Friday, August 29, 2014

Haiku My Heart: Heron

Hidden in the grass
Spooked by a sudden noise, the
heron takes to flight.

Since I didn't have much luck capturing the great blue heron that came to visit one morning at the cottage last weekend with my camera, I decided I would sketch him instead (using an illustration from "Boy's Own Book of Natural History" by Rev. J.G. Wood for reference).

Haiku My Heart Fridays hosted by recuerda_mi_corazon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making Cards

I've signed up for a card making class at Bizzy B tomorrow night. I'm pretty excited about it, as the class is being taught by Daniza, whom I know is fantastically creative.  I've taken a couple of classes with her before and I always come away bursting with ideas and new information about techniques and art supplies.

Here are some examples of cards she made last month for the store using this stamp:

She also made these two cards, one using a feather die cut and another with a feather theme.
I can't wait to see what kind of cards we make tomorrow night!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cottage Sunsets

The sunsets at our cottage this past weekend were quite beautiful and here's proof!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Alone with the Sky

I was driving to the cottage on Friday night. The sun was setting, it was about 7:30 p.m. and the sky was getting quite dark in front of me.  I realized I was about to drive into some rain.  Sure enough, drops quickly started to cover my windshield and just as I switched on my wipers, I noticed the biggest, most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen just up ahead of me  The setting sun behind me was showing up each of the colours of the spectrum in the most perfect way.
I tried taking a few photos with my iPhone while I was driving but soon pulled off onto the first sideroad I came to and jumped out of the car in a light rain to grab my camera out of my trunk.  That's when the panic set in, when I realized that my SD card was back home in my computer, not in the camera where it belonged.  Nooooo!
The start of the rainbox

The end of the rainbow (or is it the other way around?)
So I grabbed my iPhone again and starting snapping pictures.  As you can see from the photos in this post (which have not been retouched in any way), they turned out okay but they really don't do justice to the beauty of the moment.  It turned out, there were 2 rainbows but the 2nd one was very faint.

The light rain, the setting sun behind me (here's what that looked like)
the quiet of the fields around me, the colours of the vegetation lit up by the sun.
It was quite an amazing few moments and although one or two cars passed by, they didn't seem to be even noticing the rainbow. I felt quite alone with nature and it was glorious.

I got back in the car and started driving to the nearest town to buy an SD card, as I didn't want to go an entire weekend without using my camera, and within moments, the sky behind me looked like this:
The colours were truly astounding, practically shimmering as a result of the moisture in the air.

As soon as I got to the cottage, I unpacked my watercolours and painted myself a little drawing to remind me of those special moments when it was just me alone with the sky and all the colours of the rainbow.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Haiku My Heart: Don't Forget

Photo found here:

Sometimes I forget
deadlines, things I need to do,
to write a haiku.

The link to other Haiku My Heart Fridays can be found at recuerda_mi_corazon.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Clouds Today

The clouds today were pretty astounding, whether it was those framing the peeks of blue during a heavy rain shower mid-afternoon
or the early evening puffy whites showcasing the Bloor Street West architecture.

Closer to home, huge white mounds of cumulonimbus kissed by the setting sun:
A touch of pink rising over the city's skyline
with a shimmer in the middle that might have been a secret or a storm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Playing Around

I've been playing around with watercolours and my new Dina Wakley Scribbly Bird stamps, making little cards, having fun.
This guy has been practising his tightrope skills in a park near where I live.  Not exactly something you see every day, is it?!
What have you been up to?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not One But Two

I am indeed a lucky girl. Yesterday, I found in my mailbox not one but two awesome packages from far away friends.

Barb in Florida sent me some maps so I can prepare for my visit next February:
and wrote me a note on ledger paper decorated with inked flourishes - such a clever idea! (I am totally going to steal it!)
The outside of the envelope was decorated with this beautiful dragonfly stamp on the back
and Dina Wakley's Scribbly Bird stamps on the front (the very same ones I just bought myself last week!)
Best of all were the multitude of U.S. songbird stamps she used to mail the package with - squeeeee!
Susan in Seattle sent me a pop-up card that I had asked her to get for me at the Natural History Museum in Paris.  It looks like this when it is closed:
and opens to this:
It looks just like the actual museum! (which reminds me, I still have many photos from Paris to share, must do that very soon!)
She also included a whole bunch of yummy paper ephemera.
 and decorated the envelope with this very cool duct tape:
Thank you so much, ladies, for these very special packages!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finally Finished!

A year ago yesterday, August 17, 2013, a couple of young friends of mine from our group of cottage friends got married.
Laura and Sean
A couple of months before the wedding, I had this idea to make them a book as a gift.  I asked various friends and family members to send me copies of their wedding pictures along with any words of advice they might have for the bride and groom.

It took a while to collect all the submissions but I made a start on the book.  Due to one thing or another, I didn't get the book finished in time for the wedding.  Luckily for me, I hadn't told the happy couple what I was up to, as it was meant to be a surprise, so they weren't waiting for it!  I went off to France a few weeks later and then a few weeks later to Mexico for a week, and before I knew it, it was Christmas time but still, the book wasn't finished.  I thought I would be done in time to send the book to them for Valentine's Day but somehow that didn't happen either.  More time passed, another cottage season arrived and I kept working on the book when I could.  It occurred to me that since their first anniversary was approaching and the traditional gift for the first year is paper, that would be the perfect time to give them the book. So I knuckled down and finally got the book finished last week.  It wasn't so much that I was procrastinating about finishing it (although I'm sure there was a little bit of that going on), it was more that I was enjoying the process of putting it together so much, I didn't really want it to end.

The theme of the book was the ABC's of a happy marriage.  Since they are both teachers, the alphabet seemed an appropriate place to start.  Here's how the front cover looked, after layers of gesso, gel medium, Dylusions ink and various embellishments, such as a portion of a magazine page, adhesive alphabet letters, lace, crocheted pieces, paper flowers, buttons, a paper clip and a pencil stub:
Believe it or not, I found that pencil stub on the ground somewhere and it was exactly that size and it says "school board".  I kid you not!  Sometimes, found objects serendipitously appear like that.
As you can see from the photo above, I used a set of index card tabs and assigned each couple a letter based on a letter from either their first or last name.
For example, Andrea and Jeremy represented the letter "A".
I used dictionary pages to decorate each index page and circled a word for each letter that was relevant for a happy marriage, such as "humor", "love" and "understanding".  The letter Q was a bit of a challenge for several months until I found this image on the Internet just last week (!!):
and suddenly the word "question" seemed to be the perfect solution! (Luckily, the index tab said "XYZ" so I used the word "yes" for that one! And one of our friends is named Zen so he and his wife Kathy filled in the last page quite easily for me!)

I kept the back cover quite simple, using a piece of scrapbook paper with an alphabet design:
It was so much fun putting this book together, knowing there were many years of successful marriages behind all of the photos and advice provided by our friends and the bride's and groom's parents.  I am pleased to report that the still newlyweds were very happy with the gift, here's a picture of them looking through the book with some of our friends:
Happy Anniversary, Laura and Sean!