Category Archives: My Other Creative Side

Barn Art and Summer Colour


I have always loved murals in public spaces. Our town has some spectacular art work in our downtown alleys. It counters the “broken window theory” and makes a trip down an alley a wonderful experience.

My barn door is small and inconspicuous. I thought it would be fun to try to mural it.  I framed it to paint last year. This is the finished product. It was difficult painting the rough barn board. I painted Sophie our one and only pig, Mocha one of our Nigerian Dwarf goats; she actually posed for me, Satchmo our last rooster, and Sparkle our oldest cat as a kitten. You can’t  have a barn with a pig without a spider so it your loo closely you will see Charlotte.

I also decided to “graffiti” my potting shed door. We have been collecting bottle tops from Charlie’s baby food tube things since October when I started babysitting her. I was inspired by people who use this type of plastic for massive art installations; so here is our small one. We still have some work to do on the rest of the door so we will update you later.


All this art is by what we have in the garden and in the barn. It’s a riot of colour, shapes and forms.

The fairy garden continues to grow. The story is that the large fairy on top looks after the whole fairy world. Note she is also in charge of bee hives and hummingbirds. The former empty house is occupied and has a baby lamb. Who knows who else might move in.

And the log cabin that has sat lonely and unfinished for years, now has a roof. It looks like it would be the right size for a horse?



Celebrating “Mighty Girls”

I blogged on my art project with the Grade Six girls at a local school in March. I called it mentoring. My involvement started with the school through my Rotary Club and our goal of literacy in our community. We sponsored the school with a $10,000 matching grant and offered the opportunity to club members to volunteer at the school on a regular basis, with any project.


We finished my project last week,amazed at not only how the girls paintings evolved but their insightful words on what made them a Mighty Girl. Each participant came to the project with their own talents. Some had never painted before. Some had no doubt about themselves or how mighty they were, others had never experienced  looking at all their good qualities, strengths and beauty. Some knew love,some hoped for love. Each brought their uniqueness every week. There was laughter, tears, start overs and some never finishes. We all learned more about each other and how our struggles are all the same. Watching them encourage each other and grow made my heart beat a little happier.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was not there as a teacher or instructor, I was only there as a caring adult to give them the opportunity to grow through this introspective project. It wasn’t about painting or learning a new skill. I grew and they grew. That’s it.

We celebrated with a party of pizza, pop and cupcakes.

Thank you to Rotary for your commitment to “literacy” and  Mighty Girl for their inspiration, and to the girls of Grade Six.


Well done “Mighty Girls”!! Thank You!


Painting Soothes The Soul

easter-card-watercolourMy space got an upgrade. I test drove my new desk today.

See it here.



Running With the Wolf

It’s always been a joke that Mimi runs with wolves. I just happen to be married to a “wolf” Wolfgang actually. a certified Austrian who landed in 1956, in lederhosen fresh off the boat. I laughed when she texted this to me this morning.


My daughter has said that I teach my grandchildren to run: run with sticks, run with scissors and all that leads to running and howling with the wolves. Well we do love to howl.

This had me howling today. Wolf never uses his home office anymore. It’s become a catch-all for renovation supplies, things that have no other place, a junk room of sorts. I have been using it to overwinter tender plants. I went to water the plants tonight and saw this. His multi use of my Autumn Joy sedum.

A great place to hang his hockey jock strap. I did howl with laughter.

multi-use jock strap



In retirement you have time to reflect on your career. Forty five years of working involves a multitude of relationships. I started when I was fifteen and am now retired at sixty. Some jobs I remember fondly and some I try to forget; like the one day I spent as a collections clerk at a credit bureau. Retirement doesn’t mean that you stop having relationships, you just get to be more choosy about what you want to spend your very valuable time on. One of the skills I acquired in my careers of many colours was mentoring. I have always believed in the principles of servant/leadership and the need for community building. I first read “The Servant as Leader”, by Robert Greenleaf in 1986. This skill is more valuable to me now than ever. Time, and no career restraints make if possible to mentor those who might not have opportunities.

I am enjoying my own personal art projects but was inspired by some blogs on journaling and art as therapy and as always I am inspired by A Mighty Girl. The thoughts just came together, and now I have an art class in a school where some of the Grade 6 girls just need to know that  the community cares. Once a week we get together at lunch hour, and I am helping them create a self-portrait illustrating why they are “A Mighty Girl” Each girl comes to the table with their own skills and talents and we work with paint, photographs and words to help them define their ‘mightiness”. It always involves a safe space and much laughter. The pictures below show some of the girls progress. I will post again when we are finished. The picture at the top of the blog is the one I painted for my granddaughter for Christmas. I am working on another granddaughter’s picture during the class.

I am not sure who is mentoring who?


Four months are a long time between blog posts. Creative block? Time? Inspiration? Lazy? Living getting in the way? All of the above.


I think about it every day. What I could write; what I want to write. I never get to the desk to “put pen to paper” so to speak. With out excuses, life has conspired to interfere.

Interesting blog post on Creative Block from Brain Pickings

I an not entirely stunted in my creative endeavours and aspirations. I have been busy with learning how to retire; you would be amazed at how much creativity it takes to shift those gears. I have been creating visual art; lots and lots of painting, felting, knitting, journaling and jewellery. I am practicing my Native American flute regularly.

I have added a page to my blog to showcase my art and will add another page as I explore  the relationships of females (especially family) and age. It will help to adjust to being the primary caregiver for my aging  mother in-law now living with us.

I am inspired by my daughters foray into blogging.   Martinisyle. Check it out. she is amazing?

To keep me learning, I have decided that an outdoor inspired hobby will be just the thing. Since I live on a lake what’s better than fishing? No not ice fishing, even though that’s the Poisson de Jour at today’s -20C, but fly fishing in the warm weather.

Can you guess what this little gadget is for? It will be very ‘zen”.