Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Family Reunion

Longtime readers of my blog may remember this post from May, 2011, in which I described a vintage photo album I bought at an antique show.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email a few weeks ago from one the descendants of the photographer I mentioned in that post, H.G. (Henry) Kidd, whose picture also appears in the album a number of times.
This woman, who lives in British Columbia, asked me some questions about the other photographs in the album and I listed some of the family names that appear in it (lucky for us, someone took the time to write in the names of each of subjects of the photos, which is a rarity in any of the old albums I've seen or purchased) but they weren't the names she was looking for.  She also asked if she could pass on the information about this album to other family members with whom she was in contact by way of the genealogy website,
One of those other family members then contacted me and after we traded an email or two back and forth, I offered to sell the album to her, if she would reimburse me for the price I paid for it and the mailing costs to send it to her. She gladly agreed and now that album is on its way to Irma in Saskatchewan for her to treasure.

I have found it quite interesting to hear a bit about the family from these women, their descendants.  I had enjoyed looking at the photos in this album, intrigued by the clothes and the hairstyles from those days long ago, entranced by the expressions on the faces of those posing but now I feel connected to the people in these photos now, almost as if they were my own ancestors.  I am thrilled that the album is going where it belongs, to be cherished by Henry's great-great grandchildren and/or g.g. nieces and nephews.  I don't know how the album came to be in the hands of the antique dealer from whom I bought it here in Ontario but I'm glad to have played a small part in returning it to the family.  I like to think Henry would have wanted it that way.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Haiku My Heart: Vacation Bound

Counting down to the
day I fly away south,
seeking the sun's warmth.

My soul longs to be
free of present day worries,
to relax and breathe.

Vacation calls me,
a siren song of delight
I cannot resist.

Haiku My Heart Fridays are celebrated here at recuerda_mi_corazon.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Graphic Design: Good and Bad

I made a quick trip to the grocery store today at lunchtime.  In the parking lot, I saw this truck with a fabulous logo painted on its side:

I was really impressed with the art work.  It's very eye-catching and perfect for a business named Bobcat.

Inside the store, as I made my way down the first aisle, I happened to pass by this packaging and I was horrified.

Talk about a design concept gone terribly wrong.  This is a box of pasta and the picture is made to show someone with spaghetti noodles hanging out of their mouth but to me, the design makes it look like the person is throwing up, bleeding and/or suffering from a very bad cold sore.  It literally made me shudder.

Quite a contrast between good and bad art, in my humble opinion, all within a two minute time period!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Play Date

We had a play date at Bizzy B this past Sunday afternoon.  I didn't take too many pictures, I was too busy making art (top secret project that I can't share just yet - stay tuned!) but I do have a few to share.

Here are some of the ladies discussing a journal page Barb was working on:
Here's a sneak peek at her journal page in progress:
Dianne had been to a visitation earlier in the week and wanted to make a bereavement card for the deceased's family using this two-sided handout a little bit bigger than a bookmark size that they had given out to the mourners:
Here is the card she made. Isn't it lovely?
This is another card she made.  I especially love the button she added.  It's just a little something but it really works!
I do so enjoy our monthly play dates.  We talk, we laugh, we make art.  It's a great way to spend an afternoon!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Unusual Clouds

If you happened to be looking east towards downtown Toronto this past Saturday evening just after 5 p.m., you might have seen this unusual cloud formation:
I'm not sure I've ever seen one quite like it before.
It almost looked like the white cliffs of Dover, England, which can be seen from quite a distance away when you are out in the middle of the English Channel.  Or perhaps a very large glacier on the other side of a watery expanse.
Considering it had been a rather cold day out, with temperatures returning to the double digit windchills that have been all too frequent these past few months, seeing glaciers in the sky doesn't seem too inappropriate.

Ah spring, please hurry!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Happy Friday In My Mailbox

Many thanks to Kelly B. of Dundas, Ontario for brightening up my otherwise grey and empty mailbox this past Friday with happy mail.  It was such a treat to open the box and find this colourful painted enveloped inside:
I knew it was happy mail because it said so on the envelope!
The contents consisted of a number of little bits and pieces to use in my daily journal.  
Some items, like the turquoise piece with the hearts on it, found their way onto a page right away.  I've tucked the other bits away for a later day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Saturday At Home

Two days ago, on the first day of spring, the view outside my window looked a bit like a mud pile.
This morning, that darned white stuff was back.
I hear the cold weather is back as well.  That's okay, I had things to do inside today.  Filed my taxes, feels good to get that checked off my "to do" list.  Tried to make some art but it seemed one or more of my feline companions always wanted to play along.
Just when one would fall asleep, another would wake up and want to play in their place.
It turned out Suzie just wanted my chair.
Interesting cloud layers as the sun was going down tonight.  Except it looks a bit like a large glacier off in the distance, doesn't it?
And how was your Saturday?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Haiku My Heart: Waiting to Bloom

The forecast says snow,
The calendar says spring,
still we wait to bloom.

