Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Fundraiser

My second big project this year with Paws For Charity will benefit a small registered charity in Ottawa, Canada called Canines with a Cause (BN # 85755 0735 RR0001). CWAC trains assistance dogs for people with mobility disabilities. Their 2007 budget was only $20,000! It's such a great cause, and they really need our help. So, I'll be collecting your animal photos to produce a "2009 Friends of CWAC Yearbook" and 2010 desk top calendar. Here are the details:

All photos will be printed in the 2009 Friends of CWAC yearbook, a professionally published book. In addition, 12-25 photos will be selected to produce a 2010 desk top calendar.
All funds raised are donated to CWAC.

Important Dates:
September 30th - photos must be received by this date - please send your photos now
October 30th - yearbooks and calendars will be available for purchase

Available Photo Sizes:
Regular Photo Insert (2.2 inches square, 667 pixels): $5
Three Regular Inserts: $12
Half Page Insert: $30
Full Page Insert (5.2 inches square, 1550 pixels): $50

Your Photos: Minimum resolution is 230 dpi.

How to Submit Your Photos:
1. Name your photo: YourFullName-NameOfPet
2. Email your photo to: saraharley(at)sympatico(dot)ca
Include your full name and mailing address (this information will remain confidential, and will not be shared)

Payment Instructions: When your photo is received, you will be sent instructions by email to pay your entry fee. Payment is due within 24 hours of receiving payment instructions, or your photo will not be included in the yearbook, and will not be considered for the calendar. Once I receive notice from Paypal, I will acknowledge receipt of your payment.
All funds are donated to CWAC.

Photos selected for calendars: will be contacted by email in early October.

ALL Photos will be printed in the Yearbook: in the order they are received. (the earlier you send your photos, the closer to the front of the book they'll be!)

Calendars and Yearbooks: will be available for purchase in mid October.

How can you help? Please help get the word out! Feel free to use the photo above and blog/facebook/twitter about this project.

Come on, join in! It's just a measly $5. A little bit from you could mean a world of freedom to someone with a mobility disability.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Art auctions

These are all my silent auction goodies from various "Wet Paint Sales". My first purchase was at the 2008 Lunenburg Wet Paint Sale..."Garden Chair" painted by Anne Fraser. I have looked for information about Anne on line, but I can't find a web site for her and I don't know anything about her. But I love this painting. That chair is just waiting for me to sit in. One thing I learned after last year, was not to bid on watercolours that weren't a standard size...otherwise, framing can be quite expensive. I would have bid on a 2nd painting by Anne Fraser this year (one of my favourite scenes from Blue Rocks) but it was also a non standard size and I didn't want another costly framing experience.

This year I bought 3 little paintings ($15, $20, $25). I can't find info about any of the artists online. Here are this year's finds:
From the Mahone Bay sale, by Pat(?) Galloway. I love old houses, and thought this 5 x 5 acrylic painting was charming.
Above, "Stump" by Mary Catherine McDonnell done in mixed media (ink and watercolour I think). Sorry about the reflection, it's behind glass. Painting is 3 1/2 by 5 inches, matted to 5 x 8.
And tiny "Lunenburg Church" by Nicole Power. Acrylic, 3 inches by 4 inches. I photographed this church back in January while on a photo expedition with my photography club.

Very happy with my little gems!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not so pretty in pink

We had tentative plans to visit Yarmouth this week. We were going to pack a small bag, leave lots of food and water for the cat, take the dogs in the car, and putter our way down the coast to Yarmouth. Next day, we would wind our way up around the Fundy side and back home.

But those plans were put on hold when John felt a lump on Cassie's neck on Sunday. On Monday we were slotted in for an unexpected vet appointment. Our vet told us the lump was one of 2 abscess created by a grass seed migrating into her soft tissues (the likely scenario) or a tumour (unlikely, but frightening). John asked what happens to dogs in the wild when they get these grass seed infections. The vet's answer: "they die". Scary. Anyway, all is well. Cassie had her operation yesterday. Her lump was in fact an abscess so she was anaesthetizied, the abscess was lanced, drained and flushed.
Can you see the tubing sticking out of her neck? It's a Penrose drain and is draining the abscess. We have to clean it with salt water and peroxide twice a day until Saturday, when the drain will be removed.
So we are spending the week at home. John is feeling sorry for himself because it's so hot (not me...I'm glad we finally have summer!) Cassie is feeling sorry for herself because she has a silly pink cone on her head and a tube sticking out of her neck. Mulligan isn't sure what's going on. And the cat couldn't care less...he's sleeping in the coolest spot in the house.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Butterfly Garden

