Sunday, November 30, 2008

Love this picture. It is of the Aberdeen beach looking over the North sea. Someone had asked me if I had a print of it for sale yesterday. I had forgotten all about this shot so did one up for her. For me, this picture represents yin and yang of life. Every cloud has a silver lining.

So, thanks to all that came to my open house! It was a success! I am just sorry that I did not have more time to chat to people. It was a lot of work and I am still tired but it was worth it. I am even thinking about doing it again next year:))

Today I am going to a baby shower for my niece and then tonight is bookclub at my house. Bonus, tidy house from yesterday and leftover goodies:))

Friday, November 28, 2008

6 cat couch
This what I would rather be doing, preferably with a book involved but instead I am on the countdown for tomorrow!
I underestimated how long it would take to make new prints. Ack. I usually do them up on demand as orders come in, so I don't have a lot of stock. So I've been printing at least two of each. One to put in a binder, as a sample and one to sell. It's just as well really, I should have had a proper binder with my portfolio ages ago. The ones that don't go, I will have on hand for my Etsy shop. I'm burning up ink and paper and time:)
I had lots of plans for other things but not sure if I will have the time to get them done today:(
We shall see.
Got lots of tummy yummies. A neighbor brought over two large plates of home made Christmas sweets. Very thoughtful. I've been to Costco and stocked up on other things. I'll be serving warm mulled apple cider. That's easy to do. Two helpers are lined up to make the day easier for me and give me some support. My mum will be the official mascot:) So now there is lots still to do and I must be at it.
I do hope I have some visitors tomorrow. It's one of those things. You never know. People forget, get headaches, other events pop up, too tired, no money, lots of reasons not to come BUT no money should not be one of the reasons. Pop by for a visit and a look see and share some munchies:) I welcome you:)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Grateful for colour. This is my palette.

Grateful for so many things. Even when things are horrible there's aways a multitude of things to be grateful for. It is what we focus on that counts. Wayne Dwyer says " Change the way you look at something and what you look at changes." I just read an interesting article on meditation this morning. You can read it too. It confirms what we have been hearing for ages. Sittting still, not thinking and just breathing is good for us:) Take a wee break.

So amidst the turkey, family, traveling, working, cleaning, errands, general chaos that is our day, take some time out for yourself. Even ten minutes can work wonders:) I know that in the busy day I have planned for myself today, I am going to try.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And the beat goes on....
Here's big Monty, my handsome boy.

I had a flu shot on Monday and went to the dentist and got groceries yesterday, today will be a run out to Wheatons in Sackville to deliver some books and then to Staples and Carsand Mosher for supplies. As well as cleaning like a crazy woman and getting things made and printed and packaged and organized for Saturday! I am also having our Book Club meeting at my house on Sunday night. Bonus! The house will be clean:) Book is Three Cups of Tea, worth reading.

It's not that my place is dirty, it's just that there are different levels of clean....regular clean, company clean and "newcomers in the house" company clean! I am on top level cleaning duty!
Suddenly you look around and see your place with different eyes, eek! Anyway , it's not THAT bad but........

So today it is raining and all that snow is dwindling away. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clara in the Midnight Garden, original for sale at eBay

When I sat down to paint this I was planning on doing a vase of flowers on a black background but I guess Clara wanted to come out and play:)

This is it until next week, I usually paint a lot more but I am getting ready for Saturday and I don't think I'll have time to do anything else. I want to paint some wooden ornaments for my wee sale and with all the other stuff as well.......... getting excited:)

7 years ago yesterday my dear dad passed away. I was going to write something then but got too sad and decided not to. I miss him every day. He was a wonderful man with a big heart and a clever wit., always ready with a joke. I carry him with me in the stories I tell about him, in the values he instilled in me , in my beautiful daughter who carries his genes and in my heart. Always and aye. xox

