Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ghost Walls

Ever noticed faded signs on old buildings? Here's one I saw in Vankleek Hill, Ontario for some sort of "Castoria." Lovely typography but I bet the product tasted pretty awful.
Footnote: My friend Olive emailed me and pointed out that "Castoria" was a brand of medicine (and not castor oil as I thought) so I did some research. On the site Forgotten New York I read the folowing: Charles H. Fletcher began selling his Castoria, a mild stomach remedy for children, in 1871. The medicine was heavily promoted on ads and billboards in the late 1800s and early part of the 20th Century, and evidently the paint used for the ads was of a very high grade, because several ads survive to this day all over town.
To see more walls with Castoria ads click on Forgotten New York.
Thanks Olive!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fabulous Set of Dishes

I did this set of nasturtium-inspired dishes for a gal who's giving it to a friend for a combined Christmas/Birthday gift. Her favourite colours are orange and yellow so nasturtiums seemed like a natural choice.

Richard and I set up the table. (I even ironed a tablecloth for the occasion)! It's a 20 piece place setting for four, plus various servers.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Peaceful Resting Place

I went to a celebration of my friend Lionel's life the other day. He passed away a few weeks ago. Last Thursday would have been his 91st birthday so it seemed fitting to hold a get-together with his friends on that special day.

His wife Susan set Lionel's ashes where we could sit around a peaceful rock circle and be with him. What a beautiful spot to spend eternity.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ceramic Show

I'm having a show of my painted ceramics at my house on Sunday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If it's a fine day, I'll put everything out on my lawn. If you're in the area, please drop by! Need directions? Email me: ronna@mogelon.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Autumn Birthday Cake

I made this cake for three friends born on the vernal equinox. What could be better than a chocolate cake, covered in dark chocolate ganache and two-toned red and yellow buttercream roses?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Winner and Runner-Up

The winner of the Biggest Zucchini prize at Sunday's Pioneer Fall Festival was a zucchini that weighed a whopping 17 pounds! Here I am with my entry that garnered fourth prize. (I got a purple ribbon as a "participant.") I could have been a contender! But someone slipped in at the last minute with a 10 pounder (mine was only a measly 9.5 pounds).
Pictured to my right is my friend Jocelyn who won "Best Dressed Pioneer Woman."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pioneer Fall Festival

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan hosted its annual Harvest Fall Festival on Sunday. It's a pile of fun! There are antique threshing machines...

Folks demonstrating spinning and weaving...

...and old fashioned games for kids like the classic sack race.

At the petting zoo, a turtle goes horseback riding...

...and a good dog gets a hug.

There's a terrific horse parade through the streets of Dunvegan.

The horses and buggies come in all shapes and sizes.

A few anxious pioneer gals wait to see if their names are called in the best dressed pioneer woman contest.

Judging that was a tough call...

Here's Bill announcing the winner of the best dressed male pioneer. Our own Hugh P. won the honours.

At the end of the day, even a goat needs something to eat at the snack bar.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Federal Election Excitement

I'm not a terribly political person and don't really like discussing politics very much but Richard was covering the opening of our local Liberal constituent's office in Alexandria, Ontario and asked if I'd like to tag along.

It's a pretty big deal when the leader of the opposition, and possible Prime Minister, shows up in such a tiny place. Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, stepped off the bus and landed in Alexandria.

I was surprised that amongst all the big wigs from papers like the Ottawa Citizen, The National Post and The Globe and Mail, there was me, in the political scrum, taking pictures. Pretty cool.

When it was over, Mr. Dion crossed the street and started shaking hands and I happened to be right there. I ended up having a short discussion with him. I told him that I had seen him at the Joe Fafard art show (at the National Gallery in Ottawa last March) and was impressed that he was interested in the arts in Canada. So I asked him what his policy was on support for the arts and he got very animated and said he was making an announcement on the subject in 2 hours (which he did, later that day in Montreal).
Oddly enough, the CTV National News that night showed Stephane Dion making his speech in Alexandria and then having a little discussion with a certain so-and-so as the clip ended. Me the little politico, eh?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Big Things: Apple

