Chloe cuts her hair for Cancer

Chloe has been wanting to do this for some time now, and even threatening a shaved head for a period of time, (We are ever so glad she reconsidered the shaved bit), but she sent us examples of styles and finally settled on a short-ish bob which would allow her to donate the maximum length to her chosen charity, 360 Hair, a local non-profit, pro bono business, which makes wigs for children suffering thru chemotherapy.

IMG_1366 copy copy

So off to our salon, Raw Hair Lounge, and an appointment with the lovely Chelsie, who brushed C’s hair and separated it into sections…

IMG_1347 copy copy

…and cut it off. (Yes, C kept her eyes closed for it)

IMG_1351 copy copy

IMG_1356 copy copy

And there we are. Twelve inches of clean, lustrous auburn locks all ready to be mailed away.

IMG_1362 copy copy

IMG_1359 copy copy

IMG_1386 copy copy

IMG_1380 copy copy

IMG_1392 copy copy

Then a little bit of trimming, a little bit of product, a feeling of freedom and the soft, warm-hearted glow of doing something good and right…

IMG_1384 copy copy

…and VOILA! Our beautiful child.

IMG_1427 copy copy

I’m so proud of her drive to help, to save the world, to do all she can. :D

Hello from Sunday night

076 copy copy

Hello everyone. :D I know it’s been an age since I posted, and to tell you the truth, I’ve missed photographing and posting something rotten.

074 copy copy

Speaking of something rotten, C came down with a nasty little cold last week. Tis the season, huh? We drove down to our favourite juice bar, the Juicery, and picked up some good medicine. She was over the cold in no time.

090
R and M
138 copy copy

One big bit of news, Robert has flown in for Christmas. :D It’s so lovely to have him home again. And, with R here, we went to find a Christmas tree. We found a beautiful, slightly imperfect, spruce, which a) we could afford!!! (seen the price of Christmas trees this year?) and b) reached up the nine feet to the ceiling.

tree

Then it was just a matter of decorating it. I’ve been collecting glass ornaments for about a million years now. I love them more than anything. It’s been two years since we got them out because Christmas has been in England for the past two years, and I was so excited to see them again. They’re like old friends…do you know what I mean? There’s that wonderful familial comfort in seeing Jonathan’s baby ornament, (34 yrs old now), my grandmother’s favourite one to remember her by, one special glass bird we somehow brought out of the Czech republic in 1968, the street car from San Francisco, vintage silvered glass bells from the antique markets in England…so many special stories attached to so many of them.

147 copy copy

143 copy copy

161 copy copy

150 copy copy

159 copy copy

160 copy copy

168 copy copy

So many beautiful ornaments gathered in various places over many years. It took me four hours to put most of them on.

097 copy copy

Especially since you can see just how much help I had…lol.

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Hello from Sunday night

home2 copy copy

IMG_1307 copy copy

IMG_1316 copy copy

home

006 copy copy

008 copy copy

034 copy copy

022 copy copy

023 copy copy

047 copy copy

001 copy copy

Well, here is a turn-up for the books!
I know all my friends on the less temperate parts of the old globe will be thinking “oh, just shut up V!”, but we’re thrilled to bits with the Friday night to Saturday morning snow. Oh yes we are!

We didn’t mind the frozen fingers and the scraping of the car first thing Saturday morning either. Didn’t mind one bit because we were invited to our wonderful Realtor‘s client appreciation party at the cinema. C was incredibly excited because the film on offer was the third Hunger Games film. At some point in C’s young teen life, apparently I agreed to see all those dreadful Twilight movies with her and she held me to that, and now, teen-agy films, especially if she’s read the books, seem to be a C and my tradition. Anyway, these films are much better than Twilight, so there’s that, and there was hot tea and glazed doughnuts.

The sun shone cool and crisp for rest of the weekend, and, with the exception of a bit of laundry and a bit of grocery shopping, I really didn’t do much else except enjoy the sun and some good books.

