Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saving Private Ryan

We watch this movie twice a year - on the anniversary of D Day in June and on Remembrance Day in November. And we cry every time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Words, words, and more words

Simon at Stuck-in-a-Book showed us this gizmo - you can create your own at Wordle. For this one I just plugged in the address of this blog. You can enter any words you want.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wine Country

There are about seventeen or eighteen wineries on Vancouver Island - many many more vineyards. There are "Wine Tour" road signs along the backroads from the Saanich Peninsula (near the ferry terminal) to the Cowichan Valley (at Duncan) across the inlet.

From Swartz Bay at Lands End Road at the peninsula's northern tip, the coastline-hugging road passes million-dollar waterfront homes and full views of Saltspring Island. Each winery has its own tasting room and retail outlet, open from spring to fall and by appointment in off seasons. A ferry across the inlet from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay bypasses the Malahat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

San Antonio

Some sketches from our trip to San Antonio
The Alamo

We had lunch at the Bolivar Cafe

The Little Church at La Vallita (the little village).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Language and Lettering

Practicing brush lettering with watercolors and brushing up on language. The Hawaiian language is ever fascinating ... so many vowels, and each one enunciated.

Some of my Hawaiian friends and readers may want to correct the spelling or translations.

Photo is of the orchid nursery on 10th Avenue. We passed here often on the way to Rainbow Market for Spam musubi

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Birthday Book

These are a few pages from the book I made for my cousin's birthday. Here are Grandma and Grandpa and the house where they raised nine kids

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Family photos

Grandma and Grandpa

Aunt Hazel and Uncle Spence

These are actually stamp-size images that I used for a book I was making

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Zoomers

As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative Mathetmatics, I honestly do not know how old I am - Erma Bombeck

Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of ther own - Doug Larson

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of 50, you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth - Marya Mannes

Chase your passion, not your pension - Denis Waitley

A House is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body - Benjamin Franklin

Twilight drops her curtain down and pins it with a star - Lucy Maud Montgomery

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Small Haiku Book

the first page

the second page
and the cover - the Japanese character on the cover says Spring

The book when closed measures 9.5 cm x 16.5 cm (3 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.). The inside pages are Arches Textwove and the cover is a soft Momi something-or-other (I forget the name)

We made these books at a workshop with Sherri Kiesel and Peter Thornton

Friday, May 15, 2009


Zoomers is a magazine published by CARP - Canadian Association of Retired People. It comes to me each month as part of my membership.

I always look forward to the quotations that are scattered throughout. Some make me smile, and other are thought provoking.

My grandmother started walking fives miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now, and we don't know where the hell she is - Ellen DeGeneres

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art - Eleanor Roosevelt

Age is the acceptance of a term of years, but maturity is the glory of the years - Martha Graham

The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools - Doug Larson

Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either - Marshall McLuhan

When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again - Hugo L. Black

Old age ain't no place for sissies - Bette Davis

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age - Victor Hugo

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. 'Why', I answered without a thought, 'now'. - David Grayson

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been - Madeleine L'Engle

Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success - Henry Ford

Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read - Sir Francis Bacon

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on - Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, May 04, 2009

Designing with Nature

at Sitka Center
in Oregon
We walked about in the fields and in the woods, collecting bits and pieces of this and that. I've always been partial to the leaves on the money plants. That's probably not the proper name for that plant, but they do look like coins.

Here are some golden ginkgo leaves and a lovely poem by an ancient Chinese poet

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wild Irises

Visiting with my friend in Oregon for a few days. There is a quiet stream at the back of their place and a lot of marshland that is thick with wild irises

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm testing this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day in Canada. At our local food market, one wall is covered with art work from Grade 5 students. They have written, drawn and colored on large brown paper shopping bags. Along with the usual three R's - reduce, recycle and re-use - they've added their own words.

This one is my favorite - it says

Save our earth

it's the only planet with chocolate

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gilda's Club

Gilda's Club is housed in the old firehall on Lombard Street in Toronto, where Gilda Radner was featured in Second City with John Belushi.

