Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

June 01, 2017

First There Was a Robin and then . . .

Hi there,

Since I generally post on Tuesday, I can't believe it's not Tuesday.  It came and went without me, but, hey, thinking it's Tuesday must mean something. :) Moving on . . . to Spring! We've had it all weather wise. It's been very hot and it's also been unseasonably cold with a lot of rain. Perfect weather, it seems, for a beautiful spring.

Always on the outlook for whatever nature puts on display, I was lucky to happen upon a mother robin and her nest. I haven't seen robins' eggs since I was child. And what can you really say about robin's egg blue? It's the prettiest colour.

Not on her watch. Alert and on guard. I didn't want to upset her too much so I've waited awhile and then made a fast trip in to see her babies.

Two fat chicks, tucked in a warm nest and growing like weeds with the help of a package of mealy bugs and two hard working, diligent parents. Robins never use a nest twice. And these parents could raise two more families this year. Lined with mud (how many trips does it take?) and once that's dry, last year's dry grasses up the snuggle effect. The papa bird brings materials, but the female builds the nest. She's a wonderful artist. The grasses are spread out on the sides and the bottom with a real flare.

Flora ...
 Hostas. Wish they were mine.
Pretty in pink.  A Hawthorn tree.

Solomon's Seal

Once again, lovely ferns on the grow. So fresh and green. I can't help it, I am crazy about them.

The wetlands are actually wet this year. Drained for three years to kill off the cattails, it's, once again, brimming with water. The tadpoles are jumping and the frogs are loving it. What a chorus! 

 * * *
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Turtles."

Art for art's sake...

A mock up of violets. Very soon there will be an art show at the mall. I'd like enter two paintings, so I better get back to the painting board.

And finally, this lucky marsh wren was chosen for the spring show and flew off to the local gallery. 

I hope you are all enjoying spring, or if you are down under a wonderful fall.

Thank you so much for visiting. . .hope to see you on Instagram too. Let me know if you are there.

Enjoy . . .

March 21, 2017

Hello Spring

Hi there,

Yesterday was the first day of spring. And late last week three feet of snow fell; it will be awhile before we see blossoms like these, but, hey, a girl can dream. The good news: each day brings with it twelve hours of daylight.

A snowy white world.
Recently, I was hanging out at a bird feeder, but most of the birds were too fast for me and my camera. Since I can't take pictures with gloves on, my hands were freezing but I enjoyed watching my feathered friends.
The robins have arrived and they look bewildered because of the snow. I saw two pecking at old berries. If the temps stay above zero, hopefully the snow will melt soon and they can get to the business of feeding on succulent worms. In the meantime, they could use some help. As far as I know they will eat raisins, apple slices, berries and the pet stores should have meal worms for sale.

A Starling tries to get a big mouthful of seeds. Obviously, he thinks he can snip the wires with his beak, or maybe he's just angry because he's hungry.

I emailed a few photos and a photo of a painting off to Vistaprint to have stickers and this calendar made. Not quite the calendar I had in mind, but it will do for this year. In case you are thinking of getting stickers ( not shown) made from photos, the high gloss are very nice.

WIP ~ A Botanical Blue
The mess on the desk. Yes, I've been drawing aliens too. Meet Srinda and Zelgog.
Apparently radio signals have been coming in from a certain area in the Milky Way. Speculation is rife. So far I've heard it may be from a neutron star (Hence the star in my cartoon drawing), stellar bursts, etc. etc. Further speculation:  the signals may be from a planet in the Goldilocks zone ( not too hot, or to cold).  All that info made my head hurt and drove me to doodle aliens. :^)

"Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems."-Rainer Maria Rilke

And . . . from yours truly.

Cultivate a dream.
Thanks for reading along.  Have a lovely week . . .

January 31, 2017


 Hi there,

As you can see, I've made a few changes. Call it a blog lift. It's scary. There's hardly any blue left in sight! (If you are new here, I readily admit to being crazy about blue.)  I don't even like to use a black pen, and will walk a mile to find a blue one. Although for easy reading, I usually type with black/grey ink in blog land. I occasionally draw with a black pen but it's difficult for me. In loving blue,  I am not alone. Survey says: blue is the favourite colour. Period! What a slap in the face to one's concept of uniqueness, but, then again, we are all kindred spirits at heart.  It seems my original blue scheme lost the plot next the snowscape pic, so red lettering it is until spring arrives, or until I have a change of heart.
Speaking of colour, I've been craving it. So here we go...

                             Standard January fare...tulips and daffodils. Puts a spring in my step.

 I always hope for a cool spring so that I can stroll by the neighborhood gardens to stare at the tulips.  If it's too warm, they fizzle. Stunted and struggling, they take on that sad this is it look.

