Tag Archives: peterborough

peterborough craft mafia

At my post election internal pow wow I came up with some pretty startlingly clear realizations about the Peterborough arts scene and think it’s high time we get a craft mafia (or whatever) together.  We do have a great scene here and many organizations accessible to us to support it but which are also caught up in the standard issue bureaucratic red tape which comes with government funding on any level.  At some point depending on those organizations becomes a crutch and things get stagnant, boring, a little incestuous, elitist and inaccessible to the people whose stories we’re supposed to be telling.  None of these things does a healthy, vibrant arts community make.  We have an MP in office who believes we’re already there and my response is this call to action to create opportunities to prove him wrong.

My vision begins and ends in community.  Here are the things I want to see come of this, some of them are a little more crystallized than others but bear with me:

– random acts of kindness through guerilla art.  One cause that’s near and dear to my heart is Community Living’s ‘Our Space’ project.  We could hold a sew-in.  Base it out of the halls of Peterborough Square or Lansdowne Place.  Get donations of fabrics together and charge $10 for shoppers to sew their own tote bag.  Patrons will be engaged & learn a new skill, proceeds will go to the Our Space project, plastic bags will be kept out of landfills, and we get our names & faces out there.

– skills sharing.  I’m sure many of us engage in this already but can we really get enough?  I know how to install a zipper, edit code and create a mean marketing plan and I really want to learn to crochet.  Got some advice on getting your website noticed?  Need to get the word out about a workshop you’re hosting? Informal workshops/exchanges in kitchens and living rooms and coffee shops can be held.

– resource sharing.  When are you putting your next wholesale order in and can I have some?  Who needs postering done in my ‘hood?  We can all save money & time if we pool together.

– awareness & hype.  Like I said, this is about creating opportunities.  We can get our own events together instead of waiting for them to come around.  It’s a little late for this year but we could band together to get a tree into the festival of trees for next year.  We could have a dragon boat race team.  We could have bowling shirts with our names on them!

-feeding our compulsions.  I craft therefore I am.  Pretty sure we all get that but some of us find it hard to get up the motivation, clear the space, and dig in.  How about craft nights/days?  Creating atmospheres in which it’s ok to muck up and get messy?

I have loads of ideas and I’m sure you all do too being the creative bods that you are.  I want to keep this informal, ever-evolving and changing, constantly breathing new life into itself.  I want us to work together with established organizations to take some of the pressure off their doling out of the trickle of funds they get and make our community aware of their presence.  I want to see us going out into the community as a united front encouraging buying local, buying handmade and getting people engaged in the act of art itself.  I want those of us who make our livings with our crafts to embrace (literally and/or figuratively – good thing we don’t have an HR department, eh?) our competition and take a vested interest in their success knowing they’re doing the same for us.  I want our dabblers to dabble more and create, create, create.

I’ve started a facebook group to get this going.  If anyone has ideas on when and where to meet I would love to hear them.  Spread the word!  Let’s make this ball roll!

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weekend redux

I know, I know.  I exploit the son far too much, but he’s such a willing model and this scarf looks so good on him.

This weekend has been lovely so far.  Yesterday was our last day at market which is nice but sad to think about.  After hounding her for months the farmer’s market co-ordinator has still not given us an answer as to whether or not there’s space there for us through the winter, which is a shame because that’s sort of where we need to be.  I think we’ll just show up and be persistent and give her puppy dog eyes until she succumbs.  I’ll even bring the puggle if I need to.

Yesterday was also the Arts in the Park event put on by the PAU.  It was great to actually meet the lovely, talented and rather foxy Jen of Almost Famous and Lucky Jackson even if she wouldn’t tell me where her blog lives lest I stalk it.  I also finally got to shake hands with Victoria of the Victory Art Supplies duo.  If you’re an artist and are reading this and need supplies, please visit their shop.  It smells like art even before you enter the door and their massive amounts of stock is so well organized for the creative mind it makes me weep.  You can’t get that at Michael’s.  I was stalked through the day by the delightful and oh-so-pregnant Miz K (yeah, I noticed.)  Happily so as I’m rather opportunistically hoping she has fun pics of ‘Zzini & Gracie playing.

