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

002 copy copy

002 copy copy

005 copy copy

side tables

027 copy copy

003 copy copy

004 copy copy

005 copy copy

026 copy copy

008 copy copy

028 copy copy

Well, well, well, after days of leaden skies the promise of sunshine thru the velvet curtains turned the whole room rosy pink. Mornings like these make my world so much better. Milo and Morgan love the sun and try to hang out in the sunniest spot as much as they can; usually upside down on the sofa.

My son has come back from Japan and brought his lovely girlfriend Chantal for lunch. I made us some smoked salmon sandwiches and salad. I took my eye off the salmon for two seconds and Morgan was up on the counter and made off with a slice of salmon. She was told off and pushed out the kitchen door into the garden where she sat for the longest time licking her cheeks. The scrubby little cat! One minute she’s sleeping, the next minute she’s pilfering our lunch. She’s a bit overweight and so on a diet and hating everybody these days.

My children and I had a lovely chat and spent a good hour looking thru the baby Jonathan photo albums. Jonathan wasn’t too pleased at the idea at first, but the girls ganged up and majority won. After a while he really enjoyed seeing the old photos. He asked me if he ever wore any clothes as a baby…lol. There were a good number of photos of naked baby Jon and baby Kers on the beach or in the garden in the summer time. What can I say…they were very European babies. :D Chloe and Chantal decided that I had the best clothes in the 80s and now they want to hunt similar down and wear them. C especially loved my bathing suits, my high-waisted jeans and a one piece safari jumpsuit, which I wore to death. I think it was Rodier and I loved it too.

The sun shone golden for most of the week, but it’s that weak winter sun which never really warms much, and that means the temperature has dropped. I suppose it’s dropped all over the continent because I can see the jet stream dipping way low on the environment maps. Morgan hates the cold and so I didn’t leave her out for long…no matter how bad she is I’ll always love her mushy little face.

Hope your weekend was a lovely and cozy one. Time to check out some weekend movies and have a first open fire in the fireplace I think. :D

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?

038 copy copy

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.

033 copy copy

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.

032 copy copy

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

Remembrance

Yesterday I painted in my very personal journal. I found some words and painted a poppy around them.

IMG_1089 copy copy

Today I spent Remembrance Day with my mother. We remembered my father and his years of dedication to veterans as the head doctor of the Vancouver chapter of Veterans Affairs Canada.

dads glass2

After lunch, while mom filled out some paper work, I riffled thru dad’s glass collection.

I love his collection of sparkly shiny glass. Some ancient Pompeii glass, some modern Waterford crystal, some rare medieval pieces he picked up at auction.

dads glass

And then, from the very back, I pulled out this strange little etched goblet. Strange because I have no idea where dad got it, and, now that he’s been gone all these years, I can’t ask him about it. It has flowers etched into the crystal. Maybe some are meant to be poppies, maybe, or probably they are, because under the etching of the flowers is an etched word: “Erinnerung” German for Remembrance.

IMG_1116 copy copy

And maybe there isn’t a mystery. Everyone, whether allies or enemy, everyone a person, everyone affected in some way by the tragedy of war. I’ve no idea where my British father got the little goblet with the German word etched on it, but you know what? I’m so glad I found it today of all days.

Lest we forget.

Colour, Ariane’s drawing challenge, redirected thru Barbara Bee

I was walking around the garden and contemplating the challenge when it occurred that the garden is still a rainbow of colour.

So, for some inspiration, I gathered that rainbow and brought it indoors.

005 copy copy

And from that rainbow came this:

0082 copy copy

A little collage, wild colour painting with a tiny gold bird hidden in the rainbow.

And now this little vibrant orchid, (one of my kaleidoscope cards), is for Our Rose, Ariane, our original host, who suffered a house fire this week. All our thoughts are with you sweetie, hope everything turns out alright.

brassia orchid

The challenge has been redirected thru our Bee.

Hello from Sunday night

IMG_9018 copy copy

IMG_9012 copy copy

IMG_9006 copy copy

003 copy copy

008 copy copy

007 copy copy

009 copy copy

012 copy copy

IMG_9003 copy copy

IMG_9004 copy copy

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:

Stefanie’s drawing challenge: Underwear

For some reason, that silly song was stuck in mine and Robbie’s head this summer.

a1336bb97ab9777a5dcb980c75b940e9f34f5061bf6cd08037971e5cbb202705

And then I was reading my guilty trash pleasure, The Daily Mail, and the Kardashian butt is just about all over the place.

oh my god becky

So I decided to draw myself a remedy underwear, so we all can have butt! :D

007 copy copy

There you go. :D

Now come see Stefanie’s site for all the links to the best underwear.

But first:

LOL: you know you want to!

More garlic than I planned on

The leaves have started to fall in my garden and I still had 100 white tulips and that garlic I bought to plant in the garden.

The day was relatively dry, (expecting a full week of rain), plus the green recycling was being picked up this afternoon, so I got out in the garden for a little general clean up and that garlic.

