Monday, June 30, 2014

scenes from this morning's early walk by the sea (after my walk with Miss D ;-) gorgeous & very fragrant wild roses / the archway of green that I walk through to get to the crescent beach - sigh / usually calm waters of the Northumberland Strait / lemon scented yellow wild roses from the gardens of 29 Black Street / a row of huge old poplars I love - my favourite tree / tiny waves on the crescent beach / wild daisy meadows / at the base of a very senior & majestic poplar / quintessential Nova Scotia wildflower - lupins / more crescent beach love / sweet tiny leaves & stems of forget-me-nots going to seed / the yellow wild roses again in our front garden

expect nothing
appreciate everything

such a perfect & easy to remember mantra/motto

Currently reading three fantastic library books  1).  a big, fat, fantastic novel, aren't they always the best kind, especially in summer - The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (science, nature, botany, history, yummy) 2). non-fiction - Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte - as someone who spends way too much of my time feeling overwhelmed, way too much time wasting time + procrastinating + wanted to cram lots more stuff into my schedule this is a fascinating, incredibly researched, well written book on the idea(s) of time & specifically leisure time (?) is there even such a thing anymore ... maybe it's never really existed and if it has what is it ? 3). + a memoir - funny, light + recipes - The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City by David Lebovitz

oh & one fabulous cookbook Donna Hay's - Simple Dinners that I love so much I'm ordering my own copy

+ I've begun this every bedtime (or end of day) ritual 3 by 3 from Jena Coray via Oh My Handmade - much harder than it seems* but such a valuable end of the day reflection. The first week I added my 3 of 3 daily section to my "morning pages" journal 1). I valued about myself 2). I am grateful for & 3). I am glad I spent time doing ... but today I've decided to do this practice in it's own little notebook because I think it will be interesting in the future to look back at the compilation of goodness & gratitude all in one place. I'm all for creating new rituals in my day to day life ... & especially if they're this good for you.

* you're encouraged to think of 3 brand new things for each section every day

weekend words

Saturday, June 28, 2014

hand drawn typography love by maddy posted by Brie over at the fab designlovefest

Happy Weekend !!

collage cat

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2 hours of after dinner collage-a-thin with the collage cat / the dude & creative director supervising the collaging of the world - that Starbucks project - still gives me chills & thrills to say Starbucks / the beginning last night, limited palette, limited supplies & tools, limited dithering / I pick this paper / I love me some kraft cardboard / I couldn't do it without him / mid collaging / Oliver's a very paws-on Creative Director - sigh / nearing the end of my evening

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.

Mary Oliver

I'm still trying (I hate using that word trying) to carve out the daily practice of pure intuitive, playful creative time - sketchbook, drawing, painting and/or collage time. It's seeming like the post dinner time few hours is the best time for me, something at the end of my day to look forward to, a ritual to gently pull me through each day.

I've been so very super inspired by Jennifer Orkin-Lewis and her dedication to her own 30 mins a day painting sketchbook. Here's her instagram feed & daily painting posts + she's been featured in the new issue of Uppercase No.22 - check that issue out here  - a gorgeous issue. Congratulations Jen, so well deserved !

+ oh boy ! you can listen to David Sedaris read his books unabridged FREE on youtube 

selling 29 Black St.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

forget-me-nots in luscious light / the view from my favourite chair in our fenced in back yard / my guy Samuel & Miss Winnie D / apple blossoms / our front pathway (I've since trimmed the Linden branches) - see the 29 at the door / oh how I love alliums, need to plant some white to go with these gorgeous purples / the kitchen, laundry room side - my favourite view (love the vines) / Winnie & Sam and another view from my chair / 29 Black street view, Doug's restoring our lovely big sunporch which runs the whole length of the front facing the harbour / I love green / dandelions & drifts of forget-me-nots

The secret of change
is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.

We are getting 29 Black Street ready to sell, ideally we'll put this 130+ year old, 2000 square ft, lovingly & restoratively renovated, two storey brick house on the market in the early part of 2015. I know many of you who have been reading this blog awhile are thinking as you read these words Noooo ! How could that be ? How could she ever, ever leave that place ? 

Well I'll tell you, especially this time of year, when the house & gardens all look so spectacular, when our yard is so lush & alive, incredibly private like my own secret garden and absolutely filled with blooms & birds & insects & the greenest greens there are on this earth ... with the ocean only steps away (139 steps to be exact -I counted them) Believe me I wonder also How will I ever leave ? How can I ? What if ... what if I am filled with regret ?

It's one of those situations in life when because you can't really picture your new home and your new life - it's completely terrifying. I try to put it out of my mind, but then my mind remembers that it needs to be on my mind - or it will never happen. I know from experience that some of the best things in my life have happened directly following terrifying. That kind of terrifying (pretty common with me ;-) , is actually a good indication that I'm on the right path. I love this house ! this home more than I could ever put into words but I think I've spoken those thoughts and feelings here on this blog, I know I have, this nearly 7 year old blog (July 13th) Wow ! how can that be ? I know and feel blessed and oh so grateful that as long as this blog exists, my life & love of 29 Black Street will be here to remind me, my net of memories ... perhaps forever.

