Let the sun shine

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So this is something lovely, the Wet Coast hasn’t been living up to its reputation lately. There’s been some amazing fog and sunshine, and, even if the sun is that cold, blue, low in the sky, wintery sun, it’s most welcome.

Chloe comes home between classes and hangs out in the sunshine in the living room and pretty soon she’s found, (or rather, her lap is found), by one of the cats.

The house plants are starting to think about growing again and it’s lovely to see them reaching for the windows.

By the afternoon the sun swings around to the south side of the house and into the dining room and kitchen. Here it’s illuminating a vintage beaded peacock and my orange lily painting.

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We usually go for a walk or hike these days, (trying to lose those extra pesky pounds) and after we come back Chloe makes us a fruit smoothy. She’s become a fruit smoothy artist these days. She adds good things like spinach and flax seeds and makes it taste delicious. Then she pours it into her camera lens travel mug. The students in her film studies class love that travel mug.

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The last of the light, the evening light, usually shines intense gold and illuminates the lacquer red walls of the front entry. And I love to take advantage of the last of the sunlight with a little ritual of relaxing with a cup of tea and a lovely book. Right now I’m loving this beautiful Annie Leibovitz book called, “Pilgrimage”. I’m dreaming of some sort of a pilgrimage of my own and trying to imagine what that would look like.

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But I’m very excited about, and am starting to prepare for two things. One is a colour trade which is being hosted by my friend Vibeke and the second is the new Grow Your Blog event hosted by the lovely Vicki happening this coming Saturday. I’m planning a give away of some kind. Probably involving art and something vintage…lol.

And sharing with Ivy and Elephants for What’s it Wednesday

Late tea, being left-handed and a little giveaway

Early morning appointment had me clear across town and in mom’s neck of the woods and so mom and I took some time and went to Caffé Artigiano for breakfast.

I love the way the baristas enhance one’s coffee and tea experience with their milky and spicy designs. I mean it’s not necessary, my London Fog would have been just as nice with steamed milk, but the little heart of foam sprinkled with cinnamon was just so lovely. Mom’s latte was amazing too, and I noticed that the barista who made our drinks was left handed.

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Did I ever tell you that I have a fascination with left-handed people? I do! It’s about the first thing I notice when I meet someone. Robert is left handed and I love that about him. I love watching his hand move as he writes or works.

Apparently I was supposed to be left handed. Apparently I favoured my left hand as a baby, but there was some sort of weird stigma associated with left-handedness in Prague and things were taken out of my left hand and placed in my right and I grew up to be right-handed.

This afternoon, while I was waiting for the water to boil, I cleaned up the kitchen sink.

I guess you can see my right-handedness in my sink…lol. The pretties are on the left side. That’s my new Begonia Escargot, (I love that plant), my Buddha, (a prezzy from Kerstie), my father’s radio and a photo of C at about age 9 sipping water form an alpine stream in the French alps. And on the right is the dish soap and a ceramic vase which usually holds brushes which either need to be washed or are drying. I couldn’t imagine switching these around. Things wouldn’t function at all.

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Usually I love to have pots of ivy in those green vases, but each time I go away for months at a time, the ivy has a fit and dies. The other day I decided to replace it and so went to Wal-Mart to “save” a couple plants. I don’t know about you but I think Wal-Mart has absolutely no business selling plants! (Oh, soapbox moment, sorry)

Anyway, the ivy was deader than mine but they did bring in some poor sacrificial African violets and so I decided to break with tradition and save two violets instead.

For my tea I chose this little late summer cup by Royal Standard. I love the little storybook scene of hay stacks on the inside of the cup.

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And I was going thru some of my watercolours and I thought that I would really like to send some more out into the world instead of having them stacked in a drawer in the writing desk.

The first one I chose to send out is this little violet painting. I painted it on this note paper because the gentle swaying of the notes reminded me of that sweet violet scent which you catch just a hint of and then can’t help yourself but bury your nose right into the blossoms. You know what I mean?

