the Canuck version

Here’s a bit of fun and truly delighful art work for those of us in need of a light-hearted break in the midst of decorating, letter writing, poring over recipes and food shopping lists:

A Moose in a Maple Tree – The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas

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The song is written by Troy Townsin, illustrated by Jennifer Harrington and performed by Canadian Ska legend Chris Murray. More here.

Cards from Christmases Past

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Christmas 1999

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Christmas 2000

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Christmas 2001

I am going through the stash of my own designed and printed extra cards from past Christmases to choose from for this year’s mailings. (Because I cannot print new ones this year). I find a few from pre-blog days which I’ve not shown before and thought to add a little bit of early holiday spirit and colour to these pages. I hope you enjoy them. Now back to those letters!

busy time of year

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It has been a week of hard work cleaning house, putting up the door wreath and a few lights outdoors and doing some baking.

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It’s a start on getting ready for Christmas but first we had weekend guests, our dearest friends who always bring flowers or a lovely plant, this time a stephanotis with heavenly scent! New to me, what a delight!

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Now to the Christmas letters, cards and some gifts to go in the mail. I thought I was making an nice early start a couple of weeks ago when I was about to do a test print of my card design for this year. As I fired up the printer, a little plastic gear fell out in little pieces and the paper feeder would not work. Husband hopes to repair it if he finds the part and a repair manual but it won’t be in time for the mailing. So, we will be handwriting cards and letters, just like the good ol’ days, eh! My handwriting has become atrocious but at least I have lots of extra cards from past years, some my own, some commercial. These days more and more of us correspond by email which lessens the handwriting chore and those trips to the post office. But I do still love real cards and letters.

And how are your holiday preparations coming along?

snow white

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The Snow Queen came for a visit yesterday evening and overnight, accompanied by Wind.

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How bright was the night, keeping me awake watching tossing snow-heavy tree branches and flying snow devils.

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Not much of the five centimeters or so melted in today’s sunshine.

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Tonight is very cold and clear. Winter is here.

clouds at eventide

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Recently my husband got me an iPhone, a used older model for emergencies or quick contact when away from home. I’m still new with this technology. One of the things that intrigued me is the camera and the quality of the photos. I’ve seen others using Instagram for processing and sharing photos and like some of the results I see out there though I’m not interested in the sharing aspects. I am just trying it out. The above photo is one I’m rather pleased with, a capture of the southwest sky last week from the back deck, and using some of the Instagram filters. (You would not like the black rain clouds around here now!)

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While thinking about posting the top photo, I came across an odd envelope tucked in with some old Christmas cards. Inside were some photos of my children when very young as well as the above scenic shot, which I think was taken decades ago on a beach in Denmark. The ‘instagram’ look, caused by aging I know, made it a timely find so without any processing I decided to add it here to compare.

These are to also show that I do look up at the sky often, not just down at what is underfoot, as I’m often teased about! And I like the old English word eventide, just right for these images, I think.

on today’s walk

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curbside

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on the beach

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silvery and green

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death and growth

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back to earth

year’s photos

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I have been going through this year’s photos and even some from years past. I found many that did not get posted on this blog and some that I ended up playing with just for fun such as this one.

I still have to decide on an image for the annual Christmas card. The other possibility is to make something from the print proofs in that pile in the studio… hmmm…

at dusk

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On November 1st at 4:35 to 4:36 pm looking south, southwest from our rear deck.
A bright new view since the removal of many tall trees next door,
but for this one magestic maple looking like a silhouette paper cut.

…each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds – Wilfred Owen

good reading

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This fall’s rainy days and dark evenings have been perfect to cosy up with some good books. Here’s a short list of some that I have been enjoying:

1. Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos – this review says it all for me, though perhaps reveals too much of the story. Chapter 25 was most compelling for me with its vivid description of the creative process of breaking and remaking. This book was recommended by a reader in a comment to one of my many posts on broken china. The image above is a reposting of one such “break”.

2. How Many Roads? by Jonathan Sa’adah is a gorgeous book of his stunning sepia photographs taken in the late 60s and early 70s. My husband and I enjoyed revisiting that time from our youth when from a distance we read and heard about what was happening below the border from us in Canada. Wonderful essays too. We highly recommend it. Order from Phoenicia Publishing. We are very pleased to support our friends Jonathan and Beth Adams and to have this treasure to remember them by.

3. I wrote about Emily Carr recently and felt inspired to reread, afer many decades, her books Klee Wyck and The House of All Sorts – such sweet pleasures still underway.

the ninth month

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Novem means nine in Latin
November is the ninth month in the Roman calendar
November is about weather from wind and rainstorms to sunny skies,
about garden cleanup, trimming trees, sweeping and raking leaves,
bringing in tender plants with possible frosty nights ahead