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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

hOMe is where the heART is …

Monday, September 20, 2021

Weekend memories ...

We were lucky to have wonderful weather all weekend long.

On Saturday, it was our Art Show on the beach, and we arrived early, found a beautiful tree and view of the Lake and set up our table. It was wonderful to chat with fellow artists , some I had already met before during the three weekends we participated in Burlington Artscape Leaf Fundraiser for Joseph Brant Hospital.  Lynda Jones who co-ordinated the event, had a multi-generational tent with original art pieces created by herself, her husband Dennis, nephew and daughter Tracy who brought along her guitar and played beautifully throughout the afternoon.
Mid-afternoon my family surprised me with a visit :-)  and we ended the day with Hutch's fish and chips and ice cream for desert, making it a truly beautiful day!
On Sunday, we celebrated a family Birthday at one of our favourite parks.

During Covid, we've been getting very creative and family picnics have been one way we can all be together, keeping a safe distance ... picnic tables ... blankets spread out ,,, all our favourite foods ,,,, 

So lovely to have everyone together ~ our kids, their significant others, and grandsons  ... and of course... grandpups! 
Our newest grandpup who we are lovingly referring to as "baby Archer" melted our heart
Axel is our son Alex's  black labrador retriever and an absolute gem. We even managed to get some time to ourselves with him and went for a little walk through the park! Archer loved this park and most weekends were spent there with him so it holds lots of wonderful memories. We've never had a puppy, all three of our labs were adopted at older ages... but we couldn't help but see all of them in Axel. 

Welcome to the family sweet Axel xxxx

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Writing the Rollercoaster ...

Back in March, I read about an idea for an upcoming book regarding the impact Covid 19 had in our local community paper. There was a request for submissions of stories and poems, a way to share experiences , and I thought what a fantastic idea this was! 

It was to be called Writing the Rollercoaster and was the brainchild of Lynda Simmons and Sylvia McNicoll. I mentioned it to my daughter Kate who is a wonderful writer and author herself, thinking I too would submit  a story.  I knew exactly what/who I would write about .  At this point it had only been a few weeks since we lost Archer and emotions were raw.

The submission deadline date drew closer, my daughter asked if I had sent mine in yet as she had already sent in her 2 submissions, a story and a haiku.

 I had tried, unsuccessfully,  to get any thought down on paper without breaking into tears and putting the pen down thinking I would try again later. This was very unusual for me. I love to write and my only issue with writing in the past was keeping the word count down as I tend to get too wordy :-) 

My family asked more than a few times "Have you sent in your submission yet Mum?"  They understood of course that I was having a hard time with this one. Remembering those last few months/weeks/days with Archer, his love of life and taking in every last drop of it, well ... it is very hard to write when your eyes are clouded with tears that are dropping on the paper like rain cloud puddles.

In the end, I gave up trying to write anything down on paper and went to the computer, into my email, pressed "compose" and just began clicking the keyboard and before I knew it "Silver Linings" was ready to submit.

This project came at a wonderful time for me as writing Silver Linings was so cathartic.  Being able to put down thoughts was a much needed release.

A few weeks later I received an email saying my story was one of 50 chosen and would be included in the Writing the Rollercoaster anthology.

This past weekend was the book launch party.

Each author received 2 copies of the book in an adorable book bag.

The event was catered with a wonderful Food truck and Ice cream truck, Coffee and Tea bar.

There were snippets of stories from the book scattered all around so you could walk and read ... 
I'm page 65
And such a thrill to share this exciting moment with my daughter!  Both her submissions were included also. Together, Apart told of our strong family bond and everything we do to make sure no matter what, that never changes. 

 And the very last page of the book, is her Haiku :-) 

Thank you so much Lynda & Sylvia for this amazing project & book launch and Congratulations!! 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday moments ...

Happy Monday, the start of a brand new week.

I started my day as I normally do - lemon water * meditation * time on the mat * journaling and  a  lovely early morning walk .  When I returned home, it was breakfast - also the "usual" of oats/fresh fruit/nuts and almond milk and then a long anticipated phone chat with my daughter who had been away on holidays in Nova Scotia with her partner and their dog Harry,  so there was lots of news to catch up with!
This beauty was the first thing I spotted as I walked upstairs. Enjoying his own breakfast in the trumpet vine! Every time we've seen a Baltimore Oriole in our garden, they have always been splashing about in one of the birdbaths. I thought he looked absolutely striking - the orange of his feathers with the orange of the trumpet vine. 
My camera was packed away in it's bag and in the cupboard and I was sure that once I managed to get to the window he would be gone, but as luck would have it, he was very busy looking for bugs and was there long enough to snap 3 photos. Then I slowly walked away from the window so he could enjoy his time in peace.
If you're a snail mail lover like me, I've made 2 card sets and added them to the shelves of my Etsy shop (link is in the side bar).

One is Woodland Animals - Autumn Sparrow * Autumn Hare * Woodland Nap

and the other set 
is a collection of Nests ;-) 

Barn babies * And then there were three * Out of the Blue

Left blank inside for your own sweet sentiment to let someone know they are on your mind!

