Thursday, March 31, 2011

lastest art project

I have been very busy this past couple weeks. Meet my latest art project a painted cow skull. Over the years I have done a couple of these and still have one very interesting large one left to do. I wanted this one to be very bright and I believe I did just that.So funny,considering all the feathers I have had over the years ,living on a farm and now that I am living in town, well no feathers. I was desperate for feathers only finding small ones at the local in town dollar store, no good for what I needed. The other day I put a want ad on Kijiji looking for turkey feathers but didn't receive any answers, so off I went again looking to buy feathers and finally in the other dollar store I found something I could use. The bright colors are from my sheep's wool supply for needle felting, I like the colors and it works just fine for the effect I wanted...color. A coat of spar varnish has been applied but I would suggest not hanging this outside in all weather but it could be put in a shaded area in Summer and brought in when raining, because of the fur.

Today is a beautiful day and I plan to hop on my bike for my ride, a stop at Frenchy's for a search for treasures and then home and work around the yard and make plans for Summer relaxing and clearing out the old bunk house, turning it into a gym room and putting the bed from there in what we call our bird house , which is a little shed that looks like a giant bird house. It will make a better place for company in the Summer, you will be able to fall asleep while watching the fire die down in the fire pit just outside the door. We have a window to put in the back and will have to build a screen door which should be no problem . There is so much work to get done before the weather gets hot, but no chances of that just yet. Yesterday was a lovely day and I saw!!! warm weather and flies. Unlike when we lived on the Medway River we would see the "Salmon Flies "and we knew Spring has sprung as well as black flies and I so do remember them...I still have my bug jacket from back then,would never get rid of that,just in case.

So I will take off and hopefully have a very productive day ,tomorrow they are calling for a lot of rain. Housework day on Friday and maybe drum in the afternoon, sounds like a plan to me :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

a special Lady indeed

I have been painting up a storm this past week and will post a picture of it here as soon as it is complete. But today I want to share news about a Dear Lady ,Margo Zwicker who is one of those people who volunteer at just about everything and seems to have endless energy and a contagious laugh. She always makes everyone feel welcome and special. I first met Margo in 1985 when we moved to Charleston . Our first meeting was just after we moved in and we put our baby in his stroller and we wheeled to the local Charleston Fire Hall for the Roast beef Dinner..yum, still as good as it was then. We were greeted at the door by a lovely lady Phillis who we found out later was Margo's Mom. Phillis has since passed, an Angel for sure this Lady was and still is in Heaven and always will be remembered by all who had the pleasure to meet her. We were welcomed to the community that day and to our surprise, my it is a very small World, here sitting with Phillis was a wonderful soul who we met years before in Halifax at the Hotel we would stay at when I would be delivering Chuck to the Airport to fly out to the rigs, we became very fond of this Lady Grace and always looked forward to seeing her whenever we stayed there, she was our waitress and she took a liking to us as well and was as happy to see us and we were to see her. So this day we were taken aback when we saw her in Charleston , us saying what are you doing here ?and she with the same question for us. Well come to find out Grace and Phillis were best friend's and Grace often would visit Charleston and we were blessed to see her many times over the years after that, even though we no longer would be delivering Chuck to the Air Port, I guess we were meant to remain in contact with Dear Grace . She meant so much to us that I remember when we first found out we were with Child ,that we made a point of stopping into the Hotel to share our good news with her and after the Baby was born we again made a point of dropping into the Hotel to introduce our son to her and here she was still in our lives after we bought our new home in Charleston, I refer to things that happen like this as things that were meant to be.

