March 31, 2015

Wee Treasures

The book on the left a lovely gift.

As you can see when they bloom this year, I'll be ready to identify a few more wildflowers. Every area has it's winners and the one that I like to cross paths with here in Ontario is named Pussy toes. It reminds me of Arctic cotton. I have an Arctic cotton specimen tucked away in one of my books. I tend to tuck treasures in my books and since I have many, I don't really know where they are. So on occasion, I'll open a book that I haven't read for ages and find a flower, or other treasure that I've tucked inside; it might be a ticket stub for a concert, art gallery, or a play, dried flowers, a small thank you card, an old dollar bill, leaves, etc.; and sometimes even a picture pops out that I haven't seen for a very long time. To me, they are all priceless memory lane treasures that never fail to make me smile.

An unknown wildflower picked above the Arctic circle. I do remember where I picked it.







Of course, these days, since many wildflowers are endangered, it's better not to go about randomly picking wildflowers, so I am generally armed with a camera.


                                Happy Easter!



March 24, 2015

Crispy Wave ~ Ferns

A wild rose.
In progress. A trial run for a larger painting.

 ***
Top of the day to you lovely people!
  
If you been reading along for awhile, you will know that I'm wild about ferns. And so I recently snapped up this Crispy Wave Fern to add to my collection.








An air purifying Crispy Wave Fern.
Fern stamp. My first attempt at lino cutting. I drew the fern on tracing paper and then transferred it to an eraser. I can see that a utility cutter just doesn't cut it; I need a long-bladed X-Acto knife for better precision.

Taken last July. Woodland ferns in their mid-summer glory. They grow almost five feet high.


Spring seeps in a little more each day, and the sun shines brightly on the snow banks; I am pleased to say she's slowly wearing down their grim-faced resolve. 

Enjoy... 
S








March 17, 2015

Anticipation

Glory Lilies
I have a book called The Indoor Potted Blub that I dig out in late winter to ease the transition into spring. After all too much beauty all at once might, I reckon, cause some sort of malady that I'd prefer to forgo, although I had it happen once when I flew from Inuvik, NWT ( well above the Arctic circle) to Hawaiian islands. I'm here to tell you Kawaii took my breath away: flowers everywhere, aqua sea, sand, a beautiful canyon, and, of course, heat, but mostly the humidity. We left a dry minus 45 and arrived to 85 degrees F temps. Stunningly wonderful. Yes! But overwhelming to  pasty-faced people who had not seen the sun for over 30 days.  But O, how wonderful the tropical sun feels and those trade winds that breeze over you... Ah... Glorious, in that case, in the extreme!
But I digress...inside the book, among other things, a Glory Lily. A fabulous plant from Africa and India that can grow to a height of six feet or more. Since that time, I've searched for glory lily bulbs and I almost had one once but the mail order company was sold out. 
 And so as sometimes happens, I recently I found myself tripping through the plant section at Walmart. Nothing interesting--a soggy grievous disaster--until, that is, I spied the bulbs and there right before my eyes a splendorous Glory Lily bulb. Needless to say, it took my breath away! I bought one and planted it a week or so ago. Fortunately, I've heard that "good things come to those who wait." But so far zilch, nada ... not even a lone sprig to welcome the eye.  But, I think, I can wait...

The watched pot.




Thank you for the lovely comments about my decoupage boxes. They were fun to make.

* * *
 A few weeks ago, I watched a 6 episode BBC production on Netflix called Africa. It's narrated by David Attenborough. If you haven't seen it, it's beyond fabulous. Because of it, I have on the drawing board a tall order: a giraffe. 

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
.. Irish Blessing..

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Thanks for reading.

March 12, 2015

Sunny Days + An Arrival

I call these African Violets my Canadian African Violets. Apparently they crave the light and ignore the cold. (Sounds familiar.)

