Thursday

Renaissance Man....




My partner... in 'Super, Stupendous "What Were We Thinking?" Projects'.... after another day of our year long (began in September 1998)  "clearing the land" process........... a man not afraid to get his hands dirty in pursuit of a vision...

....... all because we saw a 50' high red sandstone bluff  and a View to die for and thought "How cool would it be to live up there and look out at "that". It faced south.... sunrises over the water... you could see for 30 miles..... and when the moon was full.... it rose straight up, out there over the bay. Many times we caught sight of fishing boats passing through the moon glow cast on the water.... It felt magical..... It would be like working in paradise.


When we found our now "Piece of Heaven" it had been a clear-cut forest ... totally neglected..... it looked like a bomb had gone off... we found out much later, it had been for sale for two years and nobody wanted to touch it..... you really had to have an imagination or be totally insane to think that you could clean this mess up in no time......... At that stage in our lives we had more time than anything else.... so we went for it.

It was an exhausting, back-breaking experience and there were times when we thought we could not go on ..... but the vision of what we wanted to create lured us on..... and all we had to do was get rid of the mess.... Oh I forgot to mention the junked car parts 2 acres of them on the lower entry section of the property... junked sections, pieces, parts of every description, size and shape of vehicle parts.... were everywhere... even after we thought we had this portion of the land cleaned up.... every time it rained, more came to the surface. Unreal!





... the local people (we didn't know a soul there, at the time) must have thought we were crazy..... We kept imagining this seemed like something from Monty Python but we did eventually begin to give it some order, build a road to the top of the bluff, level out the ground, plant a meadow and trees....







These are piles of roots, stumps and the remaining dead trees that had to be root raked into huge piles to dry in the sun before we could get rid of them. They don't look very high here.... but they were at least 10' -12' tall  and they went on forever (10 acres)..... My son Max used to crawl inside of them, work his way to the top and use them for look outs and hide outs.





.... Then all we had to do.... was build a house.....

who knew it would take another 8 years to complete that part of our "Bright Idea".......

..........It truly was worth it..... Thank you, John....... my Dear..........





...pictures taken in Fall 1999.

Wednesday

The Goddess


Simplicity ....... naturalness....... the Mother...... goodness........ care..... Love.....


Solid Sterling Silver pin..... small, only 1" x 1¼" reticulated, fused, oxidized & polished

Sold

Tuesday

The Visitors




The window seat is a favourite spot for the dogs. They can see the driveway & love to sound the alert when a visitor approaches. The last few days we've had visitors of the 4 hoof kind coming out in the field. This picture was taken 3 days ago, when a couple deer came into view. The dogs studied them intensely.



Spring is slowly coming.... the snow is slowly going.

Yesterday in the same field with grass showing now, eight Eastern Whitetail Deer came out to graze. They were so frisky. They seemed happy to be out of the deep woods and the deep snow. It looked as if they were playing a game of tag chasing each other all over the field.



They were beautiful.... nature is pretty special...





The circular area is the sunken fire pit full of snow.... waiting for a good bonfire.


**** Luckily with the amount of forests around the area, the deer are never a problem when it comes to gardens... they have never touched them..... they have lots of browse in the woodlands..


The Window Seat


Early morning light from the east...

The view from our jewelry/art studio out through the gothic doorway we made, into the bath.... leads to a 5' wide bay window seat where you can sit & gaze easterly to a field & southerly to the sea.....

When we were designing and building our house we tried to pay attention to the long views, of looking through openings and on to other openings, so our view kept on going, on ... on. Maybe it is the crazy artistic bent we are always on .... never realizing how much longer it will take to achieve.... just the thought of nothing else will do... we get a vision into our head ...  then "the one-track mind" takes over. I would rather go without food & sleep than not pursue an idea.... sometimes the idea works ... if not, we learned from it.....

The first time I read this statement by Victor Hugo.... I knew it completely...

