Published in 1994 and 1995, Stained Pages was a sleek arts and culture zine. Featuring topics that included food, fashion, music, literature, travel and comics, it was a lucky dip of, well… stuff my husband Greg and I were interested in. In retrospect it was one of the many publications that straddled the crossover from cut and paste to desktop publishing and was the eventual precursor to blogs.
From 1996 to 2002, Greg and I ran an event and concert production company, specializing in Toronto’s goth, industrial and experimental music scene. From small intimate events, multi-media gallery performances and a couple of 4-day long music festivals where we hosted over 500 people from around the world, we’ve run the gamut of live performances. We’ve had the great pleasure to work with artists such as Robin Storey, Faith and the Muse, The Brickbats, Robert Rich, The Changelings, I8U, David Kristian, Mark Spybey and more.
A business directory of small, local, independent shops and events in the Toronto area, this site existed from 2000 to 2004. Originally created as a shopping and dining list for out-of-town guests at Convergence, a weekend music festival we produced in 1998, and then refined in 1999 for another festival called Hallowmas, Toronto-Underground was a brilliant idea that came 5 years too early. Conceived just as the dot.com bubble burst and before personal online publishing in the form of blogs was easily accessible, this site was hand-coded in html and updated almost daily.
Miss Shirley Designs
My original career goal growing up was to be a fashion designer and I worked in various aspects of the industry in the late 80s and early 90s, but it wasn’t really for me. However, I did, for a time, run a little side business making one-of-a-kind purses and handbags, many of which were knit from rare or unique yarns. Then I got really bad carpal tunnel syndrome and to prevent the need for surgery, one of my creative, hands-on pursuits had to go. And since I couldn’t imagine giving up cooking or writing, it had to be the purses.
The move from concert production to record production was a natural one, and from 2002 to 2005, we released work by over 30 artists on our Piehead Records label, featuring electronic music of mostly techno and experimental flavours. Run as a “record of the month club” we released a CD every month for 3 years and then a couple of one-off discs. Downloading, and the death of one of the artists we had signed for our annual series, prompted us to shut down the label after 4 successful years, but we had the great privilege of working with artists such as Matmos, Edward KaSpel of Legendary Pink Dots, Mark Spybey and Cevin Key, hellothisisalex, Rapoon, Andrew Duke and John Chantler.
From January 2007 until September 2011, I was the editor and publisher of Taste T.O., a website dedicated to food and drink in Toronto. The pieces that I personally wrote for that site can be found here by searching for the tag “TasteTO“.
Toronto Indie Arts Market
Toronto Indie Arts Market ran from Spring 2013 to Summer 2014, and was a regularly-occurring arts marketplace that included not just crafts but fine art, music, small press and more. We were happy to work with a different local charity for each event and donated part of our door proceeds to their great work.
Stained Pages Press
A micro-imprint that focused on Canadian food stories, Stained Pages Press published two titles: a collection of the food stories of my life called Kitchen Party – Food Stories From Nova Scotia and Beyond, and one volume of a journal of Canadian food writing called Beer and Butter Tarts. More info on each title can be found by clicking on the links.
Still Weird Zine
This was a short-lived website for Gen-Xers who are still flying their freak flags. It ran briefly from October 2015 to March 2016, until we realized we didn’t have enough time to devote to it. Articles I wrote appear on the blog section of this site.