Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year


We always spend a quiet evening at home...usually with family...have a lovely, long meal...usually fondue...and reflect on the past year. We have a file of our memories going back almost 20 years. Each person who brings in the New Year with us tells us their memories from the year...some good, some not so good...but things we want to remember.

Every New Year's Day, we put the file away. It doesn't come out until the next New Year's Eve, when we pick some years to review before we start recording our memories from the past year.

This year has had it's challenges...radiation treatments (me), shoulder surgery (me), 3 major knee surgeries (John) and months and months of physio (both of us)...but we both consider ourselves very lucky...and loved. Here's to a New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

However you celebrate the season....wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday John

Happy Birthday John!
Another year flew by...I'm so thankful I get to spend them with you.
Happy b-day baba  by Miss M

And what does a lucky birthday boy get to do?
Play with his toy, of course!

Looks like we'll have a white Christmas after all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

I made a little gift for myself a few weeks ago. Right after my shoulder surgery, I was longing to work on glass but my shoulder was too weak. So I painstakingly glued glass baubles on a window (using only one arm) to make a Christmas tree.
After a few additional weeks, my arm was strong enough to do some cutting so I added the background in reds, greens, and clear glass....just a small window to bring some cheer into the house on these dreary rainy days. Looks like this year won't be a white Christmas!

some of the glass looks like it has been etched with frost

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

light show

We kept our Christmas decorations very simple this year since we only have 3 good legs and 3 good arms in our household these days. One of the decorations is a very small tree outside lit with red lights. I had fun the other night with my camera in the dark...moving my camera in various ways as I pressed the shutter. Voila...modern art with Christmas lights!




the blue streak is a reflection of the blue light of our coffee maker on the window

Sunday, December 18, 2011

foxy

G, DIL, and Miss M joined us for the weekend to celebrate John's upcoming birthday. This morning, DIL was an awesome nature spotter. It seemed every time she looked out our windows, she saw something special. First...the fox.
searching for a snack
I have often seen tracks on my afternoon walks, and thought they belonged to a fox (too small for a coyote). We watched while he buried his head in the grass, and leaped and jumped after prey.
look at the size of his tail!
I took some of these photos from inside the house, then threw on my jacket and ran outside with the tripod. I kept a safe distance (he wouldn't let me get close anyway)...these photos are cropped a huge amount.
DIL's second siting was a snowy owl....very rare for these parts. Unfortunately, he was further away and by the time I got outside and close enough, he was gone. Lucky, lucky me...that's all I could think...how lucky are we to live here?

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum

I read about this teenager in today's paper...had to take a look...and thought I'd share it with you. He's 16, and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada...fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

amaryllis

I think of my parents every time I see an amaryllis. I remember having them in my childhood home every Christmas. Both my parents passed away many years ago, but I try to plant an amaryllis every year to remind me of them at Christmas time. This year I was really excited to find an "Orange Sovereign"...I love orange and don't remember ever seeing an orange amaryllis before. I still haven't...this one is definitely looks red to me!



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

just for fun

Just for fun...wouldn't it be great if we could all get along like this dog, cat & rat?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

a walk on Hirtles Beach

near Lunenburg, on the Lighthouse Route
On Monday, while Riley was at the spa, Mulligan and I went for a drive. A quick stop was made to capture the above photo, then we headed to Kingsburg and went to Hirtles Beach. Ah, JOY! 

Mulligan
Because of the surgeries in our household, it has been a couple of months since I walked a beach. I can't explain how utterly happy I was. The only thing that would have made it better would be to have John and Riley there too.

But, John still has some healing to do before beach walking will be possible, and let's just say it wouldn't have been nearly as peaceful a walk if Riley was there!


I tried to film it so you could enjoy it too. This was my first attempt at using the video feature on my new little point and shoot camera. You'll have to suffer through a few seconds of wind noise, and then you'll be able to hear the waves.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Abstract In Yellows

Abstract In Yellows
I received a couple of commission orders for my "window art" in October, and I madly worked to try to get them completed before my shoulder surgery. I promised not to post photos of one of the windows until after Christmas, but I am free to post this photo because the woman who ordered it was so excited that she showed a photo of it to the person who's going to receive it at Christmas!

She wanted an abstract design in yellows, and a design that would look okay no matter which direction it was hung in. This window will be going in the garden...likely some kind of structure...and it hasn't been decided whether to hang it horizontally or vertically. I wanted to make an organic design, and hope that they hang it vertically...pictured here is how I would hang it.

I have torn feelings about commissioned work. On the one hand, I love getting a commissioned order. It makes me feel honoured that someone likes my windows enough that they'll give it as a gift (either to themselves or to someone they love). On the other hand, I feel a lot of self imposed pressure when I'm putting together a specific project. What if they don't like it? What if it's not their vision? I put myself through a lot of anguish that doesn't happen when I just create my own design and then send it off to a store to try to sell. Just like everything in life, it's best to have a good balance!

