Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out Of Line?

Something I worked on a few weeks ago...
window before the grouting stage
When I did a mock up of the window, I was going to call it "Out Of Line"....but when I look at it, I keep thinking "Mellow Yellow"...what do you think?  (the flower centre is looks black in the photo)
window with grout applied

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

how does your garden grow?

We moved into our Nova Scotia home in May 2008. Our house was literally in the middle of a hayfield, with not a speck of landscaping. The first thing we did was mow the hay. The second thing was to plant a flowering crabapple tree (something that reminds me of my dad and me growing photos always taken by the flowering crab)
Here is John sitting on the picnic table...we had just arrived and discovered the world of ticks. I think we spent the first summer outside on top of the picnic table...with the fear of getting a tick if we walked on the grass! Ah...times have changed.
Below is the little garden we had at the end of the first summer....courtesy of our garden from Ontario (we drove 2 cars from Ontario to Nova Scotia...John and the dogs in one, the cat, and garden plants in the other car). A small 4 foot garden set on 21 acres!
The summer of 2009, I felt a little braver about the tick situation and decided it was time for a little garden expansion. I added the pond (brought from Ontario):
The second phase of the 2009 expansion extended the garden up to and beyond the flowering crab (at left):
The garden runs parallel to our house. We added a forty foot deck along the back of the house in September 2009, which looks out over this garden. 2010 brought another expansion phase, along with the new clothesline...a must for country living!
Last summer was also the year that our shed was built.

I added a garden next to the shed last year, which is filling in nicely. (that garden was supposed to happen this year, but I couldn't wait). Since the shed garden was installed last year, that meant....
Yes! another expansion to the main garden. Last week, John brought in 5 cubic yards of soil with our trailer and prepared the garden for me. I added the plants at the end of the week (still some filling in to do):
And now we can relax and watch things grow! No more expansions planned...
...well, maybe a bigger veggie garden next year?

Monday, June 27, 2011

going with the flow

John, Mulligan, Sara and Riley enjoying the lakeside property. Photo taken by DIL.
Wish I could say this was our own view, but alas it belongs to G & DIL and Miss M. (our son, daughter in law and granddaughter).   It's not showing in this photo, but it was a bright blue sky (gasp...seems it does happen now and then!) and a glorious afternoon. Our day didn't turn out as we planned...instead we enjoyed lakeside life with our family. Couldn't ask for a better way to spend the day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Before & After: Dragonfly Window

My dragonfly window is almost complete...I just have to etch my signature with a dremel at the bottom of the window. Here is the "before" shot...the window without grout:

Here is the "after" shot...window complete with grout:

I like the way the grout makes the colours pop.  I left the window frame "shabby"...didn't paint it white like I do for most windows. The frame is predominantely maroon, with some off white chips on top. I varnished it with exterior varnish. This isn't my usual style, but I quite like the way it turned out.
detail from the grouted window...the frame has been left "shabby chic" with various paints showing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

in touch with nature

The past week or so has been filled with wonders...both travelling, and at home.
There was the day that I rescued a hummingbird. To hold a hummingbird in your hand is a wonder.  I had opened the barn door to our workshop so that I could photograph a window I had been working on. When I went into the workshop, there was a hummingbird in distress trying to escape the workshop and get back outside through a closed window. I bellowed for John, and the two of us managed the rescue. John blocked the light from the other windows, and I managed to get my hands around the hummingbird....gently carried her outside...and released her. She flew high, high into the sky. And I felt blessed to have the experience.

A couple of days later, I was walking our two dogs. We were returning from picking up the newspaper, and walking up our 1/2 mile long driveway. I could hear the guineas squawking madly, and wondered how many we would return to. (we have lost 3 guineas this year...meals for the local wildlife)

I looked up the driveway, and saw something...what was it? took a few seconds to realize, but it was the most beautiful fox. He trotted along the driveway towards the dogs and me. Our dogs saw him, but seemed dumbfounded, and were still and quiet. The fox was oblivious to us and got within 40 feet...he looked up...saw us...paused a split second...then darted into the woods. Good thing our dogs were on leash. Otherwise, they would have given chase. And again I felt so very lucky for the experience. (I should note here that we didn't lose any guineas this time, but now I know perhaps the culprit of the previous losses).
Our newest guineas....guineau babies are "keets"
Last week we picked up 8 keets (guinea babies) to replenish our guineas (in case you are wondering, we do not eat these guys....we keep them because local lore says they eat ticks). You have to really baby these babies....keep them under a heat lamp for several weeks, free of draft and damp. They are kept indoors for six weeks...time to let them grow feathers and adapt to cooler conditions...and then they can be released. We generally keep them in a dog crate for a few weeks (covered in cardboard so they can't squeeze through the bars,  and blankets to keep out the drafts) and then move them down into the coop.

