Saturday, February 13, 2016

These Boots are Made for Walken...

An oldie but a goody. Walkens Welcome!  I love a quirky mind. This is a business with a sense of humour! I saw it in a  Wolfville  clinic window, Optometry (I think).
Speaking of walkin, it's darn cold here today! -11 feels like -17. Big mass of Arctic air taking a Southern vacation! Freezing in Florida too I hear. I was hoping to get out and stretch my bones, move this body and shake off my Winter ennui but I'm a wuss. Maybe later......
Sun is not shining today.....I just liked this pic of boots I took:) It is grey and wintry and threatening flurries. Kind of like the pictures below.
I'm not at the Seaport market today. Just didn't feel right this morning. Will work at home this afternoon to make up for lost $. Still have to pay for table....
Stark and lovely in it's own frozen way. Symphony of contrast. Dark and light, black and white. Winter poetry. xo

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tell me your Secrets....

“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” -Ranier Maria Rilke. 

Secrets are intoxicating and alluring. People's secrets tantalize us! Knowing a secret gives us power. Knowledge that has the ability to change something.That's what secrets are....hidden keys, capable of unlocking good things or bad...  I like knowing secrets:) I won't tell!
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” - Roald Dahl
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” -C.G.Jung

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” -Andre Malraux

“Secrets had an immense attraction to him, because he never could keep one, and he enjoyed the sort of unhallowed thrill he experienced when he went and told another animal, after having faithfully promised not to.” -Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Soup for Mending Hearts, Chilly Bones and Crappy Days!

Soup beautiful soup! Everything feels better when there's a pot of nourishing homemade soup at hand. No thinking involved, no pressure, just a bowl of warm goodness...feeding your body and soul!
Start with 1 large onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and 2-3 cloves of garlic! Chop and toss into heavy pot. Pour in 4 cups of Veggie Broth.
Then add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of lentils rinsed and drained, and 3/4 cup of red lentils...
Secret ingredient!!!! 1 small parsnip grated. Shhhh.
Spices are 2 Bay Leaves, 1 Tbsp Coriander and 1 Tbsp Cumin and 1 Tbsp Curry powder
A big old squirt of Siracha!!! Cha Cha Cha
Simmer for 30 minutes and voila!!! Top with avocado or chopped cilantro, parsley etc or even grated cheese if you are into that! I should have wiped the edge of the bowl to make the photo prettier but hey, you get the gist. I guarantee that a bowl of this soup will chase away the blues and lift dark clouds least temporarily!
Really these are just rough guidelines, you can add whatever you want to soup. Versatile and always perfect for the don't feel like cooking but want something quick and good and tasty! x

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Fun!

Haha don't do as I do, do as I say! Don't do this:) 
 We were hit with our first real winter storm on Monday. Lots of snow and wind but the roads are clear and the month is diminishing and next month is Spring! I work from home as well as from my studio so no storm day for me. Business as usual but fun to look out window at the wild weather!  
These pictures are from the Archives of the Netherlands. Great stuff!!!
I could use this rig:)
Imagine if they could see the fancy plastic cushioned and aerodynamic skates we wear today!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Blizzard Watch

This painting by Rod McKay was the first real piece of art I purchased. I've had it for years and it still gives me pleasure each time I look at it! I'm looking at it now:) 

I'm sitting on the couch blogging on my phone (!) and looking out the window occasionally to check the weather. Just little pellets so far, the storm foot soldiers..... I can hear them pinging on the window! We are expecting 40cm of snow by tomorrow morning. I filled the bird feeders, bought some "storm chips"( they are a thing here), got to the gym early, went to post office to mail some prints and now I am on the couch looking out the window every now and then to check the weather. 

Alas no storm day for me though! I can work from home. I have 50 prints and odds and ends to do for a lovely new shop on Grand Manan Island. The Painted Whale. Monty is sound asleep in front of the heater. I can hear the wind howling and feel the cold at the edge of my senses. Really all Is like to do is curl up with a cozy blanket over me, a good book in one hand and cup of tea in the other! Stay warm xo 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Amarylis! Ama Right?

