Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gallery Update

Hi everyone :) I've added a few new pieces to my online gallery. This is just a mini update for now. More to come soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cookie Monster on The Origins of OM NOM NOM

Ah, Cookie! Dude is not just a world class gourmand and dramatic genius, but also a meme originator!

A cookie may be a sometimes food, but a Cookie Monster you can enjoy all day, every day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cell Snaps

In lieu of actual news I thought I'd share a few random little snaps from the last month or so.

This here, kids, is a bucket of heads.

Here is a nefarious looking girl-child.
Apologies for the blurriness; she was too full of ill-intent to sit still.

This is a work-in-progress that is meant to look like an old movie poster. ...I really need to clean my drafting table.

Someone keeps leaving these bitey little Guerilla Girls notes outside of the textiles studio. I'd like to know who she is because she is probably awesome.

Here is Jett being cute.

And here she is getting way too excited over a little plushie.

Lastly, I thought I'd introduce you to my new friend, Gord LeGourde.
Feeling lonely? Got fruit? You too can kill seconds and braincells by making your own stupid friend! All you need is a permanant marker, basic motor skills and an idiotic giggle. My roommate suggested drawing faces on vegtables, but I think we can all agree that that would just be silly.

Those are all the pictures I've got for now. If you enjoyed it, let me know and maybe this will become a regular thing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Made A Tote Bag And Possibly A Major Decision

In Textiles we've been learning the basics of screen printing and I'm quite enjoying myself. It took me an extra week to get a clear idea for the project assigned us, and in typical fashion my punctuality problems were offset by obsessive work ethic leading to severe sleep deprivation, but finally, I (more or less)finished my first ever bag.

It's unbleached muslin coloured with pigments, with a velcro fastener and a wide crocheted strap (helpfully provided by This nice young lady) with metallic gold craft cord woven through it. The central figure on the front flap was printed on a seperate piece or black broadcloth and craftcord was sewn around its borders with gold thread. I embroidered a flaming heart on it as well.

The only thing that wasn't finished on it was a lovely teal lining for the inside. I didn't have enough time before class to work with what turned out to be a very slippery fabric and wasn't really sure on how to attach it without ruining the bag with unsightly stitching.

Well, considering that I wasn't using a prefab pattern and working out of my head, I think it turned out pretty well and was overall a very educational experience! I think the bags I make in the future will have bordered patches instead of designs printed right on the fabric because I ran into some slight trouble lining up the borders with the stitches and the result isn't very pretty.

Here is a picture of the front panel which has a pretty gradient on it.

Anyway, while I was working on this project, I realized that even when it was tedious or frustrating, I was really having a great time, something that has been missing during my experiences with clay in the Ceramics studio. Don't get me wrong, clay is very relaxing to work with and would make for a lovey stress-busting hobby, but as a career? I never should have gotten involved with a medium that doesn't excite me. There are a lot of things I'd like to do with ceramics, like making figures and sculptures, and demented bisque dolls, but if it means having to muck through three years of platters, bowls and gravy boats... well, I don't think I can do it.

Exquisite tableware from the Tang dynasty might whip my Ceramics history teacher into orgiastic frenzy, but it bores the shit out of me and I think another semester of it would be a waste the government money I'll probably spend the rest of my life paying back.

I'm going to be talking to my program head, this awesome no-nonsense woman (who turns out, if the new exhibit in the crafts and design gallery is any indication, to be a collector of skulls not unlike the predator) about making an official switch to textiles for the next semester.

The people there aren't nearly as friendly as the clay people who are sweethearts one and all, but they're okay, and anyway there's always visiting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Have Another Donut!

I am fat, shy unfashionable and dorky. I always have been, though these days I'm cool with my fat dork self (I know, there's no accounting taste, but what do you expect of someone who has a sculpture of a cigar-chomping Chimpanzee Sea Captain occupying a place of honor in their living room?).

