Saturday, July 31, 2010

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

St. Francis of Assisi

Finding beauty in simple things brings great pleasure. 
Look closer among the leaves just above the flowers to the left.
 A mother robin selected my Trumpet vine growing next to my deck as the perfect place to make her nest. 
Safe inside the hanging basket trimmed with a bow I made from wire and paper pulp she found it the perfect place for her nest filled with three small eggs.

Everyday I look to see when they will hatch.

 I'll post pics of the babies when they are ready to greet the world.

New Addtion ;~)
The babies are here !!!
August 3, 2010   three new baby robins are alive in their nest.

 Sunflower that a frog uses as a Lily pad.
The deer stripped the Sunflower from the stalk.
 It had been eating the leaves away bit by bit everyday until finally the flower was hanging limp on the stalk.
I could not watch this beautiful flower go to waste so I dropped it into my little pond.

A few days later I awoke to find this frog using my Sunflower as a place of rest early in the morning.

I am very appreciative of nature making a home in my backyard ;~)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fashion is a tyrant from which there is no deliverance; all must conform to its whimsical " ~ French Proverb

The itinerary for our Quebec City/ Montreal tours were as follows;
Quebec City Tour – Old and Modern Cities

· Tour of Chateau Frontenac
· Montmorency Falls
· Sainte Anne de Beaupre Basilica
· Musee De L’Abeille (Bee Museum)
· Isle D’Orleans
· Place Jacques Cartier
· Montreal City Tour
· Notre Dame Basilica
· Montreal Botanical Gardens

 I  promise to share images and our experience of the tour in  a later blog.  

First busniess at hand Trend Spotting...

 Out on the town after dark we are hot on the trail of what is new in fashion trends with women or men in Quebec...
   Nothing really exciting for Fashion Trend Spotting on the people in the streets so I focused on the windows of fashion boutiques in the Old City of Quebec.

  These fashions are for the young or aleast the very young at heart ;~)

I was RIGHT ON following trend research fashion hue for Spring/ Summer 2010
Turquiose is IT !!!

Turquoise added to grace almost every fashion vignette.
LOVE the Turquoise and soft tints of yellow in this window ;~)
                         Now here is a top & jacket I would totally enjoy wearing.
                                 Love the vines and plants in this window display.
 Another splash of Turquiose in case you did not get the hint.  
     I'm just saying, add a dab of Turquoise to your wardrobe this year.
 All the vines & illumination of this store window are as exciting to me as the fashions.

Large chucky jewelry makes a statement when worn over the most neutral garments.

Have you visited our Etsy Shoppe on line lately ???
We added a new Statement Necklace.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today was a good day ;~)If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~Cavett Robert

You know how you wake up in the morning some days with a faint idea of how the day is going to be?
 Well this morning was the first of three workshops I was invited to teach to adults with developmental disabilities.  During the 90-minute workshops, local artists will teach basic skills in various media including painting, photography, printmaking, and paper making to people with developmental disabilities served by Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara and interested community members.    

Hope to add images soon, privacy laws need to be respected here.

It was the responsibility of Marcia Ross, coordinator of fine arts, to select artists and projects that she felt would enhance the clients already wide range of art experience offered through the centers.

 I met with Marcia before leaving for Quebec check our equipment and to make paper samples to show the class.   The only thing different today was actually working with the class.
The plan was to get there by 9:30 so I left my home following the directions on the GPS. It was a different route than I would have taken on my own still I followed the directions as spoken by my Australian man Garmin voice companion.

All was going as planned until I looked down to see my check engine light on as I was driving the 190 to Niagara Falls, New York. Minor annoyance Carol, you will stop at the mechanics on the way home.  I tell myself stay focused and keep driving...

The students were so anxious to get started that Marcia had to redirect them out of the  room until we got all of the supplies set up.  At ten o'clock on the dot this morning I was greeted by eight of the most enthusiastic students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. 

To get over the fear of the unknown I compared grinding paper to a pulp in the high speed blender with making a milkshake.  They all agreed, smiled and nodded their heads.  While I poured the paper slurry into the large pans of water I made the analogy of the paper pulp to oatmeal.   Everyone liked oatmeal so they were eager to step up to pull their first piece of paper with the deckled moulds.

 After everyone pulled one sheet of even paper we were ready to add dried flowers, glitter and pureed bits of recycled orange and purple paper into the pans.  I compared these additions to putting raisins and cinnamon into your oatmeal.   Again smiles then a ambitious round of pulling a sheet of both orange and purple paper.  Lastly I add in shredded paper with printed works that we pretended were secrets we were adding into the last mix of paper slurry.

All too soon the 90 minutes were up but not before we had stacks of paper made by each person in the class.  The students had worked hard and were more than ready to get out the door for their lunch. 

Awe Yes !!! Today was a good day ;~)    Their apprehension in the beginning turned to laughter, clapping, cheers and pride of being able to make a sheet of paper all by themselves.  Sharing my knowledge with the consumers of Opportunity Unlimited brought joy to my heart.  I can't wait until next week when I teach two more workshops in paper making.

Down off that "Mountain Top" experience Carol and back to reality you have a check engine light to attend to if you are going to drive to Lockport for the paper making workshops next week.  

My 2004 Toyota Corolla has given me no troubles since I bought it six years ago.  I figured, okay, let's just get it checked out, get the part ordered and get this problem fixed.   Even though I pulled onto the lot already full of people picking up their automobiles at 2:30 Noel was kind enough to look at my problem if I just waited a few minutes.