I finished this window a while ago, but have been waiting to give it to it's recipient before posting photos on the blog."Butterfly Garden" was commissioned by E to give to his wife as a surprise gift. They visited us last week for a couple of days and now the window is on its way to Ontario...with a detour through the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton first.I have to admit that I found it hard to let go of this of my favourite creations so far.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lunenburg Harbour

I seem to be spending a lot of time in Lunenburg recently. Old Town Lunenburg was designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site as one of the best examples of a British colonial settlement in North America. Architectural styles span over 200 years.

However, I'm not a history buff and go to Lunenburg because it's lovely to look at, and photograph, and the people are very friendly. July 18th was the Lunenburg Photo Walk, and it was a great day despite the torrential downpour we faced for 3 hours of walking and taking photos. If you'd like to see some of the photographs our group captured, you can check out the flickr site here.

Unlike our photo walk day, yesterday was bright and sunny and warm. We picnicked overlooking the harbour with the dogs, while an artist participating in the Wet Paint Sale painted a scene. Then I headed over to the sale and bought another wee painting (a Lunenburg Church). Then we headed home, and we stopped along the way so I could take some harbour photos.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lunenburg Wet Paint Sale

I've discovered a new addiction...Wet Paint Sales. I first heard of them last year, and attended the sale in Lunenburg (then known as Paint Sea On Site). A couple of weeks ago, I went to one in Mahone Bay. Yesterday I went to the first day of this year's sale in Lunenburg. The artists paint on site throughout the day, then take their art to the Community Centre. They list a "minimum bid price" and a "buy it now" price for each piece of art. You can "buy it now" at the full asking price until 3:30 pm. Or, you can take your chances and bid by silent auction (increments of $5) until the closing time of 4:30 pm. Any unsold paintings are held over until the next day. Half the funds from this sale go to the artist, the other half is a fund raiser for the gallery. I bought one tiny ink and watercolour yesterday for a measly $15 (makes me feel a little guilty about how little I paid!). I talked to one woman who bid on 4 items, thinking she'd end up with a couple of them but was sheepishly going home with all four because no one outbid her minimum bids. It's great fun!

Below is a scene that I found one artist painting:This is her interpretation. I think the final bid for this piece was $85.

I just might go back today!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oh, deer

This photo was taken the last time we saw the sun....six days ago! The scarecrow is a new addition...although it's really a "scare deer". We put it up a little late...the morning AFTER the deer came and ate everything. Every green bean plant, every yellow bean plant, the tops of all the potatoes (no more potato bugs to worry about!), all the peas, the pumpkin and zucchini vines, and the tops of the beets. The only survivors were the tomatoes and some lettuce.

Maybe I don't like having deer around after all!

Update: July 26...Lost the lettuce last night, as well as the rest of the green and yellow beans. Thankfully, we placed chicken wire over the tomatoes. I've devised a plan for next year's crop. Live and learn!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tall Ships Parade of Sail

Up to 100,000 people enjoyed a hot summer day along the Halifax waterfront to watch the 2009 Tall Ships Parade of Sail yesterday.We had a prime location at pier 22, looking out towards Georges Island, complete with a lighthouse. The ships circled the island, and headed on the next stage of their journey.

Below, the US Coast Guard:A topsail schooner, The Pride of Baltimore II (we chased this ship last year outside of Lunenburg to capture some photos as it was leaving):The Portugese sail training ship Sagres, getting towed away from the pier by 2 tugs.The four masted Russian ship, Kruzenshtern, on the right. Second largest tall ship in the world. Sailors line the deck to say good-bye.A perfect (but hot and very sweaty!) afternoon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week In Review

This photo shows one of our guinea hens sitting on one of the skylights of our screened in porch (the porch is called can vaguely see the sign). Unusual behaviour from the guinea...from there it flew to the peak of our shed roof (the shed is attached to the screened in porch). A day earlier, one of the guineas flew into one of the screens and almost popped it right off. The farm maintenance man (aka John) repaired it.

