May I Pinterest you in a Christmas Craft Idea?

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I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with some girlfriends creating a few christmas crafts, and this geometric cage was definitely my favourite. It’s a very popular design in many homewares stores (think Anthropologie, West Elm, or Chapters) but can easily be made for much cheaper and to your own specifications.

It was time consuming cutting the copper tubes using a manual tube cutter, but a quicker method is to use pliers to break off each length of tube and then press the pliers to then re-open the pressed edge so you can string wire through to make your shape.

I just have mine on my bedside table, but they can also be hung in the air to hold plants or crystals like the video below demonstrates.

Happy Crafting!

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A Dada Halloween

Arts Commons has developed a string of free 18+ art parties, and the most recent coincided with Halloween for an avant garde, Dadaist celebration.

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Myself as Kate Middleton en route to #yychappenings complete with blue dress, nude pumps and fascinator

I arrived in time to catch an exploratory performance by Jason Famous. While his tempos were upbeat and his backdrop glittered, he introduced each song as a reflection on a difficult period while his backup singer took selfies with a vintage camera.

Attendees could partake in the the nonsensical vaudevillian tricks of the magnificent magician Jordan James, explore the Day of the Dead room complete with shrine, paper mache objects and themed treats, create a custom party hat or get their face painted in Dadaist designs.

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Seities representatives were present promoting their most recent issue THEME:MUSIC, and encouraging artists to submit to their upcoming publication around portraiture. This publication, gallery and education organization utilizes traditional photography technique to produce striking images, such as the rayographs for the cover of the latest issue. There is also an online

There was a steady stream of witches, goblins and steampunk couples, but with Halloween falling on a Monday and many parties taking place the weekend before, it was quieter than I expected.

The next YYCHAPPENINGS, Tactile Intrigue, is on February 27. As a free event in central downtown that offers a chance to discover and interact with local musicians and artists, this event series is not to be missed.

Beakerhead – making science fun through accessible and interactive art

Beakerhead returned to Calgary this fall and I devised my own walking tour of three mesmerizing installations on the Saturday. Since moving to Calgary I’ve noticed many public art works, and this festival builds on that foundation and promotes the intersection of science with art.

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Starting downtown, I saw and heard an installation by Zimoun at Contemporary Calgary, a great gallery on Stephen Ave open free to the public. The work, a collaboration between Contemporary Calgary and Beakerhead, is described on the gallery website:

Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions effortlessly reverberates.

The work shifted as I walked around the space, listening to the effect of the 370 cotton balls bouncing at various speeds or stopping to hear the echo within an individual box. Here, the acoustic effects are both an art and a science, and the industrial materials transformed to an all-encompassing visual and auditory experience.

Zimon is on view until November 7.

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Next, heading east I found Saturnian by Bee Kingdom Glass nestled in Fort Calgary among throngs of children eagerly waiting for their turn in the spaceship/narewhale cross cum bouncy castle. Near the castle was a list of questions for visitors to ponder, including

What do you think the Saturnian was designed for?

Why might whales be a suitable species to explore the universe?

and a discussion of the mechanics of navigating through space. The setting of Saturian with the Calgary skyline in the distance only added to its impact and provided a striking juxtaposition of colour, texture and intention.

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Nearby I found Tentacles by UK artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, an inflatable Octopus springing out McGill block in Inglewood. This work was often used as a cover image for the festival on social media, and the surreal nature of the installation lends itself well to attracting attention for the festival, evident by the pointing fingers of drivers and passerby’s. This delightful piece was accompanied by a series of facts about Octopuses, such as their massive brains contain half a billion neurons.