Monday, March 30, 2020

Stay Home~Restez Chez Vous~




I keep harping about this on IG..Please..Please..Please.



Friday, March 13, 2020

~Mid March~2020.





I have never witnessed anything like this in 66 years~
Covid-19.

I painted this flattering self~ portrait..I say flattering because I am not wearing my 18 winter layers and slippers..and it's from the back..just about 1 day before things started going haywire here.

As of now..our Prime Minister's wife,Sophie Grégoire ~Trudeau has the virus.

All schools are shut for at least 2 weeks.

Events gathering too many people are canceled.
Sporting events canceled.
Store shelves bare of certain necessities.
The stock market is  ..you know..

Cities..closed down..countries..
Our parliament is closed until end of April.
The government.. will continue..but by phone..and web..

It's all so much and so frightening for many.
It's easy for us to say relax..but I did wake up several times..really concerned.
My What If middle name is overactive.
I really never sleep well in the best of times..so..

I think of the health of everyone..businesses..

The economic outcome seems  grim.
That's not me predicting this.

In the last 10 yrs I have seen that many people are alone.
What of them?
Who can they find comfort with?
In a way the internet and social media will be a blessing  for house bound people..
It certainly made the news spread soo fast.
The bad jokes..the shocking photos..
The jokes in poor taste..are the worst.
How people can find humor in all this is really beyond me.

I have often mentioned it's good to develop a HOME hobby..I hope you do.
Now is the time to be grateful for reading..knitting..painting..writing..etc..


I have to see a doctor next week..I told my husband to stay home.
I will go alone.
We are being well informed here in QC..


I tried painting yesterday and it was just awful.I'll re-apply myself later today I think.I have to be inspired...


I am hoping that sometime in 2020..all will be well.
For everyone.
In more ways than one.









Sunday, March 1, 2020

~March~








Unfathomable that March is upon us~


I for one am not done with winter..
I'm a gardener before ..a lot of other things.. and Spring till frost is a lot of hard work..
So I quite enjoy this time to be still and paint and play..

I'm a bear in hibernation..

I don't feel guilty taking out my art toys and painting..or crafting or baking..

In summer ..I do.

So ..let me eke out winter quietly and happily on my own;)

We did have more snow..


Oh well..c'est la vie ♥

I love our area..  so many pretty homes..case in point above..

I am not really a lover of Mc Mansions..
I prefer cozy.Small medium or large..hand me charm...different..unique..COZY.
I often listed homes that the fireplace was never used..NEVER..in QC..  makes a mess ..they said.Oh lala.
LOL.

As I type this draft..everything outside..trees..bushes..homes are coated in icing sugar..

I made blueberry muffins for Oli on a Wednesday and they were good:)
I do..use way more vanilla..and prefer a pungent sweet vanilla SUGAR..I poke blueberries on top before nestling them in the oven w/ a good sprinkling of Turbinado sugar.

You can find the recipe here..but do read above.
I also finally started digging into Julie Jones' first book..Soulful Baker.
I found Julie on IG..
I loved everything about her..
Her devotion to her mom w/ Alzheimer's was exemplary.

She would often have her stories revolve around her "mum"..heartbreaking..
Her 2 beautiful boys..
Her art in baking..
A magnet she is..and her accent♥♥I am a sucker for a beautiful accent.
And ..well her beautiful face is so approachable..
So that's my story about this great book..
She has a second one out now..kudos..
She has not had an easy year.
I think sometimes one must keep forging ahead..regardless.
I know..so much easier said than done.

In every stage of our lives..we face challenges..

One of our grandsons..adored one of his teachers..
School was fun..he got awards..he was so gung ho.

He loved her.

And  before Christmas..she took a leave..and has not.. and will not return.

He said to me:"Nana I think she's dead"..she's not coming back:(
For once in my life (lol) I had a great teacher."

I was disappointed for him..at his age..this is huge..
he is forging ahead regardless.
There's no choice in the matter.♥
What we learn from Littles..is invaluable.

My cute thoughtful cards are all put away..but this bouquet arrived today..so it's out and it wanted you to see her..she's a UK card..:)
From Marie..I love fold outs..we are watching Paddington 2 w/ Oli..I love it more that the original! And a pop up book is center stage;)



She's pretty darn lovely~


Monday, February 24, 2020

More snow on the way~and Mr.Rod McKuen~









February..is quite the month~
We had an unusual amount of snow and more is expected!

