Wednesday 31 August 2022
Monday 29 August 2022
Friday 26 August 2022
I just finished a summer art course called "The Fundamentals of Drawing." Each week in class, we drew and shaded a freehand rendition of a black-and-white photo using graphite pencils (2B, 4B, and 6B were the ones I chose).
I'm very pleased with how mine turned out, all things considered. They help to overcome the memory of my attempt at watercolour balloons, LOL! My bruised ego has been soothed.
My Jack Russell terrier looks more like a fox
because I made its muzzle too long and narrow. D'oh!
This is a leafy bush in long wild grass,
in case it's not immediately apparent what it is
(and it might not be, LOL!)
In my defence, the kid's toque (knit cap/beanie/bobble hat)
was ridiculously large in the photo too but,
on reflection, I think I overdid it in the drawing.
Wednesday 24 August 2022
For the best full effect of this post, play the video while reading, LOL!
They don't call Alberta the "Texas of Canada" for nothing, you know. We've got an oil-based economy, a ranching/rodeo/cowboy history, more than our fair share of rednecks/right-wing extremists/bigots of all stripes, and the boast that everything is bigger here. Yeehaw!
So one of the forms this Texas-itis takes in Edmonton is the presence of several great big cowboy boot statues, often bearing the Oilers hockey colours and team logo. Here's the smallest of the giant boots, probably about 6 feet high --
This next one is the medium-sized giant boot, maybe 12 feet high. It enjoys wheels and mobility for some mysterious reason. Perhaps it's taken to hockey games or put in parades or something.
And the next is the biggest giant boot of all! You can see how big it is with the parked cars for comparison. Probably about 30 feet high, I'd guesstimate. It's been here in Edmonton forever. The store behind it used to be a cowboy boot retailer, but now it's a biker shop. And yes, its neon decorative stitching lights up at night!
I dedicate this post to Shirley of BootsandBraids because she luuuuuuuvs cowboy boots!
Anyone else out there in Blogland wear cowboy boots? Confess all in the comments.
[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, August 2022]
Monday 22 August 2022
Rosemary of Where Five Valleys Meet had an interesting post last week about mayflies and their final "dance" before laying their eggs (click here to read). David of Travels With Birds also wrote last week about how British mayflies are currently seriously threatened by water pollution and climate change (click here). These posts got me thinking!
One summer many years ago, I spent a day in Gimli, Manitoba, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, during its annual mayfly (or as we call them here in Canada, fish fly) infestation. MILLIONS of them EVERYWHERE, on every roadway and surface. Not particularly pleasant but a true natural phenomenon.
Mayflies have a notoriously short life span (approximately 24 hours at most). But everything is relative, isn't it, as seen in this beautiful and wise poem which contains a lesson for us all --
by Jeanne Willis
Here is Mayfly.
It is her first day on earth.
It is also her last.
Mayflies only live for one day.
But is she sad? Not at all.
She is happy to be alive!
This isn't any old day.
This is the best of days.
She lives for each moment.
She sees the world begin.
She hears the crack of dawn.
And bathes in its golden glow.
A billion buds burst open.
All for her!
She tastes their honey.
Mayfly sees eggs hatch.
Lambs learning to stand.
The business of ants.
The dizziness of children . . .
The loveliness of things.
She feels the sun's warm hug.
The kiss of summer rain.
The magic of the rainbow.
It is her wedding day.
Trees throw confetti.
There are games on the lawn.
Breezes blow, bells chime.
Birds sing! She dances
to the music of the universe.
Mayfly lays her eggs.
It is a peaceful night.
The best of nights.
She makes one last wish:
"Little ones, may all your tomorrows
be as perfect as my yesterday!"
Mayfly watches the moon come up
and the stars go out.
And is thankful for her wonderful life.
Saturday 20 August 2022
Thursday 18 August 2022
I'm not following Rain Frances' posted art prompt for today, because I promised her that I'd instead post this particular art piece once I painted it.
A couple of months ago, Rain created a video tutorial (click here) demonstrating how to paint lovely watercolour balloons. The tutorial employed a wax resist method (using a white Crayola crayon) for creating the highlights on the balloons. I was quite taken with her tutorial and wanted to try it myself!
Look how round, bright and cheery Rain's balloons are!
By contrast, mine look like sad, tired and depressed spermatozoa swimming off to certain doom (*heavy sigh*). But I can report that the wax resist method worked perfectly for the highlights! That is a valuable tip indeed for future projects -- thanks, Rain!
Oh well, I know that I need more practice, practice, PRACTICE! Onward and upward!
Tuesday 16 August 2022
When I was a kid, I learned two ways to use the Bible for divination purposes. I had no idea at the time (nor did anyone else around me, apparently) that the Bible is simply crammed full to the brim with damning strictures against divination, use of pendulums, dowsing, etc. On the contrary, we figured it must be okay to use the Bible for divination because the Bible is, like, you know, HOLY.
Anyway, the first method I learned was the ever-popular "Bible Dipping" technique, where you posed a question, randomly opened the Bible and (with your eyes closed) pointed to a verse which supposedly gave you Divine Guidance regarding the answer. This worked about as well (and about as clearly) as you might imagine. I can't remember who taught me this form of bibliomancy, but it was probably other kids at school (maybe even at Sunday School, LOL).
The other method was taught to me by one of my aunties and was used to determine that era's all-important and all-consuming question for girls -- "which boy will I marry?" (*gag*)
To answer this, you needed to hold one of your necklaces over Bible verse Ruth 1:16, which reads --
And Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
Then you asked: "will I marry [insert boy's name here]?"
If the necklace pendulum swung in a straight line, the answer was yes. If it swung in a circle, the answer was no. Or perhaps it was vice versa -- who remembers now? Hey, it was decades ago and my memory is not what it used to be.
I noticed, of course, that the Bible verse in question was spoken by one woman to another woman and so how was that really relevant to marital devotion? But this proved to be an issue for another time.
The oscillating pendulum method was also used to determine an unborn baby's gender. I think the same auntie taught me this as well. You didn't use a Bible for it, though. The pregnant woman simply put her wedding ring on a necklace and held it over her belly while asking "will my baby be a boy or a girl?" Straight line oscillation meant "boy" and a circular motion meant "girl." (Note the assumptions from 50+ years ago that every pregnant woman had a wedding ring and only two gender options existed).
So -- did anyone else out there learn these forms of (let's face it) witchcraft when you were young?