Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The bold Monty keeping a lookout for squirrels and birds! What a day we had yesterday!! It could have been August. A beautiful gift of a day plopped into April. Today we are back to normal but it is still lovely outside. I bought some soil to put into long planters where I will grow Swiss chard and beets and peas and lettuce.

Now, I need your advice.... we have ants........inside:( I will go onto the web to look for ideas but I was wondering if any of you have tried and true methods of getting rid of them. It is silly because as much as I HATE them inside the house, it makes me sad to kill them. I know, I know, but they are are ALIVE and it seems horrible to squash life.

It seems that the video I posted yesterday was based on another one! Carol of Paris Breakfasts send me the link to this one, done in Liverpool to a different song and on a larger scale! More singing and dancing fun:) ........This just more flash dance...... Picadilly Circus, Beyonce's song.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sound of music:)

More than 200 dancers perform their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. With just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! March 23,2009,8am. It A promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music". Wouldn't you just love to come across something like this!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Celestial Teapot

Celestial Teapot original available on eBay and Print available on Etsy.

We had a wonderful weekend weather, complete with unexpected thunder and lightening on Sat. evening. I was quietly working on the computer when an unexpected FLASH of light through the window next to me had me leap up off the seat and across the room, heart pounding. I thought the house next door had exploded, I didn't know what it was. There was no rain. Thunder seconds later soon told the tale. Sheesh.

Well by now you've probably hear of the Swine flu cases in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia of all places, a tiny spot on the East coast, gets one of the first pockets of the virus. Luckily they all had very mild cases. What is amazing to me is how fast the virus has spread around the world, cases everywhere. Maybe all viruses travel that fast and they have only been monitering for this. Wash your hands folk! Cough into your sleeve. Stay home if sick.

And, Pakistan....another thing on my mind. I hope they can quell the uprising Taliban. Things are very tough for some people in areas there now. Especially women and girls:(

Ok, that's my unloading for today. The sun is shining, lots of errands to do and work to finish!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sweet Potato Fennel

today's lunch.....

Fennel and Sweet Potato Soup

1 1/4 cups onions, roughly chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil or whatever, I used coconut
1 3/4 cups fennel heart, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped 3-1/2 cups sweet potato, cut into small chunks, not peeled if organic
1/2 - 1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 or 4 cups vegetable stock or water or chicken stock
1 or 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stockpot, saute the onion and celery in the oil over medium heat until the edges of the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel and garlic, and saute for about 5 more minutes. Add the potato and cumin, and stir well to combine. Saute for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, then add water or stock.
Bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender or use handy dandy immersion blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Additional water or stock can be added if a thinner consistency is desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Monet's garden in May. Giverny, France
I am working on my wee messy yard today. Would love to have a garden like this some day:) Wild, flowering, abundant and tangled.

This swine flu news is bothering me. If the New York students are confirmed, we will be in for a bumpy ride. What really gets me is the description of the virus. This swine flu contains DNA from avian, swine and human viruses, including elements from European and Asian swine viruses, the CDC has said. Almost sounds engineered:((

I'm going to bury myself in Spring activities. Also might even get my car washed. H is helping with a charity car wash today. Perfect day for it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunny days just up ahead

Hellebore. I love these plants, so mysterious and lovely. Their colours are muted and soft. These were at the farmers market. Speaking of plants and markets, this weekend is reported to bring FANTASTIC weather, June temperatures and sunshine. I will be making another trip to the market I believe and the garden awaits:)

Also, thanks so much for the comments on my poppy painting and pricing art. Always a hard thing to do. We want to be fair but also make some income. I won't be putting it up for sale online after all:) A lovely individual sent me an email wanting to buy it directly. Hooray!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

getting larger

I've been wanting to paint larger canvases and did this the other day. It is 12 x 24 x 2" I am wondering how to sell it. If I should put it on eBay or Etsy or maybe keep it:) One of the reasons I don't do large is because the shipping costs are so high here in Canada. This would cost about $24 to send. The canvas support is also expensive and adds to the cost. So do I put a price of $125?($150 including shipping) It is so hard to figure out what to charge. Is it worth what someone will pay for it or what it cost me to make it plus time and fees to the selling venue? I tend to put lower prices on my art because I want to sell it. It is a conundrum. If it was to sell in a gallery, the gallery takes 50% that's one reason the prices are so much higher in those venues. What is your take on pricing?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

This is a lovely old gnarled hemlock. It is on one of the main paths in Hemlock Ravine Park. When my daughter and her friends were little we called her Grandmother Hemlock. There was a wee knot hole near the base and when we were finished our time in the park, each of us would take a turn to whisper a wish to the tree and give her a hug:) I cannot pass that tree even now without stopping.:)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemon Ginger Carrot Soup

This is the market I went to yesterday to pick up some bone meal for my daffodils. They are just revving up for the season:) I picked up some packets of seeds too, couldn't help myself. Soon the aisles will be filled with transplants of flowers and herbs.
I am planning on making this soup today. I got the recipe from the Home Grown Organics website where I get my veggie box each week. It sounds delicious! They serve it at the Kinloch Lodge Hotel in Scotland.

