Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Blackberry Artist's Society

Christmas 2014
festive slug monster box by Pauline Doyle

We wish you a merry Christmas, and all best wishes for a happy New Year.
The gift shop is now closed until the new year, when we reopen on Monday, January 5th.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

On the twelfth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Margret Billings

We made it!

To celebrate moving into our new home, My True Love celebrated the occasion by bringing another little home into our lives - a beautiful glass terrarium, full of delicate ferns and other greenery. Lots of calming green leaves to look at.
And after all the excitement this month, we will appreciate it.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Happiness in your home, old or new.
From us to you :)

(many more than) 12 leaflets living
11 scarves for wrapping
10 cosy toasty fingers
9 chattering comfort birds
8 wise words to live by
7 steps to a homely front door
6 neon knuckles 
5 fishy koi
4 twisty trunks
3 graceful whales
2 inquisitive otters
and a Christmas bell with a sweet chime (unless you are a cat)

Read all the 12 days here.
Christmas Marketplace closes today at 4pm. The gift shop will be open tomorrow during normal business hours.
From all of us at the Blackberry Artist's Society, we wish you a warm and merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On the eleventh day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Jane Ostenstad

Almost there! I think we found the kettle late yesterday evening, and we now have cutlery.

But Christmas? In all the excitement of the move, we totally forgot about wrapping presents, parcel tape and gift tags.

My True Love suddenly had one of those rare sparks of genius (it's why I married him), threw himself up out of the armchair (clanking the bell and unsettling the cat) then hurried out without a word. His pockets brimming with comfort birds, he sped off down the seven steps and into the evening.

Luckily, the Christmas Marketplace was open till 5pm so he didn't return empty handed. Along with the little wooden birds, his pockets were stuffed with exquisite painted silk scarves, flowing like multicoloured streams around his jacket. He looked like a brightly plumaged bird hopping his way excitedly up the steps.

"Scarves," he cried, sharing his bounty with me on the kitchen table.
And he was right - each unwrapped gift quickly bundled into the centre of the scarf, with enough length to tie in a huge floppy bow. What a beautiful sight - the birds left the tea cosy and nestled among the gifts, cooing contentedly.

We hugged in the dark (because, you know, brine and electrics again).

12 days fun - catch up here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Saturday Artist Demos

Stonecarving by Tom Reid

This Saturday's maker for you to meet is Tom Reid, our master stone carver. He'll be our artist-in-residence at the Christmas marketplace between 12:30 and 2;30 pm tomorrow, Saturday 20th December.
Why not call in for some almost last minute shopping, and see what it takes to carve stone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the tenth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Dalia Levy
At least it wasn't raining. Just snow, lots of snow. And ice.

And I'm extremely grateful that today's gift from My True Love was this luxurious pair of mittens - ten cosy fingers indeed.

And now, we've unboxed the koi, the otters and the whales in their new home.
The cat has new curtains to climb.
The comfort birds have made a nest in the tea cosy in the corner of the kitchen.
There are only three mirror packs to unwrap.
I'm thawing out My True Love in a hot bath - by the sounds coming from upstairs, the otters may have joined him.

Home sweet home!

Our 12 days tales here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the ninth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Del Holbrook

My True Love is truly distressed, both by our imminent move (tomorrow) and by the strange events in the house recently (viz: brine on the carpet, shredded curtains, fusebox malfunction, and so much fish).
I am strangely calm, daily reciting messages of power from my new painting.
The cat is in kennels, sitting it out safely away from being packed into a removals van.

This evening, our last in the house, My True Love tenderly placed nine little wooden birds on the table in front of me. He stroked each one and nestled them into the tea cosy before rushing from the room, muttering about having something in his eye.

I found him later, curled up in a chair.
We sat, birds in hands, until the lights went out again.
Little comfort birds - you are indeed very comforting.

The whole 12 days saga here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

On the eighth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Vicki Allesia

Did I mention house move ... removals ... imminent?
If I didn't mention it here I'M SURE I MENTIONED IT TO MY TRUE LOVE ...

So what if I've taken to muttering around the house, picking up bits of half-eaten fish from the carpet and mopping up seawater from the living room.
I think I've earned it.