I seem to be on a roll with "Big Things." So here's another: The Big Apple in Colbourne, Ontario. It advertises a restaurant, small zoo (mostly bunnies) and a huge pie-baking enterprise where they sell hundreds of thousands of apple pies (and various other flavours too). Imagine how many pies could be made from this huge apple?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Zucchini Time

Although not formally considered a big thing for my collection of "Big Things" (click on "big things" label below this post, to see them), the largest zucchini I ever grew was 17.5 pounds. In 2004 it won first prize in the largest zuke contest held at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum's Fall Festival. I've entered every year with varying results. This year's Fall Festival will be held on Sunday, September 21st. I'm not sure my garden holds any real contenders. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big Things: Adirondack Chair

We saw this big Adirondack chair in Dwight, Ontario, in the Muskokas. That "Big Thing" collection of mine keeps growing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dying for a Vote?

Getting ready for our general election for Prime minister, signs seem to be popping up everywhere. When I saw this today at our local graveyard, I couldn't believe it. Richard said, "Just shows that for some souls, politics is a grave matter." Ouch.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Autumn Fruit Tart

I made this fairly easy dessert for a dinner party the other day. It came out great! You can use any combination of autumn fruits: pears, plums, apples. Whatever you have on hand.
Here's the recipe:

Autumn Fruit Tart

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 pkg. (250 g) cream cheese
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2-4 plums (depending on size) thinly sliced
1-2 pears, thinly sliced
1/4 cup ground walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 375F. Process butter and 1/3 cup sugar in food processor until fluffy. Add flour; process until blended. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until blended. Stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup and egg. Spread onto crust. Top with neatly arranged fruit, sprinkle with nuts. Bake 40-45 minutes until set. Let stand 5 minutes. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 3 hours. Drizzle with remaining maple syrup.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ceramics This Week

It seems like I haven't painted any china for a few weeks...so back in the saddle for me.
I love this 7" tall daisy pitcher.

This large serving bowl has the faces of eight different cat faces...

...all in different colours.

Here's a shorebird serving plate, reminiscent of the sandpipers and culews that folks might have seen on their ocean holiday this summer.

I made this teapot for my friend's daughter who enjoys a cup of peppermint tea each afternoon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

End of the Road

We ended of our week-long vacation in the Muskokas by driving through Algonquin Park...

..and making several stops along the way.

A heavy mist was in the air as a yellow canoe skimmed the water.

A tourist from Vancouver, BC took this shot of us. Great backdrop. Great vacation!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Muskoka Impressions #3

A few other things that I sketched while on vacation. There were acorns all over the stairs and deck to the water, courtesy of a large oak tree and some busy chipmunks.

Some nice-sized twigs were lying on the ground, probably knocked down by an eager chippy or two.

A fantastic, water-worn stump, was sitting on the edge of the dock. I think it could've been drawn a few more times from various angles. Pretty neat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Google is Famous!

Remember Barney Google? (Google for short!) My blue folk art cat, named by my sister Marcia (because he has "googly" eyes) is in cyberspace today. My friend Julien, who is an incredibly talented artist and graphic designer, authors a blog called "View from the Zoo" and put Google in today's entry. Click here to check it out. Thanks Julien!

Rainy Day Vernissage + ATCs

On our only rainy day of the holiday, I decided to have a mini-vernissage. I made 2 invitations (one for Richard, one for his sister Annie) cut from the (now empty) box of pastries from Henrietta's Pine Bakery.

I exhibited the watercolour artist trading cards I had painted of Lake of Bays.

It's the first time I've ever had 100% attendance at a vernissage. Actually I did better than that. Angus, the dog, was in attendance as well and shared some of the cheese that was served. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Henrietta's Pine Bakery

While on holidays in Dwight, Ontario, we stopped in at Henrietta's Pine Bakery, a wonderful old-fashioned place. Lots of really tasty bread...

...and incredible pastries.

Your choice of a moose or bear gingerbread cookie with chocolate dipped feet...

...or perhaps a snowball? In the end-of-summer heat, it's a reminder of the weather to come.

How about a whole (cored), baked apple surrounded in delicious pastry, dusted with icing sugar?

A reminder of the annual Christmastime return of the Nutcracker Suite perhaps?

Or choose a classic Canadian buttertart...

...or the soon-to-be classic, decadent Muskoka Cloud.


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