After a while C joined me and I discovered that I forgot to harvest about six garlic bulbs from last fall’s planting. And they all started sprouting and growing happily. So I gave C the job of lifting the forgotten bulbs and gently teasing the individual bulblets apart.

garlic

Gardening is one of those strange activities where you come out fully dressed for the weather and gradually remove layer after layer and end up in your T shirt. :D

IMG_0824 copy copy

So we cleared the summer weeds, which go to the recycling bins, and took down the red runner bean plants, my disastrous Brussels sprouts, and spent raspberry canes, which go into my compost bins, and planted out all the garlic, which practically took over the whole veggie bed.

garden

Milo, who is more interested in patrolling and stalking than gardening, came for an unexpected cuddle.

IMG_0838 copy copy

And then he checked out the garlic seedlings, which may have met with his approval.

IMG_0851 copy copy

I had a hearty chicken and bean soup on the go all day made form the left-overs of a roast chicken and roast veggie dinner, and it was the perfect supper for our gardening day.

IMG_0864 copy copy

Then C made her famous kale chips and we cuddled under out favourite blankie and watched a 1990’s Will Smith movie called Enemy of the State. We didn’t finish it though because we went off to our meditation practice, so no one tell us what happens please. :D

warm

Hello from Sunday night

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

IMG_0759 copy copy

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

IMG_0625 copy copy

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

river

IMG_0629 copy copy

We had the best mooch around exquisite little boutiques.

IMG_0737 copy copy

We tested organic lotions,

IMG_0726 copy copy

Saw the best witch’s hats resting on porches.

IMG_0688 copy copy

Found our reflections in vintage mirrors,

IMG_0686 copy copy

And gazed into crystal balls.

IMG_0685 copy copy

IMG_0678 copy copy

IMG_0676 copy copy

shopping

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)

IMG_0791 copy copy

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

IMG_0801 copy copy

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.

market1

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

market2

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.

home

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Dress, Patrice’s drawing challenge

I was so glad to be able to be a part of Patrice’s drawing challenge this week.

Let me just say that I love clothes, Chloe loves clothes, we both love looking good and feeling good in clothes, but what we don’t like is knowing that hundreds of pounds of textiles end up in land fills every year because the fashion industry has a terribly slavish built-in obsolescence. And we also don’t like that new textiles carry toxic ingredients in them, such as “safe” levels of lead and cancer causing fire retardants. Clothes are soaked in them and we are expected to put that against our skin. We also suspect that each sequin sewn on to clothes manufactured in developing countries has probably been sewn on by child labour.

So we tend to buy a lot of second hand, ethically sewn, and organically produced clothes.

This time around, I decided to see if I could do some eco printing on some clothes, and see what the results would be.

004 copy copy

So, with the gathered leaves, and a quick trip to the local thrift shop, which produced a shawl, a T, a summer dress and a linen tunic…
Kahmunrah copy copy

I soaked the clothes over night in a vinegar water solution, and we started to layer the leaves.

001 copy copy

Now the thing about eco printing, there are very few instructions out there, and it seems that people give various pieces of the puzzle but not the whole process, so I basically pieced together a system, (which is probably pretty unique to me, since I have very little idea of what I’m doing), from several blogs, videos, and snippets of books on-line. One gal’s blog which I found very beautiful and inspiring is this one: Obovate Designs. You should check it out, Melinda makes the most beautiful eco prints.

One thing I knew for sure, there are things called mordants which change/deepen/fix/help with the colour, but apart form vinegar, they all seemed pretty chemically, and not wanting to contribute to more chemicals in the environs, I chose to only use vinegar.

011 copy copy

I used leaves, red onion skins and spent dahlia flower petals on my two pieces, and C got creative with pomegranate seeds and beet slices on her two pieces.

020 copy copy

That is, when she wasn’t eating the supplies. :D

014 copy copy

I turned the clothes wrong side out, and did a sort of sandwich of leaves in the middle. With the shawl, I spread the leaves on one half and folded the second half over. Then we folded the clothes and wrapped them around a stick and bound them with elastic bands.

Then we put them into my large turkey roaster on a steaming plate, and steamed them for two hours.

Then we put them aside to rest overnight.

040 copy copy

Some days I have about as much patience as a small gnat, and this three day project really stretched what little I manage to achieve, so on the third day, we ran to the kitchen first thing in the morning and started to unroll out clothes.

004 copy copy

006 copy copy

The more leaves, seeds, slices and petals we picked off, the more delighted we were with the result, and the dye material all went into a large bowl and straight into the compost.

012 copy copy

015 copy copy

Then we hung out or eco dyed creations and waited for them to dry.

018 copy copy

And this afternoon I gave them a little iron, and we had a fashion show!

007 copy copy

009 copy copy

C dress

021 copy copy

C top

046 copy copy

We are actually thrilled with our first eco dying try. We love the earthy quality the natural materials gave our clothes. And the best part is that we created something unique and genuine. Recycled clothes, natural dyes, Earth friendly products. It’s all good.

055 copy copy

If you’ve stuck with me thru this whole, extremely long post, thank you, thank you so much and bless your sweet, pink hearts. :D

Here, again, is the link to Patrice’s site where you can see more wacky, creative and fun twists on the Dress theme.

Big hugs for a wonderful, eco friendly weekend for all. :D

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.

IMG_0608 copy copy

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

Beautiful amanitas!

IMG_0593 copy copy

IMG_0597 copy copy

IMG_0601 copy copy

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

IMG_0606 copy copy

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.

leaves