Got out of town; to the Okanagan

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Got out of town!
Chloe and I headed out of the city, 500 km away, over the West Coast mountains, away from the rain, the wet, into the semiarid, to the Okanagan, to visit my daughter Kerstin and her family.

I used to live in this fragrant warmth for five years when Kerstie was one yr old.

The air in the pine forests is so sweet and so…unique, like nothing I’ve felt anywhere else and it’s so familiar.

Nice to experience this deja vu once in a while.

Patrice’s drawing challenge: Frida

It’s no secret that round here we’re in love with Frida.

From our handmade pencil cases, to the portraits we bought in Mexico, Frida is all around us at home, and who can blame us. We greatly admire her indomitable spirit and her artistic honesty.

With Kerstie and Ziggy visiting, (not to mention that we’re away for the weekend again), I had very little time for this drawing challenge, and so had to think of an almost immediate piece of art, and here it is:

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A printed photograph of a young Frida mounted on a card stock, hand painted and tinted, with a crown of flowers, each flowers cut out of smooth card stock, painted in acrylics, and collaged around Frida.

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At the moment this little piece of art is shining between garden flowers above my bedside table, but, last night, Chloe said that she might have to steal it. πŸ˜€

Do you feel a kinship with Frida? I do. Incidentally, she died on my birth date July 13th. Hmmm

Come pop over to Patrice’s this weekend for more Frida kinship.

The nicest surprise

Guess who came for a visit!

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Tuesday morning Kerstie called and said, “Mom! Katie’s in labour, can I come down with Zoe and stay with you?”

The answer was yes of course.

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I’m feeling a bit anxious because the Art in the Garden show is coming up in just days now, but Kers and Clove said they would help me on Wednesday to do a little gardening in preparation.

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But first Kers wanted to get a lovely bouquet to take to Katie, Mike and their new baby girl Ainsley, so we had a lovely time walking around “wearing” Ziggy and visiting Sbux, and Kerstie choose a red rose and white mums bouquet and had the florist arrange it in a ruby red vase. The effect was just beautiful.

chloe and ziggy

Then we hit the garden.

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garden

gardening

We worked really hard all day, and then we looked at each other and decided that no one had the energy to make supper, so we walked over to the local curry house. Best decision ever!

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Later, at Z’s bed time, we were outside enjoying the garden, and Ziggy found the waterfall! Oh my word!

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Little wash up and new jammies and off to bed she went. She’s such a lovely girl. No fuss at all.

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And then, just because the evening was so warm and the sunset so lovely, we got out some music and the hula hoop, and we had a little hula hoop dance party…as you do. πŸ˜€

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me and roses

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night

Hello from Monday morning, since I was a complete goner Sunday night

ferry

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J and L

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N and M

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the crossing

(goner – British term for a person beyond help or recovery…that was me last night)

Hello everyone, well, I’ve had a weekend an a half! It’s been a most amazing weekend made even better, I suspect, by no computer. I forgot the charger in Vancouver and so went computer free till Sunday night. (Don’t tell Robbie I said this, but computer free is really lovely sometimes.)

For anyone who somehow missed my excitement and preparations? I spent the weekend on Vancouver Island staying with my cousin Jon and his family and visiting with my friends Nick and Joyce Bantock for a Nick Bantock workshop.

It was lovely being with Jon and Lynn and their lovely daughters Nicole and Michelle and I enjoyed every minute.

Thanks so much for your hospitality and friendship guys. I loved catching up with you and am so happy Nicole and Michelle payed piano for me. It was also good to talk about some family matters, and your Molly is so cuddle worthy it’s ridiculous.

(More about Nick and Joyce, the workshop and the outcomes tomorrow.)

PS if you enlarge the top photo, you’ll see a bald eagle sitting on the light in the right top corner.

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch

Drawing challenge: The Trickster

So here’s a little oracle to inspire you. It’s a little magical, but it’s just outside our mundane world of practicalities. You know you can almost see it, almost touch it as you go about your life, but you always sense its presence, and, when you come to any creative endeavour, it’s always there waiting for you.

All you have to do to release the power is dial the right combination.

And as luck would have it, I’m here to give it to you:

Are you ready? Good!

13

first trick

10

second trick

18.5 exactly

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back to 13

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Feel free to use it any time you feel the need. πŸ˜€

Come visit our other magical tricksters: Patrice, Nadine, Sabine, Tania, Renilde, Katrin, Ariane, Melodye, Marian, Eric, Tammie and Stefanie.

Behind the scenes of this trickster drawing challenge:

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Art: The old front of something like a safe or safety deposit drawer, picked up at an antique market, which has a thick glass window and a support for the window, which seemed just the perfect area to slip in a long piece of watercolour paper with four panels, haphazardly collaged, painted in acrylics and gilded with gold leaf. Then mucked about with in Photoshop to type out the messages.