Today, the new mirror packs arrived from the removals firm, at the same time that another rectangular package turned up on the doorstep.

Inside the package - the most glorious abstract painting, in lush greens and moss hues.
Hypnotised, I stepped closer ... and my mood immediately lifted.
Subliminal messages ... self-worth ... respect ... power ...

And it compliments the new green drapes.
The cat has made peace with the bell.
My True Love, seeing that all was calm, came home for the evening.

More 12 days  intrigue.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On the seventh day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Alison White

OK - the brine thing.
Way more damage than we expected. Sparks, oh my.
Not what you want when you're selling a house in the next week or so.

We've boxed up the otters and koi in a rubbermaid chest though I swear there's a fishy, slopping noise coming from inside now and then. The electrician looked a lot happier once the drips from the ceiling above him stopped.
And now we have lights once more.

To celebrate getting our home back to normal, My True Love sheepishly brought yet another rectangular package (smaller) out from under the three coats he was wearing (yes, the furnace too) - seven enchanting steps up to a cosy front door. It looks just like the house we're moving into.

Check out more 12 days drama here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014

Last night, a very soggy moggy landed on the bed with, and I'm ready to swear this was real, a flapping fish in her mouth. By the time I recovered from the surprise and threw back the covers, both she and the ghost fish had vanished into the darkness.

After the fifth click it dawned on me that the light wasn't working.
Neither was the one in the hall, or on the stairs, and the clock on the microwave just flashed 12:00.

Until the fusebox and circuit breakers dry out (apparently someone has been pouring brine and water through our floorboards), we're in the dark.
Handy to have these bright neon knuckles (small, easily packed, hint taken regarding no more large items) - at least now we can see to eat our cold cuts and salads.

More 12 days drama here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Saturday Artist Demos

Fabric Art by Jane Ostenstad
Jane Ostenstad

This Saturday, it's Jane Ostenstad's turn to be our artist in residence at Christmas Marketplace.
You can catch up with all the secrets of silk painting between 12:30 and 2:30pm, Saturday, December 13th.

More Meet Your Maker artists here - every Saturday until December 19th!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Elizabeth Wallace
No doubt impressed by the impressive calm settled on the house, My True Love returned home this evening with yet another rectangular package.
The cat seemed unusually interested in this one, ripping back the wrapping before either of us shoo her away. Salt-encrusted whiskers may be so endearing but sharp claws less so.
Eventually we locked her in the pantry.
Once unwrapped, I swear the koi swished their tails a little.
We hung them on the wall opposite the otters, but I'm not sure if this is a good idea.
The otters look even more attentive now than they did when the cat in the room.
I swear the whales licked their lips ... if this is indeed anatomically possible.

I've ordered four more mirror cartons from the removals firm.

Catch up on all the 12 days here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

On the fourth day of Christmas ...

Jack Prasad
I thought that tackling the brine stains on the carpet might slow My True Love down a little, but no.

We spent lunchtime out hiking through the forest among the firs until we wandered into a glade of birch trees. The weak winter sun dappled their bare trunks and branches, casting mottled shadows all around us. A moment of true peace in all the crazy going on around us.
Deep sighs.

No chance for continuing the peace at home though, or at least that's what I thought.
Full of apologies, My True Love sheepishly hands over another rectangular package. As I open it, my heart skips a beat, for inside is my very own dappled glade of peacefulness.

... which I will need since there's going to be a lot more packing ... and repairs to do in a week or so.

More 12 days posts here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Family Evening: Late Night Shopping

clockwise from the left: Del Holbrook, Tom Reid, Vicki Allesia, Margret Billings, Amanda Maxwell, ZULA, our Christmas tree :)

Roll up, roll up! We've got toys, colourful jewelry, artist colouring books, cartoons, and lots of Christmas tree decorations!
Late night shopping once more - the Blackberry Artist's Society Christmas Marketplace and gift shop will be open between 6pm and 9pm on Thursday, December 11th during the arts centre's Family Night (entry by donation).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

On the third day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Tom Reid

A pun - we're having a whale of a time with all this moving stuff going on, so My True Love thought we should celebrate with an appropriate gift.
These three graces arrived in the house this morning - three splashy whales carved in green soapstone.
I put them under the otters (and next to the shredded curtain ...) to continue the ocean theme.
When I got back from lunch out, the cat was sitting under the display shelf looking a little puzzled. Her whiskers were wet and she smelled hmmm, salty.
Do both the otters and the whales look a little guilty this evening?

