Friday, May 31, 2013

Dina's in Town!

Dina Wakley is in town this weekend, teaching 5 classes in 3 days at Bizzy B.

I enjoyed her classes so much when she was here last September (you can read about it herehere and here) that I immediately signed up for the whole shebang when it was first announced several months ago that she was coming back.  It seems like a long wait but finally the date has arrived and I'm sure it's going to be an awesome weekend.

All the classes are new to us, different from what we did last fall.  I don't think we're using Dylusions sprays this time around (I could be wrong) but we are going to be using our stencils and stamps and even our gelli plates (and you already know I'm loving mine!).

For sure we'll be getting our hands covered with paint and all manner of artful messiness!

I expect I'll be too tired after class and/or busy making art to blog so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me until next week but I'll be sure to tell you all about it when I'm back!  In the meantime, if you want to join us, call the store - you never know when there might be an opening or a cancellation.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Hand On The Wheel, The Other On My Camera

My sister tells me I shouldn't be taking photos while I drive and she's right. It's just as bad as texting, it can be very distracting.  I know this.  And yet, there are times when I just can't help myself.  The sky is doing something awesome or the view is just so special, I have to try to capture it.

Like the other night, as I was driving from Lindsay to Toronto just before 9 p.m. on a country road with little or no other traffic.  The sun was setting, twilight was at hand.  I couldn't resist.

Sometimes I pull over to the side of the road to take the picture.

Other times, I just play with the zoom a little bit, click the button and see what happens.  That's usually when the magic happens.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Not So Ugly Goslings

These cuties walked across my field of vision at lunchtime today.

They were clearly looking to find lunch themselves.  They checked out the ground around a garbage can in the parking lot and when there was nothing edible to be found there, off they walked down the street.

It's not totally out of the ordinary to see Canada Geese in the neighbourhood where I work, there are several to be found in the area.  What was strange was to see these two almost grown goslings out and about entirely on their own.  I kept watching for the parents but they never appeared.  Not sure if that means these 2 are orphans or lost, I hope not.  But it was odd.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Green Dreams Become Reality in Bali

I've been wearing John Hardy jewelry for several years, ever since my parents bought me my first piece, a necklace chain with a pearl drop slider.  I've added a number of pieces to my collection since then.  His sister Ellen Woodward is a good friend of our family and I'd often heard the story of how John left the smaller town near the small town where I grew up 40 years ago to live in Bali and make jewelry.

Last night, I had the opportunity to meet the man himself and hear him speak about his current passion, a  school he and his family have built in Bali.  They call it "The Green School" because it is built mostly out of bamboo, an easily renewable resource.

To give you an idea of what is possible, here's a peek inside one of the bamboo structures:
Green Village Bali Bamboo Architecture
Photo copied from
Isn't it beautiful?  You can see some of the content of John's talk in this video.  (You can also find John's Ted Talk here, which is also very similar to the talk we heard last night but I had trouble watching this video, kept getting buffering messages that stopped the display, it was rather annoying. Hope you have better luck!)

His daughter also has a video online, telling a bit more about the wonders of bamboo and the processes involved in using it for building.  She runs the company that built the school and which is currently building several homes in the same village.

You can see photos of the incredible buildings and interior designs that Ibuku is making here.  They are like nothing you have ever seen before.

It was an interesting evening. John is obviously passionate about what he is doing and his enthusiasm is contagious.  I was all ready to jump on a plane to Bali ... until he mentioned the bugs that often can be found inside a building that doesn't have walls.  I was okay with the idea of a snake passing through, as long as it wasn't dangerous but centipedes?  No, I don't think so.  Well, maybe.  I'll have to think about it.

In the meantime, my subconscious is busy designing my own special house made out of bamboo.  Maybe a tree house ... (can centipedes climb trees?)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Moonrise May 26th

I had planned to go to bed early last night but also wanted to see the moon rise after the show the night before, which meant I had to stay up until 10:32 p.m.  Sadly, I don't have the best lens for taking these shots but I took them all the same, so bear with me.

The city skyline in the distance was looking especially sparkly last night in the cool air (13C or 55F).

When the moon did peak over the horizon, it was an interesting orange colour.

Maggie watched with me.

I swear I can see the face of the man in the moon in this one, can't you?

Tonight's moonrise is scheduled for 11:24 p.m. I'm pretty sure I won't be awake for that one but you never know!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunny But Cool

Yesterday and today have been beautiful days in the `hood.  Too bad it has been so cool, feeling more like October than May. The skies have been blue, blue, blue and nary a cloud to be seen.  Rather a strong wind though, blowing down from somewhere up in the Arctic, it seems.  Decided not to go to the outdoor antique market at the Christie conservation area nor to the cottage (overnight temperatures forecast to be just above zero plus we still don`t have water, not exactly prime conditions).

I did take myself out for a long walk yesterday morning and refused to wear my gloves.  I admired the green, green leaves instead.

Ran a few errands at the drug store and the bank (love that they are open on Saturdays now, some even on Sundays) then allowed myself to be directed by this sign

to a local school.  Found a lovely little ivory box in an Art Deco style that will be perfect for holding my sketching pens and pencils that I have taken to carrying in my purse.

They were also selling cupcakes, so I bought two.  Just doing my part to support the fundraising efforts.

Found a little graffiti love.

