Folds, Carole’s drawing challenge

When my wonderful (almost) neighbour Carole suggested “folds” for this weekend’s drawing challenge, I thought of the origami I keep failing at in such spectacular ways...lol.

In the china cabinet are two tiny origami cranes right beside a tiny Alice, a present from a visiting friend, and I can’t even begin to think how such a tiny thing is folded. Chopsticks maybe?

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So I decided that a painting with a bit of collage might be more suited to my style, specifically tissue paper collage.

I love using tissue paper and moving it with the brush and the mat medium, and making it fold in soft waves on the painted page.

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So here is my piece for this week, The Dove. I love the soft folds in the texture, I love the folds of the dove’s wings, I love the gentle folds in the hands. It’s a good one.

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When you have a chance, come hop over to Carole’s for links to the folding bunch. :D

Hello from Sunday night

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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:

Hello from Sunday night

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

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

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

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We had the best mooch around exquisite little boutiques.

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We tested organic lotions,

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Saw the best witch’s hats resting on porches.

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Found our reflections in vintage mirrors,

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And gazed into crystal balls.

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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)

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

A little autumn magic

Today, after a bunch of errands and a shaky nerves inducing dentist’s appointment, (always the way for me even though everything always turns out just fine), I promised myself a little calm and a little autumn harvest of leaves.

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I found my favourite little park and had a walk. Look what I found!

Beautiful amanitas!

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My absolutely favourite mushroom in the world. The humble toadstool.

But isn’t it just right, isn’t it perfect? Isn’t it autumn to the max? I think so. Those were fairies who came down last night to dance on the grass, to recline in the soft moss under the trees. Those toadstools are formed from autumn fairy magic. We all know this. :D

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OK, maybe I did actually stop here to collect some leaves for an upcoming art project. But being in the company of autumnal fairies is always lovely.

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Afternoon break in a hectic day

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This little urban park was such a welcome break in my rather full and hectic day. Clover and I walked around and thru it and noticed that the city really did plant an amazing assortment of trees here. This is an old part of town and some of the trees have probably been here for for the better part of a 100 years, and it was lovely to stop the car, go for a walk and watch the squirrels and birds.

And then we got on with this long, but successful day, made even better by taking some time to stop for a while.

Swoon, Tammie’s drawing challenge

I signed up rather late this week. On Wednesday I thought, “Oh, yeah, drawing challenge!” And it turns out, our host is my friend Tammie, with the word “swoon”.

Oh my gosh, does anyone swoon any more?

I sat in my bedroom Thursday morning and thought about swooning, and kept having images of Edwardian ladies in tight corsets. They used to swoon, didn’t they?

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So I went thru a bunch of supplies and pulled out an old Toile de Jouy curtain panel. You know that material? With the bucolic images of lovely Edwardian life.

So I studied it and saw a couple hurrying across a bridge and wondered what they were hurrying away from.

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Oh! So that’s it! Will you just look at the state of the apple pickers. The youth these days…eh?

And, does she have a nose ring? And flaming red hair? Is she smoking a cigarette and wearing a pointy Madonna corset?

And does he have blue hair and goatee, and gang tattoos and a huge gold chain? I think so.

And is that a longboard?!? And is he handing her a skull?!?!?

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Better hurry along little Edwardian couple. That’s enough to make anyone swoon! :D

Come hop over to my friend Kelly’s lovely blog Soulful Home when you have a chance. Not only is she a fantastic decorator, she has wonderful DIY ideas. She’s started a Soul Sister Series and I’m being featured as her first soul sister, Isn’t that lovely? And I’ve offered a giveaway of one of my original paintings.

And remember to pop over to Tammie’s when you have a chance to check on the rest of the swooning. :D

A little catch up…cause I can’t think of a better title

Well then, fall has well and truly landed on the West Coast.

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There are much fewer days of sunshine and this means that there is a greater need to get out into the garden for as much of it as possible.

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The garden is still going strong with cool weather crops, but I do think that fate has been a bit cruel to my Brussels sprouts. They are full of aphids and have grown to tiny, one centimetre balls. Hmm, so much for organic sprouts. I did spray them with soapy water, but being away all summer hasn’t helped. Oh well, win some lose some. (I’ll spare you the gruesome photos)

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Other parts of the garden are wonderful though. What do we think of the beautyberry, (Callicarpa)? I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not. Three small bushes came with the house and garden. Is it me or do purple berries just seem to shout out “I AM POISON” as a rule? (Although I know they aren’t.)

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Sunflowers are so worth growing, aren’t they?

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Not only are they lovely, majestic reminders of the most beautiful of van Gogh and France, they make such wonderful fall playgrounds for all sorts of wildlife.

This little chickadee keeps visiting and doesn’t mind us or the cats at all. Chloe got really close to him…like directly underneath the sunflower… and kept snapping photos. He gave her a look, as if to say, “yeah? you and whose army?” and kept pecking out the seeds. I guess he owns the garden.

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So now it’s evening and C and I have planted fifty yellow tulips, twenty dwarf irises and gathered a bunch of kale leaves for kale chips to eat in front of the telly tonight.

And, I just bought a 60″ Sony…yes I did! To replace my father’s old, hand-me-down, ancient plasma, which emits a high pitched squeal and burns a thousand kilowatts per hour, (marginal exaggeration), and some decent shows are on now, so I think we might stream something and cocoon.

