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Introducing The Art of Woo


In a world that is increasingly losing touch with the basic courtesies, a new book helps people connect with kindness, civility and small gestures.


St. Jacobs, January 15, 2014 – You must really like women, not just want them. Women will warm to men whom they sense like them and respect their unique qualities.

This is just one of many insights of Stratford, Ontario artist and author Edward (Teddy) Payne in The Art of Woo: A Gentleman’s Guide to Courting, a delightfully illustrated and instructive coffee-table book. Teddy has led a storied life of adventure, love, war and peace in the pursuit of personal excellence. Now in his 80s, he draws from his experiences and reflections on the nature of relationships between men and women, and encapsulates them in this new book.

The Art of Woo is essential for today’s young men coming-of-age, soon-to-be grooms and those men – and women – who appreciate a glimpse into the gentility that defined past generations. More than that, it is for those who appreciate and wish to instil within themselves a glimmer of the courtesy, respectfulness and manners of the men and women we used to call “gentle”.

“I’d like to be thought of as someone who has tried to do things right or make them better, whether it was on a ship at sea during the War or in the waterless desert and bush of Africa or – for that matter – in the daily cut and thrust of everyday life in the modern city,” says Teddy. “I’ve learned a lot from these experiences and hope that my legacy will be a more cheerful, considerate place.”

Wooing can be defined as: to seek the affection of love of someone, usually a woman; court, and is an art that seems to have lost its lustre in today’s hustle and bustle world.

Publisher Christine Guy, owner and Creative Director of Pollen Inc, says, “The Art of Woo is also about more than man-woman relationships. It’s about the practice of treating others with respect. Wooing, like respect and politeness, takes practice.”

To illustrate this, The Art of Woo offers readers 39 tips, including:

  • On Grooming and Manners: Never ever say “you know” or “like” repeatedly. It’s exceedingly irritating as well as juvenile in the extreme
  • On Meeting and Greeting: Do not curse in an ugly way. It’s acceptable if it’s done humorously, but be careful – very careful – not to offend
  • On Bedding: Don’t try “it” on too soon. Women hate to be rushed, especially in such matters. Take it nice and easy; it’s going to be over much too soon anyway, especially for her

Canadian icon Christopher Plummer has called the book “charming” and readers will quickly understand why when they see Teddy’s collection of illustrated witticisms and his lessons learned from a lifetime in the practice of “woo”.

For more information, please contact:
Christine Guy
Pollen Inc.
P: 519.221.9946
E: christine@pollennation.ca

The Art of Woo was published by Pollen Inc.; cultivating the arts, good manners and the simple things in life.

Purchase The Art of Woo: A Gentleman’s Guide to Courting at:

Fanfare Books

92 Ontario St
Stratford, ON, N5A 3H2

Available in-store and via email at fanfare@cyg.net.
Ships worldwide.

First time in 20 years…

I was considered an artsy kid. I danced, I sang, and I did art. Art was particularly special to me — I could spend hours in my room drawing. I always thought I would somehow have art in my life, but I gave it up back in my early 20s for what I thought was the right reason: I lacked talent!

Yes, I could draw. But I couldn’t create anything I thought “special”. Truth is, I was scared. I ached at the prospect of someone looking at my work and dissecting its imperfections, which I was sure were many. So I walked away.

Recently, I found myself drawn to some inexplicable need to create something with my own two hands but I wasn’t exactly sure what that was. A milestone birthday under my belt — I suppose I thought that I’d better get to it now or risk missing my window. But what to do, what to do…

Over the past year I have worked with a life coach, been channelled, taken an art therapy workshop — all in an attempt to figure out how to inspire some creativity in my life, beyond what I do for clients. I realized one day that I was surrounded by many wonderful artists including Scott McKowen, Teddy Payne and Janet Hill, and a long time friend, Norah Borden (all making a living from their art, I might add) but I was sitting on the sidelines. So, after a lot of soul searching, I decided to just do it. I picked up some paint, a small easel, and a canvas and after agonizing about it, I finally started.

So, here is my first attempt at painting in over 20 years! First time with oils. (It’s not exactly finished, but I needed a break from it.) While I’m still terrified to have people critique my work, I send this out into the virtual universe as a symbol of letting go. That, and I have the “comments” section turned off so I don’t have to find out what you think. Whoever “you” are.

I call this painting “boy with dandelion”. (Boy = Benjamin, my son)

Boy with dandelion

Boy with Dandelion, August 2012, Christine Guy

Kiju Organic has a brand new website

Over the past few months, my team (thank you to Paul, Jon, Sacha, Tina, Harp, Charles and Crystal), and I have been working away at a project close to our hearts: the new and improved Kiju Organic website. We’ve edited copy, trimmed out the unnecessary bits, improved the navigation, updated the plugins, and redesigned the look, all the while, working closely with our clever client, Kevin! We think it’s lean, clean, and of course, green!

If you’re not already a friend of Kiju Organic on Facebook, a follower on Twitter, or a consumer of the lovely organic juices and organic iced teas, get a move on. No excuses. Here’s how to find kiju.

Shakespeare meets Fellini

Twenty-four years! That’s how long Montreal’s Repercussion Theatre has been taking Shakespeare-in-the-Park on the road. Unlike most “Park Shakespeare” productions,  this one packs up after each performance and pops back up in a new park nearly every night over its 3-week run.

Scene from Fellini's 8 1/2

Preparations are well underway for this year’s sure-to-be-fabulous production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – rehearsals start in early June, with a talented young crop of actors. The next William Shatner, perhaps? You never know.