........"Invasions of Armies can be resisted but not Invasions of Ideas"...


...yes,  I have used this quote before... but I love it... and I feel it...




Monday

The Curtained Door



Doors have special significance.... hold a certain magic... an entry... threshold... moving through from one space to another... a welcome or a slam...

behind the closed door... a barrier... a portal... a surprise or danger... an entry into the known or unknown... most always a mystery until you pass through..... familiar doors offer us safety & sanctuary...



...we can have many emotions attached to the mere act of passing through doors...

Before we built our home, one of the things we gathered were old wooden doors... many different sizes, shapes, designs... about 40 to be exact.... it took a few years. We wanted a lot of flow, so most rooms have more than one door so you can wander in & out...... & pace if you have the desire to. This is one of the bathroom doors that leads to the studio on the second floor. We could not find the kind of door we wanted for this space.... We wanted it to be tall & special.... Not easy to find or afford... so we decided to make one from some of our salvaged materials.




We used one of our six, 6' tall Gothic arched windows from 1850 or there abouts that we got off a old fellow in Mercer Settlement, NB, who had saved them in a little old half fallen down shed since 1963. He said he had always wanted to build a place & use them in it, but had never gotten around to it, he now was in his mid '70s. We made him an offer but he refused... said he'd have to think about it.

Three months later we called him again & he said he had decided he would sell them to us, since he probably wouldn't ever get around to building another house now anyway, and that he'd be glad that someone was going to use them 'cause he thought they were too special to go to waste.. Yea!




So the top is an old church window & the bottom is part of an old farmhouse door, attached securely & all painted the same color. The tricky part was building the threshold & casing. Took us a while to figure that part out. But with many kerf cuts in the casing the wood was able to carefully bend into the desired shape. There is no traditional knob... just a little lock for privacy, that is usually used on a boat... I came across some beautiful red heavy jacquard fabric and made a large drape.

The first 3 shots are taken from the bath side looking out to the jewelry/art studio & the forth is from the studio side with the door shut...

I love walking through it.

Sunday

A Quote by Oscar Wilde


A while back I made this little book... watercolor pages with the occasional quote.... this is one page from it.... A quote from Oscar Wilde....





"To believe is very dull...

To doubt is extremely engrossing...

To be on the alert is to live...

To be lulled into security is to die"....

***


...and here's another thought provoker of Oscar's from my sketchbook ...


Friday

Lucian Freud... My Interpretation





Lucian Freud has a most unique way of telling people how he sees.... I was not immediately attracted to his work when first exposed to it.... He does not make pretty pictures...

His paintings make me consider images differently...

He is a soul searcher.... His work has a way of growing on you... attaching itself with an emotional distance....

He inspires me to see depth of spirit........

My interpretation of his Self-Portrait is 16' x 20" Oil on Panel

Thursday

Lunar Eclipse


Two photographs of the Lunar eclipse... outside & inside.... that occurred last night around 10:00 AST...... here in New Brunswick, Canada.... High Tide, calm Night, Full Moon...



See it... just at the top of our old church window frame in the kitchen... that small bright light.... the moon in the final portion of its eclipse....

....celebrated with Crown Royal on ice while watching its progression through the phases...

...... memories of La Lune....

Tuesday

The Shield



The Shield Pendant..... symbolizing a soldier in full armour.....





The Inner guard...
always watching...... always waiting.......





always making you think twice....





approx. 1¼" x 2¼" Fused & Twisted Sterling Silver & Copper... handmade.. One of a Kind ...$140.00

available...  contact me if interested


Other Desideratum Art Jewelry Pendants 

.

Monday

The Deer Skull


Skulls are so very beautiful.... maybe because they are mostly all one color, it eliminates distractions... and shows their delicacy.... their defined lines... the light and shadow creates intricacies for your examination... contemplation ... pleasure..... that directs you to see what you are not used to seeing so you see the object in a fresher way...

which makes them one of the loveliest natural objects to draw.