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A seed of Mischief … a handmade sketchbook

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Yesterday I said to Chloe that I wanted to get a new sketchbook to take with me to visit Nick and Joyce Bantock this weekend.

I told C that it has to be a Goldilocks sketchbook…you know…not too hot, not too cold, just right. But I couldn’t find anything Goldilockish enough. Mole sketchbooks are beautiful, but common. Other sketch books had bad covers, or too thick paper, or not smooth enough paper…basically either too hot or too cold and not just right.

Now it’s no secret that I have a huge crush on Nick and Joyce and admire their work, and, as I was running thru Nick’s books in my mind, I had a thought, “Wait a minute, what do you bring when visiting the Artful Dodger, the Trickster, when walking into the Forgetting Room?”

A handmade sketchbook. πŸ˜€

Anyway, how hard can it be?

So, in the art store, I bought a couple 5.5″ x 8″ black cover essential sketchbooks, (which just happen to have lovely smooth Goldilocks paper), and at Booklovers, my favourite used book store, I found the perfect Goldilocks old book.

I took the black covers off the essential sketchbooks and started taking the pages out of the old book.

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I separated the two sketchbooks into six bundles of 8-10 pages. (Apparently the bundles are called signatures! Now you’re in the know…lol)

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At first I thought I would keep two or three original pages at the beginning and end of the book, you know, to pay homage to the book and author, but the subject was so tragic, that soon all the pages, except for the endpapers came out.

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Then I used a makeshift bookbinding stitch and heavy cotton thread to bind the six bundles signatures together.

At this point I looked for a way to attach the paper back inside the covers. The only advice I found included using an awl to pierce the spine and sewing the paper back in. That was a nonstarter with me. I really didn’t fancy piercing that beautiful spine, so I decided to just glue it in. Now the advice was to use a bookbinding glue…which I don’t have…so I improvised with a cement type of glue. I also included a length of black ribbon as a book marker.

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Anyway, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The paper will start to come out and I’ll go and invest in a good bookbinding glue…lol.

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Then I clipped my book together, stood it on its spine and weighted it down with some iron weights, and left it on my silversmithing bench in the garage overnight.

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This morning I ran to the garage to see how it worked. Oh my gosh! IT WORKED!!! πŸ˜€

Look at the spine of my beautiful new sketchbook. Isn’t the title just perfect?

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Look at the beautiful pages inside.

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The stitched together bundles signatures seems to be holding firm inside the covers.

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But I still wanted to pay homage to the original book, so I composed myself a little love letter from the old pages.

This was a bit harder to do that I thought because the book is about a tragic heroine, the French Revolution, guillotines, death, hopelessness, but after searching thru almost all of the 200+ pages, I got somewhere.

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So here we go.

From the inside cover:

“What kind of nonsense is this?
“Oh, it’s a long story.”

Seed of Mischief
the book
painted by
me
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13
“So I made an original Lovely! book
with paper a dream and love
“It has occurred to me that it would be a good thing
“That doesn’t do any harm,”
true,
“Why?”
“I have a good eye for beauty, art a gift

So Why not? Why wouldn’t it work?
Why didn’t I think of that earlier?”

“I know.” “I don’t think so either,”

“Is there anything else to it.

“Take my word for it, Creation is the jewel of living

And
“Because you have the bravest eyes
“good child, good child,”
“How about you?
Come on, I’ll write it for you.”

How does that sound to you?
“Now let me read it,”

what is living about?”

“Perhaps I can find that out. Do you want me to try?”

Now the story I heard is on the pages of the book.”

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Announcing a new Drawing Challenge: the Trickster

Announcing a new Drawing Challenge: the Trickster

the Trickster

I’ve been a long-time fan, (and friend) of Nick and Joyce Bantock, (and also a repeat offender in Nick’s courses.)

In honour of Nick’s work, and to celebrate a weekend visit over to the island to catch up with Nick and Joyce I’m calling a DC with the theme: the Trickster.

The Trickster’s Hat, A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity is incidentally the title of Nick’s new book.

Let’s all have a mischievous apprenticeship in creativity this week. As usual, I’ll post the DC post and links on Friday (May 15th), and we’ll all go visit each other over the weekend.

Please say yes and brush up on all your tricks. πŸ˜€

Will you draw, paint, sketch, write a poem, make some jewellery, stitch a pillowcase? All manor of creative endeavour welcome.

Hello from Sunday night, and happy Mother’s Day

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ice cream

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in North America who celebrated today. I had the most marvellous time. Chloe and I took a long drive out to the old ship yards by the river and had lunch with my mother and my son at a new to us restaurant called The Blue Canoe. We couldn’t get any reservations at our usual fish and chips place out here, but it didn’t matter, this little restaurant was lovely.

