The Artist’s Way

It was Julia Cameron’s birthday the other day. I found this out through the wonderful world of Facebook. This reminded me to visit her website.

I first discovered her book The Artist Way about 15 years ago and I can honestly say it has help to form and shape my life ever since.

I have read this copy of the book several times. There are many passages highlighted.

One of the great things about Julia and her program is that she is so generous with the tools. The basics are right there on her website free for the use.

Morning Pages are 3 pages of long hand journaling first thing every morning. I did this for a long time and still return to the practice when I am feeling out of sync.  You don’t need to think about what you write or edit or even read it again, the important part is getting it off your mind. All the messy thoughts that fill up our brains and take up space.

The second tool is The Artist Date. It is a once a week “date” with yourself to look at or do something that inspires you. I was not always successful with this tool, but it can be very good when it works.

Julia has written many other books. As you can see I own quite a few.

They are simple tools, though many people struggle with the 3 pages of writing. Julia is firm that you must write in long hand, you need to feel your hand cross the page. It does not matter what you write, no one is going to see it. In my mind I began to think of it as the Mop and Pail (M P get it..) Because it was a chance to clean out all the muck.

Just lately I have a lot going on, so I am feeling the need to return to the practice.

Hmmmm where to go for an artist’s date this weekend? The weather should be nice…maybe the beach?

Thanks Julia.

Catching up

I was really, really hoping for some sun this weekend. All of this cloudy snowy weather makes for dull pictures. I think there was sun for about 5 minutes on Sunday. I was not outside then…

I am desperate to get some crafty things done. I was able to get a few more rows on the ripple, but that is about it.

I think I will put the butter yellow in next. This is going to be a wildly colourful blanket not matter what so I might as well throw them all in! After that it is bright orange then back to the red….Yep it is going to be a shocker of a blanket. It is already warm as I work on it and very soft. It’s working out to be about 74 inches wide. Lots of room for two to snuggle under.

While shopping I saw the new Husqvarna Limited Edition Tribute sewing machine. They even made it in red….oh dear I have a serious crush on that machine. Excuse me while I go break into my piggy bank…

Miss me?

No the pond does not look like this today. Today we have white fluffy snow everywhere. I have had a busy week. I was in the big city, then recovering from being in the big city.

The view from my hotel window.

It is nice to see some interesting buildings that have not been sacrificed to the tall towers. This is Yonge Street in Toronto, Ontario.

I know many people who love living here. I just love to visit.

and eat.

This was a lovely pork chop on a bed of sweet potato mash with carmelized onions and sautéed mixed vegetables. It was very good. And the company I ate it with was even better. Gotta love your girlfriends! In full disclosure, they both ate salads, they were nice too….I was hungry from a long drive.

Back at Hedgehog Hill  we are seeing some progress. And maybe the last snow of the year??? maybe???

It is good to be home.

Snowy weekend at Hedgehog Hill

The snow came down Friday night. It was sticky snow that clung to everything and frosted the branches.

In contrast, I am learning how to make picture collages. I chose a selection of shots from our visit to The Mount – once upon a time home of the writer Edith Wharton in Lennox Mass.

We were there on a hot and sunny day in July of 2009. We enjoyed a cooling lemonade on the porch and strolled the gardens. It could have been 1909. I hope to go back again one day.

According to the website 2012 is the 150th birthday celebration year.

Today is a birthday as well. Happy Birthday Miss Murfin! Love you.

I am off to the big city for a conference this week. I will be back with some pictures of tall buildings and strange structures, maybe. I love to visit the big city, but I would not want to live there. I will be glad to be back to Hedgehog Hill.

Everything I am working on

So today I thought I would show every WIP – work in progress that is top of the pile. Or the stuff I jump back and forth between.

I like having several projects on the go at once, some are for when I watch TV, some are for quiet by myself time, some need more focus/light so I only get to work on them occasionally.

