on rivers, on Earth Day

IMG_6568 copy copy

IMG_6572 copy copy

IMG_6576 copy copy

IMG_6575 copy copy

IMG_6574 copy copy

To me, rivers have always been extraordinary things. A bit like living creatures. I mean, take a lake. It just is. Just sparkles in the sun and gently laps at the edge and stays in place in a dip in the Earth. But a river is so different. It’s alive. It rushes and bubbles and twinkles and swirls…and tantalises with river music; you know the kind? There’s a mystery about rivers, isn’t there? I mean, does anyone ever wonder where a lake comes from? But a river is different. Perhaps it starts with a drop on some spongy wet moss, too soaked to contain that drop, which drips on and joins a few other drops from a dripping cedar bough, which forms a tiny trickle somewhere up high in a mountain, and that trickle, full of collected drips wends its way to where you stand, polishing and tumbling stones, sustaining forests, creatures, giving life. I’m always mesmerized by rivers.

I think that life flows like a river. Sometimes it is calm and twinkling, and sometimes it’s at such a torrid rush that it sweeps us off our feet.


Hello from Monday night, (which turned into a Tuesday morning post)

002 copy copy

When I was little, I would watch my aunt paint Easter eggs with her oils and tiny brushes. She’d have a small posy of some lovelies, usually violets and primroses, and she’d paint them on the eggs. That’s where I got the idea for the usual eggs I tend to paint, but this year, with R being here for Easter, newly painted eggs, (and more frequent posts), have kinda gone out the window. But I still wanted to commemorate Easter, and remembered that my grandmother and I would dye eggs naturally by boiling them with onion skins.

I looked in the fridge and I had only five white eggs, (the rest were brown), so decided to see what I could do with the five, thinking there really is very little point to dyeing brown eggs…well…brown.

eggs copy

Whadaya think? I love them. Now we have five lovely hard boiled eggs, but they’re too pretty to eat. :D

008 copy copy

Speaking of R, I wrote a list of things which need doing with his help. I called it The Master List. R said I should call it The Make Robbie A Slave List. :( But he actually is such a great help and encouraged me to get together a list of the jobs we need to do around here. Sometimes it’s hard living in two countries.

I remember seeing a documentary about Carol Shields and remember being so moved by her message. She said that, life to her, seems like a flight. A flight of a bird who comes form darkness and flies into a vast cathedral of bright lights and colours and stained glass reflections and magical things, and then, flies out into darkness again. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a bird fly beside you thru that experience?

Life is so much better for me when R and I are together in the same place at the same time.

Although we’re slowly getting thru The Slave/Master list, there is a second, personal list of things to achieve art wise before the art show, and R doesn’t even know the whole extent of that, and I’m allowing this second list to build up stress and worry…but I think I do this to myself…you know, impose deadlines and restrictions and expectations. I know that it keeps me motivated but at the price of what all that cortisol is doing. I must find a better way to manage my though processes.

But sometimes I have results…

IMG_6547 copy copy

IMG_6549 copy copy

IMG_6550 copy copy

…and sometimes I make the dumbest mistakes…lol.

duh! copy

Today, we spent a ridiculous amount of money on pressure treated lumber to replace some rotten planks in the front stairs and build a pergola on the east side of the garden.

Robbie replaced the planks and I dug pergola post holes. Morgan supervised as usual.

IMG_6561 copy copy

Each evening, R and I look at The Master List, (which has not yet been renamed), and cross a thing of two off.

It’s such a good feeling. :D

IMG_6562 copy copy

Now, hopefully, if my service provider is behaving itself, as I hit publish, this post will actually publish. :D

IMG_6555 copy

A windstorm in the night

Well, here we are in that terrible West Coast spring weather, where the clouds pile up and crash into the mountains and it rains and rains and rains.

I’ve been busy inside the new silversmithing studio and also I’ve repotted the indoor plants and terrariums.


Then last night we had a windstorm and all the rain clouds were blown away.

Unfortunately, my greenhouse was also blown away and almost all the seedlings were dumped out into the garden.

IMG_6513 copy copy

I picked up as many as I could and repotted them and watered them in. Robert righted the greenhouse and weighed it down with rocks and bricks.

Well, this will certainly be an interesting gardening year as I can’t tell my aster seedlings from my bachelor’s buttons from my zinnias! :D

IMG_6514 copy copy

Still, the sun is shining, and so we got on with some outdoor work. (With Morgan’s supervision of course.)

019 copy copy

We bought a new, small pond pump and created a fountain from an old water pump I’ve had for years, and then, finally hung up a second fountain into a permanent place. Previously, this ornate Italian fountain was in the entrance hall of a past heritage house I owned, and I didn’t know what to do with it since I moved and left it in storage for about 13 years. The jury is still out on that one, but I think it’ll be fine where we put it; especially with a beautiful clematis growing over it.