The 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book review has been completed. My last artist was featured yesterday. I'll be sending a wrap up email to all the participants next week, asking for their feedback.

This week I spent 9 hours sitting in a repair shop while my 1999 Beetle was getting worked on. My love affair with my car is waning. Still 2 things to repair...more time sitting in repair shops in my future.

Yesterday we added a large extension on our backyard garden. John took the trailer and came back with a yard of dirt. It was mixed to 3 wheelbarrows full of compost, and put into the newly dug garden extension. I added 12 plants that I purchased on Wednesday and changed the rock work around our pond and voila, it looks like it's always been there. Seven hours digging in the garden yesterday! I couldn't believe it when I asked John what time it was, and he told me 6:00. It pays not to wear a watch sometimes.

Today we are off to see the Tall Ships in Halifax. Hopefully I'll get some photos to share. Tomorrow is the Worldwide Photo Walk....Lunenburg chapter.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Profile: Melissa McDaniel

Melissa McDaniel

Melissa's photograph "Keller" is on page 26 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Melissa is busy travelling the US right now, photographing dogs across the country for "The Photo Book Projects". I've taken some info from her blog to tell you about Melissa, and her project:

Here's to the day when all pets have a loving and safe place to call home.

What started as the thought of "wouldn't it be nice to take some lovely pictures of rescue dogs and deaf dogs with their families" has evolved into something much greater. The more I met people involved in animal rescue, the more I realized there was a bigger story to be told. When some people found out about my idea of traveling over the next six months around the U.S. with my camera and my two dogs in my Mini Cooper Honda Element (the Cooper was just a little too small) and gathering information for two photo books about animal rescue, their response was, " depressing." (Not sure if they were talking about the road trip itself or the subject of animal rescue. My guess, both.) However, I don't hold that view. The stories I have heard are inspiring and while the numbers of animals euthanized each year are still great, those numbers are decreasing. There is hope. I'm setting out to raise awareness about the continuing pet overpopulation problem and learn about ways we can all be a part of the solution. I am be meeting and photographing families with their rescue dogs and deaf dogs, visiting animal shelters and sanctuaries and interviewing those involved in rescue work. I'll be sharing photographs, stories and everything I learn in the process with you here, in addition to stories from the road, including, but not limited to, "Is it possible to find a veggie burger in Texas?"

The final result will be THE PHOTO BOOK PROJECTS. Help me raise $300,000 for animal rescue groups around the country.

I am undertaking two photography projects.
1- a photo book of rescue dogs
2- a photo book of deaf dogs

Both books will be packed full of images of dogs and their families. The idea is to raise funds and to help raise awareness.

While these books will be full of glossy photographs, they will be so much more than coffee-table books. They will also be loaded with information and facts to help educate the public about the problems facing shelters and rescues, dispel myths about deaf dogs, the pet overpopulation problem, etc. I also see the deaf-dog photo book being an inspirational book for people overcoming obstacles in their lives, and a resource for newbies to the deaf-dog world.

I'm a business owner and professional photographer. I'm based in Philadelphia, where I live with my very spoiled 6-year-old deaf lab/border collie mix (Sadie) and 2 orange cats (Fuji & Bjork). Sadie was not only my introduction to the deaf-dog world, but also my introduction to dogs. As the vet said to me when I went in for Sadie's new puppy check-up: "A deaf, border collie puppy as your first dog...well you just JUMPED right in, didn't you!" And, I have to say I did. She was quite a handful! More on Sadie (and life with a deaf dog) later! In the meantime, if you are wondering, "WHY do people need to be educated about deaf dogs?" The quick answer is that thousands of dogs are put to sleep every year just because they are deaf. Please visit the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund for more information.
And another fun photo of Keller:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Profile: Sabrina Helas

Sabrina Helas

Sabrina's photo "Kaiser" is on page 15 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Sabrina's perspective is vintage and her focus is green. Using natural light and the unique spirit of each of her subjects, Sabrina Helas mixes documentary-style photography with a genuine understanding of dogs, children and their nuances.

Sabrina is an eco-conscious entrepreneur running two boutique photography businesses—Cookies and Water Photography ( specializing in our furry dependents) and Milk and Cookies Photography (
specializing in children). After getting herself fired from corporate America in early 2005, she was able to follow her life long dream of becoming a professional photographer.

