Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I hope I didn't scare you ...

by actually posting a picture I actually made.
Wouldn't it be nice
if all our fears were little ones
like: what if I have to go to bed
before I finish this great
painting, book, movie, telephone conversation?
Or: will I ever be able
write, draw, sculpt, embroider,
build, paint, carve, design, create
all the masterpieces in me?
If Fear really is the opposite of Love,
let there be LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
in everything we do.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

a mid October walk

So far so good. The wind and rain is benign and normal, so I expect whatever trouble from Hurricane Sandy has gone elsewhere.  My thoughts are with those who are dealing with it.   Balance will be restored in time.

On Sunday the 21st, the day after Wally headed back to Muskoka, I headed out for a much needed walk.  I'm one of those sorry types who'd rather read a book than go for a walk, so I took my trusty camera with me for added incentive, and oddly enough, companionship,  and sure enough...

This remarkable piece of modern art presented itself

With the first sewer grate in mind, I went looking for another.
Along the way, another opportunity presented itself with this lovely civic sculpture
And this jolly one too!
 Before long I was entranced by beauty everywhere
I knew this was a possibility but, Oh the surprises that awaited me.
Talk about stopping to smell the roses...
I did just that!
I was emboldened to step off the road to capture these exquisite treasures
Kentville is very hilly so that even my slow walk was good exercise.

I was surprised by all the photo "ops" like this delicious eye candy

 And even right in town I had a taste of my beloved Canadian wilderness...

 though I'm grateful the serendipitous street art too.
Always there is beauty around us if we would only see what lays in where we look.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Back to the Gaspereau Valley Fibre Shop

Just when I was on a roll, my dear techie left me to return to "the scene of the crime"- our storage unit in Muskoka where we left some of my most precious things: my art supplies and portfolios and sketchbooks of years gone past.

So to soften the blow of being on my own for a week, I dropped him at work one day before he left and headed back to the Gaspereau Valley Fibre Shop for their Thursday afternoon drop-in where I would get the guidance I needed to started the hat project that Wally chose for me.

Lucky for me, it was one of those quintessential autumn days when the valley was laid in patchwork.
The romance of working in this old barn was not lost on me.
 This wickedly handsome sock was modelled by the person for whom it was being made.
Another lovely piece of work modelled by its maker.

And another, who wears the intricately patterned cardigan that she knitted while she works on an amazing hat that is no less rife with pattern.
And finally, my humble first attempt at a hat, made from "kitchen sink" fibre from New Brunswick, which is so much fun to work with , having so much personality.
I realize that last time I suggested that there would be pictures of the sheep and llamas, but they were nowhere to be seen.  I expect that I will see them again one day and share pictures with you on that occasion.
There will be a series of catch-up posts coming up shortly which will show how happily productive I was while Wally was away. Til then,
may you find joy in every moment for it is a precious time indeed.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

escape to the Gaspereau Valley

A good Tuesday morning to you from an even warmer but light rainy day here in Kentville. Glad to have taken advantage of yesterday's sunshine to hang 2 loads of washing in the blowy gusts, watering my 2 potted plants that needed the weight as well to keep them from blowing over.

As promised more of our splendid Saturday afternoon out.
After 3 recommendations, we made our way over to Gaspereau Valley Fibres Farm Wool Shop.
Three barns and a grey farmhouse set in the picturesque valley of vineyards and apple orchards.
The chickens so sleepy in the afternoon sun that they barely glance at me before nodding off again.
When we enterred the first old barn, the blanket of warmth from the wood stove wrapped us in
the same heat that put this mellow kitty to sleep in a basket of yarn. 
The old wooden floors and generous cupboards and large mullioned windows created a most welcoming atmosphere.
All around were samples of knitting and felting.
I find it astounding that someone could make something so intricate and ethereal.

I love workspaces, even this sales desk which constitutes one. Don't you love the funky clothespin notekeeper that hangs from the chalkboard? 
How quickly the time flew. The chickens were awake now. In the meadow the sheep and llamas were milling about, a touch too far for my camera to capture. But next time....
 a peaceful path to this moment

Monday, 15 October 2012

pumpkins and stitching

And hello once again from my new home in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.
It was another jolly weekend, making our way over to Wolfville to the farmers market.  We certainly didn't need much of anything but my passion for supporting the organic farmers had me buying the last of the local green beans and tomatoes we'd be seeing as the edge of the frost veers closer. (Today, though, is a balmy 20 degrees C.)

Outside the building, despite the damp cold, this young man played a spiritual riff on the didgeridoo.

A pumpkin decorating contest was being held by the vendors. These are turkeys!

A union jack teapot with a funny yellow zucchini for a spout and hollowed out gourds for teacups.
I still haven't figured out what kind of creature this is supposed to be, but delightful all the same.
a jeweller did up this small gem
and just for fun, I got into the act too.
After the market we went over to the designer food market, called Pete's, the only place I can find one of my favourite staples, grapeseed oil.
It is a remarkable store, with wonderful exotics like persimmon and Indian jujube. While most of it is quite pricey for our meager budget, there is always some extra treat we walk out with. This time it was lychees and raw cocoa nibs. Yum!
Tomorrow I will share more pictures of our wonderful weekend, but for now I leave you with this little handstitched piece I did up in my new recylcled paper sketchbook that I am so enjoying.

