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Welcome

Winter Salexmas photo - Copy

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Shop Here

 

My most ♥♥♥ item on my Etsy shop!  And of course it is Canadian!

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OOAK Canadian Ammonite Pendant

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Glass Works Factory (Gallery) 2016 8×10 Acrylic on Canvas available at Fine Art America prints.  A piece of historical Toronto Art to grace your Bower while supporting a local artist…me!

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My children are always on my mind and in my heart each and every day!

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I’d like to feature the first art show that I was involved in since my cancer journey began (I’ve done a few more since) curated by the very busy Lauren McKinley Renzetti….

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“Rose” is in the show…12″x12″ acrylic on canvas

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“Hibiscus” is in the show as well…16″x20″ acrylic on canvas

  Here’s a little blurb that appeared in the Beach Metro Community News about the show:  http://www.beachmetro.com/2015/06/30/beach-arts-scene-49/

Woodbine Park Companions

Woodbine Park Companions”. I have loved photographing the Mute Swan and the American Black Duck for the past seven years. The Swan’s mate was busy in the marsh with their nestlings.

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One of the very best compliments ever……a young lady called wishing to interview me for an essay she was working on for school.  I had never met this young person, but I was so delighted to hear from her! ********************************************************************

 

 

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How do you treat yourself?

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How do you treat yourself?

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Introducing my special humongous hot beverage (or soup) mug…ta da….

“Mama’s Monkey Juice”

To pamper myself I package up a variety of hot drinks to enjoy in the evening.  I binge shop at Bulk Barn for all of the ingredients:

~Ruddy Red Cocoa powder~marshmellows~apple-cider mix~white chocolate mix~a vanilla bean~assorted spices~caramel and mint chips~Skor bits~colorful sprinkles~

Because I love making things pretty I package them all up in seasonal paper (this happens to be Christmas themed) tied up with a bow.  

So when I feel like a bit of nostalgic pampering (that doesn’t involve a tub of bubbly water or a Champaign glass) these are ready to be indulged at a moment’s notice. 

Edibles always accompany this delightful past-time!

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How do you relax and treat yourself?

 

Of Ghosts and Garnets Part 2

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Of Ghosts and Garnets Part 2

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Baby Ugly lay mashed among the other toys in the closet. Otherwise Deirdre’s room was spotless for a ten year old. Even the splintered dried out hardwood floor was waxed with paste wax she found in the basement.  In a corner of the dank basement covered in cobwebs and past wax and upswept grime of unknown floors was a dual head electric floor polisher. Deirdre could imagine loosing her grasp and it flying untamed around her small room so she let it be.

A couple of times a year she applied the wax with a rag paying special attention to the center spot of splinters that would never grease over, never mind shine. They would continue to work their way into her unsuspecting knees. The tall smooth cores of Granite mixed with blood red Garnet, trophies of her fathers misplaced occupation, towered on her vanity.  Mocking the floor’s roughness.

But all of that was far far away from Deirdre’s mind. It was Halloween Night and excitement running around collecting free candy in a pillowcase took every other thought’s place. She smeared ashes from the barbeque remnants of summer on her face. With a shoved pillow under one of her father’s faintly striped collared button-up shirts tied with a rope. The Aunt Jemima costume she wore to school (and every year) that afternoon. Her brother Brendan was a bum with the same smeared ash make-up only he got to carry a stick with a hobo bag tied to it. Though there was four years difference in age they were exactly the same height.

Darkness softly spread it’s tentative fingers signaling twilight and the beginning of trick or treat. Their father and his eldest brother, Jack, who’s blackened nails would flip up and down forever unsecured from his nailbeds,  instructed the rules of the rampage to begin door to door. They each carried a white though greying spare pillowcase to dump the candy goods in.

A big haul was expected. Deirdre’s candy would last until Christmas, far surpassing Brendan’s two week gobble fest. Giving it away to her brother while they played “let’s Make a Deal”. One of the many games she invented to occupy the long Winter boredom.