Ultimately being drawn to the genuine, she abandoned the entertainment industry, stopped moving between New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and settled in Eagle Rock where she now lives with her husband and their two pups. . Her next project, The Senior Project (title TBD), finds Sabrina expanding her portfolio yet again. In this chapter of her work, she will be capturing the wisdom and life in the faces of our beautiful wise elders.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Profile: Blenda Tyvoll

Blenda Tyvoll
Etsy Shop

Blenda's artwork entitled "Beloved" is on page 11 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Blenda is an expressive artist who paints in a variety of mediums which help to convey her vibrant inner spirit. She studied art and design at Marylhurst University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. Blenda is an award winning and published artist, an active member and recent past treasurer of the Watercolor Society of Oregon, and a core group member of Open Studios of Beavercreek. She continues her artistic journey as a full time artist, exhibiting her work at Howden Art, Oregon City OR, in jury selected shows, at her studio and on her website,

Her paintings have been purchased by collectors worldwide, including Great Britain, France, Portugal, Australia, Canada, and throughout the United States. Blenda lives in Oregon, USA with her husband, Joe, a dog Zippy, two cats, three horses, and a 12 year old pet chicken named Gerdy. (Now that's an old chicken!).

Blenda's Artist's Statement--- " My style is defined as original, intuitive, and imaginative, creating paintings based on an emotional response to a subject. The most consistent elements in my paintings are simple shapes, harmonious color, and expressive line. I want to express to you, the viewer, a unique perspective of life by telling my story, using the language of paint and brush."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gardening for beginners

Readers from last fall will remember this post. That day resulted in my frozen shoulder. (still frozen, but no pain for the last couple of months which I am VERY thankful for!) Anyway, here are the veggie gardens starting out: Front left: two kinds of tomatoes (Nova Scotian, Early Girl)
Front right: spinich, 3 kinds of lettuce (2 of which decided not to join us), beets (the newspaper said beets were a great veggie to do with kids since they were so easy to grow. Only 3 beets are growing, so I reseeded them 2 weeks ago. Still no sign of more beets)
Middle left: yellow beans
Middle right: green beans (beans are ok, but not great...beans were one thing I could grow well in Ontario. Nova Scotia seems to be a different story. Maybe the guineas are eating the sprouts?)
Back left: peas (pole and snow)
Back right: potatoes (more on this below)
Out of sight: zuchini and pumpkins

Our neighbours are true country folk, and have the most glorious (and huge) veggie garden. They toured our garden 2 weeks ago and thankfully didn't laugh at our attempts. Some good advice about potatoes, which we have never grown before. Everyone has always said to "hill" postatoes, but I was never very clear on the whole concept. When do you hill them? How high? Why exactly? This might seem silly to someone who has always had a garden, but not to me. Something else I have just learned about:The potato beetle. There have been no potatoes grown on our property for at least 50 years. So where do the beetles come from? I don't know, but I do know that I'm supposed to pick off the beetles by hand and squish them. Yuck. I do it, but I don't have to like it! I suppose it will all be worth it if I get to actually eat any home grown potatoes!

Tonight: we're off to Petite Riviere to see the Porkbelly Futures.
Tomorrow: I'm off to an on site auction in the morning, and Paint Mahone Bay in the afternoon
Sunday: off to the big city of Halifax to Viewpoint Gallery to see a presentation (No Vacancy: A Disappearing History) by Angela Carlsen

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Profile: Kimberly Owen

Kimberly Owen

Kimberly's artwork entitled "Hugs" is on page 35 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here is a bit about Kimberly, from Kimberly:

I never went to school for art, it's just my passion. I actually went to school to become a cosmetologist. I was in that industry for about 10 years and then I went to work for an electronics company in the accounting department for 11 years.

I owned my own clothing retail store for about 4 years and had tons of folk art hanging on the walls, which in some crazy, winding way led me to where I am today. I closed the store and started selling my inventory on ebay and instead of buying folk art pieces I started making my own and selling those on ebay as well. I love mixed media. Love making dolls too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sara's Folly

Some of you know that I use old wooden window frames to make "window art" using coloured glass. (see samples on the right side bar). A few months ago, I was looking for some more windows and put a classified ad in the Rural Delivery magazine (I get 4 free ads each year since I am a subscriber). I forgot to tell John about this, and when we started to get phone calls about windows he was a little surprised...but that's another story. We picked up 8 windows from a local woman and they were in great shape.