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Christmas cactus is blooming! Just when I have forgotten about it, it bursts into glorious pink flowers. They always take me by surprise. Such a pretty blast of colour when all outside is white. That's Monty checking to make sure I've got the focus correct (but I don't:)
Yesterday, thanks to my post about microstock, I had an astounding 227 visitors! Thanks. I posted a link to it in the Etsy forums. I hope it helped some of you and you will go on to enjoy it as I do. Let me know:)
Today is the start of my open house countdown. Time to make a list and organize what I have to do to get ready. Only way I can think clearly is on paper:) First a trip to the gym, ugh. I really try to make it a priority three days a week, have too. It's sort of like brushing teeth, not fun but necessary or your teeth fall out:) Well, sometimes it's fun, but getting there is the hard part. Especially when it is cold and snowy out there. Brrr.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Microstock Photography

My most popular shot at Shutterstock

Microstock!  Sell your images round the world royalty free. I think this is such a great potential opportunity. If you are into photography, (like me) you can have an outlet and make a wee bit of $ at the same time. Why not let your pictures sit on someone else's hard drive and have the potential to earn some play money for you.
I am on 4 sites and in order of sales, they are Shutterstock, iStock, Dreamstime and StockXpert There are many many sites out there and some folk are with dozens. Shutterstock and iStock do well because thousands of folk use them for stock photography, so there are more people looking for shots.
I have 152 images with Shutterstock. Here is my portfolio there. Some people have thousands of pictures and it is their full time livelihood and they do really well. I make about $50 a month at Shutterstock and I don't work at it at all. I earn about $45 from the other sites together but don't have nearly as many shots up for sale. Every now and then I upload some of which maybe half will get accepted. Stock sites are very tricky about quality and sometimes pictures are rejected for what seem like odd reasons...........don't take it personally. I don't, I just plug away when I can which is not very often.

My most popular shot at iStock, ........what is funny, is that this shot was rejected at Shutterstock. So upload to all sites, what one does not like, another might.

Illustrations are accepted, vectors, some take videos, and of course stock pictures which can be anything. There are great forums at each site and I learned a LOT by visiting and reading all I could. If you are interested you should read as much as you can. The pay is measly per picture but it is the VOLUME that counts. (hence Micro stock) Some pictures have been downloaded hundreds of times. (stockxpert pays you 1/2 of what the image sells for) I occasionally will come across one of mine in its new use and it is a thrill. It is a different mindset for sure, selling images for .25 each but for me the fun of getting my work out there and not having it languish inside my computer is worth it. It is a hobby for me,  I don't work at it consistently or with dedication. There are a few different licensing arrangements so some images can go for a LOT more.

Thought you might be interested:) If you have any questions about any of this, please leave me a comment. This picture of the Louvre is considered an editorial shot and is popular at all the sites. P.S. My mum and daughter are hidden in that  shot:)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

winter fun

I love old pictures. Toboggan party. Sometime in the 1910's, almost one hundred years ago. Imagine how heavy those skirts must have been wet and snow covered and you KNOW they've got long johns underneath. Yet another one from the Library of Congress. This one is interesting too because you can see the push pin up on the left hand side, a picture of a picture.

I wonder what he's got in his basket? Any ideas:)

weekend storm

And the wind howled!
What a night last night, snow and cold and wind. How does wildlife survive? I was up at 3 am looking out the window at the terrible storm and thinking about stray cats and birds and deer and wondering where they go. I was warm and cozy in my protected wee bubble but out there......

So this morning I put on my boots and in my nightie, waded through the snow on our deck to put out some wild bird seed. Within fifteen minutes there were sparrows, juncos, chickadees and even a mourning dove feeding, dashing back and forth scaring each other trying to gobble up what they could before the next bird arrived! They had been hanging around earlier trying to get at the seed on the tray under the snow.

I put it on the end of my deck so Monty can keep watch out the window:)

It has started snowing again but the wind has stopped. We've got to go out and start shovelling soon:(
The upside is that I have a lovely pot of cream of parsnip and bacon soup waiting for me.
Since I've been getting my "organic veggie surprise" delivery once a week , I have been forced to find new recipes to use up produce I don't normally have in the house. I had a bowl last night and it is yummy! I must say that I did fiddle with the recipe a bit. Did not make as much and used evap skim milk & didn't bother with the potato curls. Added a couple of potatoes and a bit of thyme. Always fun to mess about in the kitchen.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Up up and away.....

