December 20, 2014

Beauty in the Winter Garden

This morning, everything in the garden was covered with a gorgeous feathery frost. I put on my boots, threw my winter jacket over my pajamas and ran out with my camera to capture the beauty before it melted in the sunshine.

During this busy, stressful time of year, I find that even a few minutes spent in nature can really help to provide perspective and calm. 
❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  

December 10, 2014

And Then It Snowed and Snowed

This morning we woke to a blanket of snow and it kept snowing. In fact, it still is. The first snowstorm of the year.

Despite the weather, well actually because of it, Meeko and I went for a walk in the forest in the early afternoon. We had the whole place to ourselves.

The scenery in the forest was absolutely enchanting. Snow covered every single tree trunk and branch. 
When Meeko runs in the snow, I have this song in my head. 
Look at the snowballs that accumulated on Meeko's legs. It was wet, sticky snow.
We are thawing inside now. It took over a half hour for the snow to melt that had accumulated on Meeko's legs but I think he would agree that it was worth it. We had so much fun!

Today, I was thinking of Emma's friends in her McGill University residence who will be experiencing their first snowstorm. I hope they are able to take a break from studying for their exams to build a snowman together! 

The winds have picked up and it is quite blustery at the moment. I'll be glad once Chloé's schoolbus arrives at the corner.

The beauty and challenges of snow.


December 7, 2014

The Christmas Tree

Our annual trek to a tree farm near Sorel, Quebec about an hour from where we live.
My husband and my youngest daughter Chloé on their way. An excited Meeko in the lead.
A gorgeous but very cold day. -13C (12F)
Me and Meeko (photo by Emma)
Beautiful milkweed.
Chloé makes a valiant plea for the Charlie Brown tree.
Meeko with Emma (photo by Emma)
The one! We walked through three fields of the plantation to find it.
Best to sit for long jobs.
When is this tree-cutting part over?
Crazy how early the sun starts dipping in the sky this time of year.
Last view of the tree farm as we drive away. See you next year!

December 6, 2014

A Giveaway!

Hello, my friends. I am starting to feel the holiday spirit and am having a giveaway on Instagram. I wanted to be sure that you knew about it! You could win a nature collection print, a 'Celebrate Simple Things' card and gift tag and a set of recipe cards--all featuring my watercolours. Check out my post on Instagram for how to enter. It's simple. Click here.

I will be choosing the winner on Tuesday, December 9th at 9:00 a.m. EST.

❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  

November 28, 2014

Holiday Sale!

This is just a sampling of what is available in my Etsy shop at the moment. I am offering 20% off everything (paintings, prints, holiday cards, tags and note cards) today and tomorrow. I don't hold sales very often and this will be my final one of 2014 so don't miss out! Use the coupon code THANKYOU2014 at checkout (November 28th and 29th, 2014. Coupon expires at midnight EST).

I also have a small selection of items on sale today on the Tributary Goods site. There you can use the coupon BLACKFRIDAY14.

Thank you for your ongoing support of my art. It is so appreciated!


November 23, 2014

The Canadian Collective

About two years ago, I volunteered to take over a Canadian team on Etsy along with another team member. I have to admit that I volunteered somewhat reluctantly but it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. The team was going to close otherwise. I didn't know the other volunteer and I wasn't sure at all what I was getting myself into.

It has turned out to be a very positive experience. My co-leader is Sarah Norwood of the Canadian handmade lingerie shop OhhhLulu. We've not only managed the team together but have helped it to evolve and emerge out the other side of several very big Etsy changes.

It was only after several months of working together that we discovered that we share the same birthday. We were both born on Canada Day. It was funny to find that out. It made us feel that we were somehow destined to be leaders together of a Canadian team. We correspond with each other on an almost daily basis for team business and just to share bits and pieces of our life. Sarah's a young new mom. I'm an older mom with two teenagers. She lives in a small town in Ontario. I live in the suburbs of a big city in Quebec. She's an early bird. I'm a bit of a night owl. She has a pug named Oliver. I have a wheaten named Meeko. She designs and sews exquisite handmade lingerie. I paint detailed, delicate watercolours. Somewhere in all of those similarities and differences, we have become good friends.

Our team was initially called Team Canuck. This fall, we renamed ourselves The Canadian Collective and have started to build our presence outside of Etsy. We are an amazing, diverse group of fifty Canadian handmade and vintage online shops and we are still growing. I do a lot of work behind the scenes but Sarah is the tireless ball of energy and ideas that drives the team. Thanks to Sarah, we now have our own blog and website. The collective members also contribute and collaborate in many ways and happen to be really nice people as well.  So many teams on Etsy have closed down recently but, by remaining positive, our members have grown closer and stronger.

From November 21 through midnight (EST) on November 24th, we are having our first sale. There are 27 shops offering discounts ranging from 10 to 20%. In my shop, you will receive 15% off regular prices. Just use the coupon code CANADIANCHRISTMAS at the Etsy checkout. (The coupon is open to international shoppers.) If you'd like to know more about the other shops participating, you can consult our website or Facebook page. It's a wonderful opportunity to support small, independent handmade and vintage businesses across Canada.

Photo at top: 'Just keep climbing' poster from Ontario photographer Tyson of WildTravels, polar bear collage art by Nova Scotia artist Angela of SeeingStars, vintage winter painting from Corinne of Ontario vintage+handmade shop Untried, vintage navy trench coat from Angela and Beatrice of Ontario vintage clothing shop Two Moxie, infinity scarf from Alberta designer TeakaMarie, vintage blankets from Heather of the British Columbian vintage housewares shop theweekendshop, star map print from my shop, and a handmade velvet longline bra from Sarah's shop Ohhhlulu.

November 19, 2014

A Walk in the Snow with Meeko

Wanna go on a walk with me? If you say yes, I'll show you the way.

It's over that way. You remember, right?

First, you walk past the tall grasses. Wow, it's a really pretty day today.

Wait, you're taking my leash off? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Now you need to walk over the board that someone put across the little stream. The stream is already frozen. It's been so cold the past few days.

Hey Kathleen, how come you're lagging behind? Don't worry. I'll wait for you.

It's so pretty here this morning.

Look at those dried leaves and the sparkly snow.

That was really a lot of fun.

Wanna go on another walk with me?

❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  

The weather changed abruptly here this week. Last week, I was gardening with a sweater on. This week I am wearing full winter gear. Yesterday was miserably cold. Everything was covered in ice. The wind howled all day long and was bitterly cold. It was about -12C or 10F with the wind chill factor.  I couldn't even face taking Meeko for his walk, a very rare occurrence. I did manage to harvest (hack out) some vegetables from the back garden though. You can see the photos here and here.

Today, it is completely different. The sun is out. There is no wind. Meeko and I were able to go on the forest path for the first time this season. It's too swampy to walk in the spring and the summer so we really cherish the months when it is walkable. As you can see from the photos above, we had a ball together. What a gorgeous morning. Thank you, Meeko my friend, for getting me out and into it.



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