Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Toronto Art Fair

I am off tomorrow. Things have been a little busy. Loving Saskatoon's fall. It reminds me of Montreal. I hope to see you there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Silver Centre Series

I thought I would post some new work and take a break from Live Artfully. This piece is called Luau.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I would like to post the letter Cathy and I have sent to the media in regards to the current Bay's campaign.

We would like to draw your attention to the current marketing campaign of the Bay and its similarities to the concept of a North Vancouver art gallery, and the visuals of Biliana Velkova, an artist represented by them. The basis of our concern is that the Bay is using the phrase "Live Artfully" to express the identical concept as tartooful for it's big fall promotion. Tartooful has used the phrase "live Artfully" on hang tags, the shop window, advertisements, and in promotional material since opening in March of 2007. Tartooful's concept is at the heart of the business - it's the reason the shop was founded, and it still informs every purchasing choice made. A brief description of the tartooful values can be found here. The idea of daily objects as art and making ritual out of routine is one that the press has found unusual and appealing, so we been fortunate to receive some press coverage in the first year, including articles in Canadian House and Home, The North Shore News, The Outlook, Sweetspot.ca, Flare, and others. Here's the link to tartooful's press page.

In addition, the images being used by the Bay in their campaign are very strongly reminiscent of the work of artist Biliana Velkova, whose works have been at tartooful since July of 2007. Please find attached some samples of her work, and photos of The Bay's "Live Artfully" campaign. You will also see examples of the Bay's images on their site. Biliana Velkova's art practice closely deals with issues of consumerism and fashion and she has been exploring those for a number of years. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and shown in local galleries. The work she exhibited at tartooful has very close resemblance to the current Bay's campaign, including the colours, rendering and approach and and marketing. More about Biliana's work may be found on her website.

Is it a coincidence that a major department store chain chose tartooful's concept and Biliana Velkova's visuals for a marketing campaign? Surely a major retailer, with a marketing and advertising budget to match, could generate original material to promote their company, and shouldn't have to resort to committing conceptual piracy on small independents.

Thank you for taking the time to review our material. We hope that you will be able help to draw the public's attention to this matter.


Cathy Church and Biliana Velkova

Another update: Thank you Kerri for writing about this issue on the Mercer Union blog.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Live Artfully or spot the difference

Cathy from Tartooful couldn't have said it better. I am not sure if it is flattering or sad but either way it brings out very interesting and important issues on intelectual property and marketing strategies.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Saskatoon Shots

S and I went for a walk last Friday, exploring the city, the fur shop, the second hand stores (I got a purple poncho) and finished it off with one of the best lemon merengue pies at the Park Place Diner. It seemed the city was asleep and stayed the same since 1960.


Monday, September 15, 2008

On the Street with Bill Cunnigham

One of my favourite items on NY Tims online is Bill Cunnigham's audio reports on various fashion styles around New York. I find them soothing, charming, insightful, simplifying but not simple and yet so current. I would love to go for a drink with him and people watch. Perhaps a campari orange in early Fall?
This week the report is on the massively intricate shoes dominating NY Fashion Week and the disappearance of the handbag is the "It" item. Which makes me happy as I left them all behind in Vancouver.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saskatoon Night Life

Well, sort of. Last night I needed a way to feel at home, because I have been feeling homesick and I didn't want this to linger and get the best of me. Usually cooking does it for me. But not alone. So called my new collegues, who are also new to the city and probably in the same boat as me. J. said that he was just googling "Saskatoon night life" and with zero results when I called asking him if he likes meatballs. D. followed soon after and we had a lovely dinner party, meatballs and wine and vegetables from the farm. And as we sat on the sofa eating Saskatoon berry pie, watching our favourite opera arias on Youtube, I asked is this "Saskatoon Night Life"? I have to say if it is is rather cozy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We'll sweep out the ashes in the morning

I like listening to Gram Parsons very late at night.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lost and Found