It wasn’t always so: like many other fat dorks, my adolescence was torture. There wasn't a school day that went by where I didn't want to kill myself, and if I had a different mother, or didn't have my books, I probably would have. People often say of misfortune "One day you'll look back on this and laugh." I can't speak of its universal truth, but the saying is true for me at least, although it bears mentioning that I have a warped sense of humor. I realized this when laughingly recounting to a friend an incident in grade six when my entire class pelted me with donuts while singing (to the tune of "Ach Du Liebe Augustine"/"Hail To The Bus Driver") "Have another donut/ another donut/ another donut".

I had recently read Stephen King's Carrie, and this incident's similarity to the scene where Carrie gets bombarded with tampons combined with the utter campiness of Piper Laurie's performance as Margaret White in the movie, made me tell the story to my friend with a goofy half-grin and the odd chuckle. When I finished, I looked up and beheld sympathetic horror on her face. For a second I was a little confused. Then, when she said, "That must have been so horrible!" The humor evaporated from the memory and I remembered quite vividly the loneliness and humiliation that comes with occupying the grade school social rank higher only than the kid who routinely pisses his pants and eats paste (though it is an infinitely worse lot as the general conclusion is THAT kid is too fucked-up to mess with and whatever you inflict on him probably wouldn't make much of a difference anyway). Then again, I remember that kid, and in retrospect, he was unshakably optimistic- definitely more likable than my eleven year-old self- so maybe I'm in denial and The Pantspisser was just more popular than me.

Needless to say, I had no friends. Now I’m not saying I’m an innocent victim here: Besides being fat, dorky, nearsighted and uncoordinated, I was also unlikable, selfish, weird, and embarrassing. I probably still am, but now am at least cognizant of it, which makes a huge difference, allowing for the facsimile of likability. Back then it was a different story: The teachers would force us outside at recess so they could smoke a doobie in the lounge and I'd either stand around, awkwardly watching the other girls skip Double Dutch (an impossible feat for a fat klutz), embarrass myself in front of anyone nice enough to talk to me by displaying a complete lack of boundaries, try to look unruffled when the horse-faced queen bee walked by with her gaggle of hangers-on while honouring me with an "ewwww it's Katie" but mostly I'd read books.

Reading is too mild a word, perhaps. It might be said that I devoured them, seeking diversion from story after story after story while taking little notice of the actual writing. To this day I have to remind myself again and again to slow down and actually savor the words rather than taking them for granted in pursuit of the plot.

My favorite story was the one where the mousy protagonist was magically transported to another world, though I never approved of the ending that would land her back home conveniently on the same afternoon that she left. I would have given anything to be spirited away from the guys who made me cry and from the girls who snubbed me, but my attempt to escape by transferring to another catholic school was a failure. There are only so many Catholics in a smallish city, and they all go to the same churches. The nickname I hated, “Kay-Tor,” eventually found its way back to me. All transferring did was give a whole new set of kids a chance to hate me.

I don’t remember much of what went on at the worst of it, but there are three occasions that will always remain, reducing me to that miserably chubby little misanthrope at inconvenient moments. The Donut-pelting comes to mind whenever I am singled out for some reason, or alone at a party. A nasty-sleepover prank played by one of my supposed female friends that same year makes me wary of spending the night at someone else’s house. The final one is less an incident than the vivid memory of a terrifying alien sensation. I had tried to articulate it at the time, writing in a diary that I was floating above my body, that the world felt flimsy and unreal, that I was receding. It was as if my favorite story was coming true and I would fade away only to reappear in another world. Instead of elation, however, I felt confusion and unease. This feeling came and went, lasting for days at a time and eventually stopped. I never spoke of it, and found out years later that it wasn’t magic but Disassociation, the brain’s way of giving you a vacation from an unpleasant reality.