Noel Tucciarone owner of the shop by the same name on Main St. hooked the diagnostic computer up to my dash.  Joy of Joys ;~)  It was something to do with evaportation from not having the gas cap on tight enough.  Hubby was nice enough to fill my car with gas while I was in Quebec last week.  This was the first time I drove it any distance since I returned home. How blessed to have an honest mechanic I can trust ;~)

Today was good day indeed; share my knowledge with a group of happy adult, developmentally delayed students then finding out my check engine light only needed the gas cap to be put on tight.

I hope your day was a fulfilling as mine.  If your day left you with something to be desired ponder this quote.

If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~Cavett Robert

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quebec City Je t'aime beaucoup

First evening in Quebec City we ate at the Cafe de Paris

 It is actually an Italian Restaurant with a French name.

Everyone was happy with their meal. I selected the Veal 'Marengo' referring to meat dishes cooked in a combination of onions, tomatoes, wine and mushrooms. Named for the village of Marengo in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, this dish treats tender veal with a rich but not overpowering sauce.
I am going to make this dish very soon.
Kara chose le blanc de poulet, a tender Chicken breast with a dark sauce made with wine & sliced mushroom that was something like this recipe.

Our meals were served with a cup of fresh vegetable soup, sliced cabbage, carrots and browned potato wedges, fresh breads and cups of hot coffee.
 When the cake slices arrived we decided it was too pretty not to have images. The atmosphere is intimate, not a really good place to take out a camera and start snapping without making the other patrons feel uncomfortable.
We manage to take a few images to remember the ambiance of our first meal in Old Quebec City.
Good meal wine helped us get acquainted while an accordion player welcomes us with laughter and French songs the group can sing along.

Here a member of our travel tour joins in the fun playing wooden spoons.

Everywhere we went it hard to leave however there was always new things to see just around each corner.

                                            Final look back as we went back down the stairs.

Renewed and ready for an evening of exploring the streets and shops of Old Quebec City.
View from the top of the hill on Saint Louis just inside the city gates. 

The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.

"A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia. "

-- Author Unknown
Traveling with a group is an exercise in the fine art of negotiation skills. My first experience was in 1972 with a group from Canevin High School to Austria and Germany for two weeks.  In 2006 I traveled with college students and Professors to Slovakia and Poland for an Artist workshop.
Booking a trip with a group of totally unknown individuals can be an adventure in itself.   Last Sunday, Kara and I boarded a bus bound for Quebec City at 7:30 am with a group of strangers.   By the end of the adventure it was like leaving a group of old friends.

Thankfully, the bus was less than half full so we had plenty of space to move around until I found the perfect place to set up  my nest.
Kara my faithful travel companion set up her nest too ;~)
First stop,  across from Bolt Castle @ 1000 Islands, NY for a lovely lunch by the St.Lawrence River.

We've been here before in 2004 when we toured Bolt Castle, Singer Castle and a weavers museum in Clayton, NY.  We also had lunch during that visit at the Thousand Island Inn where the famous dressing was first served.
 1000 Islands, the playground for the wealthy families of Manhattan to escape the heat of the city in the summer is still a lovely, relaxing place to visit.

Kara getting back on the bus.  Here are Dan our tour guide and Lee the best bus driver in the whole world. 

We traveled for hours over many bridges past Montreal until we arrived in Quebec City sometime after 6 pm

Set up our room quickly, then out on the streets of Old Quebec City for dinner with the group.

I have to stop here for now as I need to attend the Opening of the Fiber Art Show @ Impact Women's Gallery tonight     

stop by if you read this blog in time   then on to a Three Dog Night concert @ Lockport Canal Fest ;~)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

 " Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving." ~Albert Einstein

 Today the weather in Western New York is wonderful.

The rains came yesterday, cooled the air and the humidity is gone ;~) Great day to get back out on my bike to enjoy nature. This time I head for the Clarence Bike Trails.

 It is a little over a mile to the trails entrance on Thompson Rd.  Even though it is early people are out on the trails so I choose to travel east on the trails out into the farmlands in Clarence.

Love all of the little bridges over the tiny streams

this farm home in the distance reminds me of Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World

wish you could hear the birds singing and bull frogs as I drive along this path

natural air conditioning from trees along the path

canopy cover of trees made this part of the journey cool

                                                            Patterns ... one, two, three ...

Love these line pattern in the sky ;~)

I started on the bike trail at Thompson Rd.between Heise and Goodrich Rd.
this day I rode up to Salt Rd.  This map shows I rode over six miles on the bike path alone.

Old barns are so romantic, don't you think ???

the frogs are taunting me, I hear them croaking from the under brush.

a happy little Dragonfly skimming the fresh water streams ;~)

The main symbolism's of the dragonfly are renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. Dragonflies can also be a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity.  Some animal symbolism has the dragonfly representing good luck, prosperity, swiftness, purity, harmony and strength Also, as a creature of the wind, the dragonfly frequently represents change.
And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest with the short time it has – which is a lesson for all of us.

Ah yes, here we are, finally got a good image of a frog in the pond

                     I'm keeping my eyes open for ripe apples from the numerous trees along this path. Going  to come back to gather apples in a basket to make homemade apple pies, apple sauce and apple butter in early autumn ;~)

That was a good ten mile bike to get ready for my trip to Quebec City this week. 
Lots of walking planned for the tour.

I'll post pictures of my Photo  Adventures in Quebec City and Montreal next blogs;~)

 Until then, keep you eyes open for the wonders of nature and inspirations...

 Have a Very Creative Day ;~)

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