I also had a couple of conversations with a man from Aulac, New Brunswick (a 3+ hour drive from our place). He had lots of windows that have been stored in a shed, but they were bigger than I usually use for my window art. And I couldn't get them out of my mind. (this is where the "folly" comes in). A couple of months go by, and here we are......setting out for New Brunswick with our trailer to pick up some windows.We got lots of help loading them up. They were in a loft inside the house, and were handed out the sliding glass doors to John, who then passed them to me standing in the trailer, and then were put into place by the owner's brother in law (pictured above). The trailer got filled with 30 windows, and they all got strapped on. Here is the century old house they came from:Another 3+ hour drive home, and all the windows arrived safe and sound with nary a split or crack. And...the sun shone for the first time in 2 weeks. Must be a sign.So....what are we going to do with all these windows? That's where "Sara's Folly" comes in. We're going to build a green house. Stay tuned. Warning: it may take a while for us 2 non handy people to accomplish this!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Profile: Pat Nadarajah

Pat Nadarajah

Pat's artwork entitled "Sadie" is on page 22 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here is some info about Pat and her art, taken from her website:

I am a Canadian self taught artist who currently draws and paints wildlife and pet portraits. I live with my husband, 2 daughters and 3 border collies. I have always had a love for animals as did my parents and sister.Growing up there was always one or two cats in the household.I began drawing when I was old enough to hold a crayon. It wasn't until 4 years ago that I decided to get serious about drawing again. Balancing a full time job, family and many activities, I found drawing relaxing.

My first choice of medium was graphite. Since I loved animals and was surrounded by a couple in my own home; I started with dogs.I would describe my style as realistic but I also strive to capture the personality of my subject. A couple of years and a few drawings later, I wanted to try a new medium.

Pastels had always intrigued me. I decided that to learn the medium I needed to take a course to help me along. Well after travelling all the way to the UK to take a course with Vic Bearcroft, renowned wildlife pastelist, I have now fallen in love with the medium. The trip was a turning point in my life and art career and along the way I can proudly call Vic, my mentor and friend.

I have had many positive artistic influences in my life. My father was a gifted writer and artist. He always encouraged me to draw and bought me some wonderful books and supplies. I have also been privileged to meet some wonderful inspiring artists in my artistic journey.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Conquerall Mills Horse Pull

Yesterday afternoon found us at the Conquerall Mills Horse Pull. We discovered this event last year, shortly after moving to Nova Scotia. One of the great things about the Conquerall Mills Pull is the home made donuts. The donuts didn't quite live up to my memory, but were good nonetheless.

We've learned a few things about horse pulls, but probably have a lot more to learn. These are the workers who look after loading the weights and raking the pit. After the horse attempts a pull, the concrete pad gets swept, the tractor pulls the sled back onto the concrete pad, the sand gets raked, and more weight gets added to the drag if it's the start of another round of pulls. There is a driver and a hooker for a single horse, two hookers for a team of horses. The hookers are responsible to hooking the horse to the drag, which generally means they are standing in a danger zone in my opinion. Hooking is not for me. The sled weighs 1000 pounds, and each concrete block weighs 200 pounds. "2000 pounds on the drag" means the sled and 5 concrete blocks.Each team gets 3 attempts, and must pull the drag 3 feet. Three feet doesn't sound like much, but when the weight starts adding up it's quite a challenge. If the horses go outside the rails, they've missed one attempt.Looks like this guy was trying to give his horse some help!It's a spectator sport, and there's always lots of commentary from the crowd.But the horses are the stars of the show in my eyes. There are several weight classes. Each horse (or team) is weighed, and the score is a ratio of the highest weight that is pulled by the horse (or team) divided by the horse's (or team's) weight. Usually the winning horse or team can pull slightly more than 2 times their weight.
Oh, and let's not forget the Ox Pulls. The oxen are led from the front and seem to be a lot more ornery than horses. The yoke on these guys isn't painted, but I've only seen one other one that wasn't painted red. Oxen can pull a lot more weight than horses.

So that's one of the things we do for fun on a Saturday afternoon in the country!