See all the 12 days posts here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

On the second day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
Sarah Ronald

The cat, disturbed as she is from the whole housesale/move thing going on, is now totally terrified of the bell. My True Love did nothing to make things better as he rang it (and it sounds very melodious, but not to the cat) on leaving the house this morning. More curtain shredding.

House beautiful? I think not, and they will be replaced for the new owners.

This evening, attempting to make peace with kitty, a large-ish rectangular object made its way through the front hall with My True Love. He sped into the sitting room and closed the door behind him before I could follow.

The cat stayed her distance, peeking round the kitchen doorway to watch.
Just when we were thinking of getting back to whatever it was we were doing, the door swung open with a crash.

"Voila!" he boomed, ushering the cat and me back into the room.
The cat was entranced - at every step, two pairs of inquisitive otter eyes seemed to follow her. Forgetting about the bell, she jumped up onto the chair back for a closer look ... then swung on the shredded curtains to get even closer.
Have I mentioned, the curtains go with the house ... :(

Follow along with our 12 days here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Saturday Artist Demos

This Saturday, Del Holbrook will be the artist in residence at our Christmas Marketplace.
You can catch up with our master woodworker and intarsia artists between 12:30 and 2:30pm, Saturday December 6th.

More Meet Your Maker artists here - every Saturday until December 19th!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

On the first day of Christmas ...

Christmas 2014
bell by Myrta Hayes

I guess it's that time of year again, when My True Love gets all furtive and shifty with his retail moments. At least I can relax, knowing he's a Shop Local guy at heart, and he'll support our neighbourhood artists at the Blackberry Christmas Marketplace.
This year is a bit of a challenge for him, since we're moving house right before Christmas. Great timing eh?
So he understands that there is a bit of an embargo on buying stuff right now ... stuff that is difficult to pack, that is.
Anyway, I knew IT had started when he clanked into the sitting room last night, looking like he'd smuggled a goose in under his jacket. With a flourish, he pulls out the most beautiful ceramic bell I've ever seen from under his coat. Oh my!
"I won't miss dinner ever again," he says.
If I ever make dinner ever again, I mutter as I scramble after the cat, who took fright at the sudden peal to shred her way up the curtains.

Follow along with all our 12 days posts here.
Or subscribe to the newsletter so you don't miss any :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Girls Night Out: Late Night Shopping

clockwise from top left: Tom Reid, ZULA, Amanda Maxwell, Luci Gimenes, Dalia Levy, ZULA

It's for the birds!
The Blackberry Artist's Society Christmas Marketplace and gift shop will be open for late night shopping during the arts centre's Girls Night Out shopping spree and spa night on Thursday, December 4th, between 6 pm and 9pm.
Tickets for the evening ($10) are available from the arts centre.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

... and there will be toys!

toys by Del Holbrook

What's Christmas without a toy or two, or three, or more.
The Blackberry Artist's Christmas Marketplace is no different - we have toys galore, ranging from wooden trucks to puzzles, pull-along-puppies and fridge magnet puzzles for your great delight.
Kids - you might even be able to persuade your parents not to play with them.
Not sure how though.
Why not come down and find out for your selves.
Christmas Marketplace - open daily - Mon to Fri 10am - 6pm; Sat to 5pm; Sun 12 noon to 4pm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas at City Hall

work by Myrta Hayes and Margret Billings
All work for sale through the Blackberry Gift Shop - call 604 931 2008 ext. 102 to arrange purchase.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


a cluster of cottages by Alison White
gazing up with Jack Prasad
In all the excitement of Christmas Marketplace opening day, I completely forgot to welcome a couple of new Blackberry artists to the society.
Dear reader - please bid a friendly hello to artists Alison White and Jack Prasad. And do take a moment to pop in to the gift shop and of course, Christmas Marketplace to take a good long look at their work. You won't regret it :)
Alison is a local painter, presenting work in acrylic for the society. She's active in the Port Moody Art Association and delights in en plein air painting. Her work takes in a number of local scenes for your (and our) enjoyment, including the cottages at Belcarra.
Jack is also a local painter, and many of you may be familiar with his work already. He covers a range of subject matters, and we're extremely pleased to have his stunning works featuring our local forests on our walls.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Marketplace is nigh!

please click to enlarge image

It's all go at Blackberry Central - the elves are busy, as I type, moving their fine artisan works into place for the 18th Annual Blackberry Artist's Society Christmas Marketplace.

