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Happy New Year; Welcome 2020 And The Knowledge Of The Secret Key

Posted on January 4, 2020 at 12:15 AM

Hello and Happy New Year.  

Before I start pondering on what I hope to accomplish in 2020, I must share a story that took place on the very last day of 2019.

My son and his girlfriend had traveled to New York City to attend a concert and rented a car for the drive.  He was due to return the car at noon on December 31 so just after 11am I started my car, tossed in my purse and proceeded to clean the snow off in order to pick him up from the rental place.  I should just add that I have a new car with a fob/push button real key needed as long as you have the fob on your person.  It also has a handy "walk away lock" feature meaning it locks automatically when you have the key in your pocket or purse, saving those precious seconds it takes to manually push the lock button. Yes that's sarcasm....but it's incredible how easy that feature is to get used to.  However getting back to the story, after cleaning off the snow, the car  had made the decision, all on it's own, to lock all the doors and the tailgate.  My "key" fob, on the same keyring as my house keys sat smugly in my purse on the front seat where I could see it.  My phone was also in the purse. I had already locked the house and my son, having only the rental car keys did not have a house key on him.  He was already late for the car return but managed to give my daughter a quick call to get her to come and unlock the house.  He set off for the rental agent.  When my daughter arrived we unlocked the door to the house and I hoped the extra set of car "keys" was in the drawer and not in my husband's pocket. To my relief they were there and I hurriedly went out to unlock the car.  Nope.  It would not open the doors, or the tailgate.  Remember the car is still running and I began to wonder if it would run out of fuel.  We examined the fob and as she had looked up possible reasons why the second fob wouldn't work we found a button that we thought opened up the fob to change a weak battery.  It didn't.  We also discovered that the driver's door had an actual key hole so I raked around in the key drawer to see if there was an access key.  When I didn't find one I imaginied I'd been a complete idiot and still had it on the keyring with the rest of the keys. Daughter went off to the car rental place to pick up my son, calling my husband who was fortunately on the way home from work.  When he got home he tried using the fob to no avail.  He went online to see if it was a common problem and found quite a few posts to that effect.  He decided to see if it was the battery and messed around with the fob and that little button....lo and behold....when you push the button and hold the top of the fob and pull....A KEY SLID OUT. A key!!!!  In the fob.  Who knew??? 

Interesting to note that not one of the posts mentioned The Secret Key, including one from a techinician for my particular brand of car who had exclaimed in capital letters {shouting} that it was impossible to lock the fob inside a running car.  To him I say go back to school.

And yes I disabled the walk away lock feature.

Time to get thinking about my Twitter Art Exhibit submission, as soon as I put away the Christmas tree and decorations on the 6th.

Blessed Be.


Posted on December 9, 2019 at 8:40 AM

Another year has almost gone. I can't believe how fast time is going, it seems very true that the older you get, the faster it goes.  We've had some early snow this year, and all the weather people were predicting a bit of a doom and gloom winter.  There's already been some fairly significant storms with resulting accumulations that were alarmingly early, but today I read that Envirionment Canada is now saying the winter will be milder than normal.  That said, I suppose it might mean more of the white stuff.  I'm not as worried as I usually am mind you, I'm no longer having to face that dreadful long commute to work.  I'm doing a lot of work from home and concentrating on my art this winter. 

New for me this year was the addition of hand painted wooden Christmas ornaments. I'm happy to say that they were a pretty big success and I will be continuing them for next Christmas. I also painted ornaments to match each of my Christmas card line and packaged them as a set. That idea was particularly popular as a small add-on gift or a teacher's gift.

Last Saturday was my last show of the season.  I've had a pretty good year and am most grateful to all who have supported my work this and every year.  A huge thank you to all who visited me at my various events throughout the year, and to all the event organisers who work tirelessly to promote and stage these great shows.  Special thanks to Valerie Leming and Carol and Ken Ormsby who were responsible for organising and hosting three shows this year at the Ormsbys' Garden Centre in Meaford.  I've often said it is my favourite venue to be and hope to continue participating in 2020. Thanks to Heather Carroll and The Loft Gallery for hosting another amazing Square Foot Show where I was fortunate to sell three of my submissions.

I'd like to thank all those who purchased my artwork this year; from large pieces to simple cards, it is my hope that you get as much enjoyment out of my work as I do creating it.   

