Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pink Rules.

It was a sad day yesterday as we had to put our old dog Balto to sleep. Balto came to us at age 12 as a rescue. His elderly owner had died. He's been a handful in the sense that he hated the car, the vet, the stairs, other peoples house, having his nails cut and a few other things. He was, however, a sweet loving dog who recently survived being attacked by a German Shepherd. RIP old boy. We love you.

In Happier news, DIL went into hospital to have her breech baby turned 3 weeks before due date and ended up with a baby an hour later. We have our second little grand daughter and we are so happy and excited for Brandon, Tray and our dear Emma. They sent a video of Emma meeting her new sister and I've watched it 5 times and cried 5 times. No name yet for bubbie. 

Friday, December 12, 2014


My first sold painting
Blogging has been on the back burner lately, although I still read all my favorites each day. We had Thanksgiving in Florida and walked in our neighborhoods local Thanksgiving day parade. What fun that was. Followed by dinner for 22 at a neighbors, it was a wonderful day with our American friends. Home to snow and cold winds, but Girl Child is living at home for 3 weeks before her move West, and with Girl Child come Henry Francis....a sweet bundle of cuteness and bulldog oddness to brighten our days. 

Sadly, our half blind, deaf, boy Balto got attacked by a German Shepherd Monday night. He was pretty badly beaten up, puncture wounds in his neck and severe neck bruising, but he survived. He's extremely sore and we have him doped up a bit for pain relief. Henry Francis has been sweetly concerned about him.

I've joined a painting group. 5 of us amateur artists meet once each week to paint, chat and eat biscuits. My "painted Ladies" suggested I post my paintings and put a price on them, so I did, and I sold the one in the top photo. I had lots of people ask and I've never been able to tell them a price because of self doubt, shyness and just not knowing their value. So that was pleasing to me.

I've been helping Girl Child sell off and get rid of some stuff. Clothes were sorted and sent to consignment where they bought the lot. Instagram postings of other bits to flog was a huge success, including this stool below which she could have sold 10 times...maybe Henry Francis posing on it made it more desirable.

Our dear Henry Francis. Modelling on a step stool we sold.

Another painting....getting braver showing my work

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Advent Clandar

The count down to Christmas is so exciting for children. I've always bought advent calendars for my kids, but this year, now there's a little one, I decided to make a family one. I went to Michael's and bought 2 packs of these little unbleached cotton sacks. I stamped the numbers on using black paint. I then went in search of a branch or something I could hang them all on. That wasn't too successful as it was too lopsided. I found a metal piece out for trash. It is one of those metal stands to hold an election sign on the lawn (or window, handyman etc companies). It was a bit sharp and rusty so I wrapped it in Jute twine gluing it as I went.

I filled the treat bags with chocolate teddy bears, snowmen, lady bugs, santas etc and hung them from the wire cage. Some I hung on a piece of festive twine so they would hang lower and the rows would sit right. I finished it with a few little ornaments and it can be easily leaned against a wall on the mantle. I am excited to anticipate the little one looking in the bags each morning to find her treat.

Girl Child's sweetie is thousands of miles away. She hasn't seen him in a month and will next see him on December 24th. She wanted to make a countdown calendar for him. She stamped wedding favor boxes with the dates and then filled each box with truffles, santas, snowmen and a few more grown up treats such as miniature chocolate liqueurs. In each box she wrote a little note folded and closed with a tiny clothes peg. 

We had so much fin making these. There are so many ways to create a personalized advent. And far better than those horrible waxy chocolates in the grocery store advents.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Florida Sunroom

Encaustic cement tile floor, made in Mexico. Movarian star light fixtures, second hand Moroccan rugs. The doors at the far end were purchased long before construction started and the room was designed to fit them. They came from India and are apparently over 100 years old.

Three years ago, we bought a vacation home in Florida. We are hoping to one day spend the winters here, but for now we try to go every couple of months when work schedules permit. As Canadians, we are allowed to spend 6 months a year in the USA, so the long term plan is winter in Florida and summer in Canada. Which means we want the Florida house to be well suited to hosting our family who also want to escape the Winters.

The house had a screened porch with a leaky tin roof, no access to outside, and was basically unusable, except for bicycle and junk storage. Because the house has just 2 bedrooms, when both kids, DIL and baby visit, someone has to sleep on the sofa. My intent was to build a sunroom and bathroom that could double as a spare bedroom when we had guests. The room is long and narrow. 2 Palette beds flank the one wall, providing comfy sleeping for 2 guests, as well as a long, loungey area for reading and for napping. One end has a large old desk, and the far end houses the bathroom.

Here the beds are dressed in Kantha type quilts made in India. Patio doors lead out to deck and pool. Goose neck sconces provide extra light. The fireplace came from a house in New Orleans. I had it tiled in cream handmade Mexican tile. Tile from Mexico sometimes has a paw print in it. Laid out in the run to dry, dogs and chickens sometimes leave a print in the wet clay. One of these pieces had a paw print. I told the tiler to make sure he used it in the middle. He misunderstood and cut out the print and used the tile on the corner :(.  Peacock Mirror weighs a ton..The Raz Man was not happy hanging that..

