Thursday, June 16, 2016

An Open letter to Ontario Heritage Trust

An Open letter to Ontario Heritage Trust,

A few weeks ago I had the great fortune to visit and spend time at Fulford Place.  As described by your website:  “This magnificent 20,000-square-foot mansion was built in 1899-1901 for self-made millionaire and Senator George Taylor Fulford I (1852-1905) and his family. The house was designed by noted American architect Albert W. Fuller, with landscaping design by the prestigious Olmsted Brothers firm.”

I am utterly amazed that such a stunning mansion, open since 1993, existed in my own province and I never even heard of it until June 2016.

I can tell you that the tour we were given surpassed by leaps and bounds any I have experienced at a heritage property site anywhere in the world.  The museum docent was a complete delight and could elegantly explain exactly what might have occurred in any of the rooms 100 years ago.

Twenty minutes into our tour I had to stop and ask “how is it possible that this museum does no social media?’  And more important, why is there a NO PHOTO policy?  Clearly, this spectacular site NEEDS and deserves the exposure and recognition.

“Fulford Place and its collection were donated to the Ontario Heritage Trust by the Fulford family in 1991. Many items from the family’s collection are exhibited in the house just as they were over 100 years ago.”

While I am thrilled that you have restored the home to what is was 100 years ago, I believe your policies need to reflect 2016.  There are so many stories here that need to be told.  Had I been given the opportunity, my Facebook page would have shared with friends around the world images of this first class museum in a way that would have compelled them to want to visit too.

Photography policies in museums around the world reflect a new trend allowing people to gather their own images of the art, antiques and installations that they see.  It is now part of the experience to share what you view with family and friends.  It is a new way of viewing art that I acknowledge not everyone appreciates, but one which I believe, brings new life and excitement into the museum going experience.

So I ask you to consider this.  Please let the world know more about some of our Canadian historical sites.  Let’s share instantly around the world the “original tapestries, paintings, statuary and ceramics collected on the Fulfords' world travels that are on display throughout the period rooms and are featured in special exhibits.” 

Set up a Facebook page, welcome bloggers, encourage photography and garner all the goodwill that comes from sharing news about all that has been done and all that needs to be done to maintain this mansion.  Harness all the good that comes with a social media audience of fans and supporters that would welcome images and news from this national historic site.

By way of closure, here is a short list of how world-class museums are handling the photo issue. 

Art Gallery of Ontario
The AGO allows photography for personal use only, except where indicated. We ask that you respect the rights of artists and their representatives under Canadian copyright law.

The Louvre
The Visitor Regulations authorize photography without the use of flash in the permanent collection exhibition rooms, under certain conditions:
"Artworks in the permanent collection exhibition rooms may be photographed or filmed for private use by the operator. The use of flash and other lighting equipment is prohibited. Photography and filming is strictly prohibited in the temporary exhibition rooms.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Still photography is permitted for private, noncommercial use only in the Museum's galleries devoted to the permanent collection. Photographs cannot be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner whatsoever.

The National Gallery London
Photography is allowed for personal, non-commercial purposes in the National Gallery. It is the visitor’s responsibility to ensure no copyright is infringed.

Carmi Cimicata

Update June 17, 2016
Ontario Heritage Trust Thank you for your comments about Fulford Place – it is great to hear how much you enjoyed your visit. We also appreciate your feedback on the photography policy. We are currently in the process of revisiting the policy for a number of the reasons that you mention. On the Ontario Heritage Trust Facebook page and on our Twitter account @ONheritage we regularly share information about Fulford Place, as well as our other museums across the province. We hope that you will like/follow us to learn more about all of our sites and activities!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dried Flower Jackpot

We are experiencing our first spring in the heritage home we purchased nine months ago from a lovely couple who were avid gardeners.  We are really enjoying reviewing what is already established and what I can add to make the gardens my own.

Last weekend, in preparation for this long weekend of gardening and planting, we cleaned out the shed.  I discovered this flower press on a shelf and could not wait to see if it had been filled.

Happily, it was absolutely crammed with dried flowers!

Can not wait to incorporate this find into summer projects.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Rhinestone Button Blank Challenge

It always starts as a simple idea.
I have some sort of a blank component that needs to be filled.
What I think is fabulous changes completely
after I send the component out to my crafty and creative friends.

This rhinestone button blank was the starting point with an invitation to just play.  
The results are nothing short of inspired.

