The Power of Fire

This morning when I woke up and looked outside, my first thought was “hmmm… the sun’s still not out… and it looks a bit hazy this morning.”

As I progressed with my morning routine, I started smelling the smoke coming in through the open windows, and I realized that this smoke was thicker than I expected.

It wasn’t until I got outside on my way to work that I realized just HOW MUCH smoke there really was in the air… and after a quick check with CBC Radio, I confirmed that the smoke was from the BC wildfires, and was going to be sticking around the area for awhile.

It’s amazing the reach that fire has… both in power and destruction as a force of nature, and the diversity of uses it has in our everyday lives. Everything from the lights we turn on, the heater in the basement, the stove… then there are the open flames, like candles, campfires, torches and barbecues… there are lots of tools in the kitchen, shop and artroom are governed by heat or fire.

One of the tools I would love to learn more about is a wood burning torch. I have seen many beautiful projects created or accented by these versatile instruments, and I look forward to getting one for myself to create with.

I also love the process of candlemaking, and relaxing in the aura of those candles on winter nights when their warm glow creates a cozy feeling wherever they are placed.

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I have also created a box of very basic fire starters for our camping trips… I collect empty toilet paper tubes, stuff them with dryer lint, and fold the ends in so they are portable. I may also add wax to them in the future, but I need to figure out how to do so in a mess free way…

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Fire is a source of heat, light, and a mix of calming and invigorating energy. It is fun to play with, the secret is to not get burned….

Turning Over a New Leaf

Hello Followers and Friends!

It is exciting to be back in the saddle of writing once again.

Soon after Christmas/16, my whole world fell apart, and it has taken a couple of months to rebuild strength and will to continue as I did before.

It is August now, and so many projects that I previously talked about have been completed, started, or grown.

I have made my Citronella votive candle batch, it took an entire afternoon, but the candles turned out very pretty!

My front flower bed came up beautifully with both the crocuses and tulips, as well as some other surprise arrivals. My flower bed has since been overgrown with weeds, and I am in the process of cleaning it out once again to give the flowers some breathing room.

I have built ad filled my new raised garden beds behind the house as well. The layout is a little different than originally planned, but it serves me well. Now I have 3 raised plots, 2 reserved for veggies, and a third for herbs and flowers.

My Crafting Center has been moved and shuffled and forgotten since Christmas, but recently I have begun to once again refresh the room where my art supplies live, with plans again to create new and beautiful works of art in that space, when time and energy allow.

I also continue to take weekender trips, to explore, photograph new areas and beautiful scenery, and calm my spirit and refresh myself. The wild mountains hold a big piece of my heart, and the Kootenays and National Parks along BC and Alberta will continue to draw me.

My plan is to restart my writing processes, and continue to post weekly about what is happening in my world.

Please comment, share, and respond to ideas that you like, and we will build each other up together!

Christmas Prep Week

This weekend, I put all of my fall decorations away, and pulled out several bins of my christmas decorations. I found the lights, tinsel, wall hangings and wreaths, and what I have left of my christmas tree ornaments.

I started putting a few things up inside the house, and made plans to string the outside lights this week sometime.

I also processed the last of the pumpkin, so I can make cookies and other things with it through the winter season.

The tree will probably go up late this week, with all of the other decorations preceding it. Watch this week for my snowflake display tutorial, as well as several different cookie recipes.

This year is about making new traditions and starting new memories. I love the weeks in the end of november and the beginning of December, as they are all about preparation, and the hustling bustling spirit of christmas is so easily caught, felt, and passed on to others.

 

Winter Wonderland… At Night

Nothing is better than a delayed winter… nothing except the 3rd significant snowfall of the season being a large flake, no wind, Christmas spirit wonderland.

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I needed to get some shopping done earlier in the evening, and surprisingly it WASN’T busy in the stores. But I did hear my first Christmas Carol of the season, and it put a smile on my face.

Later, as I was driving and watching the snow fall, I decided I wasn’t ready to go home just yet, so I headed for the park downtown, took my camera and took some night time snowfall shots.

Other than the snowy vortex of doom while highway driving at night in the winter months, along with slippery sidewalks and roads, and the wind that causes chills that make old bones rattle, there is so much to smile about when the snow flies.

I love snow, especially at night. Everything sparkles, and once you get cold, you head inside for some mint hot chocolate, crisp apple cider, and warm hugs.

Candle Making, Take 1

Who doesn’t love the smell and aura of a burning candle? 

