Just beet it… October!

It has been a crazy busy where did this month go – October. For you as well? And what did I make to show for it? almost nothing.

THEN we went to COOMBS Goats on a Roof Country market and I got a 20 lb bag of beets. What more can a girl ask for?

After the lovely Nova Scotian Kate left from her awesome visit here.. I pickled beets last weekend! It was our first weekend alone as a couple in our new home and it seemed like just the right nesting thing to do. Below is a slideshow of the process. If you want the recipe, comment below.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

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topsy turvy check in

Let’s check in with the topsy turvy planters, shall we? Planted them 2 months ago. Organic soil, peat, super easy to put together and the root systems grow upwards heated by the plastic container. cool. My sweety helped hang them in a different place in teh garden a month ago because the vine they were planted under blew up into a zillion green leaves and flowered into gorgeous dangling delicate purple flowers. Now out tof the shade they are fabulous.

We’ve eaten 2 dozen little plump fully red strawberries so far. The tomatoe plants.. i busted a huge stem off while bragging to said sweety about the progress. That said, they’ve both tripled and are flowering yellow now! Our June on the coast, was the westest / rainiest on record ..so welcome to the hot July growing season! Stay tuned for harvest end of August, I’m guessing? So with zero effort and being super cheap I’m a fan of the upside down garden thingmes. Have you tried the As Seen on TV Topsy Turvy? Did it work for you?

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adventures of my green thumbs begins.

I’m learning how to garden! I know, exciting right? Living in this glorious retreat ~ and by glorious I mean a whole lotta “free” work on our end while paying someone else’s mortgage… Anywho.. the gardens are spectacular, at last!  I’ve been weeding and cutting flowers for vases for both my therapy offices and for both bathrooms and the kitchen, in the house. Awesome. So I have spent some time photographing the progress and I thought i’d start sharing photos of new finds, researching what they are and anything interesting about them, how to close down stuff as it dies (we had this overwhelming daffodil bed by the front door that I discovered I was supposed to trim after it died off.. leading me to wonder.. do I have to remove the greens from all bulbous plants after they kick it? I dunno). *** see middle photo with the ends of the poppies. Do I dry them out in a paper bag all winter and plant that? or is it just the little dry purple hairs that I plant?*** THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU BLOG FRIENDS, READING THIS ~ COMES IN! Please comment below or send me a link? danke.*

I just like the colours and smells and the ambiance they bring our summer life now. lol. So I’m learning and thought you might like to witness my learning and contribute  a thing or three for my learning? oui? Let’s begin our adventure of my green thumbs together.

This weeks’ fav flower is the peone. Have you smelt a peone lately? Oh man. This is the flower to put in the bathroom that really makes a difference after the mano f the house does his morning business. And what a great name. Did I even spell it correctly? Also pictured here is my new fav summer drink The Orchard peach Cider. yum. And I managed a craft placement of my fish ice cubes! As well, my arms took a serious beating when I tried to pick the pretty pink roses that have sprouted up everywhere! eek.

More on roses another time, there’s several species here.

Make (or grow) Something Every Day

spray painting anything that doesn’t move

Thank goddess no one told me how fun spray painting wicker was. I have urges to spray paint anything that isn’t moving.

Watch out cats.

I was supposed to be weed wacking the entire garden and yard all afternoon so instead I did this.   This 5 minute make over was super fun!! This one of those over $100  Ikea wicker chaise lounges, that i scored from Craigslist last year for $20. It got moldy over winter. So I hauled it out, brushed it off, sprayed her down in the sunshine and voila!

wiki: “In 1949, Edward Seymour added paint to existing aerosol can technology at his wife Bonnie’s suggestion. It was initially designed to demonstrate an aluminum paint he developed. Most aerosol paints also have a metal, glass or plastic ball called a pea inside of the can, which is used to stir (mix) the paint without the user having to touch it.”

BEFORE  SHOTS– with duct tape to fix under pinnings & Rust proof Navy Blue Spray paint from HomeDepot (cost $10 for 2)

 

THE AFTER SHOT – I used both spray cans for this one coat in the photo. I’m going to get another can to do the under pinnings and spot check the top. It dried instantly. PS. Lovely husband if you are reading this – I need your help when you get home from up north to re-do what i tried to fix with duct tape – likely with actual screws. PS. I’m also MAKING a roast with beer, in the slow cooker. come home. lol. xo.