Lemon Ginger Carrot Soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 4 minutes. add ginger and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; saute 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with grated carrot and fresh parsley.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Some graffiti just off Blowers Street. Meow. Street art.

I am still excited from my excursion on Saturday. I love that sort of thing. Maybe in my next life I will be an Archeologist.:) I want to learn more about Isabelle Dodo, the Medicine Woman. I will go back with a picnic next time and sit near the water. Lots of beaver activity visible too. I think this one bit off more than he could lug:)

This morning I went to get some routine bloodwork done and had to wait for an hour and a half! Note to self... never go on a Monday morning. The good thing was, I got to read my latest book.
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl A terrific true love story of an baby owl and a biologist who adopts him. It is WONDERFUL!!! Please do yourself a favour and borrow it from the library or purchase it. It is funny, fascinating and compelling! You will never look at owls the same way again:)
Now I am headed out again to buy some bone meal for dad's daffodils. I plant them every fall in a small park near here. The soil is poor and I thought it might be a good idea to give them a bit of help:) Have a great week!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mystery Excursion

So, yesterday's walk and tour was a really interesting day. These pictures might look a bit dull and boring but it was the stories and history and line between what is known and what is unknown that made it so fascinating.
Here is some "official info"
In 1991, the Province decided to extend Special Places Protection to the site , pending further study. Despite a number of suggested explanations by various experts, the most popular being that it may have been a British military training and practice area from the post-1749 period, no fully satisfactory explanation for the site has yet to emerge. The main site, consists of approximately 150-metres of snaking carefully-built dry-stone wall of varying height and width, generally following the brow of a high ridge, along with the remains of two dry-stone polygonal building foundations. The smaller of the two foundations abuts a tall vertical cliff face and includes a stone staircase. Recent investigations in the Chain Lakes Watershed Area to the east of this have revealed a collection of enigmatic ruins that appear to be linked to each other, and to the main walls site, by the remains of a highly unusual type of road network. Despite the fact that most typical sorts of development have been prohibited in this area since it was set aside for the purpose of the City Water Supply in 1846, these enigmatic ruins must be distinguished from the many relics of Colonial activity throughout the area, including damming, road building, pipeline and canal construction, the railroad construction in 1904, electric power corridors, quarrying, woodcutting, hunting, a known homestead site, a known WWI entrenchment and machine gun installation, and recent recreational activities. We need to also be aware that a Mi’kmaq medicine woman was known to reside in this area and that there may be other relics of Aboriginal occupation to be found.

This is the five sided foundation of the largest of the ruins. No one knows who constructed it, what it was used for and when it was made.

We then walked along the walls themselves. They are disintegrating and the cap stones that once lined most of the length are gone now, perhaps harvested by later settlers. The walls hug a high ridge and are built along the curve of the hill. At the highest point there is a small spur wall, and remains of two others that might form a small lookout post.From this vantage one can see out to the lakes and beyond.

One of the smaller foundations with a small crumbling stair way that has been destroyed by trail bikes. The stairs lead to a high point of rock beyond which is the walls and a fire pit on the stone embankment. The man in yellow is Terry Deveau who led the tour.

Close up you can see how the rock has been changed by the heat. Made flaky hard and shiny and black with carbon. You cannot really see in this picture. I would have just walked past and thought it was natural weathering and iron leaching out of the rock. The fires would have been huge and seen for miles up on this hill. There are a few of them.