Last but certainly not least...I wish to say thank you to all those who support me during the year, your comments and lovely compliments keep me going and encourage me to continue with my work.

My next endeavour is to focus on my Twitter Art Exhibit submission.  This year it is in support of Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board and is taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The past four years I've been excited to participate in this fantastic organisation and even more thrilling was that my little piece sold on opening night for the past two. 

See you next year.  Happy Holidays, Blessed Yule, Happy Christmas!  Peace to all, whatever you are celebrating.

Blessed Be.

Remember, Remember.

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 9:15 AM

November has always felt a little sad for me.  The year is amost at an end, and I look at this time as the "dark" part of the year, both literally and figuratively.  My childhood memories of living on an Air Force Base in England where Dad was stationed are mostly pretty wonderful, if you discount the sporadic air raid drills which resulted in being startled out of sleep, or the amazing supersonic Lightning fighter jets which, on their training flights regularly cracked our windows by breaking the sound barrier. Once the siren went off Dad would immediately have to get up and put on his uniform and go to the Military Transport Section,  or commonly referred to as the MT Section where he was Chief Techincian. 

November the Fifth, or Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, whichever you prefer, is one of the fondest memories the chill in the air, the smell of the fireworks, just the excitement of it all.   All year old furniture and other debris was collected and piled into an enormous bonfire.  There was an incredible fireworks display and we enjoyed jacket potatoes and paper cups of steaming oxtail soup.  Everyone celebrated the demise of the unfortunate Guy Fawkes, who appeared each year as a stuffed effigy and tossed onto the fire with barbaric enthusiasm; his yearly punishment for attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the 1600's. But the sadness of Remembrance Day overshadows these memories at times, as well as the passing of my wonderful mother, whom we lost on the 16th of the month.

Winter has made a rather early appearance this year.  We are expecting, as I write this, a considerable amount of the white stuff.  I'm lucky today to be working from home.  I am working on a show which will take place in Meaford,  at the Museum.  I'm excited to introduce some handpainted Christmas ornaments, which I'm also offering with a matching Christmas card as a combination.  It will make a great small gift for that person who has everything!

Please take a moment, or actually two minutes out of your day today, Remembrance Day, and reflect upon those who never returned, those who returned hurt or changed, and those who continue to serve around the world.

Thank you.

Blessed Be.

Hello October!

Posted on October 7, 2019 at 9:55 AM

I simply can't get my head around the fact that October is already upon us.  The days are noticeably shorter; I'm not looking forward to the when the clocks go back!  I'm not a fan of driving to work in the morning when it's dark.  I've bought three different sized pumpkins ready to carve for one of my favourite times of the year, Hallowe'en.  I've avoided buying any treats so far.  If there's chocolate in my house I can't stop thinking about it....!

I had a wonderful day last Saturday, October 5 at one of my favourite venues, Ormsby's Garden Centre.  I know I've mentioned before how much I love the events held there, and I apologise in advance for repeating myself but I just can't say enough about it!  The friendly and warm welcome given to everyone by the owners, Carol and Ken Ormsby is simply stated, just wonderful and their garden centre and adjoining shop is full of beautiful items for sale.  There's a number of artisans who attend each event and to see familar faces adds to the atmosphere of community.  It's just an all around great day.  I'm pleased to announce that I'll be returning there for a Winter/Christmas sale on November 2. I painted some wooden keychains which debuted at this show and proved to be quite popular.

I've got a busy few weeks coming up actually.  I'm participating in a new (for me) event next Sunday October 13 at The Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg.  I've been at the Centre before but not at this particular show.  I'm looking forward to it. After that there's the November 2nd at Ormsby's then a  Meaford Museum show November 16.  I'm going to wrap things up for 2019 by returning to The Marsh Street Centre December 7.  

I've been struggling since the beginning of September (Labour Day to be exact) with sore throat issues which I thought were resolved with a reluctant trip to my doctor's office. This resulted in my being given a course of antibiotics as it was diagnosed as a bacterial throat infection.  It disappeared just as I was finishing the prescription but made an unwelcome reappearance shortly afterwards and has continued to do so with brief periods of pain-free swallowing.  I'm not a fan of doctor's visits and I'm hoping that my body decides to tell the sore throat to get a grip and jog off but today I'm not well.  I'm giving until Thursday in the hopes that I'm not going to have to go.