"Magically open doors with this Dove of the East Paris Vintage Fallen Roses wrist cuff. The soft cotton brocade feels good on your wrist with a swirl of tiny pearls embedded in diamonds and a half moon pearl center to guide your way!"

"I made this necklace thinking about my daughter Karol.  
We go to high tea every month or so."

"I used an old button to make a silicone mold and poured resin mixed with Jacquard Pearl Ex powder in Interference Violet and added a bit of silver oil to the cured piece.  Then this was glued into 'your' button.  I used a metallic leather cord, some iridescent glass seed beads and round hematite beads for the wrap."

"To create this piece, which I call Tidepool, I used the bezel button blank and filled it with Magic-Glos then arranged the pearls and let it dry under a UV lamp. I glued a Swarovski star to float on top of the pearls then attached the button to this crackly metallic green leather with leather cording and finished the piece as a bracelet."

Monika wrote "It was so much fun deciding what to do with the "button" you sent."
I was so amazed when I opened this picture file.  It is a stunning keepsake.

"I used Gel Press™ print, Orange Glitter Glue, Diamond Glaze, Connie Crystal, Crystal Katana for crystal placement  The wreath is from Smoothfoam.  I made the flower then used it on a wreath!"

Here are some pictures of my bookmark that I was inspired to make with the component you sent.  It was a pleasure to participate in this challenge.  

"The white beads I used in my necklace are vintage German glass beads."
I can see a gorgeous button in the button.  This necklace is perfect for the summer!

"I painted the background black, added an O sticker in the background, then some beads and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic glaze."

"I have to admit that it was a real chore trying to decide what to do with the component. You were right! I could have gone 10 different ways! In the end I decided on something my mom would love!"

"I'm calling this a French Confection with button.  The pattern paper at the top is dollhouse wall paper *laugh*. The flower petal is coffee filter die cut and then tinted with Distress Ink (my fingers are still blue this morning) and Perfect Pearls in a water mist.   The button has a resin dome with a piece of resin which I had cast on a Texture Tile from Cool Tools that I had brushed with Alumillite silver powder (powdered aluminum) and rubbed with dark blue Gilders paste.

"In the center..white 2 part epoxy, silver leaf, swarovski chatons and blue and green mica."

"Mine is a pendant made of the button, a resin flower, white plaster pin frame, a bee and a skeleton key. I used Inka Gold in graphite to dust up the white pin and flower and Pearl-ex in violet over the jewelry clay that's holding it all together. It kind of makes me think of Blanche Dubois."

"So my button was sparkly and I decided to make it more sparkly with epoxy clay, Swarovski crystals and some Pearl-ex for color. Then I ran out of time and made it into a ring!"

"I had lots of ideas, but ended up doing something fairly simple. Intuitive bead embroidery in silver and black, because I thought that it would make an elegant presentation. I used micro beads (glued on....ooops) and four different Miyuki, size 15 seed beads. Three black and one silver. After the piece was beaded, I glued it to the cab with E6000, and attached a pendant converter at the back (again using the same glue). For now, I'll hang it from a simple silver chain. In the future, it may become a focal in one of my intuitive bead embroidery pieces. I hope you like it as much as I do!"

"As the challenge instigator, I had the luxury of two back up buttons.  I wanted to feature a miniature painting in my rhinestone button blank, but found a gorgeous postcard over the weekend.  I punched out several circles of art from the vintage card and settled on these three.  I covered the image with resin."

"I used a prayer card with an image of the Blessed Virgin which I encased in resin. It is hanging on a piece of a vintage rosary which belonged to my husband's grandmother. Hanging from the button bezel is the religious medal that was given to my late mother when she received her First Holy Communion in 1928."

"Made a ring using 2 part epoxy clay, blue rhinestones, silver Bali beads, copper bead caps, 20 gauge wire & jubilee blue perfect pearls mica powder."


There are a few creative projects still to post.
Bookmark this page to come back and see some of the buttons which are a little late.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Iris Apfel Ribbon Necklace

This necklace is a simple homage to Iris.  
My heroine.

A few years ago Iris had a sale of some of her personal items on the One Kings Lane website.
I knew things would sell quickly and trust me, by the time I got onto the site everything was snapped up.  I wanted something small as a keepsake and these ribbons somehow ended up back on the site when the person who selected them did not check out.  Happily, they became mine.

The are exactly what I look for when I go to the Paris antique market.
It took me a while to figure out the best way to use them.
A simple metal ribbon edging component was my best option.

Iris's life quotes have become my own.

Her ribbons are now something I can wear.
And, I have so much left over for other projects.