This is an ancient road that runs from the ruins. You can see it's route through the trees. Here it appears quite obvious but it is in the middle of the woods and is hard to follow unless you know what to look for. You can see the shoring up of the road bed to make it level as it runs along a book. There are several of these roads that intersect. They are older than the roads built by founders of Halifax. When Halifax was founded every road was documented and none of these are anywhere on the earliest maps available. Several of the "newer"(250 year old) roads, cross over these older ones. Quite mysterious:)

This is the possible homestead of Isabelle Dodo ( not sure of the spelling) She was a revered Mi'kmaq Medicine woman who lived alone in a wigwam on the small point of land between the two Chain lakes. A lovely spot. When she died, she was carried to Guysborough County and buried on an island in the St Mary's River.
I am just scratching the surface of all that we saw and learned. I am looking forward to going back and having a further look see. HERE is a link to all the Flickr pictures if you want more:)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Oh my, I am so tired. These are two pics from Thursday's adventure. They are taken in the Hydrostone Market area, a tiny collection of fun wee shops and restaurants. In the shop above, there were clutches made from old flowered bathing caps! as well as gorgeous beaded purses. Really fun. In the picture below you see an almond croissant and a raspberry almond twist. from Julien's. Yum.
Today I was tromping through the woods with an archeology group doing a tour of the Bayer's Lake Mystery Walls and beyond. Really fascinating, but we were out there for six hours and I am bushed. Ha, I guess that comes from what we were doing for a lot of the day...bushwacking, no real trails. I'll post some pics soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Lighthouse Sunset on eBay

I had a fun day today. Met a lovely blogger( hi Sara!), had a delicious healthy lunch at Tarek's and then popped over to the Hydrostone Market for some coffee and pastry:)) Came home and reworked this painting, might be going to see a movie tonight:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Marsha Salyer Jorgensen

Here is the fifth of a wee series of artist interviews based on the colours of the rainbow! It has been a fun project. What impact did each colour have on the artist's life. What is the strongest memory or association with it.

My fifth interview is with the delightful Marsha Jorgensen of Eagle Rock, California. Her detailed collage work is meticulous and inspired and has been featured in Somerset magazine. She lives with her husband of twenty years who works in the film biz , two teenaged children, and her mom in law. A full house:) Always bursting with energy and upbeat enthusiasm, you can read Marsha's blog here and buy her whimsical art at Tumblefishstudio.Etsy. She graduated with a BFA years ago and after many twists and turns is back to doing what she loves....creating art!


I own this one:)) Should be arriving any day now!

Here are Marsha's colours......
Red Red is luxury to me, decadent and indulgent. I have been rather refrained most of my life except with my closest of friends. You could say rather conservative and proper. Red has always screamed power and passion and glamor and romance and fast cars and sexy dresses and confident shoes. All things that would draw way too much attention than I was comfortable with. I reached my forties a couple of years ago, and with these middle age years has come more willingness to indulge in my own version of a passionate and confident life complete with red shoes (converse of course) and not minding attention anymore.
Orange - Orange makes my cheeks pucker. Words like citrus, zest, tangy, juicy, fresh, tart, sweet and happy all come to mind. I think of sunsets and poppies and pumpkins and fall leaves. and I still have trouble using orange in my art as I always get it confused with Halloween somehow in the end. It is warm and comforting to me. Orange is a color I look forward to getting to know better.
Yellow - Maybe my least favorite color would be yellow. It seems indecisive to me - not for girls, not for boys, but for whichever of the two may arrive. It is a difficult color to wear and use. It is my problem color. In its favor, yellow does make me think of sunshine and sunfish bellies and sunflowers and how good they look next to a summer sky. I wish on yellow glowing stars and remember the bright little fuzzy chicks I held as a child.
Green - Luscious and earthy and enchanting are ways I would describe green. I'm not a pastel girl. I like deep rich bold and bright colors and a good deep glowing green can create such magic and enchantment on a forest floor and ceiling, or in the ferns and moss near a waterfall, or in the bent and tangled leaves beneath the colorful canopy of a flower garden. And, I love using green with reds and purples and oranges in a kind of moulin rouge carnival magic show way.
Blue - Blue is sad to me, too quiet for me. I'm ready to be happy and noisy in my ways these days. I like the bright blue of the ocean or how it is reflected in any pool or stream of water because it seems so refreshing and brilliant when I see it in this way - like looking through a beautiful glass window to a whole different world. I don't care for blue walls or houses. I love blue eyes and blue jeans. I love it with red and white. I love blue mixed with green and I love it when it's neon.
Indigo/purple - Oh, how much room can I have to write about purple? Delicious purple. It's such a flexible color. It can be light and romantic and soft and happy. It can be dark and passionate and sinister. I can think of so many things I love about purple . . . iris, the smell of sweet freesia, grape lollipops, my favorite gardens use purple and red flowers together, magic wizard hats and capes, butterfly wings, soothing lavender, royal velvet robes, gypsy dresses, and mountains far off in the distance.
Violet/pink - Pink is not a color I would wear anymore but I do love it's warmth and its lighter side of passion and love. It's a fun and caring color in my opinion. Of course it is feminine and soft and though I am neither of those things I appreciate those qualities. I love glowing pink lanterns and little pink boxes tied with little pink ribbons. I love light pink with silver used in any way and I love the fun and whimsy of hot pink tulle tutus. I definitely prefer rich deep pinks like those in Star Gazer Lillies.
Black -I have to write about black! Black is my most favorite color. As you know, in lighting, black is the absence of color, but for an artist using paints or ink, black is the sum of all colors. It is all of the colors mixed together. And all colors look so brilliant and vibrant when they rest next to it. I wear mostly black clothes and I love black cars. I love little black dresses, men in black suits, and black hair with blue or green eyes. I love the dark shade of a tree or the darkest of skies that show off the stars. I love black and white borders and black and white stripes with colorful pictures nearby.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