So back to Margo, Chuck joined the Fire Dept. and I joined the Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary and the fun began. I was the youngest in the Aux. We had a yearly event with all of the Local Fire Dept. Auxiliaries and we called it "Fun Night" it was a pot luck at the different Departments where we would eat ,put on skits and laugh until you couldn't laugh anymore. Of course Margo and Phillis would be all set to put on a funny skit and I jumped right on board with them and we had some good old times, we even roped Chuck into joining us a few times. Now Dear Phillis was not as young as the rest of us ,but did that stop her? I say "Not"!! she was all set to do anything for the fun of it and we did just that. Since we moved to town in 2007 Phillis as well as Margo's husband have passed and we were so concerned for Margo but she being the person she is ,has stayed busy and still volunteering at everything she can, she has her infectious laugh still echoing everywhere she goes.Here are pictures I took from the news last Friday when our Margo was awarded "Maritimer of the Week" and check out all her buddies from the Seniors club ,and the Little Senior yet to be,( Little Girl) with her.

Whenever there was a reason to dress up for a skit or Halloween, anything at all, she is on board . As well as volunteering she also is extremely talented ,with her own Ceramic business back in the day.

I believe it is time for Margo to be recognized for "Provincial Volunteer of the year" she is very deserving of the title and I know her day will come. Hats off to you Margo...Hats off to you .

When I think of all the fun we had over the years, makes one feel very satisfied and fulfilled.We all try to do the best we can but for some people,very special people ,it all comes very easy and we are Thankful for those People, and this Lady is one of those Gems.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1st Day of spring 2011 and one of God's Creatures

I Was going to wait to write about our first day of Spring 2011, but it ended up being even more of a lovely day then I knew it would be and I couldn't wait to share . Our friend invited us for brunch with another dear friend and we went with camera in hand because we were going to walk the beach after we ate and I was planning to get a few scenic shots for future paintings, it being such a wonderful first day of Spring and all. Well look here at what we saw..above ,WOW!!! a seal.

Isn't she wonderful ? I say she ,I didn't get close enough to look and would have no idea really what to look for, if you get my drift ? After having a delicious brunch with great conversation and company ,looking out at the ocean, ate our bellies full and then we took a walk to a nearby beach, I won't share what beach ,because some people don't like seals and they,seals can be dangerous although they look so cuddly to me.

I must sadly confess, I think I had a pair of Mukluks that looked like Missy Seal back in the sixties, another reason why I won't share where I saw her, although here anywhere in the Maritimes this is a regular site to be seen on our shores especially in the Spring. Today was such a surprise, we were chatting with folk's we met on the beach with their dog and our friend's dog . The dogs were chasing their balls ,we were talking and enjoying the view, I thought I saw an orange ball beside a large rock and as you can see in the picture the orange ball was a piece of plastic and the rock was a seal. My friend said ,look ,there is a seal, she saw it move and me with my camera Iwas not going to leave without a good picture so I could then share here on my blog with you , well thanks to the gentleman who who we met today who took this picture and many of the better shots I have . Chuck had walked back to get the car and wasn't there to take the shots of me near and with the Seal and the Ladies had to keep the dogs at bay while I got closer to get a picture, as you can see by my stance , I was ready to run,and she did put on a show , I of course understand we to were making her nervous and I really did not want to stress her in any way although I had to have a few shots , so Thank you Bob ,we got some good pictures of this gem and me near her,thanks to you.

