One With Everything

So, I finally managed to get back to Station Gallery and take a selfie with my painting.

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I had planned to get a photo when we attended the opening reception last month, but that didn’t happen for several reasons; 1) It was very crowded, 2) there was a large table as well as a podium parked in front of my painting, and 3) I almost had a heart attack, when my 3 year old grabbed onto the base of a sculpture for balance, almost pushing it off the platform where it was displayed! I’m very happy that my ‘Mom reflexes’ kicked in and we were able to avoid disaster, but (seriously though, who’s idea was it to place a sculpture, in the middle of a children’s play area?) the incident caused more than enough stress, so we pretty much left after that.

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Hey! Look at that! It seems there WAS a suitable exhibition location for this sculpture after all!

 

 

Moving on…

 

I was really happy that I had a chance to go back to Station Gallery yesterday. I really enjoy seeing my art displayed along side so many other artists’ work.

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I of course, had to get a selfie with Rob’s piece as well. I really love that we both had pieces in this show. It has been many years since our art has been exhibited together.

Rob’s work is very intricate and these photos do not do it justice. Sure I’m biased, but I really love his style. No matter how many times I view the same piece, I often get lost in his art. There is so much to see. Really, if you ever get an opportunity to view his work in person, its quite an experience, and I highly recommend it.

 

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There are so many interesting pieces in this show! These are just a few…

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After walking through the entire exhibition, I finally got a chance to vote for my favourite piece. How cool is this?!

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I am currently working on an…unconventional?… self-portrait, so this piece really stood out to me. I get very bored with traditional portraits (that’s what camera’s are for) and this piece was anything but. I love the colours, the strokes and the overall beautiful, chaos! Well done Christopher Scott! You sir, have mad skills!

 

This was another one of our favourites. Rob managed to get a photo with the piece and it’s creator, Chris Cote, during the opening reception.

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Again, these are only SOME of the amazing pieces in this show. Tomorrow is the final day for this exhibition, so if you’re in the area, stop by Station Gallery to check out more work by some incredibly talented artists.

Happy Viewing!

-Kati

Upcoming Exhibition

This year, Rob and I both submitted pieces to Station Gallery’s Annual Member’s Exhibition, and both of our submissions were accepted! Yay! Our works will be on display from December 16, 2017 – January 21, 2018, for the gallery’s 25th Annual Members’ Exhibition: One with Everything,

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I have not been a part of a juried, member’s exhibition in many years, so I am excited to be a part of this show. I always enjoyed group shows and attending opening receptions and fundraising galas at WKP Kennedy Gallery and White Water Gallery, in North Bay.  Rob and I also participated in a few shows scattered around Toronto and the GTA, while we were students, but that was more than 10 years ago. This will be our first time attending an opening since becoming parents. Rob and I are hoping to make an appearance at the Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony: Thursday, December 21 at 7pm. With 3 children, this will surely be no easy task, but we’re looking forward to it. This exhibition will span all 3 of the gallery spaces. I can’t wait to see what the member’s have created this year! If you’re in the area, Check it out!

For more details, and a complete list of exhibiting artists, click here.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon to see what we’re up to and get details on more exhibitions in the new year

– Kati

Character Pages for Kids

Who doesn’t like coming up with characters?  Becoming someone different, enhancing a skill or adjusting a flaw.  Sometimes it’s nice to be someone / something else.

I find that my son comes up with new characters all the time.  Sometimes very clearly based on something pre-existing and sometimes something beautifully new.  I wanted to help coax out these beings and so now we have character sheets!

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Simple information about each character – Name,  Power, and About.

All with nice big spacing for new hands.  A bit of frustration and failure is always present but nothing a fresh sheet and a second chance can’t alleviate.  Power was never meant to be a number.  However, I did create an example sheet and put a number under power.

CharacterSheet_Example03Probably because I’ve been playing a lot of Dragon Ball Super TCG lately.

You can find the PDFs below, set to print at 8.5″ x 11″.  Now go and make believe!

