Monday, March 31, 2008

Owl Tile

A friend asked me to make a tile for her sister who loves owls. Am looking forward to spring when I can start painting more tiles with my windows open.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Art Journal: Flight

This month's art journal round robin has the theme "Flight." I decided to do a bird and found a beautiful antique image of a Booby. When I looked it up in the dictionary, I found it also meant "dunce" which is why the poor little bird has a dunce cap on his head.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wedding Cake ATCs

Tomorrow is our monthly artist trading card session. This time I did a series on wedding cakes, sketching ideas on cream coloured card stock. Some of the cakes I drew are actual cakes I made when I had my small cake company in Toronto. Others are merely imaginings.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Art Show

I'm putting the last touches on my art show which will be held on April 13th. Can't believe how fast it is approaching. I'll start posting stuff from the show soon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday

My blog is one year old today! It all started when Carmi Cimicata subscribed to ATC Quarterly and dropped me a note to suggest I start a blog. I resisted but with her help (thanks Carmi!) I managed to get it up and running.
It's been a great blogging year. I met Susan Williamson for lunch (like a blind blog date) and it was like we had been friends forever. She created my blog's terrific banner. I love it (thanks Susan!).
And some of my friends caught my enthusiasm for blogging and started their own. Jennifer Pearson Vanier's blog keeps us up-to-date on her activities. My friend Carol's blog displays her fabulous crafts. And Richard's blog is made up of photos he takes, mostly on the job as a journalist.
Hard to believe that there have been 9500+ readers from 76 countries. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by in the past year. Here's to another great year of blogging!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rise & Shine!

Richard bought me these plates a while back. Isn't this a happy way to start your day? Sunglasses optional.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chocolate Bunnies et al

Richard and I celebrated Easter in Ottawa with his family over a wonderful brunch. After lots of laughs and full bellies, we headed back here and spent much of the afternoon cutting wood and pulling wood. Photo above: Richard on his way to the back woods with all his equipment in tow.

When we finally finished dragging and stacking wood, we got inside and dug into our Easter chocolate. Richard got me the Lindt bunny and friends. I got Richard the dark chocolate Lindt bunny. Great minds think alike!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Susan

Easter was earlier than usual this year (the next time it'll be this early is in another 225 years or something like that). Susan's birthday coincided with Easter so it was a perfect chance to merge the two occasions into one cake. It was a seven-layer chocolate cake: 3 icing layers and four cake layers, each soaked in Kahlua. Then I added green buttercream "grass" and little chocolate candy eggs.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fabulous French Pastry

Inspired by the blog Paris Breakfasts in which the author travels the streets of Paris (and New York) in search of the ultimate delicious treat, I had to post my own personal brush with pastry greatness. On a trip to New York, I photographed (and ate) these exquisite delights purchased at Payard Patisserie & Bistro on Lexington Avenue. My next feat is to draw them. Hmmm. Maybe I'll just have to go back for another visit to get a better look at them...In the meantime, their website will have to suffice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Spring!

Yesterday, Peggi and I gave our second class in a month on wild edibles, this time at the Two Beans Cafe in Alexandria, ON. The group was the Encore Seniors and the nine attendees asked lots of questions and provided a lively discussion. We had a small tasting at the end of the talk too. Talking about wild plants somehow reminds one that spring is here (or at least on its way).
This set of ATCs was the first set I ever did. I cut up the photocopied proofs of the rough draft of my book Wild in the Kitchen and superimposed my sketches over the text and coloured them in. Who knew I'd do hundreds of ATCs after this initial attempt?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Pot of Flower Tea

I went to see Lis at the gallery to discuss my upcoming show and she served me the oddest, most fabulous tea. It was from China and looked like a little ball. When she put it in the boiling water, it slowly opened up and showed off some lovely, coloured flowers. She told me that each tea ball is made differently, with different flowers so that they all taste different. It was heavenly.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The View Out My Window

In Jen Worden's current challenge, she asks: "Share the view out your window. It can be literal OR it can be figurative. Bonus points if you include any other colour than white. Any medium."
This is the view from my bedroom window of the cedars that run along the side of the house. Late in the day, the sun comes up behind them casting long, blue shadows.
And spring is around the corner. I heard my first red-winged blackbird yesterday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day ATCs

Here are the artist trading cards that the rest of the St. Paddy's gang made on Saturday. One of the artists said she was so fed up with the winter that she was making cards that made her happy...that one is the kitty cat made of foam shapes. Richard and I spent most of Sunday shovelling. It's supposed to warm up and now everyone is talking about floods. Are we having fun yet?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Paddy's Day ATC Gathering

