December 05, 2011

Win a mountain calendar!

CONTEST: Today my 2012 Red Sunset Mountain Calendar is featured on Designwali, who is giving away a holiday gift each day of this week. Enter to win, check out the rest of her design treats and... GOOD LUCK!!

November 19, 2011

November News

Wow, time is flying, here we are already in November! Christmas is approaching which has triggered a string of more Etsy calendar sales. Sea Green Mountains was featured yet again on another blog called Row House 14, thank you Heidi! My customers have all been super amazing and have left some beautiful comments that are more fulfilling to me than the money. I'd like to share a few more than a few:

"Congratulations on having the cutest calendar for 2012!" "Hello! What a beautiful calendar! Thanks for making something so beautiful and interesting!" "I absolutely love the concept of your calendar--so original!" "Thank you very much for the beauty and inspiration you give by your works!" "I have received it! Tis beautiful and makes me happy." "I'd like to hang it in my art studio on my inspiration wall." "This calendar is even more beautiful when you see it in real life, I absolutely love it!"

I have also been working on my new website that includes both my graphic design and artwork. I used the program 4ormat which is designed by friends of mine. I found it simple to use and it offers great templates for creative individuals who need to showcase portfolio-based websites.

Enjoy the rest of the month, filled with creme brulee lattes and merry shopping :)

September 11, 2011

Poppy Talk

Woo-hoo and another post on Poppy Talk! I'm reading some motivating comments, thank you, they will keep me creating :)

September 06, 2011

Grassroots Modern

Hey look! My mountain poster calendar has been very popular lately. 4 sells on Etsy in the last few days and one of my customers pointed out where she saw it posted on a cool design blog called Grassroots Modern.

September 02, 2011

Morning Glories

Today I counted 94 morning glories on our patio. They are the most cheerful colour of blue--I wish they would last longer than only the morning! The first photo uses Lord Kelvin which makes a redder contrast in the bricks and adds a rough border. The second (Poprocket), is a close up of a bee finding some pollen, burrowed inside the glowing-yellow centre of the flower.

August 29, 2011

Fun with Instagram

This is my favourite iphone app! Instagram crops your photo to a square format and then adds a filter which mimics similar colours and textures of old film. Here are my first few.

August 17, 2011

Huy Lam

This post goes to my talented boyfriend, Huy. He makes portraits of celebrities made out of 4 point text which you can see more of on his blog. His art was just posted on laughing squid which led to this article written about his work on Politico. Possibly more to come! This is my favourite--a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, what a GENIUS!

July 29, 2011

Square Foot Show 2011

It's that time again for AWOL's annual Square Foot Show. This year I will have 2 pieces of art on display, including a new one called "I Wish..." Here is a square inch sample of my square foot--I dare you to find it among the hundreds of artworks!

The reception will be at Twist Gallery on Saturday August 6th at 7pm.

Show Dates: Saturday August 6th – August 21st, 2011
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 7pm & Sunday 12 – 5 pm.
Location: Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West (just West of Dovercourt)

July 04, 2011

Photo Transfer Magic

I wish I could keep these patterns to use in my artwork! But they magically appear briefly for about 15 minutes before it dries away.

Transferring my photographs onto mylar is one of the first steps of my art process. This is done by applying a thin layer of a liquid polymer to the front side of a laser printout. Then it is flipped upside down and placed on top of the mylar. What you see here, is the back of the laser print. The polymer soaked through the paper in the white parts of the image more quickly than the coloured areas with ink. Eventually, the paper dries back to white and then I peel off the paper while the ink remains fixed to the mylar.

With the positive/negative shapes, I think they look similar to the effects of cyanotypes!

June 27, 2011


My Etsy shop is now up and going! Inspired by patterns old and new, I am selling notebooks made with vintage wallpaper and calendar posters using designs I have found in nature. New items will be added gradually so check in again!

June 08, 2011


Here is my bookmark promo that was just printed (full colour front and back with lamination). Lately I've been illustrating patterns for 2012 poster calendars and this one features my bamboo pattern. Check out my first item for sale on etsy!

April 22, 2011

Mexico Art

Here are some sketches I made while having the chance to relax and truly absorb Mexican culture. Drawing was a good excuse to sit in a plaza, admire a fountain, or practice espanol.

April 01, 2011

Mexico City

(click here for more photos of Mexico)
Here I am, back where I started. When I flew in 6 weeks ago, it was exciting to see the city from above, which looked like an explosion of bright colours in pixelated boxes. This time, watching through the bus window, I started to fear my preconceptions of this humongous capital of 26 million people. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” I quickly learned that this was another Mexican city filled with kind, generous and helpful friends.