This morning I made a Facebook Event page for my open house on the advice of my daughter. I just realized that it is only a week away and I hadn't done any serious inviting. So voila, easy peasy way to get the ball rolling. Now I have to go around to a few of my neighbors to let them know. I'm excited but yikes I still have a lot to do before then. Only inviting people I know and their friends.

I just heard that we are expecting another snow storm. Winter storm warning. Lots of snow between now and tomorrow night. Better stock up on candles and flashlight batteries :)

So it is off to the gym this morning, post office and then work work work.:) Have a great day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

snowy surprise

Bam! It's here.

Winter arrived with a punch yesterday. None of that lovely first soft falling snow stuff. It was raining and then snowing and the wind was howling! We lost our power for an couple of hours. That was quite nice. I love it when there is that whump and then everything goes dark and silent. Hmm, that sounds like a knock-out!
We lit candles and sat in the golden glow listening to the raging storm outside. H was working on some embroidery for a project in her Costume Studies course, I read a book, Monty lolled about as he usually does, no change there :) It felt like we had been transported back a hundred years. I wouldn't mind a mandatory powerout one night a month. It would be too hard to do it voluntarily, there would always be something needing turned on but one night a month would be fine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open House

So yes, I will be having my open house.
November 29th from 2-6pm. Email me for directions.
Bring a friend and get a free gift:)
For the gifts, I am recycling things that I don't need/want that are new/newish but might be just the thing someone else wants. I plan on having a big basket and you can choose what you want:) I will also have some door prizes and of course munchies:))
My daughter makes earrings so there will some of those for sale too.
I am getting excited about it although there is a lot to be done between now and then.
10 days! Yikes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seaside Picnic listed on eBay
Just finished this and listed it. I'll be putting up a print for sale at Etsy soon. Wanted to write a post but I'm too tuckered out and cannot find anything interesting to say:)

Usually I paint during the day but today I had to get winter tires on the car and ended up shopping at Costco while I waited. $$$ later, I got my car. The tire change was inexpensive, it was the stuff I bought while I roamed for an hour in that store!!! Cheese, fuzzy blankets, books, artichokes, olives, roast chicken, photo albums, spring rolls, coleslaw.......sheesh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Love this picture! 1912 or so. From the Library of Congress Flickr Archives. You can find the most interesting pics there. This is Evelyn Nesbit. About 25 years old in this pic. She was a notorious chorus girl who had relationships with Stanford White, John Barrymore, & the rather unstable Mr. Thaw. During a performance one night, her ex husband, Thaw shot Stanford White, her ex lover, in the face three times, killing him instantly. Stanford white was 47 when he started seeing Nesbit who was 16! Imagine!


(The links were not showing up so I have italicised them)

Last night I went to a musical Satsang and I REALLY enjoyed it. It was led by
Divya Prabha who as it happens, was someone I used to know years and years ago. Her name was not Divya then:) A lot has happened between the time I knew her and currently! She is presently a world renowned spiritual teacher and singer. She was lovely person then and now. Here is an example of her music and here is another more soulful one. The music is repetitive and supposed to put you into a meditative and joyful state. She and her husband run Shining Bay Retreats in East Dover. Some of the courses sound great. The one day Bread and Meditation is one I think I would enjoy.

Today is another mild and grey one. I have been putting off my daffodil planting and today will be a good day to do it. For those of you who don't know, I have been planting daffodils in a local park each fall in memory of my dad. Come Spring there is a wonderful sunny yellow display that he would have loved. His ashes are scattered in Scotland so these daffodils are a tangible reminder of him.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Spring Garden Road.
I had to pop downtown today to deliver some books and pocket mirrors to Jennifer's of Nova Scotia. I decided to have a wee stroll up and down the street. The windows are full of their holiday displays. Hard to believe that Christmas is next month. The weather here is so mild and foggy. Tonight is the Parade of Lights. I remember watching it some years and being absolutely frozen. A few shops will be serving cider and hot chocolate. Yum.

I saw that
Mill's Brothers has their Snow White display up. It has been a holiday fixture for 40 years! Snow White's chest moves up and down as if she is breathing.The tears on the dwarves faces are rhinestones. I always make a point of seeing it every year. So cute.