I am most excited to see how the set design and costumes will add an Italian, “Fellini-esque” feel to the production, drawing inspiration from movies such as La Strada and 8 ½, without ignoring Shakespeare’s Elizabethan influences!

Maybe I’m a little biased (my husband is taking on co-director duties this year), but I’m pretty sure that this production will deliver a little bit of circus, a lot of passion and a whole bunch of fun! Best of all, admission is FREE! (Of course, please give what you can as a donation!)

Frankly, we need to support the arts and our artists! If you only knew what the average actor makes during a typical theatre run, you’d want to give them a big hug, say “I’m sorry”, and then invite them over for dinner!

Artefacts, then and now

I remember spending countless hours shopping with my mom when I was a child. Typically, we’d end up in some off-the-beaten-path town, like Bayfield, Elora, Aberfoyle or St. Jacobs, rummaging through bins of bobbles and prints at antique stores and outdoor flea markets.

During one of our excursions, I entered the world of Artefacts Salvage & Design and was struck by the many textures and extraordinary beauty of all things old – the cracked paint, the intricate designs.

Over the past 20-odd years I’ve visited and purchased many a  beautiful piece from Artefacts, including this shelf (pictured below) made from a cornice picked from a building in Detroit (if memory serves me) . A little sanding and new paint, et voila!

Vintage ShelfI feel like I’ve grown up with this company, in more ways than one. Not only is it still one of my favourite shops, but they are also a client. And they, like me, are celebrating a milestone year, this year.


Congratulations on 25 years in business, Scott and Chris of Artefacts.
Read more: Artefacts in The Record

End of an era? Viruses now targetting Macs!

Today I received an email from a friend telling me that an attachment I sent wiped out her printer drivers, causing a bit of techie mayhem. “I’m on a Mac,” I cried out silently. But before I could respond she wrote,  “I know, you’re on a Mac! But supposedly they’re targetting Macs these days.

(Who are “they”? Errrr.)

So without skipping a beat I downloaded some virus-scan software, scanned my files, and voila, two infected files (now quarantined)!

End of an era? Are we no longer safe?

Voter: free to good home

This election had everyone fired up, didn’t it? It was kind of exciting! The dramatic tension, the unknown, the heated debates… But sadly, I found myself voting strategically rather than passionately. Alas, I’m a voter without a home.

So, what’s my problem? If I may channel Goldilocks for a moment.

I find one party too cold, another too hot, and the party that should be juuuust right, well, isn’t?

What I want is for my party to see both sides of the argument. Don’t just discount arts and culture. Help find innovative, inspiring ways to help the arts become more self-sufficient – through partnerships with corporations and business. And don’t just ignore our country’s need to cut costs, drive business, protect, and position itself on the world’s stage. Come on guys, you’re smart. You’ve got resources. Why are you all missing the boat? You’ve got a huge opportunity to listen to the voices, eliminate barriers, solve problems, and have citizens of this country love YOU, without having to give up your party’s raison d’être.

Poor Elizabeth May – who I think is a pretty smart cookie – just trying to be heard in this quagmire. Oy!

Well, you know what they say? Don’t complain unless you’re ready to do something about it. So what if? What if I wanted to become Prime Minister?

Window shopping

I love art! If I could, I’d buy art rather than furniture. I’d sit on the floor and just admire the view. But I realized today that maybe my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I was strolling past a gallery in Westmount the other day and stopped to admire a painting in the window. I thought, wow, that painting would most definitely inspire me to do some great work. What’s the harm in checking the price? Really, how expensive could it be? It wasn’t that large.

Wolf Kahn's Barn on Cooks Lane 2010

Wolf Kahn’s Barn on Cooks Lane 2010

Well, I should have known when the dealer prefaced his reply with, “we have a great selection of Wolf Kahn paintings and pastels starting at US$4,500”, that it wasn’t going to go my way. I should have doubly known it was going to be bad when he didn’t actually put the number in his email. He left that for the PDF.

Note to self: The price of a painting cannot be equated to the volume of paint used! Okay, I knew that, but a girl can dream.

‘Help The Honey Bees’

Great video from Haagen-Dazs. Brilliant concept for cause-related marketing! Sadly, too many honeybee colonies are disappearing. And you know what that means? No more fruit being pollinated, no more ice cream (or countless other foods for that matter!). A big “thank you” to my friend and colleague, Harp Arora, for sharing it.

Meet Christine

In 2000, I started my own business providing marketing communications consulting to a small group of clients. I called it “Brainstorm” after the flash of inspiration that precedes original work. In the course of running the company, I met great people and did some great work.

Flash-forward ten years: I still love marketing and design. I have a great group of clients and connections. And I’m also mom to a wonderful little boy who inspires me to look at my business in a new light. Today I care even more about the future and making my work meaningful. Not just as a business owner, but as a parent, a human being, and as a person who inspires change.

I realize that I gain the most satisfaction from work where I can contribute in a meaningful way to the world through the promotion of innovative, healthy choices and the creative arts. I love to help propel an idea or dream in a way that is inspired, responsible, distinctive and creative. To me it’s really exciting to help express an idea or concept for the benefit of many people.

Christine Guy, Owner & Creative Director

© 2011 www.modephotography.com

With this in mind, I decided to re-energize and refocus my business. I chose the name “Pollen” because it signifies a vital part of an organic process – one that helps grow greater things. I truly believe this new name, vision and focus on specific market areas is more in keeping with my overall philosophy and lets me work on the things I love.