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Archive for December, 2008

The life is the pink wagon

December 18th, 2008

This past summer, I participated in my first round of craft and art shows as a vendor — and boy, was there a ton to learn. Just knowing what shows there were in town, which were worth applying to, how best to apply, yadda yadda yadda. My second show was a big’un — Art in the Park, a massive annual outdoor Glebe event that features 250 artists from the vicinity.

Somehow, amidst the chaos, I managed to make the acquaintance of Andrea Stokes — the lovely and talented force behind Pink Wagon. Ain’t she fine?

I’d heard Andrea’s name before, as well as that of Pink Wagon, and had already done some moderate to shameful drooling over the stuffs on her website. At Art in the Park, we did a swap — she snagged one of my gunneling rhino tees (in raspberry, of course) and I got one of her super cute birdie hats.

Since then, she’s been a wealth of knowledge for me as a newcomer on the local DIY scene, and we’ve found we have more in common than our love of making stuff (not the least of which is our obsession in the 90’s with the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir). This is one wing I’m happy to be taken under.

Post-script pics…



Post-post-script… Anyone catch the Jane Siberry nod?

One more very regretful and sad post-script, added on Saturday, December 20th…

Andrea and I had a lovely back and forth late on Thursday evening, just after I posted the above note. She told me that her company name was indeed named after the Jane Siberry song “The Life is the Red Wagon” — her and husband’s marriage song; the lyrics (see below) were read at their wedding. When it came time to name her company, “Red Wagon” was already taken, so she snagged Pink instead.

And then, a ton of bricks hit yesterday. Andrea’s husband died of a sudden heart attack in the early hours of Friday morning. I can’t begin to express the sadness or shock that has hit me… and this coming from someone so peripheral in Andrea’s life. I met Barry on the day of the Ladyfest event earlier this month; he helped Andrea set up her stall, brought her coffee, and then came back at the end of the day to help take everything down. From everything I can see and tell, he was an amazingly supportive partner and father, and this just all seems to unbelievable.

Andrea asked that I let all her facebook contacts know of the news, but as I got to the “C’s” in her list, facebook stopped me because my behaviour triggered a spamming warning… so I couldn’t continue. Since then, she has joined the fb group in memory of Barry, and posted related notes — this may help let people know of her circumstances.

It is clear, Andrea, from the folks on Barry’s group and from what I know of you, that you have a strong vibrant and compassionate support system all around you, and I am certain that they are all ready for you to lean hard on them at this incredibly trying time. Lean hard, and let us pull for you.


Lyrics for ‘The Life is the Red Wagon’ by Jane Siberry

you watch the slow train moving
through the city late at night
adjusting back and forth
against the darkness and street lights
I know that you’re feeling bad
but I’m glad you didn’t lie
easy to get caught up…but you know
you can always you can always
you can always walk away

the life is the red wagon rolling along
the life is the red wagon simple and strong
the life is the red…is the red…
oh, it’s no big deal
but when the feet are draggin’

you pull me
and I pull for you
you pull me
and I pull for you

past the teeming marketplace
and the blur of faces there
past the silent dockyards
and the darkness looming there
maybe it won’t work this time
but that’s the risk you take
(and you want to take it)
and just as long as it feels right
doesn’t matter just as long as…
doesn’t matter …gotta feel good
even though you don’t know why

the life is the red wagon rolling along
the life is the red wagon simple and strong
the life is the red…is the red…
oh, it’s no big deal
but when the feet are draggin’

you pull me
and i pull for you
you pull me
and i pull for you

the life is the red wagon
simple and strong.


For anyone who would like to join, there is a facebook group, in loving memory of Barry Doyle.

good peeps, m chen wears , , ,

An invitation to do a good (musical) deed

December 17th, 2008

Last year, I met a fellow named Lucas.

Lucas has been in Afghanistan since the summer, with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team — working on public affairs on the civilian side. His jovial mug:

Lucas posted the following note on facebook yesterday:
Camp Nathan Smith is, in many ways, similar to a medium security prison.

We leave when permitted by the front gate. We have tall walls that prevent us from seeing the outside world. We get one TV channel, chosen by someone else, 10 000 kilometres away. The food’s good — great even — but it’s more cafeteria than restaurant.

But more than turkey or wine, what I really want for Christmas is a new mix tape.

See, it doesn’t matter how big your iPod or hard drive is, after 7 months in Kandahar, you’ve heard every playlist that you can dream up at least 49 times. Over and over, and over again.

If I hear my “favourite song” from 2003 one more time, I’m going to launch my iPod Touch out the window. My office mates may send me in the same direction.

A few nights ago, we resorted to singing Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity” because no one could find a copy on their computer. We proudly jammed along with our air guitars. (YouTube is hit and miss out here because bandwidth is such a high priced commodity.)

So, here’s our public call for direct ways that Canadians can support Canada’s mission to Afghanistan: send us your best mix CDs. Winners will be chosen by a panel of highly biased members of Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team – including members of Canada’s Military, development officers, diplomats, civilian police officers, and corrections officials. Original scores are strongly encouraged.

Entries can be sent to:
Public Affairs, KPRT
CFPO 5005 Stn Force
Belleville, ON
K8N 5W6

And, because Canada Post is so wonderful, it will actually cost nothing to send this – just drop by a Canada Post office and tell them the package is going to Afghanistan.


This struck me pretty hard, as I read this from the comfort of my cushy chair in my home office…

So I plan on whacking together a couple of cd’s full of foot-tappin’ MP3’s (SO many more songs that way!) to send over to Lucas and his buddies. It’s only a small gesture, but if some of those tunes can be uplifting or funny or even just a break from the same-old-same-old for someone over there, why not?

And I invite you to do the same, if you’re so inclined — put together some tunes for someone who’s in a much tougher place than we all are, and who’ll be spending holidays there instead of with their families.

And/or feel free to suggest any rockin’ songs here that Lucas and his buddies could do a singalong / play air guitar to — I’ll send Lucas this post so he can see your suggestions and notes.

Thanks for taking the time to read my spiel. I actually don’t really know Lucas all that well — having met him only once when he came with a mutual friend to one of my t-shirt drop-ins. But what I know, I’m pretty impressed by. And ‘tis the season, after all!

p.s. cool site too: www.lucasrobinson.ca

good peeps, music , , ,

The murder of a thread, and a plug for a fellow silkscreener

December 16th, 2008

So back to the etsy addiction… there are forums (I call them ‘fora’ in my head, but I think most people would think I’m a dolt if I do that out loud) where folks can post opinions, questions, promotions, you name it. One type of promotion is what’s called a “threadkiller”. The original author offers up a prize from their own shop, then people enter to win by posting something (could be a hello, a note, whatever they want). The person who successfully submits a post with no other entries 24 hours after theirs wins the prize, and they have thus “killed” the thread.

I jumped on the threadkilling bandwagon on November 26th — I offered up any 8 greeting cards plus a set of gift tags from my shop. The thread just died yesterday… a slow, heavy-breathing death. The winner was Stacey of “inkwear99” — a feisty competitor who faithfully posted almost every day to beat out other entrants. Congrats, Stacey!

Funky sample item from the inkwear99 shop:

Old Skool Hot Rod Tattoo Inspired and Custom Designed Shoes

Congratulations, Stacey — the well-earned prize is in the mail :)

etsy.com , ,

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