Update from the 52 Week Challenge

Playing catch up here folks. While my creative activities have been rolling along my computer wrangling abilities briefly sank to a new low.

Week 15 Thread and Week 24 Multi Cultural

Paper Collage and pigma pen.

     Week 15 stumped me for a long time. I felt that I wanted to do a quilt-ish kind of thing but nothing resonated or took hold and rooted. So I just left it to stew in the back of my mind. Then Week 24 came around with the theme of Multiculturalism. I thought of all the wonderful benefits that accrue to our various countries by the addition of other cultures and then it came to me that a quilt is a perfect metaphor for our diverse cultures, all stitched together to make a new and richer whole. As I am a passionate scrap book-er, I have at my disposal a whole mountain of paper scraps. I took photos of a few quilts that have family history to put into the mix. Add to those things, an image scanned from one of my favourite tee shirts and then I was off to my sewing machine. She was up to the task. I find am pretty pleased with the outcome. It just took time for it all to coalesce.

Week 18-Rain Clouds

Downpour-Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park, Ont.

This is a project that began with the challenge Perspective. An idea has taken shape that I will/can illustrate some of my childhood experiences and create a book for my grandchildren with stories of adventures of my past. This illustration comes from the memory of camping with my family, and being in an open boat, far from shore, when a violent storm struck.


Week 23-Texture -Version #1

In this version I approached the paper with no idea in mind at all. Over several days I just kept playing with the paint until I was sort of satisfied with the outcome. At the last moment the wee fish swam into the picture and demanded to be allowed to stay. Not sure if the whole thing really works to my satisfaction but the fish stays. I sense a story therein. He and I will spend sometime     together and see what kind of adventures await.


Week 23-Texture -Version #2

My first effort at the challenge Texture was not completely to my liking and I let the whole concept just rest for a while. A visit to a local restaurant turned up an interesting installation of metal plates in the Ladies room. My brain grabbed it and ran! No story with this but I had so much fun with the colour and texture!



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Update from the 52 Week Challenge

Week 13-Cinema, Week 14-Surprise (Catch up)

This week: a story from my childhood. A very rare foray to the drive-in-theatre with my family finds us at the end of the night driving off with the speaker still hanging on the closed window. Shock all around and a very quick exit deeply embarrassed and chagrined!


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Spring Musings courtesy of Robert Frost

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

This poem was unknown to me until this week. It is amazing that I had not heard it before now. It is always difficult for me when the greening of the earth turns from the subtle profusion of tones and colours to GREEN alone. It all happens so very quickly and I am always sad when this precious time is over. The leaves keep growing as they should and must but I feel as if they seem to become too big for my space. For a brief time the world seems too full. The acid yellow greens and the lacy shapes of the tiny new growth quickly become a fleeting memory. Of course, I become accustomed to the fullness and the greenness of the world. The feeling passes and I welcome the bounty that full on Spring brings.

A car ride down the 401 this week found me musing on these feelings with a friend and she shared with me the Frost poem which says eloquently what has been in my heart for so many years. Gratitude to Marie and to Mr. Frost!


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Update from the Garden!

And so the rain and sun combine to accelerate everything. The daffodils that a few days ago were blowing in the wind are producing seed pods. Will I have time to dead head? Perhaps not despite my best intentions. Getting ahead of the grass is my job at the moment. Also the Garlic Mustard continues to be a scourge. More on that in a later post. The Canada 150 tulips have been a joy. Hope that they stay around for many years and do not fall prey to our squirrel hordes!

The magnolia was magnificent this year. It has almost recovered from the disastrous ice storm.

Is it just me or has the blooming time of things been really off this year? The progression of bloom that we usually see seems all mixed up. The Red Bud is in full swing and we are loving it. I had no idea that it was possible to have so many shades of pink in one garden.


As you can see by these shots, we have a magnificent crop of lunaria this year. Some know them by the name of Silver Dollars. We will certainly have lots to share when Fall rolls around.

A quick look around out to the west shows the apple blossoms about to burst and a few lingering tulips. That path leads to a diminishing rhubarb patch. There are so many trees now that I am afraid that the rhubarb does not get the light that it needs. There will however be enough to make a few small pies before the month is out. I hope that you enjoyed the garden tour. The flush of bloom is on with every day bringing more and more to delight the eye in rapid succession. Walk up the path someday soon and enjoy a walk. We will put on a pot of coffee or tea to share. We would love to see you!