I met Eddna and Jim in Angangao, who arranged for me to stay with their artist friend Fer in trendy Condesa, who introduced me to another talented artist Danielle, who gave me her scarf from India and joined us at Marina's apartment, who plays the harmonium and travels the world and has a dog named Maya, who sat close and watched everyone drum, sing, drink mezcale, play on the swing, and watch all the dogs play tug of war. Adolfo paid for my tacos. Andrea pointed out new foods in the mercado. I ate sushi at a penthouse fiesta hosted by an art curator.

Filled with restaurants, live music, young people jogging and walking their dogs, yoga studios, art galleries, parks, and Jacaranda trees littering the streets with purple flowers, I felt right at home. The metro was safe, fast, and efficient and only about 25 cents a ride. I visited Centro Historico to see Diego's murals at Palacio Nacional, and the layers of pyramids build on top of each other at Templo Mayor. I walked to Roma for a delicious cafe and saw contemporary interior design. I saw Frida's Casa Azul in Coyoacan and found unique, handmade jewelry in an artisans market.

Mexico has so many places to see and activities to do that I need to go back! The traditional arts are beautiful and the contemporary culture is alive. People are friendly and quick to help. I felt as safe as I do in my own country (except crossing a few of the streets!) and never hesitated to take out my camera. I left with a huge smile. Hasta luego.

March 27, 2011


As I write, a guitar strums in the background. The air is warm and I am filled with bbq'd pollo and the best mint helado ever (with pieces of mint leaves!) The food has been amazing: chilies, pozole, guacamole, and tortillas in an incredible number of forms. Art galleries, mercados, and museos are around every corner. I have actually been meeting other travellers, and no longer feel like the only foreigner in town!

I met Grace at a cafe and we set out to the Sunday mercado in Tlacolula, about 30 minutes out of town. The aisles were pleasantly wide and endlessly long, filled with vendors selling modern tshirts, traditional woven fabrics, carved bowls, coconut-cinnamon juice, chocolate, coffee, vegetable seeds, frutas, grasshoppers spiced with salt and chili, honey, and the list goes on. Especially fun was sampling all the different kinds of mezcale (liquor made from the agave cactus)!

Cooking class with chef Alberto: Rachel and I learned how to make mole rojo (a red mole sauce), flores de calabaza sopa (squash-blossom soup), and stewed guavas. In Oaxaca, there are 7 different kinds of moles, each one a complicated mixture, traditionally made for special occasions. Chili peppers, sesame seeds, hazel nuts, plantain, onion, and of course chocolate are just a few of the ingredients. After frying everything together, we were sent on an excursion to follow one of the cooks carrying our bucket of mole. Completely clueless as to where we were going, (because the class was all in Espanol!), and still wearing our aprons, we end up at a shop with machines that blend it all into a smooth paste. It was fried again, thinned with broth and poured over chicken. Then we ate our 3-course creation.

March 25, 2011


Heading Eastbound, the plazas now seem to be called zocalos. Puebla's is muy grande, always filled with bands playing, couples kissing, and handfulls of bobbing balloons in the shapes of Bambi and Snow White's head. Most interesting, was a circlular, wooden, installation inside another circle. Made of wood and painted white, it was laser (or hand-cut?) in the shapes of tall, leafy trees like the real ones in the zocalo. So from one side, you can see buildings and people through 4 layers of organic holes.

The city is filled with many museos, zapato (shoe) stores, different types of mole (sauces made with chocolate, chili, and various spices), and ceramic tiles on almost every building. It's amazing how quickly the loud bustle from the streets disappear by only walking a few feet into the interior of a courtyard. Sometimes they contained a fountain, an art gallery, a restaurant, or the oldest biblioteca I've ever seen. More than 4000 libros from as early as the 1500s were arranged perfectly in their old, wooden shelves. No fotographias or touching of the books were allowed, so I tried to engrave in my memory, all the intricate patterns and beautiful calligraphy on the aging spines.

March 21, 2011


I'm in Magic Town! For the last half hour of the twisting bus ride, I jumped from one side of the bus to the other, trying to photograph the perfect view of Taxco. It just had to be around the next corner! Finally after a full day of various buses, the city of white casas emerged, glowing in the late afternoon light.

It is another old mining town which is now full of shiny, silver, jewelry shops. Just south of Mexico City, it is a trendy vacation spot on the weekends. Santa Prisca is a baroque-style iglisias which sits on top of a hill and is an excellent way-finder. The plaza is full of balloons, fireworks en la noche, and people eating ice cream and popcorn. There are bonita vistas everywhere but I have to leave before I buy too much plata!