That's it for now!  Blessings to you all.

Autumn Is Here, Baby Is Walking

Posted on September 23, 2019 at 7:20 PM


After a long break for the summer I'm back on the blog.  Today is the Autumn Equinox and although I do like the autumn season there's a sadness to it that I never fail to feel.  The Earth is preparing for the long winter sleep and as the days grow shorter a chill usually starts to creep into the air.  I must say though, so far the weather has been warm and glorious. Mother Nature is not ready to slip into Autumn just yet.....and that is perfectly fine with me!

Over the summer I worked on a special painting as a gift for a new business owner.  Here is 'Sonia's Butterfly' in it's forever home in the shop.

A rather exciting event that occurred over the summer is that my wee grandson Niko decided to start walking.  My daughter sent me a little video of him in a store that I'm sure I've watched at least one hundred times.  I just can't get enough of that little guy!

Lately I've been working on some smaller pieces for a small October show in my favourite garden centre, Ormsby's in Meaford.  The Scarecrow Invasion is in full swing with all the little figures dangling from the streetlights and dotted all about the town in little groups.  Autumn is beautiful in Meaford and the whole town gets into the Scarecrow theme,  There are numerous apple orchards in the area and you just can't beat the wonderful crunch of a freshly picked apple. I've been painting some very tiny pieces, some of which feature apples.

I'm thinking about expanding my line of cards to include more specific occasions.  I started out just doing cards of some of my works with no sentiments inside, then added a couple of birthday designs.  Last year I added three Christmas designs which did quite well at my fall and winter sales.  I must get busy and paint a few more Christmas themed works to use for more variety.  

That wraps up my first blog after the summer break.

Blessings to you and yours!


Summer Has Arrived.

Posted on July 2, 2019 at 7:15 PM

I am happy to say that finally we are seeing some really warm weather.  In usual Southern Ontarion style we have gone from chilly temperatures to boiling hot and humid.  Not complaining though!  The winter is still pretty fresh in my mind. 

I have done two shows so far, one at my favourite garden centre, Ormsby's in Meaford.  It's such a beautiful setting!  Amongst all those fragrant flowers and plants, seeing familiar faces and catching up on all the news, the day was lovely.  I'm always so pleased to occupy the same space (which they reserve for me!) and there's no tent or heavy apparatus to lug, which was ideal due to the fact that I was alone this time.  I managed to capture a great couple of photos of a fuzzy bumblebee busily collecting pollen from the many plants which I hope to feature him (or her!) in a future painting.  I purchased a lovely solar garden light from a favourite fellow vendor and restrained myself from indulging in fish and chips from the food truck that joined us. After the show I spent the remainder of the weekend in Meaford binge watching 'Downton Abbey'.  What a perfect weekend.

The Collingwood Arts and Music Festival, also known as 'CAMF' was moved up from the August Civic Weekend to last weekend, which of course was Canada Day Weekend.  It was also relocated to a street situation, in downtown Collingwood, a new location for us.  As it was an outside venue I spent most of the week prior nervously checking the website of Environment Canada alternating with the weather app on my phone.  At first there were thunderstorms predicted, sending a shiver of horror through me.  Then relief when the next time I checked it was sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Then rain.  Then sun.  Then rain.  I finally had to stop myself checking and just resign myself to whatever Mother Nature decided to dish out.  As it turned out there wasn't a cloud in the sky and brilliant sunshine was the only weather that we had to deal with.  The set up went fairly smoothly and I was ready not too long after the required time.  I'm usually scurrying about, flustered, moving things about until I'm satisfied things are displayed properly.  There were live musicians quite near to us, all of which were really good, especially a young band who covered a lot of my favourite music including Pink Floyd and The Beatles.  Also quite close was a terrific food vendor, who was serving a delicious non alcoholic version of a mojito.  It was so refreshing on a pretty hot day.  The icing on the cake was my sale of my painting 'Glorious Gladiolas' to a very nice lady who was going to take it to Florida where she winters.  A great day, made even more special by the visit of my little grandson Niko.  My daughter was also a participant in CAMF.  

I am hoping that CAMF wil take place next year but there were some rumblings as to whether this will happen.  I'd be so sorry to see this particular event cease to happen.  I've been doing it now for over twelve years.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Many Blessings to you and yours.  See you next month.

Spring. Is It...Is It Here?