Haiku My Heart Fridays hosted by recuerda_mi_corazon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung...Sort Of

Whew, we made it!  We survived the winter of 2013-2014!!  Today is the first day of spring and although it may not feel like or look like it just yet, at least the season has officially arrived as far as the calendar is concerned.  Hopefully the weather will soon catch up, although the forecast is not encouraging - snow, freezing rain and high winds expected in the short term (tomorrow night) and "a very cold pattern from coast to coast for the first five days of spring...(with) temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees below seasonal", according to The Weather Network's website (filed under the heading of "Don't Shoot The Messenger"!!).   Drat.

Daffodil sightings postponed indefinitely.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Vintage Birthday

My mom turned 75 a couple of months ago.  Due to scheduling conflicts and inclement weather, we had to postpone her birthday celebration until last weekend, when I finally had a chance to give her the card I had made for her (sure, I could have mailed it but it was already attached to the present!).

First I collaged a collection of vintage papers on a blank card (one of the scraps already had circles stamped on it):
then added a little paint and Distress Inks to give them a distressed, aged look.
The inside of the card got the same treatment with punchinella, paint and ink (see bottom photo). Then I added ribbon, a fabric trim of button shapes, an old photo of a young woman from a collection called "Salvage Stickers" by Tim Holtz. I also stencilled the number 75 on the front in a dark colour and adhered the cardboard punchouts from the numbers themselves to create a shadow effect.
The card reads "75 isn't's vintage!"
The older I get, the more I believe this to be true.  :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Winter's Day

It was a good day for a drive yesterday.  My sister and I headed up to the cottage in the morning.  We don't usually go there in the winter since our place isn't insulated, which means no heat and no running water once the freezing temperatures set in, but we needed to check on something up there so we decided to stop in on the way to visit our mom.

It was rather grey in the morning when we set out but the snow on the trees and fields was quite pretty. There was certainly a lot of it, as you can see from these photos of the cottage road.
Here's my sister strapping on her snowshoes so she can climb over the snowbank and walk into our property to check out what she needed to check.

I was fascinated by the layers of snow piled on the fallen trees in the bush along the road.
We then spent the day visiting with my mom, who lives about half an hour away.  On the way there, we passed this frozen beauty, created by water dripping between the layers of rock on the side of the highway.
We left to head back to the city around six and enjoyed a pretty drive home as the sun was setting.  The roads were dry and clear, except for a little bit of drifting snow in some places.
These were the highest snowbanks we saw all today.

The clouds and the setting sun were so beautiful, I couldn't stop taking pictures (one of the advantages of being the passenger instead of the driver!).  Too bad the windshield was a bit dirty, adding few extra streaks and smears here and there, but oh well.
Winter is such a pretty season.  If only it wasn't usually so darned cold!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Haiku My Heart Friday: A Celebration of Pi(e)

The life of pi is
the number they celebrate
today, March fourteenth.

Thanks to Facebook, I discovered that today is "pi day, an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form", according to Wikipedia.

I vaguely remember learning about pi in math class way back when.  I can't say I have given it any thought since then.  This is the only sort of pie I've had occasion to celebrate since then:
Photo: Good Morning! Happy Pi Day (3.14) Unfortunately I was never great at math. But I'm awesome at pie!
Maie Pauts boom 97.3 Toronto

Haiku My Heart Fridays are hosted by recuerda_mi_corazon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Spring Tease

This was the scene yesterday afternoon when I headed out for lunch - the sun was shining, it was warm, the hard, crusty snowbanks and ice masses that had been around since before Christmas were finally melting.
Photo: 11 C in Toronto - double digits!!! Still, I think these fossilized-looking snow banks will need more time to melt!
Fast forward twenty-four hours and it's a whole new ball game!  The snow started around 7 a.m. and lasted about 12 hours.  We got at least 6 inches of fresh snow.  As I write this, the temperature has dropped to minus 10, with a windchill factor of minus 20.  Brrr!
Photo: What a difference a day makes!! @!$&?! winter!!!
Must...stay...positive.  Repeat after me:  the first day of spring is only 8 days away!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Moody Group

Here are the journal pages created by my fellow members of the Journal Junkies group that met last night at Bizzy B for our monthly get-together, the theme of which was "moods".

Barb's page was inspired by the Alicia Keys' song, "This Girl Is On Fire" - I really love how it turned out:
Kelly was quite inspired by this theme and shared 4 different pages with us.  This is the one she donated for the collection kept by the store.
Here are the other three:
Laura was also quite prolific with her journal pages based on this theme.  First she shared this colourful one:
This one was my favourite, for all of us who cry for multiple reasons:
And there were two more!
It was Heather's first time joining us and she shared this gorgeously colourful page:
Bette's page made us all smile, it was all too true!
Marilyn is definitely back in creating mode, sharing several pages with us.  She took the product challenge to heart and made this house entirely out of ribbon.
She also created "The Ribbon Man" - very Picassoesque!
These were her other pages:
The alternate theme for March was "home".  Donna made her page with this in mind.
So did Helen, painting a house in a style meant to remind us of childhood
that was layered over this journal page featuring a sweet little black and white bird in a cage.

Next month's theme is "musicals".  I have a feeling we're going to have quite an interesting selection of journal pages to look at when April rolls around, stay tuned!