One of my most amazing days ever! This tiny little town is the closest base to the El Rosario Reserve where the Monarch butterflies migrate each winter. Many have already started to fly back North, but I arrived just in time to see the tail-end of the 80 million mariposas that fill the sky, 4000 feet up in the fir trees.

First there was one, then a pair, then several monarchs fluttered around the sputtering bus as we slowly accended the steep, winding mountain. From the entrance, it was another 45 minutes to walk up (including photo breaks) until the trail opened up to a yellow grassy area full of flower bushes. Butterflies sat on the branches with the sun shinning through their orange wings. Above, the perfect blue sky glinted with bright flecks flying in every direction. They let the wind carry them, falling like leaves until it's necessary to use their own energy. It was as magical as sitting under cherry blossom trees when the white petals shower down.

Another 10 minutes up, and I truely felt like I was among the millions. Swarms flitted above my head and all of their shadows swept across the ground. Some barely missed my face, their soft flutters the most amazingly beautiful sound. Mating couples dropped infront of me. The remains of dried up wings covered the path. In the distance, a massive, orange wave descended from a tree--I couldn't believe how many I was seeing at one time!

Back in quiet Angangao, I had a lot of time to meet some of the locals. Last year, the town suffered a tragic flood that ran 4 feet deep along it´s main road down the mountain. It completely wiped out 2 villages and 20 people died. The sadness still lingers and is evident in every padlocked door and broken wall. Many people left to find work elsewhere, but the people who remain are working hard to rebuild the town. Francisco survived being pulled down the river and lives every day like it's his last. Him and others in the town are pushing to officially name Angangao Mexico´s 5th Magic Town. Muchos luck y wishes!

March 16, 2011


The main attractions in this small, quiet town revolve around two large plazas. Each block is made up of one, long, continuous white building with rounded, clay roof tiles and wooden columns which to me, have a Japanese flavour. Instead of signs, the name of each store is hand painted on the walls, above old doorways. Considering how few people I´ve seen, there seems to be an unusually high amount of dentistas!

Patzcuaro is known for it's neive de pasta (cinnamon) ice cream and a large blue lake. The view from the temple at Tsinsonsan was muy bonita. Pero, my favourite moments were in the market and around the plazas where I was truely tested on my spanish skills. Most people don´t speak any English at all but I probably met the few who do. And many amazing interactions even with the ones who don´t.

Jasmine lived in California and made an excellent beet-carrot juice. While eating a heaping serving of steaming carrots and pollo, a seven-year old girl whispered to her mom and then slid across the bench to stare at me. I spoke some spanish, she spoke only spanish, we didn´t understand each other at all, but shared some laughs! Fernando cannot fix my computadora, but I make a new amigo and we eat helado by the statue. In the morning, I'm handed a forkful of carne and end up eating delicious steamed beef and drinking spicy meet juice for breakfast. The guy beside me pointed saying ´that is the cow's mouth´ (good thing for my neutral poker-face!)


The most colourful city I have ever seen, Guanajuato is a maze of old buildings and plazas stacked on steep hills. Sometimes the streets become so narrow, the buildings almost touch. The roads are the complete opposite to Toronto´s grid--street blocks are a jumble of odd triangles, aligning with nothing. Every time I made my way back to the casa, I got lost in nuevo adventure.

From the balcony of my hotel, we had the perfect vista of the cuidad, which looked like a three-dimentional mapa. I made an attempt to draw the complicated puzzle, until the sun went down and the lights turned on.

March 07, 2011


The past week has been full of amazing friendships. Even though they only lasted for a few hours or a single day, they are meaningful connections that I will cherish from San Miguel.

I bumped into a few people in a photography class, getting some shots of the evening sun in El Jardin. Explaining how I found it hard to capture both the dark shadows and the bright colours, they agreed. Their maestro (teacher) happened to be the same person having an exhibition that night, where I was making my way to! We slowly walked together, taking photos of each other and the shining cobblestones. (Above is Tom in the hat).

I met Christine and Edwardo in my pencion, and we all took the same class together. We watched each others pieces of silver evolve from a scrap of metal to a shiny piece of jewelry. We shared personal opinions of our hopes for the future. And walked back and forth several times trying to find the organic market, but enjoying the adventure along the way.

I spent every morning for the past 2 weeks learning Spanish with my maestro, Luis. His energy, encouragement, and sarcasm made the class absolutely enjoyable. I could laugh at myself everytime he translated my loco mistakes.