After dropping out of the University of Michigan where she was studying drama, Gilda moved to Canada and made her stage debut in the 1972 Toronto production of Godspell with another soon-to-be Saturday Night Live cast member, John Belushi. After a brief stint with Second City, an improvisational comedy troupe, they both moved to New York.

Gilda Radner: a little slip of a thing with ordinary girl-next-door looks, a Cocker Spaniel hairstyle, and twinkling eyes– “American’s Sweetheart,” impossibly dead at age 42.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Postcards Exchange

Our art group has been having an exchange of postcards. This is one I made by clipping bits from an old book I found at the local thrift store for 25 cents. It's called Sewing Made Easy by Mary Lynch and Dorothy Sara, published by Garden City in 1950. I cut the shirt and pants from bits of cloth.

The words are from the section entitled You and Your Accessories ... "general instructions on selecting hats, shoes, stockings, gloves, furs, handbags, and jewelry. Specific instructions for choosing accessories if you are tiny, if you are tall if you are plump". The quote in brown isn't from that book ... it's from Gilda Radner. I miss that woman

I base my fashion sense
on what doesn't itch

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Body Book

This is another unfinished and ongoing recycling project. I saw these remarkable images of body tattoos in a magazine, and knew I wanted to keep them. I clipped them out, and now what to do with them?

I bought a children's board book at the Peninsula Community Thrift Shop for 15 cents. I scraped it and sanded it and painted it. I smoothed some different colors of chalk along the torn edges of the pages. With some acrylic paint backgrounds I now had a place to paste the tattoo images

I love these images of women's bodies ... all shapes and sizes, colors and ages.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Sending you hugs and kisses, wherever you are now.

This picture was taken a long time ago with one of those old cameras before digital.

Wish you were here with us now, but you're always in our hearts and minds.

Nan asked in the comments 'who was on his back' and also commented on the picture of me on the sidebar. So, here is another old picture ... same man, different child. This one is me. Quite a few years earlier, as you might imagine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Paper Cranes

On most Saturdays we meet at the Men's Prison for a meditation group. M is a nun in the Tibetan tradition .... we meet in the dining hall with a small group of prisoners. Guards look on, but as yet none have joined us.

We meditate, drink tea and talk ... and fold paper cranes. We started with very large pieces of newspaper because it's easier to fold a large one when first learning. Many of them were set in flight about the hall ... like paper airplanes. We laughed a lot and ate all the cookies.

Over a few weeks, we gradually progressed to smaller and smaller models until the guys became familiar with the folds. They hung the cranes in their rooms when they went back. They don't live in cells here, but in blocks of duplexes scattered about the grounds.

Eventually I became known as "the crane lady"

Friday, March 20, 2009


The universal enso on my new t-shirt symbolizes enlightenment and oneness with nature. Zenga are the ink paintings and calligraphy of Japanese Zen Buddhist monks from approximately 1600 to the present.

The calligraphy reads:

Pure white birds set against
emerald waters,
Green mountains ablaze
with blooming flowers.

Zen priest, Ed Brown, described how his teacher, Suzuki Roshi, said, "you all are enlightened until you open your mouth"

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I learned to love Spam when I was living in Hawaii. David and I would walk down the 10th Avenue hill, past the orchid nursery, past the pool and the school to have a meal of Spam Musubi at Rainbow Market. We sat outside at the beat-up old picnic table and drank ice tea while waiting for our orders.

Hawaii holds the honor of being the Spam capital of the United States. During World War II, Spam became a staple in the diets of troops overseas and in the war-torn countries such as England and islands such as Hawaii that had trouble getting fresh meat. Hawaiians continued to consume Spam following the war. It is Hawaii's soul food.

Sadly, I can't eat Spam now because of the high sodium content, but I long for it each time I pass by those shelves in the market.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

January 2009

We have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

with thanks to my cousin in Alberta
for the photo of Sun in Fog
and to my friend in New Hampshire
for the William Ward quote