When I got home, I napped, lunched, made some art, watched the end of a movie (Easy A, quite enjoyable) before heading out to a charity dinner last night with some of our cottage friends.
Even though Kathy and Janine have lamps coming
out of their heads and we retook this picture several more times
with a different background, this photo turned out the best

Today has been pretty much the same, minus the flea market/craft sale - general puttering, some cleaning and tidying to compensate for all the art mess that has accumulated in various areas, running a few errands, doing laundry.  Still debating over whether to take a nap. :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Moon Tonight

Did you see the full moon rise tonight? It looked extra large as it was looming on the horizon.  My sister and I were driving back to the city from Aurora, where we'd been to a charity dinner to raise funds for friends who are participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer in 2 weeks time (still lots of time to donate, if you are so inclined).  She took these photos for me, since I was driving.

This first one is the only one that turned out the way I expected.

But she got some really cool results on these ones!

This one is my favourite!
There's going to be a lunar eclipse later tonight, just after midnight, but it sounds like it won't be worth staying up for. describes it as follows:  "the passage of the moon’s disk into the Earth’s shadow will result in one of the slightest eclipses of all, administering a mere touch of penumbral shadow at the southernmost part of the lunar limb at 12:11 a.m. EDT on Friday (0411 May 25 GMT)...It will thus be impossible to notice anything out of the ordinary concerning the moon's overall appearance". 

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Frank's Girl"

A male lawyer left me a message at work yesterday to tell me that "Frank's girl" was supposed to have sent certain documents to my attention.  I immediately Googled his profile on the law firm's website to confirm that he was an elderly gentleman, probably in his 70's, because who else would use that terminology in today's day and age?  Imagine my surprise to discover that he was a young man, called to the bar in 2001, which means he's probably in his mid to late 30's.

I returned his call, spoke to him in person and during our conversation, he said it again!!  I repeated the phrase back to him and sort of laughed in disbelief, hoping he'd confirm he was making some sort of lame joke.  Instead, there was just silence on his end of the phone.

I can only hope that he has been watching too many episodes of Mad Men.  Otherwise, the feminist movement needs to visit this guy and give him a whack on the head.

"Frank's girl".  Geez.  We may have come a long way, baby, but the dinosaurs are still out there and apparently they're getting younger all the time!
Photo from

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Embarrassed in Toronto

May 2013 has been a tough month to be a Torontonian.  Last week, our hockey lost the first round of the playoffs with a heartbreaking goal during sudden death overtime.  This week, a news story about a video of our mayor smoking crack with drug dealers.

Photo: Something tells me this is photo shopped... Well, I really hope it is... Funny though...

Yes, our mayor allegedly smokes crack.  The video has not been seen by the general public but already, it has been making news south of the border.  Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart all thought it was worth mentioning this week.

(my favourite line? "If you were going to alter videos, why wouldn't you start with these two?"  Jon Stewart = brilliant)

Whether or not the crack smoking story is true, I can't say this enough:  thank goodness I didn't vote for the guy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blooming Trees

Everything is so green now.  Spring has arrived, full speed ahead (we'll ignore the single digit overnight temperatures forecasted for later this week).  The leaves are fully fledged now.

Trees that blossom are doing so enthusiastically, everywhere you turn, in all sorts of colour combinations.  Pink, white, purple.  Lilacs, fruit trees, you name it.

Fields are already chock full of these yellow blossoms.

What are they, you might ask?  Why, dandelions, of course!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Cottage Sketch

Thought I'd share a sketch I made at the cottage the other night, as dusk was falling.

I tried to capture the deep indigo of the colours as everything was getting darker and darker, the silhouettes of the trees against the water.  I had prepped the page beforehand with a light blue acrylic paint overall and didn't realize until afterwards that the paint had a gloss finish, which explains why it was so waxy to work over.  I used a black Stabilo aquarellable pencil to quickly sketch out the initial design, then added watercolour.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pictures of Birds

I took these photos at my friend Barb's last weekend, as we were enjoying the hot tub after walking around the antique show for several hours (what a treat for sore muscles!).
Mr. Cardinal

Mrs. Cardinal


Purple finch

Anybody know what these are?
Presumably some sort of sparrow
but the tufted head is throwing me off.
There was a red squirrel too. She came by to pick up the seeds the birds had dropped from the feeder.  From the look of her, I'm guessing there's a nest of babies somewhere nearby.

I'm off to the cottage for the long weekend, time to open it up for the summer - see you in a couple of days!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Office

The series finale is airing tonight and I'm watching.  I never watched the show regularly but I'd see it from time to time.  Sometimes I loved it, I'd laugh out loud. Other times, I'd cringe.  Just like the original British version starring Ricky Gervais, it was both enjoyable and disturbing.  I especially enjoyed the retrospective that aired first, I like seeing the behind the scenes interviews and commentary from the various actors and crew members.  Plus I've always had a major crush on Jim Krasinski.  Then again, who doesn't?

This clip made me laugh out loud:

 P.S. The rumours about Steve Carell making a cameo appearance are...wait, you don't really want me to tell you, do you?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Little Bit More Aberfoyle

Here are a few more photos from my visit to the Aberfoyle antiques show this past weekend.

What every kilt wearer needs, a sporran with a badger on it!

I really should have picked up these glasses, I love them!

Who wouldn't want a matching set of vintage pink luggage?

My favourite overheard line of the day was, "Stop trying to make me buy dead animals!"  I'm pretty sure they were looking at this when she said that.

Don't you just love this vintage screen door with the advertising signs all over it?  So retro.

Lifesize Pez holder, anyone?

I really wanted this multi-drawered cabinet.  Too bad it was $1400!!

I really, really wanted this vintage paper trimmer even more but it was $65, which seemed a bit excessive and the blade was dull, dull, dull.  Where would I get that sharpened??  Still, if I see one at Christie next weekend, I might have to get it!

Last but not least, the lovely ladies from Robin's Cupcakery (you can find them on Facebook).  They were sold out of the maple and bacon  ones by the time we came by but I can personally recommend the key lime and the lemon, both are to die for!!!