Thursday, July 31, 2008

Glengarry Highland Games

On the first weekend of August, the tiny town of Maxville, Ontario (pop. 700) hosts the Glengarry Highland Games when the town swells to over 20,000 people! Everyone is busy getting ready to welcome the masses (and the massed bands) this weekend.

Since it's only a 10 minute drive from my home, I asked my friend Peggi to snap this photo of me in front of the welcome banner and the hand-hewn MacDonald piper. Does this count as a "Big Thing" for my collection, I wonder?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ceramic Stuff This Week

This "Cat and Dot" set would work well for a cup of tea and a cookie? Or maybe for a child's lunch.

A china "Bug Box" to hold little trinkets.

A set of unusual coneflower candle holders...this time to hold tea lights.

A fun sunflower bowl, to serve veggies or just to look at.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chocolate and Strawberry Cake

I made this cake last week to celebrate a friend's birthday. I covered it with white chocolate, drizzled extra-dark (85%) chocolate around the edges and dipped the strawberries in semi-sweet chocolate. I added a small pile of blackberries in the centre of the cake and topped it with another chocolate strawberry. It was really yummy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Virtual Vacation: Picnic

A great thing to do with all the leftovers from our ATC lunch from the previous day? Doesn't peppered goat's cheese, wilted tomato salad, bean salad and devilled eggs just scream "picnic"?

I used my picnic blanket, always rolled up and waiting, and put it in a shady spot under the trees.

The old maple sap bucket held ice cubes, glasses and a cold bottle of lime-flavoured Perrier.

Perfect lunch. Perfect day.

The trouble with going on a "Virtual Vacation" with friends who live in the city, is that they seem to have more to do. If you want to see more virtual vacation, click on John's blog.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mailboxes Etc.

My own mailbox, looking a little rusty around the edges. But I just love my cat flag that I found on a trip to Oregon some years back.

A lovely little folk art painting on the side of this mailbox.

A little log cabin mailbox -- very cute.

Okay, this one wasn't on our delivery route, but I saw it on the way to the grocery store and thought I'd snap a pic. Pretty cool racing car mailbox for a place called Mr. Rad.

I found it pretty interesting how curious these cattle were and how they watched us as we pulled up to the mailbox.

Why does a snapping turtle cross the road? Not sure but he was right beside the mailbox as we drove up.

All in all, a really fun experience. Can't wait till I get called on to do it again!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bastille Day ATCs

I used some fantastic rubberstamps by Catherine Moore called Character Constructions which I got from Jennifer (click here to see more of her stuff at the Milkhouse Gallery). I added bright watercolour backgrounds and just had a bit of fun with these ATCs.

I did a bunch of these with my "ATC Make & Trade" gang a few weeks back for our Bastille Day (July 14) meet and I liked them so much I did more for today's monthly trade with our Dunvegan ATC group.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More From Down the Road

Some of the mailboxes on our route seem to be held together with wire and bubble gum.

Others are down right pretty and practical too. Their watering can is tucked in right behind the mailbox.

Simple yet clever. A sort-of visor, made out of a piece of plastic has been duct taped to the edge so no raindrops will fall on their mail.

An old metal hand pump makes a great home for a mailbox.

Swinging from an old electrical post, complete with its original insulators, is this funky mailbox.

Today is my last day delivering mail as the regular gal is back next week. I'll miss seeing the deer and goats, saying hi to neighbours and drinking our daily Tim Horton's coffee. Did I mention that between the two concession roads on the route is a Tim Horton's? And yes, we have to go in because they get mail too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Virtual Vacation: Good Eats #1

Going on vacation usually means great meals in great restaurants. A virtual vacation? Local meals at local restaurants. This one at the Dong Kong Café, all you can eat Chinese buffet in Hawkesbury.

Okay, John and Nancy. It's not exactly the foie gras we had at Blue Hour in Portland (and no, Sting was not seated at the next table). But you know, it wasn't half bad.

To see more of John, Nancy, Richard and Ronna's virtual vacation click on: Nancy's blog and John's blog and Richard's blog.