It's a 29 day month did you know that?
And we change the time March 8th! 
Very early..
 Easter is late ..April 12th..
Chances are..we may have no snow..

A new popular sport here..is bicycling in the snow..special bicycles.
The boys do it in high school ..and here and there I am seeing more and more..
Jacques is tempted..but a fall would..could be..not so great.

I am NOT tempted.

He is the walker ..biker here..

I was happy to find pieces that go with my tea cups..it's all about gardening so you know me..
At my favorite shop that I stay away from because I need nothing:)

I had a little birthday..66 ..oy.. and thank you to those who remembered♥

Lovely cards..and thoughtful offerings..
Even Sesame Street stamps on a wonderful card.
A  very special jam spoon..art supplies.. Caudalie products.. a new top..socks..mug♥




I only talk about my bday after.
100 yrs ago I loved the attention.
Now I cringe at public..
but quietly..I appreciate the remembrances and thank you ♥♥



Let's talk about those books..  all the Rod McKuens..♥ I was 17 ..I loved him so much..and am so glad I kept his books and didn't discard them like I discarded so many things.His LPs..:( Etc..
The SPS books are more when I was in my thirties..

Corny I was..corny I still am..
just glad I kept them.

We had the boys..3 of them..  while my daughter and husband went to Nashville..they had a ball!
They are adventurous..young..love the same things..

We loved being with the boys..
they are soooooo mature!
I just cannot believe it.
Autonomous..
except Oli.
He's 10 and pretty autonomous but I can still get him to cuddle and give him foot massages;)
They are TALL and funny  and SPORTSMEN.
And so nice to us.

My daughter has her job cut out for her..raising 3 sons is not like having 2 girls..like I had..
Kudos.All.The.Sports.All.The.Time.
They grow and they grow and they grow!
And 3 quarts of milk lasts..a day..lol

Out of the desserts I made for them..

This was their favorite.
It's a QC classic..

Easy as pie.
We have several recipes..I tried a new one..

La recette~
Warm..you will think you are in heaven.
Oli likes it cold.
Oli like chocolate milk..not hot chocolate.

Cake part

1/2 cup softened butter I use salted
1 cup white sugar
2  large eggs
vanilla to taste
2 cups unbleached flour
 1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/3 cup of whole milk

Cream butter and sugar  add eggs one by one..put aside..in another bowl mix flour with baking powder..
Incorporate this into the sugar mixture alternatively with the milk.

Put in a 9x 13 pyrex..(I did not I used my HUGE round pyrex)
They did not either..but for your first time..you should;)

Sauce

1 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
 1/3 cup unsalted butter..mine's always salted;)
I also add Watkins maple extract because I like it.

Mix all these and cook stove top until boiling..reduce heat simmer 2 minutes..pour over cake that you have spread in your pyrex.
Bake at 325 F for 35-40 minutes..
Top must be golden.

I use a toothpick too.

This is not for the sugar faint of heart..This is a treat..and made for our robust QC winters ;)
Un classique

The little calendar was made with my Kim Klassen Lightroom downloads for the Polaroid shape..and the actual calendar for February ..the dates etc..is from Minding My Nest

I love what I learn..thank you all that share!


A whiter shade of pale~

From the net~


Thursday, February 13, 2020

February~




A card for a friend..sort of..I switched it up for her..:)



Painting along with Chris Petri on You Tube..go see..he is great and relaxing and fun .



Found this cute cute book..  100 blank pages..imagine ..later in life..he loves to draw!
They only had Lucas and Noah..and Lucas hasn't drawn in a while  he will be 15..things change..



I snuck this..above.. on the back page inside..he painted this of me when he was perhaps 6.
Who knows though..if it will get filled;)





I was searching for the above here..saw them in my fave librairies in Provence..can you believe I can't find any here?
Even in the US have not found..2 hard cardboards..elastics..they open like a portfolio to draw etc..
Cartons de Dessins.
I tried making some..not so good..;)


It's pretty snowy here..yesterday AM I needed to see the lake..


That's an ice fishing shack above..this is what I call needing to be alone.
Because we have a whole enclave up shore road..



I was gently happy to see the heart..

gently happy  kind of a a word right?




Unrelated to the heart my phone pics are so oversharpened SOOC..not sure what to do..there is no setting to adjust sharpness..I want normal..you can see above I tried to blur..badly..any ideas?



I was alone..  2 people walking far away on the ice with 2 dogs..and me..on the banks..
Isn't it beautiful?

In the kitchen..



