Sunday, November 29, 2009

Victorian Christmas

Father Christmas leading the parade at the end of the day:)
VictorianChristmas is also on today, Sunday at the Halifax Citadel from 12-4pm. Crafts, caroling, cider, history, lots to see and do:) These pics are from yesterday. My daughter is having fun as a volunteer:)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

linda's lesson

I had a wake up call last week and it has stayed with me these last ten days.......

During a fitness class on a Wednesday morning, a charming woman whom I'd just said hello to for the first time, sat down suddenly, looking pale and a bit distressed. Her friends gathered round and put her in the recovery position. She was nauseated and had pain in her head. Soon paramedics arrived and she was taken to the hospital......... she died. It was a brain aneurysm.

I can't stop thinking that I witnessed her last good half hour on this earth. That morning when she got up she donned a cheery red t-shirt. She might have had dishes in the sink ready to finish when she got home, maybe she had to get ready for work, all plans that did not matter any more. We just don't know do we......... be grateful for every minute you have.

My dad was a physician and he used to say that life was really like a roulette wheel, you never know where the ball will land. People who look after themselves can go suddenly and those that abuse can live long lives. Live your life in moderation, do the best you can, and if you really,really want that cupcake, go for it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hanging with my friends....

Fun fun fun! Neville MacKay, Melanie and Gail, two of the gals on the Halifax Chicks BustaMove team, posing with our mascot and fearless leader....Richard Simmons! Thursday night there was a rally/info meeting for Bust a Move at one of the local hotels and it was a great event. We even got a mini preview of what to expect for those six hours in January, all of us moovin and groovin to the beat. Zumba was the highlight. Actually, winning a gift certificate to Lululemon was the highlight for me, I was so surprised:)

Our team had been asked to come up and speak about fundraising. What we have done so far and have planned for the next two months to give people ideas about what they might do. Hope it helped. I was nervous. People were just starting to arrive in this picture.

It ended early in the evening and I dashed over to Fred to see the "Mystery Art Sale" for Adsum house. I was wondering if my picture had sold. Evidently it was one of the first to go:) Yay. I hope they did well. There were still quite a few people around when I got there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday bits and bobs

This is my palette! Hard as a rock:) Fun to think about how many paintings are represented there. I've been so busy with other things lately not much of that getting done:(

Thursday night is the Mystery Art Night for Adsum House. Mystery Art is a swanky cocktail party at FRED. with sparkling wine, hors d'ouevres and live music, during which we sell the 5 x 7" art on the walls... the art will be up starting Monday Nov 23 at FRED. First in line at 6pm on Thursday Nov 26 gets their pick, all for $100. The sale lasts from 6-8, at which time we reveal the artists. Which artist did you buy? A Tom Forrestall, or a B list Hollywood actor? A Michael Martchenko, of Robert Munsch book fame, or is it a David Cowles (illustrator for Esquire, Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times)... or any number of beautiful local artists. I have a painting in there too:) I'm trying to decide whether or not to go. Tickets are $20.

My arm is a wee bit sore today but not bad really. I am just so glad I finally got the H1N1 shot. Picked up a chocolate lime cupcake at FRED on the way home to cheer myself up afterward. Cupcakes make everything better:)

Pop over and visit my friend Pat in New York, she is giving away a gorgeous Lenox china holiday teapot! She writes the most wonderful and informative posts about her city. A couple of my favourites were about the secret gardens in New York, absolutely fascinating. Three about Central Park had me wanting to jump on a plane immediately!

Also.......Thanks so much for purchasing my calendars!! They are sold out!!!!
I am wondering whether I should order any more. If you are interested, please let me know ASAP so I can get them ordered. I might get some to put on Etsy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Java Blend

One day last week I treated myself to a stop here. I was in Dartmouth picking up some permits and on the way home, just after crossing the bridge, on North Street, I could smell coffee roasting. Heaven.

Java Blend Coffee has been in business since 1938. A small family operation that has managed to hang in there through hard work, great coffee and lovely personalities. They even have a blog (check the bottom of their page). A neighborhood favourite, Java Blend has been licensed by TransFair Canada since 1999 to roast and distribute Fair Trade Certified Coffees. Many of the restaurants around town get their coffee here.