It makes me happy that we have such events in our fair city and it was great to so many more than the usual faces represented.  Today won’t be quite as exciting – it’s all cleaning the kids’ rooms (which are complete disaster zones) and making spaghetti sauce.  For real.  Without the assistance of my mum or sister.  And it’s going to NOT suck, dammit.

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votey time is nigh

I think it was while working at the market Saturday last that I really caught the election buzz & excitement.  It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out in our household given our tendencies for politics-stalking on both sides of the 49th parallel.  Unlike our following along with the U.S. political climate, here in Peterborough we have the benefit of being able to talk to friends, family and loads of strangers about what’s going on, what needs to change and who the best person for the job is.  It’s kind of the Peterborough thing to do.  Today I found a blog by local author, Ann Douglas, whose conversational tone and nose to the grindstone enthusiasm for politics and why we should care has completely won me over and will likely provide tonnes of dinner table conversation fodder in this house.  In short, I LOVE this blog.  I’m totally smitten and it’s been a long time since I’ve had that happen.  Not to say that I agree with everything she says, but I really shouldn’t be that with anyone, right?

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i can’t think of a clever title

Highlights of my life since I last updated:

1. I won (through sheer whinge-power) and received a funkadelic necklace from the lovely and talented Jennifer Judd-McGee whose artwork is so stupendously amazing that every time I visit her shop I lose my mind to sensory overload and can never decide what to buy. I think I’ve resigned myself to saving my pennies for an original (or four) or having something commissioned but that doesn’t stop me visiting the site and having the old ticker blown everytime she updates it all over again. It’s a vicious circle, that is.

2. I wrecked my back in ways I never thought possible, really. I’ve never experienced any serious back pain before and, though this was far from ‘serious’, discovered I’m really not equipped with the skills to deal with it. I couldn’t sit, stand, walk or lie down for any length of time without some near final stages of labour levels of pain. I never want to go through that again though I did enjoy the massive amounts of time it left me to read and not do housework.

3. I told off some baseless fuckwit who decided it was a great idea to hang out on a cozy chair on my front porch directly outside my bedroom window at 3:30 in the morning and carry on a conversation with his buddies across the road. Stuff like that normally gets the hackles up and evokes cranky terrier style fits from yours truly. That this happened when I had to be up at 6am to go to market had me spitting like a mad gorgon. Needless to say I made him bolt. His friends laughed. He still had the nerve to respond with a sarcky ‘Sorry, lady. I was just chillin’ on your porch.’ MY porch, asshat! MINE! I’m a wee bit territorial.

4. I went to the annual Ribs & Beer fest and just about broke out in misanthropy-induced hives. It was a serious disappointment this year. Everything from location to setup to gaining sponsorship from a single brewery was wrong, wrong, wrong and created an atmosphere more akin to a fair ground’s beer tent – ignorant, table-monopolizing, drunken, misogynist numpties and all – and less like the lovely, chill festival in the park which I knew and loved. If it’s run the same way next year I’m just going to have all of the cool kids back to my house for better beer and better ribs.

5. For the first time in the 7 years we’ve been separated my babies’ daddy has taken vacation time with them. He took one week back in March and is now at the cottage with them for 2 weeks! Hardly a judgment call; dude works hard in an industry which is not very conducive to taking good family vacations. It’s just exciting. And I’m excited for them even if it leaves me waking up every morning with the feeling that I’ve forgotten something.  I swear I’m going to have the worst case of empty-nester’s syndrome on the face of the planet with the sprogs leave home.

I suppose there’s more but I’m lazy and the ADD’s kicking in and I want to move onto something else.

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