11/24/11

Three Things Thursday: Canoes, Birds and Photography Classes

Yesterday was our first snow, and a really big pile of it too. It snowed all night and in the morning I walked ankle-deep in it to my bus stop. It was still falling in big fluffy handfuls, and against the early morning navy-blue sky, it looked like falling stars.

I tried to take a few photos but the low light made it difficult. I looked online to see what photos other local people had managed and I came across this in the Ottawa Citizen:

canoe to work

{Photograph by: Sue Bertram, Reader photo}

This man is committed. If he hasn’t already been interviewed or made a video of his commute, someone should. The reality is that we are so close to the water, and it inspires me to think someone decided to incorporate it into his daily routine. And I love that the canoe doubles as a toboggan.

I decided to sign up for VIvienne McMaster’s winter photography e-class, Getting Through the Grey Together. Every year I have so many missed opportunities for winter photography, either for lack of useable light, for the sheer cold or lack of motivation. I could have taken some beauties yesterday, for instance, but it was so dark. So I am hoping to learn a few tricks, find some inspiration and motivation from her and the other members of the group. If you’re interested there is still time to sign up and it runs from December through February.

Since winter is now on my mind, one of the things I would like to do on a regular basis is go birdwatching. I have read through a few local websites like the OFNC to see what they offer in terms of group walks or outings. It sounds like they have them from time to time but they mostly offer are guidelines, resources and a list of birding locations, which will be helpful. I will have to pioneer my own walking group, even if it is only me or one other person. If you have any tips for me I would love to hear them!

So that’s my Thursday list. Let me know if you have anything to share :)

11/20/11

Cats at the Window

Dozens of birds come to our yard every day, and they hardly notice. Their ears sure do prick up, though, when a ballsy squirrel climbs up the walls and windows to get closer to the feeder.

cats bw

Finished Gloves

In September I started knitting a pair of fingerless gloves for my husband. After some fumbling I finally finished them! I used the same number of stitches for both of them but one of them is slightly tighter than the other. My guess is that I haven’t found a consistent rhythm or feel for tension yet.

knit fingerless gloves

{btw: these crazy yellow leaves are from our raspberry shrubs}

knit fingerless gloves2

The yarn is called Blackstone Tweed Chunky; a soft blend of wool, angora rabbit and mohair (purchased from a local shop called Wabi Sabi). The gloves are quite cozy and I hope he will get a lot of use out of them. He works mostly outside and mittens are just too bulky if you need to use your hands for anything. I wear mine under mittens when I am taking winter photographs.

What about you: Are you knitting anything right now? Do you have any tips for this beginner?

11/17/11

Three Things Thursday: Turkeys, Forest-Bathing and a Pretty Ring

Sometimes I have random things to share with you. Could become a regular post :) If you do something similar, let me know in the comments so I can read yours.

You’ve heard of men living with wolves, tigers and bears? Watch this documentary (re-enacted) about a man who devoted a year of solitude raising a flock of Wild Turkeys. The connection he made with them was really something.

We all know the benefits of getting back to nature and enjoying fresh air. The Japanese have a name for it, shinrin-yoku, which literally means “forest-bathing.” Experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of the woods has a significant effect on our mood and health.

This ring by UmberDove is such an incredible treasure. I am relieved that it just sold, because I don’t know how I would explain to the cats that I blew their grocery money on jewelry.

yellow rosehip

PS: My brother saw one of the little acorn sachets hanging in our house and asked me if it was a squirrel pillow :)

11/14/11

Playing with Leaves

autumn rose leaf (2) 1

autumn rose

Some of the roses are still blooming. although they are wilted by the cold and pretty pitiful. Still, it is nice to see some lingering colours in the yard. Their leaves are also changing very creatively: on the sunny side~ purple stems with hunter green leaves outlined with cherry red. On the underside, pale green stems with magenta thorns and leaves alternating between the two colours. Unfortunately the grey sky does not bode well for photographs.

Another jewel in the yard, I think from a serviceberry:

rainbow leaf

Purple, burgundy, orange, yellow and even blue in this one. It even had a perfect little hole in it. I held onto it for awhile; I think I was subconsciously trying to come up with a reason to keep it, until the adult in me said “Put it down, you’re not going to make a necklace with it.”

