Archive for the art Tag

Art + Fabric = Wearable Art

I get a little thrill when I discover someone who’s doing something different – and I had that feeling when I saw the work of Heidi Denessen in her HD Art & Apparel shop.

First up, I saw the Big Thaw Tunic dress… and then discovered that it is her own artwork, printed on eco-friendly fabric, that adorns the back scoop of this reversible piece. Love it!

Big That Tunic by heiditheartist on Etsy -

Love a pretty back detail!

And this – the reversible Deep Lake Tunic dress:

Deep Lake Tunic by heiditheartist on Etsy -

The shop tagline: make ART print art on FABRIC make CLOTHING

I really do love the idea of “wearable art”, and I like how Heidi has incorporated it in a more subtle way – a splash of colour at the neckline, or a peek along the hem.To see where the fabric inspiration comes from, I checked out some of her original artwork pieces and these are a couple of my favourites:

Tiny Pieces, Shannon Falls by Heidi Denessen ( - source:

Tiny Pieces, Crest of 29th, by Heidi Denessen - source:

Heidi was born and raised in BC, and now makes her home in North Vancouver with her fellow artist husband and their little boys. Her artwork is focused on mixed media work, with bold colours and detailed collages incorporating paper and other materials. You can visit her website to see some examples of her work – it’s obvious that she is inspired by the gorgeous landscapes around her Vancouver home!

You can find Heidi’s apparel collection (including tunics, dresses, gloves and scarves) at her Etsy shop and her artwok at You can also find her on Facebook and on Twitter!





Cookoo for Cocopunkz

Oh my. If you love shoes, have I got the indulgence of a lifetime for you. Forget the Manolos or Jimmy Choo’s… how about custom, hand-painted, made-to-order super-swank stilettos?!

Welcome to the world of Vancouver’s Cocopunkz. Just feast your eyes on these:

Cocopunkz -

These are called "Infatuation". Why, yes, yes I am infatuated!

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Or these:

Mystery Shoes -

"Mystery Shoes - Rain City"

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Ada Fu and Miranda Pang love shoes and love to paint, and the combination of their creative talents is pretty spectacular. They have a selection available on their website (specific sizes and paint treatments) but the part that intrigues me the most is the custom option – send them your shoes, give them a theme to run with and voilà, you have a one-of-a-kind shoe to knock ’em dead with.

Seriously gorgeous, these yellow tapered heels are called “Ink Flared”. I’m seeing a night out on the town, little black dress, and these. Who needs jewellery when you’re wearing shoes this freakin’ fabulous?!

Ink Flared from on


You can see more of the girls’ past work at, and on their Etsy shop. You can also follow along on the blog, Facebook and Twitter for more fun with Ada and Miranda!



Dreaming of Paris… and Nova Scotia!

I am always amazed by the way an artist can convey a certain feeling so clearly, just through the use of colour and shape.  The way that they can capture movement, emotion, and even bring to mind particular sounds and smells is truly amazing.  One such talented artist is Shelagh Duffett, better known as Alice in Paris.  The moment that I saw her bold and energetic prints, I was immediately drawn in and transported into the seaside world that she creates.

Can't you just feel the salty summer breeze?

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Many of Shelagh’s prints celebrate her Nova Scotia home, and there is often a friendly feline or two making an appearance as well.  They strike a perfect balance, managing to be both youthful and vibrant without being childish.

So peaceful and calm...

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This just sums up a carefree childhood, doesn't it?

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I love the strong colours, and the composition of her work.  Each one can send you into a new set of daydreams, losing yourself into a whole different world full of possibilities and adventure.  Even a few flowers in a vase have an element of lighthearted fun:

I don't know what I love more: the whimsical spirals on the vase, or the "kapow!" red background...

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To get a taste of what Alice in Paris is all about, you won’t want to miss her great Blog.  Then grab a cup of tea (yes, this is a requirement!) and cruise through the Etsy shop to check out all the wonderful prints.  Once you’ve done all that, come on over and  join the conversation on Twitter!

Daydream believer…Oui oui!

