It’s been quite a while since I blogged. I’ve been letting my little sis take up the slack for the last month or two as I go through some serious life changes. This doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything crafty at all. Quite the contrary. I’ve done a decent amount of embroidery lately, and I just bought some new yarn on Monday. Happy happy joy joy!

I recently took a trip to Toronto for an academic conference. While I was there, I got to do some sightseeing, and my touristy excursion led me to the Bata Shoe Museum. As soon as my friend Vero suggested we go there, I was on board. I’m a shoe-lover, and anything related to zapatos makes me a little giddy inside. The exhibit on the history of shoes was fascinating and at times more than a little horrifying (foot binding anyone?). I was particularly impressed with the early Indian shoes.

 

So, they don't seem like they'd be particularly comfortable but they sure are pretty

 

 

Fully articulated fish toe ring--sign me up!

 

 

Shoes for Chinese women with bound feet. Note the scale denoted by Vero's hand. No wonder they had to "lotus walk".

 

Strangely (or not) enough, my favorite part of the shoe museum had nothing at all to do with shoes but rather focused on what we wear inside our shoes. That’s right: socks. As the primary knitter in this partnership, I spend a lot of my time either knitting, thinking about knitting, or examining other people’s knitting. There’s nothing I love more than taking a good, hard look at a knitted object and appreciating the artistry. The exhibit was tiny, but nonetheless impressive.  There was a knitting tutorial video playing and needles and yarn so that museum patrons could try their hand at this handicraft. I, of course, couldn’t resist the temptation to knit a little something and so I knit a tiny little swatch that I’ve decided will be used from now on as a bookmark.

 

MIne's the orange one...

 

There are two particular pairs of socks that really caught my eye. One is a super-fine almost Fair Isle pair of socks and the other is an exquisite pair of embroidered stockings. Behold the beauty–

 

Aren't they fabulous? Only in my dreams...

 

 

I want these.

The shoe museum was wonderful, but AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) was spectacular. I suppose the artwork qualifies as “handmade”, right? There were two pieces by artist Shary Boyle that particularly moved me. The first is an incredible painting, and I think it’s evocative power resides in the way in which the artist portrayed the eyelashes. The other piece is a sculpture, and it was amazing. When we walked into the room, it was just a white statue with a web-like protuberance but soon an overhead projector and a fan turned on and revealed the complexity of the piece. I’ll let you see for yourself.

Amazing. Look at those eyelashes.

Incredible in white

Out of this world in color and motion. Note the bat. The fan was blowing it around so it looked like it was flying.

All in all, my trip to Toronto was a fabulous experience. My presentation went well, the company was fantastic, and the city and its attractions were beautiful. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. I’ll definitely be returning in the future.

 

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