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Rob

Role Playing Games with Kids

As a fan of all things fantasy and game related, I have always been jealous of RPG playgroups.  The bonding and adventuring that is shared was something I never got to be a part of during my childhood.  Naturally, I tried to re-create the wonderfully imaginative and chaotic experience of playing an RPG with my 5 year old.  First thing I noticed was the rigid rules and detailed character sheets that were too involved for a child and he quickly lost focus.

Thus, I developed simple character sheets that a five year old could fill out.

Welcome to the Kingdom!

Here are the characters my son created.  The sheets are 11″x17″, nice and big for tiny hands to refine their motor skills.

 

And what would a game be without collectable cards?!

 

The cards are the equipment / magic spells used by the characters.  I had my son decide each character’s loadout before the beginning of each quest.

Then started world-building together.

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I had created a couple of NPCs (non-player characters) for his characters to battle as well.

 

And simple rules so that encounters would allow for some randomness.  The rules are very rough and definitely need revising, however they were clear enough that my son enjoyed rolling the dice to see whether the action was successful or not.

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It begins …

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Playing an RPG is incredibly fun with a child.  Their sense of imagination and problem solving allows for the most fantastic stories.  I also noticed that it helped my son come out of his shell.  As we went questing, at each new encounter he would become more enthusiastic in his responses.

Now get out there and have an adventure!

Character sheets and Cards are free for you to download and print.  They’re meant to be printed at tabloid size (11″x17″).  Now go play an RPG with your kid!

 

Character Sheet – Option 1

Character Sheet – Option 2

Character Sheet – Option 3

Blank Character Sheet

Equipment / Magic Cards

Non-Player Character Sheets + Blank

 

Rob

Ikea Dresser makeover 

I really love the idea of up-cycling furniture. Not only because I really dislike waste, but also because I love one of a kind items. Finding old furniture at thrift stores, yard sales and online, is really fun for me.

Just before we got married, Rob and I upgraded from our studio apartment, to a 2 bedroom. We were excited to finally buy some furniture, but like many people living in Toronto without a vehicle, we found ourselves at Ikea.  As a lover of all things unique, it was bittersweet. 5 years and 2 kids later, we moved to the suburbs. My first mission was to find and makeover, old furniture. I found some really great pieces at our local Value Village, but (since I’m “time poor” these days) I have yet to paint any of them. It will happen….eventually.

When I became pregnant with our third child, I decided to makeover one of our Ikea pieces for her room. I had been wanting to experiment with chalk paint for a long time, and since I was busy with my 2 year old, sanding and priming furniture was not going to happen. So, this was the perfect opportunity to test out Chalk Paint.

I forgot to take a before picture, so I pulled this one off the internet.

Before:

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Getting started…

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OK, so this was my first time working with chalk paint, (and my first attempt at making over a large piece of furniture). When I did the first coat, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the medium. Chalk paint is very different from other paints I’ve worked with, and I wasn’t really diggin’ it. It wasn’t brushing on as smoothly as I had hoped. Then, I read that it could be diluted with water, so for my second coat, I diluted it quite a bit, (about 1:1) and I really enjoyed working with it! I did a third coat of paint after that (again, very diluted). I liked how quickly I got this project done, and I went on to paint the boys’ old crib to match. Side note: Painting a crib is NOT fun.

I loved how fresh the dresser looked once it was painted, and had no intentions of putting the original knobs back on the drawers. I had a bunch of knobs that I picked up a year earlier for another project that I never got around to, but luckily they were perfect for the dresser. I ended up purchasing a few more and swapped out a few that didn’t work well with the overall colour scheme.

I was really pleased with the final product.

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Rob waxed the dresser for me. It needed to be done and he wouldn’t let me apply the wax myself because I was very pregnant at the time, so I don’t really know what to say about that process.

After I painted the room and had new flooring and baseboards installed, the nursery looked great!

I really do love making over furniture. Hopefully I’ll get around to doing another piece soon. Here’s one last before and after.

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Before

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After

Check back soon, to see what we do next….hopefully I’ll have another up-cycled project to share with you.

-Kati