In every neighbourhood there is always “that family”. In this neck of the city it was the Satao’s. The father was there but never seen, some sort of businessman. The eldest son only briefly caught tearing around in his orange fibreglass Corvette…a cool dude and quite handsome that later Deirdre would have a summer long crush on. The younger son Shawn terrified everyone. It was rumoured that he stuck firecrackers up cats asses…well…you can just imagine the other things angrily proclaimed about him.

The mother got the most attention and speculation. She would often wait at the bus stop in front of Deirdre’s house, bright lipstick and bald head, fashionably dressed and accessorized. Sometimes with a soft hat but most often not. Always colorfully attired teetering on high heels while swinging her purse waiting for the bus. It was murmured “menopause…” and “female troubles”.

Their house was parked alongside the now shattered in a ferocious accident pumpkin colored Corvette.  Across from the elementary school down the dead end street where Johnny Cash once played. A wealthy part of town with Deirdre’s family the only welfares around. The Satao’s house over imposing like all of the others, with a section of the old colonial orchards composing their line dance in the yard.

Deirdre’s best friend Claudette had become friends with the lady and often they would visit her, bringing ripped off branches of mustard yellow flowered trees as gifts. They listened to her stories of the war, of her being a model, and art.

Mrs. Satao’s paintings were large with free sweeping streaks. Aerial views of green, yellow and blue rectangular lines representing war planes in flight. At times she would show a much younger version of herself in black and white 1930’s photos story-telling when she was a model. Turning the pages of the photo album with long painted black nails that gleamed in the light. She had Black hair and the same big and lipsticked mouth, but without the decaying and brown teeth of today. Deirdre was both compelled and a little jealous of Claudette’s relationship with the woman. Deirdre decided she definitely was a Witch. She had put a spell on her friend while putting a curse on her.

The Halloween take out was coming to a close, all four pillowcases now sagged down with weight. “Deirdre…come to the party!”….

Claudette out of breath ran up to her. Deirdre cautiously looked at her father for permission for she didn’t really want to go but off the two girls went to the Satao’s brightly lit and lively home. Adorned for the season with friendly pumpkins and large white pillar candles. Their schoolmates were all there and a bunch of other kids that Deirdre did not know.

It was loud and raucous as any children’s party, with no real flow of events. Deirdre sat perched on a corner of a couch watching. There was sparkling quarters in a bowl for the taking with the rest of the activity a rapid fire blur to the senses.

All of a sudden a “Tickle Shawn” game began, with all of the children laughing and squealing. Each taking their turn at poking him. Everyone was smiling including Shawn, with the biggest smile of all.

Deirdre stood up, out of character and moving to take part in the fun. Laughing and giggling like the rest of the kids, poking Shawn in the belly. Venomously his hand tightly gripped around her slender wrist “Don’t do that ever again!” he said with a dark look on his face, flat brown eyes looking deep into her dumbfounded blues.

A cold chill went up Deirdre’s back as she vainly tried to get away from his grip, quarters falling and tinkling to the floor. He was the Devil! Wondering as she abruptly left why Shawn had singled her out. She wasn’t doing anything different than the other kids. Looking to see if they noticed as she left but they did not seem to see her, still laughing and playing the game.

Her father was outside waiting while her Uncle, most likely one of the first Aids cases to hit the lower mainland, carried a tired Brendan home. Her father’s eyebrows rose up over his glasses in surprise to see her so soon.

Muttering “I didn’t like the party so didn’t want to stay anymore” Deirdre delicately put her hand into her father’s and they walked home. Another fleeting moment of freedom and independence had been lost…Halloween would never be the same. The last memory of her father ever being gentle with her.

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The new bower nest is finally done!

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The new bower nest is finally done!

Well well, this has been probably been the longest hiatus from my blog since it began…took me longer to recover from moving the bower nest than recovering from cancer I think.