This apple crisp though is delicious..Just different enough to have and to hold forever:)I added two apples and cardamom and nutmeg.If you need help tell me:)
The trick w/ this crisp..you make the crumble..refrigerate..
you make a creamy blend of the filling ings and then add the thinly sliced apples..so it's a creamier apple crisp and it's..le bomb:)

February 14th~
For some it's a birthday..others a romantic holiday..and others a commercial holiday.
When the girls lived with us I always had a special little something for them..I know I was giving into it..
Mylène's first V day I made us matching long red skirts w/ heart pockets..she was born in August so not even walking..
I was playing as I said:)
I made heart cakes and brownies forever and I guess Jacques and I gave into it all with cards for a good 10 yrs..
But we long ago made a pact..
no cards no nothing..


LOL I read on Facebook..a man saying when you make that pact w/ your wife..it's so stressful!
Because it's a trap.
I love humor.
If someone makes me laugh..I like them a bit more.

I might even love them a bit more.

Anyway I made a little card for someone special..a bit different than the one above..but extremely similar..
And another for a friend..
I have lots of bdays in Feb.
I made the boys..a heart cookie..with smarties etc..it was a Diane Morissey idea..I have made those giant cookies before..but had never embedded dove or other chocolates after baking..quite cute..:)



I used this recipe..

Original Toll House Pan Cookie..

February..the most special bday..

Our little one is 43!


On the left above..on the right below.. oh my G those old terrible slides..

Loves of my life~Some of them ..because more came along right?
In the form of little boys:)

Did I tell you I made a tape for their Walkmans? It had Carly Simon's  "You are the Love of My Life" on it..it was a tape I made with songs telling them how much I loved them..because Lord knows I cannot sing..nor dance.
Well..they recorded OVER them..bahahaha.
Teens are a treat..lol.



Notice..the RADIO below..and I swear I did not match the girls bathing suits to the chairs;) But notice his summer pathways in '77:) 



I made their clothes..
Obviously;)Pinafores and gingham..♥


The first house he built for them:)♥I'll have to find the subsequent ones:) One had a dutch door:)




And this is  now~


I took this pic of her w/ my phone Saturday as we headed out to Michael's etc..I told her to make that face:) You're only young once and all the sunglasses ads I see on IG the girls do this..
Still playing with her after 43 yrs:)♥
She's a ray of sunshine.
Listen to the song;)

I still feel the same way~

But different.

Whatever you get up to from here on end in February..I hope it sees you content and healthy~♥

Monday, February 3, 2020

~Winterlude~








As you know it's still winter in QC~ Until May..just kidding..
So I am still experimenting w/ snowmen and winter things.
I am lucky enough to have a room for crafts..w/ windows..
Never unpleasant to be there..not pretty by any means..but room..and light..and ..well..I love it.
I am one of these people that loves to learn things ..
so a lot of my learning gets done in that room ..or in the kitchen..:)
I made a couple of snowpeople for here for next Chrsitmas..it's not something you start making right before Christmas;)
I'll have a little vignette somewhere I guess..
They are fun to make..I start w/ styrofoam balls..cover in clay..let dry..and then the fun begins.




I am a muffin lover..a good muffin..bran..oatmeal..all kinds..I love them.
A treat w/ a coffee..
This week I made these.. halved the recipe:)
They rose to the occasion which pleased me..and others.
I'm known to eat half a muffin too:)

I am hoping to start wokking again..
I did years ago and my wok..looked so old(Should have kept it  it IS the wok I need)..that I bought a big red cast iron one..
Who was I kidding? You would need to be a weightlifter.
I gave it to Fred..and my wokking ended.

Come Christmas 2019 and  a thoughtful gift arrived from a Grace Young Afficionado..my friend Linda at How To Cook a Wolf and at on IG..
Her meals are inspiring and most are from this book and Grace Young.
Linda wanted to share her passion with me..and I find that so darn thoughtful.

You can get fab woks in SanFrancisco..etc..
Here in Canada..I was not lucky and let's face it ordering from the US to Canada doubles the price..at least..because of exchange rate..shipping..and then customs and duties..

So I came across a small version..and it's not the right kind..but I'll get back into it gently..
Everything looks so good..
But on second thought and more reading the wok's going back..non stick is a nono..


It would work in this kitchen perhaps:)Circa 1975-76.