What’s everybody watching these days? I’m liking this silly Manhattan Love Story and really liking Scorpion, as well as all the favourite returning shows. Gosh I feel spoiled for choice.

One day away from the weekend! Cant come fast enough this week for me. :D

Big hugs, and I hope your Friday just flies by and you’re relaxing into the weekend in no time.

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Night time, the WordPress photo challenge

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My two night times, the city and the country.
For the WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Hello from Sunday night

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gardens

Well, hello autumn! Is everyone ready? Ready for the mountains of leaves and crisp apples and chrysanthemums? Bring it on!

It’s been a rainy week here on the West Coast, and just as well for me because I really needed to cocoon and spend some time in thought and meditation, but the glorious weekend brought sun and loads of it and a wonderful Saturday at the river and Sunday at the beach.

Dogs, and farmer’s markets abound and also strange little art get-togethers. I love that, you know. I mean I love dogs and farmer’s markets, but so love to see a group of people, of all ages and expertise levels, set up their easels, paints and canvases and just go for it for the day. There was a group at the river, about 30 strong, ages five to 85, who painted En Plein-Air for four hours and presented their masterpieces in one of the historic shipyard buildings as an exhibition. I just loved every painting I saw.

One more thing which means super fall to me is HOCKEY! YAY! Clove and I caught the first Wolf Pack game. C’s boy Bryson is an extraordinary skater and has been serving as a linesman for the higher league hockey games, and this game was being played 10 minutes away, so naturally we went to support him. The Wolf Pack team is the last minor league boys can play in before they get called up to the NHL, (or not), so scouts are watching, and the game is fast paced and…um…testosterone-y to the max. In the third period, there were three WP players off the ice in penalties for roughing at the same time. I’m so glad that Bryson has years of Aikido as offensive training…lol. Although we’re technically cheering for the refs, it’s nice when the home team wins, and the Wolf Pack did! :D

So, two more days and we technically put summer 2014 to rest. How is everyone feeling about that? Does anyone do anything about celebrating the equinox? A little pagan ritual or something? I’ve been watching Outlander and now love all things Scottish…including Robbie, who is Scots…but now want to do something spectacular to bring in the fall, like build a stone henge right in my back yard and have a ceremony. I know, I don’t tend to do things by half…lol. Maybe I’ll just make a piece of jewellery from one of the pieces of ancient flint I’ve strung up on a copper wire. What do we think? Maybe a necklace with mystical powers? Looking up the powers of flint, I think I need to get this book!

Well, that about sums up my week and weekend. Hope yours was wonderful and you got the best out of it. If it wasn’t, then oh well, tomorrow’s a new day. Big hugs for a wonderful and shiny week ahead everyone. :D

PS: I have another of those darn spaghetti squashes round here. Anyone know something spaghetti squash fabulous?

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch. :D

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

Well, I must admit that this operation has knocked me on my butt!

Here I was all lah-di-dah thinking, “right, op on Monday, yoga class on Wednesday.” Well, not exactly what I managed. Actually, not even close to what I managed.

I did some research and asked my mother, (who is an anaesthetist herself), and the long and short of it is that the anaesthetic drugs settle in the fat cells and take a while to clear, and the longer the procedure, the longer the clearing. It seams that the 90 minutes might take up to one month for my body to get rid of the toxins. Damn, wish there was such a thing as organic anaesthetic. (Don’t say they could have hit me over the head…lol) So I’m plodding along feeling awfully tired and moody and no yoga at all.

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There have been some lovely and bright spots in my week though, The weather’s been so warm and sunny that I washed all the quilts and feather pillows and hung them in the sunshine to dry, had a lovely harvest of organic grapes from the garden, and I also caught up with some of my children for a fabulous curry supper under purple lights…mmm prawn vindaloo. We had Ziggy with us and she was so good that she slept almost thru the whole supper.

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Who else loves curry? Do you make it at home? I hardly ever do, except maybe for butter chicken or something like aloo gobi, but I think I should make it more often.

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Also, I’ve been feeling a bit stuck at home and have not had much energy for art, so I decided to rearrange things round here to look a bit more late summer-autumnal. I decided I wanted to look at this large oil of a late summer meadow. I painted this several years ago, but it’s one of those paintings I really love, so have never sold it.

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Over the years I’ve built up a collection of vintage decoy ducks, (I buy one each time I visit Quebec), and I decided to have my lone goose on the mantle. Behind it I put an oil I painted when I was 20 something, of aspen in the autumn.

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Further along are some potted plants and a wooden quail/partridge I found in the forest close to my father’s cabins.

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On the other side are the two stupid white cats, (as my children call them), a little art piece of fog in an old tobacco tin I did last year, and a little porcelain of my great grandmother. I have to tell you the story of the stupid white cats: so I found one about 20 years ago and just loved it. Then the second one shortly after that. These two hung around the fireplace off and on in two previous houses for years, and, about five years ago, my children thought it would be funny to start buying me every white porcelain cats they come across, and now I have seven! They still come and go, but these two original ones seem to be hanging around more these days.

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I’m hoping for some cooler weather soon, (the garden sure needs it), and, to help with the cooler weather wishful thinking, I’ve brought in some firewood.

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So now that I like my living room I have to go redecorate the rest of the house…just need a bit more energy.

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But for now I’m rearranging my wardrobe, filling the house with garden dahlias, and enjoying every warm, late summer day.

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