It is that time of year! Beautiful blooming Amarylis everywhere. Such a gift when all around is frozen and white.These are South African flowers, exotic and rewarding. The rate that they grow is spectacular! You can almost hear them:) Alien and alive! I am fascinated by them and they always lift my spirits. Also... no need to throw them out when done!  They can easily bloom again with some help. Read here to learn how!
Peggy's Cove in the snow.... brrr. I wonder if each house has a blooming Amarylis inside dispensing warmth and cheer. I'm off to help shoot a music video this afternoon.Should be fun! Have a great day...xo

Friday, February 5, 2016

12 Tips to Improve a Lousy Day, Week....

How to Improve a Lousy Day......

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? Sure but then...It might make you feel worse!
2. Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. If you are outside yourself you cannot be inside yourself:)
3. Distract yourself.  Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, pop into a bookstore/coffeeshop or the library and browse through some magazines,or re-read beloved classics of children's literature. Things to fill you mind with new positive thoughts.
4. Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, your email folder or crowded counter tops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. Create a vista of calm for yourself. One less thing to fret about and a real boost
5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or played with your kids, or walked the dog, or read your children a story, or recycled. Remind yourself of those things...It might even be as basic as "At least I got out of bed ! "
6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – But if you go for a walk, make it a long one:) The first half will be spent dwelling on your problems and then as the time passes your thoughts will shift elsewhere.
7. Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation but contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to. Send text messages if you are not up for chatting...
8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning. Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.
9. Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast message to engage with college friends. If you think members of the organization you belong to are mad at you, don’t miss the spinning class where everyone knows and likes you. We are more than one sided!
10. Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year? Seriously....think of things you were in a panic about or desperately upset about. Do they still affect you like that?
11. Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief through processing it with a different side of my brain.
12. Be grateful. Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse. and BREATHE

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Crispy Curried Chickpea Snacks

I made these yesterday and would have made a double batch but I just had one can of chickpeas:( They are yummy just as a snack but equally delicious scattered on top of a salad or soup! They have a secret ingredient that makes them crispy and a bit lower fat than the usual snack! Hummus! Hooray!

Crispy Curried Chickpeas!

1 can of drained chickpeas (19oz)
2 Tbsp Hummus
1 Tbsp each Curry powder, Onion powder, Garlic powder

1.Put all into bowl and mix well until everything is coated. 
2. Spread out on parchment lined baking tray.
3. 375 degrees for 25 min or so until crispy!

Make a double batch if you can. Also you can switch up the spicing to whatever you like! Barbecue spice or Cajun or whatever tickles your palate. Enjoy! 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Modern, Folkart, Impressionistic, Surrealist, Fauvist, Illustrative....

I'm always at a loss when someone says what kind of art do you do? What style of painting is it? I really have no idea what to say. I have a few different styles I like to paint in and sometimes they get combined without any real intention to do so. I paint what pleases me and I hope it pleases others. So much depends on my mood. My style is my own:)

Because of the colour and simple themes, people often think folk art. I applied to the Lunenburg Folk Art Festival once and was told, "No, sorry your work is not folk art, we cannot accept it" Ha.So there you have it. Who knows.....

I love colour and strong graphic composition. Most of what I do is off the cuff with no pre-planning. I've only used a reference photo once and that was of the small harbour at Peggy's Cove. Something maybe I should try more of... I do love painting large dramatic skies and landscapes,with the sky dominating. Paintings that take your imagination and thoughts elsewhere:)

So.... what am I painting today? A small girl reading a book with cat cozy by her side and a window with a view.....

Have a creative day xo

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day

George's Island in Halifax Harbour....... Amazing how some clouds and a bit of light can transform a familiar scene into something spectacular! This was taken in December. Cold winter light. I guess that applies to most things in life....shine a little light on them and you see something different:)
Day two of February. The Groundhog saw it's shadow today, which actually in my books is a good thing! It means the sun is shining this morning:)
So my day has painting in it.......hope yours has something in it that will bring you closer to your goals.......xo