This is my African Flower afghan. There are lots of African flower examples all over crochet sites. I loved that it was an easy motif to do and I thought the soft colours worked well for a flower. I found a huge deal on some Debbie Bliss Prima 80% Bamboo 20% Merino. It is lovely to work with and very soft. The motifs will be variants of the four colours and I will attach them and add an edge with the off white.

This is my Rico hedgehog table-cloth kit. I ordered it from England and was pleasantly surprised that it was not too expensive with shipping and the exchange. I need really good light to work on embroidery anymore so it is a slow project.

I have wanted to make a ripple afghan for a long time and I am using the leftovers from Miss Murfins Christmas present. I have not decided about the denim blue (it is a different yarn and I don’t like it as well) and the yellow. I may decide to add them in later. Right now the turquoise is overwhelming the other colours, I think that will fade as it gets bigger and more colourful. I am following the stripe combination designed by Lucy at Attic 24.

And my vintage colours quilt. On hold as my sewing room is still in the process of moving. But I did get to play with colour combinations. I am still thinking 4 patch of 2 colours, but part of me just wants to do it random. I also think I need to add the yellow pieces sitting on the side.

That is all of my crafty projects that I have on the go, but there are a lot waiting in the wings. I hope as soon as we are totally moved in to Hedgehog Hill to get going on a whole bunch of new Projects, including some big painting/refurbing projects, and finish these of course. Not that I would add a few more to this list….

Thrifty Thursday

Well this is an extra-ordinary Thrifty Thursday. I found a few nice goodies this week, some were more photogenic than others. Several are going to be works in progress. But the most amazing ‘find’ this week was running into a fellow blogger Diane from Cozy Canadian Cottage and The Elegant Chateau!

I think I may have scared her a little. How often does a strange person approach you while you are shopping and suddenly start talking to you? I hope I made her feel a little bit like a celebrity.

Waves at Diane

We only had a few minutes to chat, but hope to get together some time soon to talk all things blogging.

But back to the regular thrifty finds photos.

OK this is a cheat again, I found this a while ago, but I fell in love with this vase and the soft colours.

I did find this great vintage tablecloth. Nice colours and in great shape!

A nice little Pyrex dish. I started buying these vintage Pyrex pieces for Miss Murfin, but I quickly discovered that I enjoy using them. Vintage, cute, and practical! I try to stick to one colour, so I buy green for me and blue for her. But if I ever saw red pieces for a good price…..

It is sitting on one of the pieces if vintage fabric. I think this one will make a cute tablecloth. The other pieces went straight into the washing machine.

And how could I resist this cute little candle holder with a wee red barn on it?

There were also some metal …things that I will make into bird baths for the garden, but they did not photograph well, so wait for them post re-do.

As I was getting out of the car I noticed this fungus growing on a tree …not everyone finds this cool, but it amazes me.

Tomorrow, a crafty post.

testing the camera

So I am really new to this whole camera with fancy lenses and stuff. Mr Murfin owns the fancy camera and I have always shunned it in favour of my little in-the-pocket-point-and-shoot one which is much lighter and easy to carry on holidays.

So far all of the pictures on the blog have been from my  little camera,and are not too bad.  But we have this heavy big SLR so I need to learn how to use it.

Mr Murfin tells me to read the manual… would think someone who likes to read as much as I do would have thought of that, maybe. But I get nothing from it, it is too wordy. I need to learn hands-on. So when there was finally 10 minutes of sun I trooped off to the back yard to find some suitable shots. The great thing about digital is you just keep clicking, so out of all of the shots I took, at least a few worked.

The high bush cranberries again. I love the colour, and they are about the only colour in the yard right now.

I wanted to get the ice in this one.

 And another…

So those were the good ones. I also took a picture of the 2 “barns”

Not as good a shot but I love my 2 barns. The birds love that feeder too because if a couple of them (or the fat pigeon) sit on one side it tips and the seed spills out on the ground. Not stupid those birds. It also holds the suet blocks. I have to say I now have a strong opinion on the various merits of suet blocks. There’s a knowledge based I didn’t know I was lacking!

