Pollinators, Tammie’s drawing challenge

I was really excited when I got Tammie’s email saying she’s called a drawing challenge. And, how perfect for spring! :D Thank you so much sweetie, I love the DCs.

It’s been a while since I mucked about with my oils, and, since the tulips are blooming in the garden, I decided to paint one.

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But the tulips blooming right now are early, single hybrids, and my favourite, and the most fun to paint, are parrot tulips…you know, the ones with the frilly, multicoloured petals which twist and turn in impossible ways. And, since my parrots are still in tight bud, I got out my photos of last year’s garden parrots and used those as reference.

Painting with oils, at least the way I do it, takes a couple/three/four days per painting, (there’s sort of a fine line of drying time that you get to know when you paint with oils for a while), because the oils end up being too wet and slippery after the first layer, and need a day or two to dry a little so a second layer blends in without taking off the first layer or blending everything into mud.

So I chose a canvas, and painted a first layer of oils on Tuesday.

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And then Wednesday, my painting was still too wet and so I painted a second canvas…oh yes!

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Yesterday and today I overpainted a second layer, blended it into both the paintings and refined them to where I like them.

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And there we are, two parrot tulips in full open glory, spreading out their stamens and black pollen, inviting all the pollinators in. (They look rather tarty up there with Frida, don’t they? Like wild girls in flamenco skirts…the big flirts)

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Come fly over to Tammie’s for some more lovely pollen action. :D

Randomness to the max

The other day I bought a lovely basket at the thrift for something ridiculous like $1.99. I imagined all the wonderful picnics I could serve from it, all the stuff in my car I could organise in it, how lovely it would look in the laundry room…Morgan had other thoughts. It now lives under the kitchen table and has a slight smattering of catnip in it…lol.

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With lovely spring flowers appearing in my garden, I’m feeling more like spring cleaning and spring decorating. Fresh green mantle and decluttered, clean house, here we come!

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A generous new friend, Mona, sent me a small envelope of indigo seeds from Denmark. She included a tiny bow dyed with the precious blue dye. I’ve started the seeds and hopefully, come autumn, we’ll be trying out the deepest, richest, bluest dye ever seen!!!

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Speaking of garden, I’m excited to say that I’m making home-grown garden lettuce salads for lunch already.

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And finally, my friend Sara sent me such a beautiful and generous surprise. I can hardly believe it! In a huge box full of packing peanuts were two precious and beautiful tea cups, (which have already been put to proper service), a spectacular glass paper weight, and a guardian angel! The most beautiful, porcelain guardian angel in the gentlest Victorian dress, with white feather wings, pearls and lace. No one has ever given me a guardian angel. I’m so touched Sara. I’m feeling absolutely weepy writing this. Thank you so very much. The angel will be called Sara, and will look after us from now on. Biggest hugs and kisses, and one day in person!

Saras gift

Sharing with Nancy and hanging out with the random bunch over there. :D

As the sun sets on our holiday…

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…and I have to say goodbye to Puerta Vallarta, I will take another Mexican late March holiday and keep it safe in my heart. We have been spoiled to the max with the warmest ocean, the yummiest foods, the sweetest piña coladas and C’s new discovery: Miami Vice: 1/2 strawberry daiquiri, 1/2 piña colada! :D

We’ve enjoyed our fellow holidayers and had some lovely conversations with what we hope will turn out to be new friends.

We’ve shopped till we dropped and bought a little something for everyone.

I’ve drawn in my travel sketchbook, made beaded bracelets, walked all over the little, hilly streets and peeked into the courtyards. I’ve loved seeing a golden tan and freckles develop across my child’s nose, and dragged her into the ocean laughing and screaming with joy. (Evidence in her latest video up soon…I’ll link as soon as it’s ready.)

Here it is!

Goodbye Mexico and thank you once again for the frigatebirds and pelicans, the bougainvillea and plumeria, for the salty ocean, the fresh sea air, the warm days and the fragrant humid nights. X

Resort life

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What lovely days we are having. Some of us still have to do some work while on holidays, but the work is minimal and there’s plenty of time for resort life. Here the time sort of runs together in a long, uninterrupted line of bliss and sunshine. There’s so much food that we hardly register a hunger for a meal, so much entertainment that hours pass by in increments of beach volleyball, arts and crafts, water aerobics, walks, swims, shopping, and suddenly it’s evening.

I know that to a lot of you, birds like brown pelicans and egrets and frigatebirds and Brewer’s blackbirds are common, but to me they’re exotic and spectacular to the max and I can’t get enough of them. (If only you knew how many photos I’ve taken but spared you from.)

And the lovely people around us. Sunny, smiling faces. We’re loving every minute. :D

Puerto Vallarta, above the tourist centre

This afternoon, we walked along the Malacon; the mile long boardwalk, the tourist centre of shop keepers calling out to us, “hey pretty lady, tequila time, your boyfriend won’t mind, hey, where you from, come here, almost free…” ad infinitum. (groan)

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Small wonder then that we decided to turn to our left, up the small streets, up the stairs, up to the top of Puerto Vallarta, away form the sellers and tourists, to the very top till we couldn’t climb any more. We came to see what we could see.