"All the arts we practice are apprenticeship.

The big art is our life"

-M.C. Richards-


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Burlington Artscape Fundraiser . . .

 ~Woodland Wanderer~

27. Woodland  Wanderer - SOLD 

By: Deb Dunn

I began by writing my thoughts in pencil. The words, emotions, gratitude, forever with the paint. Even though we live in an urban area, we are surrounded by the untamed beauty of nature. Central park is a juxtaposition of activity and serenity.

I hope Woodland Wanderer brings much joy and peace to the space it now sits in.
Much thanks to the purchaser for supporting this wonderful Artscape Fundraising Event for Joseph Brant Hospital. We received both our Covid Vaccines here and are very grateful to  the staff, volunteers  and doctors who made it possible! 

The 1st of 3 outdoor Burlington Artscape Fundraising Event exhibitions (August 8, 15, 22) starts *tomorrow*.

Sunday August 8, from 10am - 4pm at Grace United Church, Burlington, Ontario.

Come out, tour the "leaf walk", meet and chat with the artists and see all 50 unique leaves in person!
I'm looking forward to doing that myself :-) 

The leaves are available for purchase (although some have already sold) for $750.00 with 100% of the proceeds going to Joseph Brant Hospital.

I will be there beside my leaf Woodland Wanderer ~ if you stop by,  I'd love to chat ~ please say hello xx  

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Cover Artist

 ~After the frost~ 

As soon as the risk of frost is over, I love to sprinkle saved seeds from the year before randomly all through our garden beds. While I will keep some seeds to themselves, I prefer to mix them all together.  I especially love the surprise of not knowing what plants will pop up where. 

Morning glories are especially wonderful for this and we have found them in the most unexpected, wonderful nooks and crannies in the garden! Like I mentioned in my last post, this is the time of year when our garden takes on a bit of a "wild" look and this is one of the reasons why ;-) 

After the frost is a painting filled with thoughts of   walking through the garden, clippers and basket in hand, snipping random flowers and buds. 

I am absolutely thrilled & honored to have After the Frost as the Cover Art for the June/July 2021
issue of The Country Register of Ontario.
Thank you so much to publisher Harriet Ramos .

Monday, July 26, 2021

Blessed Be ~ Half for you and half for me ...

I've been spotting nests everywhere in our garden which is an absolute thrill! A few times while looking out the window I've caught Robins, Red Winged Blackbirds, Sparrows and even a teeny little Wren pulling apart the liners of our hanging baskets. 
There was a lot of cooing happening outside our bedroom window and by the twigs sticking out it looks like the Doves were thinking about nesting in the eaves but changed their mind (thankfully). They would have been completely exposed to the elements and we have had high temps combined with heavy evening rains. The Doves had done this once before and ended up deserting the nest during a brutal rain/wind storm which was heartbreaking.  When we took it down we found 2 perfect little white eggs inside, untouched.

The heat and rain has  made the garden explode and while this is the time of year when our garden begins to take on a life of it's own and look a bit on the "wild" side, we only need to see all the bees , butterflies and dragonflies enjoying the perennials to know that the garden is for much more than looking nice!
Spotting the Chinese lanterns spreading across the garden makes me think of cooler days and my favourite season Autumn! 

We recently watched a fantastic drama/ documentary called Honeyland about the life of a wild bee keeper in rural Macedonia . Honey land tells the story of the balance of humanity and nature and follows a woman using ancient beekeeping traditions in the mountains of Macedonia. The film crew spent three years on location with Hatidze Muratova, whose philosophy to harvesting honey is 

 "take half, leave half" 

Winner of three awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for two Academy Awards at the 2020 Oscars for both Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Film. I highly recommend this amazing documentary.
The land of bees speaks much more than simply about bees

"The hum of bees

is the voice of the garden"

-Elizabeth Lawrence-
Watching Honeyland sparked an interest about reading more and more about wild beekeeping and bees. Did you know that the Queen Bee spends most of her life in the hive?  She never visits a flower or make honey. Her primary diet is royal jelly, the substance secreted by the worker bees. The Queen bee is often the only survivor when winter arrives and she is the one who will build the new hive in the Spring.
The trumpet vine is in full bloom and welcoming hummers and bees daily! 


"I want to be magic.

I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.

I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree.

Or under a hill.

I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing.

I don't want to pretend at magic anymore.

I want to be magic"

-Charles de Lint-
"The flower doesn't dream of the bee,

it blossoms and the bee comes"

-Mark Nepo-


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Burlington Artscape Leaf Fundraiser . . .

I wish you
*Peace in this moment*
*Joy in the everyday*
*Happiness in your life*
Woodland Wanderer
for the wandering soul, the nature lover , one who walks gently upon the Earth.

After working on my Burlington Artscape Leaf for the past few weeks, it is now complete, has been delivered back to the project co-ordinator to be sprayed with a semi-gloss topcoat so that it can stay outdoors  and the time has come for the 

big reveal 

Woodland Wanderer . . .  

"Walk in the direction where your peace is found"

-Steven Aitchism-

Painted with all the memories and magical moments that come to mind as I walk the labyrinth.