And also, we took my dad’s old Craftsman toolbox and, after R drilled out the rivets holding the handles, we sanded down the rust…

tool box

…and sprayed it with rust paint. I love the new shiny red. It still needs to dry and be put back together again and slid under one of the work benches, but as soon as I’ve got that done, I’ll take photos.

IMG_6520 copy copy

We got lucky today, and tomorrow it’s supposed to be back to the rain, and, I suppose, back to indoor work, but the sun was lovely while it lasted. :D

017 copy copy

Round here

045 copy copy015 copy copywork044 copy copy030 copy copyclove037 copy copy035 copy copy

It’s been a quiet sort of day round here. A little work, a little play, a walk in the rain around the hood…nothing special going on.

I suppose it’s the first day we’ve had without someone rushing around. Chloe has finished her semester now and had a big sigh of relief, and now she’s off to Bryson’s parent’s cabin for a few days rest and cats and dogs and horses.

Robert and I are trying to figure out the best way to photograph my art work without a lot of natural light and it isn’t really working so I’m going to put it off till we get a brighter day.

Yesterday I made C a new ring, a bit of a congratulations of finishing your semester prezzy. I love the way it turned out but I still have a bit of work to finish burnishing the bezel around the beach glass and black goldstone.

And, after starting all the sweet peas and ending up with about 200% more healthy seedlings than my garden can accommodate, I smartened up and bought five nasturtium seedlings…just the right amount.

What’s going on with everyone? How’s spring coming along? Has it shown up in your part of the old globe yet?

My friend John has sprouted enough cabbage seedlings for England, Diane is having to protect her porch flowers from some late frost, Michelle has made the most wonderful, cuddly, bear sweater in the world, (she’s such a talented knitter), and Joanne is brewing some wonderful natural dyes. Can’t wait to see what she does with them. Speaking of, has anyone been dyeing with onion skins lately? I remember colouring Easter eggs with them. Think I might try again this year.

Let me know what you’re all up to. :D

023 copy copy

Hello from Sunday night

What happens on a Sunday when you have three car/antique/rock nuts in the family?

A fantastic day out in the country. :D

Our day started out with a visit to a swap meet auto jumble sale about 100km out of town.

car show2

We found some lovely cars and trucks and some good deals on car parts and tools.

013 copy copy

Chloe, who is determined to go to Japan for a year, picked out at least three cars or trucks she wanted to buy on the spot…and then have me deal with them while she’s in Japan. Safe to say she can’t have them all it all.

car show

We almost buckled at this lovely red truck…but the pinto? LOLOL…er…NO!

016 copy copy

I came across these light covers and had a though. My new walnut dashboard for my mini has an extra hole in it and my friend Gillian, a flying instructor, suggested I put an altimeter in the hole, and that’s a fantastic idea, but if I can’t get one the right size, I was wondering if maybe I could have R install a light and reverse paint one of these glass things for some car art. How cool would that be?

036 copy copy

When we were finished with the car swap meet, we drove over to Fort Langley for some lunch. We needed to wait for about 30 minutes for a table outside so we had a mooch in the antique mall.

046 copy copy

I love that place and it takes way longer than 30 minutes to have a good look around, so we stuck to our favourite stalls only and had a through look thru those.

antuque mall

C found this sweet, little, yellow glass cup and it was extremely reasonably priced and so we bought it.

052 copy copy

Then our table was ready and I had lunch with my besties and off we drove to the rock and gem show a further 40 km down the road. We got lost once or twice, but managed to find it.

sunday best

We walked thru the exhibitions and C bought a fossilised shark’s tooth and I bought a lovely pale blue gem to set into some wonderful new design.

rock and gem

Seems we weren’t finished with the country after the full day and so we stayed for a movie.

We saw Captain America, the Winter Soldier. What an absolute load of fun silliness. We loved it! :D

Sharing with Mary for Mosaic Monday.

Friday random

I really have to pick up the camera more. I’ve been really lazy these days and not working on art and artistic things…as evidenced by the hopeless lack of posts.

But work in the garden for the Art in the Garden weekend is continuing. I’ve planted a sedum collection in a pot and I have dreams of a living wreath or living wall…but it’ll take time because all these sedums have been stolen divided and shared and have come from family and friends.

IMG_6380 copy

Clover is using this amazing product called Sculpey baking clay to make a weird and wild taxonomy of fairies for a Cabinet of Curiosity display for her art history of museums course. Here, with Morgan inspecting, (as usual), she’s just placing her fairies into the shadow box she’ll use for the project. That clay was super fun for her to work with and there’s a little left over. I think I might have a go.

IMG_6415 copy copy

I’ve been putting in a bit of time in the new jewellery studio. It’s working really well on the bench in the sun. The only slight drawback is that I can’t see the flame of my torch in the sunlight.

