Sunday, August 30, 2009


While you were sleeping Quinn, we snuck (don't think this word will make it into the OED!) into the garden to pick some tomatoes and visit the herbs and plants. It is our first attempt to grow garlic this year and we had quite good success. This little clove went into making a beautiful hummus for our dinner.
It is amazing how the garden changes. The herb garden has passed our wildest expectations and has grown and filled out to completely cover the eye-shaped space. The borage we planted from seed on June 24th is humongous...meaty leaves and beautiful blossoms that attract the bees.

Elizabeth could spend the whole day in the garden making friends with caterpillars and leaves alike. We enjoy our sneaky forays into the garden, thanks Quinn.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today I took the children to walk the Harmony Circle. I love the concept of these circles as they are both visually striking and calming. One is meant to walk around the maze that is the circle for a meditative and relaxing experience.

Elizabeth and Quinn both really enjoyed not walking, but running the circle. They took off as soon as we got there and the circle's magic took effect on them both. Quinn thought it was very quiet which he appreciates. He even lay down for a rest.

We love getting out daily and being in nature. It is so good for them to hear the birds (and little red squirrel in this case), breath the fresh air, touch grass and leaves and enjoy the outdoors. They seem at their best when free to roam and explore.

After our harmony circle adventure I walked them over to see the chapel where we were married right next to Westwood Lake. It is at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre and a wonderfully peaceful place which holds special meaning as my mother-in-law designed the chapel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I love watching my kids eat. When they are famished with hunger they really, really enjoy their food. Corn is a new favourite summer time food for them. They eat with concentration and passion.

I love that they pronounce this vegetable Co'orn, adding a syllable along the way. Elizabeth's first tooth came loose with this latest cob. I have been asking around to see what the going rate for the tooth fairy is. Some coworkers insist upon five dollars per tooth. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I say. I was thinking of the quarter that I received back in the day. I do have to account for inflation, I suppose. A loonie seems a decent amount although if you add up every tooth in their mouths and multiply by two children, it does add up.

Maybe next year we'll try growing our own co'orn. We might get enough harvest for one meal but it will be exciting all the same.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I am REALLY enjoying making mini-canvas albums. This tiny one measures about 2 1/2" by 3" and fits nicely in the palm of your hand. I love little charms and pick them up from shops when I see them. They are just sitting on my desk amidst other embellishments and crafty paraphernalia and quite lost on their own.

As random inspirations happen, this mini album popped into my head to showcase all of these little charms. I gathered up 18 of the best and had one for each page. Then I thought of a little vignette for each charm and quickly painted an appropriate scene for each page.

The effect is quite cute and has accumulated into a, well, charming little work of art.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So here are a few pics of the swatches of painted canvas from the previous post. They lent themselves quite well to the Bind-It-All machine which has proved to be a great investment. Again with most of my projects I like to "wing it" and see what happens for the work to morph into completion. This album turned into one entitled "Beautiful Things". I had planned on doing lots of doodling and journaling on the pages, however, when scouring through my treasured stash, I came upon some single word rub-ons (remember, adore, adventure, treasure, explore, memories and smile). The sentiments proved more meaningful alongside the photos than a jumble of words and, hence, a more minimalistic album evolved. They also lend a visual continuity amongst the pages. I did leave one page to dedicate to journaling and look forward to filling it with words of, well, beauty.
The photos are of my family and garden all of which exude beauty. Embellishments are also minimal - the odd charm, button, paper flower and brad. I used my MOST favourite alpha stamps for the cover title. They remind me of an old typewriter font (the kind I actually learnt to type on in highschool which was manual, clonky and loud - it was the 80's after all).

I love the jagged edges, bold colours and general feel of this album and plan to make many more of a similar kind.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Today I was inspired by Donna Downey's style of art. She is such an amazing "cross scrapbooker" and incorporates a variety of medias into her work that appeals to my own mixed media sensibilities.

So, while Quinn was enjoying his nap, Elizabeth and I got busy with our acrylics. We set up our makeshift "studio" on the deck and I cut up pieces of cloth canvas to paint on. I love that children are so completely uninhibited and just dig into their art. Elizabeth enjoyed the process making her imaginative paintings that magically morphed with the addition of more paint. My goal was to make a cloth scrapbook so I simply painted all of my canvas rectangles a myriad of colours - kiwi, orange, egg shell blue, pear, shimmery turquoise...

Quinn eventually awoke and joined us to paint a picture.

I bound my nine colourful cloth pages with my Bind-It-All machine and now it awaits embellishments, photographs, ephemera and more!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fabric Mini-Album

Yesterday I was thinking of ideas for our 52 challenges at . I was enjoying a quiet (and very rare) moment with a coffee and perusing some fave blogs. Link after link I stumbled across Elizabeth Kartchner's wonderful blog and was instantly inspired by her soft fabric mini albums. (It was strange actually, since I'd been gazing at my laundry gently swaying in the wind and contemplating writing a post on that subject when I found myself on Elizabeth K's blog where she has the cutest little image of laundry on a line with colourful scrapped paper, meanwhile her posting that day was entitled "Serendipity".....h'mmmmmmm.)

Anyway, I was immediately taken with her ideas and remembered that I had a stack of 4 inch square fabric pieces that were leftover from the quilts and soft blocks that I had made when expecting.

I remember choosing all of those colourful (and quite mismatched) lengths of fabric. I cut them up into loads of squares and recall a pleasant afternoon laying them all over the living room floor in random fashion prior to sewing them together to form what are now two quilts and 5 soft blocks.

Elizabeth has always loved her quilt she named "New Quilt". It is layer number 4 of 7 blankets, sheets and bedding that make up her winter Nest.

The soft blocks were a hit when the kids were small and they still like to toss them around. Now we have this new little mini-album to accompany our hand crafted keepsakes. Not sure yet what whether to put real photos inside or copy some photos onto muslin and sew them into the album....

Sunday, August 2, 2009


With the bee population in danger, I think it is terribly important to do what we can to attract them to our gardens. In our garden they love the abundant lavender - I had wanted to harvest the lavender this year, however, could not bring myself to cut it back since the bees were enjoying it too much. I have to suffice by pinching off the odd sprig to sniff or throw into the kids bath.
If you really want to be a hit with the neighbourhood bees, then I suggest growing Sea Holly. I have several Sea Holly plants in a sunny location that will usually boast no less than 3 dozen bees of many varieties (big & fuzzy, small, orange backed, thin - my bee termination is not up to par!). It sounds like a formula one racetrack when nearby. I staked these lovely, prickly, silvery flowers with candle sticks that we had made for our garden wedding 7 years ago. They are stairway spindles that we bought from ReStore and my husband painted them white with different flowers. They looked so pretty with lit candles scattered around the garden on our wedding day and now I am thrilled to recycle them yet again to help keep the long Sea Holly stalks staked.
I plan to divide these plants up in the fall or next spring and create more bee havens around the garden in the future.