The Chilterns View, a dreamy holiday stay

The other day, Robert and I gave Catherine a ride into London.
We picked her up from a dreamy little cabin in the middle of nowhere. It’s a little holiday complex called The Chilterns View, and, for being so central to practically everywhere, it’s standing in the middle of the lovely Chilterns countryside, beautifully isolated with fields, trees and wildflowers.

R drove up into the middle of a field and asked, “where is the path again?”

There’s a path?!?

But yes, there was a line where the clover wasn’t quite so high.

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He said, “follow me. :D ” and walked past a fire pit beside a pond…

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…past a little rustic shelter…

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…down a narrow path lined with wildflowers…

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…up an even narrower path between trees…

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…and onto the front porch of the little cabin.

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Inside…OH WOW! To me, the little cabin looks like a bijou cigar box made form the finest, rarest woods to keep the precious contents perfectly safe.

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Everything you might need is all contained within that little jewel of a box. There’s a two burner kitchenette, a ultra modern bathroom, a little sitting area around a woodburner and a wonderful, comfy bed.

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This is the view form the front porch. Couldn’t you just sit out here and paint, write, photograph all day?

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The outer skin of the cabin is a tough and beautiful canvas.

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And THERE’S A HOT TUB!!!

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This is the patio space where you can sit and have a glass of wine. (and look out over that view)

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I loved this boot pull and welly drier beside the front door.

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This is R’s look of, “One more shot and we really have to go, V.”

(sigh) I know.

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I can see this being a fantastic artist’s retreat. :D

In case you would like to check this wonderful place out, here are the contact details again.

What’s that? Carole’s wonderful drawing challenge

The other day Robert and I were out in the field test driving my Land Rover and our neighbour Polly came to see and ask if we wanted some fresh eggs from her chickens.

We were delighted and walked with her to the chicken coop.

We looked in on the girls and I said, “what’s that?” It looked like a shiny black bead looking directly at me from under the steps of the coop. It blinked and revealed itself to be the eye of a rat!

This rat wasn’t going to give up his eggs for anyone…oh no!

But we had Polly’s huge dog with us, (and he wanted an egg), and so eventually the rat saw the game was up and hopped away giving us the middle claw.

And me without my camera. :(

Today, I took a piece of lino and carved that daemon rat on it to show you exactly what he looked like…to the minutest detail!

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I printed him on a piece of newspaper with the article, “The Value of Disrespect.”

It seemed to fit…lol.

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Also yesterday I took this photo. Any idea what that is?

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It’s the after effects of a huge military jet from a nearby RAF base disturbing a cloud. Cool, isn’t it?

Sharing with Carole and all the gang. :D Pop over when you have a chance and see other wonderful interpretations of the theme.

Taking a chance

Yesterday, C and I pointed the car west and began to climb out of the Okanagan valley up, up, and up the Coastal mountain range for what seemed like an awfully long time. Driving my large 4-wheel drive often means that open windows leave little room for conversation, however air conditioning leaves us dying for fresh air. So, when we were two hours driving, I spied a little turn off and a little dirt road which promised a lake.

Look at those inviting clouds showing the way. Can you blame us? :D

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About two km down the road and there it was. A perfect little lake in the middle of meadows set about with wild flowers.

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We stopped the car, got out and decided we needed a walk around. How glorious and warm the day was.

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The crickets were chirping, the red-winged blackbirds singing, the swallows swooping above the water where a loon was diving, and, every so often, a lake trout jumped for a fly and landed with a gentle “glop” sound and perfectly circular ripples.

We walked and then we sat and took it all in for a long time.

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And then, we hit that interminable highway again.

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Sharing with Mary at Mosaic Monday

Another announcement! A summer blog tour

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I’ve been invited to take part is an exciting summer at home blog tour featuring some wonderful gals.

It was the brainchild of my friend Kelly and her friend Julie and the line up is as follows:

Wednesday,  June 18th

 On Sutton Place

Stone Gable

My Soulful Home

Thursday,  June 19th

 Country Design Style

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Lilacs & Longhorns

Friday,  June 20th

 Thistlewood Farms

At The Picket Fence

Jennifer Rizzo 

Saturday,  June 21st

Our Southern Home

Southern Hospitality

Debbie Doos

And ME! Right here, Saturday!

And if you come have a peek on Saturday, I will give away this little announcing Towhee on Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet , (after I finish him up.)

And now, as a thank you for sticking around, here is something I spied today:

This guy has been left double parked.

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Oh, wait…that’s better. :D

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Coca Cola, Rachel’s wonderful drawing challenge

Well, this was an interesting twist for me.

I don’t drink coke. I can’t imagine filling my body with ten teaspoons of sugar and huge amounts of caffeine and DNA destroying potassium benzoate. :( (but I hear it’s great for getting rust off of metal)

I actually don’t drink any pop at all, so it was a bit of a stretch to come up with something coke related.

The first thing I thought about was pop art, Andy Warhol, as in: “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”

So, ubiquitous as it is, I didn’t really want to disseminate the whole coke image.

I thought about buying a can, dumping the pop out and using the aluminum for some art… recycling the rest…making more cans of coke available…but then again I ran into the problem of personally not agreeing with contributing to the cola market.

What to do…what to do…

Then I got an idea!