Folk Art Mailboxes

While on my mail delivery route, I snapped a few pix. This mailbox is a tiny handmade barn, complete with shiny, tin roof and little hand-hewn window frames.

This ingenious creator added a door handle for easy access to the mail.

Why be fancy for a handle? This extra large bolt works perfectly well.

This mailbox has seen years of delivery. It's almost elegant handle could formerly have used on a kitchen pantry or screen door.

This box is a deterrent to those who smash mailboxes. It's created from a heavy, steel pipe. The door is so heavy, it's hard to lift.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Folk Art Workshop

My friend Flip attended "Heart and Soul: Quebec Folk Art" last week at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec and decided to hold a folk art workshop of her own. She asked us to bring a few odds and ends, paint, gesso, and anything else we thought might work on a naive sculpture. If we needed some wooden parts for bodies, ears, legs, etc., her husband Robin, a fabulous woodworker would not only supply his extra off-cuts to us, he'd also help us assemble our sculpture.

I found the leftovers of a circle and decided it would be a perfect body for a cat. I also found a large, flat circle and Robin attached it with a 3/4" dowel to the body. He also added a dowel for the tail. We also found 2 triangular pieces of wood for ears. He did a rough sanding, drilled in screws for the eyes (old, china door pulls I had brought along) and inserted the nose piece, which was an electric wall switch I found in my hardware drawer.

Then I needed to seal up the wood with a few coats of gesso.

Meanwhile...Holly sanded and painted a large piece of cedar she rescued from the back woods. It is to become a garden gnome. Barb worked on a pair of horses that sat on four wooden wheels (that actually turned!) and Flip worked on a big orange cat (that she later decided to re-paint black).

I decorated my cat with a coat of blue house paint and black spots. I also added a bit of pink for his ears and mouth.

Robin helped me find the perfect thing for his whiskers -- some wound up wire inserted on either side of his face. Now all he needs is a name. Any suggestions?

Going Postal

I'm replacing the vacationing rural postal delivery gal this week. What an adventure. Thankfully, the driver knows the route; I just have to put the (correct) mail into the (correct) mailbox and lift the flag. At my peril, I might add. Two mailboxes had bird's nests in them. Several other boxes were filled with ants and earwigs. Yuck.

Interestingly, some of the creatures that were happiest to see us weren't always human.

Sorry, no mail for you today, Bucky!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Poutine Chronicles

Since Richard and I aren't going out west this year to vacation with friends John and Nancy, the four of us have decided to have a virutal vacation together. This includes finding the ultimate poutine (easier for us here in eastern Canada than for them in Oregon!) and doing goofy things near our own homes and sharing them on our blogs.

Hey John and Nancy. Check out the chicken poutine found at Casse Croute du Coin on our way home from Lachute, Quebec yesterday.

And look at the many kinds of poutine offered at this place. Too bad we weren't together...we could've tried out a few more varieties.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Let Them Eat...Tarte?

Yesterday's ATC Make and Trade session was held at my house and the theme was Bastille Day. After all our hard work making ATCs, we trade and then have tea and cake. I wanted to buy some French pastries but living out in the country, they're pretty hard to find. Instead, I bought a lemon tarte and decorated it with the colours of the French flag. (The golden and red raspberries were from my own plants.)

Here's a snap of the gang hard at work. Was a really fun afteroon. And the ATCs were fantastic!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Evenings

Colour pencil interpretation of how I'm spending my summer evenings. Doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Hollyhock Summer

Hollyhocks abound here in Dunvegan this summer. I've had a bunch growing in the front of the house for several years now, cozying up to the fantastic bee balm.

Those holllyhocks seem prettier every year.

I must've thrown some seeds into the garden at the back of the house as well. These ones seem to be in every shade possible, from deep pink, pale purple to white and yellow. And they are well over six feet tall. Amazing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wildflower Garden

A wildflower garden sort of popped up in the middle of my lawn. I think my mother planted a package of seeds many years ago and they migrated into the lawn. So now we just mow around it. Pretty amazing.
If you want to see a few silly shots of me, go to Richard's blog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Art Journal: Canadian Immigration

The theme of this month's round robin art journal was Canadian Immigration. It was a challenge but I was pleased with what I came up with this time...


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