Art Battle 104: Mississauga

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

As the sun went down, the Living Arts Centre lit up for Mississauga's first time hosting Art Battle Canada. Featuring three rounds of live competitive painting, each contestant gets 20 minutes to create their best work on canvas, and the winners of each round are voted in by the audience until a champion is crowned. All of the paintings created that night are also put up for auction making it a great way for art enthusiasts to start or add to their collection.  

Here are some pics of the inaugural Mississauga event:


Living Arts Centre resident artist Natasha Gouveia prepares her painting station for round one.


The supply table offered lots of colour options for the contestants as well as various tools like paintbrushes, rollers and palette knives. 


Although participating artists are selected in advance, the competition also leaves some "wildcard" spots open to give audience members an opportunity to join in the art making. Here's the wildcard painting station from round one. (Special shout-out to my co-worker Brian who has zero visual art experience but threw his hat into the ring anyways and competed in round two!)


As the timer begins, Living Arts Centre fellow Anya Mielniczek lays the groundwork for a unique, abstract portrait that scores her a spot in the final round. 



In round two, Brampton artist Kim Lee Kho paints her own figurative work featuring a rich colour palette as well as heavy shapes and shadows. 


Art Battle veteran Aleks Bartosik has no problem with the 20-minute time frame as she quickly gets to work creating a stunning portrait that moves her into the final round. 


A close up of Aleks' canvas from round two and a hotly bid on item for the night. 


The final round came down to just four painters: Natasha Gouveia, Anya Mielniczek, Aleks Bartosik and Kim Lee Kho. I started snapping pics at Alek's station before making the rounds to the other three contestants...


When I came back to Aleks' post 10 minutes later, her canvas had evolved into this!


The juxtaposition of vibrant colours and bold texture along with the alluring imagery was too hard to resist - Aleks once again takes the Art Battle crown!

Art Battle returns to Mississauga on May 1st and I can't wait to see which artists will turn out to compete this time. Being able to watch all of these local emerging and professional painters work live was such a treat and it officially makes Art Battle my new favourite form of live entertainment!

Will you be coming out on May 1st?



(All images by Lai Mai Ng




The Good Wife: About Last Week...

Sunday, 30 March 2014


I've often joked with people about how much I love The Good Wife but I can't binge watch old episodes since the series completely stresses me out. Last week was sadly no exception...

(Spoilers ahead!)

Textile Thursday: Puppies & Cookies

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My poor little studio rarely gets used, but when a special occasion comes up that calls for a handmade gift, the results are pretty cute.



I made this polka-dotted dachshund using an easy-to-follow pattern created by Kim Kruzich for her Etsy shop, RetroMama. What I love about this pattern are the illustrated step-by-step instructions, the helpful hints and tips on triple stitching and sewing tight curves as well the ready-to-print, full size pattern pieces. This pattern would be perfect for a novice sewer to complete in an evening or two and the project uses less than a metre fabric making it a pretty inexpensive as well. (I skipped the fusible web for securing the felt pieces since I couldn't get the web to stick.)



For more experienced sewers, I love this "Stuffed Ollie Doll" pattern by Brooklynite Sian Keegan. Ollie is also a dachshund, but his three-dimensionality and his hipster bandana take his cuteness to the next level. You can expect a lot more hand-sewing with this project and keep a seam ripper close at hand if you have trouble attaching pattern pieces to the right places. I had Ollie's arm attached to his stomach at one (or two or three...) point but he turned out all right in the end!

My next studio goal is to DIY these cheerful biscuit pillows from Lisa Angel Homeware and Gifts:


Jammy dodgers are the BEST and the embroidery on that custard cream cookies looks pretty fun to make too.

What are you up to in your studio lately? Spring is almost here and I'd love to hear some new project ideas!



PS - For a fun Sunday afternoon browse, pop over to Sian Keegan's website to see her colourful array of cake toppers, product illustrations and other crafty hand-drawn tutorials!


(Image 1, 2 by Lai Mai Ng; image 3 via Not on the High Street)

Book Trailer: One More Thing

Monday, 27 January 2014


Three things that I love about the book trailer for B.J. Novak's debut short story collection, "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories":

  1. Mindy Kaling is in it. (#moremindyplease
  2. It's in black and white and absolutely doesn't take itself too seriously.
  3. It's a book trailer! How fun is that? I wish we had more visual materials to anticipate books as much as we do movies and albums. 
If you're lucky enough to live in New England, Novak will also be popping by the Harvard Book Store and The Music Hall next month for a live reading and discussion about his new book. 

What's on your winter reading list?


The Pie Commission, Etobicoke

Monday, 16 December 2013

When you run a blog called The Snack Department, you can bet that a visit to a place like The Pie Commission is pretty high on the priority list...


Minty Cookie-Butter Cookies

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

'Tis the season to indulge in cookies and what better way than to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for the very first time! 


Minty chocolate chips, creamy butter, fragrant cookie butter, and a hint of vanilla and maple syrup...these cookies pack a tasty wallop when it comes to spreading the holiday cheer! That's why I was super excited when my bestie suggested we use Justine and Zach's amazing recipe from their blog Cooking & Beer.

P.S. My Weekend was Awesome

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sorry things have been a bit quiet here lately, but I've been busy preparing for the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, crafting some holiday gift guides, and of course, meeting the fabulous Erica Domesek from P.S. I Made This!

Erica was in town promoting her new craft and lifestyle book, P.S. You're Invited and it was super fun covering the event for my sister's blog This Beautiful Day. Please pop on over to see all the pics including the scoop on Jelly Modern Doughnut's DIY doughnut station...(P.S. I'm still trying to figure out how to install one of these stations in my office cubicle.)

Happy Monday and I'll be back again soon to chat about pie!

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