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We were on the same level as the crown of the Our Lady of Guadalupe church.

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The top of the hill and the only things above us were the roofs, the tulip trees and the blue sky.

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Around us are ancient doors…

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Tiny streets…

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And backyard papaya trees.

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Doorstep house cats,

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And seed throwing squirrels.

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That’s the seed pod he chucked at us…lol…he missed :D

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We took a good hour mooching around the little streets.

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We admired the beautiful doors.

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We were sorely tempted to trespass and run across the little bridges.

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But, in the end, we took in the sights…

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…and walked back down to the river…

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…and followed it down to the sea.

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I’ll link Chloe’s brilliant video of today as soon as she’s uploaded it to YouTube. Writing blog posts is a lot faster than editing videos. :D

Here it is!

Viva La Vida, sandias

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Overcast day, so a little trip into town. A little walk down the El Malacon boardwalk.

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With Chloe’s new GoPro Hero 4 Black! Oh she’s so excited to the max.

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Me, I’m into the magnificent frigatebirds. I love how they hang out on the statues and roof tops here.

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C’s into her GoPro, but just wait, she’s editing a wonderful little movie right now. Hopefully she’ll upload it and I’ll link it for you. :D

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Oh, I’m also into the pelicans.

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And picking plumeria blossoms for my hair. And feeling very Frida Kahlo-esque
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And the bright, beautiful colours of Mexico.

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It’s easy to be happy here and enjoy life. Viva la vida!

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And viva la never ending supply of limes for the Coronas.

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And the watermelons? The sandias? Oh yeah, love those too! :D

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Here we go: Chloe’s post

Plus her youtube for her charming video:

Viva la vida Kahlo

Ola from Sunday night, which suddenly turned into a Monday morning

There’s something to be said about bringing the weather with us.

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But we Vancouverites, what do we care about the rain! We don’t ever bother with an umbrella in a good old West Coast downpour… so a tropical storm? It’s just March lioning it.

And then there’s that sky!

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evening rain

And that tropical Pacific.

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This evening I walked in the warm, wet sand, and let the surf splash up my legs. I watched dolphins playing and pelicans floating, and small birds darting among the palms, until the last of the light was gone.

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And then, exhausted from two extremely shorts nights and hours of travel, I slept, and slept, and slept thru the warm and humid Mexican night. :D

Spring Break, a drawing challenge

Within every heart is a wild thing which needs to find fellow wild things to sing with in harmony.

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Art: Wolf Pack on Chopin, in watercolour, ink, watercoulor pencils. Page chosen because of the tempo of this nocturne. Instructions = sempre, acceler, agitao, riten, Dopio movimento; always, faster, restlessly, dramatically, faster still.

Spring Breaking news: Come visit this fabulous pack:
Nadine, Tammie, Susan, Amanda, Melodye, Renee, Renee, Melanie, JoAnn, Joke, Sharmon, Renilde, Lucia, Patrice, Silke, Annton, Ariene, Carole, Marian Eric,   Stefanie, and Norma! Oh Yes! :D What a wonderful pack we have. 

Total randomnocity

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Yesterday Morgan came in with a hitchhiker; a slug tangled in the long hair at the tip of her tail. Ugh. Ever try to detangle a slug from the tail of an ornery cat with razor blades for claws?

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I mentioned to my friend Margot that I wanted to buy a slow cooker (again, after millions of years without), and she said not to because she was sure she had two and I was welcome to one of them. Thank you so much Margot, I’m loving it to pieces and so far made a most terrific stew, chili and chicken cacciatore.

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I was just at my favourite book store, Booklovers, to find some books to take with me to Mexico. You know, the kind you don’t feel badly about leaving behind for the next holidayers, and the owner, Dalyce, handed me a Terry Pratchett Discworld book, which I immediately snapped up. I’ve read it several times already, but only have a copy in England. Obviously I need a copy here in Vancouver as well. I love Terry Pratchett books to pieces and, even though it may have been somewhat expected, I was immeasurably sad to hear of his passing yesterday. I’m sure that he’s now walking thru Discworld with his friend DEATH. Godspeed Sir Terry.

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Many of my favourite bloggers are full speed decorating their homes for spring and I’m like…meh.

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But I am getting some art done and finding tons of inspiration in my studio. :D

Sharing with Nancy and the random bunch.

Giveaway over at a Butterfly in my Hair

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About two months ago, my friend Vibeke asked me to be part of her landmark birthday giveaway. One new item from one new artist/craftsperson per day for 30 days.

How fantastic is that?

My turn came today and so I proudly offer these three silver stacking rings for you to win, thru Vibeke.

Pop over to her blog and leave her a comment. She will pick the winner in five days.

Go and get in on something wonderful. :D Go on, you know you want to! :D

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