Posted on May 26, 2019 at 8:20 PM

Last month I mentioned that I hoped all the April rain would result in masses of May flowers.  We've been getting a lot of rain still, actually today is the first rain-free day we've had accompanied by summer like temperatures.  I'm actually feeling the heat as I type this and am pondering turning on the air conditioning system.  My forsythia has bloomed and now the greenery is appearing, creating a nice full hedge for my little sparrow friends to enjoy.  I've been busy in the flower shop, putting in almost eighty hours on Mother's Day Week.  Things have died down somewhat there as I try to restore things in the design room to normal.  My cards have been selling at the shop, which I'm quite pleased about.

This month my little grandson will be a year old.  I can't wrap my head around how fast that year has gone.  It seems like yesterday that I was writing about his appearance; at the same time he seems to have been in our little family forever.  I simply cannot imagine life without his sweet face and character.  Truly a joy and such a delight.  He is discovering new things every day and I try to spend as much time with him as possible.

I am so pleased to announce that this year's Twitter Art Exhibit, in support of Art In Healthcare was an enormous success, with opening night and online sales to date reaching over £15,000 which is approximately $25,650 in Canadian funds.  The online sales are ongoing and can be seen and purchased through Art In Healthcare's website:

I'm also absolutely thrilled to say that both my and my daughter's postcard sold on opening night.  I can't express how excited I was to wake up to that message on Twitter from the buyer, another artist from Edinburgh that I was aleady connected through Twitter and Instagram with.  My daughter's card was also purchased by a fellow artist, and that's an awesome feeling.  That's two years in a row our work has been purchased on opening night.  Looking forward to next year's event which is taking place in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.  A place I was quite familiar with some years ago.

Next month I have two shows, one at my favourite Ormsby's Garden Centre and the other in Collingwood.  I had better get painting!!!

See you in June.  Many Blessings to you and yours.

April Showers And Painter's Block

Posted on April 24, 2019 at 6:50 PM

I hope the saying is true, you know the one that says "April showers bring May flowers" because we have had gallons of rain fall upon us.  Not complaining, our grass is getting greener by the day and finally I can see buds appearing on my little lilac tree and my huge forsythia hedge.  In the morning I'm greeted by the sweet song of birds and the fresh green shoots of my various bulbs are starting to make a most welcome appearance.  I'm so happy that Spring is here.  I've finally shed my winter coat even if it means shivering in the mornings.

I haven't any new work to share with you I'm afraid.  I've not painted anything since my Twitter Art Exhibit submission. I have been taking photographs throughout the winter though to paint at some future date but my paints and brushes have remained in their storage places.  I'm not sure if I've hit a bit of a block.  There's a blank canvas on my easel that I keep trying not to look at.  I've been so caught up in work, my little grandson and a plethora of everyday issues and annoyances that the urge to paint seems to have diminished.  I have been very active on Twitter however, and have "met" a whole lot of new artists, gained about a hundred new followers and enjoyed many beautiful works that are tweeted mainly through Twitter Art Exhibit. Can't say enough about how wonderful an organisation that is. 

I'm going to start selling my cards in the flower shop where I am working in the week.  I'm hoping they will do well there, it's my first try at putting them in a retail setting.  I'll update that situation as soon as I've installed them there, and see the results.

That's all I have to share I'm afraid.  Next month the Twitter Art Exhibit opens, my fingers are crossed that my 'Red Apple Trio' sells as well as last year's 'Green Apples' sold (opening night)!

Have a great week, see you in May. 

Hello March, I'm Home!

Posted on March 4, 2019 at 6:40 PM

March honey, I'm home!

After two beautiful weeks in more favourable climes, I've returned to some pretty cold temperatures.  I'm always amazed at how quickly I forget the windchills, the sting of snow in my face and the layers and layers of garments required to deal with The Canadian Winter.  It was time for our annual trek to Florida.  The drive down was very smooth, despite the tiny hiccup of being selected "at random" for a closer inspection by the US Customs upon arrival at the border,  We had to leave our phones and everything else except our wallets and ID and enter the building while they searched the vehicle.  We were told to wait while there was a shift change and I pondered on whether that was designed to make us just a bit more uncomfortable.  Not that I had anything to hide, but those guys make you feel that you might....even though you don't.  It was over quite quickly however as the officers decided we were quite boring and didn't even look through much.  The Holiday had begun.

