…one must make some Mail Art of one’s sketches and clippings… Antonella da Messina is showing up in a lot of places right now…

Tiger moth blog

First Rule for surviving the inevitable miserable portion of a BC Coast winter: don’t look out of the window. Seriously, anywhere else but. Or you might see this:


..or this:


You are probably saying to yourself, Oh look, Snow – how pretty! Just what I said… for five minutes. This is not that pretty kind of snow – this snow is wet and slushy and heavy and brings down the tree limbs onto power lines so that you are stoking the woodfire all night long to keep the deep, damp chill at bay. Very Icky. No ShopRider is going down the ramp, and a wobbly person like me is definitely not going to try to maneuver in the frozen muck. A soaking wet ass is not good for a person’s dignity, best to avoid the extremely high probability in this weather.

So, once the blankets are hung over the draughty windows, (you think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?) I find it best to turn my gaze to faraway places. Luckily, I have friends who Travel. For instance, Lisa at sell your tv and come to the cinema has just spent a marvellous two months in India, and I could not resist sketching the most beautiful moth she saw on the wall where she was teaching.  The exotic sights of Ahmedabad will sooth a shivery soul.

And Julie, over at Kitchen Culinaire is gearing up for her yearly trip to Paris, so pictures of Madelines and markets and the Eiffel Tower are gracing my laptop monitor… dreamy!  A lucky group of people are in for a tour of great deliciousness, and I will be following along every step of the way. She might even spy another stamp shop while she is there and think, “I know someone who would want these..”


Speaking of postal inspiration, I have even received a postcard from Myanmar this winter – I’m pretty sure this cancelled stamp is as close as I will ever be to this enigmatic country. Though never say never…

Burma cancel blog

I affix these happy bits of travel to the board in my thinking room. A nice warm fire cheers up the house, and colour fills my grateful eyes.


In fact, last night when I was absentmindedly staring up from a drawing, my eye caught a corner of vintage pale blue… but I couldn’t think who had sent me this bit of Florida sunshine.


I flipped it over, and was reminded of a particularly difficult birthday, and the warmth of many friends who made it completely better.


Winter? What winter… in fact did you know the light is already coming back??



Bindo print blogSome days when I pick up my journal I have no idea at all what I’m going to do with it. Like this day, cold and foggy outside but warm and quiet in front of the fire. I had finally cleared off the project table, and pulled out a can of lilac paint to give it a fresh coat, a new board to play on.

Of course, the second it was dry, I had to start piling. I had cut out two versions of the butterfly sketch I did recently,  to be used for possible collages, and they drifted on top of a print of a painting of mine – layers of work in different scales.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOut came the camera…


Things were pushed around, photos were snapped, then upstairs to my printer… where I happened to find a piece of messy brown paper, which of course had to be stuffed through and printed upon. And all this with absolutely no thought of beginning, middle or end. It is a relief to just let serendipity have its way, like wakeful dreaming. I love when this happens.


And I love when the final image scan is something so appealing to me, that I want to put in in my journal… and start the process all over again…

Brown paper3blog



Blog post 100.

A new sketchbook to begin the New Year.

A deep feeling that journeys, of the inner and the outer kind, will fill 2014 with days that are always creatively engaging…..

Be Here Now… because Here is Fantastic.




Broken butterfly blog

The original tattered butterfly was a gift from a friend, more than a couple of years ago. “Hey, I found this on the front of my car.. thought I would save it for you.”

My friends know me well.


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But far worse would be to avoid, or to forget. Because then we wouldn’t be able to walk the road to reconciliation.

Tomorrow Poppies can belong again to Georgia O’Keeffe, and Kenzo, and Dorothy of Oz. As they should – except in November.

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I don’t need much of an excuse to use the brights.. and I just got a spangly new green.


Too bad the screen doesn’t convey the shimmer.



…and who could resist a fluorescent pink called “Opera”?  Not me.

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A Thanksgiving reunion with a friend and a chance discovery of some weird lumps at the side of the road started it. We were meandering happily to the Gumboot Cafe, she strolling, me scooting, not two minutes away from my house when something bright, bright red on the edge of the road caught our attention. We stopped to peer into the leaves and grass, and there they were, fascinating in their odd perfect roundness and shocking  colour. But we didn’t really have time for gazing at crazy mushrooms – limited moments of laughter and beer and catch-up were much more important – so Sandra snapped a quick phone photo, and we continued on to a perfect afternoon… but I knew I would need to go back for a closer look.


The next day, scooter and camera would be required. I am aware that a parked shoprider and a woman scrubbing around in the ditch is not an everyday occurrence, but in the Creek people really don’t make much of a fuss about these things, so I was happily undisturbed during my little photo session. I got some great shots and a nice wave from the bus driver. I may have been a tad bit close to the edge of the road.


It wasn’t enough, though – already growing bigger and so, so beautiful, not only did I sketch them, but I went back a third day as the cap was expanding. I used those shots to make a transfer for my ideabook.

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I intend to keep going back for as long as they are there. These spectacular gifts on the side of the road may not appear again, I have never seen them before… maybe those people who can roam this rainforest see them every year, but for me on my scooter at the bottom of my road – they are a quite rare and wonderous sight. Magic, indeed.



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Cool enough to wear a warm jacket. Bright and dry enough to scoop up impossibly coloured leaves as I skim around on my shoprider. Perfect conditions for sipping perfect coffee in either of my favourite haunts. Add in some brand new Micron Pigma pens, and October is looking very lovely indeed.

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Cappuccino: Gumboot Cafe


Straight Traders – before…


…and after

Time deliciously spent.


This summer on the coast has been spectacular, and I have relished every minute of it, but of all the seasons I have to say I love Fall best. As a Person With Multiple Sclerosis (aka PWMS) summer can be a bit torturous depending upon the big, warm sun. I like to fill my eyes and my skin with light and warmth every second I can, but if I miscalculate and the heat rises… well I am flattened. Like a bad pancake, weak wobbly and yucky.  And that is no fun. So it is a bit of a dance every day to take advantage, carefully, of summer’s intensity. But Fall, now this is my time. Days are shorter, but the air is soft and crisp. Here we can sometimes spin it out for months, and many a day will be bright with sunshine – minus the high temperature, though it can get very pleasantly warm. Perfect I say. So Ella and I went for a little jaunt to Davis Bay to check out the day, the first day of many to come before the rains… we hope.


Scented wild roses are sending out their last buds, and all the big rose hips are turning colour.



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I snapped some shots, and nipped some buds and returned home to my sunny deck for an afternoon of sketching – no wobbling or retreating inside from excessive heat. Supremely lovely.

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Ella, although born in the Caribbean, appears to be adjusting quite nicely to the Sunshine Coast. Good girl.






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