It was a gorgeous late sunny afternoon. People were even sitting outside at a few tables sipping and reading, in late November! I popped in for an Americano, my current fave.

Ha, this pic makes my coffee look like a giant cup of Joe but it was really just a regular:) It is not a place I get to very often because it is out of my normal path but everytime I visit I think, must do this more often:)

Thanks to everyone who has purchased calendars:) I've been wanting to do one for ages.
I only have a few left in this order so if you are interested....act soon.

Getting the flu shot today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guess what I have.......

A calendar!!!!
Click on the picture or the link to see a slide show preview of all the months.
It is 8.5 x 11 / x215 mm on regular calendar paper. Not sure what that means but we shall see.
I have put American, Canadian and British holidays on it as well as religious holidays and the full/new moon cycles.

I will be receiving them around December 4th so your orders will be sent off the minute I get them. If you want it sent directly as a gift to somebody, I can do that too. Let me know if you would like it personalized :) I've only ordered a few to start but if they go quickly I will order some more this week in order to get them in time for the holidays.

They are $20 US each plus shipping.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A day on the rocks

Okay, okay, you KNOW I had to start with fave part of a trip to Peggy's Cove! I have no willpower when it comes to warm gingerbread with whipped cream and... soft ice cream melting on the other side!!!
Then a visit to the gift shop.....

Loads of trinkets and souvenirs. Some are ticky tacky and some quite nice.

Next, the grand lady herself! The star of the show.

We were lucky because it was a lovely day. The wind was brisk but really for November,
it was terrific. Not many souls about at all.

Here are a couple of people on the rocks just to give you an idea of the scale of the place.
It is a wonderful granite playground!


Reminder: last day to enter bloggy birthday giveaway:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

beauty all around

I love this little vista. Looks almost magical...... a garden in November. Just out of sight is a pheasant hidden behind the brush. This was taken in Paddy's Head near Peggy's Cove. I had a lovely day yesterday with my daughter and a friend out for an adventure! More to come later. For now, I have work to do.....

Also........Don't forget to leave a comment here for a chance at a surprise package and a print! Tomorrow is the last day.
Oh yes, yay!!!! I have reached the half way point in my fundraising.Thanks to all who donated, I am grateful. Still a way to go yet, you can click on the Bust a Move badge on the right to learn more.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I think she's lovely. This marble bust sits in the window sill on the staircase landing at my cousin's home in Scotland. I always stop and admire her every time I go up or down. I appreciate the necklace touch! Good way to enjoy something beautiful that can't be worn every day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekend links!

Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood

from the State Library of New South Wales collection on flickr

It is really time to ditch the canned food! Visit the healthy librarian to find out why.

My friend Mickey at Nicholas Landon Jewelery in Texas is having a Thanks-Give- Away
Her work is really lovely!

Another friend, Mark Brennen shared this link to a really interesting 1941 film produced by the National Film Board of Canada about the famous painter A.Y. Jackson following him on his painting journeys into the bush.

Still trying to raise $1000 for a digital mammogram machine and getting ready for those 6 hours of fitness classes on January 30th for Bust a Move! If you could help me please I'd be very grateful. It says Canadian $ but will convert US to Cdn.

Delicious Butternut Squash and Pear soup. I use an immersion blender and you don't have to add the cream at all or you can use evaporated skim milk for creamy no fat flavour.

Also, don't forget to enter my bloggy 1st Anniversary draw:)

Have a fun weekend:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Bloggy Birthday!

I almost missed it ! Hard believe I have been puttering away here for a year already :) 302 posts. Who knew I had that much to say. Thanks so much for popping by and continuing to do so, even you lurkers! Heaven knows, we are all lurkers at times, it is enough to read and enjoy. There are so many wonderful places to visit and just never enough time. I write because I love it and I hope you will enjoy it too.

Of course.... in honor of this auspicious occasion and because I love giving...... a wee giveaway is in order. The winner can choose a print/photo from my shop and I will also package up a small parcel of surprise goodies for you! Leave me a comment here telling me what you would wish for your very best friend, it can be as practical or unpractical as you want.

You do not need a blog to be entered, just make sure you leave an email address where I can contact you. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner! on November 20th!

