Monday, June 30, 2014

Just recently got onto Pinterest and this was the suggested link today…perfect!

And also the perfect thing to wake up to today since I wore my painted shoes to Dick and Susan's last night for the first time….now how's that for timing!  We had lots of laughs as usual and after dinner played a round of Trivial Pursuits…great fun even though we lost.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I love a squall when I can just observe..!

Been really quite nice today….this will pass quickly I'm sure.

First time at Second Beach Pool today

Usually I start way before now…usually one of the first customers after it opens Victoria Day weekend.   I pretty much had this huge pool all to myself….5 other people were there.  A bit of sunshine and the water was warmer than the Aquatic Centre!

We hope to get into the ocean at our paradise beach July 1.

Visited a couple of my favourite bookstores downtown...

I was dropping off a book for Jim at SFU Harbourside and went to The Paper Hound.

Always fun browsing through their bookmark collection and their "found in books" collection.

And of course McLeods…always packed with books strewn everywhere.  Although I'm sure it isn't a deliberate marketing technique,  one is attracted to browsing through these piles of books strewn everywhere.

And amazingly I didn't buy any books!

Friday, June 27, 2014

You learn something every day….

Mary has recently purchased a new house and she mentioned the 2% property transfer tax she had to pay.  We were amazed to learn of this tax and I was even more amazed to learn that it has been around for  over 25 years!  How did we miss the protests over this…there must have been lots over the years.  A good idea might be to end it for residents of Canada and raise it for foreign buyers.  And it should go into creating reasonable housing not general revenue.

Well,  one tax we managed to avoid.

From Elaine today….perfect.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Brief visit to Victoria

We just got back from a brief but very packed visit to Victoria.  We began Monday being welcomed by Elaine with some wonderful Irish whiskey…Writer's Tears….how perfect!

And she had supplied the guest suite with lots of goodies.

Then we met Mary at the Penny Farthing for dinner…wow…the halibut and chips were fabulous and washed down with Kilkenny…our favourite Irish beer so definitely an Irish night.

Tuesday,  Elaine and I went swimming at the Hotel Grand Pacific and then had lunch and met up with one of our regular servers so got all the latest news.

 Jim took Ian out for lunch and he is looking and feeling terrific…even back to running up the stairs…amazing.

Tuesday evening we went for dinner with Patty and Terry at the Thai Lemongrass…wonderful food as usual and so great to see them.  Then back to their place for coffee and dessert and some of their very special banana liquor they brought back from Cuba…a real treat.

 One of their two cats who should be named "Mr. In and Out"….

 Yum, yum, yum

Patty doing the honours with dessert.

Wednesday,  Elaine took me for coffee at this wonderful bakery and coffee shop….wow…Pure Vanilla look out.  We had a fabulous cheese croissant and I bought some bread that was just coming out of the oven and smelt heavenly…cinamon and walnut.

Then lunch with Carole and Fern at the Snug for me….we had a great visit.  Jim went out to lunch with Nigel,  ran into various  colleagues at Camosun,  and got some work done.

Wednesday evening we had dinner at Elaine's and to celebrate our "non birthdays"…all our birthdays are in July so we celebrated early.  We began with some Champagne then a wonderful scotch,  and wonderful (as always chez Elaine) wonderful wines.  We started with crab cakes then seafood lasagna and salads….all from Cook's Day Off….excellent.  Dessert was her home made lemon cake…wonderful.

Then,  to the birthday loot.  For Elaine,  I was thrilled to find a cat t-shirt online with the "black cat" motif like what was on mugs Elaine gave me last year.  And other cat stuff like stamps and some books…one being the wonderfully illustrated children's story "Mr. Got to Go" about the cat that wandered into the Sylvia Hotel on rainy night.

My loot:

I love everything and can't wait to read this lovely picture book to Roger and Kerry's grandchildren!

Jim's loot:

Some very special beers, dry sausage,  and the very best of all…some ties that were Don's on a French theme.  One has the "black cat"  so absolutely perfect!  What a thoughtful and special gift.  Jim will give one of the ties to Richard as we know he will treasure it knowing it was Don's.

Thank you so much,  dear, dear friend.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Making some original ATC's

I've done a series of studies of tulips in three different media.  I don't have a lot of choice but after reading all the media Susan has used in the past week,  I though I'd use what I have.  In the past week,  Susan has created art using pan pastels, gold foil, watercolour crayons,  watercolour pencils,  watercolour paint,  wax crayon rubbings,  acrylic paint,  collage, gelato,  pencil…probably missed some!

Anyway,  I used watercolour pencils,  felt pens,  and acrylic paint…so there!

 Tulip studies with felt pens.

 Tulip studies with acrylics

Tulip studies with watercolour pencils.

Actually…tulips are a south of France thing.  I explain on the back of my ATC:

When one thinks of the south 
of France, poppies, lavender,
sunflowers, olive trees, and
palms come to mind, but the
wonderful little village of
 Carqueiranne on the 
Mediterranean where we spent
3 winters is known for its tulip
fields...wonderful big hardy
tulips with big strong stems.
The city crest has three 
stylized tulips on it.