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52 Week Challenge-Week 12-Happy Place

(Late post)-#52 WPB

This is an illustration for Perspective-A View of a Granny’s Life-. In this painting the child (who is myself-no surprise there) is enjoying a few minutes listening to the radio before hurrying back to school for the afternoon. This memory occurred long ago when children walked home from school, enjoyed a Mom cooked lunch and got to spend some time listening to the radio. It was a time to let imagination take over and take her far away from her everyday world! Great days! Happy Place!


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May 3, 2017-Update from 52 Week Challenge

If you have been a follower of my blog you will have noticed that there has been a dearth of postings on the Challenge. The Challenge has become a challenge! Simply put, Week 11-Perspective, proved to be more of a challenge than I would have liked. I loved the concept that occurred to me. That was the idea that an old woman could sit at her dressing table, magically look into the mirror and have the years drop away. Her childhood self would appear and a story could evolve that included important aspects of her younger days. That was all fine and I created the painting to go with the story idea. Then the trouble began. The painting disappointed me. I stewed about it for a long time and finally stowed it on the bottom of a pile of  work, where it has languished ever since. I thought that I would just go on with the next challenge. It was not that simple! I had good ideas but I just seemed stalled. That old lady kept creeping back into my mind!  And so it has been for many weeks now.

That all turned around last week. I pulled the painting out of the pile and had a fresh look. Immediately some of the weaknesses became very clear to me. A consult with my friend, mentor, and illustrations expert, Peggy Collins, confirmed what I had seen and added more ideas for me. After that it was full steam ahead. So here is a picture of the truculent “Before” painting.

I won’t go into the changes that were made but the next version is much more pleasing in many subtle ways.

It is by no means perfect and there are more versions waiting to be created before a story book  emerges, but I can live with the painting the way it is for now. It seems that I just needed a new PERSPECTIVE to get me going again!!!


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Update from the Garden-May 1, 2017-

Fantastic Floral Fabulousness-FORSYTHIA-2017

  What an amazing year it has been for Forsythia in everyone’s gardens.

The growth of last year has lead to huge fronds springing out from existent shrubs. And the bloom—most amazing! All branches covered with the most exuberant floral growth. All over the country-side the air positively vibrates with the brilliant acid yellow! Our garden is filled with so many shrubs which we have created by layering and transplanting to new spaces.

Each of these beauties has found a home on the property and has settled in to provide us with much viewing pleasure. The grey days that have been so plenteous this Spring have provided a perfect foil for all of this rich colour. Hoping that your garden is bringing you as much pleasure as ours is to us!

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Update from the garden-April 23,2017

Spring Ritual

It has been a cold, rainy, and blustery Spring, Heaven knows that we are grateful for all of the rain that we can get after our extremely arid summer last year. However,  last week there was a day when I was able to open the windows and let the breezes blow through the house. At the same time I hung out the first laundry of the season. I do so love the scent of sheets and comforters that dry in the fresh air. There is nothing quite like it in my to my mind.

I know that there are hardy souls out there who hang their laundry out all year long but I am not on that list. I guess that makes the first air dried laundry of the season all the sweeter.

The garden moves slowly in the direction of Spring. The snowdrops have come and gone. The Allium have had huge shoots up for ages, with the promise of magnificent purple globes to come and our beloved Hellebores are putting on a magnificent show. Pictures to follow shortly.

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March 28, 2017-Update from the Garden.

Indoors we have been anticipating Spring for several weeks.  You see here miniature apple blossoms. We brought the branches in from the orchard about three weeks ago and they are a sweet promise of days to come! We are enjoying them so much. Next up some Forsythia branches. Once indoors they should come to bloom very quickly.

The lane way is a sea of mud as it always is in early spring. I got the Volkswagen stuck a few days ago. Fortunately the problem was solved by Bruce  with a few buckets of gravel and some fancy driving. I will be more careful for the next while until the frost is out of the ground.

Elsewhere in the garden all sorts of surprises are emerging. Many shoots are appearing and our Snowdrops by the back patio are coming on strongly. Our first Crocus lifted it’s head today.

Perhaps the most exciting news is that it appears that our Red Bellied Woodpecker is still around. I heard his pterodactyl-ish scream yesterday and and when he flew away he was followed by another with the same distinctive swoop-y flight pattern. Dare we hope that he has found a mate? A resounding yes to that!

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March 7. 2017-52 Week Challenge-Week 10

Week 10-Weekend-

It may seem like a stretch to have woven Weekend into Peter’s story but when asked Peter quite liked the idea of spending his weekends at the seaside and so we went with it! The story follows…………………………..

As Pastel Peter grew to adult hood he became much more confidant and found that he made friends wherever he went. He enjoyed giving away his baked goods and opened a kiosk at the seaside on weekends. He became famous throughout the length and breadth of the land, both for his wonderful bakes good, and for his kindness to others.

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