Thanks everybody:)
p.s. those cakes are from Gerald Mulot in Paris!

one sky, many hearts

I might be starting something with this entry but I felt I had to post this in a larger venue. I received a response last night from a plea I wrote last year about educating girls in Afghanistan. You can read that post here.

Here is the response

Anonymous said...

So we should educate them so that they come to have the same western thinking and values we do? literacy is the mark of civilisation. These people have lived for thousands of years without literacy.What then after they have built rows of schools,then rows of malls, then rows of mcmansions?

Here is my reply....

Dear Anonymous,

I don't usually comment on things like this but your response prompted me to reply. Who said anything about Western thinking and values? Maybe if those values mean equal worth of women to men, yes.

Education = good health, tolerance, long life, greater understanding, ability to learn more to help others and yourself.

Afghanistan is ranked number 2 in the mortality of children under 5 years of age. As of 2005, 25% of children in Afghanistan will not reach their 5th birthday. Only Sierra Leone is worse. "Living for thousands of years without literacy" has helped create this situation. Knowledge saves lives.

The life expectancy today in Afghanistan is 44 years. In 1970 it was 35, education and knowledge are responsible for the lowered death rates. Vaccinations started also. Without education, how do programs like this get off the ground?

Only 29% of women in Afghanistan are literate. They are the caregivers and raise the children. They need to be filled with knowledge on how to make their lives and those of their families healthier. 40% of children under 5 are underweight and over half of the children in Afghanistan, 54% suffer from permanent stunted growth!!

As of 2005 the maternal mortality rate is 1 in 8. Out of every 8 pregnancies, one will result in death. Education and knowledge will go a long way to alleviating these statistics.

Broad education can only help, it does not harm.

Do you want to deny these people a chance at an extra 30 years of life? Children their mothers? Mothers their children?

I am sorry, but I disagree with you on the value of educating women and people in general.

I am not a fan of giant malls and mcmansions, I live simply, but I do believe that with knowledge, people are equipped to make better choices and can understand the consequences of those choices. People with literacy know how to find information about the things they are not sure of and can act accordingly. It is a great equalizer.

If people want malls and mcmansions so be it. Who are we to say no? Better malls and mcmansions than poverty, illness, ignorance and death. Creating buildings like these is a choice.

You have a computer, you have internet, you can read, you are educated. Would you prefer sickness, early death and a life with no words? Reading can bring comfort.It doesn't have to mean 'Western", What about the hundreds of Persian authors and the literature they have created over two and a half millennia? Jelaluddin Rumi, one of the greatest poets ever alive was born in Afghanistan.

I believe education is a gift that continues to give long after it has been received.

"All religions are in substance one and the same.
In the adorations and benedictions of righteous men
The praises of all the prophets are kneaded together.
All their praises are mingled into one stream,
All the vessels are emptied into one ewer.
Because He that is praised is, in fact, only One,
In this respect all religions are only one religion.
Because all praises are directed towards God's light,
Their various forms and figures are borrowed from it.
Men never address praises but to One deemed worthy,"

- Jelaluddin Rumi, Masnavi I Ma'navi/Book III, story 12

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A work of art....

Sending out a big bloggy THANK-YOU today to sweet Susanna Gordon of Susanna's Sketchbook. She is the creator of the winged messenger series. These comforting letters of hope have found their way around the globe via willing photographers and continue to do so. I was lucky enough to receive a set of my own to photograph. Susanna is a wonderful photographer in her own right too and I always enjoy visiting her blog to see what new images she is sharing. I am just one of many people saying gracias to Susanna today:) You can see more of these lovely soul lifters in this flickr group, "a message with wings"

presented by...Isabel, Shelagh, Robin, Relyn, Megan, Susan, Kristin, LiLi, Mo'a, Madelyn,Constance ,Shin, Leslie, Bonnie, Christina, Gillian, Olga,Elizabeth, Angie, and Rachel...

poppies blow, between the crosses....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

let it snow

My first winter painting this year.
Anna and Scottie find a new friend....
.....on eBay now :)