Over a decade has passed since then. For a long time I was very angry at those kids, then, as time marched on, the anger faded to bitterness. I don’t know what the bitterness has become; I suppose in retrospect I better understand my role as the favorite (emotional) punching bag and don’t really blame them for going along with things. If it wasn’t me, it would be somebody else, with me gleefully joining in as the day I made poor Beth cry by inciting a bunch of us to sing at her “The pervert’s back in town/ the pervert’s back in town/ the pervert’s back in towwwwwwwwwn.” (The irony of this being that I, if anyone, was the pervert and knew it.)

As awful as bullying and ostracism are, I don’t think the schoolyard will be more welcoming to future fat dorks, or for that matter, dorks of all sizes (teehee!). The fact is, Kids are initially hardwired to be self-absorbed assholes (survival) and many don’t really learn to assert their own identity (provided they can distinguish it from their group identity) until well into their teens. Nature is not egalitarian no matter how loudly we shout the contrary from the rooftops; some of us are ugly, smelly, fat, slow, unpleasant, socially awkward, or all of the above. And shit rolls downhill. The only effective action ever taken in my case was by my mother, who listened to me when I needed to cry no matter how shitty her day had been (not that I would have even thought to ask her then.) Sometimes all a person really needs is someone to listen to their troubles. That’s why Hookers and Bartenders never find themselves wanting for company.

As for me? I think I’m over it now. Being able to laugh at the donut incident is a pretty good indication, but sometimes I wonder if my intense dislike of most children/teenagers and the frustrating inability to completely trust potential friends isn’t psychic fallout from those lonely years. Lately, I’ve been thinking about going back to the hometown and having a look around. However, should I happen to meet any of the people I went to school with, despite the fact that they’ve probably grown into fine men and women, despite the fact that they probably don’t even remember all this grade school bullshit, it is doubtful that I’ll be able to look them in eye.

Which is completely ridiculous. And I don’t even like donuts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

15 hours...

And my first ceramic projects is just NOT working. I'm putting it away for now, hoping the too-floppy clay will firm up a little overnight. There's just so much information to take in that the first year is bound to be chaotic, especially for a total novice like me.

I can't believe that I just spent 6 hours in the studio. It felt like two at the most. Anyway, I still have a lot of reading to do before bed, and an early class tomorrow (Textiles, in which I am also, more or less, a total novice.) So that's it for now. Maybe this will grow into a proper entry later, perhaps sprouting my first impressions of Crafts and Design after I get a chance to feel out the vibe in Textiles. I'll say this now; Ceramics people are pretty awesome as far as I can tell.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obligatory Post Labor Day Post

Hello Reader. I trust you have had a tolerable summer. Mine was rather shit, but that's okay, because even if I accomplished absolutely none of my uncharacteristically modest goals, I found the time to do some notable things. For example, I made a plush platypus thereby doing my part to represent God's Adorable Joke in plushidom among the dull-as-dirt velveteen bunnies, pussified bears and vacuous golden retrievers. Artistically speaking, it wasn't the fanciest) platypus, but it made a tiny larval human happy and that's good enough for me.

Other notable things: I got marginally less awful at the guitar, which is saying something since I have been playing on and off for about ten years now and would happily settle for not totally sucking by the time I die of natural causes.

I also saw the number of cats in my apartment decrease by one without having to sully my dainty lady hands. That leaves three cats. I'm hoping that one by one, they marry romantic and idealistic tomcats who, after a brief but wonderful period of nuptual bliss, get arrested for their revolutionary acts and are deported one after the last to Siberia, forcing them to follow their husbands to the frozen ends of the earth, never to urinate on my shoes again. Bitches.

Even as I write this post, there is a lone cat turd sitting forlornly in the middle of the kitchen floor as if to say, "Why god? Why do these creatures have a reputation for cleanliness? Also, I'm a piece of shit so please put me out of my misery!"

