Monday, February 22, 2016

It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To*

*AKA Event Planning 101

There were certainly tears shed all over the world when David Bowie died.  New York declared a "David Bowie Day", Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band held a Second Line for Bowie in New Orleans, and Toronto's Choir!Choir!Choir! sang their arrangement of Space Oddity at the Art Gallery of Ontario (you can watch the video here)  I wanted to do something here in London, Ontario that would bring local Bowie fans together to celebrate his life and music.

In the four weeks since I made the decision to do this event, I've learned a lot about successful event planning.  I'm sure there are books, websites, etc. dedicated to this subject, but for me, I just went with my instincts, and it went like this...

1.  Get an idea
2.  Tell yourself it's a great idea, and there is no reason why you can't pull it off.
3.  Make a list of everything you have to do, buy, etc.
4.  Be surprised and grateful when all the people you ask for help say yes.
5.  Spend a lot of time and money
6.  Promote, Promote, Promote
7.  Pray to whatever deity you believe in that enough people show up so you can cover your costs.
8.  Hope everyone has a good time

And that's where I'm at today, after spending last night cutting out giant paper stars to decorate the wall of the venue, and still have to put together my own costume.

I wish all of my blogging friends could be here to join in the fun.  If you're in London, Ontario, come out and dance, and try a Bowie Black Star Banana Brownies (I'm not kidding).   Of course I will take photos and there will be a blog post once I recover (and hopefully there won't be any tears).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hot Stuff for a Cold Winter Night

 *warning - this post contains photos of sex toys (not being used, just displayed) which may offend
those with delicate sensibilities*

We've had an entire winter's worth of snow over the last few days, and the temperature dropped to minus 20 which made staying inside with books, blankets, and netflix the activity of choice this weekend.  However, an artist I chat to regularly at Roller Derby games was having an art exhibit at a  "high end" sex shop on Friday night, and I decided to bundle up and check it out.

The shop, called Spot of Delight, is located on Richmond Street, and owned by a London couple.  London has has not had a non-cheesy place to purchase high quality sex toys since the much missed Libido on Talbot Street closed several years ago, so Spot of Delight, which opened in September, is a welcome addition to the downtown community.

Artist Nic DeGroot paints in acrylics, and the work on display that evening, which had been painted during the last 5 years, celebrated the female form.  The event also included a live painting demonstration by DeGroot, and offered an opportunity for people who had not visited the shop before to browse some of the merchandise in a non-threatening atmosphere (most of the stock had been put away to make room for the exhibit).

The shop put some of their glass and stainless steel toys, many of them objets d'art themselves, on display beneath DeGroot's paintings.  I thought the painted glass and feathered butt plug, in the top right photo, was almost too pretty to hide, so to speak.

 Left - "Hot Winter Night" Right: "Cool Summer Night"

Although the paintings are advertised as "erotic" art, the artist doesn't see them that way.  DeGroot says he sees the subjects of his paintings as strong, powerful women.

I liked the impressionistic rendering of the figures in DeGroot's work, which tricks the eye into believing it sees more detail than in actually there.  In most of the paintings, the eyes of subjects do not engage with the viewer - there is a feeling of introspection created by their gaze.

"The Bashful" by Nic DeGroot

DeGroot's paintings have interesting contrasts in texture - in some, the subject is raised with a smooth, shiny surface against a rough background, and in others the reverse.

This painting was displayed on the wall to your left as you entered the store, and was the largest piece in the show.

This detail of the above painting shows the texture and different colours used in the background

DeGroot's model for the evening was one of the women behind Catstache, and their vulva jewellery is available at Spot of Delight for the month of February (they will do custom colours if you ask)

DeGroot does live art performances, and does commissions (for which he charges per square inch) and can be contacted via his website.   Spot of Delight offers an excellent variety of body-safe, high quality sex toys, as well as lingerie, leather accessories, and educational workshops, and is located at 426 Richmond Street.  For shop hours and more information visit their website.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

More Bang for Your Buck*

*this sounded more exciting than "Good Value For Your Money"

Does this outfit look cheap?   Well, it was - astonishingly so.  When I calculated the total cost of all of the pieces, I was amazed that the entire outfit, footwear included, came in at under $50.

Let's do a tally:  turtleneck - Giant Tiger, $3
Levi's waxed denim tunic - Value Village, $12
Zara polka dot skirt - Beacon's Closet - $10
sparkly, fleece-lined leggings - Winners, $6
Blue boots - Housing Works Thrift Store, $15
TOTAL:  $46 (plus tax, of course)

And speaking of the footwear, one of the best decisions I ever made was to hand over $15 for these boots at a Housing Works Thrift Store on my trip to New York in 2012.  They look just like Doc Martens, the colour is fabulous, and they are very comfortable.  Their only flaw is that they are not real leather, and because I wear them so often, the top of the boots are cracking and peeling.  I've asked at a shoe repair shop if there is anyway to fix them and they didn't have any suggestions.  I will be very sad when they completely fall apart.

And in other news....

The day after I put up my previous post, in which I mention just how "Blah" January had been, I came home to find a package on my doorstep.  Inside, I found this:

A Valentine's Wreath!  This explosion of hearts, beads, flowers, and images of cool women was made for me by Carmen Bury, who sent me the lovely fabric-covered tree for Christmas.  I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day, (or any Hallmark Holiday for that matter) but this is so over-the-top fabulous that I'm more than happy to hang it up in my apartment and enjoy the imagination and thoughtfulness that went into its creation.  The "Blahs" were certainly banished!

Although Carmen and I met just once, she somehow knew the kinds of images I would like, including a couple of me taken at the Manhattan Vintage Show wearing her marvelous coat, with the delightful addition of feather wings.  The connection that her coat forged between us has been a source of joy and inspiration, and I marvel at the serendipity of it all.