The sun, the glorious sun has uncloaked in my corner of the world. The snow melts as I type and all seems right in my world.
These days I've been enjoying my morning tea with my feet up on a foot stool while sun beams warm my toes.  Ah, liberation ~ bliss.  For several days, I will add to that small ritual by unrolling a  wish thanks to Sandi from Victorian Gypsy whose  bottle of wishes arrived in yesterday's mail.  (Fortunately, for me, I won this sweet bottle of Wishes on the blog hop.) 
Thank you, Sandi!


Have a great weekend. May the sun shine on all of you!

March 10, 2015

Knitting Box ~ Decoupage


I've had a request from a friend, so I'd thought I'd share how I finished these boxes.  My son has one, too. It's brown and has a travel theme. I used stickers on that box ~ so easy. He uses it for his spare change.

Supplies:

Wooden boxes ~ mine are from the dollar store.
Acrylic paint. I used dollar store white and antique white.
Napkins ~ there are many beautiful ones.
1 inch or, depending on the size of the box, a 1/2 inch paint brush.
Foam brushes.
Fine sandpaper.
Embroidery scissors.
Mod Podge
Optional ~  a sponge,  preferably a torn textured synthetic sponge.
Optional  ~ distress ink. Colour pumice stone.
Optional ~  masking tape. I didn't have any, so I washed the paint off.

Sand the box and dust; place masking tape over the hardware. Apply two coats of acrylic paint, inside and out, ensuring that the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat; sand lightly between each coat of paint and dust.

Cut around the napkin image you have chosen, or for a less refined look  (box to the right) dip a small paint brush in water and lightly dab the wet brush around the image.
Carefully peel the 3 layered napkin back to the 2nd layer, removing just enough of the 2nd layer of the napkin so that you can tack (with mp) the image to the box. Slowly pull off the 2nd layer, adding mp underneath it while smoothing out the wrinkles as you go. (Turn the box for ease of application.) (You can also use saran wrap for a smoother look, but I like a few wrinkles! Google for info.)
Apply more mp over the top of the napkin with a foam brush, or use mp brush, going on to cover the whole box with an even ( not too thick) coat of mp. Dry the box and lightly sand before adding another coat of mp.  If you tear the napkin, you can layer another cut out image over the top to hide it, or build up layers for a 3D look. (See knitting box top left. On the that box, I also smoothed on a touch of ink to give it a fine distressed look before I added the mp.)



To finish the boxes below, I dabbed on acrylic artist paint (a cheap set costs approx. $5.00) with a sponge and applied a coat or two of mp to seal. On the other box, I used distress ink.


Enjoy the week...

March 03, 2015

This and That

Lady Slipper ~ I've painted a few of these.

Although I was reluctant to do so, I decided to use one of my shell plates for painting.  It has worked out well because I can easily see the true colour of the paint, and the added bonus, the grooves on the side act as a brush holder. 

When my son saw my new palette, he raised an eyebrow.  Did he think that I might covertly wash the plate and put it back in the cupboard? Chuckle.



A gift. Unfortunately it arrived a bit water logged. Also, on the way here it lost several of its buds because of the arctic temperatures. But its still beautiful!

The large flower is approximately 5 inches across. 

***
On the needles...

I found out that, for me, a paint brush is not a substitute for knitting needles. It seems my fingers also need to knit. Originally, I frogged [for those folks that do not knit that's knit speak for unraveling, or in frog terms rip it, rip it.] this shawl to use the yarn for another project. Ran out of yarn for that project and had to order more. And because I spent my knitting budget on paints, there's no new yarn in my stash, so although the pattern is different, it seems like a re-run, but I really like this bright colour.


The tulip shawl

Lastly, I recently joined Instagram. For an easy transition, I bought an app, but the fit still isn't right for my new camera ~ older pics work fine. Does anyone have any suggestions, or have success with a certain app?

If you are an Instagram member, please let me know. My link for Instagram is at the top of the page.

Enjoy...
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Wild Violets