About the Designer and Artist
I was born an artist and designer. I've worked in many areas but Electro-Mechanical Engineering Design Technology dominated my life for over 20 years, a career that I left behind in 2002.
My formal Arts training began with the Commercial and Fine Arts Program at High School of Commerce in Ottawa. Through the years I've studied various art forms through workshops and part-time courses. One of those courses was 'History of Costume' at the ROM in Toronto which left me wanting more so I continued to learn through research. Another course was millinery and there were several workshops in jewellery and accessories design.
When life took be down the technology road I used fashion design and costuming as a creative outlet. I worked part time as a custom clothier and designing, creating evening and wedding gowns, bridal party outfits, women's clothing, men's sports jackets and dress pants, accessories for men and women, costumes for all occasions and ages and so much more. There was a brief encounter with the 'rag trade' and movie industries of Montreal while I was living there. My full-time career was taking me to the US. I longed for greater creative opportunities, so it was upon my return home to Ottawa that I began to design and create clothing and costumes again.
A love of interior design led me into further explorations with textiles and I started making custom slip-covers for furniture, custom bedding, draperies and cushions. Another longtime passion, renovations and restoration of homes was another creative outlet. I bought an 1892 'fixer upper' house and totally renovated it. In early 1995 Bolton B&B opened and I operated it alone until 2002 when it was sold.
While running the B&B, it bit again... the desire, the need, the hunger to paint. I always loved working with oils but the chemicals were too harsh so I tried acrylics and watercolour but it just did not feel right. Then I heard about water-soluble oil paint. I was hooked. Since 2000 I've been painting again but not consistently. My own walls are hung with several of my paintings, drawings, sketches and other works.
Now I've come full circle to costuming again. Over the past few years Belly Dance became a large part of my life and, of course, the main attraction for me is the costuming. Then I discovered Steampunk, the aesthetic. So I have begun to create costumes and props in the Steampunk style. One recent sculpture project, Ruby VaVoom, was on display at CNSE 2011 and received great reviews. The costuming is continuous and gives me great pleasure. It doesn't stop there either. Jewellery, accessories, hats, fascinators, props and anything else you can imagine can all be created.
Several performers and buskers have come to me for help with costumes and I am proud to say that many costumes 'on the street' have my handiwork in them. So bring me your ideas, your desires, your needs and I will help you to realize your dreams too.
You can also view photos of costume items for sale and examples of my work on Flickr Things I Make and Sell or check my Facebook Group and Page 'The Veiled Eye'