Rabbit, Alice In Wonderland and Twee + Dee will be in the show! :)


The second show is Stuff This 3 @ Rivet Gallery. The opening reception is on Saturday, December 5th from 7-10pm. The show runs from Dec.5th to Dec.30th. The gallery is located at 1200 North High Street, Columbus, OH. The preview is up, and pieces are now available for purchase: rivetart.com/preview/get_preview?i_show=31

Cora Bella and the Gingerbread Ornament will be in the show! :D


Plush Art Show: Go Ask Alice Doll + Plush Show

Here are the 3 plush pieces I created for the Go Ask Alice show. I am very excited to be a part of this show because of the Alice In Wonderland theme. The show will be held at the Paul Cumes Fine Art Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA, from Dec.5th - Jan7th. The opening is this Saturday from 6-9pm. Stop by if you're in the area! :)

Alice In Wonderland
"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin; but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!"

I was very excited to create my own version of Alice. I wanted to give her a slight twist from the typical look by putting her hair up in buns, giving her a super frilly collar, and deviating from the traditional blue dress by using a fabric featuring all four card suits. She wouldn't be complete without a little white rabbit buddy and a golden key! :)

White Rabbit
"Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!"

I made the white rabbit so he matches Alice with his card suits and frilly collar. I added button eyes to give him a handmade feel. :)

Twee + Dee
"I know what you're thinking about,' said Tweedledum: `but it isn't so, nohow.'
`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'"

Twee + Dee were inspired by the characters Tweedledee +Tweedledum, the card suit soldiers, and gothic lolita fashion. I wanted to stay in the pink/red/black/white colour theme and I wanted them to be conjoined twin girls. I really like how they turned out!

My Mom wrote a nice blog piece about it, and even took a little video of my photoshoot! :D


Plush Art Show: Stuff This 3

Here are the pieces I made for this year's Stuff This plush show at Rivet! They were inspired by Bear River, the rural town where I'm currently located. Last year I made Madawaska and Petawawa for Stuff This 2, inspired by the colours of nature from my trip to this town. I thought it was only fitting that the plush I create for this year's show have a nature theme too!

Cora Bella woke up one day in the dark netherworld with a deer and rabbit spirit standing by her side. She wondered how she got there, in the mists between the worlds. Her memory was foggy and she could barely remember her past, but the ghostly deer spirit assured her that although she was dead, she had a second chance. The rabbit spirit explained that she would have to merge with them if she wanted to return to the real world. Cora Bella stood there deep in thought in the darkness for a moment and then decided to take the chance. She closed her eyes and reached her hand out for the rabbit and deer. When she opened her eyes again, she was standing in a sun spotted grey autumn forest. She sensed a second consciousness inside her head, which was the deer, and felt the fuzzy antlers that were now growing from her head. She looked down at the cream rabbit and smiled. She knew that even though she had returned in a ghostly form, she would have these two spirit guides with her for life in which to explore the world with!

Cora Bella was inspired by the gravestone I saw leaning against a tree at the Loyalist Old Baptist Cemetary (1810-1910) in Bear River, NS. The real Cora Bella tragically died at the age of 7, perhaps from a sickness of some sort. I thought her name was so beautiful and delicate, and an echo of a past time. I could immediately see a character based on her name alone! Deer and rabbits live in the forests in this area, so a ghostly girl who merges with the spirit of a deer and rabbit came to mind, and shortly afterwards my Cora Bella took form.

I also made a Gingerbread Ornament for the show, which is perfect for hanging on a Christmas Tree! :)

Both plush pieces will be displayed at Stuff This 3 at Rivet in Columbus, OH, from Dec.5th - Dec.30th. Check it out if you're in the area!


Photos: Halifax

I had an opportunity to go into Halifax this weekend for the NSDCC Christmas Craft Market. My Dad was demo'ing his metal working techniques at the show for a few hours, so I took the opportunity to wander around outside to take a few pics. One of the treats about going to the craft show was that it was located right next to Pier 21, the entry port that 1.5million immigrants came through on their journey to Canada (from 1928-1971), including my Grandfather in 1930! It was a meaningful moment for me to see the place where my Grandfather began his new life. I like the quote that was engraved into one of the plaques:

"I am young and old, rich and poor, free and enslaved, fleeing and seeking. I came from every part of the world, with family and alone, with nothing and everything. Two stories complete me – the story I came from and the story I started when I landed in Canada. These merge in the next generation into gratitude to a country which has made it possible for my children to have only one story – the Canadian story.
Pier 21 stands as an important marker of our past, and as a place to celebrate the continued contributions of newcomers to Canada."

Although I'm enjoying my time in beautiful rural Bear River, it was sooo nice being in a vibrant city again with lots of urban landscapes and lights. :)


Photos: Bear River + The Graveyard

Just a few more pics of Bear River, Nova Scotia! :)

Just down the street from my parents house is the Loyalist Old Baptist Cemetary (1810-1910). This graveyard was very old and unkept with trees growing amongst the broken and leaning stones. There was such a magical quality and character to this place because nature has taken over. Walking through the graveyard and reading all these wonderful old fashioned names (Idella, Cora Bella, Alice, etc) made me wonder who these people were, and what their lives were like back in the 1800's. There were quite a few children/teens that were buried here too.

As always, more pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/violet_peppermint/


Photos: Bear River, Nova Scotia

I'm currently visiting my family in the quaint town of Bear River, Nova Scotia, which is situated on the east coast of Canada. It's always nice to come back to Canada after being in the States for a while. The last time I was here in May (blogged), my parents were busy renovating the 140+ year old house they bought, and now most of the renovations are done so they were able to finally move in. My Mom has been documenting a lot of their activities on her blog, so it's been nice to see what they've been up to while I've been in California. Now that I'm here I get to experience Autumn for the first time in a while, so here are a few pics I snapped of this gorgeous season of change & decay:

More pics from Bear River here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/violet_peppermint/sets/72157622554571475/