And then back inside where it is warm and more tropical.

Sunday at Hedgehog Hill

A little bit of this and that at Hedgehog Hill today. I discovered that nylon ski jackets and wood stoves are natural enemies… hole in my sleeve.

But I made a great everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-soup.

Started with celery, carrot and green pepper.

Decided to add those last few mushrooms and a can of mixed beans.

Looking good.

Added the rest of the coleslaw mix. I am that only one who likes coleslaw so when I buy some I like to find a way to use up the rest. Soup is a great way to hide things. A tiny little bit of rice, I find too much soaks up all of the stock. I also added chicken stock and various seasonings. I LOVE oregano, I put it in everything.

Yum! It was great, filling and warm.

I also finished another little project. This shelf came with the house. We moved it and I found a new spot for it on top of some pine drawers.

A bit too bland, maybe some….

Red Gingham!  Peel and stick vinyl shelf paper.

Done in no time.


A spot for my beautiful rose chintz china.

Saturday at Hedgehog Hill

Well there is much work going on at Hedgehog Hill theses days. We are very anxious to finally move in completely. We did stay over night on Friday, but there is no internet, no cable TV, and no shower. So really it is like VERY comfortable camping.

Still lots of banging and sawing and dust flying everywhere. I have caught up on the painting for the moment…oh, wait I have closet doors to paint, dang. Anyway I was general fetcher and holder and lifter and how-high-decision-maker on Saturday. But in between all of that I did spend time doing some fun things. I had to refill bird feeders. Now that the birds know we are there and have feeders, it seems like it is a constant battle to keep them full! It was snowing and the wind was blowing so I did not get any pictures of the feeders but I will try on Sunday when the sun is supposed to shine a little.

But here is what I did do.

I found a spot for the little shelf I thrifted on Thursday, and the green jug too. I keep adding things to this shelf so I will take pictures again.

I enjoyed looking through some new craft books I bought myself for Valentines day.

Sorry the picture is a bit dark. They are all wonderful and I can’t wait to start some new projects.

I have started a new crochet project. A ripple blanket based on the pattern from Attic 24. I am using the left overs from Miss Murfins afghan.

There was a little chocolate involved. Have you tried one of these bars? WOW I had to put it away or the whole thing would have been gone.

Then there was a big dish of mac and cheese. (Mr Murfins favourite)

And feet up in front of this for a bit before the banging and sawing commenced again.

A busy Saturday.

Thrifty Thursday

Oh dear, I am glad my thrifting went better than my picture-taking this week.

Today was a cloudy, grey day not at all good for taking pictures of my treasures. Then when I finally rigged up a kind of light, my camera battery died.

I did manage to get a few shots of some of my treasures. Not all of them, but a nice sampling.

I am cheating including the pillow in the background. It was a thrifty find, but I found it months ago. I thought it added some needed colour. Can you see the trend? More red! I just about knocked some poor man over when I spied the red metal tub. Got it for $5.00 and it still had a price tag on the bottom from Pottery Barn – $59.00 ! Score!

OK I will cool it with the exclamation marks. I plan to fill it with balls of wool by my knitting chair.

The two little tins are sweet. Sorry about the glare, I will get better at these photo shoots. The red one says Jacksons of Piccadilly Tea. I plan to keep tea in it … the other one is just too cute and was 50 cents, maybe good for little sewing things.

Not much better. I was very happy to find a copy of A Traveller in Romance Uncollected Writings 1901 – 1964 by W. Somerset Maugham. I am a huge Maugham fan and there are not many I don’t have. I also picked up a couple of other books, a novel that looks good, and a Company’s Coming cookbook – Stews, Chilies and Chowders. They always have good recipes and I have several bookmarked to try this weekend. Porcupine Meatball Stew anyone?

This is really the one I am most excited about.

I found a cute little wooden box I hope to rehab a bit and a shelf I will use to display some goodies, and some more cutlery, but sadly no pictures. Maybe next week!