And sometimes that’s as it should be. :D

Linking with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Getting into the holiday spirit

It’s beginning to feel very wintery here…as much as the West Coast gets “winter”, but as you can see from this “artfully arranged” reflections shot :D the atmosphere here is cooler, whiter, and darker than ever.

IMG_1273 copy copy

Recently mom bought some beautiful little Christmas lights at Anthropologie and I helped her string them up in her living room. They’re the same ones I have, (which stay on all the year long), except mom’s are a longer chain. Aren’t they lovely and twinkly?

moms

Yesterday we had a walk in mom’s neck of Vancouver, Kerrisdale, grabbed mom a coffee and had a good mooch around some of the stores. This place has changed so much recently. The sky-high rent prices have forced almost all the quaint little boutiques to relocate or close, and ubiquitous chains have moved in. Shame really, but that’s life. Still, a couple of little boutique stores remain. In front of mom’s favourite coffee shop, Cafe Artigiano, was this tiny little dog waiting for his master. He was so friendly and so super cute. Across the street is one of the last remaining boutiques, a flower shop, with a completely different animal in the window. Isn’t that fabulous? Chloe said, “Narnia”. Talk about holiday spirit!

village

The other side of the shop had this wonderful window full of branches. So many surprises dotted around this window that we couldn’t stop looking into it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to replicate something at home for Christmas? I think so.

windows

Next we drove down to my favourite garden centre Southlands. I love this fragrant, warm greenhouse and could very easily just move in! :D

IMG_1251 copy copy

I suppose if I lived in a greenhouse there wouldn’t be much room, or need, for a Christmas tree :( I suppose some vintage Santas and a painting or poster or two might be enough?

santa charm

Or maybe just plant some festive flowers, like Christmas cactus, poinsettias or these fabulous red bromeliads or maybe some gingers, or bird of paradise.

IMG_1257 copy copy

Actually, probably not…lol…I’d still fill it with my millions of glass ornaments (marginal exaggeration) and over-the-top gingerbread houses.

ornaments

And just look at the fabulous trees waiting for December! Wow!

IMG_1249 copy copy

Since this year Christmas is in Canada, I’d love a 11 foot tall tree in the living room. I bet it will end up completely covered by my ornaments.

trees

But not like this…lol. This is a little over-the-top for me. :D

IMG_1242 copy copy

I usually get my tree on December 15th and then it stays up till twelfth night. But now I’m so into the Christmas spirit, that I can’t wait to get the tree. I might not last till the 15th. :D

IMG_1264 copy copy

Hello from Sunday night

home copy

005 copy copy

010 copy copy

016 copy copy

101 copy copy

026 copy copy

006 copy copy

056 copy copy

040 copy copy

050 copy copy

045 copy copy

062 copy copy

068 copy copy

070 copy copy

hula hoop

092 copy copy

081 copy copy

105 copy copy

076 copy copy

077 copy copy

What a fabulously glorious weekend round here! :D

After a solid week of rain the sun peeked out on Saturday making the whole day shiny and bright. Kerstie and Adam came back form their holidays and stopped by with our little girls for a full day of family fun. We’ve missed them like crazy and each time they come for a visit it seems like they’re so much older. Binky (Ever) is now four years old and in preschool, Bunny (Isla) is two and everything a bright and shiny red-headed girl should be, and baby Ziggy (Zoe) is the smiliest, happiest little six month old in the world. There was a whole lot of toy exploring, blanket rolling, baby cradling, book reading, castle building, and crayon drawing going on.

Kerstie found a “professional fire hula hoop” and brought it for Chloe. Chloe tried it on for size and loved it to pieces. Morgan was completely entranced looking at the spinning hoop. No, it isn’t going to be lit on fire at any time.

We explored the grandma hand-knit sweater box to swap out some of the sweaters that the girls can now wear. I guess that for them this is the great-grandma sweater box. Chloe was telling us about how much she loved each sweater. Remembering when and where she wore them and telling us which were her favourites and why. I sometimes think I really should learn how to knit. Maybe just a sock or two. Wait, I guess it would have to be two…lol.