Dreaming of spring…

Ah, the last day of February. Soon it’s got to start feeling a little more like spring around here, but until then, I’m seeking out some colour and blooms to tide me over.

Mini Garden Print Set by Bomobob Photos -

This set of mini 4″ x 4″ garden prints from Bomobob Photos is full of all the warmth and light of a summer afternoon. The TTV technique (an image taken with one camera, through the view finder of another creating the “framed” effect) is lovely and well suited.

Robert Cadloff has been photographing people and things since his childhood, and the variety of subjects in his shop include fabulous carnival pieces, travel photos, jewellery featuring his artwork and more.

Daffodils are such sunny little things – a nice way to brighten up a snowy February 28th in Alberta!

Daffodil by Bomobob Photos -

And these just make me feel like summer…

Flying by Bomobob Photos -

Field of Sunshine by Bomobob Photos -

To see more of his work, please drop by the Bomobob Photos Cargoh or Etsy shops, or visit his Facebook and Twitter.

Make a little sunshine today,

Valentine’s Day treats: Part 2

I can’t help it, I’m kind of wrapped up in Valentine’s Day fever this year… and it doesn’t help that I’m finding so many fantastic handmade hearts from shops that we already know and love!

Our friends at Cloud + Lolly (featured here), have the cutest little “Key to my Heart” brooch, available in their Cargoh shop.

Key to my Heart brooch by Cloud+Lolly -

You've got the key to my heart...

Little Lion Studio (featured here) has created this lovely little print, made from thousands of variously sized circles… and personalized, if you’d like!

Heart Art Print by Little Lion Studio -

Beautiful, simple expression of love!

Billy Would’s jewellery is incredible (featured here), and these earrings are a bold but lightweight addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner outfit.

I Heart You by Billy Would -

Make a statement with these gorgeous earrings!

Also, if you’re looking to get a little crafty yourself this holiday – check out this pretty little heart garland tutorial over at the fabulous Oh my! Handmade Goodness. Love it!


Valentine’s Day treats

Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us! 1 week from today, wouldn’t it be fun to have something a little unique and, dare I say, handmade to offer your sweetie? Or, if you’ve already planned ahead and have got it all under control, just send the link to this post to your chosen one just in case they aren’t as organized as you are!

Check out these sweet valentine’s day postcards from Jasonda at Dotty Logic – just download and print! You can spread a little love, too, by donating to one of her favourite causes, The Hearts on Noses Mini Pig Sanctuary in Maple Ridge, BC (details on her blog post!)

Valentine's Cards by Dotty Logic -


Taking your honey out for Chinese food for dinner? Slip these little valentines across the table after the meal. These adorable felt fortune cookies are from Montreal’s Yummy Pocket.

Felt fortune cookies by Yummy Pocket -

"I love you more than my iPhone"

Drug store chocolates won’t do this holiday. Try the handmade chocolates from Vancouver’s Giggle Sweets (if they taste half as good as they look, it’s a total win-win). Of all things, I can’t believe I’ve never had salted caramels. Time to rectify that situation, I think!

Salted Caramels by Giggle Sweets -

Valetine's Day + Chocolate = match made in heaven

Original art is a very personal gift, and these pieces from Jellybeans are so lovely for Valentine’s Day.

Hanging Heart watercolour by Jellybeans -

"Hanging Heart" original watercolour

Jellybeans, based in the Toronto area, also does custom family tree paintings which would be a great gift to celebrate the love of your family this Valentine’s Day!

Custom Family Tree by Jellybeans -

Family love!

If you’ve got a great Valentine’s Day gift idea, let us know in the comments! We’d be happy to “share the love”!


Bold trees and lofty birds

Originally from Ontario, now living in the Prairies, I miss having giant maple trees, oak trees and lush, leafy green-ness out my windows. Maybe that’s why I love the artwork of April Lacheur so much! Her fluid, colourful, graphic trees are immediately recognizable as her work. A self-taught artist, she also works part-time as a nurse, which I think is a lovely way to combine the best of both the sciences and artistic disciplines. April works mostly with acrylics, but often adds textural elements to her pieces including fabric or metal. Deriving inspiration from the natural world around her and from her travels, her pieces are bright and bold and, I think, reflect the joy she gets from painting.