Make Something Every Day

It seems I’m not the only spray paint addict. Check out the related articles below.

May ~purge a thing a day report!

30-38 UNinspired objects.

As per my May Purge challenge…here’s my list.

1. thrift store score $1 car racing kids game that we had fun with then i sent it in a pkg to kate in NS

2. HP printer journal – doesn’t work with our printer ~ why am i keeping it?

3. Wax sex toy joke thing from wedding (unopened)

4. lp console- got a new turntable for xmas from my love so why am i keeping thiw antique if it doesnt work – craigsliat?

5. 2 folder things

6. a dog toy

7. records. my record blog -justfortherecords.wordpress.com -a big box of rejects leaves every month. I get them thrift and return them thrift.

8. make up. I’m new to make up and realize now that it expires so “b-bye”.

9. May 2- I finished a physical 12 day herbal Wild Rose detox purge. That counts, non!?

10. Plastic toys, crayons, sequins, a crystal, old maps, kids & adult books, a dinosaur, 3 pieces of jewelry etc.. In a pkg for a friend on the other coast of Canada.

11. 2 DVDs

12. Bathroom hygiene products x5

13. Tube of tennis balls

14. Sweater I love but I shrink. Ugg.

15. hygeine products- unopened stuff that’s sat here over a year. x5

16. Frames

17. Books-several that if I haven’t read em yet…

18-21. dog bowls, food scoop, pottery water dish, to the thrift store for another doggie to enjoy.

22. Odd stuff like rope, a belt,

23. Lots of clothes

24. File folder thing for receipts.

25. camping gear

26. Glasses & mugs

27. 2 pillows

28. Husbands clothes

29. Kitchen wood bowl

30. More clothes x4

My sweety is away at camp & when he returns this week I’ll add his pile to my car load & off it will go up the ladies transition house thrift store in Courtenay. Missing from the photo is the console, a xmas tree stand, some furniture.

TIPS for your PURGE:

1. did I use it / wear it this year?

2. is there a sentimental value that couldn’t be replaced / isn’t recorded somewhere else?

3. is it multi-purpose?

4. do i see myself packing and moving and unpacking this item?

5. can i picture myself missing it in 5 years?

Make Something (or purge something) Every Day

Purge a thing a day ~in May

Motivated by a blog I read recently about simplifying life – she purged one thing every day for a year, I’m onto a new challenge. We seem to move annually on my birthday at the beginning of October & I’m shocked every year at how much we acquire. Buying, craigslist scores, hand me downs, thrifting etc… This year is no different. Whether we buy or rent we are moving off this sland (& moving over to the big island & 30 mins south), by October 1st!

About 4x a year, I get a big box out and label it “Sally Ann”. This month’s goal? I’m going to get rid of “a thing a day” and show you at the end of the month. I’m aiming for more than that.

Breaking news! I’m having Saturday morning coffee & blogging in bed with my love. He has agreed to join me & have his own box of 30! Whether we thrift it, Recycle, compost, give away… a thing a day (x2) is leaving.

Side confessional: there’s an annual children’s centre garage sale on this island that we attend every year. It’s May 5. I’ll behave, I swear. Mostly just hoping for record scores for my record a blog. Lol. And pottery. And art supplies. Oh go ON!

Also, I finished a book my sweety got me for Xmas:

20120428-113143.jpgIt’s full of inspiring artists & projects that are enviro friendly. Reducing, repurposing, upcycling, recycle. Great education about toxic products we are all guilty of using in our studios & recipes for healthier ones. Also of interest to me were the enviro community art projects.