I have collected skulls for a long time........ crow, sheep, bobcat, deer, sheep, etc ....
porcupines are particularly special, with long curving teeth that slide way back into the skull.... worth investigating...



This skull is from a female Eastern Whitetail Deer.

a watercolor of this skull is on my posting Ready or Not...

Saturday

The Scarab





The Scarab... or Dung Beetle, was one of the most powerful symbols of Ancient Egypt.

Chalcosoma Atlas ... is one of 3 known species in eastern Asia. The males of the species have horns, which they use to grapple with each other when fighting over females.... Feisty little fellows....







The Scarab known as Plusiotis Resplendens is found in central America.... Their brilliant coloration has made them a much sought after insect by bug collectors. I guess this is The one time to hide your light under a basket, little golden one!

Because of their habit of rolling balls of dung, the scarab represented to the Egyptians, the God of the Morning Sun, Khephri... believing it symbolized the sun rolling across the sky.



...these are tiny watercolors only about 1½" x 2½" on 140 lb arches watercolor paper using india ink, pen, brush , watercolor.
Created at Desideratum Art and Jewelry Studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday

The Carved Headboard





Once upon a time back in the late '80's I carved this headboard for my bed.... The 2" thick pine planks came from a tree that had grown not far from the house, across the brook up on the hill. They had dried for a year and were straight and true.... Now they would be made into a bed....

I was excited to begin.

The planks were glued together on their edges and clamped.... Shaped with a large 5' tall curved section in the center with two shallow curves on either side.... It was for a queen size bed.

When it was dry I drew a design of interwoven vines and flowers on the large center curved section. I used wood carving tools called gouges and an old hunting knife with a curve in the blade to cut out the design. I liked the hunting knife as it kept a keen edge....

It was very time consuming ... but not in a bad way.... rather meditative.... I did have to keep an eye out for the direction that the grain ran.... 'cause if I didn't, my gouges would splinter parts of the wood or they would skip across the plane of the lumber and cut where it shouldn't.... When I had it all carved, I smoothed it with sandpaper in grades that finally arrived at the finest.... I rubbed oil into the thirsty wood... it glistened.... I buffed it with a soft cotton cloth... it gleamed...

I was happy.

Then it was done....

It felt so good when I laid in my bed in a half awake state and rubbed my hands across it.... Soothing....
I knew I had done it with my own hands. It made me feel good to know that...

I thought I would sleep in that bed for the rest of my life.... but I never .... things don't always last as long as you hope.... so cherish every moment....

It and the house it stood in only existed for a short time... only the ashes remain.




* Note:  I only have this photograph because the negative  was  on a roll of my film that was at the Craft school  I was attending at the time... 

"Decadent " Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was so flattered to have a request for this recipe from my previous post from wooly daisy from the foothills of the Sierras in the US... that I decided I would post it for everybody.... 'cause shouldn't you share good things... Thanks for asking!

1 Cup Butter at room temp.(I used Becel, a canola oil margarine..non hydrogenated
1 Cup packed brown sugar
½ Cup White sugar    (yes I know, too much sugar but we don't eat these 24/7)
2 Eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Cups Flour (I used 1½ C. unbleached & ½ C. whole wheat)
1 Cup Quick Oats
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cups decadent semi-sweet Choc. Chips
1 Cup raisins
Makes a little over 3 dozen cookies. preheat oven to 375°F
Mix butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in Eggs, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl blend your flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into the butter mixture just till blended. Then add choc. chips and raisins.
Dough is slightly soft , so drop spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet about 2" apart. I had about 3 sheets full. One sheet in the center of the oven at a time, unless you have a convection oven and then you need to adjust accordingly.
Bake at 375°F in a regular oven for 8 -10 min. just until golden. After 8 min. I check often till they are evenly browned. Let them cool on the sheets for a couple min., that helps them firm up, then transfer to a wire rack.
Good Luck, from Desideratum on the coast of the Bay of Fundy. Happy Munching!!