I remember when we were inshore fishing for a spell when Chuck and I first met back in Lunenburg late 70's ,seeing the seals sunning on the rocks just outside Lunenburg Harbor while we motored by ,heading for our Cross Island fishing spot.Watching them roll over on their backs exposing their bellies to the warm Spring sun.Today this seal was making some interesting noises and I think we might have been pushing it with getting too close ,but as you can see here, I wasn't anywhere all too close, I believe before we left she went back to relaxing in the sun and the dogs ignored her. The snort she gave and the little sounds coming from her were very interesting ,this was a first for me to hear these sounds coming from a seal.You might say she was talking ,so I told her not to worry and I would leave her alone, I believe she knew she was safe.You would think I just dropped out of some big city or from Mars with how excited I was to see this creature today? It has been all too long, living in town this past four years and not on the Medway anymore where I would see and hear so much nature around me everyday, having back then Coyotes stealing our chickens right from our back doorstep, seeing droppings from the old Sow Bear who crossed our property every Spring and Fall, she would actually walk down our river path, and would hang out at our River swimming spot on her way through and enjoy our apples. I remember one time my since departed Dad Mort and our son Clay who at the time was only maybe ten, he and Dad were camping down at the rivers edge for the night and one of our cows(Chloe?) escaped from her pasture and was in the camp site ,almost stepping on the tent, getting caught up in the tent ropes when being chased back into the pasture, Chloe being the way she was,not to be easily led, unlike her Mom Katie,who was a dear, we ended up selling Chloe. Dad laughed about that, he said,"it's never dull here" so true,catching pigs when they escaped and putting them in feed bags to get them back into their pen, have you ever tried to catch a pig and carry it? can't be done :-) but if they are small still you can stick them into a feed bag and put them in the wheel barrow and good luck from there. And when they get bigger, well I will share that story another time. Then there was the time our Catholic Priest friend, Father Wayne, gave us communion down at our swimming hole in Charleston and as he was doing his thing and we all felt so warm and spiritual, he saw me twitching and looking like I had a mouth full of news to share, he stops with the ceremony and asks me if there is something I wanted to tell everyone, here was a Momma muskrat swimming right there not feet from us ,with a mouth full of grass for her nest ,and not two feet from her on the shore here were our three pigs and Katie the cow and Pippy the goat ,they had followed us to the river ,right there, having communion with us. You see , back then I would see wildlife daily, here in town ,not so much. I Today it felt like a first for me, maybe we should all make a point of getting excited everyday over even maybe something we see everyday, look at things with the eyes and heart of a child, hummmmmm...sounds like a plan to me.

Happy first day of Spring all, and may we enjoy every day to come and always think of those who around us World wide have real hardships.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

second hand Rose or Deb?

Well This morning on the today Show they were talking about shopping second hand, these days it seems to be fashionable to shop in thrift stores. I have been doing second hand since a child. I would search the attic as a pre teen for my Mom's old dresses and would cut them off making them into mini dresses and add lace and a new belt and have myself a new outfit from something old. I don't recall my Mom encouraging me to do this ,where I got it from is beyond me. Back in 1969/70 ,we had our first Frenchy's used clothing store here in Liverpool. It was behind what was then the Dominion grocery Store and is where Curves Gym is today. Myself and the many girl's from the local Fish Plant were the only people shopping there, I wore a lot of Turtle Necks back then and had one in every color and can remember shopping and smelling the fresh fish smell from the girls on their breaks with their hair nets and rubber boots still on. Over the years I continued shopping second hand and when I lived in Lunenburg in 1974 we didn't have a Frenchy's but the Anglican Church ran a little second hand store ( The Economy Nook)down by the Bluenose Lodge and I believe it has since been torn down .Everything in there was 10 cents not much more, one day while out on my bike I went in and low and behold there was a muskrat full length fur coat for $5.00 ,wow!!!I simply had to have it, my bike back then was nothing like my bike today, my bike today has a wicker basket as well as saddle bags, my bike back then was a 12 speed ,no where to carry anything but a water bottle. Not wanting to leave this great find ,I bought it,I forgot to mention, it was in July when I found this treasure, so here I am on my bike in July with a full length Muskrat coat on and anyone who knows Lunenburg knows very well there are a lot of hills and I lived at the end of Pelham Street. I made it home, took a bit longer and I must have lost a few pounds of sweat that day ,as well I bet I got a lot of looks...but I had a great coat, I might add to wear that following Winter with my steal toed work boots, I was a forklift driver ,shipper and receiver at ABCO,another story to yet be told:-). So this has been in style ,shopping second hand for me ,for ever. Here in this picture of Chuck and I on our Wedding day in 1983 take notice of my lovely cream color lace wedding dress and Chuck looking so dashing in his Tux, so handsome we were back then and still today because of our bad eye sight in our later years.:-) I remember while Chuck was away at Sea and I was home planning our Wedding , going everywhere and bringing home dresses ,trying to decide just what I wanted and finding nothing I liked, getting very frustrated ,one day after returning three dresses which simply would not work for me, being so unhappy with all I tried on. That one day I went home and sat in deep thought ,I had days before picked up a wonderful pink satin curtain and I had two Antique Cream color lace curtains planned for our bedroom window. I held up the Satin and put the lace over it and a bright light came on in my head, there was my dress. I made the pink satin into a spaghetti strapped under dress/slip and not wanting to destroy the lace curtain because I wanted to return it to my window after the wedding, I designed the outer lace dress to look like a lace jacket over a lace dress, folding both lace curtains over to the front and back , tacked them together at the shoulders and cut down the front of the one front curtain and basted the raw edges , I wore my Mom's wedding Amethyst necklace ,given to her on her wedding Day by my Dad and bought my shoes along with Chuck's shoes at Bills Store in Mahone bay for under $20.00 for the two pair, and there is a follow up story I will share about Chuck's shoes, so as of right now ,besides time ,my wedding outfit has cost me not quite $9.00. After the wedding I took the lace curtain dress apart and hung it in our first home. Yes I did, all I have left are the pictures and pink Satin under dress,which no longer fits me,what should I make from it?