* Tip of the day. For cut tulips, drop in a few ice cubes into the vase now and then to cool down their  toes. They love it!

Back in the day, (And a very long day ago it was--say early 17th century.) you could trade the farm, furniture, implements, and your animals for a tulip bulb. (Think Jack and the Bean stock.) Wouldn't the wife and family be pleased? Fortunes were made and lost. It sounds a bit more romantic than  pork belly futures, and once the craze hit, it hit. M-A-N-I-A! "Step right up, secure your future, buy a tulip bulb!" It's a good thing that I was not alive at that time. She did what, son? Yes, mother you heard it right. She sold the farm for a tulip bulb. Rack and ruin! 
That wifee though, she doth protest:  But, but, BUT I must have beauty!!!

 The movie, Tulip Fever will be released next month. I'll be watching.

  Here in Canada, Maple Leaf Tulips will be popping up all over this spring
               in honour of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.  (Top row second and third from left on the link page are prime examples.) They are so pretty and were, of course, bred to resemble the flag.


  Yet another reason I'm looking very forward to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa ~ Gatineau in May.
                                           Not until May, you say? Pity!                                                               

  "Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul." Luther Burbank

                           Purple for royalty. That's how it used to be. Purple cloth was too expensive
                           for mere mortals way back when the dye was cast from sea shells. 
Amaryllis.  A never fail winter favourite of mine. They are easy and fun to grow. Every 
year I hope to find different colours. 
Besides being beautiful.  They also hold the keys. 💗
                              I love old keys, and have recently started a collection.  I sometimes wonder 
who carried them, which clocks were wound nightly and by whom, or which house doors they 
locked and unlocked.  I'm not certain the skeleton key on the right is old though, but a keeper it is.


After Christmas, I try to catch the Amaryllis sales. I can't resist.

Such a lovely blooms and what a colour. (Looks like I may have nailed the colour 
on the breast of the little bird below. Who knew? Serendipity!)
"Flowers don't worry about how they are going to bloom.
They just open up and turn toward the light.
And that makes them beautiful." Jim Carrey

 I started this little painting on the wrong side of a bit of scrap paper. It's difficult to tell which
 side is the right side if it's not marked, but I didn't have a plan...simply the time and the will
 to create something.
                    "With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy."

                                                                  Oscar Wilde  
                                                          Did he mention birds?

A line drawing in basic black and white with a touch of red thrown in.
Arches scrap paper--frayed edges and all.

                                           "I must have flowers, always and always."

Claude Monet

Truly a man after my heart.

'Til next time...

April 19, 2016

Knitting Projects ~ Tulip Tree Shawl

The tulip tree shawl has been in my knitting basket with just three rows left to knit for a long time, so hurray to a finish.  I had hoped to make it larger, but I didn't have enough yarn. Raverly page here.

Enjoyable, meditative, and patience enhancing are just a few of the things/qualities that knitting brings to me and probably a whole host of other knitters, although I can't speak for them. I wish I could do more of it, but about three years ago arthritis struck suddenly and with it came tendonitis, so I was forced to put my needles aside. On the bright side, I've still managed to finish a few projects, including my Rosetta Mitts pattern in 2015. And I've nearly finished knitting another pair of those mitts in yellow, but I've put them away for now.  

Drawing and painting are so much easier on the hands. It's a reinvention of sorts, but one that I really love, too.

For those who may not know, lace knitting looks rather like a jumble of uncooked noodles (forgot to take a pic) and then it morphs into a fine tuned garment once soaked and then blocked.

An old yoga mat that's been cleaned to use as a blocking mat.
After blocking, I noticed the bottom points looked flat, so I re-wet and re-pined those points to sharpen them.
The yarn has a golden hue, but the camera had other ideas.

You will find the free Rosetta Mitts pattern here.

A Maestro cutout from an earlier painting. I usually cut any trash bin paintings into strips and use the white side of the strips to test paint on. But even though he's not finished, I couldn't cut through this birdie. The cutout might work in a shadow box, or as a book mark, although it may be too delicate for that.

Warm weather arrived on Sunday. It was 19C or 66.2 F. The crowd that had been hibernating most of the winter were about and about...many in shorts and flip flops.  Although those temps are cool, the spring sun was even. Liberation! 
As the woman in the woods,  and I saw one of the first harbingers of spring: a  Mourning Cloak Butterfly. I've never seen or heard about one before. What a surprise! Another first for my nature journal.

A huge thank you for all your kind comments and support for my wee new shoppe.

Have a lovely week...

April 12, 2016

A Great Day for The Draw

We've been having a mixed bag of weather. Apparently, spring wants to take a little longer to arrive because we've had two snowstorms lately, but that's okay I can see the buds on the trees. I know things are happening underground and above it. All we need is a little more time and the cocooned leaves will burst out with glee after just a few warm days of sunshine.