I did, however, collect a handful of leathery brown magnolia leaves. which could possibly be made into a wreath or some other holiday decoration. Any ideas?

magnolia leaf

11/13/11

New in the Shop

I can’t remember the last time I gave you an update on new prints available in the shop. I guess that means it’s been awhile. There are three new dragonflies; each photo links to their listings:

DRAG VIOLET 57 AUTUMN LEAF DRAGONFLY a

DIANTHUS DRAGONFLY

All three are included in my boxed card set, along with three of my favourites. Green, green and more green.

DRAGONFLY CARD BOX ONE

There is also a butterfly box set, which is available in the shop now:

BUTTERFLY CARD BOX ONE

They are laser-jet printed on recycled cardstock (4.25x5.5”). The paper is a pale cream colour (buttermilk) and has pretty little flecks that are beautifully visible through the paler parts of each photograph. Each set is packaged in a brown kraft paper box with a clear lid and a legend on the back.

BOX CARD SET FAN

BOX CARD SET

New Love

Do you have a favourite tree?

I am fickle when it comes to these things. When the light shines through leaves like this, I find myself falling in love all over again.

In this light, my new love is Oak.

oak2

oak2 (1)

oak3

11/11/11

Bricks and Flowers

A neighbourhood walk is a great way to clear your head. I am trying to take more photos on these walks. There are so many beautiful old homes in our city’s neighbourhoods. I would choose intricate, falling-down brickwork over slate and polished steel any day.

Character.

Brick and Rowan

Cosmos Green Fence

11/10/11

Starlings

I heard this little Starling singing her heart out a few weeks ago. I stood and listened to her for a little while. Their songs are quite elaborate if you listen closely. They chirp, warble, gurgle, trill and even copy other bird calls. I think I may have heard a Blue Jay call.

Starling Rooftop (1)

If you haven’t already seen this video going around online, check it out. These two girls witnessed a huge flock of Starlings (called a murmuration) swooping overhead as they paddled their canoe.

{Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.}

That Orange Glow

Some of the roses are still blooming in the backyard. Behind them is our neighbour’s brilliantly orange maple tree. This was a couple of weeks ago~ most of its leaves have fallen now.

DSC_0196

DSC_0202

11/9/11

The Countdown Begins…

I am starting to feel the time crunch. There is just over two weeks to get ready for my craft sale coming up at the end of the month.

getting ready

I have been busy printing, signing, packaging and labeling everything. Really there is not much left to do, but except a few small things and figuring out how I am going to display it all. Some things worked last year but needed improvement so I will be going to IKEA to check out their storage supplies, like baskets. Or maybe I’ll just use shoeboxes.... hahaha……

More details on the show to follow. I have some new cards and card sets, and I’ll tell you all about the sales I am going to have.

November Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

I woke up on Saturday morning to blue skies that lasted through the weekend. Finally, some sunshine to break up the grey. My friend and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood and found this pile of plum and golden leaves.  Usually Autumn makes me think of orange and red leaves, but I love these two colours together.

pyl

11/1/11

Crafting for Friends

You may remember that I mentioned I was working on some stitching recently. Some friends of mine at work decided to do a Halloween or fall-themed craft swap. It was supposed to be a surprise for each other, which is why I hadn’t posted any WIP photographs.

I wanted to do something fall-themed that could also double as a Christmas ornament. I stitched these little linen sachets and embroidered acorns on them. They are open in the back (like a pillowcase) so it can be used as a sachet. I was thinking a teabag would be perfect for this. Of course I made one for myself too, and I think I may make a few more for the tree.

acorn stitch

acorn stitch 2

Are you making any holiday decorations? On Pinterest I’ve compiled quite a collection of Christmas crafts I would like to make, as well as a million things that swirl through my mind. I just have to find the time for them!

Getting Ready for the Trick-or-Treaters

Last week we started to notice that more birds were coming around to our tiny birdfeeder. My mum noticed that some Cardinals and Dark-Eyed Juncos had joined the flock of Chickadees residing in our backyard. Now we have a larger feeder set up in front of the kitchen window. We staked it in a large planter because this spot in the yard is on the pavement driveway. We also added some berries and branches in the pot to add some colour for the white winter and more perches to take turns near the food.

bird feeder

euonymus

So far the Chickadees have been hoarding all of the peanuts and tucking them into the cracks of the fence, the Juncos eat everything that is tossed onto the ground and the squirrels are getting frustrated. There isn’t much daylight left after work, but I hope to get some photographs of them on a brighter day this weekend.

Are you ready for the birds yet? Check out this link on Pinterest for some cool DIY birdfeeder ideas.

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