I've just come in from raking leaves and my arms feel like they are dragging on the ground:) We are having a bit of a weather reprieve and I thought it would be a good idea to go out and finally get it done. I tend to wait until ALL the leaves are off the trees, so it is a big job but then it is over. Well almost over, there are always stragglers.
I've got a pot of chicken soup on the stove for lunch and then time to hit the brushes:)
Ohh, yes, I went to see Coco Avant Chanel.... Wonderful film. Go see it if you are an Audrey Tatou fan, a romantic, love lush backgrounds, period pieces, creativity, fashion and France!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

15 Things

Monty senses the excitement in the air! Remember a while back I mentioned a swap organized by Susan called 15 things? Well ......I received mine! The doorbell rang a few days ago and a mysterious package was handed over to me by a handsome postman:)

Look how lovely all the gifts are.... Wasn't sure if there was a special day we were supposed to open.... I couldn't wait.

Monty knew there was a reason to be happy. One of the packages was especially addressed to him!

I am thrilled with all my goodies!!! Thanks so much Pamela!!

Here is the 15 list.....old-fashioned, delicious, natural, salty, sweet, cat, dog, culinary, green,sparkly,useful, paper, scented, soft, garden. Can you guess what is what?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

North Star Cove

Available now on eBay...

Brr, it's nippy out today...not at all like this wee painting:) At least the sun is shining!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday again

Isn't it marvelous how light can transform! This stopped me in my tracks the other day and I had to go find my camera. My kitchen counter turned into art:)

Not much light today......rain turned snow, then sleet and now back to rain...
Sun is forecast for the weekend so this will all be gone again, and I can get those leaves raked up and tidied away for the winter. I tend to not bother raking until all the leaves are down, do it in one big sweep:)

Went to the symphony last night! What a treat:) Thanks Tammi.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


middle of the week reflections....

Loving my new haircut:)
Looking forward to the symphony tomorrow night. A friend won tickets and I am the lucky gal who gets to accompany her:)
Making headway on the paper filing situation:)
Did another large painting and 1/2 of one more
Got lots of exercise, my knee hurts :(
Ate too many cheesies. Darn those orange beasties!
Gotta get the snow tires on my car
Oh yes, saw David Copperfield on Monday...interesting,... he seemed a bit tired/jaded but still can pull those major tricks out of his hat.

Hope you are having a productive week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Monday morning, back to routine. November is here. I like November, a quiet month of settling in, getting used to the darkness before winter really sets in. I have a lot of decluttering I want to do....... don't I always:) Do you a sense of deja vu visiting here? Always the same goals. I get started and then drift off the path but the really important thing is to get back on it again. Right? Right.

No more Hallowe'en candy. More exercise, that's a big one now with the BustaMove event looming ever closer. Pop over to the sidebar to see what it is all about. I'd love it if you might consider sponsoring me.

Meditation. I am always wanting to get back to that consistently. Everything I read about the benefits makes sense. I love it when I do it. Just have to make...myself...sit....still. Ohmmm.

Painted a large canvas yesterday 18 x 24" and I have it hanging in my living room. Love it. I am thinking of trying to do a large series and possibly getting them hung in a... "dare I say it"... gallery! Just a thought. Putting it out there.

These two pictures are of Barrington Street. Taken from inside the Old Burying Ground.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dia de Blogandia

Happy Day of the Dead, All Souls' Day...........November 1st!
Inspired by Susanna and Stephanie , I thought I would celebrate El Dia de los Mortes by sharing some interesting graveyard art. Generally the festivities involving All Souls Day are full of colour and warmth, this series is rather lacking in colour but full of the "spirit"of the day:) These pictures were all taken at the Old Burying Ground in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here is a list of almost all who are buried here.

The one below has a protective covering on the top to stop it from deteriorating.

The headstones range in age from the 18th century to the 19th century. It was created in the 16th century. It is interesting to see linked themes in the carved stone and how they change as the years pass. In the earlier stones, you can see the guide lines the carver etched into the rock to keep the words straight. God bless all these folk, Martha, Susanna, Elizabeth and others...

This is a masonic headstone of course. The all seeing eye perched at the top. The decorated scroll on the left but not the right. Full of symbolism but I haven't a clue what it means.

Last but not least, this picture is a detail of my great Grandfather, William McLean's headstone in Scotland. He was a renowned fiddler. It was carved by his son.