Monday, 26 June 2017


There is only one natural perfume I've always said should be bottled and that is the flowers of milkweed. We haven't seen much of that out our way, but...

roses- wild roses- bloom everywhere- and their gentle scent, only by virtue of hundreds of them

fills the air.

Our little honeysuckle bush is producing lovely flowers

whose delicate sweet scent is even more appealing to me.

They make a lovely wild display with the few remaining lupins and tall grasses

The monster wild rose bush is producing too.

It towers over me

with a promise of thousands more of its simple 5 petal flowers

This scene of massive wild rose bushes across the hayfield is not unusual out here.

The seed head of a  Western Salsify (Tragopogon Dubius) is very dubious indeed,
looking like a dandelion on steroids. 

 It is considered an invasive weed, native to southern and central Europe, growing as far north as western France. Common to western Asia, it has been seen in Kashmir and India. Introduced to North America, it has spread throughout the continent though it doesn't seem to have done well in places like Canada's Newfoundland, Inuvik and the Northwest Territories. Can't take the cold, eh?
 Apparently it is edible- the roots being very bitter when raw, but fried, roasted, or boiled, they taste like parsnips.  Purée the roots in a soup or simmer young stalks in butter for a side dish rich in Vitamin B6. Thank you internet!

Wandering around to the vegetable garden, I spy a slender visitor on the cabin's door.

The cilantro is coming along very nicely.
So many people detest the taste of it. Wally did once, but has since acquired a palate for it, so good in Mexican guacamole and pico de gallo, and Asian dishes.

It has become a staple in our diet once learning that it's capacity for removing heavy metals from the body helped Wally with a tremor he developed 3 years ago. Within 6 weeks of juicing with it, his shakes were gone. Hallelujah!

I even dosed Babu, our adopted black cat,  with a tea I made of  it when he developed a reaction to the heavy metals in human grade beef fat (Yes! really!) in his raw food diet that no one seems to understand is not a funny squirrely behaviour, but a real discomfort, a condition called hyperesthesia. Small doses only as cats don't do well on the alkalinity of plant material which can cause alkaline stones in their bladders, most life-threatening in males who can become plugged. We have since put Babu on a supplemented cooked beef diet in order to remove as much of the fat- that separates in the cooking- as possible. Now he's "full of beans!"

As I sat by the garden, a long-legged with an even longer abdomen,
bug hovered in the grass beside me.

I'm guessing this is some kind of spider/insect eating wasp, akin to the parasitic anomalon.
It seemed rather benign to me, somewhat ungainly, as if it didn't know how to hand its long legs, long antennae and body.

That was Friday.
Truth be told, I was feeling under the weather that day, a bit of a blob.

Wally got home from work and suggested we go off to Michael's, a big box craft store not very far away.  We had two 50% off coupons burning a hole in our pockets, but as I always do, I headed off for the clearance corner and found these lovely real stone beads drastically reduced.

One of my coupons went for this Tim Holtz collection of old photo cut-outs, and then Wally, knowing my taste in these things, came to me with this reduced pack of fabric tape. Love!

I don't think I've ever done a post on an "Art Supply Haul", something that is very common in the arts and crafts community and throughout the internet every kind of commercial product I suppose.
I'm somewhat embarrassed by the wealth we take for granted here in the western world, but seeing that it is rare and that we rarely go out for dinner, never to the movies or theatre, lay low on new clothes, etc., I'm making this exception. I'll blame it on still feeling a bit ho-hum.

The  pièce de résistance that evening was this collection of Jane Davenport "Magic Wands" that I have been resisting since last winter as I am well supplied with coloured pencils: American Prismacolors, British Derwents and going back to my childhood (I keep everything it seems) Canadian Laurentiens and Eagle Canadianas. There went my other 50% off coupon.

Jane sells her line in a palette where everything works together.
And, in keeping with her wit, she has named them rather whimsically

which tends to go with her teaching style

making art fun and accessible. 

I don't think I'll ever get over the delight of new art supplies.
Jane calls her penchant for colour, "rainbowitis", and is happy to pass it on.
As you may already know from past work, I tend to bob around between neutral-non-colours to bright in-your-face colour depending on my mood. These pencils are pleasant to use and blend well together, some more pigmented than others.

Before we left the store that night, I gave in to another indulgence that I have been resisting on several past visits. These are the kind of markers designers and manga cartoon artists use.
 Alcohol based, these very expensive Winsor&Newton pigment markers were drastically reduced, making this set still very expensive even at almost 80% off. Christmas in July.

On Saturday morning, Wally made us a blueberry smoothie that went well both in taste and colour with the new Jane Davenport pencil crayon drawing I had been working on. I created the faces, one after the other starting with the top left one and working my way through a compostion in the shape of a letter 3, intending to see how the new pencils worked with each other.
That's a Jane Davenport facebook page on the computer.

We drove through a wicked rainstorm on Saturday.
I'll post about that next.

Til then I'll leave you with this favourite Bill Murray quote:

"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself."


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