Tonight I am going to a yoga chanting session. A good friend of mine is a yoga teacher and she is taking me with her. I did go to one once and it was surprisingly fun. It was more of a singsong than chanting. Hard to explain but you feel wonderful when it is over. Ooooooohhhmmmmm............ :) We shall see.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Local Colour

I love pictures that you have to look at and then look at again.
This is taken looking through the church window at Peggy's Cove. Inside, outside and me on the right:) It is a pretty, simple little building. Inside are kept cards and mementos of the terrible 1998 plane crash of flight 111. These teddy bears, flowers, personal items , were left on the rocks and no one had the heart to throw them away.

This looking southwest. Off to the right, out of sight is the lighthouse and to the left is more of the same. Those rocks are marvelous to roam and even on the coldest windiest days you can find a sheltered nook to hunker down in and watch the waves. It was a quiet day the day these were taken. Generally, after bracing the wind and salt spray, we head into the restaurant just up behind me, for warm gingerbread and tea or fish chowder depending on the time of day. Sometimes both:))

What I like to call "shack bling" ! Fishing buoys strung along a building to wait out the winter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 12

Wee one. 4x 4 on canvas. eBay

I have decided to go ahead with an open house!
Lots of goodies for sale, door prizes, bring a friend and get a free gift, munchies and drinks.
Ack! That means I have to start cleaning NOW!
I also have get a move on some new items I'm thinking of making.
So, the date will be Nov 29th, I will post the details, time etc. later.
I just wanted to let you locals know so you can mark it on your calendars:)

Now back to your regular programming.

November 11

A friend of mine's daughter in her fancy boots:)

Today is always a quiet holiday , November 11th. Remembrance Day. I don't think I'll be going to a cenotaph but it is a lovely morning for it. I think my daughter will be going. She has joined a sorority that does charitable work and they are planning on attending one of the many Remembrance services.

A cool thing happened yesterday. Well cool to me! I was searching for a kale recipe to determine how to use a big bunch that was delivered in my "organic food box" and I came across a website that was using one of my stock photos! Here is the link. I belong to a few micro stock agencies and the one this site used was Dreamstime. I don't often get to see where my pictures have landed. It was a nice surprise.

Another nice surprise is that Grace of in Dubai is hosting a GIVEAWAY!! two of my prints to the winner! It is open to anyone anywhere in the world. Pop over to her site and enter:)

November 10

My first glimpse of the Rockies!
I am finally going through the gigantic amount of photos I took in August. I have been putting it off because it is such slow work on my computer but it has to get done. That said, it is fun looking at them now because it takes me right back.

We have had a mild and rainy weekend and the warm trend continues. I am so pleased not to have my furnace on. The last of the leaves are down except for one tenacious maple still FULL of brilliant yellow leaves. I am waiting for them to fall so I can start raking. I really would rather have one marathon raking session rather than several bouts over and over. Much to the dismay of my neighbor who is out every day.
She is an 81 year old widow and as spry and healthy as a 30 year old. Never been sick in her life and not a thing wrong with her now. She is as tiny as a willow branch. I try to pry out tips on longevity and vitality from her whenever I can:)

Headed to the gym this morning and then catching up on work. Have a great day:)

We are headed towards Banff in this picture. Lots of through the windshield photos:) From the East Coast, I could not get over the mountains and snapped and snapped and snapped. They are magnificent!

November 8

Helloooooo! Long tall Sally! I was standing on a sloping rock so my shadow stretched forever!

So, this morning is of the dark foggy drippy sort. Quiet and still November. Shades of grey and orange and yellow.

I meant to mention a strange thing I saw on Halloween and forgot about. I was driving down Robie Street and noticed that the Cruikshank Funeral home had some festive balloons tied to posts and then I saw a man dressed as a Vampire in full cape and blood soaked fangs sweeping the front stairs. I was quite baffled, thinking what poor taste it was to encourage funeral home employees decorate the place and to dress up as Vampires!!!! .

I was feeling very sorry for any folk who had to visit loved ones there when I noticed a sign announcing a Breast Cancer Fundraiser Barbeque to be held in the parking lot at lunch. Ah, that explains it ...but still..... it was such an odd thing to see.