If you don’t have a fabulous husband like mine who gets me great gifts.. here’s the link to ordering it for yourself: green guide for artists ~ to buy

What could you get rid of this month?
Make Something every day

what I’m learning about Robin’s eggs & more photos

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I’m going to attempt to photo them every day. I’m labeling them day 1 realizing that I have no idea when they were hatched. TODAY I saw momma Robin incubating! Above are today’s photos of the eggs and the nest location on my craftroom porch. I feel a bit weird about this to tell you all the truth. I was vegetarian for many years then ate meat the last decade.. now considering switching back. The connection was not lost on me this morning as I was trying to crack open my breakfast hard boiled egg, with my fake nails ~ while editing bird egg photos. I love nature and plants and animals big time but I’ve never really gained the maturity about the death part of animals. *Kate ~ remember giving me the cycle of life speech at 20 yrs old when Salal cat brought the dead bat into the bathroom for me? *  Currently our 14 yr old aged dog is in his last “days” and it’s heart breaking. When I’m healthy enough I see that it’s all a  beautiful thing but.. what if the baby birds are dead when i hold the camera up there one day? or fall out of their best. Nature meets art, I digress.

The following article came from http://wwwlearner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/EggstaEggstra.html  

Eggstra! Eggstra! The Story of Robin Eggs

The main purpose of a robin’s life is to make more robins. Migration, territory, courtship, nest building, egg laying, incubation, and care of the young are all parts of the breeding cycle. These activities happen so robins can pass their genes on to new generations — and the cycle begins again. Here’s the story behind those little blue eggs and the natural instincts that let mom know what to do.

Early Birds Catch Worms, Then Lay Eggs
Most birds lay their eggs at sunrise, but NOT robins! They lay their eggs at mid-morning. That’s several hours later than most birds lay eggs. For robins, this makes good sense. Robins eat a lot of earthworms during the breeding season, and they use those early dark hours to hunt for worms because worms are most available before the sun gets too high. Robins lay their eggs mid-morning after feasting on worms. A robin can then fly over to her nest and lay her eggs easily, but most other birds seem to need a long period of quiet before they can lay eggs. Those other species can get a big breakfast even if they eat late because they don’t want worms anyway!

An Egg a Day is Work
If you think laying an egg is easy, think again! Robins lay only one egg per day for good reasons. Female birds have one working ovary, unlike mammals, which have two. Ovaries are the organs where eggs are produced. A bird’s ovary looks like a tiny bunch of different-sized grapes. These “grapes” are the ova, or actually the yolks. The one ovum about to be released looks huge. One or two are about half this size, a few more are a bit smaller, and the rest of the ova are tiny. About once a day, the largest yolk is ovulated. That means it pops off the ovary and starts traveling down a tube to the outside of the robin’s body. This tube is called the oviduct.

If a female robin has mated with a male, the yolk will become fertilized. If the robin hasn’t mated, the yolk still goes down the oviduct and will be laid like a normal robin egg, but it won’t develop into a robin. As the yolk travels through the oviduct, the tube’s walls slowly secrete (drip out) watery proteins called albumen to surround the yolk. Near the end of the trip down the tube, the oviduct secretes calcium compounds. The calcium compounds will become the eggshell, but the egg will remain a bit soft until it is laid. You can imagine why the formation of an egg is a tremendous drain on a mother robin’s body!

Stopping At Four
Robins usually lay four eggs and then stop. Like most birds, they lay one egg a day until their clutch is complete. If you remove one egg each day, some kinds of birds will keep laying for a long time, as if they can stop laying only when the clutch of eggs feels right underneath them. Robins normally lay four eggs. 

On The Nest
Until they’ve laid a full clutch, robins allow all the eggs to stay cool so the babies don’t start to develop. That’s pretty smart! It means all the babies hatch close to the same time. Mother robins may start incubating their eggs during the evening after the second egg is laid, or after all the eggs are laid. They sit on the eggs for 12 to 14 days. The female usually does all the incubating. Even in good weather, she rarely leaves her eggs for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

It’s mom’s job to maintain the proper incubation temperature, keeping the eggs warm during cold weather and shaded during really hot weather. She also must turn or rotate the eggs several times daily. She hops on the rim of the nest and gently rolls the eggs with her bill. Turning the eggs helps keep them all at the same temperature and prevents the babies from sticking to the insides of the eggshells. Males only occasionally sit on the eggs, but they hang out in the territory throughout the daylight hours and respond immediately if the female gives a call of alarm. A male may even bring food to feed his mate, but usually she leaves the nest to feed herself.