As we travelled south, I shed garments gradually, as it really wasn't until we reached the state of Alabama that it was warm enough. My favourite part is always finally being able to kick off my shoes and socks and slide my toes into my flip flops, which is the last item in my winter wardrobe to go. 

We spent a few days in the Florida Keys area, walked thousands of steps and took in the wildlife and gorgeous scenery of Biscayne National Park, a favourite spot of mine.  I took lots of pictures and a short but beautiful video of a cuckoo singing.  What I miss most during winter is the song of birds and the flowers and foliage growing outside.  The next leg of our trip was to the more commercial area of Orlando where we stayed in a resort.  There were activities every evening and the weather was wonderful.  Of course shopping featured largely in our daily routine and I spent a lot of time in the baby sections of most shops, scouring the racks for outfits for my little grandson.

The last part of the holiday is perhaps my favourite.  The oceanfront hotel in Daytona Beach.  The long walks by the waves, breathing in that sea air, the early morning watching the sunrise..... it's just so therapeutic.  That's where most of my recharging takes place and I'm always sorry to leave.  I took many photos of the different seabirds, the black and white gulls, the occasional Ibis, and the amusing little Sandpipers.  Pelicans flew by in precise formations, dipping and gliding over the waves in search of a tasty meal.  Unfortunately I was always just too late to capture them, or they stayed too far offshore to get a good shot.  Alas, all things come to an end and it was time to say goodbye.  

So I'm back into the socks, boots or shoes and sweatshirts, heavy coats and gloves.  Today the wind whipped up and the temperature has dropped into alarming numbers comparable to what I think the Arctic might be like.  The piles of snow on my lawn from the driveway have reached an impressive height and have just about covered my little garden of shrubs.  It's going to be a long time before I see any greenery here, but I've got an amazing collection of photographs to start a new series of works. 

Many Blessings to you and yours, and I hope that by the time I write my next blog, Spring might have made an appearance.  

February: Love, Snowstorms And An Escape

Posted on February 14, 2019 at 7:55 PM

After what had been a relatively uneventful winter, Mother Nature decided to stop toying with us and unleashed a series of vindictive storms.  The first bout arrived at the end of January but as February took over the snow begain to pile up.  The first round was a nasty mix of ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and snow.  The variance in the forms of precipitation made for an interesting digging experience.  My car was encased in a crusty slippery shell of glistening white.  The driveway was thickly covered in the same crispy layers, causing one have to crack the surface before actually being able to shovel.  I fervently hoped that the weather didn't interfere with my chores at the flower shop, being Valentine's Day, I really didn't want to add travel worries to my anxiety.  Of course Mother Nature decided to thumb her nose at my feeble human concerns and blasted us with yet another smorgasbord of wintery weather two days before Valentine's. Snow, ice, freezing rain and ice pellets, then snow.  a slow moving storm too, so the accumulation was quite heavy.   Luckily it calmed down enough for things to return to normal the next day and I geared up for rushing about getting things ready for the onslaught of customers.  Thousands of roses were unpacked, cut, dipped in hydrating solution and placed in buckets ready to be cleaned, dethorned, arranged, bundled and boxed ready for the lovers of the world to prove their affections.  I sit here now, on St Valentine's night, typing this blog as my feet and back are protesting and I'm questioning my sanity as to why I'm not lying prone somewhere, chin pointing to the ceiling.  It's a grueling time for a florist, as most of the chaos is experienced in just one day.  Tomorrow I must go into the shop, mostly to restore things to normal and also to prepare a wedding.  I don't want to go.  But there's a saving grace in the fact that after work I will be going on my annual holiday trip to warm temperatures and sunshine.  What gets me through the Valentine's madness is the thoughts of two weeks break from snow, ice, slush and briny windshields.  

I will be escaping to the sunny climes of South Florida.  I can hardly wait for the simple pleasures of seeing green plants and colourful flowers, of hearing the delightful song of birds, and most importantly, the absence of my daily commute through the slush and endless construction.  I will take dozens of photos to add to my collection to paint later.  I will have long refreshing walks on the beach in the early morning to recharge my batteries and hopefully by the time I return to the chilly North, Winter will be winding down somewhat and thinking about passing the torch to my second favourite season, Spring.  The time when Earth renews itself and starts us on another growing season.

Blessings to you and yours.