I did not want to write about this here until the issue was resolved. The story involves a lost luggage, many phone calls, letting go of material things and finally - a happy conclusion. Let me start from the beginning. My flight from Sofia to Vancouver was with Bulgaria Air to London and then with Globespan to Vancouver with about 2 and half hours layover. So far so good. When I checked my luggage at the airport in Sofia, I was informed that they can only check it until London, where I have to collect it, go thru security and then recheck it with Globespan. I was a little annoyed but I thought I could do it since I knew Globespan was at the same terminal as Bulgaria Air at London Gatwick. So I was on my way. I forgot to mention that this was August 26. We boarded, everything seemed OK, and as we were preparing to go, the flight attendant in her very direct Bulgarian tone informed us that a passenger was ill and could not board, therefore their luggage had to be removed. Well, that took about two hours and as I was sitting right next to the wing, I got to see how painstakingly long the baggage handlers took to look for the luggage. I also had a toddler hit the back of my seat over and over again as I was going really anxios about catching my non refundable flight back to Vancouver. We finally lifted off and as scheduled we were about two hours late coming into London Gatwick. I bolted from the plane, flew thru customs, thanks to my Bg passport, I was able to go thru the much smaler EU line and then I planted myself infront of the monitor to see where the luggage from Bulgaria Air will appear. Well, I did not have very much time to wait for it, as the boarding time for my Vancouver flight was closing in 15 minutes. I asked the baggage officer there what to do and he advised me to just go and catch my Vancouver flight and to fill out a missing clam once in Vancouver. They would then send it with the next flght and even deliver it right infront of my door. Sounds simple, right? I boarded my flight feeling anxious as I intrusted everything and left my luggage all alone in London. Ten hours later, groggy and still anxious, I went to the Air Canada lost luggage counter, as I was told they handle Globespan's lost luggage claim. I filled out a form but they could not actually assign me a proper lost reference number as I was not a client of Air Canada and technically I did not check anyting with Globespan. They wished me good luck and I was done. The next four days are a little bit of a blur, as I was packing for Saskatoon, saying good bye to my family and friends and calling every lost luggage number, the Bulgaria Air offices in London and Sofia, London Gatwick's lost luggage and my travell agent. It was pure hell. Nothing turned up as nobody would actually take responsibility for the luggage and it seemed that I fell inbetween the cracks. On the fourth day, ten minutes before my taxi was to come to take me to the airport for my flight to Saskatoon, I got a call from the same baggage officer in London Gatwick that advised me to leave it there. He asked me what I wanted to do with my luggage. I told him I was moving to Saskatoon and if he can please send it there. It was really funny spelling out Saskatchewan to an Englishman at 5am in my state. He assured me again that it was going to be OK. Again I had an anxious flight but this time with Miss K. who also knows airtravel and anxieties but was able to be of great comfort. Four days later, and few more calls that I barelly remember, I was at the Saskatoon airport this time to say good bye to Miss K. Apparently the bag was rerouted to Toronto with Air Transat and then to Saskatoon with Air Canada. We checked in with the Saskatoon lost luggage, I got to know everone there by their first names, great guys by the way. Luke especially. But no bag. Miss K was to check upon arrival in Vancouver if it was there but again no hope there. At this point I had said good bye to all my belongings from the bag and concentrated on school. Last Sunday I got a call from a very excited Cam (another great guy from the Saskatoon airport) saying that he has my bag and that he is coming right over. Oh, I was so happy. My hopes were up again. As opened the door I saw that what he had brought was a very similar bag to mine but alas not the same. I did not know if I should cry or laugh. Cam told me that he had a customer that got her bag three years later. But at least she got it. I was done. Done with my belongigs from the bag, done with the hope, done with the phone calls. Just done. And today, almost three weeks later from that fatefull flight from Sofia, I got a message from another lovely gentleman form the Saskatoon airport saying that they have my bag for sure this time. Trying not to get too excited, I went there with my fine friend J from school and would you belive it, they had my bag!!! It was a really long fight and flight it seems like but it all turned out positive at the end. I will try to fly only carry on next time!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Green Acres

The time seems to be slipping so fast already. Settling into the studio, starting to work, new friends, missing home, trying buffalo meat, visiting Bruno, getting lost in the Cave, missing home, trying to draw a straight line and Eva Gabor.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of School

So far so good. I feel like a mix between Legally Blond and Rushmore. Legally Blond because it dawn on me that I should get a note book as I was shopping for a "school bag" and Rushmore because I am overwhelmed at the afterschool activities on campus. I am tossing between tango lessons and swimming, maybe both. I love my studio, it is bright and lovely and very inviting. I am moving in today. Can't wait to start working. Still getting to know the city, found an old friend here who is giving me the tour tonight. So, so far Saskatoon shines!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Some pictures from Sofia, as promised

Rakovska street
a commie style truck
smoking is permited anywhere
An ad for mastika (ouzo) in Sofia
My uncle making the "meze" for our rakia.