Where Bloggers Create Party 2013. Tour my current studio here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Look, LOOK!

 Hubby and I went for a little walkabout over the weekend and I was so exited to see this moss on the rocks. While everything else is still waking up to spring, this shot of green in our field was just beautiful!

 Then yesterday morning these little sprouts caught my eye! My garlic is growing!! Wow!

                    No more snow. I suspect this is the end of it for this year. YAY!

                          This is the sign on our local Canadian Tire store. SPRING,  indeed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Snow, Winter in Spring

 Over Easter weekend we got a little snow here and there. Yesterday we got snow late afternoon and all evening long. Lovely, isn't it?

 I was surprised to find it hadn't gone anywhere when I woke up this morning! Still lovely, but for April?

 I opened up the coop and only a couple of hens ventured forth. Alone in a white wasteland.

                                   Wondering where all the best scratching areas went.

 By afternoon things had melted quite a bit and everyone was out and about, enjoying the sun and the dirt.

                                                             A young rooster.

Monday, April 6, 2015

After National Craft Month

 I received a lovely email from Marietta Greg, Marketing Director at (and daughter of) Patience Brewster.  She asked if I would create a post about my craft/creativity and why it is important to me.
Check out the link above to see the wonderful unique, whimsical work of Patience. It always makes you smile.
I think everyone is creative. Some of us have a harder time suppressing it (not that you should!) and it is a big part of all they do.
My home is my canvas. Life is what gets in the way of spending the time I would like to being "creative,"  however I am able to fulfil my creative needs while cooking, baking, letter writing, taking pictures, blogging and so on.   While folding laundry or shovelling snow, cooking a meal and cleaning up afterwards my mind is free to create and craft in my mind, over and over again.

When I do get into the studio I am well primed to make something as I have been thinking about it for a while at the point.  I love to play with paper, making cards and creating collage pieces, favouring antique ephemera and watercolour paint as well as pen and ink.

Crafting/creating is both relaxing and exciting at the same time. It is fun to see things come together on paper or whatever surface I am working on, all the while making something tangible from my imagination.  I need to create, it is part of who I am as a person. No matter what is going on in my daily life, my imagination is always piecing things together, creating new pieces in my mind.

 When not able to "craft" I am more a curator gathering little groups of things together that I may have found over many years but seem to go well together. The elements above span decades of finds but found a home together under a large bell jar. It makes me smile every time I walk by. It reminds me of my time spent at the cottage and visits to the East Coast.

 Organising the studio is also a favourite pastime, keeping all those vintage finds sorted and stored while easy to find when needed. I like to decorate the plain wood boxes of drawers that store things. This box hold vintage paper dolls.

Found objects and altered elements, in this case the front of an antique "Patent Washable" doll head finds itself the centre of a flower, the petals made from old glass watch crystal envelopes, cut on the diagonal all tucked into a shadow box.

I listened to an interview recently with a friend of mine who also happens to be an award winning author. On her web site she has ten tips for teen writers. Tip number one is "write what you love." This applies to all those who love to create. Create what you love! Whether it is knitting, quilting, writing, collage, rubber stamping, assemblage;  whatever it is that gives you pleasure and joy, do it. Not for anyone but for yourself. When it is a true passion, that will speak to those who view your work.  March may have been National Craft Month, but creativity is an everyday thing, all year through.

Thank you, Marietta, for stopping by my blog! It was a pleasure to meet you!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Early Photo Frames

                                            Aren't they just the most lovely things?

                                                  Every little case a different design.

              Filler pictures just as we find a happy family in the frames we buy today?

                                                       Lovely designs and details.

I wonder if folks back then knew how special these things were and had any idea at all how less lovely things would become in the name of cost saving mass production methods and manufacturing?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Fever

 This was looking from my back door yesterday morning. Still snowy and icy. Today it snowed all afternoon. Overcast and lots of fluffy flakes falling. No accumulation but still....that is the sort of thing you wax poetic about in November, not the end of March.

 Indoors I was doing some domestic stuff. I got distracted and decided to put some of our abundant eggs to use and made an angel food cake. I didn't think it would really work, using the Einkorn flour I had sprouted and ground myself. It is a little coarser than what you would buy already ground for you.  I thought I would sift it through a fine sifter and then follow the directions to make your own cake flour.

 Well, the biggest bit of work was sifting the flour, otherwise angel food cake is a simple and stunning cake to make. And it worked!!! It didn't go as high as a regular cake would have but it rose up nicely and was wonderful tasting. The darker flour and organic sugar gave it a golden and deep lovely flavour. Delicious! I dug some raspberries out of the freezer and beat up some whipped cream for a very summery dessert.

My angel food cake left me with a good number of yolks left over.  I looked up recipes that take a lot of yolks and came across this Poppy Seed Lemon cake. It turned out great and was super tasty too. A new recipe to add to my binder. In this picture I had not turned it over yet. I didn't bother with the icing sugar. It was great without it. For company, I would certainly have given it a dusting.
Now if only the snow would go away....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old Fashioned Children's Books

 I was reorganising again and came across this assortment of children's books from the turn of the century, the last century that is.

  They never cease to charm with their bright colours and wonderful illustrations. What child wouldn't be thrilled to have one of these read to them at bedtime or on a rainy day.

                          The world was full of magic and wonder in these books.

                   Who wouldn't want their afternoon tea cakes served by a wee fairy?

                                                    Adventure from cover to cover!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Another Sign of Spring

 We cleaned the chicken coop today. It was not too cold out and things were melting again.  When Aaron opened the door the little brown hens jumped out, no hesitation. Down they want onto the ground. They were so very happy and excited to find some fresh dirt and leaves to scratch in. They were everywhere! Under he car, picking up bits of ice, making a dust nest under the bench.  Happy hens!