But this summer wasn't all hating cats. I finished another one of my journals, the first in three years, in fact. That I had seen fit to ignore the utterly IMPORTANT work of Gifting the world with my memoirs speaks volumes of my mental state (not miserable). But, in this brief, but pleasant period of Not Misery, I realized that a Tolerable Existence becomes Miserable All Over Again when you trade your Artistic vision/therapeutic bitching sessions for it. Therefore, I have decided to Resume Misery As Usual because it's the only time I can stand myself. It's absurd, but then, so am I, there you go.

Up to now I have managed to avoid those three words that'll be all over the internets and airwaves today, but I suppose it should be mentioned that I'll be starting a new program today at that place where people go so they can put off getting a real job until their drinking skills are up to the task. Unfortunately, my schedule's a hot mess at the moment. My current uncharacteristically modest goal involves getting that straightened out before the week is over, so wish me luck and do so with more effort than when I asked you to wish me luck so I could get a summer job because you totally blew that one. It's okay though, because I still like you. I'm awesome like that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Love Hats, But This Is Too Ridiculous.

Once upon a time, someone saw Weird Science and it changed her life.

"Eureka!" This anonymous female trilled, bursting with inspiration. "All this time, we women have only worn our flopper stoppers on our chests, blind to their versatility and potential! What fools we have been!"

She worked long into the night. Finally, red-eyed and weary, our heroine emerged from her sewing room bearing the gloriously tacky coup-de-grace of Weird Old Lady Crafts.

Behold: The Bra Hat.

Magnifique, n'est-ce pas?
For the most part, the glory of This Tackiest of Tackies seems to be reserved by the Mysterious Red Hat Society, an international group of retired soldiers of fortune united by their shared love of carnage and the poetry of Jenny Joseph. My sources tell me that these extraordinary accessories are a mark of status among the Red Hats- but to say more would be dangerous. The images speak for themselves:

The following picture shows one of the elusive Grandmasters of Red Hatdom resplendent in Bra hat and Ceremonial Cape:

With the dawn of the internet tubes, the previously clandestine Bra Hat began to appear outside the shady context of the RHS. In fact, several variations on the traditional style have popped up in recent years:

A saucy middle-aged man models this demure little a-cup proving that you don't have to be a lady to look like a fruitcake.

This free and easy style is favored by the youthful Attention Whore about town.

Even Young lovers have fallen for the comfort and intimacy of this marvelous chapeau.

Equipped with a glue gun and a fistful of pipe cleaners,You too, can flaunt your tit-sling showgirl-style! Do you dare? DO YOU DARE?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Impromptu Barbeque

By a whim of fate, the Sullivan children have assembled for grilled beef patties, House of The Dead: Overkill, and beer/Guinnesss. As of yet nothing has been broken save a lot of zomb- er, mutant skulls.

I was going to use this post to extoll the glory of the summer barbeque, but as a Canadian who has watched more than my share of beer commercials, the topic feels a little redundant. The sky is sometimes blue, the ocean is vast, coffee is awesome and barbeques in summer make nine months of snow, rain and slush worth enduring. You know this. Everyone knows.

I come from a family tradition of barbeque worshippers. This is not an exaggeration. The grill is serious business and heaven help the unworthy should they touch the sacred alter of seared flesh. I'm talking some temple of doom shit.

Anyway, This bloggery is distracting me from the task at hand. Long live the grill and such.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mavis And The Colonel: A Super Sexy Preview

The Colonel stroked his meticulous pencil-thin moustache as if in deep thought. His mouth opened with uncharacteristic hesitance and a few odd, strangled half-words crawled up from his throat.
Growing impatient with the handsome traveller’s attempts to collect himself, Mavis plopped down on a tiger skin divan, kicked off her fluffy teal mules and pulled a well-thumbed copy of “Us Weekly” out of her purse.

As she pondered her beloved tabloid’s presentation of “cutest celebrity baby bumps” the Colonel slumped against the room’s large marble hearth and removed his pith helmet, revealing a particularly sweaty case of hat-head. His mouth continued to sag open while little sounds not even remotely resembling his usual level of cool eloquence escaped. A glossy page whispered scandalously as she browsed.
“Damn you, woman.”

