Sweet Cupcakes!

cupcakeNatasha and I made an unexpected stop at V’s Cupcake Shop while cruising around Manotick on my day off, and I wanted to share that not only were the cupcakes truly decadent (this is me with a honey buttercream cupcake that was scrumptious) but the décor was really cute too. If you’re in town to visit the butcher, plan to make a stop next door, and bring along a friend who likes chocolate!

Still here

I’ve been a bit on and off with my blog – I suppose interesting bloggable things happen in waves. I’ve noticed a lot of blogs I used to follow petering out the past few years, so I just want to re-iterate that I plan to stick around for a while longer. Things have actually been busy and exciting – very exciting even, but there’s not always a blog post to sum it up. Anyhow, just popping in to say bear with me, lots more exciting stuff coming in the near future!

JC_Ottawa

En Guarde!

Natasha and I joined some friends for a workshop at Ottawa Swordplay over the weekend, and we had a blast! The group practice the late medieval Germanic “Liechtenauer” sword tradition, involving lots of longsword moves and counter-moves. Better yet – they practice it with real (but dulled) swords – it was pretty rad hearing the heavy clang of steel as we tried to take each other’s heads off. :) The staff were excellent and took good care to prevent us from actually killing eachother – they teach kid versions of the class with foam swords and little helmets. It must be unbearably cute.

We’re only in our exercise outfits in this picture – our suits of armour were at the cleaners. ;) (If ever there was an excuse for some medieval cosplay outfits…)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to go back again!

Ottawa Swordplay

Alma Duncan – Circle Packing

I discovered a cool artist at the Ottawa Art Gallery! Her name was Alma Duncan, and she was a gifted creator who mastered many artistic disciplines. Mixed among the nature images and portraits, I almost missed the personal significance of her “dot drawings” until I walked right up to them – then my eyes widened, and I realized I’d seen this before. Among her many subjects, Alma was fascinated by circle packing, freehand, with a pen. The results are gorgeous – I think they’re incredible. This is just a tiny, blurry excerpt from a series of quite large pieces – they have such a beautiful flow and rhythm I can’t take my eyes off them.

I wish I’d gotten a chance to know her, but she passed away in 2004. I bet she would have found some of my experiments intriguing.

AlmaCirclePacking

MakerSpaces in Ottawa

There’s been a veritable explosion of “MakerSpaces” in Ottawa this year. The affordability of prototyping tools and excitement around ‘innovation’ has made it possible to open up all kinds of otherwise unused space as sweet maker labs.
A quick survey of the Ottawa labs I know about:

Centerpointe Imaginespace : Open to the public!

ArtEngine Modlab : Open to the public on Wednesdays, and available to private members throughout the week.

uOttawa Makerspace : Open to the public on Sundays – open to uOttawa students the rest of the week.

Carleton University Discovery Center : 3D Printing on demand.

Gatineau Sustainable Makerspace : Seems focused on building ‘green’ projects.

MakerSpace North : Opening soon – looks like a membership-based shared lab.

Bayview Innovation Center : Huge public maker space coming in 2016.