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Of course I can never just send off a painting, so I’m sending it off with a funky moleskin journal, some of my photography cards and some other bits of ephemera to inspire you with.

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I’m not sure if I can comment back on this post because of that random generator thingie and I don’t want it to select me…lol, but I love your comments and get so excited when that little orange bubble is lit up for me! (WordPress jargon) :)

So just leave me a comment and I’ll do the random thingie on Monday and announce it next Tuesday. (Having said that, all things being relative and hoping I’ll have time for tea next Tuesday…lol)

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Linking with Terri and Martha and Sandi and Bernideen and off to visit everyone. :)

Would you like a print? (AKA a tiny little giveaway)

I’m learning how to print and Theo is just not impressed with me. :)

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But me? I’m impressed with myself even if only a little.

Just after Art in Action I decided I’d love to try printing lino cuts, so I gathered some papers, bought a brayer and some sepia printing ink and decided to look up some techniques on YouTube and visit artist’s websites.

It soon became apparent that it was also necessary to have a heavy burnisher for transferring the ink to the paper.

Robert said, “will this piece of brass do?” I said it would be so perfect if only there was no danger of snagging the paper on the rough edge.

Robert said, “There you go, there’s the lathe!”
(Gulp)Are you kidding me?

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Actually, he’s the greatest! He started the process for me, got me to have a go once he had it going so I could say I had a hand in the design of my wonderful new burnisher and finished it for me expertly bevelling all edges. It would win first prize for the smoothest thing in the smooth thing competition.

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So today, this is what my studio table looks like. (Actually it looks much worse, this has been cleaned ever so slightly so you can see there’s a real table under there.)

These printing blocks are Robert’s mother’s wonderful 1950s plates.

I thought they were lino cuts, but underneath the paint, they are solid, probably lead.

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And here is my window sill and radiator. Oh, can’t see them? That’s because I’ve been practising and I won’t stop till I have at least 20 good images that I like.

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It’s actually trickier that I thought. There’s a fine line between too much ink and not enough. There’s a fine line between too vigorous a burnishing and too light.

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And then, some of the plates are very fine lines and some very solid and some have fine and solid lines mixed up. There doesn’t seem to be a one rule fits all here.

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And then I will hurry up and try for different papers before I even know what I’m doing…lol

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So if you’re not like Theo and are a little bit impressed and would like to have a 1950s print or two in sepia ink, then tell me and I will send it out to you. :)

Unless you’re Chloe and then you have to wait till I get back. :)

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My first giveaway! Still feeling the love from yesterday’s post.

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and wanted to put together something special, something which is “me” and also has value.

What I came up with is this little gift package:

A Moleskine journal – because I write, sketch, keep insane little ideas in Moleskine journals.

Ephemera stuffed in the journal —sketches, stamps, old photos, bits of things – because I love to create with ephemera and think you might like to too.

Some of my kaleidoscope cards – because I write to people and so think you might like to too.

A sweet little vintage vase for you to put some flowers in and brighten up your space while you write – because I love vintage and flowers.

And two little bits of vintage lace, one for the vase and one for the cup of tea you will sip – because I love tea.

It all goes into this sweet little house box and gets mailed to anywhere at all – because mail goes everywhere these days.

So here’s the catch: Leave me a comment please :) That’s all.

And, if you like, I have a little favour to ask of you. Lately I’ve been thinking about this site because some people have asked me to type cast it. I hate pigeon holing things and always refuse to, but it does make me think. What kind of site is this? Is it even possible to put it into a bracket…like, say, lifestyle blog? Art, photography, travel, she’s-all-over-the-place-with-this blog? The thing is I just don’t know, so if you have a feeling or anything pops into your mind, like that word association stuff, I’d be ever so grateful if you could please tell me. :)

Apparently people have these things open for a length of time, so shall we say week Sunday? That would give me till Sunday Feb 3 to figure out what a random number generator is. And then this sweet little package will be flying out to you.

(this is a bit of a secret but there are eight more Moleskine journals here so this giveaway may have to be repeated with different goodies)