Archive for June 26th, 2015

June 26, 2015

Pulp Paper Art Party 2.0

Paper stalactites

Paper stalactites

You know you have lived in Toronto for a decent amount of time when you start attending events for the second or third time. I went to this years Pulp Paper Art Party mainly because my awesome sister was selected to create one of the paper installations in collaboration with one of her fellow makers Agnes! The party was great! This year it was held at the Jam Factory just east of the Don Valley. Jen and Agnes made an ornate cardboard fireplace, portraits with ornate frames, and an elk head. They also had an interactive piece that was a bear rug woven from folded paper cut from old encyclopaedias. Many people sat down and contributed throughout the evening. My other favourite piece was a cluster of paper stalactites that had a twisted accordion structure. It was possible to pull on a string and make some of them contract, but then because the bottom was weighted they would slowly expand again. There was also a performance piece that occurred a few times throughout the evening and the performers created beautiful, fanciful hats made of paper and gave them to spectators. The music was fantastic just like two years ago. This year featured the Box Car Boys and A Little Rambunctious, both that have an Eastern European gypsy jazz sound. A Little Rambunctious would ask for made-up song titles and then they would invent a song and lyrics on the spot! It was impressive! A highlight of the evening was when Chris requested the song title “Whales in Flight”, hoping to see if he could stump them. Nope. The music sounded like mythical whales were quite literally in flight.

The Smoking Room by Jen and Agnes

The Smoking Room by Jen and Agnes

The bear rug

The bear rug

Close-up

Sisters

June 26, 2015

May 2015 Birthdays

Now that I look back, it feels like spring went by in a flash, but at the same time while I was working on my thesis I thought it would never end. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a difficult place as the final two months of my thesis. I discovered that I don’t do well working independently for too long of a time and that I get my normal joy and energy from collaboration. My schedule most days looked like this: I went out to a cafe every morning and worked on my thesis, then came home in the early afternoon and worked on my thesis in the dining room. Then after dinner I worked on my thesis in my room. I injured my back playing soccer and so for three weeks I wasn’t comfortable sitting down for long periods of time which made it even more difficult to apply myself. I was so tired of it but was encouraged by the light that I could see the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure how I managed it, but I still found time for some fun with friends, especially in May when there are always so many birthday celebrations.

On the first weekend of May I went to Niagara to celebrate Kate’s birthday. She invited a group of us to hang out at the Niagara Food and Wine Expo in Niagara Falls. I met Kate and Emma on Friday night in Toronto because they were in the city to see the Once musical, and got a ride with them back to Kate’s place. We also picked up Emma’s friend Mike (a.k.a Mr. Turner) on the way. We arrived at home pretty late and so after trying Kate’s jello shots we called it a night. The next morning Mike and Emma made waffles for breakfast and then we lazied around on the patio until the mid-afternoon when we left for the expo. We purchased tickets that could be used at the various food and wine tables. Throughout the afternoon I tried mostly white wines and for food tried some somosas, a piece of savoury cheesecake, a mini chicken pie, and a memorable panna cotta (I still intend on trying to make this myself this summer). While we waited for other friends to arrive, Emma, Mike, Kate and I did a free cheese-tasting. Later after Kate’s parents arrived we tried a wine-tasting organized by a winery called Small Talk Vineyards. I really liked their Shiny Cider that is a blend of reisling and apples. Mrs. Dirks took note that I liked it, and so when the tasting was over she poured glasses of cider from the many empty seats and gave me an overly full glass to walk out with! Soon Jen, Cam, and Andrea joined the party. We were all sitting at a table when all of a sudden some Carribean style dancers and drummers came out and performed right beside us! It was a fun weekend!

Food and Wine Expo

The following weekend Vikkie celebrated her birthday by inviting a group of friends to paint at a painting lounge. I wasn’t sure what this entailed, but it sounded like fun. It had been a long time since I had done painting. The paint lounge is a place where groups of friends can go and socialize and order refreshments while doing painting for an hour or so. It is possible to paint what you want, or you can pick a picture to copy or provide inspiration. I painted a very bright and abstract image of two birds sitting on flowering tree branches. I forgot how much I enjoy painting! Afterwards we went and grabbed Vietnamese food.

Bird painting

Birthday Lunch

That same afternoon my dad picked me up to go visit my parents to celebrate mothers day along with our birthdays. On the way home we stopped at an aquarium store and bought gold fish for the pond. Sunday afternoon was beautiful and we sat outside and Al barbecued delicious sausages.

I celebrated my birthday in Toronto on the weekend of the 23rd by planning my third birthday Toronto bar rooftop gathering (here is my post from birthday bash 2.0). I chose Paupers which ended up being a bad decision because it was a cold evening and they didn’t have heaters (blogTO lies!). We managed to find some seating inside but it wasn’t the same! It was great to catch up with school and church friends and find a time to relax from the endless thesising!