Monday, 16 October 2017

Paint in Action

A couple of weeks ago Tina Newlove came to my weekly art group and demonstrated how she creates her colourful acrylic abstract paintings while reacting to music.
She set up her canvas on the easel, squeezed the paints onto her palette, turned on the funky music and started to paint. Her music was set to run 45 minutes, and she wanted to be finished by then.
Here goes.....!

Tina's palette with all the mixed colours.
After lunch, more music was played and we created our own abstracts in reaction to what we were listening to. Abstract art looks like it would be easy to cover the canvas with colour and make a pleasing design, but really it's a lot harder than it looks. Here are some of the results, I'm not saying which one is mine. I'll let you guess.

Would you hang any of these on your wall?

Saturday, 16 September 2017


A Differential Grasshopper and a Japanese Beetle share a yummy dinner on my runner bean leaves.
The Japanese Beetle is an unwanted import from... yes, you guessed right.... Japan, first noticed in North America in 1916, but the Differential Grasshopper is native to Southern Ontario. Easily identified by that distinct herringbone pattern on his legs. Both these creatures are considered crop pests. I wish they would stay away from my beans!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Hot Shiny Metal

A sunshiney day and an annual car show in the grounds of a local business brought out the crowds at the weekend. If the weather's good, all the fancy cars come out of the garage and get washed and waxed ready for a big day out. Here are some of them.....
The Bricklin SV-1 is a gull-wing sports car assembled in St John, New Brunswick, Canada from 1974 until late 1975, the creation of millionaire Malcolm Bricklin. Less than 3000 cars were built before the company declared backruptcy. I wonder how many are still on the road.

Austin Healey "Bugeye" or "Frogeye" Sprite, produced in UK from 1958 to 1961.
1960's VW Bug and 1970's VW Thing. The Thing (also known as VW Type 181) was originally developed for the West German Army and is a two wheel drive four door convertible. It was manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen from 1968 to 1983. And fun to drive!
TVR 280i. TVR is an independent British manufacturer of high end lightweight sports cars from 1947 to present day. This one's for sale, fancy a test drive?

What can I possibly say about this? Useful if you need to be rescued in a flood I suppose.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Random This Week

Summer is coming to an end. It's been a "Back to School" week. My grandies all have new teachers who they seem to like. My Thursday Art Group is starting up again, Tuesday Line Dancing is back. It's still warm and sunny during the day, but nights are definitely chillier.
 A stunning sunset reflecting on storm clouds and a flock of Canada geese flying back to the pond where they roost for the night.
Here's Spidey: A huge spider (a bit out of focus, sorry!) who has been living on my geraniums for the past couple of weeks. It's been fascinating watching him (or her) repair the web each morning and every time an unfortunate fly or insect gets caught, he scurries over to the victim and wraps it up in spider web to save for dinner later.
A handmade quilt quoting the words of our national anthem, "O CANADA", by Canadian filmmaker and artist Joyce Weiland.  I saw many pieces of her work exhibited at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in the picturesque little town of Kleinberg, Ontario.
And the view from one of the windows at the McMichael. A painting in itself! The gallery is situated in ten acres of scenic wooded land with public trails through the trees. The building itself started as a four room log house built with salvaged pioneer hand hewn logs, but has since been enlarged, housing an extensive collection of Canadian art, including many works by the Group of Seven.

Monday, 4 September 2017


I was at a pool party in a friend's lovely back yard. Here's the view during the day.......
 .... and after dark.
A pool in the back yard would be wonderful, I'd be swimming in it every day, but it's a lot of work, especially with so many trees dropping leaves, and the Canadian summer is so short, only 4 months of swimming weather and then it's time to winterize the pool until the next hint of summer sunshine.

Friday, 1 September 2017

More Pride of Canada

A few more of the fantastic creations on the Pride of Canada Carousel in Markham. (Scroll down to previous post for more pics.) You can ride on a total of 44 sculptured characters, all created by Canadian artist Patrick Amiot from recycled and repurposed junk objects. I bet you are breathing a huge sigh of relief that I didn't take pictures of all 44!
The lobster represents Canada's east coast, and the fisheries. Lobster, crab, lots of delicious seafood there.
Wouldn't you like to ride the carousel on a huge ice skate?  No need for any real ice. Just hold onto the laces and zoom away.
This is a VW Bus... I think! I had a red and white VW Bus many years ago.... great little vehicle, her name was Polly. Do you name your vehicles?
The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 in Nova Scotia. Although I don't think he envisioned one as big as this.  
And here's mallard duck... lots of them in Canadian Parks. Quack quack.
And here's the carousel in motion:

