Five Finger Friday: Pop Pop Advent!

This week I'll help you check the final awesome items of that hard-to-buy-for list AND see some beautiful things along the way.

Index: The Leader

Pop Pop Shop

Pop Pop Shop is a student design show and sale from the U of A Design Association, and it opens tonight. You’ll find Rutherford Corner in Enterprise Square downtown (the old Bay building) animated by creative energy this season. Students have desinged and manufactured over 60 products and they are ready for us to take a gander just in time for Christmas.

Some suggestions to look out for; 

  • totally awesome animals-in-half magnets from Cool Factory
  • beautifully subtle white-on-white embossed text posters
  • custom penny board decks
  • hexagonal woodgrained lights
  • wonderfully mid-century inspired furnishings from the likes of Carson Wronko
  • hot-selling locally made perfume, Libertine Fragrance 

Get more details and opening hours at

Middle: The Attitude

Burning Bluebeard from Theatre Network

Last year, Theatre Network’s iconic home, The Roxy, burned to the ground. This year, they take on Burning Bluebird, the story of the Iroquois Theatre Fire in 1903 Chicago. 

From the website; 

Inspired by a true story, Burning Bluebeard tells the tale of six singed clowns who emerge from the burnt remains of a theatre to perform their spectacular Christmas Pantomime. This time they hope to finally reach the true happy ending of their second act and avoid the fateful fire destroyed Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre in 1903.
Recommended age: 13+ Contains Mature Themes

To my mind, 'six-singed clowns’ and ‘Christmas Pantomine’ create sufficient intrigue. There has been a lot of buzz about this show in the Theatre Community, including CBC InCrowd’s Aimee Hill, who is hoping to see it twice before it ends with a 2 PM matinee this Sunday.

Ring: The Faithful

Advent Online

Advent is upon us, and there are so many rich traditions being shared in this still, sacred season of expectation.

Here are a couple of daily online initiatives that weave together Advent reflections with art. 

Sarah Marie Wells: Blog of Advent Reflections

I discovered Sarah’s blog through a facebook community, and I have appreciated how she ties the themes of Advent into the quotidian details of daily living.


A daily reflection to generate worldwide imagery. What a beautiful way to use technology. Here is a resource that you can even partipate in, put out by the global Anglican community.

Pinky: The Outlier

Night Hours (group show)

Art Gallery of St. Albert

These long nights can be depressing, clausterphobic, foreboding. But they can also be beautiful. Breathtaking. Overflowing with deep mystery. NIGHT HOURS explores the nocturnal through the works of Alberta painters. 

From the gallery website; 

Night Hours features works from 21 artists who redefine the painting tradition of ‘The Nocturne’ within a contemporary framework. These artists portray dreamlike night-time landscapes that capture the vastness of the night sky and the numinous darkened natural world. The mundane backdrop of the everyday is engulfed in dark obscurity, transforming it into a sublime domain. As night quietly creeps across the land the atmospheric quality captured provokes otherworldly associations, powerful emotions and states of mind. - 

See more at:

Thumb: The Unsung Hero

Airtable:  A free, magical online database

We have a lot to keep tabs on here at Bleeding Heart. Artists we work with. Email subscribers. Visitors to our gallery. Volunteers. Donors. Art submissions. Inventory. 

It’s hard to imagine that all of these could be handled by one magical unicorn piece of software. Even harder to imagine that software would be free, easy to learn and available on desktop and mobile platforms. But this is all true.

image from

image from

Airtable is like the superhero version of Excel spreadsheets, which means it is familiar to begin with. But those spreadsheets can hold all sorts of information - file attachments, photos, audio samples, dates, numbers. And they can speak to other online programs. Email signups from Mailchimp, for example, get added to our contacts database automatically. No double data entry there. It’s awesome.

The ‘spreadsheets’ can also talk to each other. This is called a ‘relational’ database. So one table that deals with Artists can be linked to another table that deals with Submissions. That way, you can have just one entry for an artist, but link that artist to multiple shows/submissions. 

I’ll do a lengthy breakdown of how we use this at some point, but here’s why I’ve included it. You make things. It can be hard to keep things straight. Vendors. Customers. Ideas. Sales. Airtable is flexible enough to do all of that for you, and each database can have up to 1000 records for free!

This is good news for the artist on a budget who needs to spend less time keeping details straight, and more on making great work.

Set up a free Airtable account here and see what’s possible. Maybe some organization is a good holiday project or New Year goal?

Blog for Bleeding Heart!

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