In other news, I got a nice surprise at the door the otherday. Ding dong. A big box arrived from the US with a gift basket full of the condiments I did the artwork for. They look great! It is so exciting to see them and hold the product in my hands. These condiments have been around since the fifties and the new owner is rebranding and I guess the buzz has been very favourable. I can hardly wait to try them, low sodium, gluten and additive free, vegan.. lots of good things going for them. I only wish they were available in Canada.

I've listed two new winter prints in my Etsy shop. They are older paintings but newly available as prints:) You can see them here and here. I'm also thinking about having an open house sale maybe the end of November first week of December but first I have to get rid of the giant dust bunnies so people will have room to mill about. Any ideas? ( for open house not getting rid of bunnies:)

November 4

Winter Bunnies! Original here, prints here.

I'm thinking about winter! When November hits I start looking forward to snow. My excitement only lasts about a month or so and then I'm longing for colour again:)

Big day today. Like most others, I'll probably be in front of the television tonight watching the election.

November 2

I've got a bunch of things to show you:)

First off, isn't this the sweetest baby!!! Wyndancyr, soon it will be you! I had coffee with them the other day. The sleeve on her left arm which you can't really see took 27 hours! Nine three hour sessions! It is Escher inspired and very well done. I love the transparency of mom and son's skin.

This was the strangest thing. I was sitting in the living room the other night and happened to look over at the dining room window. Got a surprise! The window is about six feet off the ground. Monty on the left is stunned, looking out through the window at a huge cat that decided to hop up onto our window ledge and watch what was happening inside our dining room.The cat got must have leaped on to the back deck railing and then over to the tiny window ledge! He stayed there for the longest time.

Here are two trick or treaters that arrived promptly at my door on Friday, the minute it was respectable to do so. Sara and Jennifer (Xue's daughter), the sweet little girls next door. HA!

Drove out to Peggy's Cove yesterday. It was bright and very breezy and cold! Ah, November:)
Brrrrrrr. The lobster traps all piled up and put away.

October 27

Rainy Mondays I like them, easier to concentrate on work.

This morning I am headed to the Grace Maternity Hospital to welcome the newest member of our family! My nephew's wife had a boy! Not without a bit of drama though. She had to have an emergency c-section and ended up in the ICU of a hospital across town, but is now reunited with the babe and they are doing well. What happened was eclampsia. Scary.

Afterward, my mum and I are going to have lunch. I am looking forward to it. Nice way to start the week. The rest of the day will be work:)

Hope your week is off to a good start!

October 24

Elevator Doors

These are elevator doors at the Halifax International Airport ( Stanfield International Airport).
I took this picture in 2006 and for some reason it is my 3rd most viewed picture on Flickr.
Would you get on this elevator? Who knows where you might find yourself:)
I think it is a mysterious sort of picture but 3rd?
There are now stats available over on Flickr and you can see how many views all your pictures get.


Good Friends Read Together
The original is for sale here and prints are available here!

Last night I got my first Organic Food Box! Yay!
A good friend of mine started doing it a few weeks ago and was very enthusiastic so I looked into it and decided to take the plunge:) What is it you ask? It is a box of organic produce delivered to my door once a week. Local produce mainly and as the season dwindles it is from farther away. You can get a "dogma" box which is local produce only. A cornucopia of fresh and delicious surprises. You never know what you are going to get and it forces you to be creative and healthy with your cooking.Those veggies have to be eaten!
Last night's $25 box had a huge gorgeous head of some kind of ruffley lettuce, red onion, baby bok choy, parsnips, italian parsley, apples, oranges, beautiful dark purple concord grapes, big head of broccoli, large yellow pepper, a lemon and a coupon for a massage discount!
I love supporting local business. There are also larger sizes and you can order "a la carte" and have a custom box made up. The prices for their organic foodstuff is cheaper than what you would get in the store. They also have meat, poultry, dairy, grains etc. Here is their website for any of you around here that might be interested. Home Grown Organic Foods

The wind was howling all night long. I think I have to start raking soon. The lawn is quickly getting covered in russet.