Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Posts of the Week

The icon/award to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

This week there's a tie for top post - one which made me think and one which made me laugh:

by Alane
at Land of Shimp


by Izzie
at Stone Spirit

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

The Taste of Rain
by Amy
at She Writes

by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me

Lost in Translation
by Protege
at Life Through Reflections

Learning Curve
by TechnoBabe
at TechnoBabe's Adventure

Meet Molly
by MPM
at Menta P Mama

by Daryl
at Out and About in New York City

The Fog Creeps in...
by TSannie
at Tombstone Chronicler

Stain Glass Rainbows
by Brian
at Waystation One

Words to the (not quite yet) Wise
by Shrinky
at Shrink-Wrapped Scream

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Still Trippin' Out

Below are a few more photos from our early March trip to Campbelford. The first several shots were shown on the previous post.

When I went for a walk on the afternoon of our arrival, I headed for the bridge over the Trent river just a few minutes walk into town. Along the way I saw this sundog hiding behind the branches of a tree.

From the bridge, I could easily see our motel. The area with the wooden fence an the mature trees is where we stayed.

Here's a late afternoon view of the bridge from ground level...

And into the evening, we could see the bridge from our motel room balcony.

This is the cozy restaurant where we had our yummy dinner (and Shiraz!).

The cutlery was placed in an interesting way.

An old floppy hat, purse and gloves so that there's no mistaking this for the men's room.

Behind the ladies room door were numerous hats, hat boxes and antique items.

Back at our motel room we relaxed and watched some television. My favourite current situation comedy is The Office but the incredibly funny and tender new show, Modern Family has quickly become a very close second. What's your favourite sitcom?

While you think about it, here's another look at that wonderful sunrise as it appeared the following morning.

Talented artist Janet Donald Wright whose whimsical art was featured in my Felines, Feathers and Fins post earlier this month, now has her own blog. Janet is even crazier than Frank and I because she lives with not one, not two but three Jack Russell Terriers. Please head over to Instant Karma where you can welcome Janet to the blogosphere, and meet her wild little trio, Lucy, Maggie and Bob.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shadows and Light

It was time for a change - long overdue for this blog which hasn't had a face lift since it started over two and a half years ago. The yard sale critters header is gone and in its place one of my favourite photos of a rose which grew in my front yard a couple of years ago. You can see the post which talks about that rose here.

The photos below are from a recent trip to Campbelford - a small town situated on the Trent river in southern Ontario. All of them depict shadows and light. This new layout now allows for larger images than I had before. They'll still increase in size a bit if you click on them.

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in." ~ Arlo Guthrie
A late afternoon walk across the bridge which spans the Trent river. The sunlight produced some interesting shadows through the guard rails.

“For light, I go directly to the Source of light, not to any of the reflections.”
~ Peace Pilgrim

Just a few hours later, we walked into town near the edge of the river. Colourful lights dotted the opposite shore.

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~ Junichiro Tanizaki
A nearby chair at the restaurant where we had a very pleasant dinner.

“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle” ~ Robert Alden.
And here's part of what made it such an enjoyable meal. My Shiraz, Frank's beer and the candlelight - each providing their own warm glow.

“There's something about shadows because you make your own mind up about what's lurking in them.” ~ Richard O'Brien
I hadn't noticed the pair of glasses folded up beside the lamp until I uploaded the photos. I was simply trying to capture the light and shadow.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross
We walked past a beautiful old home which was being renovated. This stained glass window caught my eye, begging to be photographed.

“It was still quite light out of doors, but inside with the curtains drawn and the smoldering fire sending out a dim, uncertain glow, the room was full of deep shadows.” ~ Kate Chopin
Early the following morning, the rising sun revealed this pattern on the motel room drapes. There was a sunrise happening on the other side...

“Shadows are in reality, when the sun is shining, the most conspicuous thing in a landscape, next to the highest lights.” ~ Bayard Ruskin
A peek to the right presented the rich colours of the early sunlight.

“I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time..” ~ Emily Dickinson
And across the river, a beautiful start to another perfect day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Posts of the Week

The icon/award to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

This week's top post is:

Old Friends
by Lime
at House of Lime

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

The Luck of the Irish
by Kelly
at Cross Your T's

Graveyard Garage Sale
by Joanna
at The Fifty Factor

Tree Trimmer Dude
by Terrie
at Kappa No He

What I Think It's All About
by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment

Same As It Ever Was
by Deb
at Talk at the Table

Sunny Saturday
by Steve
at Take a Look Around

Without the Knowing
by Cabo
at Hey, Cabo!