Over the years, a gang of us have gotten together on a fairly casual basis to make artist trading cards. The meetings centre around making ATCs based on a holiday theme. We started with Valentine's Day five or six years ago and from there we've met to make ATCs on Canada Day, Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ground Hog Day and Easter/Spring. Yesterday we did St. Patrick's Day. There were eight of us and we spent 2 hours making cards, then we traded, ate treats and had a cup of tea. A wonderful afternoon.I did a series of leprechaun cards, although one gal commented that they looked more like comedians who'd perform at a Catskill resort.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Big Things: Axe

There is so much ice on the roof above my front door. And it's started to melt and then refreeze. So guess who had to exit the house via the back door, over a few high drifts, in her pj's, to get the morning newspaper? Next job was to axe the ice away from the front of the door. Put me in mind of the world's largest axe we saw a few years back in Nackawic, New Brunswick. We got there at dusk so the photo is a bit iffy. Just means we'll have to go back and reshoot!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hamish and Smokey

I've been cat-sitting these two wonderful kitties all week. Yesterday they let me take their photos. Hamish (the tabby) is usually quite standoffish but maybe he's getting used to me? His brother Smokey is friendlier but he has a motive -- he wants a treat from me. Cuties, eh?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Snow at the Window

Usually there is lots of snow out my bedroom window, but this is ridiculous. And it's not even in a basement!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watercolour Doodle ATCs

Yesterday, I took all my drawings to the gallery to get framed and we discussed mats, framing and pricing and all that good stuff. And we addressed invitation envelopes. Only a month to go till my show! (Hope some of the snow is gone by then...)
Since I mostly work in colour pencil, I thought it'd be fun to doodle some ATCs in watercolour. Fun.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Big Snow Shots

The snow around here is nutso! Here's a photo of Richard clearing snow from the roof. He actually snowshoed right onto the roof.

The side roads didn't get cleared all day so folks who lived on them had to shovel them on their own. Here's a pic of my neighbour trying to shovel his way up the road to get to his driveway.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snow Daze

This has been quite a winter. When all was said and done, the storm that hit the Ottawa area on Saturday/Sunday dumped 56 cm (22") of snow on us. Richard and I spent all of Sunday managing snow. I am taking care of a neighbour's cats and unfortuately their road was not ploughed all day. By 6:30 pm on Sunday evening, another friend who lives on the same road let me know the ploughs had finally been through. We drove over and the road was okay but their lane wasn't cleared of snow. So Richard and I strapped on the snowshoes and walked up their long lane. The cats were just fine.

The view out my front door

This is me making a snow angel on the tin roof of the log cabin. There is about 8 feet of snow that swirled up behind it.

Just to give a sense of scale, this shot was taken about a month ago. Already there was a lot of snow around the log cabin.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

ATC Quarterly Centre Spread #10

The spring issue is ready to roll. Here are the bunny entries for the centre spread that will appear on the website. (Too bad there's only room for 20 ATCs in the actual magazine.) Great stuff!Click to enlarge.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

My sister introduced me to her friend Deirdre Martin some time ago and she's a doll. And get this. She's a romance novelist. Her first book was "Body Check" and of course I loved it. It was a romance book about HOCKEY! Now what more could a Canadian gal ask for? She has written several in the series and they're all a lot of fun.

Her latest is "Just a Taste," about the brother of one of the hockey-playing characters, who's a chef. Two cups of love, competing chefs and just a dash of hockey. Check out her YouTube video about being a romance writer called
A Romance Writer Reveals All. Pretty funny.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

We're Nearly There

It's almost a record. With the 30 cm of snow we had yesterday, we are now at the second highest snow fall in the Ottawa area at 355 cm (approx. 11.5 feet). The highest snowfall recorded was the winter of 1970-71 when 444 cm fell. Guess what? Another storm is predicted for Saturday. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Magritte's Other Choices ATCs

I was going to post another shot of winter here in Eastern Ontario, being in the midst of yet another major winter storm (ice pellets and accumulations of possibly 30 cm of snow). Instead I'm posting a set of artist trading cards I did that make me smile. I'd better find something amusing...looks like we're going to make the record this winter for the most snow ever. Wish I had my money in snowblower stocks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Poor Cinnamon was so itchy, he pulled off some of his fur from his sides. After the vet visit and some medication, he has to wear this little jacket (that says "heart breaker" on the back of it) until he heals. I think he looks pretty cute in it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Busy Weekend

My sister Marci was up from Ithaca, NY for the weekend and we didn't stop moving from the moment her plane landed in Ottawa on Friday till she left Sunday night. We went to the National Gallery of Canada to see the fabulous Joe Fafard exhibit. And who else was there while we were there? Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal party, Canada's official opposition, soaking in a little Canadian culture.


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