Friday, August 15, 2014


August in Victoria is a most beautiful month. The sun shines day after day and everyone is rushing around trying to pack as much summer as possible into the long days.  We've been taking little trips around the area, visiting tourist attractions like Whippletree Junction south of Duncan...  

spending time in my sister's garden with the lilies that coordinate with her bird house ...

Eating al fresco and taking Geordie for swims in the lakes and rivers...


... and enjoying wonderful produce from organic gardens with friends in the back yard.


This is a salad full of edible flowers that a friend brought over to our place for a dinner on the deck. Isn't that beautiful? It tasted beautiful too.

The back garden is almost finished.  Harry built a fence and a gate and we finally got the Italian spout for the water feature.

Here's the water feature in the evening with lights on. Doesn't is look great? We are thrilled with how everything turned out. 

Just in the last couple of days the weather has changed. On Wednesday we had a big rainstorm and it's been kind of cloudy since then. August usually brings us a weather change about this time. But often it's followed by another stretch of sunny weather.  I hope your August has been lovely too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blogging burnout

I've noticed in recent months that many of the blogs I've been following for a few years now have stopped posting.  I think it's a symptom of blogging burnout. After a while the enthusiasm that we had for posting about our activities and lives starts to fade.

I'm feeling this as well.  I don't want to stop the blog altogether. It's something that I love to do when I travel, but my day to day existence isn't all that exciting. Writing and posting blogs shouldn't feel like a chore so I'm going to be posting only occasionally when the spirit moves me.  It may be weeks between posts, or maybe even months.

Recently I've realized that I havetoo many photographs on my iMac's hard drive. I've spent some time deleting some (over 1500) but I still have more than 20 thousand images.  Way too many. It's slowing my computer down.

I'm going to be more selective in taking photos and in deciding what to write about. But from time to time I'm sure I'll be inspired to put something up here so don't go away completely.

I'll leave you with this photograph of children decorating the road at the Moss Street Paint-In a couple of weeks ago.  I want my creativity and posting to be as spontaneous and joyful as chalk drawing is for these kids.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer flowers

I adore flowers.  I'm always taking photographs of them.  There are over 1,000 images of flowers on my computer.  Lately I've been going through them to try to delete some. In the process I've chosen a few summery ones to share with you on a sunny Sunday in July.

To the left is a little bouquet I picked from the volunteers along the sidewalks in Fernwood.  Behind it you can see our new/old brick wall.

The others are flowers I've photographed over a couple of summers, each from different gardens.

               From Kath's garden, stunning red poppies.

From my sister's garden, a lovely Peace Rose.

                                                            This cheery Zinnia is from Peter's garden up on Haliburton.

A huge mauve Clematis from one of the gardens on a tour we went on.

And soft coloured Day Lilies from Wendy's garden in Comox.

My garden here on Yukon Street is only trees and shrubs at the moment.  Except for this Balloon Flower in a pot.  I'll have to remedy that by next summer.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A walkabout in Fernwood

Time to post a few more photos of our new neighbourhood in Fernwood.  It's such a vibrant area. This is on a wall by Fernwood Square, just the other side of the high school. In the square there's a theatre, The Belfry, in a converted church.

And across Fernwood Road is The Cornerstone. This was a derelict building until it was restored and renovated into apartments above with a wonderful coffee shop on the corner.

It's an old neighbourhood, as you can see, and there are lots of lovely heritage houses. Here are just a few.

Plus there are some very funky and wonderful grocery stores. Some are upscale organic specialty stores; others are very basic ones still waiting to become trendy.

 Not all of the houses are grand, of course. Most of them are small family houses, set very close to the street.

But many of them have wonderful gardens, often with vegetables and fruit trees.

And as you would expect, there are a lot of progressive thinkers (maybe even radicals) that live here. 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

A pink and a blue painting

In the past two months I haven't done much painting but I've found a bit of a groove with a very simple composition that I'm working on with different colours.

Here are two paintings that I like, one is pink...

It's done on a birch cradle that was gessoed to cover over an earlier painting so there is some texture showing through. It's 16 x 16 inches.

And the other painting is blue....

Well, blue and green I guess. To me it reads blue. This is only 12 x 12" and is done on Terraskin, a kind of art paper made from clay. The surface is very slick and the paint moves easily on it, which creates quite a different effect than the one above.

My plan is to do some more work in the square format with this simple compositon and work with different colour selections.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A trip up-island

We live at the south end of Vancouver Island so a trip up-island means we're headed north over the steep and twisty Malahat highway.  Our destination was Comox, where our friends Paul and Wendy live in a secluded forested location right beside a beautiful marsh. They are surrounded by song birds and blackbirds and tame deer and rabbits and squirrels. We spent one evening sitting on the shady deck sipping wine and watching birds come to their feeders. Bliss.

The following day we went to the music festival but I've posted about that before so this time I'm sharing photos of the marsh, the birds, and Paul and Wendy's garden.

The garden has to be completely fenced because of wandering deer and other creatures. They are growing some beautiful things there: food like these berries (plus the salad greens, squashes etc.) as well as flowers like the day lilies seen below.  The garden is surrounded by tall fir trees that create a sanctuary feeling.

On our return trip we stopped at Parksville, the location of the 32nd annual Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition.  Parksville has miles of lovely sandy beach and this is a summer destination for people on Vancouver Island.

We know one of the competitors, Ken Abrams, who also designed the arch for our garden.  Here he is beside he and his partner's entry, titled In the Groove.
Since this is an international competition, some of the carvers are professionals.  Here are a couple of entries from teams that came from Europe.

This one on the right is based on the song Fly Me to the Moon.  And on the left, Breaking Through, shows women playing wind instruments emerging from blocks. All the carvings had a musical theme.

What amazing creativity and beauty can be found on a trip up-island!