The sun shone all day Sunday as well. My indoor plants, which usually have a nice holiday outdoors all summer, are all doing very well, and I was super excited to find several nice, fat flower buds on my cymbidium orchid. I’m super excited because this is only the third time in, like a million years, that my little miracle plant is promising me a bloom. I must have done something right this year. :D

Hope you’ve all had as shiny and bright a weekend as I have, and if not, I hope your week ahead is wonderful.

Linking with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Hello from Sunday night, which turned into a Monday post again

002 copy copy

002 copy copy

005 copy copy

side tables

027 copy copy

003 copy copy

004 copy copy

005 copy copy

026 copy copy

008 copy copy

028 copy copy

Well, well, well, after days of leaden skies the promise of sunshine thru the velvet curtains turned the whole room rosy pink. Mornings like these make my world so much better. Milo and Morgan love the sun and try to hang out in the sunniest spot as much as they can; usually upside down on the sofa.

My son has come back from Japan and brought his lovely girlfriend Chantal for lunch. I made us some smoked salmon sandwiches and salad. I took my eye off the salmon for two seconds and Morgan was up on the counter and made off with a slice of salmon. She was told off and pushed out the kitchen door into the garden where she sat for the longest time licking her cheeks. The scrubby little cat! One minute she’s sleeping, the next minute she’s pilfering our lunch. She’s a bit overweight and so on a diet and hating everybody these days.

My children and I had a lovely chat and spent a good hour looking thru the baby Jonathan photo albums. Jonathan wasn’t too pleased at the idea at first, but the girls ganged up and majority won. After a while he really enjoyed seeing the old photos. He asked me if he ever wore any clothes as a baby…lol. There were a good number of photos of naked baby Jon and baby Kers on the beach or in the garden in the summer time. What can I say…they were very European babies. :D Chloe and Chantal decided that I had the best clothes in the 80s and now they want to hunt similar down and wear them. C especially loved my bathing suits, my high-waisted jeans and a one piece safari jumpsuit, which I wore to death. I think it was Rodier and I loved it too.

The sun shone golden for most of the week, but it’s that weak winter sun which never really warms much, and that means the temperature has dropped. I suppose it’s dropped all over the continent because I can see the jet stream dipping way low on the environment maps. Morgan hates the cold and so I didn’t leave her out for long…no matter how bad she is I’ll always love her mushy little face.

Hope your weekend was a lovely and cozy one. Time to check out some weekend movies and have a first open fire in the fireplace I think. :D

Hello from Sunday night

IMG_9018 copy copy

IMG_9012 copy copy

IMG_9006 copy copy

003 copy copy

008 copy copy

007 copy copy

009 copy copy

012 copy copy

IMG_9003 copy copy

IMG_9004 copy copy

It was a golden Sunday round here. One of those wonderful days with nothing to do…except a fantastic yoga class. It was a very good thing because Morgan and Milo have just only started to relax after the trauma of Halloween night. Do your animals turn into bowls of quivering, sweating jello when they hear fireworks? Oh boy, oh boy, they basically slept on top of my head all night. I was talking to Robbie Halloween night and Milo was quivering beside me, and I was rubbing his soft fur and massaging his feet when I discovered that the pads of his feet were damp. Did you know cats sweat thru the pads of their feet when distressed? It’s true.

I found a wasp’s nest under the eves in the shade garden part of the house. I think it’s probably best to take it down, don’t you? Although I don’t think wasps come back next year to the same nest. The other day R told me there was a great big wasp buzzing in the cottage and he lost track of it and forgot about it. Then he rolled over in bed and it stung him on his back. Poxy thing!

