Morning Photographs


Living on the St Lawrence River can be both very annoying (think of the fog horns at 4am) and absolutely, breathtakingly, delightful.

The bridge that joins this part of Canada with the it's counterpoint in the US amazes me. When we go to the waterfront and look across we are looking at another country! It took me over a year to get my head around that fact and it took another for the amusement and entertainment to wear thin.

This is such a quiet area of Canada. It's on the edge of Ontario, nestled between Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The birdsong during the summer is fascinating; I have never seen such a variety of birds and wildlife. I am constantly in love with the colours of the birds in our gardens, I am fascinated by the plants that grow here and the tortoises that wander across the road.

I know I spoke earlier of our struggle to find a home in 2012. Our time in Prescott is slowly coming around to year 3 and I wanted to take the time to think about the choice we made. In 2012, we were looking for quiet. The Canadian and I needed to breathe and this place has given us that opportunity. Slow sunrises and beautiful colours have made a beautiful backdrop for the past 3 years of our marriage.

We really don't know what is going to happen in the future, although we would love to stay put, it's impossible to know whether that's going to be a possibility. For now, I'm enjoying the beauty that is living around here and indulging myself in the slowness of living in a small town.


Don' Be Mad Because I'm Doing Me Better Than You Doing You

Can we talk about Childish Gambino for a moment? I absolutely loved Community. The Canadian and I binge watched it two summers ago, often debating which character we loved the most (Abed and Trey!). When I heard that Donald Glover had a music career I was excited. I expected it to be all pop-y, akin to his character in Community. So, ultimately, I was surprised when I discovered his music to be raw and ... poignant.

Ok, so I'm not a huge rap person because frankly I found it so far removed from my individual experiences of being of mixed heritage. While I was surprised with his music, it resonated with me deeply. I've slowly been listening to his music over the past year and loving the unpolished, rawness, and openness of his experiences. I'm not someone who raves about music as its a fun aspect of my life, not my whole life. Yet, I found myself totally enthralled with his words, finding that it triggered creativity that I had not had before (like the mural in my basement, or my desire to start drawing again - I've been going through a bit of withdrawal recently).

Recently, I wanted to find out more and discovered this article that he did in 2011. Now, I love him even more. There's something to be said about people who acknowledge their cultural heritage and use it as a development of their identity and not just as their identity.


Happy Mother's Day

Celebrating mother's day is complicated for me. There's the mothers day in March and the mothers day in May. I'm actually pretty thankful that neither my mum or my mother in law are big 'mothers day' people, but I'm even more thankful that they're both brilliant, loving and excellent individuals.

I'm very lucky to have such wonderful figures in my life.

Hopefully everyone is enjoying mothers day, or not! We're having a quiet, chocolate eating, nap filled day here.


Revisitng the Older Sketchbooks

I have countless journals, sketchbooks and idea paper stacks. None of them are particularly used or a part of a system. I paint in the ones designed for pencil and use coloured pencils on acrylic paperstock. I am countlessly surprised by the sheer amount of paper that has my thoughts, ideas and pictures on them. So, for the sake of sharing, here are a few practice pages from old books.
"You Can Do This" on The Lemon Hive

Little Hand Drawn Memory Books with Huge Sentimental Value

Fireworks: Bonfire Night
Some time ago, I wanted to do something special for my parents. My dad had recently been very ill and I was really feeling that distance. Everything was touch and go for a while, The Canadian and I discussed the likelihood of me flying home because things were changing constantly. I was, needless to say, feeling pretty rubbish. During that time, I found myself pulling up memories of my parents and their love. I wrote them down and then, when I got tired of writing, I drew little pictures to represent the memory. One of the things I miss most is the silly conversations you miss when you're so far away, the ones often rooted deep in shared experiences.
Barbie and the Multitude of Handmade Barbie Clothes. Oh, and that time my mum gave Ariel a shiny new bob because not even a dinglehopper could have helped out her tangles.
Custom Dolls House: Complete with Victorian era furnishings, dolls and handcrafted fimo food
Such as all those times we listened to the cassette that played the Windmill in Old Amsterdam and not quite understanding why my Dad didn't just have it ready to go whenever we had it in the car (a. it was very annoying and b. he probably wasn't all that into listening to it when we weren't around).
Only experiencing The Hobbit whilst being in the car. Miracle cure for travel sickness.
Tick Tock: All the hours of waiting up

As a way of coping with the upheaval, I started putting together a little watercolour book for them. You have likely seen one of the images already, as I had it posted to Society6.
The Green Dress and The Memories of HAVING to Wear The Buttons at the Front
Each image reflects a small memory that, for me, is a big deal. I sketched each one out on watercolour paper, the only ones I had on hand were from the dollarstore. After that, I painted them, somewhat messily. Once they'd dried, I layered on more colour until I was happy with the messy look.

Finally, I used my stockpile of hand made cardstock as fillers; writing on them to tell my story, the meanings behind the pictures and little notes of love.
Once this was all piled up together, I hole punched the card and papers and tied it up with twine. The end result was a very messily bound book filled with messy memories and love, which, in my opinion, makes it all very perfect and reflective of the intent. I didn't get a great final picture but that's ok. I made them to be shared with my parents, posting it here was an afterthought, which I'm also happy about. I don't think they would have been so organic had I known I'd be posting it on here.
That was that. I loved being able to put these together for them. When I spoke with my dad, he was most amused that he remembered it differently or that it had triggered other memories for him. My sisters even informed me that I had drawn the little mice incorrectly because they remember the stories my mum told and they had imagined the mice to have waistcoats. I'm glad I took the time to do this for them and that it brightened up their holidays. 

Would you do this? Is it a good idea generally, or is it just for super dooper sentimental people like me?

As an aside, my dad is much better ;)
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