Day one....I knew two were sick. They were shivering and laying face down...definitely not a good sign. I removed them from the crate, wrapped them in an old dish towel, and shoved them under my sweat shirt next to my tummy to keep them warm. It was a rainy day, and I watched some recorded shows while keet warming. After a couple of hours they started to move and peep.  I was very hopeful as I put them back into the crate, but it was not to be. They were dead by the next morning.

We lost 4 more keets over the next two days. From 8 to 2 in the blink of an eye.  The good news is....the remaining 2 look healthy. They are already growing feathers on their wings, and scurry around chirping.

This morning I checked in on  them and discovered that one was blocked up with poop. This is something I had been warned about...if you don't clean off the hunk of poop from their bum, they can die. Yikes. Imagine if you half crawling into the dog crate (it's a large crate) to remove the keet. I put some water in a bucket and gently wash his bum!!

I can't believe this...yes, I washed a bird's butt.

How did you start your day? Bet you can't top that!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love From Me Update

The Love From Me Project is coming along nicely. The book has been available for sale for a couple of months (available for preview and/or purchase here), and I just heard recently that has approved the book for the "Blurb For Good" program. This means that Blurb will donate an additional $1 for every book sold to our charity of choice. As I mentioned before, all funds raised from this project are donated to the Rose Fund, a registered charity set up through the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. I sent our first donation a few weeks ago....$600.
some of the cards availabe at
This is the third year I have organized an Art Book Project to fund raise for cancer way of giving back. Of course, this year, with my breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, my reasons for doing it are a lot closer to my heart. As part of the project, the 61 artists were invited to have their images from the book printed on greeting cards. Thirty two artists decided to participate, with 33 images available on greeting cards.

Each artist paid for the printing of their own cards, and they received 17 cards for themselves. Eight cards were kept by me and they are now available for purchase online ( . Since the artists paid for the printing, ALL proceeds from each sale are donated to the Rose Fund (less shipping costs) .
32 artists participated in the greeting card project - 33 images available
There is one phase left for the project. I'll be designing wall calendars and they will be available later in the year...a perfect gift for Christmas. I'll continue to update the Love From Me blog with profiles of the participating artists throughout the year. If you are a facebook fan, why don't "like" our project? Click here for the link.
this is my card ... "Hear Your Dreams"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A trip to Shelburne

On Saturday we headed off early (an unusual thing for us!) and took a road trip down to Shelburne. I have a soft spot for Shelburne...I think because we looked at a home there on our first Nova Scotia house hunting trip. The excuse was to attend an auction, but we didn't stay there long. After a brief stop at the auction, we walked down to the water front. John stopped to talk to someone who had a totally restored 1937 Ford Truck in his driveway....he had a conversation (there and back) with the owner and another man. It was a beautiful truck, but I get excited about things like this instead:
I love the old buildings on the Shelburne water front
Show me a ratty tatty old I am charmed beyond words.
Part of the Shelburne Dory Museum

Me and the girls at the Shelburne water front
From Shelburne, we headed to Cape Sable Island...stopped at Barrington Passage at a little teeny place and had absolutely scrumptious fish and chips. After a quick tour of the Island, we headed back to Shelburne on the Lighthouse Route. Just outside of Shelburne, we stopped at a "new to us" beach...Sand Hills Beach...and let the girls have a bit of exercise.
A new discovery - Sand Hills Beach

John and the girls....Look at that stretch of sand!

Riley doing what she does best....torturing Mulligan!
We often take roads just because we have never been down them never know what you will discover. Not much on this road until you get to the end...
You never know what you'll find on the back roads of Nova Scotia
And...voila....another gorgeous beach. But this one was probably far less travelled on.
Another gorgeous beach...found at the end of Blanche Road
Back up the road to the Lighthouse Route, and another side trip into Lockeport. On our first official house hunting trip in Nova Scotia, we also viewed a home in Lockeport. It is a charming town, and has a beautiful beach, but in hindsight it was a good decision for us not to buy there.

It was getting late in the day, so we jumped on the "big highway" and headed back home. And once again I think to myself that I must be the luckiest woman in the world.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The colour of purple

Touring around the garden, I started to notice a lot of purple...seems I must share my granddaughter's love of the colour!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To market, to market

Last Thursday, we headed to the Farmer's Market in Lunenburg and wandered around for a bit...picked up some locally made goodies...and then took a leisurely drive out to Blue Rocks and Stonehurst. When we have days like that, it reminds me how very lucky we are to live the lifestyle we do.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Before and After: Summer Flowers

In April, I blogged about a work in progress...a window I was making for delivery to The Tourist Trap in Musquodoboit Harbour. (you can read the original post here).
Here are the final stages of the window....completed, but before grout:
And...the same window after the grout has been applied:
A final polish, and it will be ready for delivery.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dragonfly Window: work in progress

A window I worked on a couple of weeks ago...currently the glue is drying. Next step: adding grout. The window is from a Lunenburg home (recognize it Linda?)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Minas Basin

Some snapshots from a recent tour around the Minas unexpected day trip caused by the need of a tractor part! My apologies for the various sizes and locations of the photos...I'm having some problems with blogger.