Cloud 9 last night

Beautiful evening  and we had the additional pleasure of watching a cruise ship leave port.

Good on Sting and these other wealthy folks...

Sting:  My Children Won't Inherit my Wealth

And I love this from the article:

Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney was allegedly once described as “a tight b******” by his daughter Stella after sending her to a comprehensive school.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party"

"The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party" by Alexander McCall Smith

An enjoyable read as always.  Now time to give this series a rest.  Patty introduced me to Tana French and a hold came in today for one of her books so looking forward to giving it a go.  Takes place in Dublin so that should be fun.

A beautiful soft evening last night...

We had a wonderful dinner with John last night at Provence Marinaside in Yaletown.  We all began with the fabulous fish soup with rouille and gruyere…you just don't get this outside of France.  Then, I had a whole lobster provençale and Jim and John had the seafood linguine.  We began with a rosé de provence (of course!) and went on to a muscadet from France….lovely.

 John enjoying his fish soup with rouille and cheese…he even got extras!

 Wonderful fish soup just like in the south of France.  In France you can buy a fairly good fish soup in a tin so thinking it should be available….maybe something Trader Joe's could bring in.

 Doesn't need much explanation….

A great example….more seafood than linguine.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Music, music, music….

Went to The Sylvia last night for a pint of Red Truck and to listen to the music.  A nice keyboard & bass combo which just fit nicely into looking at the rain.  They've really expanded their music offerings.  Before this year they just had music Thursdays and ended that around the end of May.  Then they expanded to Wed & Thursday and are not only keeping it through the summer but adding Fri. and Sat! We find it  a real fun thing to do.

Then we came home and watched "20 Feet from Stardom" on Netflix.  Great stuff!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Making an ATC of my first painting ever….

This painting means a lot to me because it was my first ever other than the one we did together in the class I took  "Absolute Beginner Acrylic Painting"…that doesn't count.  I had only taken 3 brushes and about 6 bottles of paint to France.  I didn't have an easel but fashioned one out of a clothes valet.  I wanted to do something special for my very first painting and when I saw some fishermen come in with fish from our apartment window I ran down to the port.  They were fishing from the wooden traditional boats in France called "pointus".  I put these grey fish on a white plate on a white table…way too washed out so just kept adding colour

And now my "Rockfish" which mean so much since it was my first painting.  I wasn't even sure I would end up painting anything in France or anywhere else for that matter!

This is on the back of the ATC:

“Rockfish” on provençale tablecloth”
9 x 12 acrylic on paper.
Painted in Carqueiranne 2002.
This was my very first painting. I thought
I would paint these fish I bought from a 
fisherman before cooking.  I kept adding
colour until I liked the look of it.
 Perhaps there are fish with these colours
somewhere in the Mediterranean!

It's always interesting to see what people choose at the trade…my "Les Pointus" was "sold out" so I made some more.  Here's "Les Pointus".

Drinks with our neighbours

Linda and Brian came for drinks yesterday and it was fun to catch up on their Palm Springs adventures after we left.  They both got some flu on the drive back so it was a tough trip for them too.  But we all made it!  They have booked a bigger suite at the Ocotillo next year and are going to be there for 5 months so it will be great to have them down there.  They were singing the praises of the Twin Palms Bistro and Bar so we'll definitely have to try that out next year.  It's next door to them but very close to us as well.

It has a southern cuisine influence.  Anyone for gator tail and fried green tomatoes?  Quite an extensive menu.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Busy day yesterday...

It was Artist Trading Day yesterday and I even managed to get a parking place even though Commercial Drive was closed due to "car free day"…a day when there are probably more cars on the road than ever!   Everyone seems to drive to car free day probably because the buses can't go down the major streets that are closed to accommodate car free day.   Perhaps it should be renamed "Take your car day"

Lots of interesting stuff going on on Commercial but since it was pouring rain I didn't take any photos.

Got lots of goodies as usual in the trade.

And Monique was in Vancouver so we got to have a drink together.  Great to see her!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day a bit early...

Since Sunday is "car free day"  on various streets including Main and also it's my Artist Trading Card meeting tomorrow, we decided to do Father's Day today.  Richard has been wanting to introduce us to The Fish Counter's fish and chips on Main Street so we picked up halibut,  oysters, and chips and came home here to eat.   Excellent food….thank you, Richard!

While we were waiting I spotted some made in house saffron aioli and some special malt vinegar from Spinnakers in Victoria.  The aioli is to die for and I can see eating it on everything.  I'll be back for more before long.

 Richard and Dad taking in a bit of the Blue Jays game.

 yum, yum, yum
 Nice vinegar.

Fabulous fish and chips also the tartare sauce was excellent and kale slaw.

Dad reading The Lord's Prayer and other things in old English….quite a fascinating language…really so different from modern English or even middle English.