With the move I decided to take about a year off, selling and doing shows that is, though a few commissions have come my way–with me squawking  “it’s actually my year off”.  But couldn’t refuse dear friends and repeat customers.  The new bower being much like the birth of a new baby.  All I did with new babies was worked on scrapbooks (really huge ones mind you) and the odd painting commission.

To make it up to you, my wonderful followers, I will be posting two new posts in the coming weeks. “All about Crystals” which is self-explanatory, and, perhaps on Halloween, the ethereal continuing story until my death of  Baby Ugly, with a new episode of “Ghosts and Garnets”.

On the lighter side of this dark and Octobery day, here’s some sun for you to enjoy…

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Time Sure Flies!

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HAPPY CANADA 150 DAY!

Here we are at the start of Summer already!  Time sure flies by when one is busy!  Hope you haven’t been too busy and get to relax this summer.  Me…I’ll be busy moving my studio so haven’t been able to fit in any writing time it seems.  Been a whirlwind selecting new window coverings, changing decor colors…all that fun stuff when moving.

Definitely will be taking time off to have my Birthday picnic at the end of the month!

Today is Etsy’s big Canada 150 promo day so joining the ranks with all of the other Etsies out there with a flurry of social media antics.

My shop will be closed for the month of July and hopefully I will get caught up on finishing my blog posts…”All About Crystal”, “Wondrous Bismuth” and of course the on-going tale of Baby Ugly.  

Speaking of Dolls…the 3rd in my collection is finished!  “Canadiana” has been created in my unique way for celebrating Canada’s 150.  Perhaps you too have a creative element during your celebrations…would love to hear about it!

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“Canadiana”

 

  

Of Ghosts and Garnets part 1

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Of Ghosts and Garnets part 1

Long ago and far away on the other side of this vast Northern Continent – lived a scrawny, filthy and always wary ginger-haired girl and her doll….Baby Ugly.

Baby Ugly was a constant naked companion. Ever present during the days with wild wide open eyes during the night. While spirits wandered through out the rest of the derelict house they could not or would not pass through the Dutch door into their bedroom. Quite possible installed for this reason.

The house with it’s spotlight windows and deep dark chimney that sat on a hill. Whose view encompassed all of the Vancouver skyline disappearing into the fade of the distant ski-hill.

Though the split door hindered the ghosts and other entities, the cast iron air vent way high near the ceiling did not. The vent was usually shut but on occasions the wispy bony spirit limbs would rattle it open, usually as the brightest of bright moonlight flooded the small area. As the lumbering Popular tree branches danced and criss-crossed their grey shadows onto the curtain-less window. To the thud of some departed heart slowed with mud and sea grass.

Not only would Baby Ugly lay there unblinking, but so would the waif of the girl. Who’s eyes were the very same shade of Denim Blue as the doll. Eyes that during the day would seal shut tight to pretend what it was like to be blind wandering around the house… and quite adeptly. Considered good practice being that only one eye was good anyways and blindness may become a regular way of life.

Certainly Baby Ugly and the girl were not afraid of ghosts. They were afraid of the living. The constant threat of bloodshed. The confusion of others. The use of implements on parts that were not designed for such implements. The looks of muddled blatant hate swinging with veiled dirty looks. They were both the unwanted, the not needed, the sore bleeding scab that one picks unconsciously. Only to go to a mirror and pick at it again full of vengeance and with renewed vigor.

We must go back further, before the house, when the scab was new. To the one bedroom slum apartment situated at the race start of the tenement. Baby Ugly and the girl dragging a cereal box on a string and picking up litter with a stick. Neither spoke at that time, with the exception when some kid would kick over the box of trash. Then the girl became so alive and with a tremendously strong pitch, would fire as many lashings at the neighborhood brat as possible. Nobody messed with her duties…

Rose Quartz: The Stone of Love!

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Rose Quartz: The Stone of Love!