The great leaf fall has begun and, with any luck, this week’s rain will just bring all the leaves down at once and I’ll be able to rake them up on the drier weekend. I quite like raking leaves. I know that when Robbie reads this, he’ll just say, “Oh, yeah? Well get back here and rake up your maples!” And I’ll say, “Who’s country is the riding mower in?” and we’ll laugh and talk about turning the leaves into mulch for the gardens and piling them in a corner somewhere to serve as warm winder hiding places for the hedgehogs.

Chloe and I are talking about Christmas these days. Christmas! (gulp) It’s here in Vancouver this year, (for the first time in two years), and we’re looking forward to the tree and prezzies and roast turkey lunch and Christmas cake and family. It’s going to be wonderful. And now that Halloween is over I feel like it’s the start of the new season. So I’m slowly saying goodbye to autumn and starting to welcome winter. I suppose I just need to see some fresh snow on the mountains to seal the deal.

I’m completely in love with an old program I found on YouTube, Fork to Fork. It’s a treat to watch one of my favourite Gardeners World presenters carry on organic gardening practices in his home and garden. It makes me even more determined to have an organic small holding and bake my own bread. Here is a link to the first one:

More garlic than I planned on

The leaves have started to fall in my garden and I still had 100 white tulips and that garlic I bought to plant in the garden.

The day was relatively dry, (expecting a full week of rain), plus the green recycling was being picked up this afternoon, so I got out in the garden for a little general clean up and that garlic.

After a while C joined me and I discovered that I forgot to harvest about six garlic bulbs from last fall’s planting. And they all started sprouting and growing happily. So I gave C the job of lifting the forgotten bulbs and gently teasing the individual bulblets apart.

garlic

Gardening is one of those strange activities where you come out fully dressed for the weather and gradually remove layer after layer and end up in your T shirt. :D

IMG_0824 copy copy

So we cleared the summer weeds, which go to the recycling bins, and took down the red runner bean plants, my disastrous Brussels sprouts, and spent raspberry canes, which go into my compost bins, and planted out all the garlic, which practically took over the whole veggie bed.

garden

Milo, who is more interested in patrolling and stalking than gardening, came for an unexpected cuddle.

IMG_0838 copy copy

And then he checked out the garlic seedlings, which may have met with his approval.

IMG_0851 copy copy

I had a hearty chicken and bean soup on the go all day made form the left-overs of a roast chicken and roast veggie dinner, and it was the perfect supper for our gardening day.

IMG_0864 copy copy

Then C made her famous kale chips and we cuddled under out favourite blankie and watched a 1990’s Will Smith movie called Enemy of the State. We didn’t finish it though because we went off to our meditation practice, so no one tell us what happens please. :D

warm

Hello from Sunday night

Oh happy days when the morning shows a little sunshine reflecting on the city across my straight.

IMG_0759 copy copy

The morning that starts with coastal sunshine has a chance of spreading inland into the country.

IMG_0625 copy copy

So C and I followed the river out to the country for a good breather from the work week.

river

IMG_0629 copy copy

We had the best mooch around exquisite little boutiques.

IMG_0737 copy copy

We tested organic lotions,

IMG_0726 copy copy

Saw the best witch’s hats resting on porches.

IMG_0688 copy copy

Found our reflections in vintage mirrors,

IMG_0686 copy copy

And gazed into crystal balls.

IMG_0685 copy copy

IMG_0678 copy copy

IMG_0676 copy copy

shopping

Saturday we went to the hockey game. (Canadian, remember :D ) We went to support Bryson, he’s the linesman in the Wolf Pack games. This game was so heated that at one point two Wolf Pack players and three of the visiting players were in the penalty boxes! Boys…eh? (that’s Bryson in the plain striped shirt)

IMG_0791 copy copy

Sunday was a quick trip to the market for some fresh veggies.

IMG_0801 copy copy

It may have been the wrong time to go to the market because there were millions of little children in various Halloween costumes and we guessed it may have been a special Halloween happening.

But there was this man blowing gigantic bubbles, and that was a treat for us as much as for the little guys.

