Grannys Rule!

It is about time I talk about grannys, don’t you think? My grandmothers were truly spectacular, strong, and adventurous women now that I think back about it.

I received a journal in the mail last week from the “Willowing” round robin with a theme of “Stately Ladies”. Immediately I thought about my granny and her sisters on my dad’s side. True stately women with big torpedo tits, blue hair, and stockings. The three sisters were Betty the oldest, Jean the middle, and Beatrice the baby. They made up the fabulous Baker-Boys sisters. All three sisters married to wonderful men, all went to Havergal College in Toronto, all had affluent and a wonderful familial upbringing.

My granny, Beatrice, married John (Nickname Jack, middle name Hales) who unfortunately died when I was one. My Aunt Betty, or Aubie as we called her, married Walter (nickname Gray) Graham who sadly also died before I was born. My Aunt Jean Clarke married Bob who was around for my whole life until early adulthood and ended up being the overseer/protector for all the sisters. These three stately women were strong and lived well into their 80’s and 90’s.

I remember stories of how my Aubie went to Japan with the YWCA during the war and then travelled back many times after that to visit friends she had made while staying there. I spent hours listening to stories of riding elephants in India and numerous trips to mysterious and far off places all over the world. With their husbands gone they decided to take the world by storm and travel, which at the time was not something women did (how times have changed).

So, here is my picture depicting three stately and courageous women. Not a photo realistic picture in any way, but an artistic representation of who they were. A memory embrace for me. I love you. I miss you! Who you were has molded me into who I am today. Thank you!

The fabulous Baker Boys sisters


Gems in the Heart of the Inner City

Graffiti Art – Queen Street West

This is not art journaling…of course, BUT this art inspires me to make art.

I could stand on the street staring at Graffiti for hours just as if I was in a formal gallery like the AGO. It is mesmerizing. In fact, if I ever bought a house or store with an ugly brick wall, I would hire someone to paint something beautiful on it.

Can you take lessons on how to do graffiti??

Queen Street West – Toronto, Ontario


Queen Street West – Toronto, Ontario

It looks like you could take the fish right out of his hands.


Make your own name in grafitti letters from this link and watch this rocking video. It actually asks the burning question… is grafitti real art. I think so!


The Sketchbook Project lands at the Gladstone Hotel in T.O.

The Sketchbook Project information cards I picked up – Love that brown cardboard

Have you ever told your friends that you want to go somewhere (like an art show) and then when it gets closer to the date you’ve somehow decided it will take way more energy than you have to get there and make it happen? Well…that is what happened to me last week.

 Back of the cards – Much more colourful

The Story

Heather and Debs and I had planned to head to the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario (months ago!) to catch the last day of the 2012 Sketchbook Project Tour that originated from the Brooklyn Art Library in New York. We had discussed the adventure at Doll Meeting and sealed the deal. So, a few days before the show I was talking to Heather on the phone and she asked if we were still going and I found myself hemming and hawing about it. We would have to take the GO train (for those of you who aren’t Canadian, it is a cross between a subway and a passenger train that travels the same track outside and primarily takes commuters to the city centre for work) and it was a long way with lots of potential walking. Bottom line…I was feeling whiney (which I usually don’t). Needless to say, Heather talked me back into it and we were on again for Sunday’s adventure. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and despite the stifling summer heat, a good time was had by all.

How did we get there??

We took the Go Train in the morning and all met up at a stop about halfway there, where Heather’s amazing husband picked us up and drove us right to the front door of the  Gladstone Hotel. There was a lot of construction in the downtown core and he felt we would get there faster if we drove. Gotta Love Larry! He was right! We arrived downtown around 1pm.

While we stood outside of the beautiful refurbished hotel, we decided that because the show didn’t start until 2pm that we had some time to grab lunch. We walked down Queen Street until we came across the Drake Hotel that was offering a brunch. So brunch it was! Heather and Debs got some choice food pics that I will have to add later. Personal food shots are so “trending” right now.

The Gladstone Hotel – Toronto, Ontario

Brunch was yummy. You can tell because they look extremely happy. Well…it may have had just a little something to do with the company as well. We have such a “gas” when we are together. Heather had Blueberry Pancakes, Debs had the standard brekkie and I had the eggs Bennie. YUMBA MAGUMBA. Don’t ask me what that means…I have said it since I was a kid..

Heather and Debs at the Drake Hotel for brunch – Toronto

There was amazing art installations at the Drake Hotel like this one that looked like hanging sea vegetables. (oops! this picture disappeared so had to repost)

And this freaky one…It looked as if it was a real man…with no body

Man sculpture – Drake Hotel

We didn’t just eat and run. We found it necessary to leisurely wander in and out of all the trendy curio and furniture shops all the way back because of the heat. It was so hot I thought I would melt. We also stopped in to see what Woolfitt’s art store had to offer. We won’t say what we came out with *wink*.

Woolfitt’s Art Supplies

What did we do when we got back?

When we got back to the Gladstone we climbed the stairs with anticipation to see what it would be like in the mobile library. When we first came in we signed up and obtained a library card. Once we had the card we were told we could begin to line up to “take out” sketchbooks from the library. They had such a great system all set up on two huge Macs. You could choose your topic, colour, and even individual artists if you knew of anyone from another city who had entered a sketchbook into the tour. I think we were able to see twenty random sketchbooks. One of the ones I was really impressed with was Marie Otero you can see her sketchbook here to see why I liked it. I wrote her a quick email to let her know I thought hers was great. I hope someone does the same for me when I send mine in next year.

In this picture Debs is signing in her last sketchbook at closing time. You can see the set up with the library shelves and Macs and line markers set off to one side. It had a lot of ambiance being in the old Hotel.

One last tidbit of fun

The Sketchbook Project was sponsored by Prismacolour markers and pencil crayons and therefore there was a couple of art stations where you could colour and write a post card to someone in the next city. When you completed your postcard and put it in and envelope for “mailing” the staff/curators would hand you one from another city. How cool is that!!!! Here is the one I made. I can hardly wait to see who gets it!

Heather G’s postcard

Here is Heather B. and Debs in the thick of creating.

Heather’s Postcard

I have one question…What’s with that half-naked lady in the background : )

All in all we had a fantastic girls day out. I would do it again in a heart beat. However, if it was an outing with these two amazing creative and stylish gals…I WOULD GO ANYWHERE!!