Monday, 28 August 2017

Pride of Canada

It's colourful, it's noisy and musical, it goes round in circles and it's distinctly Canadian..... it's the Pride of Canada Carousel. 
The Carousel is an environmentally friendly solar-powered fine art merry-go-round enclosed in an open glass pavilion on the newly built "Downtown Markham" area. The urban folk artist who created the magical carousel creatures, Canadian artist Patrick Amiot, has used all kinds of junk, oops, I mean found objects including hub caps, car headlights and old oil tanks.
This particular Remington Group doesn't manufacture guns.... they are a property developer company.
You won't see any standard carousel horses here, apart from this one being ridden by a goofy Mountie. Love his moustache, it's a broom, and the horse's hooves are irons.
You can go sailing on the Bluenose... famous Nova Scotia racing schooner,  with a giant moose next to you.
 How about joining this dog sailing along in the bathtub?
 Or take a ride on a seaplane, to deliver the mail to the Manitoba north country.
 This delectable mermaid just swam in from Prince Edward Island, according to her licence plate. I like the strategically placed maple leaves!
 Back to school next week, don't miss the yellow school bus.
Here's the man in the moon, closely followed by a couple of chickens.
A view looking up at the reflection of the carousel in the roof. Rides are $2.00 for only about 2 minutes.... rather expensive I think, could cost a lot to take all the grandies there because I'm certain they'd want to ride on all the different creatures. One ride just would not be enough. More pics to come....

Monday, 21 August 2017


Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow---

We didn't have any of those fancy eclipse glasses, so we made the children stand with their backs to the sun, poked a pinhole into the middle of a paper plate, and let the sun shine through onto some white card. Sort of pathetic..... but it worked.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Fairy Tree

My friend has fairies living in a tree at the bottom of her garden.
How do I know?
Sssshhh be very quiet......
 I knocked on the door, but nobody was home, out attending to some fairy business no doubt..... or perhaps they were hiding?
 And there's even a magical alligator guarding the lily pond.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tournament Time

Summer is on the wane, evenings are getting noticeably shorter, it's the middle of August already and that means softball season has come to an end for my grandchildren. That's too bad because the young players have just started to come together and work as a team. Another couple of weeks would have been perfect timing. They are finally thinking ahead and planning baseball strategy.... and as you know, baseball is full of strategy.

But it's not quite over. Just one last blast on the town's baseball diamonds.... the highly anticipated annual Baseball Tournament!

Our family has been ably represented since June by numbers 3 and 4 on the "5 and under' Yellow team and number 5 on the "8 and under" Red team. And now it's time to challenge for the championship!
 "5 and under" Yellows played against "5 and under" Reds at a well attended 10am game on Saturday morning. Lots of enthusiastic mums and dads, and aunts and uncles cheering them on. And at least one Nana.... me.

I have no idea if the Yellows beat the Reds or vice versa, I don't think anyone was keeping accurate score, but after the game each player got a drink, a slice of yummy pizza, and was presented with a "solid gold" trophy by the coach with a handshake and some words of praise. And you have to hand it to the coaches.... they are teaching basic baseball skills to five year old children who really don't have a clue what it's all about, and the coaches do it with kindness, loads of patience, smiles and a huge sense of fun.

"8 and under" Reds took on the Black team in an early 8:30am game, then challenged the Blues for the final at 11:15am. Skies were mostly blue with some grey clouds, so we all had fingers crossed that the rain would stay away.
It was a hard fought game. Reds led from the start with some snappy fielding and a couple of spectacular home runs, but Blues came from behind in the final innings to take the game 13-12.
 After the game, a drink, a slice of pizza and another "solid gold" trophy for each player. As the coach gave out the trophies, he gave each player an individual pep talk noting their considerable baseball achievements during the summer such as memorable home runs, double plays, spectacular base running, and how each person had improved, what they need to work on for next season, and his hopes for them in the future. Hooray for the coaches of these teams, they deserve "solid gold" medals!

 And the happy recipient of a trophy. He's going to join the rep team during the winter to hone his baseball skills ready for next season. He really really REALLY loves baseball.

Note: I was surprised to find that this is blog post number 899, just one more to go for 900! Perhaps I should have saved this comment for the next post. Thank you to all the bloggers around the world who have read my ramblings since I started this blog in November 2006 and have left me comments.... Happy Blogging to you all!