97 years ago....

Lavender Cottage

On the night of April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit the iceberg that sealed her fate and went down in the early morning hours of the 15th. Many of the victims are buried here in Halifax throughout several cemeteries. The Nova Scotia Archives has an interesting collection of related documents and pictures. One of the more poignant documents is a list of the bodies. Some had names and could be identified (next of kin contacted) and others were just described by their clothing, jewellery and tattoos. The "original" documents which can be found by clicking on the numbers below the electronic list, describes the people physically too.....weight, height, hair colour, marks etc. Sad reading, but makes the people real. Here are a few examples from the electronic list.

Unidentified Female
: Probably an Italian; wore two green cotton blouses, green cotton skirt, striped petticoat; nothing else to identify.
Unidentified Male: Ship's uniform. Carried open-face watch, made by Thomas Howard, 157 Kirkdale Road and 200 Rice Lane, Liverpool; stamped "German make." Had post card with picture of 4 little girls on reverse side. Also 1x2 instantaneous snapshot of boy or young man.
Unidentified Male:Wore light rain coat; uniform jacket with green facing and vest; purple muffler; carried cigarette case; silver watch; knife with carved pearl handle, and brass button marked "African Royal Mail"; also English lever watch.
Unidentified Female:Shoes marked "Parsons Sons, Athlone"; medallion round neck marked "B.V.M." ; wore wedding ring, keeper and another gold ring; locket and photo; one jet and one bead necklace.
Unidentified Male:Blue tattoo mark, and wore copper wire ring on thumb of right hand. Nothing else to identify.

Reading the list makes the tragedy very real. Burial for each body is listed, some just had burial at sea written beside their info.........and others are marked with a number and the cemetery. One of graveyards is about a ten minute walk from my house.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has a permanent exhibit on display that is really interesting and sad.
Read story behind these wee shoes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Deep Fried Turkey

This is how it began. Lowering the bird into a vat of boiling fat. Very big pot was used and everything had been carefully pre measured so they knew it would not boil over, the cause of most of the fires that occur doing this. It was also cooked outside, away from the deck and house.

Burbling nicely.

Ta dah, being lifted out of the oil.

It was delicious! Not greasy but crispy and very moist. Our hosts had also injected the meat inside with a marinade. The amazing thing is that it cooked in just 30 minutes!!! So there you have it:) Deep Fried Turkey:)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter:)
from the George Eastman House Collection, an ad for Whitman Chocolates, 1945 Easter

We've been invited to friends tonight for some deep fried turkey! Quite interested really to see how it is done and how it will taste! Have a peaceful day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Dreaming...

Dragonfly Dreams...the original is now available on eBay
and prints are newly arrived in my Etsy shop

The rain did not arrive yesterday, it was a GLORIOUS day! It is expected today and tomorrow so a great excuse to hunker down with a good book and drink tea. Did someone say "What about spring cleaning?" Nah, I didn't think so :)

Funny, remember the post about the figure skating movie? Well, I've been getting hundreds of visits on it from various figure skating forums and fan clubs around the globe. I think it was the mention of Michelle Kwan's name that triggered them. So fascinating to see where visitors come from and why!