I make votive candles from already burnt or broken candles, old wax, crayons, scensy bars, and other materials. I buy my wicks with the anchors already attached and pre cut off of Amazon

I have 8 votive molds, and some glass vases that I use as pillar molds. I mix scents and colors, and love creating my unique candles.

My next batch of candles will probably be a citronella batch, as I have some old garden stake candles that need to be refurbished. Check back soon to see my candle making process in action!

My Crafting Center

I was lucky to move into a house with a sunroom… an extra space that I could create things at my own pace. This room has become my crafting center.

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I have supplies here for candle making, sewing and mending, making epsom salt blends, coloring, and miscellaneous paper crafts.

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I have supplies here to do seasonal displays around my house as well. River rocks, colored marbles, baskets, leaves, and flowers, both dried and silk.

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On the other side of the room, I have gift wrapping supplies and my stash of greeting cards and envelopes, painting, glitter, pottery, ribbon, string, tape, wool, and so much more.

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This is my organized mess of art supplies, craft ideas, and a few unfinished projects. As I find time, I will organize, create, and muddle through new ideas here.

*editors note* If you see something in my supplies that you have questions about, or if you see an idea you would like to develop, please let me know!

My Favorite Hideaway

The mountains are calling… I must go to my getaway spot in Canmore. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, it’s beautiful any time of year.

It takes about 4 hours to drive to one of my favorite places in the world… Canmore Alberta

http://canmore.ca/visitors/about-canmore/town-statistics

This is a gateway city: the first stop in the mountains on the Trans Canada Highway, and the last stop before entering the national park string that starts with banff up in that same area. From Canmore, it is an easy day trip into the parks to see banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and everywhere in between. Wildlife viewing opportunities are very common, and breathtaking views are a given.

The tourism, art, and recreational activities in this city also go above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience for the traveller while they stay here.

 

Regardless of when you choose to come, this city, my favorite Canmore is always alive, and will help you to relax, unwind rejuvenate yourself, and promises to bring the best of nature, art, and convenience to you at your pace. It is hard not hard to fall in love with this place, and once hooked, it will be a spot you and I return to again and again.

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It’s a French Toast Morning

Yesterday I had a craving for breakfast. All day. And today too. So I decided to make french toast, because I have all of the ingredients right now, and because it’s quick and so easy to do.

I mixed 3 eggs with a little vanilla extract and some cinnamon. Then I added about 2 cups of milk, and whisked it all together. I preheated my fry pan to a little higher than medium, and gathered all the pieces to french toast assembly onto the stove.

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then I double dipped the french toast into the batter, and placed 2 slices side by side in the greased pan. I waited for about 3 minutes, and flipped the toast just after it turned golden brown.

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I made 8 slices of french toast today. I love to dress them up with a little peanut butter and syrup, topped with a dusting of icing sugar. Then they turn into a gooey, messy, and delicious treat.

 

Planting the Bulbs

It is hard to believe that it is already November. It’s only weeks till Christmas, and then a long winter ahead. After winter, spring will come again, and planting season will start once more. But there are some plants that can weather the frost  and cold, and survive in the ground all winter, to show their faces first in the spring.

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I planted my bulbs this weekend. Looking at the plot I wanted to put them in was a little bit daunting at first, because it was filled with leaves and weeds, was uneven and needed a bit of work to prep for the flowerbulbs.

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I cleared all the debris, pulled out the weeds, and cleaned up the leaves, and levelled the ground as I went, using a garbage bag to keep mess to a minimum. I used a small rake to loosen the soil and collect the leaves and twigs.

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After I finished clearing the plot portions that I wanted to use, I replaced the stepping stones, and planned my smaller dig spots. I ended up planting in three different areas. One was a mixed bag of tulips, hydrangeas, and other bulbs, another spot was strictly for crocuses (my favorite). The last dig spot was for the yellow tulips, and planting them all didn’t take very long at all after the ground was prepared.

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Now I will need to wait for spring to come to see the flowers themselves, but the hard work is done. Planting bulbs is one of the last chances in the year to get my hands in the soil outside. I am looking forward to a new growing season, beautiful flowers, and eventually, a brand new harvest to work away once more.

A Photographer’s World, Take 1

I love to take pictures… I like vivid colors and finding new angles on whatever I am taking pictures of. I only have a simple Canon camera, but it is all I need in order to do what I love. I never photoshop any of my pictures, although I do play around with camera settings to catch the best lighting and pull out the colors.

Whether it is here in the house, out in the yard, somewhere in a hidden corner I found here in the city, or somewhere across the western Canadian provinces, I take pride in my work, and love to share my findings with the world.

 

MY FLICKR:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/143967890@N07/albums