4 Seasons by Yapes Paints -

One of her most popular pieces, "4 Seasons"

Element Tree by YapesPaints -

This piece, "Element Tree", includes copper and brass accents

Recently, April has been working on a series of “lofty” birds – long legged, fabulous birds that have so much personality and vibrancy. I love them!

Lofty birds by YapesPaints -

The lofty canary, woodpecker, swallow and fantail!

One thing that I appreciate about April as an artist is her willingness to try new avenues for her artwork, and if you read C+H regularly, you know I love a good handound book! Yapes Paints and Victoria-based company “Those Great Little Books” have collaborated on a unique project. A one of a kind journal (could be used as a guest book, photo album or sketchbook too!) is created by Those Great Little Books, covered in canvas which April paints with an original painting! What a fabulous way to bring a little piece of original art into your life.

Journal collaboration by Yapes Paints -

Handpainted journal collaboration with Those Great Little Books

April also works with Shi Studio, a Victoria-based contemporary jewellery design studio, to make some wonderfully bold and gorgeous wearable art using her images printed on canvas. A few of my favourites currently showcased on

Collaboration with Yapes Paints + Shi Studio -

What a gorgeous accent piece!

Collaboration with Shi Studio + Yapes Paints -

Definitely a conversation piece!

April’s artwork will soon be featured in a solo show (“Roots and Feathers“) at Lüt Boutique in Vancouver, with a lovely grand opening event happening this Thursday (Feb 3, 6-9 pm). Her work will be on display from Feb 3 – April 30th, so if you’re in Vancouver be sure to stop in and see her original pieces in person.

To see more of her past, present and available for purchase works, visit Yapes Paints or check out her Facebook page or chat on Twitter.


Canadiana: A collection of short films

My husband, and I had a date-night planned Friday night. It was a blustery, stormy, -30 C night in the Edmonton area, but we ventured out anyway because we wanted to check out a screening of “Canadiana: Visions of the Country by Independent Filmmakers” at the newly-renovated Art Gallery of Alberta.

Ranging from 2 minutes to 16 minutes in length, the 10 films used experimental and unusual techniques. The first, called “Tran Scan“, was one of our  favourites. The filmmakers drove the Trans-Canada highway from West to East (screeching to a halt at the ocean on PEI!), taking thousands and thousands of still images from specially designed telescopic cameras on their vehicle. They combined those images into 112 stunning scenes of classic Canadiana. The images flipped past at breathtaking speed, but seeing familiar landscapes and spotting road signs we’ve passed on our travels made this film really intriguing.

We also enjoyed the story of Regina, told in Bryan Stockton’s autobiographical short film, “Saskatchewan: Part 2“. I’d like to know where he found the classic 1960’s era living room, and the city’s PR jingle “That’s My Wonderful Town” was looping through my head as I fell asleep that night!

I must admit, that I didn’t always “get” the filmmakers message – I am most certainly not a film buff, nor do I have a clue what constitutes great experimental filmography. I did, however, appreciate the passionate eye it must take to tackle an independent film project. In one case, the filmmakers returned to rudimentary technology and shot with a four-perforation camera system, similar to what was used in 1896. For their 2006 film, “View of the Falls from the Canadian Side“,  they presented a silent tribute to the majesty of Niagara Falls, and the not-so-majestic tourists who flock there. That takes a certain dedication to your art that is enviable.

The last short film struck a cord with me, and will with many Canadians – Amanda Dawn Christie’s piece “v=d/t” explored the effect of time zones on relationships and conversations, something I am all too familiar with since we live several provinces away from the majority of our family. The visual imagery was simple, featuring classic rotary phones in mid-century homes, but the soundtrack was contemporary and tragic as family and friends attempted to contact each other across a 4 hour time difference, and entire scenarios are played out over voice mail.