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I searched out the biggest pieces of sea glass in my collection and tried a few photo transfer, and it worked!

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The funny thing about photo transfers, is you have to draw the image, then scan it then cut it up and transfer it then remove the paper backing then clear coat it…

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That’s like seventeen steps when you could simply have drawn the darn thing on the object in the first place…lol.

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But it’s much more fun this way, isn’t it?

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So who knows if this glass came from coca cola bottles, but then who knows if it didn’t? I’m taking artistic liberty here ;)

I can see there being a few more photo transfer pieces of sea glass in my life.

When you have a chance, drop by Rachel’s and check out some other fantastic coke related art.

So, I play with dolls!

You know how things happen? You visit a friend and she’s made a wonderful jointed paper doll.

Then, just by coincidence, you visit a second friend and guess what? Yup! Another beautiful doll.

Then you visit a third friend and, holy smokes…she’s got an exquisite mermaid going on!

Well, it doesn’t take much more and you decide you’ve got to have a mermaid/flapper/jointed doll in your life too!

The internet…gotta love it…has a multitude of jointed doll pattern out there. I chose this one.

Made myself a mermaid. Naked of course. Hey, if I was a mermaid I’d so not want to be dragged down by seashell bras and be made a slave to dry people conventions.

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Sat her up against my most favourite Nick Bantock’s “Man Descending” on my office desk.

Next I decided to make a flapper. Same pattern. Dressed her in jet beads and fringe. Stood her up against Man Descending.

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Man Descending looks pretty happy to me. :D

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Playing games, (when I should be working)

The other day, when C and I were at the beach, we collected some beach wood and pebbles.

I had it in mind to make a tic tac toe game for the garden with one of the driftwood and the pebbles.

This beautiful piece had three ginormous nails stuck thru it, but I liked the nail heads and so decided to be brave and use my angle grinder to cut the sharp ends off and leave the rest of the metal in the wood.

Boy, you should have seen how brave I was. There were sparks all over the place and burning wood and melting, red hot metal!!! Angle grinders are not for the weak hearted!

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Then I got some inks and water, the pebbles and a brush.

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I picked out the pebbles I wanted and tried them on for size.

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Then I freehand painted circles on half and xs on the others, and I eyeballed some lines for the game board.
(using rulers and pencils would have been just too professional for me and I want people to pick the game up and not worry.)

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And there you go! Hope people will feel free to play. :D

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A beach lunch to welcome May

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I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. About what gives us moments of contentment and joy. I suppose I’ve come to today from a rather worn-down, divided too many ways, not enough sleep, too much stress place, and so am finding happiness all the more fleeting.

I know that we all work too hard and worry too much and have one too many plates to juggle, and we probably feel like we must carry on jugging because we understand that most of those plates are vital for our future happiness, aren’t they? Maybe you’re like me and sometimes there’s no energy left to focus on spotting a moment of contentment and joy.

Everywhere you look these days everyone is full of tips on finding happiness, finding a life balance, like it’s a thing lost, but I bet it never is lost. I bet the state of stress, of unhappiness, is an inability to adjust to change or to friction…to somehow get used to it, understand it, experience it and let it go. I feel that’s true for me.

It’s so important to make time for happy moments, to make room in my life for these moments to happen. To pack a picnic lunch and head for the beach for a couple of hours. To pluck starfish out of the ocean, to collect beach treasures, to splash around, to find a phoenix in the sky.

And it’s so important to revel in these happy moments. For me it is. To capture these moments and bring them back to my mind over the course of the week, no matter how stressy it gets.

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Patrice’s wonderful drawing challenge, water

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

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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.

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

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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. :)

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

Too much wonderful randomness happening here

Oh my gosh, I could go on and on and on…and for those of you who know me well, thank you for not tapping your toes and crossing your arms and rolling your eyes. I know these days have been a little post heavy, but if you only know how much I have to say and how much I restrain myself!!! :D

Let me just say though, that the light quality is astounding here. It practically takes my breath away every second. As I look around I feel myself automatically reaching for my camera. It’s breaking my heart…in a good way.

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I bought a piece of art. Not this one…although I really want this one too…but a similar one which C and I picked out together to remind us of our holiday. This is the second piece of art I bought from this artist; the first piece was one Robert and I chose together. It’s called Romeo and Julietta and it hangs in our Vancouver bedroom. The artist’s name is Xaime Ximenez and he doesn’t have the use of his hands. He paints with the paintbrushes in his mouth. I’m humbled by his work.

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In the morning, I pretend to want to go for a walk on the beach but it’s only to the neighbouring resort so I can nick a blossom from their hedge to paint in my travelling sketchbook, and then I wear it in my hair…and when it’s almost gone at the end of the day, I press it into my book.

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Speaking of books, there’s a little library of silly books left by holidayers for anyone who wants one, and in it was this Danielle Steel as fifth Musketeer novel. Makes me think of the sorts of surprises I can leave in a novel for the next holidayers…lol..love it. :D

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C ran out of energy at about 7pm today, we missed having supper for the sunset. I know we were pushing it and I bough her a snickers bar because she turned into such a Joan Collins. No…actually she was more Betty White.

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Later, back at the resort post supper, she showed me a most excellent snickers commercial:

I know, right?…lol :D

Sharing with Nancy and the random bunch. :D