Hope everyone is enjoying Valentine’s Day and those who are alone or seeking reconciliation. It is my hope that you have been able to indulge yourself with a piece of Rose Quartz…the Stone of Love in all of it’s forms including self-love!

rose-quartz-heart-17_ink_liRose Quartz expresses itself in many forms…from very pure and pale pink crystals, milky opaque pale pink, banded, and very (sometimes called extra ) red otherwise known as Cherry Rose Quartz. Often the Cherry Quartz has been altered (cultured) to achieve a very pink color so buyer beware!

I like all of them though the most valuable to gemologists is the clearest, most purest, form. The pink color is clear Quartz that has trace amounts of titanium, iron or manganese.

Rose Quartz like all other Quartz have a strong vibration related to all Chakras for healing and is associated with the Zodiac sign of Taurus. Whether you wear it close to you in the form of jewelry or have a single rough or tumbled piece can be beneficial

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Not just for Love-though this is well-known-it also absorbs energy such as radiation emitting from electronics, so having a piece near your computer can lessen any negative effects emitting from close and long term usage of these devices. It also amplifies the energies of other stones making for a powerful combination.

Quartz is one of the best conductors of energy thus the massive use in the electronics industry.  Quartz in the electronics industry is most often “cultured” otherwise known as Lab Grown from a small Quartz “seed” so that there are no impurities to interfere with  the electronic device being manufactured.

The mythology of Rose Quartz goes back to Egyptian and Greek eras. Adonis who was the lover of Aphrodite, was attacked by Aries (the god of War). When Aphrodite rushed to save Adonis she caught herself on a wild rose bush. The lovers mingled blood stained the white quartz to a pink. Zeus felt so sorry for the two and reunited them and thus Rose Quartz symbolizes reconciliation.

Rose Quartz is also the stone of a youthful complexion. Reportedly the  Egyptian Goddess Isis used to rub her face with tumbled stones in an upward motion as she believed this would preserve her beauty. To this day this is practiced by many Egyptian women and is part of modern ritual to connect with the Goddess in the Isis temple in Egypt.

That’s it for one of the most pretty of stones….have a wonderful Valentine’s and next week perhaps we will go back to the tale of Baby Ugly…

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Angelic Orange Calcite

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Even though it is completely cold and gloomy out I’ve decided to focus my attention on Sunnier days ahead with Orange Calcite!

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Calcite and tumbler polishing don’t quite work together well. It is one of those stones that can totally disappear while being tumbled. Usually considered a tumbling process for advanced tumbler people!

I often begin my stone processing in my rotary tumblers. Any variety of Calcite that I tumble needs to be frequently checked on… I only tumble until the desired “softness” of edges has been achieved.

Then comes the handi-work, which is different for each stone. With the Calcites I use very fine grit papers first to remove the initial “crusty” appearance of the stone. I work this stage, sometimes over a period of months, for the glassiest surface shine as possible before using Titanium Oxide for the final polish.

During these steps I am consciously, unconsciously and intuitively deciding on what the piece will be:

Will it be a Wire Wrapped pendant?
A Drilled Specimen for pendant work?
A piece to be set in Polymer Clay?
Something to add to Encaustic Painting?
Or a stone for my own personal collection?

Despite Calcite being difficult to tumble because of it’s harness of 3 (out of 10 on the Mhos Scale), once it is polished it is quite durable.

My sources of Calcite comes from Brazil and rock hounding trips in Northern Ontario.

Perhaps I have such an affinity and Love for Orange Calcite, and Calcites in general, because it is the stone of the Zodiac sign of Cancer. The Orange variety especially emphasizes attributes for Cancerians of which I am a text book example.

Orange Calcite has an important effect on the 2nd Chakra. It is useful in all new beginnings, including birthing, new projects or changes. Orange Calcite is also a gemstone of wisdom, especially for those in charge of other’s fates.

                                How do you imagine Orange Calcite’s effect on you?

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