Don't you love it..?I do..this was our little girls kitchen in the playroom J built for them..in our first home after we left my parents home..you can see the steps coming down..from our kitchen..
The raised platform so that the appliances were more at their level..THEY WERE SO CUTE cooking and baking:)
Faux paneling..gotta love it..faux window..real home made curtains..
M was 3 C was 1 by the time this was done..and I was 24.
Continuing on the Holly Hobbie theme of course:);)
I want them back....


Also I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate the magazine Daphne's Diary.
It's not for everyone..but I know many of you love it also..
It's not like a beautiful Country Living UK..

More like a jazzed up Home Companion..bigger better ..if that's possible.
It's a treat..
I crocheted the macarons after being inspired by this months mag♥
But in effect I needed additional help and resorted to a You Tube Video:)

I am so visual..I need someone showing me ..how..not just writing it out:)





Have a good week~




Wednesday, January 22, 2020

~Memories~









It's been really cccold here..as in 0 F..yes..you read correctly..
so I stitched and finished Noah's blanket:)

All 4 boys are taken care of now:)
This latest one has an additional token of my love..the handmade button..Linda showed us her works of heart and they had the buttons..
I just had to copy and paste.♥
She is a wonderful wonderful girl that Linda..


Will wait before I start another for us..as sitting so long makes me feel off ..more than usual;)

I baked Marie's banana bread..she is focusing on small batch baking and cooking and I am loving it..

It's perfect for empty nesters..you can find her recipe here..


I have been taking trips down memory lane..in my craft room..one drawer is filled w/ carousels..that have slides..we never look at them..they are 45 yrs old..plus..I had read about an app..that didn't work for me..so I tried putting slides on my light source and taking pics with my phone..
well I am discarding the slides and just keeping faved pics:)
My girls have liked getting daily pics..they are all bad..lol..dak or light..many my head is cut off..
J was the photo taker..w/ a Minolta non DSLR..an we would just get slides done..

Mistake..IMHO.

I am putting some here..imagine these are the good ones..;)Honestly these pics should not be here:) LOL but ..

Mylène with all her newborn hair and Jacques with all his hair:)♥
Notice the orange and gold wallpaper..the dried floral arrangements I made..LOL..we had a carpet in the kitchen that almost matched..I was 21 guys..love the spice rack..and hanging lamp..eventually I had lamps I wove wool around:)



Building our home..in '76..



I loved this dress I embroidered for M:)..the hair again:)  she was maybe 3.



This little girl was the easiest baby ..woke up happy and smiling and fell asleep on demand..or not:)
Unlike her sister above who felt sleep time was a waste of time:) LOL still the same;)
Jacques made their jungle gym and swings..and every home we lived in..they had a big dollhouse out back♥
And played hours on end in them.



Priscillas everywhere in the next house lol and more gingham..and more hair. I adored..adored adored being a mom.




My decorating style..at 24..revolved around wallpaper everywhere..Holly Hobbie and curtains and frills everywhere..I was so excited to make everything;) Not well..at all... but I tried..Bouclair had a dollar stage and you could buy wide fabric for $1.00 a yard..sometimes my girls clothes matched our curtains.I stitched almost everything that hung on the walls..see Holly Hobbie? LOL..and the ceiling was yellow gingham.
I made a canopy over our bed..:)
I love how I served the cake IN the springform pan;)and how elegantly I set the table..Mylène's poor godmother is wearing a lampshade;)


I want to be that girl again. The best years of my life I think..Happy and carefree with two living dolls to play with..I remember that top..stretchy eyelet ended above my belly button..I was brave..and I made that peasant skirt.I was all about long and hippie after my hot pants stage in my late teens;)





Or this one:) I have no idea whose dog that is but clearly it made me happy.



All these pics are awful but they had not been seen in yrs..shortly after this phase of J and slides..I started clicking w/ an instamatic and we have albums full..of much better pics..but nothing like the moms of today can do..
or even the pics I took much later on of my Littles..
Mais c'est la vie..technology moved along..making these imperfect shots..simply fond memories..
Cherished memories.:)
And I am doing more of the same this week..
Raider of the lost Ark:)
I'll probably have enough pics for another post at one point:)

Since most of my pics are gone..I'm starting new memories to come and visit..
Take care~


I have a funny little footnote..this afternoon..Wednesday..Oli,10, came over..

I said we will see you  on the 21rst of February for a special event..not only his mom's bday but she will be in Nashville..Right away he said..10 days after Super Bowl.
RIGHT AWAY.
No counting..nothing..then he said do you know how many chicken wings are eaten on Super Bowl?
He knew..
I Googled when he left.
Fottball fan much?:)