Coming in the next few weeks: my most challenging commission yet!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

changing perspective

I was given this orchid in August by DIL, and have been trying now and then to get a good photo of it. The other day, the sun was streaming through the kitchen window and threw a spotlight on the orchid. I grabbed my camera and took a couple of photos.
I used a shallow depth of field to put the background out of focus, but decided that the background didn't do any favours to the orchid. So I moved the orchid to our kitchen island and tried a couple more photos.
Then I decided that I didn't like the mix of light and shadows in the background so I left the orchid where it was, but I bent down slightly and tilted the camera so that the whole background was in shadow.
I was quite happy with the final result. Sometimes a little change in perspective is all we need!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

good morning

The sunrise this morning looked promising, so I loaded the dogs in the car and zipped down the road with my camera....actually, 2 cameras...my SLR and a new pocket point and shoot that we "bought" with air miles points.

I wanted the point and shoot so that I'd always have a camera with me. I'll have to play with it some more, but my favourite photo this morning came from my SLR.

Monday, November 28, 2011

birch trees at dusk

Birch Trees At Dusk   ink & watercolour
A little 5 x 7 inch painting I did yesterday...a continuous line drawing of birch trees in ink (continuous line drawing means exactly that...you don't lift your pen until you're done)....with watercolour paint in the background.

I'm pretty happy with it as a first attempt.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

mercy

I heard this on CBC Radio this morning....it's now a new favourite.

Friday, November 25, 2011

today is a good day because

I took this image of a day lily in early morning (a photograph I took last summer) and added the words "Today is a good day because"....
...then I printed the image and framed it....
...and now I can write the reason why it's a good day on the glass using an erasable pen...
...and I can change the reason easily every day. Because there's always something to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

digging out

the frozen berries from the burning bush...at sundown
Looks like we'll get our man home tomorrow! (fingers crossed) Here's hoping we lose some of the snow so the VON can get up the driveway...we need the nurses up here to change the dressing on John's leg. I can do many things, but dealing with that sort of thing is not my cup of tea.
Did I mention that our dog Riley was to the vet on Saturday for an emergency visit? She had a "hot spot" which required the vet to put her under and clean out. She'll be on antibiotics for 10 days, and is wearing a cone on her head. So....that's a dog with a cone, a man with one working leg, and a woman with one working arm. We make quite a household! They say things come in threes....let's hope that's true.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

first snow storm musings

Today is a stormy day...snow fall warnings in effect...which means I am stuck at home while John is one and a half hours away in the hospital.  

On Monday, he had an emergency surgery on his knee. In fact, the 3rd surgery on the same knee in the past 8 months. He had a knee replacement on April 1st...followed by emergency surgery one week later to deal with an infection. We did have a couple of months of good healing, and he was able to make the one mile walk with the dogs and me in the morning to get the paper. But the knee never felt "right". Unfortunately, no one would listen until about a week ago. Then everything happened in a whirlwind....an xray showed that his "new" knee had moved and was coming apart. The surgeon said he had never seen this happen in his 25 years of experience.  So, John was admitted to the hospital on Monday and the two hour surgery to put in yet another new knee was done late Monday afternoon. All is going well so far, and we're hoping to get him home on Friday. (well, John would like to come home tomorrow, but I don't think that's going to happen).

Let's hope the third time is the charm, and we can be walking on beaches again in 2012!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

frosty

I haven't been able to walk the dogs to get the paper in the morning since my shoulder surgery. Holding two dog leashes of two dogs who constantly circle is beyond my one armed ability. So....every morning we jump in the car to go the 1/2 mile drive to pick up the paper. The girls have adapted wonderfully, but I am longing for the day I'll be able to walk them both again.
frost on the car's windshield
There was some lovely frost on the windshield this morning, that got me heading back into the house for my camera. The frost is a bit out of focus, a result of being too close and shooting something at an angle...but I like the photos anyway. These photos have been touched up a bit....I added higher contrast and added a touch of blue. Sometimes it's fun to play a bit with the photo software.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

early morning

A very pale sky this morning, but I had to grab my camera for a one handed photo....loved our small apple tree against the pale sky.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

excitement in purgatory

Our screened in porch is called "Purgatory" (and even has the sign to prove it). It's a good story that you are bound to hear if you ever come to visit us. We did have an unexpected visitor today, but she wasn't interested in hearing the story.
maybe she flew in after seeing the snack bar sign
This female ruffed grouse flew through one of the screen doors and perched in the rafters...gave me quite a fright when I walked out the door to go feed our guineas! We were in a rush this morning (today was the day I got my stitches out), but we had enough time to prop open both doors to the porch, in hopes that she would be able to make it out on her own.
Four hours later (after the trip across to Kentville to see my surgeon, and a side trip on the way home to inspect a 115 year old schoolhouse that's for sale...alas, a story for another time)...we arrived home and the grouse was still in Purgatory (by this time, she would probably think it was an apt name for the porch). However, she was startled by John's appearance, and shot out of the door in a loud burst of flight.
We'll have to repair one of the screen doors, but it's nice to have a happy ending!