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.