An Old Blanket Gets a New Life – Felting Pure Wool

It’s Christmas Time! (Swipe and Click)

    Handmade Gift Tags using Paper Aged with Tea
    Vintage Paper Part I : Christmas Cards

    Art in Toronto : Continuum at Fort York Historical Museum

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    We experienced something rare and beautiful on Friday evening -- the opening of a fleeting three-day art installation at Fort York. "Continuum" by Toronto based artist Krista Kim and musician Jeff Schroeder, transformed the historic site with light and sound, creating a calm meditative experience.

    Throughout the weekend and on Monday morning (beginning at 5am for the early-birds), guests were invited to come, relax comfortably on blankets, watch the mesmerizing ever-changing pixilated art on the 100-foot long screen, and listen to the soothing sounds of an original abstract guitar soundscape. If desired, they could also listen to the self-guided meditation voiced by the artist, via Youtube.

    The intention of the "meditative generated animation" was to bring healing and wellness to the community. It was presented by Toronto History Museums as part of "The Awakenings Project".

    This was the launch of Continuum's World Tour. Their site describes it like this : "As the world begins to emerge out of a global pandemic that has disrupted and transformed our everyday lives, mental health and well-being are now recognized as crucial self-care practices for everyone. In a symbolic act of healing and rebirth, CONTINUUM will be installed at Fort York National Historic Site, transforming it from a military fortification implicated in colonial history into a light of hope for the future."

    It ended at noon today, however a segment was recorded and permanently saved here on YouTube.

    Holiday at Wasaga Beach : Part 2 – A Very Special Visit

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    Hello! My last post was about our trip to Wasaga Beach, which we took a couple of weeks ago. We rented a cottage through Airbnb and had a very good time. If you'd like to see the story and photos, they are here.

    I ended that post with a photo of me waiting for some very special company to arrive. These fine people were our niece, her partner, our niece-in-law and our FIVE grand-nieces and nephews!

    The children are my older brother's grand-children, sons and daughters of my nephew and niece and their spouses.

    Three of them, including one pair of twins, were born during the pandemic so we hadn't had a chance to meet them yet, making this the first time laying eyes on them in person.

    There was a three year old, a two year old, a couple of 9 month olds and a baby girl who was only 10 weeks old.

    This was one of the most joyful days of my life, so, although I don't usually share family photos or pictures of children on these pages, I feel compelled to share (with permission from the moms and dads) ...

    Holiday at Wasaga Beach : Part 1

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    Hello! We spent last week at Wasaga Beach and had a wonderful time.

    At 14 kilometres, Wasaga is identified as the longest fresh water beach in the world. Located a two hour drive north of downtown Toronto, it's a very popular place during the summer, especially on the weekends. In fact, the last time I was there it was on a Saturday afternoon in July and the place was so crowded that my friends and I got right back into the car and drove further north to a less busy beach.

    However, as you'll see by these photos, it's a completely different place mid-week in September. We practically had the place to ourselves, but given that the water had had a whole summer to warm up and the weather was (mostly) beautiful, it turned out to be a perfect beach holiday.

    Being as long as it is, the beach is divided into sections, with Area One being the oldest and most popular part. We rented a cottage through Airbnb, which ended up being a quick walk to the beach at Area Four. We were there from Monday, September 13th to Friday, September 17th, 2021. (I didn't take any pictures of the place we rented but if you'd like details about the cottage, please contact me by email.)

    Even though people's mindsets begin to change from summer to fall at this time of year, it was nearly 30 degrees the whole time we were there. I didn't even put on the lace-up shoes, socks, or the warm sweater I'd packed once. We swam every day without a single shiver, even upon getting out of the water.

    We also took walks along the beach and throughout the neighbourhood, checking out the charming older original cottages and the stunning new homes that have more recently replaced the old. Along the way, we talked to the people we saw and everyone was so friendly. We ended up having quite a long conversation with a man who, coincidentally, once lived a five minute walk from where we live in Toronto.

    We cooked all our meals at "home" and ate them outside. And on the last full day of our stay, we shared the space with some very special company, indeed. I'll tell you (and share lots of pictures) about that in Part 2 which I'll post early next week.

    These photos are posted in the order in which they were taken throughout the week. Although it was nice and warm the whole time, there was some dramatic weather in there, but the rain only fell at night so it wasn't a problem ...

    Recipe : Fruit and White Wine Cocktail – “White Wine Sangria”

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    Bird Watching in the City : Spring 2021 Toronto

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    Hello hello! I hope you're well.

    We have a window in our kitchen that looks directly out into the top of an old maple tree. Unfortunately, the tree is slowly dying and there's nothing we can do to stop it. At this point about half of the branches have leaves and half are dead. We've had an arborist look at it and they've told up that it's just nature taking its course and the tree has simply come to the end of its life cycle.

    There's an upside to this sad demise, though, in that birds, insects and squirrels really enjoy hanging out on its leafless limbs. We've always had birds in the tree, but now it seems like there are more of them and a wider variety. It could be because we can see them better now without the leaves, or it could be that the animals are really drawn to whatever food they're finding on the dead wood. We've seen them munching away out there, on who knows what.

    Since I'm not an experienced birder, I'm afraid I can't tell you exactly what all of these are. I really tried to identify them but it's hard because there are so many variables that come into play with birds, such as their age (a chick looks different than a fledgling of the same species, and adults look different again), gender (sometimes males and females are hard to distinguish from one another, as with American Robins for example, but sometimes they'll look quite different from one another), time of year (some birds look quite different in the winter/spring than they do in other seasons). Also, there are a lot of different birds flying around our province, especially in the spring and summer, when many species migrate up here to breed. A recent count by the "Ontario Birds Records Committee" determined there are 501 species in the province, including those who visit from the south. Anyway, I've spent too much time trying to figure these all out and just had to give up on some of them.

    While doing the research, I came upon a new-to-me term used within the birdwatching community -- "Lifer" : (noun) The very first sighting of a bird species that had never been seen before by the observer.

    Amoungst these photos, there are a few lifers for me and perhaps there are for you, too.

    I'll begin with those ...

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