After lunch we walked out onto the docks with the thought of maybe buying a fresh fish. Just then there was a sea gull commotion, as only sea gulls can manage, and we saw a very large sea lion thrashing a fish on the surface of the water, as a bald eagle looked down from the mast of one of the fishing boats. Just lovely.

Ice cream for desert and a nice walk along the river.

Just about a perfect mother’s day for me. How was your day? Your weekend? Hope you had a lovely time. πŸ˜€

Sharing Β with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Friday night market at the shipyards

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Well, today was one of those fast paced days and I was literally running from appointment to appointment, with the last being a hot yoga class, (which actually was supposed to be my flow yoga, but the studio didn’t cool very well after the last class…whew!)

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Finally ended up at home sometime round sixish and looked at Clover and said, “let’s go out for a little supper.”
C said she’d love to and we headed down to the docks and the Friday night market.

We were so hungry that we actually never even looked at any of the twenty or so caterers and just bee lined it for the first one we saw.

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I’m so glad we did, because these fun people made us the absolutely best pulled pork sandwich (for me) and burrito (for C).

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We had a walk around and found this caterer who had two mobile pizza ovens for lovely stone baked pizzas,

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and we found C’s favourite vegan girls selling organic vegan burritos. We seem to come across these gals all over the place, and we do love their food. πŸ˜€

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We explored the market stalls and found some lovely goods, from bespoke wines, fresh flowers, and funky samurai pants, to vintage goodies, and beautiful jewellery.

Annina from Wanderlust and Faeriedust was selling some lovely natural materials knotted into chunky necklaces.

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Bonnie from Bits & Keys was selling her fun upcyled and handmade wearables.

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But Chloe fell in love with this beautiful hand forged silver necklace by Franny.

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We took a long walk around the market and then walked out onto one of the piers…

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…to see the Esperanza.

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Then back to the market and a little more music.

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And then we bought an armload of peonies, and went home.

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My kind of Friday night. πŸ˜€

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Doing everything right

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Today was one of those do everything right days.
Do you have those days? Do you know what I mean?
It’s one of those days you imagine having in your mind, you know, those kinds of days you know that you should strive to have every day in order to be healthy, productive, in love, successful, (fill in the blanks)… etc.

Today I made time to be with R on our daily phone calls. Really be with him, listen Β to him, joke, sympathise, be there; really tried to take care of my love and build our relationship.

Today I treated my art seriously. I went to work in the morning. I went to work and I worked! Started a large map. Decided on the map, decided on kestrels, composed them, drew them, started to paint.

Today I took a lunch break, away from the computer, away form the studio, away from work. Took a lunch break and played with Morgan, did a little gardening, walked around my garden read a little, and then went back to work.

(Morgan gave me the death stare when I picked her up.)

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Today I stopped work and went to my yoga class.

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I got there a early, took 20 minutes of meditation and then got into the class. I connected with my body, flowed thru every pose in the most graceful way I could, thought about every muscle, breathed into every tightness, released, let go.

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Today I finished a nourishing soup from a bone broth base and served it for supper. After my winter (with that nonsense we will not talk about), I was instructed to make bone broths to rebuild collagen and muscle tissue. For me, this generally involves boiling the left over roast Sunday diner organic chicken carcass with some organic beef bones for 24-36 hours in a slow cooker, then I strain out the bones and use the broth for soups. To this I added tons of organic vegetables: kale, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, onions, celery…basically what ever I have on hand, plus a good cup of mixed beans and lentils and herbs from the garden.

Knowing that everything I eat is healthy and working to make me strong and to prevent any future nonsense is so important to me. Even though some days it’s just too easy to pop that frozen pizza into the oven and be done with dinner, taking that extra effort, and actually making a pizza from scratch, better yet, making that pizza with a cauliflower crust, is such a good way for me to say, “I love you body, and I’ll take good care of you.”

Thank goodness I brought my children up with really good nutritious foods, so C loves the kale rich bone broth soups.

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Today is a shining example of what I strive for every day.

Will tomorrow look like today? I doubt it. A 12:45pm dentist appointment x town will seriously cut into my day and will make me feel like a poor baby, so I can pretty well guarantee I’ll be more stressed with Robbie, want to stop at Sbux for a green tea lemonade, and try to skip out of yoga class…although I’ll probably go.

But for today I feel I should celebrate. Pat myself on my back and say well done.

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I met C when she came home from a day out rollerblading with Bryson and having tea with her friend Kat, and the first thing she said was, “nice Pippi Longstocking braids mom!” And I say, “What? Braids are over at 13? I don’t think so!”

So go out there and strive to live your best life, day after day. Try to do your best and forgive yourself when you don’t. I will, and you can join me. We can rock it together.

And for all those about to rock, I salute you. πŸ˜€

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