Also, there were wonderful flowers for sale. Well, not flowers actually, but these amazing grass seed heads.

market1

I also found what I think is the eucalyptus my new friend Melinda uses to get orange eco prints, and this beautiful green sweet William blossom. (but just look to the price per stem!)

I was watching my favourite show, Gardeners World, and saw Rachel de Thame, one of the presenters, show off her cut flower beds. That’s the answer! Plant a cut flower bed with all the exquisite blooms. :D

market2

So, now it’s evening and I’m at home and a little late evening sun is playing on my walls and making my paintings glow.

I love it when the sun shines. :D Hope your weekend was sunny and lovely.

home

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Dress, Patrice’s drawing challenge

I was so glad to be able to be a part of Patrice’s drawing challenge this week.

Let me just say that I love clothes, Chloe loves clothes, we both love looking good and feeling good in clothes, but what we don’t like is knowing that hundreds of pounds of textiles end up in land fills every year because the fashion industry has a terribly slavish built-in obsolescence. And we also don’t like that new textiles carry toxic ingredients in them, such as “safe” levels of lead and cancer causing fire retardants. Clothes are soaked in them and we are expected to put that against our skin. We also suspect that each sequin sewn on to clothes manufactured in developing countries has probably been sewn on by child labour.

So we tend to buy a lot of second hand, ethically sewn, and organically produced clothes.

This time around, I decided to see if I could do some eco printing on some clothes, and see what the results would be.

004 copy copy

So, with the gathered leaves, and a quick trip to the local thrift shop, which produced a shawl, a T, a summer dress and a linen tunic…
Kahmunrah copy copy

I soaked the clothes over night in a vinegar water solution, and we started to layer the leaves.

001 copy copy

Now the thing about eco printing, there are very few instructions out there, and it seems that people give various pieces of the puzzle but not the whole process, so I basically pieced together a system, (which is probably pretty unique to me, since I have very little idea of what I’m doing), from several blogs, videos, and snippets of books on-line. One gal’s blog which I found very beautiful and inspiring is this one: Obovate Designs. You should check it out, Melinda makes the most beautiful eco prints.

One thing I knew for sure, there are things called mordants which change/deepen/fix/help with the colour, but apart form vinegar, they all seemed pretty chemically, and not wanting to contribute to more chemicals in the environs, I chose to only use vinegar.

011 copy copy

I used leaves, red onion skins and spent dahlia flower petals on my two pieces, and C got creative with pomegranate seeds and beet slices on her two pieces.

020 copy copy

That is, when she wasn’t eating the supplies. :D

014 copy copy

I turned the clothes wrong side out, and did a sort of sandwich of leaves in the middle. With the shawl, I spread the leaves on one half and folded the second half over. Then we folded the clothes and wrapped them around a stick and bound them with elastic bands.

Then we put them into my large turkey roaster on a steaming plate, and steamed them for two hours.

Then we put them aside to rest overnight.

040 copy copy

Some days I have about as much patience as a small gnat, and this three day project really stretched what little I manage to achieve, so on the third day, we ran to the kitchen first thing in the morning and started to unroll out clothes.

004 copy copy

006 copy copy

The more leaves, seeds, slices and petals we picked off, the more delighted we were with the result, and the dye material all went into a large bowl and straight into the compost.

012 copy copy

015 copy copy

Then we hung out or eco dyed creations and waited for them to dry.

018 copy copy

And this afternoon I gave them a little iron, and we had a fashion show!

007 copy copy

009 copy copy

C dress

021 copy copy

C top

046 copy copy

We are actually thrilled with our first eco dying try. We love the earthy quality the natural materials gave our clothes. And the best part is that we created something unique and genuine. Recycled clothes, natural dyes, Earth friendly products. It’s all good.

055 copy copy

If you’ve stuck with me thru this whole, extremely long post, thank you, thank you so much and bless your sweet, pink hearts. :D

Here, again, is the link to Patrice’s site where you can see more wacky, creative and fun twists on the Dress theme.

Big hugs for a wonderful, eco friendly weekend for all. :D