So now we have a "guest room/sun room". Perfect timing because another Grand Baby is on the way!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Painting

I've been painting on large canvas...much more suited to my large, sloppy strokes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Newest Painting

I've been totally frustrated with weeks of painting and no results that I consider worth keeping. I love so many types of art, and I think I have tried just about all styles from charcoal drawing to abstract painting. The good news is you can paint over canvases that you mess up on.

For this painting, I was inspired by my obsession with artist Bernard Lorjou, my love of fabric and prints, the blog Small Acorns and the aesthetic of Amanda, and by the talented designer Anna Spiro. Anna is the Australian designer famous for her clever mix of prints and colors. This painting was inspired by her Round & Round the  Garden wallpaper for Porter Paints. I loved that wallpaper from the minute I laid eyes on it. I mixed it up with an icat tablecloth and a spotted vase. The spots are actually raised and I stencilled them on with a molding paste first. I couldn't catch the dimension in the photo, but they stand out nicely.

I am most attracted to flowers to paint. I love pottery and vintage and ethnic fabrics, so I am enjoying this style of painting. I have come across the art of Bernard Lorjou, a French painter born in 1908. He was really quite ahead of his time. One of my favorites is below.

Source http://www.pinterest.com/pin/234609461812952703/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bits and Bobs

These are not porn stars...I practicing nudes for art class

Tree Cozy

Building a room around these doors.

Sunoco gas bar. Pick up a coke, gum or a stun gun
I drawing bodies for art class. Lucky for me as I hate sketching clothes, drawing nudes is a great way to practice drawing.  I do lack a model, so I'm using my imagination. The second girl clearly has fake boobs and a scary eye, but the first one is making eye contact. One thing I can't draw is hands, so I just left them out.

We're building a  sunroom in Florida. Nothing started yet, but the entire addition is going to be worked around these 100 year old Indian doors. Contractors going to love me.
If you are ever in St. Petersburg, take a gander through the Dali museum of course, but then wander up Central Avenue to explore what the art community has been up to.
Our trees in Canada could have used sweaters this Winter.

While you're paying for your gas, pick up a coke or a stun gun...they work! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A birthday in the house.

Henry Francis and I share a birthday. 
I've been Nannie-sitting him this week and Girl Child asked me if I could snap a birthday photo of him in a party hat (for the album you know).

A boy hat was not to be found around the house, but I did have a Cinderella crown. Which made him feel very silly, but totally adorable.

Of course he tried to lick the cake when he blew out the candles.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Painting a day

I read that you have to paint 120 paintings before you get any good. I've given myself a challenge to paint a painting a day for 30 days. 

Over the past few days I've been practicing with not much success. After reading a lot on the matter, I pared down my efforts for simpler subject matter and have taken the time to sketch them first with simple drawings showing the light values. The tulips turned out OK, but this is after I scraped the paint off the flowers twice. Daily routine. Sketch. Shade. Paint.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Artist Wannabe


Once in a while someone will the question at a party (usually after a bit of liquor) about what your dream job would be. I was asked it recently, and since then I've given it lots of thought lately because I'm dead bored of selling rugs and furniture and even the decorating side of my business if dulling me out. The truth is I've always wanted to paint. I not a good technical drawer so abstract and impressionist painting strikes my fancy. 

I found an art course that wasn't sold out, but the problem was it was for Level 2...not beginners, do I guess I have to fake it. Off I went to the art shop, pretending I knew what I needed and though together a basic painting kit. I've done color theory classes so know how to mix colours from primary blue, red and yellow, as well as white and black. The first painting one was a disaster. Part way through it looked really good, then I did what I've come to realise is my fatal flaw. I keep going and going until the paint is as thick as butter cream. My second try was a wee bit better, but again, I used far too much paint.

Yesterday, I watched a few You-Tube tutorials and ended up with my first piece that I actually like. It probably could use a few finishing touches, but I've left it well enough alone because I don't want to over do it.  

Tomorrow I start my lessons and I plan to post my classwork and any pieces I do at home.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Unknown- March 11, 2014

Best friend of Gracie
Thought she was a dog
Best Cat Ever
Loved greatly by our family

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New stock in Shop

I've spent the past week photographing new stock of Sno of Sweden jewelry. The latest trend is a big stack of bracelets on the arm. I love experimenting with all the pieces to find interesting ways to wear them. Personally, I prefer them worn in color matched groups. A cluster of snowy white pearls, beads and silver bracelets look amazing with a soft winter white sweater. Or a dark, smoky grey collection to add sparkle to your dark winter grey and black clothes.

Right now I am offering Free Shipping plus 20% off all stock until the end of January. Use coupon code JANUARY.  Here is the link to my website www.razmatazmarket.com