New Year, New Post

It’s been a crazy, hectic year, and it has been far too long since my last post. So, I’ll do a recap of everything that went on last year! I’ve been working at Ottawa boutiques Flock and Workshop since May, and having a great time doing so. I’ve met a number of fantastic women through the shops, women I’m proud to be working beside. While working at the shops, I participated in June’s edition of Urban Craft. I had a good time doing it, though I was rather too ambitious in my baking and suffered a bit of kitchen burnout after that. I baked 48 dozen muffins in the span of 2 days for the event – a scope of baking unlike any prior experience. Usually, when I do Social Media Breakfast, it’s a 12-dozen-muffin day.

Also in June, I worked as Box Office Assistant Manager for the Ottawa Fringe Festival. It had been several years since I worked box office at a festival  - I used to do box office work during the Atlantic Film Festival – and I found it refreshing to be back in the condensed, chaotic environment a festival can be. I got to see several shows during that time, many of which were written or directed by friends, and on the whole found the content to exceed that which I’d seen in festivals past. I also designed an illustration for A Company of Fools’s production of Henry V.

In July, I focused on working at the shops. I also got the chance to visit Prince Edward County, a lovely area for a weekend away. Ryan and I took in several wineries that were new to us, picnicked at Lake on the Mountain (which was stunning) and tried some new restaurants. I worked on the poster and sitemap for the Ottawa Lumière Festival, using a pop-up book concept.

In August, I went back to juggling employments while visiting with several friends who were in the area. Work continued at the shops, and I worked with the Pukeko Design team to costume Opera Lyra for their production of La Bohème. I also began drawing the webcomic Madge of Truth. The webcomic is a collaboration – my business partner does the writing and storyboarding, and I draw and shade the finished product. We based the webcomic on etiquette books from 1897 and 1898, written by Mrs. Charlotte Eliza Humphry as “Madge” of “Truth.” Lately, we’ve been finding more and more books written by Mrs. Humphry – the content offers quite a bit of insight into everyday thinking at the time.

Also in September, I jumped into Costume Assistance on the Ottawa Shakespeare Company’s production of Julius Caesar, also working with Pukeko Design. Sourcing costumes was a bit like treasure hunting, particularly to find soldier costumes to fit everyone. I got to build several “bulletproof” vests out of navy twill, sew-in Velcro and bosal foam chair pads. Julius Caesar ran concurrently with the City of Ottawa’s Mayor’s Halloween Spooktacular. With the Pukeko Design team, I created a harvest scene in Jean Pigot Hall and we created our annual cobwebby, spooky haunted house, complete with zombies.

November had a lot more baking. I provided cupcakes in 4 flavours to Workshop for its Support Local mini-trunk sale. I also provided muffins for Social Media Breakfast. Several out-of-town friends were up visiting, and I began work with the Pukeko team setting up City Hall for its Christmas celebration. We decorated about 48 Christmas trees, wrapped and bowed 225 boxes, and generally set up the backbones of the decor. We garlanded staircases and decorated the Mayor’s boardroom. The first half of December was intense, making sure all of our details worked just right. For the holidays, my family visited from both coasts, which was a great time. My past few busy months have led to this feeling like a fantastic New Year. I’m hoping to expand my creative pursuits – to draw more, to immerse myself in the webcomic, to bake more, to sew more, to create more fabric designs for Spoonflower. Above all, I’m hoping to post more, to show off what I’ve done. I am proud of the work that I do, and this year I hope to more publicly acknowledge that through this blog. I’ve left this post free of pictures, as the posts to come will more visibly demonstrate what kept me so busy last year.

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2013, full of potential realized and opportunities seized.