Now for Chuck's shoe story. Remember I got our shoes at Bill's Store and they were on sale, we were married by our Dear Friend and morning coffee buddy Rev. Bruce Howe who a few years just after us moving away lost his Wife to Cancer and he moved with his three girls to Ontario where last we heard he rose very high in the Anglican Church and became a Bishop. Our car streamers were made from scraps of Spinnaker cloth which back then,not today I am sure were being thrown out from the nearby sail making loft. Our homemade invitations ,read in lieu of gift bring food and drink. Our flowers were picked by us from a field outside our rented house down by the Ocean. Back to the shoes, Chuck remember was at Sea while I was home making wedding plans and when he got home ,he and I headed again to the second hand stores to find him a suit, we found a great Tuxedo for $40.00 from the Salvation Army thrift store in Halifax,which we did think it was a lot back then, but so worth every dollar. So Chuck was all set to go, the day of the wedding he got ready at our Best Mans house .We went ahead with the ceremony and Bruce led us to the Alter to kneel as he wrapped our hands with a ceremonial cloth and while there we heard a little sneaker from the congregation. Come to find out later ,Chuck still had the international orange SALE sticker $9.99 on the bottom of his shoes, his Father did photograph it and he has since passed away and we never did get a copy of that picture . We laughed about that for years and still are laughing today, it must have looked like I payed $9.99 for Chuck and him being such a good cook and all, I really lucked out,you might call him the "Catch of the day" . Our homemade punch for the wedding was made in clean white buckets from the Sauerkraut factory down the road and we covered them with pretty fabric and ribbon, as folk's came to our home for the reception they would bring a pint or so and add it to the "with punch" we had store bought flowers brought to us from Ivan ,"Cosby's Garden center". Our friend's brought their Kid's and we had a huge slumber Party well into the morning ,we ended up sleeping in the back of our friend's car after we gave them and the Kid's our room . We were suppose to have left for Yarmouth the night of the wedding and catch the ferry the next day for Bar Harbor but we were having such a fun time we ended up staying ,like I said in the back of our friend's car where they were going to sleep, well while we were getting ready for bed ,they ,everyone who was there had a bit of fun which would be at our expense later, like the Princess and the Pea ? Chuck and I slept on a dog chain which was hidden under the very thin mattress in the back of their car. We got in our big Yellow truck the next day and headed for Yarmouth smelling fish the whole way and actually days ,many days later and while getting parked lower deck in the confined ferry headed for Bar Harbor we kept smelling fish,looking all around for a fish truck, guess what? yup, we found out way after the fact that indeed the fish smell was coming from under our truck hood, we found fish bones weeks later. Our dear friend's put fresh fish somewhere under the hood of our truck,here we were looking at everyone else thinking they smelled fishy and the whole time it was us :-)

So when it comes to second hand Rose's, well I must be one.

