Category Archives: nature

inspiration

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We enjoyed a beautiful vacation in the mountains a few weeks ago. The conditions were perfect for a little snowshoeing and some ski lessons for the boys. The crystals in the snow were very inspiring. I’m using crystalline shapes in my next piece. I can’t think this is a coincidence.

I haven’t really been taking photos lately. These are all Peter’s photos. I guess my mind is either on textiles or photos but not both. I’ll try to get some photos up of current projects soon.

field trip

Yesterday our weaving class headed to Van Dusen to meet Nicole Dextras, the creator of the Little Green Dress Projekt which is part of a larger curated body of work at the garden called Earth Art. It was interesting to see how she talked about the project and how she filtered comments from the public. Being outside the gallery atmosphere, the works are quite tactile and accessible and the artist is expected to discuss them more often I think. It seemed like the kind of approach a very confident, experienced artist could take. It was also interesting to note that the art itself is only a piece of the work. Selling rights to photographs and looking into publishing will also create further value from the experience. She is planning to leave them up into October if you want to check them out.

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We had a wonderful weekend in the Eastern Townships. What a beautiful part of the country. We started out in Granby where the little one got a taste of cotton candy and we watched an amazing old time circus. Then off to Lac Brome for a quick toe dip before heading to Mount Orford. Our hotel had a great outdoor spa and pool and I got to have a little massage treatment myself. We were serenaded by talented Opera students as we ate on the patio. It felt very decadent!

On the way home we stopped at charming Magog for a little lunch and a playground break before heading to Saint Benoit-du-Lac Abbey for some home made cheese and cider. The rolling hills of the countryside reminded me so much of Vernon. If only we hadn’t accidentally left our cameras at home we might have captured it.  Still, it was a bon weekend!

I’ve started using instagram again if you want to follow along! My username is owlpussycat.

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We spent a rainy morning at the Biodome with most of the rest of Montreal’s summer tourists. Sadly, the otters were taking a nap but this capybara came out to say hello. I’ve been giving the nine year old a little more responsibility and letting him discover the camera. His shots came out pretty well I think.

Both boys are having growth spurts. They’re eating constantly and often sensitive and out of sorts. It’s difficult to support them while we are away from our familiar surroundings.

The four year old has learned to print and draws in every spare moment. He fills pages and pages with letters and drawings. The nine year old however is still a mystery. I’m waiting for his latest development to emerge but it’s not easy!

butterflies

We saw so many different kinds of insects the other day. I was particularly inspired by these amazing butterflies. So many variations in pattern and colour. I wish I could have photographed them all. And that little green guy is a leaf bug. We saw a live one. It’s about as big as your hand at the nymph stage and so sweet.

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We have had so many adventures this last week. We have seen acrobats and pirate ships, we’ve eaten the most amazing local produce and incredible raw cheese from Jean Talon market and so much ice cream!

All this good eating has inspired me to run again. It’s been many years since I’ve run and so I’m starting off slow. But I’m sticking with it, this cheese is so good!

Yesterday we explored the Insectarium and Botanical Garden. We spent nearly the whole day playing in the gardens and learning about bugs. At the end of the day, the boys knew that insects only have six legs and that certain insects use behaviour, colour and shape to camouflage themselves. I think it was my favourite outing so far. The perfect combination of outdoor play with a little learning mixed in.

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For better or for worse the 1976 Olympics left a lasting imprint on the city. The Stadium rises up from a concrete Planet of the Apes style wasteland in contrast to the Biosphere which seems like a futuristic utopia amidst lush parkland. Where one tries to conquer the environment, the other embraces it. Both are incredible to see and so much bigger than you imagine.

double rainbow

Two good things about all the rain we have been having: incredibly green and fragrant gardens and double rainbows. I need to remember these things when it’s pouring down!

water wall

I’ve had this idea on my pinterest summer board since last year. We finally got around to building our own water wall. It was a family effort and so much fun to play with. We used things that we had on hand: a pallet (saved for this purpose last summer), some empty milk and water jugs, a pool noodle, a bit of pvc pipe, duct tape, a bit of scrap wood and some screws. I think it will be a welcome addition to our summer backyard!

gemstones

We’ve been having such a good time sorting, organizing and learning about gemstones. These are a few of our favourites. We are lucky to have a gem shop that has lots of things for little folks with little bits of collected money to choose from. We found a few books at our local library that have helped us learn about our collection.

Canada’s Rocks and Minerals by Joanne Richter is an early reader that is great for learning about our own local rock histories. Learn about Rocks and Minerals has some great projects that show how rocks are formed and how they are used. I think this gemstone poster would be a great learning tool too.

I love it when we all get excited about a topic. Then it’s as much fun for me as it is for them.