Wishing you joy.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

a day like no other

Finally... a day like any other....a day like no other...


at last

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

a new step

Here it is, another grey morning as the rumble of rush hour accompanies me. So glad you can join me again.

morning at the laptop

Yesterday I promised myself that I would have something creative to show you. Since I don't have a designated studio yet, I knew I would be working in the kitchen. As the day carried on it became a matter of urgency that I cook instead of sew.  Procrastinating is easy when one must constantly be refilling the Brita pitcher  (I can't bear the chlorine in our town water) and work at counters 3 feet high.  So to entertain myself, I decided to photograph the process of supper.
To the left of the sink a chopping board with an onion and a knife.
My new favourite: stripey beets that don't discolour my hands or stain my clothes!
Creative energy went into embellishing this soup with more and more, starting with:
lentils that cook so easily and quickly from scratch just needing a good rinse when done,
then came an onion, a parsnip, 4 small beets, beet stems and leaves chopped, a handful of sorrel and finally a handful of purple dulse (a local seaweed) that fairly melts into the hot soup.
And Voila! Yes, it was good!
And finally, graphite B to lovely recycled paper
I start my new sketchbook at 9:30 last night
relishing the soft flow of line and texture.
"You see," I say to myself, "it wasn't that hard. Why don't I start sooner next time."
And so I will. Grey days are great for new starts.
Carry on by beginning again, each step a new step, each moment a fresh one we've never had before!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

another way to give thanks

Greetings old faithfuls and new visitors.
I send my wishes out to the world for a day of lovingkindness, both for others and ourselves. 
It has been a pleasant reprieve here in the Annapolis Valley from the bitter cold that is  now beginning to bite... until today when we have finally succumbed to  seduction of the furnace to beat off the morning chill.
The weekend, however, was glorious and once again we felt like tourists as we took in a flea market in New Minas and the Wolfville Farmers Market, and walked the main street of Wolfville, getting an eyeful of art at the Harvest Gallery and a great old fashioned secondhand book store that went on forever. Perhaps the highlight for me was picking up some India ink, crow quill pen and nibs and some vellum, as well as  some acrylic matte medium which I plan to use for photo and/or ink transfers.
Monday, Thanksgiving Day, we hit the road for Truro to visit Wally's Dad.  It was supposed to rain, but again we lucked in and had a glorious autumn coountry drive which constitutes the 2 hour short cut.
Most stores were closed because of the civic holiday. It isn't unusual to find shops set up in old houses and this one in the town of Brooklyn even found it necessary to put bars on its windows, but it still held a certain charm of past times for me.
Rocky Knoll Farms held a certain old world charm for me as well. Can you see the pasture in the distance dotted with white cows?  Just the perfect bucolic scene as the young cows watch on, a wagonful of iconic pumpkins and tapestried rolling hills beyond; I was thrilled by the beauty.

A most beautiful handpainted sign to my right...
And yet another lovely farm scene taken from the car with my 2second delay camera... hence the blurriness and, in fact, the deletion of most of the myriad of potentially wonderful photographs (sniff)  that I took yesterday that I would have loved to share with you of beautiful Nova Scotia as it fades into the future.
Today I am committing myself to play.  Harder than it sounds for me because of my history as a professional artist who always had to earn my living doing what was "successful", slowly and insidiously undoing my love of sheer play and the ensuing "failure" to be "marketable". Ironically, I KNOW there is a market for the joyous, the "naive", the childlike.   I cling to Pablo Picasso's words like a life raft:
It takes one a long time to become young.
It is certainly worth aiming for in a world where we spend our lives unlearning the intuition and wisdom we innately know as children.
I wish you joy in all you do, in all you encounter, in this moment where we can know infinity.

Friday, 5 October 2012

the biggest beet in nova scotia

Hello again from our new home in Kentville.
It is the sweet time of the year when the fridge is brimming with vegetables.
Since we've arrived here, vegetables have played a bigger role in our diet as I've had to stay on top of the beautiful produce I've brought home from our twice weekly trips to the Farmers Markets.

On Saturdays we try to make it to the Wolfville Farmers Market which is housed in a long low building that is open at one end and has tables set up for eating at the other. It is always so festive there and I get a kick out of the crowds it attracts, delighted that so many people take this sort of thing seriously.

On Wednesdays we try to get to the Kentville Farmers Market as well. It is so important to me to support the young farmers who sell their beautiful organic veggies.  This lumpy beige thing in the foreground is a beet, winner of the largest beet grown in Nova Scotia, grown by Amanda from whom we've been happily buying the most lovely purple tomatoes, white beets with purple stripes and our latest discovery, Arctic Kiwi.  What fun to try these exotic varieties knowing they're so good for us too! 
Creative work still awaits me.  Today marks the 7th week since our arrival. It surprises me how early it gets dark, 7:30 already too late for a sunset walk. This weekend will afford us some time to start the renovation.  We've finally committed to a new toilet so that's another part of our thanksgiving.
I heard somewhere that if gratitude was the only prayer we made it would be enough. Like forgiveness, it is the gift you give yourself. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Seventh Week in Nova Scotia

The Sky Over Nova Scotia

It's been a long time coming, but.... I'm ba-ack.

We've been in our new home in Nova Scotia for almost 7 weeks now.
We're here to realize a dream of Wally's to live here. 
I figure I can continue to  pursue of my love of creating anywhere, so here I am.
Of course there's so much to do when one makes a move of these proportions.
While we have a renovation planned, we are pacing ourselves so that it's not all about work.

This entry will be purposely short; just checking in to say hi and let you know that I will be posting regularly again.  My etsy shop will remain closed a little while longer while I settle in to a creative life again.

Wishing you peace.