"The mind can go in a thousand directions,

but on this beautiful path,

I walk in peace.

With each step,

the wind blows.

With each step,

a flower blooms"

-Thich Nhat Hanh-
And all the precious animals, birds and bugs   spotted on daily walks . . .  Owls, rabbits, butterflies, bumblebees  and always tons of dragonflies :-) 
squirrels, black, grey and red
& even foxes and coyotes 
Even though we live in an urban area, we are surrounded by the untamed beauty of nature.

Our Central Park, a juxtaposition of activity  and serenity.

There will be a public display August 8, 15 and 22 on the property of Grace United Church, 2111 Walkers Line Burlington.

An opportunity for the public to walk through the Leaf Art Path and to purchase a leaf  which are priced at $750.00.  This city wide fundraiser will support the critical needs of   Joseph Brant Hospital with help during the Covid crisis and 100% of all money raised goes to the hospital. I am so happy to be part of this amazing fundraiser!

 I created a little card for the purchaser of Woodland Wanderer telling a bit about the story behind the painting. Because I like to begin most paintings with jotting down my thoughts and emotions in pencil, I thought it would be nice to show the words underneath/intertwined with the paint. I hope Woodland Wanderer brings the purchaser as much joy as I had painting xo

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Art and Seek 2021

~ dancing her way toward the garden ~ 

At the beginning of the month of June I heard about an art project called Art and Seek 2021.

The idea was one that intrigued me. Artists from all over Canada would leave a piece(s) of their original art out in a public space where they lived/created for someone to find on July 1 st.  A few days before, clues would be left for those interested in this art scavenger hunt.

Artists leaving little gifts as a token of community * kindness * unity * all appealed to me and so I signed up. The last time I checked, over 100 artists from across Canada were participating.
I knew exactly where my art pieces would be "hidden"

Both were wrapped in tissue paper with twine and tucked into their own little brown paper bag with all the information about Art and Seek 2021 written on the front.  Each was then placed in a plastic bag for protection as it was raining in the morning and spitting as I walked to the park with both parcels to drop off at 7:30am 
Dancing her way toward the garden went to the community garden
and Serenity was left at the entrance of the labyrinth
I hope they bring much joy to those who find them!
I bumped into a few neighbours and fellow dog walkers who wondered what I was doing :-)

"Oh, just hiding free art for art and seek"

 "We need ART

 because it moves us

 the same way it moves others

 who are nothing like us

 except the way

 their hearts split open

 which in the end

 is all the likeness

 that counts" 

-Samantha Reynolds-

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Painting progress & projects . . .

I've been spending lots of (happy) painting hours on my fundraiser artscape leaf and it's about 2/3rds completed :-) loving every minute!

It's rewarding to see a vision you have in your mind appear before you. The base of everything has been painted, now it's just a matter of adding all the fine details which I love. . .  all the shading and brush strokes that make the images pop.

We've had the cutest little red squirrel visit our garden these past few weeks, and he has found himself tucked into the leaf. I still have to add those cute little ear tuffs to him.

 Another project I'm participating in this month is "We are all Connected" created by author * poet * artist Beatricia Sagar.  Beatricia has sent out blank puzzle pieces to artists all over the world to paint and mail back to her. Connecting us all world wide during these unprecedented times that have kept us apart. For my piece, I painted a Robin's nest and 3 little eggs paying homage to the Robins who are nesting. 

"Art is something that makes you breathe

with a different kind of happiness"

-Anni Albers-

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Summer Solstice . . .

Sparrow garden is filling out and looking more colourful by the day . . . 
now it's time for the Yarrow

and the Daisies 
and the Lilies to take over :-) 
We've also spotted butterflies and tons of bees in the garden which is wonderful!
Mama and Papa Dove have left  their nest, and we are happy to welcome two sweet baby doves  that have been cooing in our garden. It's always such a wonderful feeling when you see them safe and sound and enjoying our/their home. 

Now it's Robin's turn.  I've been keeping a watchful eye on her nest and yesterday the babies were big enough that I can spot their heads bopping up and down above the rim of the nest. Both Mama and Papa Robin have been busy flying in and out of the nest with food for their hungry, growing family. 

Our temperatures have been all over the place, from heat to rain to high winds, and today it feels like fall and I wore a jacket on my morning walk and afternoon bike ride. It felt more like September than June but I'm not complaining, I love the cooler temperatures.  I'm so happy that Robin has built her nest tucked in tightly under the eaves protecting it from the elements. 

cuteness overload!

We celebrated Summer Solstice yesterday a little differently than we normally do.
Traditionally I make tea sandwiches and little bite sized treats and we have our supper in the garden.
Yesterday it was cold, windy and raining on and off, so I made homemade pizza instead and we had it inside by candlelight ;-)
Rolling out the dough, I had a sweet surprise .... I really do see/ find hearts everywhere!!! 
I had to take a photo.

"One way of celebrating the Solstice 
is to consider it a sacred time of 




and renewal"

-Sarah Ban Breathnach-

~Happy Summer time~ 
d xo