I've lived in this house by the sea for 21 years, you can see our bustling little harbour from it's huge second floor windows). It's really been the only home that's ever felt like home to me. I love it, this house that's chock full of quirk & character but it overwhelms me - the upkeep of such a large house (which doesn't seem to ever get up-kept) as my creative business and main love grows and flourishes. The maintenance of the yard, a giant double lot, keeps Doug hopping from June to October with mowing and trimming and keeping the jungle contained - somewhat. It really is more home then we need, more home than we want. I also want to live somewhere where there's more going on year round. This tiny village is vibrant and comes alive in the summer (June 'til the end of September). I'd like to live somewhere (Charlottetown or Lunenburg) where there are more options year round + I just need a change. I've always loved the old adage A change is as good as a rest - never being someone who needed much rest, I think change is essential to my being.

I'm ready for this big change, we're ready for this change - we're looking forward to our new tiny life.

Fear not - this blog will continue no matter where we are ! & I will be creating a sell 29 Black Street blog with lots of home selling details/dimensions, photos & more photos etc very, very soon.

I ♡ Mondays

Monday, June 23, 2014

scenes from life in a little seaside village / stormy beautiful grey / the best beach treasure / Miss Winnie D on the boardwalk this morning / a salt ship coming in / our morning walk part 1 / more incredible beachcombing teeny, tiny, perfect shells / Josie - the Queen of the crescent beach / harbour side boardwalk / I love the salt air / waves & ships & a lighthouse / Winnie Dixon this beautiful Monday morning

on a day when the wind is perfect
the sail just needs to open
and the world is full of beauty
today is that day Rumi

I love Mondays. I really do. A new week, a fresh start, a clean slate, an open book with lots of plans, goals & summertime dreams. I used this great Rumi quote in my Lilla Roger's Illustration Bootcamp June assignment - nautical wall art here

happy summer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

this sunshiny design at MagnetWorks in a variety of garden products including large size flags ! + 8 x 10 giclee prints here

The Summer Day 

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear? 
Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean – 
the one who has flung herself out of the grass, 
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, 
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down – 
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. 
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. 
I don't know exactly what a prayer is. 
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, 
how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, 
how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. 
Tell me, what else should I have done? 
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? 
Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life? 

Mary Oliver

Heading out to the garden any moment now, trimming, clipping, planting, transplanting and getting my hands very dirty. Sundays are the best days, Sundays are the days when I do pretty much whatever strikes my fancy. On of those Sunday fancies is to sit later on in our backyard forest with the dogs (Sam & Winnie) and of course Itsy Bitsy Betty and plan my 2014 SummerTime Bucket list - between 10-20 want to do summertime things. Things like swim in the ocean _ times, have a grilled sausage on a bun with fried onions, have fish n' chips from the Chips Away truck in Wallace Bay ....

It should be a very fun list to compile. What's on your summertime bucket list ?
oh & have a very happy first summertime Sunday ;-)

weekend words

Saturday, June 21, 2014

so much great stuff on you my dear internet - from my own Pinterest board "words" & these excellenté words from retoyman

how to do everything

Thursday, June 19, 2014

crab apple / apple blossom / not sure about this one / phlox / pale blue lobelia / not sure / allium / crab apple / quince

Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness. If we have habits that work for us, we're much more likely to be happy, healthy, productive and creative. Gretchen Rubin 

How to do everything : subtitled getting shit done !

& I'm talking about all the stuff, the good, the bad, the ugly, the rewarding, the healthy & of course the fun. I've been pondering, as I love to ponder, that ever growing list of items that always lives on my to-do want to-do lists.

Pondering & wondering if maybe I have too much stuff on my list, maybe I need to pare things down, desire less ... aim for less, do less. Or maybe I need to try and embrace quality rather than quantity and/or variety. But after much pondering, trust me on this one - it has been pondered, I've decided I really want to do everything*, in fact no doubt I'll be adding a few new things I want to do by next week. That's just who I am, it's how I want to live my life.

I like to do lots of things, I crave variety & diversity. I'm good at a lot of things and the few things I really suck at am not good at (housecleaning would be top of that fairly short list, followed by things like downhill skiing and accounting/book keeping) I've decided I'm OK with not doing at all or continuing to muddle through the best I can until the glorious day (chorus of angels singing here) when I can afford to employ someone to do the things that I'm not good at, that don't get done.

The things I put off indefinitely in my life, the to-do's that never get done are always the things I'm not good at, the things I do not have a burning desire to get good at. and I'm sensible enough to realize, finally, thankfully, that I cannot be good at everything. I'm still working on the guilt part of not being good at things like housecleaning because isn't that something we women are supposed to be genetically pre-disposed to be good at ?- a myth & a big one, but that's a whole other rant story.

I found myself at Gretchen Rubin's wonderful website yesterday quite by accident, but now I'm convinced it was no accident it was Madam Universe up to her usually tricks yet again. Coming upon Gretchen's new video series about habits and her soon to be released new book Before & After at the height of all this getting shit done pondering thrilled me beyond belief, made me feel so hopeful that I emailed her instantly to thank her.

My current favourite in this habit formation series is the Strategy of Scheduling - LOVE - seriously !

We don't make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people's habits; we must know our own nature and what habits serve us best Gretchen Rubin

* read this fascinating post by Gretchen called Are You More Drawn to Simplicity or to Abundance