Wednesday, 13 September 2017

always something to do

How much quicker time flies when one is being productive. I don't know; is that a good thing?
You won't find me enjoying the run to stay in place. As I corrected these pictures I'm about to show you, my critical eye saw a dirty floor mat and windows that need cleaning, a hedge, bushes and a lawn that need trimming and artwork that could use  a few tweaks.

In the meantime, Muji needs cuddles. Like, really! He needs them.
Some animals are much needier than others. Just like people. They suffer for not getting their daily requirement.

Babu loves his cuddles too, but he's very squirmy, the weight of his body pressing down on his little paws, so I put him on his back. Then he reaches up gently to my cheek like a baby, purring and grooving with the attention. Here he's doing his baby mewing, wanting some affection.

It's rather hot today. Too hot to open the windows. On the way to check the mail, I caught this vignette of an aluminum squirrel nutcracker, some seashells and pebbles plus a beautiful vase carved into stone by Nova Scotia artist John Hannah.

From the front ramp, the yard is looking that late summer scruffy. It needs a tune up.

I've been steadily exploring what those cheap Crayola coloured pencils can do. They are showing great promise, certainly equal to that of the much acclaimed new Jane Davenport "Magic Wands".
Disappointed with the eyes, I whited them out with Sharpie white paint pen and drew them again with extra fine black Pitt pen and a little brown pencil crayon.

It's funny what you see when you take a picture of your work. This squirrel turned out ok, done from memory, years of drawing them on pottery, but now I see that I forgot to colour in the nose and he could have used some shading where his feet touch the branch. Other tweaks would enhance this picture, but I'm done. I get like that.

"Life is just a dream, sweetheart"
done in Crayola coloured pencils and my new Uni-ball Signo broad white pen.

Then I was scribbling, filling the page with Crayola coloured pencil layering, enjoying the mix of colours I might not normally put together. Some washi tape by Tim Holtz made a nice muted border for one of his cardstock cut outs that I got in a pack earlier this summer.
It has a bit of that "going back to school" vibe.

It's been so nice having Wally home, even though he's pre-occupied with his plumbing right now. He's ordered the fabulous dramatic tile we decided on after such a long while, but we won't have it for another week and a half. That's ok. There's so much else to do. Now I must make lunch.

sweet September energy to you dear viewers
with peace in our hearts

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

a quiet overcast september afternoon

Wally is home for a week and 2 days, attending to the house, painting, plumbing, and gardening on his agenda. I've got paperwork to do when I'm not on domestic duty or drawing in my sketchbook.

 The cooler autumn weather has slowed the growth of things around here and our 10 cent red jewel cabbage that made it into an available pot has certainly grown larger than the seedlings behind it, but won't grow much more I suspect.

I would have shown you this picture first but I didn't want to shock you so soon with such a good close up of a hornet that sat on the uppermost leaves of the climbing hydrangea that still sits in its pot on the deck, propped near the door to prevent it from constantly falling over in the wind.

Hornets are notoriously aggressive, but I sensed this fellow was somewhat sleepy
from a rather cool night before.

so I came in for his close up

and closer still.

As I stepped off the back deck, the vegetable garden is looking somewhat spent as most everything is ripening. The hydrangeas are looking tired too, bowed from the rain a few days before.

Into the yard, I noticed lots of wild asters growing around the perimeter,
this one by Forget-Me-Not Cabin's old beat up garage doors that I painted in the spring, 

The roses that Wally put into a new garden at one end of the cabin are budding profusely.

There are fading blooms on the other side of the same plant.

Lovely heirloom tomatoes are ripening.

and I'm overdue to pick some more green beans.

On his way to the garage, Wally catches sight of me.

"Hi honey."

I had to underexpose this daisy to pick up the detail in the petals

Beyond the rose garden is the rhubarb, then some wild asters, and the shipping pallet that Wally leaned in place to discourage the deer. Apparently they figured out a way in as the netting was pulled on our little peach tree, bending it over again, the remaining peaches gone
. At least we got some this year.  Next year, a real fence!

There were more wild asters growing on the other side of the cabin
by the old door crying for some paint.

Turning, I look East by Southeast at the hayfield whose weedy clumps of goldenrod, milkweed, etc.
are growing faster than the grass.

The wild roses in our border have turned to rose hips.

I make my way over to the garage garden where, that huge plant with the funky yellow flowers, Ligularia Dentata, is still putting on a show. Wally wanted me to check out where he placed the silver pitcher that I didn't need but didn't want to give away.

We both got a kick out of seeing it in amongst the Sweet William.

Over by the composter that Wally made out of shipping pallets,
the clematis is still blooming wildly.

Their seed heads make fabulous starbursts,

an added bonus.

Beside them the "black" hollyhocks are nearing the end
as they grow from the bottom of their stalks upward.

A gorgeous green and gold fly perched sleepily on one,
even as the wind bounced the bloom up and down and sideways.

Such an exquisite creature with its orange eyes.

Just to the side of the composter, more wild asters.

Sweet peas are blooming on the other side of the composter.

Going back up the steps, I look into the composter which looks more like a flower box with its Echinacea, clematis and the wild asters poking up through the deck side

The Echinacea are faded, woven through with sweet pea vines.

looking down on this natural bouquet of wild asters.

You may remember that I bought an extra cheap box of Crayola coloured pencils that have turned out to be of mixed quality, but fun nonetheless.

