Tuesday, 24 November 2015

what to do when it rains

We've had a good hit of weather in the way of wind and rain, and the temperature climbed to almost 60 F. but too blustery and damp to take advantage of. So I stayed indoors and painted.

On Sunday, Wally took apart our old skeleton key lock.
I was afraid we might have to replace the dear old thing with a modern deadbolt.
Muji and Babu watched us through the vestibule door.
Don't have a heart attack Babu!

There was a bit of an old broken key that Wally found inside but that wasn't the problem.

I've got to give Wally credit for figuring the darn thing out and

fixing it!
 Apart from all that, we'd also been using the wrong key for these last 3 years.
Wally found another one, the right one,
and now we don't have to body check the door to get it closed.
While it rained yesterday, I distracted myself with this drawing/painting of a Queen Anne doll

Queen Anne doll detail
black coloured pencil and watercolour
on Canson 7x10" 98lb. mixed media paper
You can see the play with salt while the watercolour was wet in the background,
a fun trick for interesting texture.
Can you believe it is already the last Tuesday of the month?
Let's make it a sweet one.

Friday, 20 November 2015


"Curiouser and curiouser"
It seems my time is playing elastic band with my memory again as some things that happened long ago seem like yesterday, and vice versa.
For instance, it's been so long that I thought I'd never seen a red squirrel before, til my friend reminded me that this little guy in our driveway had cousins in our attic in Muskoka many years ago.
The picture I hoped to show you on Monday is pretty much done today.
Black coloured pencil and watercolours from my Koi Pocket Field Sketch Box by Sakura.

"Alice was beginning to get very tired" (detail)

"and this time it vanished quite slowly beginning with the end of the tail and ending with the grin"

Muji wakening from a long nap
 You may enjoy this recording of John Gielgud reading from Alice in Wonderland as I have, though you may have to listen very closely as the sound is so low.
sweet dreams to you,  both the waking and sleeping kind
staying present to the wonder in this moment

Sunday, 15 November 2015

all in a golden afternoon

Quiet days and the drear of rain and cold

Babu watches the fluttering leaves
the fallen leaves reveal more of the view beyond- a Christmas tree farm perhaps?
Babu's profile, like a million black cats before him 

Ah, but he is unique for as many reasons
gratified, satisfied 

Muji too

Muji proceeds to have a bath

cat style
the next day, late in the afternoon we get a break 

The November trees beyond the old shed and the crooked birdhouse pole
I spy something orange in a corner of one of our gardens and
A-ha! the Japanese Lanterns that I planted from seed last fall found a foothold
It's rare now that I get involved with planting, but the Lanterns I found growing on an abandoned lot captivated me, remembering the from my childhood, so I took a chance breaking open the dried orange pods and scattering seeds in different places at home here that needed colour

Next to them, these giant leaves of my "prehistoric" plant (that sends yellow flowers that scroll out from a large pod)for which I've been unable to find the name
Snapdragons are still blooming in another garden and beside them...

the Goji bush that Wally gave a brushcut about a month ago.
Four Goji berries reveal themselves. We love to eat them dried when they are sweeter.
a richly coloured leaf just below 

I wander over to the vegetable garden where Wally planted garlic three days ago
and see the red chard we still have sprouting
Wally propped a palette up with a branch to keep the deer from digging up the yard,
but I think it's some other creature that is uprooting patches of grass in search of grubs
and what's that I see?
a house or two on the other side of the ravine!
and then the view from the other side of the cabin between the spent honeysuckle and our woodshed.
You can see I've been clearing the back somewhat for what I hope will be a haven to read or even have a meal next summer, perhaps with some patio stones laid out in the evening shade of the cabin.

There are many dried blooms on the hydrangea

It is cold and I hurry back into the house, spying this leaf caught in the steps
Babu looks calmly back out at me through the window

I made "lemonade" out of this poorly shot picture
that I love of the hayfield in this rare bit of sun.
Tomorrow I hope the picture I made on Friday will be ready to share.
It may very well be our duty to keep a peaceful heart, both for ourselves and the world.
It may be the most courageous thing we can do. 


Monday, 9 November 2015

november bright

a gorgeous November morning

crisp and clear
and now we can see more of the hayfield now that the hedge is clipped 

Muji has taken a pink chair after breakfast

Babu in repose
my drawing of a gypsy man, circa 1920

Friday, 6 November 2015

grey november

Good afternoon from my part of the world on yet another classically dreary November day.
It's good to remember what joy there is to be found in life and not let the overcast sky colour our day.

Yesterday morning I asked Wally to grab the camera for a rare group shot of me and our cats as Babu decided to jump up and join Muji and me, a rare thing indeed.  I had the "cat apron" on (that used to be my pottery apron), the one that I always wear when I hold Muji as he sheds just to look at him.

I forget how tiny they are until they're next to this massive human being.

Wally' efforts to get their attention was quite funny as Wally can be such a sober kind of guy.
(In fact, Wally made me laugh several times yesterday. His timing and insights were spot on.)
Soon after, Babu was on the other side of the table checking things out.
a watercolour in my Canson mixed media (98 lb. paper) sketchbook that I did in early September
that I doctored up today with my Faber-Castelli watercolour pencils
and my new favourite pencil, Derwent black 
 only this moment
Only Now
and now
and now
stay centred, present with this,
this moment
where you are most
as "you" are least. 


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

everything's ducky

Such a dreary day. November.
Some folks are taking advantage of the damp day to burn brush across the ravine.

I'm camping out in our kitchen with Muji up from his morning nap.

Two Muscovy Ducks from memory
Watercolour with watercolour pencil outline
We went to one of our favourite places where one can come alongside the Gaspereau River in a deep ravine.  It is a most beautiful place in autumn, reminiscent of the wilds of Muskoka, a place we miss most in the winter and fall (but not bug season). As Wally walked down to the water he saw two Muscovy ducks preening themselves, so friendly that they followed him back to the car looking for handouts. Concerned for their safety, I went down to the water and influenced them to come waddling back to its safety. That's where we left them, still preening.
We often ask each other what our favourite part of the day was. That was a no-brainer with this unique encounter.  I highly recommend slowing down, taking the time, owning these precious moments.

Sunday, 1 November 2015


October quite wore us out preparing for November...

I found Babu cuddling Muji in his sleep 

My dear little boys
When I came back soon after,  they had recomposed
Muji so dear as he sleeps
While Wally was at work, I stepped out to take a few pictures, this of some clematis seed heads

After lunch, my 3 guys napping
The aftermath of phase one of our back hedge trimming the morning after
I do so love the muted colour this time of year, even richer on this drizzly 1st day of November.
 We can see the hayfield now, and more so when we get back to it on Wally's day off.  Wally had me lay the brush on our vegetable patch to help kill off weeds for next spring. You can see I didn't get them all as we had to dash off to get some Arnica for Wally's shoulder before the health food store closed.
This little bunny is prepared for more rain.
Derwent black and Faber-Castell watercolour pencils
Centred on this precious moment
Thank you for dropping by