But I digress this post is suppose to be about the draw, isn't it? Yes, it is. So without further adieu... I've pulled out my sun hat, dusted it off and dropped in the names; we gave it two or three shakes and my son, Jesse, drew from the depths Barbara Lillian's name. Congratulations Barbara! Barbara's choice from the above two prints (Marsh Wren and Ahoy) was the Ahoy birdie with his maritime flag, poking out from his sailor's hat that expressively says, "I wish to communicate with you."

He'll be winging his way over to Barbara hopefully as soon as tomorrow. I will be contacting her soon.
A special thank you to those who entered!

Enjoy the week...

March 02, 2016

Like A Lion

A little blurry...the wind had plans.

What happened to Tuesday?  If you are new here, I generally post on Tuesday and it slipped away from me this week, so for today it's Tuesday's post on Wednesday.

March roared in like a lion.  Last night the windows rattled and freezing rain splattered against the glass in a fury, keeping me awake but still I felt grateful to be tucked into my nice warm bed. If the old wives tales be true, then March will exit softly on little lambs feet. I'm looking forward to it.

After shopping in a few fabric stores, I finally found some ribbon. It's not exactly what I had in mind,  although it does work airy and pretty.
# 3 in my Staying Alive Series. An Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Flowering Dogwood.  I hope to paint this picture sometime soon. 
Meadowlarks like cover so they hop about in the tall grass but seek out a high point for  singing. It's a wonderful welcome to spring song.

For those in the north country, soon there will be "pussy willows and cattails" (from a Gordon Lightfoot song) and bird song. 

'Til Next time...Enjoy!

February 23, 2016

Watercolour Gift Tags and A Lotus Flower

My mother loves Easter and when we were children she usually bought us pastel dresses etc. to celebrate the season and to ring in spring. In particular, I remember a beautiful multi-coloured pastel dress, sweet white socks and black patent leather shoes, topped off with a wee white straw purse with (you guessed it) an ornate ducks head on top.  So since Easter is not far away, those memories my mother created for me triggered my need to create a little beauty. I opted for these simple watercolour tags. They are pretty and easy to make, although they do take time.
I was hoping to add ribbon but I can't find any 1/4 inch pastel ribbon.  So I may have to settle for pastel twine, although I have my heart set on soft-hued pink, blue, and yellow ribbon. ( I know it's only a gift tag, but, hey, there are standards!)

If you are interested, here's how I made them.  I cut the tags out of watercolour paper using a template. Then I splashed the front of two of the cards with water (two cards--all I could manage at one time) and randomly dabbed on the paint that I had watered down before hand. After letting the water dry a little while or longer, (drying time changes how the salt reacts) I sprinkled the cards with coarse and fine salt. Once they dried, I brushed off the salt and continued on to the other side.  I left a few cards plain on the reverse side, although I do like the texture that the salt creates.
Luckily, I found a forgotten bird punch in my hoard of craft supplies to top off the tag.

Recently off the drawing board and keeping with the pastel theme: a lotus flower. They are such lovely flowers. We have waterlilies in Canada which are beautiful as well. I'd love a pond full! To emerge pristine and  beautiful from muddy beginnings has made the lotus symbolic for many religions, including Christianity. 

 I hope to paint a few more flowery watercolour cards to pop in the mail for Easter. 

And lastly, (well almost)  here's a link for my instagram account. If you follow, I will definitely follow you back.

Thanks for reading along...Have a wonderful week!

April 14, 2015

Out and About

One of those divine days that I've been dreaming about all winter long finally arrived. And lovely it was. Temps 24C or 75.2 degrees F. with a warm breeze blowing from the south. So it was definitely time to throw off the winter woolies and head to the woods.

Eye of the Birch
Beautiful colour.

The plant life is just waking up so there's not much on the grow, but my son and I did meet and visit with a few hungry friends.

Mr. Chips the Chipmunk.

Yes please. I'm immensely fond of peanuts.
Peanuts? Shucks. I'd prefer a serving of sunflower seeds, please.

Er...maybe...just one, said the wee chickadee.

 * * *

On the needles ...

Increasing 7 stitches from 1 caused my frogging party :/ ( For non-knitters that means to rip it out.) Since a few of the holes were too large, I couldn't continue because I knew that the holes would never even out during blocking. The good news: I didn't have a life life but know where to begin again. Yes!

* * *
Painting... feathered friends...

One of my favourite birds: the marsh wren. They flit around in the marsh grasses and fly so fast that it is hard to catch more than a glimpse of one, so I decided to draw a couple.

Thanks for reading...Enjoy the week!

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