Saleta, the owner of the pencion, has been learning English. We talked every day, correcting eachother´s words and sentences during her home-cooked dinner, sitting in the courtyard, and our final breakfast at Buenos Dias. Thank you.

As well, Rae, the spiritual healer from London, good luck using your new art supplies! And the two little girls who asked for their fotographia. Geraldo Ruiz, the amazing sculptor and etcher, who showed me the process.

Todos los amigos, muchas gracias y muchas gusto!

March 02, 2011


I take the most photographs between 5-6pm. All the colours become even more alive--brighter yellows, warmer oranges, and glowing reds. Dark shadows make strong contrasts compared to the strips of light that stream between buildings. The stone eaves carved into animals, jut out from the tops of buildings and create dramatic, angled shadows across walls. My new method (to get people shots) is wait patiently, with a perfect backdrop framed, and snap when gentes (people) "accidently" walk into my fotographias. Passing through the strips of light, little do they know how vibrantly their shirts glow in the low sunlight.

My first jewelry class revealed many more tones than what I expected from silver. After sautering 2 pieces together, there were layers of warm, flame textures. Then, after hammering some shell-patterned indentations, the soaking process revealed rosy pinks. As I continued to cut and file, it gradually transformed again, like it was coated in white. My hands (on the other hand) only turned black! Silversmithing is an exciting art form, we'll see how the pendant turns out tomorrow.


Hoy (today) is the dia I gave up on trying to eat at every recommended restaurant in San Miguel's Walking and Shopping Guide. Way too overly ambitious!

This morning I walked next door and ordered my warm breakfast through a window. A stroll around the corner, is a plaza surrounded by churches, outlined with benches, filled with locals, watching un nino (boy) run around a fountain, in the centre where pigeons bathed. I chose a bench where everyone else sat, on the sunny side. The chilly morning was offset when I unraveled the corn husk around a hot tomale de pollo (chicken tomale) and sipped a warm tasse de leche fresca (cup of strawberry milk). Simple and delicious and only 12 pecos! (Photo: Mr. Allende in the same plaza as the fountain)

At lunch, a woman grilling gorgitas caught my attention. A thicker style of tortilla, stuffed with garbanzo beans, a bit of queso y arroz (cheese and rice), and a side of chopped avocado y tomato. Fresh and satisfying and only 25 pecos!

At dinner I thought I had ordered soup, but ended up with a quarter chicken, arroz, y ensalada. mmm...

February 27, 2011


Here I am, warmed and relaxed in old, colonial, San Miguel de Allende! Mr. Allende (the city's martyr for Mexican independence from the Spanish) is actually just around the corner from my pencion, on a horse, cast in bronze. Mariachis tunes fills the air, bells chime each hour, and there is always a friendly person to chat with in the main plaza.

It has been a semana (week) already, wandering the cobblestone calles (streets), taking photos of 300-plus year old casas (buildings), and admiring the numerous galleries around town. The ciudad (city) is filled with expats who live here at least a couple months each year. Although I can get away with my very limited vocabulary, I'm looking forward to starting Espanol classes tomorrow. As the dias (days) go by, I hope to include more words! I've also signed up for a jewelry class at the Instituto Allende, one of the two art colleges (unfortunately Bellas Artes is closed for renovations).

Everything is so vibrant from the cloudless, azul cielo (blue sky) to the painted roja y amarillo (red and yellow) buildings. Rising light in the morning, casts shadows of potted plants onto walls. Setting light in the evening, brightens colourful, plaid blankets hanging to dry. Which reminds me, just in time to catch the sunset!

Buenos tardes.

February 02, 2011


Another successful year for OCAD's Whodunit? fundraising event. Here are my donations that sold in the auction this year.

“The Whodunit? Gala Preview is a rare opportunity to pick up incredible works by highly sought-after emerging artists,” explains Curatorial Committee Chair Wil Kucey, Director of LE Gallery in Toronto. “Those looking to start collecting art, or those looking to expand their collections with works by artists about to explode internationally should not miss this event.”

January 05, 2011

Propeller Salon V

Stop by to join myself and other artists at the reception next week!

"In its 5th year, the Salon Show brings together people and art in a post holiday celebration. It is always a fun and an exceptionally well-attended event. This year, the Salon Show has been extended to a three week run so that art lovers may have a longer time to view the exhibition."

Show dates: January 12–30, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday January 13th, 2011, 7-10 pm

Propeller Centre for Visual Arts
984 Queen Street West, Toronto
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 12-6, Sun 12-5 or by appointment