Monday, 24 March 2008

Altered Book

I promised a few people that I'd upload some photos of my altered book. (If you haven't heard of altered books before... check this out)

Mine isn't really a typical altered book, in the sense that most people create altered books as simple art pieces. But when I decided to start mine, I knew that I'd never get through an entire book if I didn't have a specific use for it (like, with my sketchbooks - I'm still using the same sketchbook I started over 8 years ago LOL - I find it hard to get motivated sometimes)

So anyway, I decided to make my altered book into an "altered recipe book" with an additional theme of being "retro" ...

Here's a few pages from my book - If you scroll over where it says "notes" in the pictobrowser, I've added some comments about the pages, materials used, etc.:

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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Niagara Falls in the Winter (brrr!)

So, last weekend, in the midst of the biggest snowstorm of the year, I decided the best thing that I could possibly do was... drive to Buffalo! An area that was forecasted to get even MORE snow than Toronto!

One of my favourites I drove out on Friday night after work. At that point, it had started snowing, but there was lots of traffic, and it wasn't overly horrible, because all the cars were keeping the accumulation from building on the roads. I drove slower than usual, and it was fine. Until I got to the turnoff to Queenston-Lewiston. Because apparently NO ONE was taking that road, except for myself and one other car. Getting across the border was another issue in itself. And driving through New York state was a little difficult, just because I had never driven there before and I had to consult my mapquest directions at the same time. I finally got to my friends' place around 9pm (around 2 hours later than I would have in normal weather). It was so great to see them. We went midnight bowling and didn't go to sleep until 5am :) Wish I had taken more pictures in Buffalo, because it was absolutely beautiful with all the snow.

Icy The next day, we left Buffalo late in the morning, to get out to Niagara Falls. We were lucky we left when we did, because later that day, there was a travel advisory, and people weren't allowed to be driving. It was mostly freezing rain when we left though, which wasn't horrible. Except that we managed to get lost for like, 2 hours. But... we saw Tonawanda, North Tonawanda and Wheatfield - not many people can say that! ;)
We finally found our way to the Falls, and picked a place to stay based on the fact that it was attached to a Denny's, and we had no intention of setting foot outside for the rest of the night. It's too bad though, would've been cool to see the Falls from the New York side with all the snow. Don't think I've ever seen that before.

Crack Sunday, the weather did a complete turnaround. It was sunny and beautiful. That's when all the pictures below were taken. I couldn't believe how stunning & breathtaking the scenery was. The pictures don't even capture it.
I definitely recommend a trip to Niagara Falls in the winter - though, maybe not on the day of the worst snowfall of the year ;)
Here's the set, on Flickr

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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Blue Rodeo @ Massey Hall

Yesterday, we headed down to Massey Hall in Downtown Toronto to catch the ever-so-brilliant Blue Rodeo in the last of three sold out gigs, and coincidentally the last show of their winter tour.

Luke Doucet was the opener - which actually caught me by surprise. He took the stage with his band, the White Falcon, going straight into two songs, without even an introduction. I'm only vaguely familiar with a few of Luke's songs, so as I was sitting there listening to the music, trying to figure out if I liked the band or not... he introduced himself and the band, and a smile crept across my face. It was great to see him in this type of venue - I had only before seen him at small club gigs, where people were mostly talking and not paying attention, which this gig was definitely not (in fact, I sheepishly got in "trouble" for talking to my sister through part of the first song - the lady in front of us turned around and basically told us to shut up. Not cool, considering we were excited, and we were actually talking ABOUT the gig... that actually kind of annoyed me... but whatever)
Anyway... his set was really good. At the end of the set, he announced that if anyone wanted to buy his cd downstairs at the merch table, he would sell them personally. So, I headed downstairs, picked up a copy of his old cd that I've been meaning to buy for a while, and got him to sign it. Super nice guy too.

My sister and I had a laugh afterwards, though, because we were reading the credits of the cd, and it completely hit me that he actually recorded part of the cd at the studio that I interned at... While I was interning! I realized that I had totally met him before, but it didn't register until I read the credits! (LOL.) Silly me.

Blue Rodeo took the stage at around 9pm. They started the set with 5 Days in May, and continued to play a mix of old songs and new, singles and not. The sound was amazing (as always at Massey Hall). The crowd was a little tamer than I was expecting, but still good. They started the show off in a smaller, more intimate setting. A street lamp and record booth were set up. One snare drum, and acoustic guitars. They played probably around half of the show, including the hit singles Try & Bad Timing - both were incredible - in this setting. It was followed by To Love Somebody, a cover that they released on their Greatest Hits album. They also brought out Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet at various points.

Mid-way through the show, the curtain came down to reveal a full drum kit, and a more "electric" setting. The energy definitely peaked at that point. I believe it was during the single Til I Am Myself Again. The funniest moment in the show, between my sister and I was when they played "Heart Like Mine" ... Now a little backstory here - I actually used to HATE Blue Rodeo for the longest time, and my sister always loved them. So I knew the songs, but I was not a fan (except for the songs Try and Rose Coloured Glasses, always liked those). I basically started liking them within the last couple of years, after having worked with Jim Cuddy on a couple of shows, and realizing how incredible he, and then the band, actually were. So anyway, they played that song, and it dawned on me that I actually knew all the lyrics, and I hadn't heard the song until I was probably around 8 years old! LOL. Towards the last moments of the set, they said that anyone who felt like coming up and dancing were welcome to stand in the aisles at the front of the stage. So cool!

The encore was really incredible. As soon as I saw the stage with the streetlight... and then there was "snow" on the video wall... which was followed by falling snow as soon as the band came out. I knew right away that they were going to play Hasn't Hit Me Yet (lyrics "I stand here transfixed before the streetlight, watching the snow fall on this cold December night") ... it was so AMAZING. They started the song with just Greg Keelor on guitar, and the crowd completely singing the first verse & chorus. INCREDIBLE. It was such a unifying moment. The last song they played was Lost Together, and they brought out both of the opening bands from their tour - Luke Doucet & White Falcon, and Cuff The Duke. It was so awesome.

The one song that they didn't play that I really wanted to hear was Rose Coloured Glasses - but they played so many songs that I really love that I shouldn't complain.

Here's the pics:

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