Hello from Sunday night

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Hello everyone. I hope you’ve had as lovely a weekend as I’ve had and are ready for a wonderful new week.

I’ve spent the weekend at my daughter’s home 500 Km away from Vancouver in the interior of BC. It was spectacularly warm and summery there and we took the children to the lake shore. You know how children close to water never stay dry? Oh yes, this was very much the case…lol. But Kerstin always packs extra clothes, so nobody cared. We stopped at a little lake shore cafe and bought ice cream, we built a fantasy rock castle for the lake fairies, found a piece of wood which looked like a crocodile and let it go, picked sweet honey locust blossoms, and three of us fell asleep on the drive home.

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

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


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J and L

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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!


first trick


second trick

18.5 exactly

third trick

back to 13

fourth trick

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
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“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,”
“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

“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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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.


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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Girl’s day out

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Tell you what.
Today, my daughters and I ditched the babies, boyfriends, husbands, work, and other assorted responsibilities, and got out of town.
A whole day of flea markets, antique malls, garage sales and general bargain hunting, wandering round small towns meeting new friend and discovering treasures, and, only after we shopped till we dropped, walked for miles, had some yummy lunch, and talked our heads off, did we drive back into the city.
That was so much fun. πŸ˜€
I treasure these times with my girls.

A soft morning

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Boy oh boy it takes a lot to get us going in the morning. Not only is there breakfast to eat and teeth to brush and ponytails to make, there’s Tupperware to explore, blanket and couch forts to build, beds to jump on make, and moisturiser make up to put on. And only then are we ready for our Sbux run! Evidence of Sbux run on my instagram. πŸ˜€

Our little girls are here

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How lovely is it round here? My daughter Kerstin brought our little girls for a super long weekend visit. Last night we had a lovely talk and a lovely play, read a few books, built an airport, made some masks, cuddled the baby dolls, and everyone went to sleep way past their bedtime, tired out and happy.

Announcing the next Drawing Challenge: Stars

As a child I used to sleep outside on the roof-top terrace of our summer cottage with my grandfather and he would point out individual stars, name them, and teach me to see the constellations.

This has grown into a life-long love affair, and this week, on the 25th anniversary of the Hubble telescope, I’d like to propose a new drawing challenge: Stars.

(Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI))

I’m fascinated by stars.
Fascinated by the whole cosmos, that “What else is out there? How does it all work?” feeling.
Say yes, join me and come explore the stars.
As usual, I’ll put up a post on Friday 1st of May, and link everyone who leaves comments here, by email or on my FB in, and we’ll have a visit over the weekend.

Reaching for the stars my friends. πŸ˜€


And, if you like, for added inspiration pop over to the HubbleSite news centre and see amazing images like this one:

(Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI))
You can also read the accompanying story: For over two decades astronomers have been patiently monitoring the fading glow of a supernova in a nearby galaxy. They’ve been looking for a suspected companion star that pulled off almost all of the hydrogen from the doomed star that exploded. At last Hubble’s ultraviolet-light sensitivity pulled out the blue glow of the star from the cluttered starlight in the disk of the galaxy. This observation confirms the theory that the supernova originated in a double-star system where one star fuelled the mass-loss from the aging primary star. The surviving star’s brightness and estimated mass provide insight into the conditions that preceded the 1993 explosion.