Saturday, May 31, 2014

English Bay slide arrived the other day…must be summer

Up at Cloud 9 last night for beer and tapas and we saw a large container ship leaving port.  We almost never see these freighters move.  Perhaps they move at night mainly.

Not too visible in this photo.  This photo is from the Internet…container ship going by Brockton Oval

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just too cute for words!

For my cat loving friends.

The Craft Brewing Movement

I just recently read this article in The Georgia Straight and thinking this  brewery,  Brassneck,  would be an interesting place to visit.  And I learned a new word,  "growler"…container that you bring or buy and they put the beer into it.  Most of these places aren't bottling beer or putting it in kegs so the breweries/ restaurants are the only place you can get it.

Richard and Grace came for dinner last night and brought a growler of Brassneck!  Perfect.  It was excellent beer….we'll have to make a trip out to Main Street and try some more of their brews.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Susan should have been a teacher...

I got a real laugh out of the "California Earthquake" series suggestion.

Wow, I would not have considered them unsuccessful at all!  Next time, don't rip them in half - leave them overnight and you might think they look better in the morning!!

Of course, you could tape these back together on the back and call them your "California Earthquake" series.


As requested….unsuccessful art

I was bugging Susan about not posting some art on her blog for a week and mentioned I had been unsuccessfully trying to do some mid century modern theme ATC's.  so she said to post them anyway.  Well,  I had to dig in the garbage but here they are.  The idea was to do  butterfly design houses in aqua,  orange, and purple.

This wasn't working so then I thought I'd paint the background with these colours and do a line drawing.  I guess I left most of my good pens for that in Palm Springs.   The only decent one I had was a bit too thick.  This idea still might work with a thinner pen.  For the cactus I used a too thin pen that was running out of ink so I kept going over it and made a bit of a mess.  I know…I know…blame your tools.

And Susan posted something she did on her blog…love it!

My friend Janice has reminded me that this month is skipping away without enough art.  I did ride up to Queen Elizabeth Park last week to do some sketching, though.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blast from the past

Marilyn ( and now Kerry and I) is a part of a women's group from our graduating class in 1965.  They meet from time to time and will be part of the planning for our graduating class reunion next year since it will be the 50th anniversary!   Hard to believe we graduated from high school 50 years ago.  I haven't  been particularly interested in these things but I think it all could be quite fun.  Here's a photo Marilyn sent me from one of their get togethers.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ian back home with Binky!

We are just thrilled that Ian was able to get back to his home and to his beloved Binky.  He has made the most amazing progress since we saw him so gravely ill the beginning of April.  As Andreas commented,  "He may just have more lives than his cat".

We look forward to getting many emails from "Ian and Binky" and hearing about Binky's latest hunting treasures.

Binky on the hunt.

And yesterday was also our moving day to Vancouver a year ago.  Seems like we've been here forever.

Our wonderful movers moving in the last piece of furniture.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cannery Row at The Sylvia

We really enjoyed this band last night and some of our "beach friends" were at The Sylvia as well so a good time!  I decided to break with tradition and have some drinks I hadn't had for over 40 years…a Singapore Sling and a Rob Roy.  Both way too sweet for my taste…now I know why it's been 40 years.

 André and Heather,  our usual and great server.

C.C. and Kumiko dancing.  Friends of André.  C.C. told us he was 85 and Kumiko was 55 and his family was worried about the age difference.  He told them,  if she dies, she dies.  He also told us he did stand up comedy.  I see there's a video of him at Kino Café Flamenco and Tapas Bar on Cambie.  Looks like a rather interesting place.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Matisse Chapel

This is a painting I did after visiting the wonderful Matisse Chapel.  I loved the campanile (wrought iron bell tower).  I took artistic licence with adding my four favourite trees from the south of France….palm,  umbrella pine,  mimosa, and cypress.

14 x 18 acrylic on canvas

More fun with ATC's

After I painted my Mondrian table I felt a print of Matisse's "Blue Nude" would be perfect to accompany it so this is now on our wall in Palm Springs.  This is a work of art I've always loved and a print was on the wall of the villa we rented in the south of France for four months one year so it brings back those memories as well.  And of course there is the wonderful Matisse Chapel in Vence and also the Matisse Museum in Nice.

And this got me thinking about Matisse and his cutouts and how this might be a good project to do at the ATC meeting so I got some construction paper and started cutting up "Matisse" type stuff.  I chose to use curved nail scissors and these proved an excellent choice for the curvy type cut outs he made.  I didn't try to copy his just the idea of them.  It was actually really fun and I look forward to making more next meeting.

Now,  what was interesting were all the bits (on the right)  that were left over from my cutting.  It's almost a work of art in itself!  But they also will make perfect pieces to make more cutouts.  I see how Matisse had a lot of fun with this!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lunch on "The Drive" with Marilyn and Chris

We met Marilyn and Chris today for lunch at Carthage Café on Commercial Drive…one of our favourite restaurants.  Always a great setting and Marilyn and Chris were impressed with the food.  Now that is saying something since Chris is a European trained chef who worked at the William Tell and other fine restaurants before finishing off his career teaching in VCC's Chef School.  Jim had his usual "Carthage Couscous" (enough for two elephants but he managed to finish it…),  I had a red snapper dish and Chris and Marilyn had chicken in a Pernod sauce.

Always great to see them!

And now the food…

 Carthage Couscous….lamb shank, chicken, and merguez saucage.

 Chicken with Pernod.

My snapper.