Adding just a bit more about St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg, the one that was so sadly almost burnt to the ground some years back now. I sang in the Church Choir back then ,the whole time I was pageant with Clay ,I remember I would drive to Choir practice Friday nights while listening to Blue Grass on the car radio and then go into Choir practice and when Clay would hear the pump organ or should I say he must have felt it as well for he would turn and move and dance around inside me, today he enjoys listening to "Johnie Cash" that's our Boy:-) Johnie Cash?

I made a banner for the Church from all recycled materials ,which I was so proud to see hanging on those wonderful walls , I will try and find a picture of it ,I assume the banner was lost in the fire. We were living in Charleston on the farm when we took Clay back to St. John's to be Baptised,back to the place where we sang and were married .There is a picture of Clay and I up in the Choir dressing room with all the Choir Girl's that day . We lost his "Binky" going into the Church and Rev .Bruce had to stick his pinkie in Clay's mouth to stop him from crying during the Ceremony, found the "Binky" later under the car seat. Leave it to us, never boring.

So when this beautiful Church was almost destroyed ,we were along with so ,so many People ,heart broken. Today it is rebuilt and a Blessing for that..
Above is the Church banner, I had to scan and upload small but will give you an idea of how it looked and maybe someone out there reading this may remember seeing it,from back then. .

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan and friends there

Well the past two days has been a worry with all the devastation in Japan. I met a lovely Lady Katsue from Japan a couple of years ago ,she has come by my Gallery and we have become chums. A lovely hard working woman who's Love for Canada and especially Liverpool Nova Scotia has given her the determination to save and save so that she could return to our shores . She is a great friend of a lovely Lady who works for a local Elementary school here in town and Katsue has volunteered her vacation time to go to the school and share stories about her home land Japan with the children.
Before I continue I want to share the good news as of Friday 5 PM the day of the Quake,Katsue and her Family in Tokyo are fine but scared ,understandably. Over the next day or so I will hear more so prayers are being sent their way and I will return here with updates .
Last summer Katsue was visiting and she brought me a Japanese fan and made me two origami's as well she wrote my name out for me in Japanese. She is such a wonderful gentle soul who works so hard in a grocery store in her homeland,saving every penny so that she can return to visit with us all. Watching the news ,seeing what these people are going through is bad enough but to actually know someone from there and understanding and imagining what they are going through brings it all too close to home, very scary indeed.So our thoughts and prayers are with all of Japan and we pray all will settle down soon and that no more lives will be lost . I will keep my Origami's close and feel her energy and keep her up front in my mind and heart.
I have met so many people over the years because of what I do, and am very thankful for that, kind of makes the World a very small place and we are all one family.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Celebrating life