This piece done in Crayola coloured pencils as well,

as well as this one.
I'm feeling a little impatient to finish this book that I am drawing these images in so that I can justify turning to better quality paper. I've got a history of not completing my sketchbooks.  Better quality paper will actually enhance the appearance of these children's quality pencils, not to mention other media. Paper matters more than the materials sometimes, like the quality of a piano one plays on.  Still, there is much to learn each time I set out to draw something. The beaver's face was a challenge with its unusual shape, certainly not bunny or squirrel like, but as you can see I gave up finishing this piece, a sign that something better is to come.

Thanks for visiting today. I hope your September is kind to you. It is something to be grateful for, a little bit of kindness.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

old houses and storefronts

This first week of September has been a busy one.
On Sunday, before Labour Day, I suggested we get ourselves off to our favourite cut rate supermarket.

As usual, Wally took the "short cut", the backroad to Wolfville, a lovely scenic route.

Coming into Port Williams, there are many beautiful houses, and many shots I lost due to low light and shooting from a moving car, but this delightful scene of an old man on one of 8 seats on the front porch was a keeper.

As we came to our turn, we come to two storefronts in two very old buildings that probably once had something to do with fishing as we are about to cross the Cornwallis River quite close to the Bay of Fundy.

This is big time farm country. Here we see the back of a big operation, Noggins Corner Farms, in front of which we'll pass on the slower road home. (I'll show you later.)

Nearing the corner we pass by this discreet laneway into the farmland.

Turning towards Wolfville, we are in Greenwich (GREN-ich).
The garage has never been open in the 5 years we've been here and it is after hours at the vet's so it makes for a lonely shot.

Most of the homes are older. This one has a huge rhododendron bush to the right.

This sweetie has a laneway that leads to other houses overlooking the farmfields. 

Another yellow house, twice as big.

This seems to be a humble 1940's interpretation of an Arts & Crafts style house that was most popular between 1910-1925, a favourite style of mine. This go at it has some of the generous proportions for such a little house and is built in the traditional but rare, for here, red brick. 

I can always tell when we're in Wolfville by the grander homes, this one with an extended front porch and extensions out back as well.

This lovely Victorian on a corner lot is enhanced by lots of flowering shrubbery.

The Wolfville Nursing home is grandest by far.

The Wolfville Baptist Church is magnificent even by big city standards. To it's right is the Acadia University Gallery and behind that, classrooms and then the great library which a regular library card will grant us access to.

Kitty-corner to the church is the library pub. Down that side street is the library that I've shown you before, located in the old train station.

Past the library pub and a few more shops including the Harvest Art Gallery is Paddy's Pub that ekes into the street for outdoor seating.

Again with another 2 shops inbetween (you may have noticed that that's how long my camera takes to ready itself for the next shot even at this slow through town pace) is the Acadia theatre, known now as the Al Whittle Theatre, that is devoted to more esoteric films.

This huge building houses Atlantic Lighting on the main floor
with incredible modern lighting choices.

Oh! My little camera is ready for the next building, the Bank of Montreal, or B-Mo as it is known.

Suddenly, in the middle of all this commercialism is a lovely patch
devoted to the Wolfville Post Office.

With its park like setting, its a wonder that there are not more visitors resting there- except that you would have to bring your own blanket.

Across the street is the Naked Crepe. It's amazing how many variations you can make with a crepe.

A few doors down from the post office is another eatery, the Pita House, and next to it Wild Lily.

Located in an old gas station and garage, Wild Lily is a delightful gift and women's clothing shop.
I got my spectacular whale and octopus glass Christmas ornaments there. And they pipe in the most delightful vintage music.

This is the corner we would turn to go into the Gaspereau Valley if we wanted to visit the wool shop.

But we turn instead toward the dykes at this corner of the Bay of Fundy to our destination, Cuts, where sweet potatoes sell for 28 cents a pound and sweet local corn for 15 cents each. I needed carrots which were fresh and bagged at $1.49 for 5 pounds.I always feel like quoting that IKEA commercial where the woman leaves the store wild-eyed, bags in hand, yelling to her husband,
"Start the car! Start the car!!"

Loaded up with fresh local produce, we head out of Wolfville past grand mansions.

Of course I'm getting better tree shots than houses because of the slow readings of my little camera.

Perhaps you remember this wonderful old saltbox house from past posts.

Now we are back in Greenwich passing this unusual pale pink roof with its old red roof.
Just try to find old red roof tiles these days; I couldn't.

This is prime farm market country but one rarely finds the little guys anymore.

More often it's these bigger operations like Noggins Corner Farm that seems to expand each year and hosts huge events like a corn maze that attracts thousands each fall.

I'm always delighted by this discreet country home each time we pass.

And this simple house comes alive with its magnificent landscape and red door and matching roof.
Doesn't the blue wheelbarrow set it all off!

Even this quaint sweetie has its charm.

Just beyond is Avery's a local chain that sells much local product.

We are coming into the land of subdivisions that is New Minas.
This is very typical of the kind of house I grew up in.

While our local Michaels gets much of Wally's hard-earned cash as it continues to provide us with much of the product you've seen me show in past posts, we're equally delighted with the vast sunsets we see from its parking lot. The treed hill will give you an idea of the abundance of fresh air we're privileged to have as well.

It is after hours at Canadian Tire that sits next door to the supermarket that we just dropped into to grab some pre Labour Day sales.

I still find some nostalgic charm to the old A&W design. Wally and I recalled how they used to bring a tray out to hang on your car window though neither of us recall the roller skating waitresses who once did, possibly before our time. Sounds dangerous anyway.

I really ought to show you some of the artwork I've been doing lately, but I'll have to save that for another day. In the meantime, I hope the weather has been kind to you in your part of the world. We're having some much needed rain.

peace dear people