Wednesday, May 18, 2022


So I took a drive downtown Toronto the other day. I choose to go on Sunday when the traffic wouldn't be so bad, and I'd be able to find decent (and cheap) parking. The parking was cheap -- $10 for the entire day, and I could even locate my car at the end of the day. I don't know downtown that well, so I take special care to note where I parked. I have visions of wandering the city to find my car, and since I parked in an underground parking lot, it would have been impossible to locate it!

My first stop was at the Patagonia store, where I mentioned the other day how good the customer service was and that my jacket was on its way to being repaired. I'm thrilled about that. 

My other stop was to visit the year-end art show at OCAD U. This is their very odd-looking building, and I'm not even sure what's in that top part -- offices? More classrooms? OCAD U stands for Ontario College of Art and Design, and some years ago, it became a University, and I believe the C in OCA still stands for College. 


There were displays on photography, animation, and gosh knows what else, but my main focus was to see the work of the textile students. The program is no longer called textiles, but MAAD, which stands for Materials, Art, and Design? I'm making that up as I can't find the information online. 

But I did find some online courses with the title of Textiles! OH -- you don't know how tempted I am. I took part in the textiles program at Sheridan College (now also a university) over 20 years ago. I loved it, and now with my new knowledge and experiences -- I'd love to do it again as I never quite finished that program -- to be honest, I got freaked out by drawing perspectives in one of my art classes, and I had trouble coping with that. 
The Textile Studio

Note that the sign on the door says Textiles Studio! 

The studios were NOT open, but here's a peek through the window. The university degrees are now FOUR-year programs, and wouldn't that be amazing to have four years to explore and create and come up with crazy ideas! Yep -- I need to retire to make that happen. When I went to Sheridan, it was a two-year college program. 

Inside the textile studio at OCAD U

Ah -- I fondly remember all the screens for screen printing fabric. Some of the screens were huge, and you had to coat them with emulsion, then imprint your design onto the screen (in a dark room), wash the excess emulsion away, then print the fabric and afterward (unless you were keeping the screen to do more work), the emulsion had to be cleaned off. Probably not that environmentally friendly, but loads of fun! And since I'm not an artist (to draw by hand), I came up with all kinds of creative ways to make those designs. Now -- I have a ton more ideas!

Screens for screen printing

I took a photo of the CN Tower and got the flag from the light pole near the school. 

The CN Tower

It was a glorious day and HOT. So what do I spot along King Street? The Lindt truck handing out chocolates! I guess they have a new chocolate ball called Double Chocolate. So yes -- I got a few, and I had to eat them immediately, or I would have had a big mess in my bag! They were delicious! I had to pass the van on my way back to the car, but I did NOT get more even though I was tempted -- they would melt in their truck after all, but I did not! 

The Lindt truck

OH -- here's another shot of the CN Tower. 

Framed by cranes

I did not know this, but when I looked at the map, I spotted an area called Graffiti Alley. It was close by, so I wandered down the alley on the way back to the car. 

The entire alley, for several long blocks, was COVERED in graffiti. Doors, windows, everything for about one story up, although it went even higher in some cases. 

I took a few pictures along the way. 


Even side alleys were covered


Even the barrier for the bike lanes was covered with graffiti. 

Bike lane barriers

It was hot that day, so as you walked, you passed open doors - some leading to the kitchen of a restaurant and the doors provide ventilation. Some were single, and some were double. Some doors opened to the back of a store. 

And it was amazing to see how much building stuff was on the outside of the buildings. Air conditioners, pipes, electrical. Some buildings are old (not Europe old, but old for us), and rather than retrofit the modern conveniences into the building, the infrastructure is built on the outside. 

Let's just say that the entire area is fascinating as I live in the burbs where our buildings are far apart (for the most part) and look nothing like this. I took many pictures, but I don't want to bore you with the entire adventure. 

As for the show, I saw the textile works. Some bizarre stuff and always interesting to read the students' interpretations. Lots of crochet! I didn't post any pictures as I won't be able to credit all the artists, and I respect their rights. I saw some jewelry as they have a jewelry studio, and I believe there were a few photographs. I noticed that MANY of the artists used QR codes to link attendees to their social media accounts or website! And I thought QR codes were dead. 

Did you know that with the mySewnet app, you can type anything into it and get a QR code that you could embroider? They need to know that! 

It was worth it to look at the show, and it got me out of the burbs for an afternoon!

As I mentioned before, it's a whole different world downtown, and you could definitely play tourists on numerous occasions to experience that urban lifestyle. People live in that "chaos" and over the stores along those busy streets -- I can't imagine! 

Here's a quick peek into what's happening in Studio B -- MY studio. I got three more quilts from Diane. Actually, there are more tops that she's finished, but I only pick up a few at a time since I'm walking there and back. Another errand, and I get steps. Thanks, Diane!!!  

More community project quilt tops

I've got more bags of fabric waiting to be dropped at her house, but again when she wants it, I'll start taking it over a bag or two at a time. No need to take the car. 

I got all the applique complete for the Boho Heart quilt. No - that's not true -- I'm finally caught up on all the applique assigned in previous months. That was a good feeling. We are so close to being finished!!!! It's a great quilt, but some crazy stuff in the pattern. 

Applique for the Boho Heart quilt

And there is it -- the cutting table. While there is a small pile of stuff on the end that needs to be put away or half-square triangles that need to be trimmed, there is only ONE project on the cutting table, and that's the BOHO Heart quilt. This is how I want to keep the table. It's been two days, and that's still all that's on the table. 

The cutting mat is clear! 

Once I get it to this stage, I don't think I'll have any trouble keeping it tidy. Don't forget I have a dumping ground called the current project table, where the mess will reside. It's only one table, and I'll chip away at it. 

As classes and Zoom sessions finish, I'm loving that I'm seeing loads of room opening up on my calendar, and I'm NOT scheduling anything until at least October! That's so exciting -- I've got loads to do, but opening up that calendar for some fun stuff. That's not entirely true, as I expect to book some stuff, but keeping it minimal. 

I'm off to spin class - yeah!! At least I got a good night's sleep, so I'll actually be able to function on the bike! 

Have a super day!!!!


1 comment:

  1. My eldest daughter lived and worked in downtown Toronto for about 4 years, but it wasn't until she moved away that she found out about Graffiti Alley....