Two Kittens and a Bucket
by Dave
at Cimba7200's Thoughts

Great Blue Heron
by Fishing Guy
at This Is My Blog

Readers' Choices

Recommended by: Life With Kaishon

Once Upon A Time
by Grandma J
at Ask Grandma J

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day Tripper

Over the last few weeks, Frank and I have taken a few different day trips through part of southern Ontario. Below are a few photos taken from one of them, a couple of weeks back. I hope you enjoy them and please remember to click on each of them to enlarge.

One of my favourite things to do while Frank is behind the wheel is to try my hand at drive-by shootings. I liked this red barn in sunlight and shadows. The snow is long-gone now that we've had a few days of 18C (64F).

Another drive-by revealed this lone bench in the middle of a snowy field.

This tree caught my eye from a long way off. I liked how its branches reached out for sunlight.

In Alderville, Ontario, there's a native art outlet called Smoke's. Somewhere down the road, I'll probably be featuring a few of what I believe are their best pieces of art. Today, I'm just including some colourful items seen around their gallery - like these bald eagles which welcome visitors from their nest up on the roof.

Native drums. Can you hear them?

A colourful quilt hangs from one of the display walls. I love how one colour blends into the next.

A brightly painted totem pole stands proudly in one corner of the gallery.

A different place, this store sold hundreds of different beads. Their display made me think of my talented friend, Dawno who designs beautiful, beaded jewelery.

Back at Frank's place, a late afternoon walk reveals some of the damage done by the icy floods over the past couple of months. The underside of this apple tree is quite scarred. And it doesn't look like it will be too long before erosion sends it into the creek.

This handsome crow is keeper of the light standard.

For the second time in two days, I spotted a Sundog (not to be confused with my bloggy pal Suldog, although every bit as bright and colourful). This one reflected nicely in the large, muddy puddle on the path. It was a rubber boots kind of day.

At the end of an early spring day, there isn't much better than lighting a fire and sipping on a belly-warmer.

Thanks for joining me on this day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Felines, Feathers and Fins, Oh My!

A couple of weeks ago, we continued our visit around small town Ontario by traveling up to a few places we'd been meaning to see - much of which included local art and artists. One of these fine folk artists was Janet Donald Wright from Warkworth, Ontario. She's an animal lover and it shows in almost every one of her pieces which so playfully depict nature.

Frank and I had the pleasure of meeting her where she sells some of her pieces - a shop called Nature on Maine. We had been there a few months prior, and Frank purchased one of her whimsical pieces then. He was in the market for more and that's just what we found.

Janet took time out from her busy day at the studio to meet with us (she and Frank had been in contact via email) and show us some of her incredibly clever art. What makes Janet's work unique is that she uses only recycled items to create her fanciful masterpieces. You can find a few of her offbeat items below. Please remember to click on each of them to enlarge.

Cutie felines adorn slices of a bed post, hung on what appear to be fish hooks. I own a beautiful blue heron which Janet painted on a similar piece. Remind me to show it to you sometime.

An adorable owl sits on a piece from a bentwood chair and was made from barn board, window shutters and pieces of a bed. Its whacky legs and talons were made with dinner forks.

This wide-eyed creature was designed using a piece of picket fence, some Victorian ceiling tin and a slice from a bed post for that oversized eye These pre-existing items and brightly coloured paint transfomed it into a blue-finned wonder.

The body of this emerald green bird was made from an old wooden folk art toilet paper holder. Square nails give it its head feathers and forks make up its feet. Everything in between came from bed posts and ceiling tins.

Spotted fish live their lives in a bubble. The painted parts are on denim attached to recycled canvas. The fish are the result of an unfortunate motorcycle accident. Janet's favourite leather coat sacrificed itself for her while taking an unexpected slide down the highway. The fish were made from this leather. The texture is cat kibble.

These mischievous creatures were made out of corks from wine bottles which Janet made a point of stressing were USED! Other parts include nails, milkweed pods and parts, clay, feathers and other miscellaneous items available to her.