This set of 10 films definitely left us with lots to think about, and we had a great discussion over a late dinner. If you get a chance to check it out, I’d recommend Canadiana: Visions of the Country by Independent Filmmakers. If only so that you could maybe help me understand the one about Rocket Richard!

That’s what we did this weekend – did you do anything over the last few days that made you think a little differently about the world, or Canada in particular? Any Canadian films or books you’d like to recommend that lend a different perspective on this great land of ours?

Stay warm, and keep your stick on the ice ;)

Love is in the air…

There’s just one month until Valentine’s Day – that Hallmark-branded day that’s supposed to remind us all to treasure the ones we love a little more. How about, this year, we all spread a little handmade love instead of buying those sad grocery store floral department roses, mmmkay?!

The lovely graphic prints from Rosy Designs are a great place to start. The print below is actually called “Love is in the air”!

Love is in the air by Rosy Designs -

Rosy Hung, the artist behind the adorable characters and hearts, lives and works in Vancouver. Her designs and illustrations are reminiscent of vintage children’s picture books, and have a really lovely esthetic for Valentine’s Day – innocent, joyful and full of love and hearts. This postcard collection (below) would be great for children to pass out to their friends at school, or to send a little collection off to Grandma and Grandpa, and the “9 Ways to Say I Love You” card can be a nice alternative to the sappy sentiments at the mall card shop.

Love + Hearts postcard collection by Rosy Design -

9 ways by Rosy Designs -

Do you have a favourite love song, maybe from the “first dance” or “first kiss” that reminds you of the early days with your loved one? Here’s my V-Day tip – the print below (appropriately called “Love Songs”) packaged up with a copy of the original album with “your” song on it. Valentine’s Day worthy, right? But don’t stop there! The prints on their own are gorgeous and creative, but when you add in the fact that Rosy will customize them for you, they jump up a few notches on the “perfect gift” scale. You can choose hair colour and style, skin tone as well as include a personalized message that she types on her typewriter and then digitally inserts them into the image. Brilliant!

Love Songs by Rosy Designs -

While we’re talking about love, Rosy has a really lovely selection of wedding-themed prints that are, once again, fully customizable. I love the Bride and Bridesmaids, as well as the happy couple prints (same sex couple options available too! I love Canada.)Bride and Bridesmaids by Rosy Designs -

You can find more (many more) of Rosy Designs in her Cargoh and Etsy shops, as well as keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter and her own website. Visiting where I discovered she and her partner haverecently launched a new joint venture, which you can check out in their new Etsy shop, NicRo Designs.

Share the love,


Penny for your thoughts

I am a sucker for anything personalized – maybe that was the ulterior motive in naming our girls more common names, since they should never have trouble finding that pencil with their name on it, or the tacky souvenir at our summer holiday destination of choice! Yay!

Through the magic of Twitter, I discovered Penny People (via @clippo) the other day and I’m smitten. Lindsay Stephenson, the artist and designer behind the company, has created a line of personalized art as well as invitations and stationery that are cute and modern. I remember looking for something like these alphabet prints a few years ago for my daughter, and I couldn’t find any Canadian options. Problem solved :)

Custom Alphabet print by Penny People -

Available in 7 different colourways!

Custom Alphabet Print by Penny People -

Perfect for the kids who share a room!

We’re thinking about the holidays already, and Penny People offers holiday photo cards that are really lovely, as well as return address labels, wedding invitations and more! The designs are lovely, but I also really like the story behind the name of the shop. A self-taught artist, Lindsay started out as a child, making faces using a penny to trace the circle… and Penny People were born! Her style has evolved over the years, but her designs are still bright and colourful.

Citrus Stripes by Penny People -

Lovely modern birth announcements

Wedding Invitation by PennyPeople -

Metropolitan damask invitation – lovely!

Lindsay is a busy, busy woman running her business, designing for corporate clients, keeping up a great blog and chatting on Twitter! You can find her at (invitations, photo cards etc.) and on her Etsy shop for the personalized prints alpahbet prints above.

Every kid (and adult!) deserves to have something with their name on it – thanks, Penny People!


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Update! Lindsay wrote about us on her blog – thank you! Check it out here!