Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall 2014

Oh my! I have been remiss. I have not posted since Jan 2013.
Life does march forward. In April of that year we became grandparents and in July our son and daughter-in-law moved home with their wee boy. What a joy it has been to watch him grow from a tiny baby to a busy little boy.
We also got chickens again - for Henry. Somehow it just seemed right.
We remain busy with James' art. He was part of a group show in Kimberly earlier this year and that show moved to the Chamber of Commerce here in Creston through October.
This Sunday will be our annual Fall PaintOut.
Nov 21 and 22 will be our annual Images group show at Rotocrest Hall in Creston.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January is for Hibernation

For me, January is for hibernation. For James it is time to build another mandolin. He actually began this journey after his two fall shows were done.
This year James was asked to become part of the Images group who hold an annual one day show of beautiful quality art work and James also had a Nov and Dec show of his work at Kingfisher Used Books & Quality Coffee.
James has done a sizable body of fall landscapes of the valley here.
  Now most days find him in his studio working the wonders on this his newest project.

The front of this instrument (sound board) is of spruce and the back is of a repurposed wood from an antique, and rough hewn piece of Brazilian furniture.  It's Massaranduba ( Brazilian Redwood ) one of the hardest hardwoods in South America and it has been a challenge but should be a lovely instrument when he is done.

This fall James set up the bottom of an old card display as a rather impromptu feeder and the birds love it. We have a great variety of the little guys: juncos, gold finches, red polls, chickadees, nuthatches and a few others. It is a busy place.

 And then we have this other saucy little customer.
He is allowed as long as it's a peaceable kingdom.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oh me, oh my, how the time does fly

I have been remiss in writing these past many months.
James and I are having what has been a relatively quiet year and loving it.
We are not doing the Farmers Market this year. I have retired from baking and am exploring other more arty ideas. Lately I have been crocheting many, many beautiful scarves. I don't know if I can sell them for anything near the time and money in them or if they are just an exercise in joy.
Our house has reached grid-lock and I have good intentions which may go further when this awful heat makes way to our favorite season: fall.
James has grown a lovely veggie garden this year despite the very long, cold, wet spring, followed by suddenly summer and heat and the worst year for mosquitoes we remember.
We had the wettest June on record and lots of standing water, and higher water than  in many years has meant a massive hatch of mosquitoes and some of the bats and swallows who would normally predate them "vanished" - even starved - in the cold, pre-insect weather.

The photo above is of a window from the house I was raised in, which is not long for this world, but it may come back in a better form. We shall see.
We have wonderful renters at last! and Les has helped James put in a 6 foot fence around the garden. 
Sorry Bambi: we love watching you and your little spotted twins, but we are tired of sharing.
The other day I looked out the living room window and a little yearling bear was going by. What a cutie, but I really don't want him that close!

James will be painting on the deck at Baillee Grohman Winery with several fellow artists next Sat.
On Sunday, Sept 2 we will be taking part in the Rutebaga Show and Sale at the Wynndel Hall. I will be in the Wynndel Arts Centre behind the hall, and I think James will be helping man the garage sale, proceeds going to the Wynndel Hall.

James has a show at Kingfisher Used Books for Nov and Dec and will be part of the Images Show Nov 23 and 24 at the Rotocrest Hall in Creston - it is all in Creston, BC. We are a happening place!
I will be doing the Christmas Craft Sale at Creston's Rec Centre on Nov 24 just so we can rush around a little more.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

We still live in hopes of spring


We found this little Pine Siskin lying on its back on the sidewalk by my car. We think he hit a window. I picked him up and held him gently, warming him and keeping him safe until his eyes quit rolling back in his head and he was able to stand on his own little feet and fly away. It took about 1/2 hour for him to recover.
 Pine Siskins live in large flocks this time of year. We did not take him with us and release him elsewhere because we wanted him to be able to rejoin his buddies.
We've had more snow in the past month and a half than we had all winter but the sun is higher in the sky and spring is coming. These days there is the sound of bird song.
Two days ago we had a freak 6 inch snowfall over night but by that evening it was nearly all gone.
James and I will be exhibiting at the Rotary club's Wine Art wine tasting and art sale at the Rec Centre on the evening of March 30.
I have finished 3 weekends of classes in ceramic jewelry by Bea van Allmen offered at the Wynndel Arts Centre. It has been not only interesting learning more about another skill but has been enjoyable working with a nice group of ladies.
I now have to put my new knowledge into practice.
James has been cradling art for the show.
He has finished his second octave mandolin.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ain't it funny how time slips (or gallops) away.

We've had a very open winter. James was up on the hill with a friend who was painting on a -4 C day - Brrrr.
We seem to stay amazingly busy. In early Dec James and a couple other guys performed music as Tiizak Hamra, , or in the play Aladdin. James played his octave mandolin and the music had a North African feel.
This weekend they will be playing at a wake for a relative of a band member.
On Feb 18 they will perform at Artists and Dragons at Rotocrest Hall.
Artists and Dragons is a fundraiser for the Arts Council and for ArtWalk. A number of artists will be demonstrating their handiwork and donating work which will be raffled during the evening, In keeping with the Artists and Dragons theme I am crocheting a "dragon skin" scarf. 
Very happily I have been able to step down from coordinating ArtWalk. We have found in Andrea Revoy a wonderful person to take over the reigns and we look forward to new and exciting things from ArtWalk.
On Feb 28 Tiizak Hamra will perform at a fundraiser for the local zendo to help in purchase of yoga mats and equipment.