It's a festive tradition here in Port Moody, and one that we look forward to all year. We have more space - the gift shop expands in Port Moody Arts Centre's 3D gallery in the run up to Christmas - so we have more space to bring brighter, bigger, better for your gifting pleasure.

Please join us - our opening reception, complete with the ringing of a ceramic bell handmade by member Jan Pavlic Falkenberg, is on Thursday, November 20th from 6pm to 8pm. Once the marketplace opens close to 7pm, we will be open extended hours (Mon - Fri, 10am to 6pm; Sat 10am to 5pm; Sun 12 to 4pm) until December 21st. The gift shop itself will be open on December 22nd before closing for the festive period.

Staffed every single day by our members, this is a great opportunity to a. get all your present-buying done, and b. meet an artist (yes, a real live local artist!). We're also giving art demos every Saturday between 12:30 and 2:30pm.

Local art demos???
More inspiring than YouTube; less expensive than a trip to the Louvre; safer than Jurassic Park ... see you there :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In Memory

detail from poppy by E. Wallace

Lest we forget.

Click here to see the video on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday -Autumn Delights

Works by Jack Prassad, Luci Gimenes, Angela Holbrook, Seema Zaidi and Pauline Doyle

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers, near and far.
Hope to see you soon - we're open daily 12 noon to 4pm, including the gallery opening reception for this month, which takes place on Sunday, October 19th.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October's Artist at City Hall: Yolanda Cheung

Featured at City Hall

This month, there's a great display of the ancient art of papercutting on display at City Hall. Artist member Yolanda Cheung is presenting a beautiful exhibition of her work and it is a great opportunity to get up close to see the fine detail.

As usual, if you see something you like, it's for sale through the gift shop. Please phone 604 931 2008 ext. 102 to arrange your purchase.

Check out the slideshow on the web here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October's Featured Artist: Luci Gimenes

Featured Artist

October's featured artist is jeweller, Luci Gimenes, whose work has been a firm favourite in the gift shop for a couple of years now. Her intricate seedbead weaving and beautifully tangled chainmaille weaves are best seen from close up ... so please do consider visiting us sometime soon.
We're open 12 noon to 4pm every day, and you'll find us in our new location just before you get to the Canadian Pacific Gallery in the main building. Keep a lookout on your right as you walk past the photocopier and board room/Children's Gallery.

Click here to see the slideshow on the website.
Note: the video may not play well on mobile devices.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Late Night Shopping - Gallery Opening Reception September 18th

Boo! Did you miss us?
And the answer should be, no. Even though the Blackberry Artist's Society gift shop has been in transit recently, we've been open every single day to serve you our platter of fine artisan delights (and a big thank you to our many old and new customers who came out on Grand Opening day to shop with us - it was awesome to see so many of you, and make new friends).

I am very happy to say that we have finally settled in the north-east corner of the old arts centre building, our new home and gallery, and will be serving up locally crafted art henceforth.
We will be open for late night shopping during the gallery opening reception, welcoming the work of the Vancouver Metal Arts Association, sharing work by twenty jewellers and sculptors in Beyond Precious. The opening reception runs from 6pm to 8pm, with refreshments, a cash bar and artists talks. 

Please do drop into the gift shop - we're opposite the main boardroom on the ground floor. It's kind of our housewarming party, so don't be shy - come on in and say howdy!
We like making new friends and catching with old ones :) 

Friday, September 12, 2014

September's Artists at City Hall: Jane Ostenstad and Sandra Ho

This month, the display cases at City Hall (you know the drill - up the stairs opposite the main reception desk, pause at the mezzanine level ...) are graced with a beautiful dual exhibition featuring complimentary works by silk painter, Jane Ostenstad, and jeweller, Sandra Ho.