Then out popped Mr Mister and Pearl. Pearl had decided to moult early this winter and now she is a fluffy white little hen.  She still mumbles away endlessly.
With fresh shavings installed the remaining birds were silly over them and practically danced about, fluffing up the space.
When the little browns were put back in, there was a great outcry. They had tasted freedom and weren't ready to give it up yet. Soon enough- I hope- things will warm up, chasing away the snow and begin to green up.
Happy first day of spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Signs Of Spring

 We had a little melty weather recently. Very nice, until the temperatures dropped again and it all froze into icy side walks and driveways. I look forward to hanging my clothes on the line again.

 There is a road nearby which is regularly travelled by walkers (no, not the Walking Dead kind of "walkers") and one creative soul had assembled some outsider found art and installed it on the side of the road. All the trash they find ends up here. There used to be a little sign in front but it may have blown away. Hmmm. More detritus.

 Gumdrop is full of energy! Happily running about, slipping on the ice, sinking in the now softened snow and feeling up to taking on four foot tree branches. Yeah!! Bring on Spring!

 Some of my garden seeds arrived yesterday. I sorted them out according to when to begin them indoors and apparently I have some that need to be started NOW! Must get on that.

So, what signs of spring have you noticed in Your area? (sorry, I just had to tuck in another pic of Little Mister. As you can see, Odelia is no longer distracted by her noisy, feathery friend.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Parting Shots For The End Of The Week

 Little Mister is eating well and manoeuvring around very nicely now.  He enjoys the company of the dogs and seeks them out.

                Odelia is concerned about the extra attention he is getting from Marty.

                                                          A little jealous, non?

 The other day I was cleaning up his space and he found his way to the dogs' water dish, perched and waited. He spends a lot of time with his head swung 'round looking backwards, checking out what's going on behind him.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Short Rant

 I am sure that all of you at some point in your life has washed the dishes. Perhaps it was your job on the odd numbered days of the month. Dinner clean-up and dish washing. Hot, soapy water, lots of bubbles that always made you sneeze. Maybe not your favourite job but water play is therapeutic and in the end, if you did it right, you get clean shiny dishes.
Did you towel dry and put away or air dry? I prefer air drying myself.

Now here is the big question: did you use a dish brush or sponge or cloth?
I was brought up in a dish brush family. I grew up and continued to be a dish brush dish washer.
I had no dishwasher to stuff full of dishes until after our third child was born and it was then that my father got tired of helping with dinner clean up when he visited and figured a family of five ought to have just such a handy appliance. He helped us get a dishwasher. Wonderful!
I loved it but still did the baking pans, delicate pieces, and pots and pans by hand.
That's a lot of dish brushes over the last 24 years.
Have you noticed that dish brushes have not kept up with the simple requirements of a good dish brush for actual dish washing?

The above brushes, for instance, cute, replaceable brush heads- although I have never seen replacements. The angle of the brush is wrong for good glass washing and too wide for tall, narrow glass washing. Adorable, maybe, not practical. They are also on the short side for those big, deep pots that need to be done by hand.

                         The bristles also did not hold up well. This is just after a month or two of use.

 This brush resembles a lovely brush I used for many years. That dear old brush was great in every way. It was made in Germany. Very similar to the ones pictured above.

 However the old reliable brush had bristles that went around the bottom and onto the other side. It was great for glasses as well as all your other dishes and pots.

 Now, you would think that this one would do the job with lots of bristles, however they are too long, too soft, and too far apart so the bristles actually splash water all over the place do not do an adequate job of cleaning.

 These have stiffer bristles but short handles and are good only for larger items like pots and plates. Not great for getting into the corners of things.

 This one was fine except useless for glasses. The odd angle and front facing bristles cannot touch the bottom of a glass. It also wore out very quickly. Fail.

This was the brush that I used for many years. It was always there, at the grocery store, to be replaced when needed. Well, all good things seem to go the way of the Dodo bird. Last time I checked (it was more than a year ago)  it was no longer available and replaced with another short, impotent brush, no hand washing person would ever spend money on. In spite of lots of use and wear, the bristles are still useful, not and flat and squishy. No, I do not use this one any more. It has been relegated to the garage for messier jobs.

So, have nay of you found the perfect dish brush? Something practical and reliable? Good value for the money? You know, one good brush for all your dish washing needs? Yes, I have a bottle brush, but that is a separate tool for a separate need.

For heavy duty scrubbing my mom always used a scrub bud. Once hard to find and purchased only from a direct sales person, now easily found at the grocery store.

Lots of new questions now. Things like where do I find an Eddington or Redecker brush? Should I try out the coconut fibre scrubbies? Will they measure up to my expectations or will I forever be disappointed and frustrated with my dish washing tools? Is a coconut fibre really as good as a wire scrubby?

There has been some talk lately, in the news and such, that says those who dish wash by hand have healthier families than those who use a dishwasher all the time. Maybe there is hope for a new, good, reliable, old fashioned, and practical dish brush to make a comeback.

Yes, I am well aware that there are much greater issues in the world to be concerned with, but these are the things that go through my head when my hands are in a sink of water. They spend a lot of time in the sink!

Thank you for your time and your ear.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The First Spring-Like Day

 The sky looked different this morning. Patches of blue and fluffy little clouds instead of the blanket of grey that signals more snow.

                     The snow reluctantly sliding off the garage roof. Drip, drip, drip.

Shadows on softening snow. More sun coming in through the windows, casting a glare on a season's worth of wood stove dust.


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