Autumn Berries

Rose hips The smell of the woods in the Autumn, picking berries, wandering along the paths enjoying all the colours.  Fall is a favourite time.  I want to try and capture the feeling with this next painting.

My sketch is of rose hips and leaves.  I want to try, again, some reverse painting.  I struggle with this particular method.

First thing to do is to add some resist, or mask, to the berries wResisthich I did very deliberately.  Then splattered some around to try and add sparkle bits.  Some of them were too large so once they dried I just rubbed them off, keeping those I wanted.

FrPicking Coloursom that point it was deciding what colours to use to help me create that look and feel of autumn.  I wanted to make a green by using blue and yellow.  The best was Ultramarine Blue and Gamboge.   The berries needed to be bright and yet rich looking so I chose Quinacridone Red mixed the Gamboge.   Then as a dark shadow there is Terra Rosa.  Now it is just putting water to paper.

The next two pictures are a progression of the painting.  Progression from “What have I done?” to “Well, maybe it’s not so bad after all.”

BackgroundTaking Shape

Renovations, Repairs and All things needing Updates

In buying an older home there are so many factors to take into consideration.  The major one being, How much money can I afford to put into a home?  Or how about, How much work do I want to do at my age?  Or even, How much time to I want to spend in chaos?

In purchasing a 50 year old home we tried to cover all the questions and look at all the contingencies, but there is always something overlooked.  We thought we had chosen a sound house with good bones.  The major issues were cosmetic; things that we could handle ourselves.  We had an inspection done and looked carefully at it and decided it was worth the risk.

dwnstr-bathPlumbing did not become an issue until after all our children and their families came for the long weekend in August.  With two people living in the home there was no problem; add 6 more adults and 5 small children you have a tidal wave.  Ok, slight exaggeration, but there was a sewer back up in the basement by the end of the weekend.  Thank goodness it was the end and not in the middle, right?

When all was cleaned up my handy man decided to snake the toilet to make sure no small toys just happened to have fallen in there.  Nothing.  He also tried the sewer line but could not go far enough.  We had to call in a plumber.  He did the lines with a little camera and showed us the bad news right there on his laptop.

Old clay pipe

Old clay pipe

When this house was built back in 1965 the sewer lines were made of clay.  Ours had slipped apart and was not able to allow enough flow through.  The only solution was to replace the clay pipe with new PVC pipe.   It looks like they were digging to the center of the earth!  Did I mention this was at the front of the house.  See those hedges, they now look like a tooth missing.

Once they got down to the bottom there was a couple of hitches.  First was the fact that the water line ran right over top and along the sewer line.  This made it more difficult for the workers as they had to dig by hand.  Second issue they found was the drainage tile, or weeping tile, was hooked into the sewer line.  This was common back in the day, but now it is a big no-no.  They would have to add a second line and then gravel so the water could seep away.  Who knew?

The old and the new

The old and the new

They did all the work and eventually pushed and packed and scraped all the dirt back into the hole.  It is wonderful feeling to have it all done properly and to know we can have company arrive anytime.

Now we need to reseed the grass and fill in the hedge.  There is always something, isn’t there?

Selling, Moving and Starting Again

Moving from one province to another is a long and tiring process.  Starting from this, in 2013, the floods in Alberta, to starting all over in British Columbia in 2015.  I say starting over, but even though this particular picture looks bad, our family was cover by insurance and we only lost “stuff”.  This is not about the floods but rather about starting over.

From that day in 2013 to today in 2015 we have sorted; cleaned; renovated; staged, sold, bought, packed and moved to the beautiful Creston Valley in British Columbia.

For me, this was a much longer journey.  I had been yearning to return to BC for 25 years and this year was the year!  And what an amazing place.  Mountains on the east and west; rich farm valley; luscious orchards surround us.  In the couple of months here I have picked cherries right off the trees, canned my own peaches, plums and apricots, attended the local farmers market, found an art group and so much more.  I think I am going to love living here.front

Our new home is appx. 50 years old so a few renovations to take place.  I will be posting some of those as we travel along.  Already there have been changes and can’t wait to see the final product.  One of the first, and you may laugh, was dealing with water in the
basement.  Good thing we have experience!

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