IMG_6439 copy copy

And, as with almost any new art discipline almost anyone takes up, it’s going to be hours and hours of solid practice before I get good at it.

Chloe turned 22 this week and I was determined to make her a special birthday ring. So, after about three tries, (all of which ended up in the scrap silver for lost wax molding jar), I finally succeeded!

I made her a ring with a piece of beach glass she found in Mexico.

IMG_6403 copy copy

She loves it. :D I’m so happy.

Sharing with Nancy and the random bunch.


Hello from Sunday night

Hello everyone, exciting things are happening here. :)

So much has happened this week and I have so much to tell you!

Robert and I cooked up a surprise for Clove several months ago.


R planned to be in Canada for the spring and we kept the date secret. He flew in on Wed afternoon, just when C was in a class, and I went to the airport to pick him up.

We knew that by the time we got back form the airport, C would have been home already, so I dropped R off a block away and walked in to the house, gave Chloe some flowers to put in the vase and excused myself to the washroom.

In the meantime, R walked to the door and rang the bell.

And C had to go answer the door!!! :D Oh hugs and tears and disbelief! We pulled it off! It’s so hard to pull one over on C. We had a blast. :D


I came home from Mexico to lovely good news.

My seedlings for the Art in the Garden early display are doing very well.

IMG_6382 copy copy

And I’ve been selected as one of the artists to show my work. Hooray! I’m so happy.
But now I have to get painting.

IMG_6383 copy copy

The weather has been good enough that we’ve had our first lunch alfresco.

027 copy copy

And Morgan’s been bothering the chickadees and finches in the garden. I guess I should say that they’ve been bothering her with their singing and displaying.

030 copy copy

We’ve been cleaning out the garage to ready it for a studio space of sorts, and attacked the second work bench with my stamps and pens.

I love family projects. Everyone has so many fantastic ideas.

038 copy copy
042 copy copy

I have a limited amount of stamps but they’re good stamps, and sharpies were used to write out our favourite sayings, someone found all sorts of glitter stuff, and the Bonjour fish made a reappearance in several spots.

bench work

One other thing we did this week is finally get my father’s vintage Raleigh 20 bike tuned up.
He bought this bike in the early 1970s. Anyone remember the oil crisis of 1973? Well, my father decided he could cycle to the hospital and his practice if the worst came to the worst, and still tend to his patients.

Anyway, the worst never did come to the worst and this little bike stayed in the basement untouched and unridden till mom gave it to C. She washed and polished it, R pumped up the tires, WD40′ed the chain, and adjusted the seat, and that was that.

025 copy copy

That’s one happy girl.


Speaking of happy girl…

IMG_6337 copy copy

Clove sends you this little clip. It’s of the most ridiculous porcupine, and is sure to make you happy.

Sharing with Mary for Mosaic Mondays, with Dwellings, and with Create With Joy. :D

047 copy copy

Hello from Sunday night


157 copy


032 copy

They say that if you see the green flash just at the moment of sunset, you cannot be deceived in matters of the heart. So I’ve watched each sunset here, photographing the last moment, till the last evening of our vacation, when conditions were just right for me to be able to bring it to you.

So now, with digital photography, we can all see the green flash and all understand and be true judges of character, and possibly live happily ever after.

(I knew I was good for something…lol.) :D

So get ready, because it’s going…

148 copy


IMG_2648 copy

IMG_2653 copy

gone. :D

Sharing with Mary for Mosaic Monday

Our last full day of vacation

Another perfectly wonderful day in paradise.

The day dawned bright and sunny and warm.

074 copy

We splashed around with the aqua-cise group..

102 copy

…and did a little bird watching.

083 copy

We did a little painting…

115 copy copy

…and took a taxi into town.

Where we walked up and down all the streets,


Noticed all the people,


Looked at all the buildings…inside and out,


Saw some probably once in a lifetime things…like prom queens getting into the bed of a pickup truck :D


Made some new friends,


And came back to the resort for a Caribbean fiesta party.

IMG_2646 copy

One more sleep, one more fabulous day, and tomorrow evening we fly home.

IMG_2688 copy

Patrice’s wonderful drawing challenge, water

This morning I sat in the cool light contemplating the ocean and Patrice’s drawing challenge.

056 copy copy

For some reason I had yesterdays sand sculptures on my mind; especially this lovely iguana which was claimed by a pelican. I wondered if the sea came up in the night and the water claimed the sand back as its own.

009 copy copy

This afternoon I used the resort’s acrylics to draw myself the sea.

114 copy copy

And then I walked down the beach and offered the sea a bit of art. Ephemeral as it is, it will be washed away by the water and the only thing left will be a memory. :)

073 copy copy

When you have a chance, click on Patrice’s link and visit some of the other wonderful artists. :D