The Hamilton Spectator – “The Talk” Features Karen Couillard

Liz Carter watched a model walk by in a grey and pink outfit at Zazzies fashion show on Monday night at The Martini House in Burlington. ” I have a pink and grey bedroom,” she commented. ” Well, hang on to it, it’ll be together in six months,” Sue Miles, Zazzies vivacious owner, told her. The ’70s look is coming back, dashing.

Denise Reeves is already wearing it. She looked positively go-go girl in a black and white geometric print dress with black net stockings and white lace-up boots. She has had a ton of fun since walking into Zazzies, the Burlington shop, about a year ago and badly needed it. Over a period of two years, her mother had a stroke, her father had a heart attack, her sister was dying of cancer and her brother-in-law needed a liver transplant.

“The first time she came in, she bought everything I had on,” said Sue. “The second time she came in, it happened again. The third time she came in, I said: ‘Why don’t you just work here?'”

So, she did. She became a sales rep. back at Liz’s table, her friends who go out for dinner once a month talked about restaurants they’ve tried. They were at one place last summer with no air-conditioning and on top of the heat, there were menopause moments.

“It was about 110 degrees. We were all dying. Finally, they brought out the only fan they had taken from the cook in the kitchen.”

One woman in the group, Pat Curse, won a safety girl kit that contains lip gloss, a thermal blanket, bottles of water, a tampon, chocolate, bandages, a candle, and a condom. Cat is off to Mexico this weekend. Will she take the kit? “I’m not saying,” she replied with a big smile.

By the way, Liz retired this week from Dofasco where she worked in information systems. She had been at Dofasco for 28 years.

Bard Lambier, Josie Bota, Diana Bray, Joy Parker and Pat Magowan are the others in the group.

Over at another table, Jackie Troup offered the Talk some of her deserts. The Jordan artist has a nifty job these days doing a mosaic in the kitchen of former Vineland Estates owner John Howard. She uses stained glass to create custom designs. In Howard’s kitchen, she is working with deep, rich greens, burgundies and black that will go well with the cabinetry he bought from a monastery in Italy.

The Talk also met Burlington Artist Karen Couillard, whose spirited work was noticed at a Palm Springs International Art Fair last April by a rep from Disney. The company is negotiating with her for what she describes as a new look at Disneyland.

“Zazzies launced my career in December 2001,” she says of her original art sold in the shop, She has only about 75 left of the 280 pieces she did three years ago. The Acrylic art is style for contemporary living, with prices for originals ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Karen has just launched two new lines to give everyone a chance to have her pieces at affordable prices.

Groovy-O-Grams are colourful message cards with envelopes that come six to a pack and sell for $8. Matching magnets are $5. She has also launched Groovy Arts at Home, her art prints in three sizes that are framed in flat black frames and sell at $75,$80 and $85.

Her website is Groovy-O-Grams and matching magnets are sold at Delicieux Tea Salon & Fine Dining, which opened eight weeks ago.

Zazzies sells those, as well as Karen’s original art and the “Groovy Arts at Home” prints. Zazzies’ two fashion shows make about $2,000 for Halton Women’s Place.

The Hamilton Spectator “The Talk” By Suzanne Bourret, October 2, 2004 P.4