Clever Janet made this long fish's body from a part of an old wooden water ski. Other parts include a bed post piece, ceiling tin and a piece of wooden shutter. I love the expression on its face.

This goofy blue jay was a wooden platter, several shutter pieces, sliced bed posts, forks and chair parts.

Frank bought the following two pieces.

The crow is painted on denim placed on recycled canvas.

The stool was a garage sale find which took well to Janet's lovely horse design.

This impressive deer was made from actual antlers, pieces of a pine bed, picket fence and a wooden turning cut in half for the eyes. It's mounted on a table top.

Mother Nature was made from a picket fence piece, spoons and chair brackets. Her face was made from a carved mug which Janet cut up. The bird was a piece from a broken carving.

Janet has very few items available for sale on her eBay site, but I'm sure you could contact her through that venue if you would like to purchase something similar to the above items. I'm not receiving any revenue by blogging about Janet's art. I just really love her work and wanted to share it with you.

Thanks for the many smiles that your artwork evokes, Janet!

Updated March 28 to add a link to Janet's brand new blog, Instant Karma.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Posts of the Week

Top o' the mornin' to you!

I'll be away from my computer on this St. Patrick's Day and tomorrow, so I won't be able to reply to comments until later in the week but I sure will be looking forward to reading them. Neither will I be visiting blogs so I'll have to catch up with you folks at a later time.

The icon/award to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

This week's top post is:

Love in Spring
by Cricket
at Cricket and Porcupine

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

Some Things A Mother Will Never Know
by TechnoBabe
at TechnoBabe's Adventure

Serene Light
by Bonnie
at Original Art Studio

Fun at the Fabric Store
by Susie
at A Slice Of My Life

Greeting the Evening
by Leah
at The Goat's Lunch Pail

She What?
by Joanna
at The Fifty Factor

Hang Em Up
by JarieLyn
at Write Place! Write Chick!

Readers' Choices

Recommended by:

Wide Open Wednesday
by Asthma Girl
at Is My Cape Fluttering

Recommended by: TSannie

The Friendly 'Hood
by Sandy
at Writing in Faith

Recommended by: Kate

Ugly Hands
by Hilary
at Crazy as a Loom

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Visiting Kingston

Early this month, Frank and I spent a couple of days in Kingston, Ontario. It's situated just about halfway between Toronto and Montreal, and just happens to be where my son attends university at Royal Military College (RMC). As luck would have it, our intended trip to see blues singer Matt Andersen perform at Kingston's Grand Theatre coincided with Jeffrey's return from his week long trip to Cuba. We were able to spend Saturday afternoon with him at our hotel room watching Canada's Olympic gold medal hockey victory.

(please click on photos to enlarge)

Jeffrey gives the thumbs up to our record-breaking Canadian athletes.

After a victory dinner, we returned to watch the closing ceremonies, before Jeffrey headed back to campus a few minutes away.

A night time view of Kingston's beautiful City Hall as seen on our way to dinner.

The lovely domed clock tower.

The next morning Frank and I wandered around town for a bit. This door just happened to catch my eye.

Eventually we stopped for refreshment. Cup of chai, anyone?

That afternoon, while Frank settled in for a nap, I took my camera out for a walk.

I headed over the bridge toward RMC and snapped a shot of Memorial Arch. Students are requested to walk around the arch, and not pass beneath it more than twice in the entire time spent at RMC. The first time they march under it is when they arrive as new cadets. Four years later, they will once again march under the arch when they graduate as Officers of the Canadian Armed Forces. That day is coming up for my son this May.

On my way back to the hotel. I had a clear view of the city's skyline.

Colourful textures at the side of the dock.

In the evening, before the show, we had dinner out. The brick wall and wooden shutters demanded that I snap a shot.

Then they insisted it be in black and white. I have very demanding surroundings.

Here's another showy wall, complete with mirror.

It was soon time to walk over to the Grand Theatre to see Matt Andersen perform. If you ever have the chance to listen to this young, blues artist, please do yourself a favour and go. He's a wonderful songwriter with an incredible voice, and he plays a fine guitar. You can have a listen to some of his own music here. He also performs a few classics. The time just flew by.

And then we were on our way back to the hotel.

This lovely view greeted us outside our window at night.

See you in a few days with some more photos.