Sunday, January 29, 2017

Colour in Our Hearts

Colour in Our Hearts

Dust storms cloud the news
But colour can remind our hearts
Of hope and joy
Of new beginnings.
Beauty growing out of rotted leaves,
Change is always happening.
Soak in the colour,
Breathe in the fragrance of life.

Friday, January 27, 2017


"Wake me up when spring is here."
Our little dog, Jaws, likes to burrow under blankets.  He doesn't have a thick coat but he knows how to stay warm.
We had a brief bit of sun today - about 15 minutes.  It was quite blinding after the weeks of dull weather we've been having.  Still, it isn't very cold which makes going for walks easier.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I watched some Youtube videos by Bill Lupton on painting people in a landscape.  These are people off in the distance so they aren't detailed.  I was so impressed with his skill with a brush.  It felt like I was watching a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I haven't attempted to copy his technique yet but it's next on my list.
We went to see Hidden Figures , a movie about African-American women who worked for NASA during the space race.  It was really interesting to learn about not only these women, but also all the other who did calculations all day.  Ironically, they called them "computers".  One of the women, who specialized in calculating orbits and entry points, is still alive today and, at 98, is sharp and engaged with the world. Another one of the women became an aeronautical engineer and the third women featured in the movie became the supervisor of the mechanical computers.
I'm always on the look-out for movies based on real life events as I find they are more interesting than fiction.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I'm still practicing watercolour painting.  I challenged myself a couple of days ago to do one based on a nice photo of my horse's head, but alas my drawing ineptitude was all too evident.  Just couldn't get his eye properly placed and if that's not right the whole thing looks wonky. I also followed a video by the frugalcrafter on doing a human eye.  That was very instructive and I think I managed the colour not too badly on the practice effort, but again the drawing...sigh.  So today, I decided to just slop some paint around and enjoy the colours.
I hope your winter hasn't been too stormy.  We are getting pretty benign weather which I'm thankful for. Mulling over if I will start any plants and, if so, which ones. Perhaps some basil to start with as it does well in the low light.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trying to do some Watercolour

Funny how one thing leads to another.
My daughter was telling me that she was watching old shows by Bob Roth, the painter, on PBS as his soothing voice helped to put the baby to sleep.  That got me reading up on Bob.  He was very prolific and figures he probably painted 30,000 paintings.  Wow!  OK, he had a formula, but still that's many hours at the easel. He was on PBS  doing how-to shows for years. He felt too many people were intimidated by painting and he wanted people to be able to learn a simple way to paint that would enable them to make a passable picture. By the way, he started painting when he was in the Air Force in Alaska.  He had lots of time in the winter, I guess.
Anyway, all this about painting got me on Youtube and I found a whole lot of really helpful videos on watercolour painting especially designed for beginners like me. Great ones like "5 (or 10 or 20!) Mistakes Beginners Make". Very instructive.  So I've been watching lots of these instructional videos and signing up as a subscriber for my favourites.  And I am attempting to put paint to paper. I'm quite enjoying it. I am not obsessing over all the mistakes I am making and just assuming that with time I will improve.
 Isn't that what old ladies do? Take up watercolour painting :)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lots of Snow

  The weather hasn't been terribly cold but we are getting lots of snow. Even with some meltdown, the snow is  at least a foot deep.  More snow is expected to come this week.  Today is bright and the snow is sparkling.

The snow on the surface is very flaky this morning.  I know, snow is made up of snowflakes, but I mean the snowflakes are very flat and flaky without the classical snow crystals. I tried to capture it with a photo but no luck.  I find snow very hard to photograph.

The hemlock branch is weighed down with wet snow that froze as the temperature dropped.  Quite a few people lost their power because of branches leaning on the power lines.  We were fortunate and only were out for an hour, but others were powerless for a day.  We have a propane heater so even with no power we have heat.  We always have extra water in the house so it's not a big deal if the power is off. Inconvenient, but not difficult.