Our artists have pulled off a stunning mini exhibition, showing how accessories can work gracefully together. As usual, with the tricky lighting conditions my photographs do no justice to the artistry of the pieces on display. They are worth a view in real life, rather than just digitally.

Please visit and enjoy!
As usual, all work on display is for sale through the gift shop. Simply phone 604.931.2008 ext. 102 and make arrangements for your piece to be transferred to the arts centre gift shop for purchase.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Celebration Time

Drop by and see the new extension - Centennial Appleyard House - Saturday, September 6th, and don't forget to visit the Blackberry Gift Shop.
See you on Saturday!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Grand Opening? We'll Be There!

Finally! The end of the moving house saga is in sight. The Appleyard residence is now joined with the arts centre, and will be open for business pretty soon.

The Port Moody Arts Centre is celebrating the completion of its expansion project with a Grand Opening of the newly conjoined heritage buildings on Saturday, September 6th. The ceremony for the Centennial Appleyard House starts at 10am with a dedication and ribbon cutting, then continues at 10:30 with guided tours and more.

The Blackberry Artist's Society will be opening the gift shop early, from 10:30am and giving artist demos for visitors, highlighting our work in supporting artists in the community. We've called the arts centre home since its conversion from city hall back in the 1990s, when our members manned the gallery for a few hours each afternoon so the public could visit the new space.

Since then, we've supported local artists by providing display space and selling opportunities where they can engage with the wider community, bringing art within reach of everyone.

We are very excited and pleased to see the building expand and look forward to the next chapter in its life as a community arts venue for Port Moody.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Extended Shop - Call for New Members!

home, but not for much longer. we're moving into new digs and we need more members!
Yes - we're moving into bigger premises and have space for more artists in the cooperative. If you, or an artist near you, wants to exhibit/sell in our shop, then please contact us for an application form and arrange to attend our final jury session this year (September 10 at 7pm).

Expanded Shop: Last Call for 2014 Members

Last Chance to Apply to Blackberry Gift Shop Before Christmas 2014!

Are you an Artist or Artisan with:
*  High quality, unique art and/or fine craft with wide demographic appeal
*  The ability and interest to work monthly in a co-op environment in Port Moody
*  Well-thought out packaging and marketing for your artwork
*  A good range of price points for your items
*  Interesting year-round product as well as holiday gifts

If so, Blackberry Artist's Society is doing the final jury call of the year.
Applications may be picked up at the Gift Shop in the Port Moody Arts Centre,
2425 St John's Street, Port Moody, BC
Applications must be received by September 9, 2014, 4 pm at Blackberry Gift Shop. Applicants must attend the jury session to discuss their work September 10 at 7 pm.

Monthly jurying resumes in January.

For more information, visit, call the shop at 604-931-2008 ext 102 or email vickiallesia [at] telus dot net

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Staycation means...

...staying at home and doing all those things you might not do otherwise. Taking the time to pamper yourself, to indulge. Instead of racing to make airplane connections or endless freeway driving, it's freeing to just stay home. You can choose how you want to spend your time without going anywhere. Staycations can be bliss.... Yes, it takes time to settle into vacation mode, so you might find yourself wondering what to do. Well, part of your r & r could include reading. Vacation reading doesn't have to be edifying, either. It can just be for fun. Of course, there's time to plow through a 600-pager if you're inclined.

Bookmarks by Sandra Ho
Bookmarks by Sandra Ho
Buddha sculpture by Myrta Hayes
Perhaps mindfulness is what you need, a retreat from the hectic world. And why not? You can take as much time as you want. It's your staycation. Gentle stretching with Hatha yoga, calming meditation, or simply walking to gain awareness of your surroundings can relax, inspire, and ground you. You don't need Lululemon or to be concerned about keeping up with the class. You are not on the clock and, intuitively, you know exactly what you need.

Drawings by Sarah Ronald
Drawings by Sarah Ronald
 We're fortunate enough to live amidst beautiful surroundings and maybe you can take some time to reconnect with nature during your time off. It will help you reach levels of deep relaxation, good for your mind and body. Sit outside and listen to the breeze rustling the leaves. Hear the scratching of a ground bird or see one on the wing. Your special time is in your hands. I know you'll make the most of it....

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