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Printing at Mackenzie House

About a week ago we went to Mackenzie House. It was an unplanned visit, but it turned out to be one of the best visits.

We checked out the gardens.
I like the flowers, they are really beautiful.                                                                                          

This bench was in a nice, shady spot.
This flower looks kind of like a humming bird to me.

I believe this is a relief of William Lion Mackenzie speaking to the members of Provincial Parliament.

When we went inside, the museum's Printer, Chris, was working on a souvenir for Open Streets Toronto. And I got to help!

This is the slug cutter, we used it many times that day.
We needed slugs (or spacers) of different sizes and when we didn't have the right size, we had to cut them.

And we kept testing the slugs until we got them right.

We also kept going back and forth to the job case which is where you can find the type.

Here are some printing terms that I learnt:
Job Case - The wooden case that is used to store type. Each drawer is about 2 inches tall.

Galley - The metal tray to set the type. It can be tightened so the type stays in place. It can be used to print copies for proofs.

Proof - A test page to check for any mistakes (like spelling or any upside down letters.)

Chase - A rectangular frame where columns of type are put in for printing. Normally you would use a Chase instead of a Galley for what we were doing.

Composing Stick - You compose the type of what you want to print in the composing stick. You put them in upside down and from left to right.

(This is an old picture of a composing stick. We didn't take a picture of one this visit.)

Furniture - A piece of wood or metal that can be used as a spacer to hold the type in place in the chase or galley.

Slugs - Spacers
Here is a picture of Chris putting in a slug to keep the type tight in the galley.

Quoin - An expandable wedge which you use to hold things in place. You use a key to un-wedge it.


When we go to Mackenzie House we usually use the Washington Flat Bed Press.

But, for the Open Streets souvenir that we were working on, we used the Proof Press. We used it to check our work and they will take it on the road with them on August 16th for Open Streets Toronto.

Here is a picture of me using the Proof Press.

We had to go back a few times to replace some letters which didn't show up properly.
In the first one, "run" and "kick" didn't show up, and "ride" and the address were incomplete.

In the 2nd attempt we still had problems with the same words.

The 3rd one was a lot better, but we still had to replace the "R" from 'ride' as well as the letters from the word "kick".

The 4th attempt, the word "ride" was OK but 'kick' didn't show up properly.

It turned out that we just had to roll the Proof Press a little slower so that the full weight would roll over the entire sheet.

I really liked this visit because I got to help make something that they are going to use. :-)
Thank you Chris, for letting me help out!

Here is a link with information about Open Streets Toronto:


TDSB's Downtown Summer Strings 2015

Yesterday was the last day of the TDSB's Downtown Summer Strings camp.
We had our end of camp concert and it went really well.

We had a slide show of pictures from activities we had at the camp. I don't have any pictures from the slide show but, Mom took this picture of me with my 'Stuffed Things' from "Stuffed Thing Day".
My Charles (the red head) got "Most Terrifying Stuffed Thing".

On Stuffed Thing Day we perform in chamber groups for the Stuffed Things and some of the chamber groups are chosen to perform in the concert.

Here is a picture of me with Ian Guenther.  He is the perfect combination of being laid back AND very particular. :-)

Daniela is a violist and she helped me a lot in our sectionals.

Rebecca helps to run the camp and she is an amazing teacher.

Here is a link to my blog post about the feature of this year's camp on CTV News:

And here is a link to my blog post about last year's Downtown Summer Strings camp.


TDSB's Downtown Summer Strings on CTV News

Yesterday, CTV news had a feature on my summer camp - the TDSB's Downtown Summer Strings.
I just love this summer camp! It's always fun and we get to play lots of cool music.

The camp is split into two main groups. One is less advanced and the other is more advanced. My first year, I started off in the less advanced group but these last two years I've been in the more advanced. We all play some songs together in the really big group.

This year I'm doing both violin and viola. I played viola in the more advanced group and I played violin in the really big group.

We sometimes have theme days where we dress according to a theme, if you want to. This year, we are going to get some special camp t-shirts made for the very first time.

Our concert is on Friday. I can't wait. :-D


Just a few videos

Even though the weather is beautiful we decided to stay in today.
We recorded a few videos.

Here is Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven

Two Gossiping Old Women by Aram Khatchaturian

And here is 'Colours of the Wind' from Walt Disney's "Pocahontas" by Alan Menken and arranged by Dan Coates

To watch use the password: Colours

Colours of the Wind from Walt Disney's "Pocahontas" by Alan Menken, arr. by Dan Coates from J Lee on Vimeo.


Happy 148th Birthday Canada!

Today is Canada Day!
We went to Thompson Park for the Canada Day Festivities.

We were there for the Opening Ceremony with the Aboriginal Blessing by Frances (I don't know her last name). Scarborough is part of the land of the Mississaugas of New Credit. 

There were hundreds of people there.

But there was still lots of places where you could go to sit by yourself.

There so much greenery all around, but sadly there was a lot of litter too.

It is so green and pretty!

 We went into Scarborough Museum and we were greeted with cookies..

We got to hear a bit about the history of the area and of the house itself.

I got to play on the Chickering Piano. It's a side-tuning piano but it was a bit out of tune.

They have a cello too and it needs some love.

You can see that the bible belonged to Elizabeth Thompson.

This is a drawing of Westminster Abbey.

And I finally found out that this napkin holder is a monkey playing a bassoon.

They have a very nice carving set out on display.

 As well as an information panel about Scarborough's History

They had a cool Canada Flag.

And squash growing in their garden.

Mom got a henna tattoo.

We also went to the Canada Day Parade.
I didn't plan to blog about the Parade but I did get to pose for pictures with a couple of politicians.

Here is one with Alex Wilson of the NDP who is running for Scarborough Centre.
(I agree with the Federal NDP in that I don't like Bill C-51.)

And here is a picture with Brad Duguid, MPP of Scarborough Centre.

And, my favourite part of the Parade is watching the bagpipers. Here is a video clip of the Scarborough Pipes and Drums. 

Happy Canada Day!