Thursday

Comfort and Connections




 So I made Chocolate Chip Cookies... yes I know they have lots of sugar but sometimes you need a treat... this is a great recipe.

When Max, John and I were munching them I noticed that surrounding us were all kinds of things that bring comfort & a feeling of connection. Under the plate,is a navy and white cotton tea towel that I love using... Thick , absorbent, durable, beautiful, functional... To have a connection with something that you need to do a task makes the task not like work..... I wove it a couple years ago on my Glimakra loom ..... The loom is third hand & originally came from the Banff School of Arts, and acquired in a series of trades. Lucky for me...

....then I looked beyond to the old salvaged shelf we recreated into a useful cupboard, I gazed upon the collection of pottery that we traded with friends over many years of doing craft fairs. Again... Useful, functional, beautiful, durable, sensuous to the touch.... Each piece brings that particular potter to mind and our relationship with them. .... a comfort.... and connection.





Then my eyes went to the left of the cabinet, to the strong heavy gauge steel wood-rack that John created to hold our firewood. No chance of tipping that baby over. That is heavy. and beautiful in its simplicity and the function it performs. I love it...

...Then to the left of the firewood rack is the whole reason for it to be.... the Jotul Woodstove, that keeps us warm everyday, raises bread, drys wet mitts, socks, boots... .. and hands, we stand near it to drink our tea and coffee.... it sends its warmth out slowly radiating heat to all corners of the room ... it is the kind of heat that soaks into your bones, and feels so satisfying...

Our 3 dogs can attest to it, as they are particularly attached to it, laying there soaking up the heat that has transferred into the concrete floor... it is not surprising to find John or Max lying there too, with the dogs on top of them...

We all need a little comfort .... to sooth that savage beast.

The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

Wednesday

Dragonfly




The Dragonfly....

...the European Club-tailed Dragonfly to be exact....
..the name refers to the unusually large abdomen of the males, just in front of the apex... giving it a club appearance...


The patrollers of the summer lawn...

back and forth ..... back and forth ....
in rhythmic patterns, almost in grid formation...
monitoring every square inch of the yard and surrounding fields...


Beautiful creatures...

but they surely must appear as "Dragons" in flight to any small unsuspecting insects.

Look out below!




approx. 3" x 5" on 140 lb. arches watercolor paper. I used brush, pen, India ink, washes

Tuesday

Winter and Summer




This picture was taken just after John finished the stone stairs in the front rock wall (which was after we did this other job, click if you want to see how it all started) that was a work in progress for several years. He used a total of 115 tons of rock & boulders to build all the garden walls, a in-ground circular firepit and 2 more stone stairways... Heavy work but he liked the physical demands of it.... He moved them all himself. I stuck with the roses and perennials.

It took us and the help of two others, 6 weeks to cedar shingle  our place... The best parts of using cedar shingles on the exterior of a structure is that they will gradually turn to a silver-gray naturally with the salt air quite quickly... no need to stain or paint them, therefore saving much labor and material cost for the life of the building...  other good things about them is that there is hardly any waste material because you can use up many small pieces  wherever needed...  they let the building breathe... they last at least 70 years... anybody can do it that can follow a straight line... they are natural and beautiful.

When you work where you live, it is very different than going off to another workplace every day... space and proper light and pleasant working conditions are necessary .... 24/7  can be difficult without a break with some beauty......



 

We built the house with a sort of alcove in the front where we can be cozy on breezy days ... and it also acts as a heat sink..






ah yes dreaming of long summer days... .... longing for blue skies, fluffy clouds, gardens, and flowers everywhere....



...... the reward of summer, here..... is sheer ecstasy.


Sunday

The Year of the Rat



My son Max and his 3 attendants ...




Hazel, Almond & Missy salute...




"The Year of the Rat"