My friend, Mark Brennan wrote a thoughtful essay on rejection and being an artist.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Summer Dreams available on eBay

Don't you just love that wee kitty on the swing? Tire swings are definitely on my list of fun things to do. You'll often see them when driving out in country. Happy new life for something worn out and well used:)
This morning the sun is beaming but the forecast is for rain later. I intend to get the best out of this sunshine. Might even tackle the backyard! Still full of Autumn leaves....they never got raked :( Now they are packed down and much harder to get up. Good workout:)
I saw my first crocuses!!!!!!!! Hooray. Small colourful patches of them are starting to appear!
Have a peaceful day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paws for Charity

I have been involved in a small way with a lovely venture called Paws for Charity! A small charity dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research. They have just published a book called Art Book 2009 and it is chock full of illustrations, paintings and photographs of cats and dogs. The book has 37 images which were chosen from 99 submissions received from the US, UK, and Canada. You can take a look at the book here. On the Paws for Charity blog, you can see all the artists who have participated on the left sidebar.That's where I come in, my wee painting "All is Well" is in it:)

Art Book 2009 has been featured this week by the Blurb staff! Actually as of today, we are their number one best seller! Hooray! 100 percent of the proceeds will be going to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade donated directly by Blurb, the publisher. Sara Harley has been spearheading this project and she is profiled here and you can visit her interesting blog, Dream Big. Thanks Sara for all the work you have done:)

So please, if you would like to contribute to the fight against breast cancer and enjoy a lovely book full of art, you can do so by purchasing it here I've ordered my copies:)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quiet on the set! "Rolling....."

Well, I got my fifteen minutes of fame yesterday:) Actually more like ten hours! I was an extra on the set of the remake of Ice Castles, the 1978 romantic drama starring Robbie Benson and Lynn Holly Johnson, Colleen Dewhurst , Tom Skerrit and Jennifer Warren.

I was ensconced with the judges and got to watch everything from a great perspective. We judges were also lucky because where we were situated,we could nip down off the dias during camera setups, pop under the stairs and grab a coffee at the Kraft table and whatever nibbles were available. That's one thing about movies sets....there is always tons of food available. It breaks up the tedium and when folk are working long hours, it is easy to stay fueled.
I had a marvelous time chatting with three sisters who arrived to be part of the crowd and were also nabbed into becoming judges. You can see two of them in the above picture.

Here is Rob Meyes the male lead, Donald Wrye the director and the continuity lady with script in hand and pencil at the ready. This new movie is called Ice Castles2 for the moment. Figure skater Taylor Firth is the star in Donald Wrye's remake. He was the original director and is doing it again.

Taylor being coached for a scene by David Wilson, choreographer extraordinaire
The love story is set in the world of competitive figure skating and also stars Rob Mayes, Henry Czerny ( had a coffee next to him) and figure skater Molly Oberstar. Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan appears in a cameo in the film. She and Sandra Bezic are commentators.

An emotional scene after her competitive solo where she trips over the bears and flowers thrown on the ice, her boy "friend" rushes out to help her.....she is blind.... audience didn't know but figures it out quickly. Ahhh, the moment we have all been waiting for, true love prevails.

They have been shooting for a week and will continue for another week at various locations. The yellow direction signs with IC written on them are everywhere in this city at the moment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Wasn't that sheep video fun? I just loved it and have watched several times:) So creative and full of life.
The picture above is my new favourite snack! Edamame beans (soybeans) love them. Sort of buttery flavored and meaty and good for you. I had a very, very long day yesterday but it was interesting and I earned some money too:) Always a good thing. I will be uploading pics to show you.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Extreme Sheep Herding:)

This really tickles my fancy:)

Ready, set, cook

Gosh, it's been raining and raining and now it is foggy with more rain later. I'm quite pleased actually. All the snow will be gone and the gardens and plants will be primed nicely for the sun when it appears:) I'm hoping to take advantage of the gloomy day to get some cleaning done! A neverending task, but hopefully I can make some forays into new territory. You know, the stuff you always mean to get around to but get sidetracked by other stuff:)
That picture up above is the cover of my cookbook:) Yep. Chock full of recipes that I had floating around on bits of paper and my friend's and family's best potluck meals. All of them simple with easy ingredients. I put it together a few years ago and had a lot of fun. It is self published through Trafford Publishing. It sells here in a few gift stores. I have not marketed it all really, it was more of a labor of love. Something I had always wanted to do. I sell Nova Scotia Potluck also through my etsy store. Best to purchase it there because I have them in stock and Amazon has to order from the publisher. I even managed to squeeze in some art throughout the pages.

Here is one of the recipes. Sometimes I garnish it with flowers.

If you've made it all the way down to here, here's a fun wee slide show with sound celebrating fiddler John Afton Mclellan's 101 Birthday! 25 fiddlers played Happy Birthday to him. He greeted all two hundred guests by name, had a few dances and played a few tunes. He lives alone with his cat, Bow. Just click anywhere on this paragraph to see it:)