Archive for the ‘oh canada’ Category

STUDIO NEWS!:  I just received my beautiful matte copies of UPPERCASE Magazine #6 where on the upper right hand corner of page 9, my Wild Life Camper sits proudly.   Canadian creator/publisher/editor Janine Vangool has put together another juicy collection of talent and inspiration.  I’m so happy to be included in this issue’s wandering wonder.

If you are lucky enough to be in San Francisco this week, stop by The Curiosity Shoppe and meet the team behind the UPPERCASE magic!

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{A last year version of my favorite song from his set}

The other night I tried on some new live music at my local sound spot The Habitat, and it fit perfectly!  I only caught the last bit of the first act (I apologetically don’t remember his name) Vancouver based Adrian Glynn (thanks Karin!) and was impressed, as I always am, by solo performers who dare to engage the crowd. He had us sing along. Really it takes guts and I admire that. (And try to comply as loudly as I can)

Second up was Victoria, BC native Aidan Knight. Really wow. His dynamic phrasing and witty, thoughtful lyrics were such a beautiful surprise. His desire to connect with us in between songs rounded out an already fine performance. And all night his outfit, which I loved, of cuffed jeans over rubber boots, a button up shirt, topped with a red toque, reminded me of something I’d seen before.  It wasn’t until I got home later that it came to me…

{photo credit: Jonathan Taggart}

Sammy Seagull, one of my favorite Wayne Pate posters. I’m not at all suggesting a resemblance between the man and the bird. Just a kinship of hat and footwear choices. And maybe cheekiness.  

This young man is someone to listen out for.  I reckon his vocal suede is going to sing him all the way to wherever he wants to go. To see & hear more to love, get up on this.

And to pre-order a limited edition 12″ vinyl copy of his new album Versicolour for a steal at US$20 – that also includes immediate download of the album in your choice of format – click here.  

p.s. Third up was Dan Mangan.  Also something special.  Next week…

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sub{ Subelek/Heavy }

It’s Fontastic Friday everyone!  My favorite day of the blog week.  Today I’m going to share with you two cool fonts from Montreal based design studio, Subtitude.  Check out their website to see what other good goodies they offer.   

sub sign{ Subikto One / Regular }

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I heard the most ridiculous & sad news this morning.  Two nights ago someone broke into the SPCA that I volunteer at and stole the cash box.  They broke a $300 glass door to get about $15.  (= the lamest kind of dumb dumbs)  Luckily they didn’t disturb or mess with the animals, but still, just head shaking kind of behavior.  I trust that animalistic karma will find them and open their eyes to a better way of conducting themselves.  Let’s hope.

On the brighter side of beastly news this morning, I’d like to share with you these very special animal softies from Canadian company Bookhou.  Founded by John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj in 2003, Bookhou offers a variety of loveliness that emphasizes natural handmade materials & small production pieces.  They sell online at www.bookhou.com or at their brick and mortar shop at 798 Dundas Street West in Toronto.


Bloesem is doing a give away of the above bag of softies.  Today is the last day to enter, so get on over there and enter! (click here to go there)

via: Bloesem & Bookhou

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This time it’s the Province of British Columbia bringing you a handsome guide on how to make it in the wild.  First published in 1976, this illustrated gem packs a powerful punch of information for those who wish to get back to the (far out) land.  My favorite is “Navigating by dead reckoning”.  Can’t wait to become an expert on that.  


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xenia tiles

I am very excited to introduce to you, this week’s makers for our Meet the Maker interview series; Xenia Taler & Steven Koblinsky of Canada’s own, Xenia Taler.  Their work is extraordinary.  Very technical on the back end and fresh folk fancy on the front.  I’ve admired their work for years now ( it was VERY difficult to pick just a few things to show you) and am overjoyed that they agreed to answer my questions.  Warning! Don’t try to eat your screen, even though the yummy tiles make that seem like the right thing to do…


xenia tile stacks
1.  What is your favorite movie for visual/design amazing-ness?

I can’t just pick one! How can I show off my film knowledge with just one? Before you think my choice is unbearably pretentious I was a film production major in University(so was Steven) – I was /forced/ to watch these films.  “Solaris” by Andrei Tarkovsky , – the tunnel scene, the long hippie dresses, the sci-fi-ness, the long take with the Bruegel painting…..Don’t ask me what the film’s about, I have no idea, once in a while I try to watch it again to understand it but I always fall asleep.Also anything by Goddard.  For Steven it’s: Elaine May’s “Mikey and Nicky” with Peter Falk and John Cassavettes. We both also love Miyazaki.

2. What is your favorite music genre/band to work to right now?

Right now I’m listening to Ronnie Lane. I generally like more melodic folky music like Fairport Convention, Richard and Linda Thompson,  also any blues, Kevin Coyne, Allman Brothers, etc. But my favourite song of all time is ‘Rock n’ Roll’ by Motorhead. Steven is definitely the studio music source and  I wouldn’t even know all this music without him.  He also likes all of the above but tends toward more high energy pop/punk – Television, Wire, Stooges etc. We also like new music! Fleetfoxes! Hot Chip! Go-Team! Alps! I keep trying to come up with better playlists than Steven’s but he really knows music better.

(* Xenia I LOVE that you love Motorhead!  I sang for an 80;s hair metal band called Bone Cobra when I lived in Vermont and really got into the genre.  It’s my favorite music to work to at night when I’m at my studio.)


3. (for Xenia) Your designs are so playful and for me, have a strong sense of folklore-ness.  Are you inspired by any particular culture, or are there many sources you draw upon when creating your beautiful designs? (for Steven) What you do, creating the glazes and driving the super flat tiles, requires a level of technical mastery that I marvel at.  (I’m a lazy commercial glaze user)  Does this tech prowess spill out into other areas of your life, like executing difficult recipes in the kitchen or figuring out how to optimize kilometers per litre?

I have endless admiration for Japanese visual culture. But  I think my designs look more like European folk art. I don’t really do this on purpose. I  aim for that simple Japanese refinement and sophistication but my designs always end up looking more European. I am actually born in Romania so I guess it’s genetic.                                                                                    

Steven is so happy someone noticed his flat tiles. The “technical”  is seriously the hardest part of what we do. He definitely has a gift for things most people would be exasperated by. He reads 30 page boardgame manuals for fun.

Thanks you two for sharing your thoughts with my readers.  If you listen very closely you’ll be able to hear me singing you some gratitude filled Rock ‘n Roll from this other side…

*images from the Xenia Taler website.  To go there and check out more loveliness, click here!

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It looks like I have a bit of a tree theme happening here this week. Not a bad thing I think. This book, put out by the Canadian Department of the Environment in 1969, is a graphic wonderland. I could easily see some of these as wallpapers or stationary. The graphic design, layout, and production was done by a Mrs. Iris Gott and Mr. Bing-Lin Wong. I tried to find out more about these two and came up empty, so we’ll just have to enjoy this one juicy piece of work.



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Just to get warmed up for doing my A/V list page later this week, I wanted to share my favorite new music find. It’s a band from Vancouver, BC called Mother Mother. I saw them a few weeks ago and was really impressed. The video direction & design is also pretty great. Darker than my usual tastes, it’s comic book high/low lights are enough to make even ’60’s & sunshine’ me dig it. This is maybe my third favorite song on their top notch album, so I highly recommend seeking out the rest to lend an ear to! www.mothermothersite.com and www.myspace.com/mothermotherspace

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