These are two of the three evening visitors we had on Feb 7. To the left the reflection of lights in the window were what my Grandad called "rabbit lights." I couldn't open the door or our visitors would have left.

This was taken yesterday. Bandy was meditating or possibly visualizing mice. Skeeter was being her own little cautious self. I think of her as "the kitten" but she is actually turning 7 this year, has been with us 6 years, and will probably always be timid.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's the busy season, but aren't they all?

Salt & Pepper Pattie  Pan oil on panel 6" X 6" $125.00

James has continued painting a little paintings nearly every day. They are all on his Facebook page at McDowells Hilltop Gallery.  
He has a show of some at Kingfisher Used Books here in Creston until the end of the year. 
We also are part of a show at Centre 64 in Kimberly starting Nov 29, with an opening on the afternoon of Dec 4. and running until Dec 22.

James is showing 60 of his daily paintings plus some of his larger work and I am showing birdhouses, Tea cozies, and pendants I have been making using tiny images of James' paintings mounted behind a glass tile.
Our friend, Sandy Kunze will be showing raku fired clay and another friend, Bea van Allmon, will be showing here wonderful clay birds.

Coffee Grinder 8 X 10 acrylic on panel $125.00

As life goes on I notice one of my treasures "missing" and then, low and behold, there it is in the daily painting.

Ye Olde Coffee Pot 6 X 6 acrylic on panel $125.00

Can't have the coffee grinder without the pot.

Back when Ironing was still Fun 6 X 6 oil on panel $125.00

I believe he misnamed that one!
My mom had one of these and she hated it. It hissed, ran on gas, was a real fire hazard. Wash and wear was such an advance!

James and I will also be at the Creston Arts Council Craft Fair at the Rec Center this Sat, Nov 26, from 9:00 - 5:00 
and at 
the Wynndel Craft Fair on 
Sat, Dec 3, 
at the Wynndel Hall from 9:00 - 3:00.

We will be selling calendars of James' work.

James' daily paintings calendar. $25.00

"The Manly Calendar" $25.00

We will also have cards made from photos of his paintings and pendants I have been making of miniatures of his paintings mounted behind a glass tile.

I started these using commercial bails but have since moved to a wire work bail I make myself.

Here's a back view. They are finished with an Oriental origami paper before I attach the bail.
 The pendants sell for $20.00.

Here are couple of my tea cozies which sell for $35.00.


Monday, October 03, 2011

James' painting a day continues

"Dragonflies," 6"x6", acrylic on panel, $125.

"Avocado For Lunch",6"x6",acrylic,$125.

"Coffee after the Harvest ", 8"x8" , acrylic on panel , $125.

"Grapes in Waiting ", 6"x8", acrylic on panel ,$125.
"Mom and the kids,"  7" x 8", acrylic on panel, $125.00.
 "Quiet Times ",7"x8",acrylic on panel,$125.

Oh my but time goes swiftly

On Aug 13 we had a wonderful wedding at our place. Our son, Larry McDowell, married his fiance, Lisa Benschop.
The wedding took place on a ridge by the closest field.

We should have had more sons. It was an absolute joy. A number of Larry and Lisa's friends came early and stayed in our unrented mobile home. They spent the last few days knocking the place into shape, putting up tents, mowing grass, clearing the covered deck, and one young lady spent 3 days baking pies. Another friend cooked all the meat for the "do" and numbers of folks made salads for their picnic themed reception. Lisa's mom and a friend spent a whole day arranging the lovely loose summer bouquets that dotted tables and blankets all around.

The party went late and then it was all done but the cleanup.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Less than a month until the wedding!

Our son and his fiance are getting married this summer. Last week, on Lisa's birthday, I realized it is less than a month until the wedding. In that it is taking place here on the farm we still have things to whip into shape.
James has been continuing his painting a day and I need to post a few he has finished since my last post:

" Three Garlic " 14"x7" , acrylic on panel $125.00
" Strawberries and Cream," 8"x8", Acrylic on panel ,$125.00
"Study in Green," 8 x 8, acrylic on panel, $100.00
"Iris and Poppies," 7"x 8", oil on panel, $125.00
"Chik-a-dee,"  8"x 8", acrylic on panel ,$125.00, SOLD
" One Old Chair,"  5" x 7" , oil on panel , $125.00
We are still ever so busy with not only Saturday's Farmers' Market, but also Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 - 6:30. This week's Wed was kindly cooler. Saturday we had about everything but snow at the market: chilly breezes, rain, heat ...  you name it!
James has begun harvesting his garlic, hence the painting. We've been selling fresh at the market, along with my baking, tea cozies, cards of James' paintings, and on ....
Hope you are enjoying your summer too.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blissfully a little cooler

I don't want to be a wimp but I'm so pleased it has cooled down a wee bit.
We had a great market yesterday. Tourists are starting to move around and, after our very slow start this spring, it was nearly like a normal Farmers Market day.
Here are some more of James McDowell's paintings:

"Squash", 6" x 7", oil on canvas. $100.00.
I think it's a Buttercup Squash looking good enough to eat.
This is last summer's squash: this year's are still wee tiny, those that have even blossomed. This is such a slow gardening year.

"Cranbrook Appaloosa," 12 x14, acrylic on canvas, $125.00. SOLD

This little horse was often seen at the first rest area east of Cranbrook, heading to Alberta. James just had to paint him.