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Springtime Bird Watching in Toronto (Swipe and click)

    Pool at The Rivoli and Other Birthday Highlights – 2019

    birthday card

    It was my birthday recently and when Nick asked me what I'd like to do, I didn't have to think for long before requesting a few games of pool.

    We went to The Rivoli Pool Hall (which is upstairs from the restaurant at 332 Queen Street West, Toronto.)

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    Gorgeously Guilded : Art by Dalia Elcharbini at C9 Gallery

    arriving at gallery

    The Opening Reception for "Disturb and Elevate", the debut solo exhibition by artist Dalia Elcharbini, took place at Toronto's cool C9 Gallery on Thursday evening and I had the pleasure of being there. My friend and fellow art enthusiast Julie came along.

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    Creative ReUse : Handmade Springtime Easter Baskets

    handmade easter baskets cotton yarn woven through berry baskets

    Something changed in Toronto last spring, in that berries began being sold in plastic baskets rather than the recyclable cardboard ones that we were used to. We ended up with two of them and were confused about whether or not they could be put in the recycling bin, so they ended up sitting in the corner of the counter until I scooped them up and put them with my crafting supplies. (Today, I remain confused about whether these are garbage or recyclabe, as the city's website still doesn't mention them at all, so don't quote me, but I think they likely go in the garbage.)

    Here's what I made with them -- By weaving some cotton yarn through them, they were transformed into Springtime/Easter baskets! They weren't particularly quick to make but they were quite fun and didn't require much concentration, so I could work on them in the evenings while we watched Netflix (Season 2 of The OA, to be precise).

    Perhaps you have some of these baskets hanging around, or will be bringing some home once berry season kicks in, and would like to try this craft yourself.

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    At the Gallery : The AGO’s Exciting New Artwork by Yayoi Kusama

    yayoi kusama infinity mirrored room lets survive forever at ago toronto

    Simply saying that the touring exhibition of Yayoi Kusama's work "Infinity Mirrors", which made a three-month long stop at the AGO in Toronto last spring, was a big success, would be quite an understatement. It was, in fact, a massive, enormous, humongous (I could go on) success, unlike anything the gallery had ever experienced before.

    Tickets for Members of the gallery went up for sale nearly three months before the show was to begin. Even that far in advance, people had to sit online for hours, waiting for their number to come up, so they could secure their precious two tickets for the show. In one case, as reported in The Toronto Star, a person missed her chance when, after 18 hours of waiting, her cue to purchase finally came up at 3am -- by then she'd understandably fallen asleep, so she missed out and then had to go back to the end of the line.

    That's how it was for Members, so nabbing a golden ticket was an extreme challenge for the regular folks who wanted to see the show. It has been reported that the gallery was asked by the police to stop selling tickets at their booth after they deemed it too difficult to control the crowds. So, ticket sales were relegated to online only.

    Towards the end of the exhibition's stay, the gallery began opening around the clock, in order to accommodate the demand. Suffice it to say that demand was extreme.

    Toronto was not alone in showing its love for Kusama's work -- a quick search revealed that "Infinity Mirrors" was a record breaker at each of its five North American stops.

    I can only imagine how happy this 90 year old artist must be right how. For her to be alive and able to witness the overwhelming appreciation for her work is not something to be taken for granted, considering that, at one point in her career she became so discouraged and overwhelmed by depression that she became suicidal. This state of mind was a result of the extreme sexism and racism that used to be the norm in the art-world. She has revealed that, during the 60s and 70s, even female dealers would not show interest in and feature the work of female artists. In addition, Kusama experienced at least three situations where male contemporaries, including Andy Warhol, obviously copied her work and went on to achieve great success with their pieces, while she remained largely ignored.

    One example of this was the soft sculptures created by Claes Oldenburg after he'd seen Kusama was doing them. There was little doubt that he copied her idea, considering that his wife apologized to Kusama because of it. I find it interesting, and somewhat satisfying, that the AGO purchased Oldenburg's "Floor Hamburger" (as seen in this photo -- it is currently in storage) for $2,000 in 1967 and that they've now purchased a piece by Yayoi Kusama for over a million times more. Boom.

    This brings me to the primary and exciting reason for today's post -- The AGO has acquired one of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Rooms and it will be on permanent display at the gallery!

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    Crochet for Cuties : Handmade Headwear for Babies

    wearing hat at 8 months

    Hello, hello!

    For the crocheters who are reading, this is a post featuring two little hats and one tiny crown that I crocheted for the beloved babes in my life.

    And, for the visitors who don't crochet but enjoy seeing pictures of babies, there are a few of those included here, too.

    As for those who don't crochet and aren't into baby pics, I'll talk to you later, haha. Please pop back next week, as I have an exciting art related story up next.

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    Recent Stories

    Comedy : The SiriusXm Top Comic Auditions in Toronto Pool with Pals? Billiards with Buddies? Living My Best Life : Great Art in an Old Building Big News at the AGO and a Party to Celebrate it Live Music : Imogen Heap at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Robert Mapplethorpe's Unforgettable Photographs at Olga Korper Gallery A Delicious Dinner at Touhenboku Ramen A Royal Encounter : Sarah, Duchess of York, at Onsite Gallery Coffee Shop Date : At and Around Wallace Espresso on King Street West The Bay Queen Street Store : "Photo Backdrop Installation" Pool at The Rivoli and Other Birthday Highlights - 2019 Gorgeously Guilded : Art by Dalia Elcharbini at C9 Gallery Creative ReUse : Handmade Springtime Easter Baskets At the Gallery : The AGO's Exciting New Artwork by Yayoi Kusama Crochet for Cuties : Handmade Headwear for Babies Live Music : Emilie Kahn at The Drake Underground An X-cellent Evening at Hotel-X A Handmade Gift for a Dear Young Person At the Gallery : AGO's "Impressionism in the Age of Industry" Live Music : LP and Lauren Ruth Ward at The Danforth Music Hall Handmade Valentine Decorations : Needlepoint Hearts Snow Day in Toronto: the Day After a Big Storm Lunch at the Home of Friends Niall and Leslie Crocheting : Figuring Out a Very Particular BUT Quite Magical Yarn
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