We were pleased to see The Canterbury Tales Bookshop was still open….bookstores are closing all the time now.   A really enjoyable place to browse.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm getting very clever with ATC's

I'm usually desperately doing these the day before or the morning of the meeting. At the meeting yesterday I was talking about the table I painted Mondrian style to Vicki who has a place in La Quinta and she asked me to bring a photo of it.  So,  the idea came to me to make up some ATC's with the photo…so I'm already ahead of the game for next month!

I mentioned the table because I was working on my "Mondrian" ATC's.  I still had the black lines to do which I did some in ink and some pasted on.

So,  I have now done my ATC homework!

All six together look a little wild but individually they aren't too bad.

Wonderful clouds last night

It was mainly a sunny day and we had our first pastis out on the balcony in the sunshine.

The Orient Express

We got this email and photos from Barbara Lowy yesterday:

"David and Stacy boarding the Orient Express today in Brussels. How happy that would make Otto! The Orient Express was his unfulfilled dream!"

We continue to enjoy Otto's "Transcontinental" tapes…a real treasure for us.  When we went to Poland in 1976 we were on the route of the Orient Express…only instead of luxury we sat up for 32 hours from Paris to Katowice.  What you can do when you're young!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My booty….this week's Artist Trading Cards that I picked up…all so different and great in their own way.

Our 46th anniversary today…didn't we just turn 21?

How the time goes…

As always,  our dear friend,  Elaine,  sent us a wonderful present and card.  And in keeping with tradition we opened our gift before we supposed to…you know we would!  The chocolates were carmel with rock salt and absolutely yummy.  But we did leave two to have today…

Artist Trading Card Day!

I'm very excited to get back to my ATC group…it's always like Christmas getting other people's wonderful creations.  I haven't been doing much artwork lately so decided to do some trees…palm trees,  umbrella pine,  and olive trees.  A good warm up.

I'm always at a bit of a loss as to what to do in the work period of our meetings as taking paints and materials isn't practical as I'm a very messy painter so I came up with this idea to create some Mondrian type ATC's.  The idea is to use the cutouts to make Mondrian type designs.  It will be fiddly but not messy at least!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The student life...

I began my SFU continuing ed course on the Savoy Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan yesterday at Harbour Centre.  I hadn't taken the bus downtown since we got back from Palm Springs so that was a neat experience.  A cruise ship was in….just might get Jim to take an Alaska cruise one of these days.  He's very busy with his contract at the moment and probably will be most of the summer.

I really enjoyed the course and the fellow giving it, Tom Durrie,  is a very interesting chap.  He has a blog which I will start to read.  Here is his notes about himself….as you can see he's an old hippie radical who has had a varied and interesting life.

He also mentioned that UBC allows people 65+ to take credit courses for free….no kidding!  I looked it up just be be sure and so it is.  Some over prescribed faculties are not available such as medicine,  law,  etc.

And I happened to be sitting beside someone whose husband (divorced,  deceased) taught at Camosun beginning in 1971 so we had lots to talk about.  Her daughter convinced her to move to Vancouver five years ago.  Her daughter picked her up so I met her,  Sandra Clarke, who is now a child psychologist.  Elaine,  perhaps you know her since she mentioned she went to Cedar Hill?  A small world.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Great news about Ian!

Binky will be glad to see Ian home.

Ian has been moved to the Rehab floor and making great progress.  He might be able to go home and to his beloved cat,  Binky, as early as the end of May.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Best Musicians ever at The Sylvia…Holly Burke and the Naturals

At our local tonight and loved this band!  Beautiful, beautiful evening…

Bad light for photos but we're looking at the sunset,  freighters,  English Bay…

Dinner at The Fish House last night

We took Grace and Richard to the Fish House last night and we all had a super dinner and what a wonderful evening to stroll over to Stanley Park.  They brought the makings for mojitos…Cuban sugar and fresh mint from Grace's mother's garden….a perfect night for tall drinks.

Next time they're going to take us to The Fish Counter on Main Street for what is known as the best fish and chips in town.  I'm always on the lookout for great fish and chips.  Richard says it's as good as The Galley in Victoria.

Looks good….can't wait!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tapas and beer at Cloud 9 last night...

Just an amazing day and evening yesterday.

Dick and Susan joined us tonight so a special treat …good friends and one of our favourite places in Vancouver!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A few new discoveries...

I'm going to physio at Davie and Hornby…good location for parking in our resident only parking.  On the ground floor of the building there is a business called "Breka Cafe and Bakery"…wow, what  a find!  I've been missing Pure Vanilla in Victoria for special company desserts but this will fill the bill quite nicely and is open 24/7.  I was particularly attracted to the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.  They get excellent ratings.  Also have some interesting sandwiches and bread.

And there is also a little Chinese restaurant that I picked up some hot and sour soup from to take home for lunch.   I had to wait a few minutes and was offered a cup of tea…a nice touch!

Monday, May 12, 2014

An evening with Donna and Neil

It was great to see Donna and Neil the other night and we were treated to drinks and dessert at their home that we have probably seen for the last time as they will soon be in their new condo.  After having dinner at Minerva's (super Greek and Italian restaurant in the area) we went to see the condo in the "before" stage.  It is completely gutted so they will have the space exactly as they want…what a treat!  They will be looking out at magnificent chestnut trees and will have a pool they won't have to maintain themselves…paradise!

 Their old home which will sadly be demolished but that's the reality of Vancouver these days.

 I just loved these wonderful trees!

Can't wait to see the "after"….

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Kowloon Tong: The Last Days of Hong Kong"

"Kowloon Tong:  The Last Days of Hong Kong" by Paul Theroux

Picked this up in the "free room" in our apartment and enjoyed it very much.  It takes place around the takeover in 1997…about 10 years later than when I visited Hong Kong.  I really quite loved Hong Kong so it was enjoyable to read this story and it brought back memories.