Some birds, like hawks and owls, lay their eggs when weather is still very cold, and start to incubate as soon as the first egg is laid. The egg they laid on the first day hatches out a day before the egg they laid on the second day, which hatches a day before the third day’s egg. Therefore, the oldest baby may be a lot bigger than the smallest baby. If hunting is very bad and the babies are very hungry, the biggest may sometimes eat the smallest. The oldest baby leaves the nest before the later babies, too.

Sharing Her Body Heat
The eggs must be kept warm to develop. A robin’s body is 104 degrees F. or even warmer. Feathers insulate by keeping the bird’s body heat inside, and the outer feathers can still feel cool to the touch. That’s why female robins need a special way to keep their eggs warm. They have an incubation patch, or brood patch, which is a place on their bellies where their feathers fall out. A mother robin shares her body warmth by parting her outer feathers and then pressing her hot bare tummy against her eggs or her young nestlings. Outer feathers cover the bare area so the brood patch is hidden. (It’s a little like keeping the oven door closed so the heat stays inside.) Scientists who hold a female robin for banding will often blow on the tummy feathers to see if a brood patch is hiding underneath.

Many birds apparently sense the egg temperature with receptors in the brood patches. This helps the birds determine how much time to spend on eggs, and they can change their incubation behavior accordingly. For example, they may sit more or less tightly on the eggs, or leave the eggs exposed while going to feed or drink.

Fighting its way out of the egg isn’t easy for a chick. First it breaks a hole in the shell with its egg tooth, a hard hook on its beak. Then it must struggle with all its might, between periods of rest, to get out. No wonder hatching may take a whole day. The eggs usually hatch a day apart in the order they were laid. Naked, reddish, wet, and blind, the babies require A LOT of food. Now it becomes a full time job for both parents to protect the nest, find food, and feed the clamoring babies during the 9-16 days they spend in the nest.

Make Something Every Day

the Honeymoon’s Over Poo

Guess what I’m making today, folks? Did the subject title give it away?

Day 3 of the wild rose herbal detox and I’m glad to not be at work today, I’ll tell you. Or maybe I won’t. Lol. Let’s just say its been very eventful since last night. I’ve done these a few times over the years (& should do them annually at spring), but it’s been a couple years of toxicin buildup this time. New packaging, same Canadian made herbal 6 pills / day formula and that tincture smell is one of a kind. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m on about.

I’ll leave you with excerpts from an Xmas book from my loving husband- who when I met~ I wouldn’t even say the word “poo”.

 

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Topsy turvy experiment

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As seen on TV.. Oh boy! While picking up more self-hardening craft clay, I spotted the upside down plant growers for $2 bucks, at the dollar store the other day. I thought what the heck! I’ve got spare dirt @ home left over from my Easter banana tree & can get tomatoe seedlings cheap on island (our q-cove nursery is one of the only good businesses here). So that’s what I did today. Even tho I’ve been wearing flips for 2 weeks, I was lectured to keep them hung indoors for another couple of weeks. They will get hung outdoors in the deer proofed garden, shown in the background in 2nd plant photo. They were idiot proof to set up but SUPER heavy! I thought I filled them but after initial soaking, I need to fill them again later. Here’s day one photos of the experiment:

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resin results

well hello blog friends! it’s been a week long hang over from the THING A DAY project I did in Feb! Phew. It was super fun and sparked me in all different directions. This past few weeks, we’ve been dealing with our aging pup (who is not in pain and happy on meds for now, thanks for asking).. so I’ve been focusing on that, lots of work and my record a day blog.

A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of making a huge mess and having huge fun with resin experiments. After watching youtube videos and buying some.. I decided to try all sorts of molds, objects embedded, beach objects used etc.. I had some success with food colouring and using paint pallette molds, while the chocolate plastic molds held my creations tightly after curing (24 hours)..no matter how much PAM spray I used ahead of time. hm.

Here’s some photos of the messy fun and creations. I used porquipine needles, paintings, photos, charms, beach glass, plastic animals, flowers, material, buttons, washer pendents, coral, shells,  dead bugs… I practiced on a painted canvas. Resin is equal to 7 layers or more of lacquer and can be used to create depth which you can then paint on top of again etc. very cool stuff. Still to learn: polishing, drilling holes, filing edges. see if you can spot my new easel!?

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