The Curse’s savage syllables crashed through the still air like a drunken juggernaut.

“Uh?” Mavis turned from the colourful publication blinking as if she was only noticing him for the first time. “Damn you,” The Colonel repeated hoarsely, striding across the room with renewed vigour to sit decisively upon the Divan beside her curled form. He snatched the paper from her surprised hands and whipped it into the hearth where it languished, saved by the day’s humidity.

“Damn you for enchanting me, you witch, you sorceress, you Helen of Troy.” The words rose to a thunderous volume as the Colonel, swept away by the force of his own feelings, regained the signature intensity that made him the terror of croquet courts. “I was content- not happy perhaps, but satisfied with my life of wealth, luxury and travel. Then you enter my tidy sphere of existence like a ravaging storm,” Strong, warm hands wrapped themselves around Mavis’ clammy sausage fingers. He was very close to her now, feverish hazel eyes struggling to take the entirety of her being into their passionate gaze. He smelled like musk and sandalwood. “Yes, a storm, a disaster, a force of nature, that’s what you are! And like a crazed fool, I find myself wanting more!”

“Hey, I was reading that,” Mavis replied indignantly.

The colonel pulled her close to him, enfolding her in his strong, confident embrace. The tips of their noses nearly touched as he held her even tighter with the force of his ardent gaze. “Oh my darling, my precious Venus, tell me there’s no one else.”

“You wouldn’t believe who Jennifer was seen with.”

The Colonel, no fool, anticipated the consequences of this wildfire passion and despised himself for yielding to it, at the same time acknowledging that not to yield would be unbearable. His lips, his tongue, his breath, his life- all were hers to do with what she would. He drank deeply of his perfect love, certain that the thirst would never be sated. Mavis made a token resistance to the kiss, and then shrugged and went with it. Her eyes fluttered, not from girlish emotion, but because a stray eyelash was irritating the sclera.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh, The Shame!

The Internet can be both a portal of near limitless possibilities, or a livid scarlet letter that haunts you forever. Though I have no dirty photos to my name as yet, my own shameful past has returned to haunt me in the form of.... unwitting Furrydom.

It's like this: having recently discovered the Wayback Machine, I've been rolling in my own excremental website history. My first foray into cyberspace was an angelfire page called The World Domination League, an effort rife with every sin of website design ever conceived- obnoxious gif files,tinny midi and that's saying little of the actual written content, a terrible expression of my tasteless fourteen-year-old self.

The WDL was my personal soapbox, a little platform from which I (then known as "Pookie LaRoue") could sound off about every inanity that crossed my mind, be it the atrocity known as the Spice Girls, the horrors of being a Wiccan in a Catholic school, or what a dick Chris Attersley was being that week. Most of my writing was the sort of angry little rants you'd expect from a socially inept weirdo with a huge persecution complex and yet unrecognized lesbianism (that found an outlet in the(still ongoing)worship of Fairuza Balk. The rest of my writings however, took the form of terrible, terrible angst poetry that sounded like the product of a retarded Trent Reznor, Anime inspired fantasy sagas and excessively gory horror tales rife with tits bouncing free from their ripped bodices and rivers of clotted black blood.

As a perfectionist when it comes to my writing, and one with a critical eye that far exceeds a decent amateur-level skill, it is extremely embarrassing to reread what I was then sure were masterpieces on par with my then-idol Anne Rice. Every so often, the attempt is made and the old binders are brought out. I am never able to make it past two or three pages without having to stifle the urge to vomit up my large intestine.

The best of my high school writings is a werewolf saga that seems to have been written in the voice of the vampire Lestat. The "Hunter" series is meant to be historical, and takes place in eleventh century England, the sole indication of this setting being the use of dates and a lack of lack of guns and cars. The rest of the story reads like a Mary-Sue bloodbath with my exceedingly beautiful yellow-eyed hero tearing out throats in pursuit of his lost humanity (yeah, I know, I know).