This week I have been fighting with a head cold which just will not give up no matter how much I try to be positive and healthy.
I am sharing this painting with you of my "Plover's" today for a very special reason ,Clay (my son)and I many years ago now were the reason Summerville Beach had a detour closure along the Beach for a couple days, we found a Plover nest and the goings on from Mom and Dad plover were so interesting, the way they were trying to get our attention so as not to have their nest and eggs discovered, why they choose right in the middle of the Beach, who knows . We called the correct authorities and we were so happy to help these bird's but other's were not as happy because of the Beach closure..we had to do what we had to do:-) these are beautiful bird's ,how they dance along the shore line and fly off in such a cluster. Celebrating life as they do,and the joy in their celebration brings to mind my Dear friend and once music Teacher Dorothy Killiam who is in her 98th year of a trying life at times but always she took everything given to her with so much class, Dear Dorothy is in the hospital and is not doing well. I haven't been able to see her in the past week because of the fact I have this nasty virus and dare not share at the hospital. But ,she has been up front and on my mind, I remember so much about her,but one of my favorite times spent with her was when I was very young and she was my solo instructor for the up coming annual Spring of the year Music Festivals. I went to a little school called the Gorham school my first 3 years of my schooling and it was where the Liverpool Fire Hall is today. In the New Year after school a couple times a week I would walk to Mrs. Killiam's house for my lesson. I became friends with her daughter years later but she went to a different school then me back then and we hung out together when we were older. During my after school lessons I would hear my now friend in the back of the house talking with her Dad,he always seemed mysterious to me, he was neat as well and I remember years later when he was older , he would sit out in front of their house with his pet Guinna Pig, and I would sit with him and talk with him while petting his Dear pet.
Dorothy would still have her Christmas decorations up during my lessons and I always remember a gold colored mobile of Cherubs which moved around when you would light the candles under it, all these years I have been looking for one of those.I see this still in my head and have many times mentioned this to her and my friend. When we moved to town not long ago ,she was still living in her home and I would see her walking to town in her Tam , beige Trench coat ,gloves and scarf. This lady is special and at this very moment she is on the slid of life, the rude awaking we all must endure. My Mom died so very long ago now, in her 53rd year and I so wished I could have been with her for some what longer, I see Dorothy at this age, Thank God she was always healthy and independent and seeing her while she has been in the hospital these past weeks breaks our hearts because we see her independence taken away , maybe my Mom will great her on the other side, maybe she knows just how much Dorothy influenced me all these years and how much I wish she and I could have had the years that my friend was blessed with her Mom.
Lately ,it seems always to be and at this age ,we notice and feel just that much closer to our demise. As hard as it is to hang in and stay here and heal from the loss of our loved one's passing,I honestly believe we are all here for something special,it may not be big, it may not be wealth,it may be as simple as putting a smile on someones face, so small in gesture ,so big in meaning. This is what Mrs. Killiam, my Dear Dorothy did for me. Valentines Day I took her some Chocolates and she said the most beautiful thing to me and I will never forget it as long as I live, she referred to me as "sunshine" and considering we were in a dreary hospital room, I am Thankful I could have brightened her day, for she did mine.
Thinking about Dorothy and the fact she may soon be making her final journey ,at even the thought of celebrating such a wonderful Woman's life when she is gone ,just breaks my heart, so I want to put it out there, celebrate everyday, any day you can. Give Thanks to whatever God you Love for we need to believe in life as well as the after life and we need to think and feel for those who no matter how bad you think you have it,there is always someone out there hurting even more badly, beaten by what we call life ,knocking you down,tearing your heart out with sorrow. I attended a funeral of a young man who died in a tragic accident a while ago now, some of you reading this may know who I am referring to. There was a young man who was one of the survivors of this dreadful crash at the funeral crying profusely , I was compelled and believe I was taken over by a higher power that day,I went to him and whispered in his ear" you were spared and left behind for a reason, a good reason and someday you will know what it is ,but your heart must be open and you must listen. You will heal,through the love you had for your friend and his memory." He looked at me ,someone he did not know and he said with tear filled eyes"Thank you ."After the funeral ,when leaving the Funeral Home I ran into a very Religious friend of mine and he and I hugged and that was the end of a very spiritual day for me, since then, we have buried young and old friend's. God give all those who are suffering strength in Love.
Mrs. Dorothy Killiam Passed away on March 6,2011, Rest in Peace Dorothy.
I am doing a watercolor of Dorothy and will share it here with you all soon. Here is the watercolor of Dorothy, I asked her to help and guide me while working on it, I hope I captured her shine, for she was a great Lady indeed, and I pray I did her justice.