Monday, January 31, 2011

Robbie Burns Day Cupcakes

Elisabeth helped art direct a set of cupcakes for Robbie Burns Day.

I bought shiny gold cups to tart them up a bit.

In the end, they were pretty darn colourful.

The cupcake girls were pretty happy with the final product.

I even got to try the "food" setting on my camera. Cool!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hairy Woodpecker

He looks fluffy and hairy but he really is called a Hairy Woodpecker! And he posed for me the other day while I was trying my new camera.

He is one handsome bird. And doesn't he know it?

So please, Mr. H. Woodpecker. Stop pecking my house and get back to the trees!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

St. Raphael's Ruins

It was a cold and stormy day and I was on the roads driving around. I came upon St. Raphael's Ruins.

A fire destroyed the interior of the building in 1970 but the clever folks of the area have managed to keep the outer walls up and made it an historic site.

It's only to the public in the summer.

I'll have to be sure to get back here.

It sure is impressive, cold and lonely in the winter though.

Pretty mysterious too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Frozen Fungi

Some interestingly shaped mushrooms growing on the trunk of a tree. They kind of look like coral growing under the sea.

These mushrooms are actually growing from a stump submerged in the snow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Visit From Banjo

My neighbour Rene and his dog Banjo travel the road together on Rene's 4x4 and yesterday I was lucky enough to have them drop by for a visit.

Banjo (who Rene calls simply "Jo") is a great dog and is content to be driven around while she has a bird's eye view of the road.

She's a sweet, friendly dog who wanted to come into the house and have a visit with me and the cats.

When it was time to go, she hopped back on her perch and away they went. I hope Jo (and Rene) come back for another visit soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

100 Things to Eat Before You Die #9

Okay, so it sounds pretty basic. Franks and beans. Not exactly what you'd find at a high end restaurant but yummy nonetheless. I especially love cocktail-sized franks, and kosher ones are the best. Maple-flavoured beans. Yup, it is a dish best eaten around a campfire but still makes my "100 Things" list.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3rd Annual Picnic in the Woods

Sunday was sunny and cold, about -15C but a wonderfully lovely day.

I decided it was a perfect day for our 3rd annual winter picnic. Hot milky tea from the Thermos...

...and warm sandwiches...

...eaten in the fresh air.

Brie, apple and chutney on a warm baguette. Say ahhhh.
Picnics in the snow are my thing. To see last year's poutine picnic, click here. Need more picnics? How about brunch in the woods. Click here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Norman Laliberté

The fabulous artist Norman Laliberté created these banners for behind the bar-area at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Each floor's bar features a different banner, full of music and celebration.

I noticed that some of the bars on the other floors have mirrored backgrounds now. I'm hoping that the original banners have gone to be cleaned because art beats mirror any day!

Lots of detail and fine work around each corner.

My dad wrote 17 art books with Norman and he is a dear, family friend. I was lucky enough to reconnect with him and his wife Laurel at an art show in Montreal a few years back. He's painting more than working with fabric now, but his work has as much joie-de-vivre as ever!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amaryllis Sketches

Go amaryllis go!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hot Cocoa, Plain & Simple

I made myself a cup of hot cocoa last night and thought of my mom. She always made it this way. No instant Quik for us! Do you make it this way?
Add one tablespoon of pure cocoa to a saucepan.

Add one tablespoon of sugar to the pot too.

Add enough water to make a sort of syrup. Stir like crazy to make sure it's mixed well.

Boil the syrup for a minute or two to cook it together.

Add a cup or so of milk -- enough to fill your mug.

Stir to heat through.

Serve and enjoy!
Once in the middle of the night when we were little and there was a thunderstorm, my brother and sister and I gathered in the living room and watched the lightening and clapped our ears at the thunder, while sitting on the piano bench. My mother magically appeared with hot cups of cocoa and we enjoyed the rest of the storm together before heading back to bed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making Tracks

Richard and I went into the bush to cut vines...

...and mostly to walk around and investigate life back in the wilds...

...but mostly we made tracks in the snow.

We saw many, many bunny tracks back there...

...but I had to wonder what the heck these bunny tracks were all about?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mum's Dancing Chicken Revisited

Richard pulled this contraption out of the cupboard the other day and asked me what it was. I replied, "My mother's dancing chicken thingie." Our oven in the country was smaller than the one in the city and too small for a standing chicken, so once we moved, we never made it again. Until this weekend.

Richard's oven is plenty big, so we got a nice-sized bird and stood it up on it's dancing stand. My mother used to make the bird do the can-can. Always made us kids laugh.

In the end, dancing chicken was a fabulous way to roast the bird and now I remember why my mum liked it so much. Dancing chicken will make another visit to a table near me very soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Veggies and Five Cats

I found an old journal with some sketches in it.

A few drawings of Richard's sweet potato squash he grew that year.

This was when I had five cats. Seems so empty in the house now with only three!


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