With the internet's notoriety as a treasury of bad writing, it really should have come as no surprise that someone out there would like my little werewolf story enough to save it from obliteration. Still, of all the places for Hunter to turn up, I did not expect it to be a directory of Furry fiction.

My distaste for the fandom is well known and (I like to think) fairly reasonable, but maybe, just maybe this is due justice for my shit-talking and Something Awful forum membership. Nevertheless, it is a mark of shame I shall carry with me until those dirty pictures get out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gallery Update

I've added several new pieces to my online gallery and will continue to do so over the next few weeks.

With classes out of the way (for now) I'll have time to focus on some pieces I've been meaning to either start or complete. By the way, I've created a visual diary detailing the creation of my Magnum Opus. It's viewable on Facebook if you're interested.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Just spent a ridiculous amount of time in the painting studio working on mt EPIC WORK OF ART, which would almost be done if not for a boneheaded decision to do the line art in sharpie marker.

Word to the wise: Sharpie and oil paint do. not. mix. No amount of paint can cover the mightiest of magic markers. I have had to lay down layer upon layer of paint to no avail. Just when things are looking good, the paint dries and a hateful thick black line shows through. I'm going to try to solve this problem with a thin coating of matte medium on the board. Then, with any luck, the only problem left to solve will be getting that big old fucker of a plywood board home without wheels.

The painting will, of course be posted upon completion. Let me just say it involves two subjects near and very dear to my crispy little heart: Myself, and exceedingly bad taste. I have never in my life worked this hard on what is essentially a bad joke.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Must. Make. Coffee.

This has been a week of all nighters, partly due to my own inability to put down the x-box controller and just go to bed, and partly due to the year-end crunch. Tonight I'm using some antiquing techniques to create interesting patterns. My surface design teacher has been showing us some really cool ways to use gouache, inks, and frisket, that I'll post later. I'm thinking I could use some of these to make gorgeous little greeting cards to sell this summer. This Pirate-themed one I made for an earlier project really turned out great and got me thinking about the possibilities. Personally, I could take or leave cards, but a lot of people really seem to like them, moreso if they're handmade.

The second project I have to work on tonight has been killing me. "Just draw anything, play around!" My drawing teacher says. I say, "I can't DECIDE!" arrgh.... Well, tht's it. Break's over. Back to work!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Meet Mister Booboo.

Meet Mister Booboo. He may look uncomfortable, but worry not gentle reader; Boo's a masochist who enjoys every instant of the unrelenting pain that makes up his existence. If you're in the market for a kinky pincushion, look for his brothers this summer at Erchin's Piratefest Booth!

Why Hello There.

To mark the launch of a sparkly new website (that probably wouldn't exist if not for my digital media class) I have decided to bring this blog back to life, or more accurately, to reincarnate it.

This move will be greeted with no great astonishment by it's sole reader, me.

However, I'm planning to start posting (regularly!)again, and since I'm told I can be pretty entertaining (in print, at least *sob*) maybe with some unprecedented diligence, This place will pick up a bit.

Then, when my riveting words have sucked you all in, I'll take it down a few notches and share what I have for breakfast every morning if only to spite Margaret Atwood (who is not only too good to show up in person at book signings, but also properly scornful of the digital medium as befits one of Canada's foremost eliterary relics). Yes, I, Kay Tor, Canadian, Feminist and biblophile, totally just went there. Take that, Peggy (although, to be fair, the Handmaid's Tale was pretty good)!

You may have noticed that I am prone to using parentheses. If you don't like it, blame William Goldman whose writing got ahold of me at a tender age. Or, stop reading. Speaking of reading, you might have guessed that it's something I do a lot of and I'm hoping to get some book and graphic novel reviews up here soon. It seems to me that good things should be shared, and bad things should be mercilessly ridiculed for the enjoyment of the internet's more discerning (bitchier) denizens.

So stick around, and let's see if we can't have some fun!