Wednesday, May 31, 2017


When I was at the Christie outdoor antique show this past weekend, I purchased a collection of old mortgage papers.  They are all very worn, with frayed edges and well-creased folds.  The papers themselves are very soft and pliable, smooth to the touch.
There were at least 30 pieces of paper in the large Ziploc bag I bought, the oldest one (the blue one on the right in the above photo, a portion of which is shown in the image below) dates back to October 22, 1864.  (I am assuming the brown spot is ink but I suppose it could be blood, who knows?)  The "newest" piece is from 1940.
I love the various examples of calligraphic handwriting.
And the embossed seals that are attached to only a few.
One of the pieces of ledger paper even had this amazing watermark.
Not everyone appreciates these old pieces of paper, each of which tells a story about hardworking people who wanted to own land or a building and paid good money to the bank to do so.  Who may have grown old on that same land or under that roof, such a long time ago. I am looking forward to examining each one of these pieces of paper slowly, savouring each small detail of a life once lived in days of old.

Day 22/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 58/100 - 100dayproject

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Had no trouble finding an image for today's prompt for ArtfulAdventures.  Here's one from the ball game tonight - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cincinnati Reds. The Jays won 6-4 and though the crowd was relatively small, we were definitely loud!

Day 21/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 57/100 = #100dayproject

Monday, May 29, 2017


For those who are long time readers of this blog, you may recall that back in August of 2013, they first started breaking ground on the plot of land located between my apartment building and the street to the south.  The city had sold the land to a developer.  It was the end of the green space. :(
Turns out, they were building townhomes on the lot across the street to the west, a process that took about three years.  People moved into those finished units late last year.

As you can see from the pictures below, at long last, progress is being made on this second phase of the project located on the land that used to be that same green space.

Foundations are being laid.
Cement basements are being installed.
Walls are going up.
A lot of units of being built.
I'm not sure when this batch will be ready for occupants, I suspect it won't be too much longer.  For now, it continues to be a work in progress.

Day 20/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 56/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Today's evening stroll around the neighbourhood did not reveal anything that would suit the "tiny" prompt for #ArtfulAdventures.  Small - yes. Small dogs, a child's winter hat left on a pole, flowers. But nothing tiny.

So I'm posting a picture of these cute little cat stickers my friend Cheryl gifted to me yesterday.
I've added a dime to show their size - definitely tiny and oh so very cute!  Notice the ones that are climbing into holes - a very clever bit of packaging as the black holes are printed on the piece of cardboard behind the sheet of stickers.

Thanks again, Cheryl!

Day 19/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 55/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Had a wonderful day today at the Christie outdoor antique show with my friend Cheryl.  There was so much to see.  While I was there, I was on the lookout for items for today's Artful Adventures prompt: contrast.  It turned out that it was the juxtaposition of antique items and fast food symbols and signage that turned out to be the most prevalent.
Someone even took the time to make this stained glass window featuring Colonel Sander's face!?!

I thought this quizzical expression on the Pink Panther's face pretty much summed it up!

Day 18/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 54/100 - #100dayproject

Friday, May 26, 2017


Today's Artful Adventures prompt is "text".  I didn't have to go too far to find an image for today, since I work as a paralegal negotiating leases for a property management company.  I work with documents and words all day long!

This picture is a portion of a page from a lease from 1986. I'm guessing it would have been photocopied from a typeset original, since back in those days, computers didn't exist for most of us. Changes to the standard document were added either by hand or using a typewriter.

Very few of  the documents in our clients' files are this old, this is probably one of the oldest.  Hard to believe someone doing a job similar to mine put this document together more than 30 years ago!

Day 17/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 53/100 - #100dayproject

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Today's ArtfulAdventures prompt is "reflection".   I knew I'd be unable to be out and about with my camera today, being booked in for my latest colonoscopy appointment (every 5 years - if you're reading this and you're over 50, have you had your first one yet? Book it now!), I took this photo last week on a walk to my local library.
I was inspired by a friend's picture on Facebook (thanks Jeanee!), taken in a similar style, only her photo from her hometown in Florida included a palm tree.  I like how my photo includes the reflection of a pine tree, a quintessential Canadian look.

Day 16/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 52/100 - #100dayproject

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


When I first thought about what image I would photograph for today's Artful Adventures prompt, "cracks", I thought of the cracks in the pavement of the parking lot at work.  There are many, of various thicknesses and designs.
But as I went to take a photo or two, I realized that I hadn't seen the Canada geese yesterday when I got back to work after the long weekend.  I walked over to the nest and sure enough, it was empty, with only a pile of feathers and a bunch of eggshell debris left behind.
On closer inspection, I noticed this piece of something that looks like half an eggshell, except it seems to be sort of a thin membrane - presumably the inside of the shell?  (I didn't want to touch it!)
There were definitely broken pieces of thicker shell scattered about.
I can only surmise that sometime over the three day holiday weekend that just passed, the goslings cracked open their shells and stepped out into the world.  The family then would have made its way to the nearest water source, which I believe (based on previous years of goose watching) is somewhere to the west of this parking lot, across a four lane road (which would have been lightly trafficked on the weekend, thank goodness!) and down a road about two blocks and then across a field.  Hopefully they all made it safely to their destination!

Day 15/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 51/100 - #100dayproject

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Today's prompt for Nathalie Kalbach's Artful Adventures is "pattern". I took this picture of a mosaic tile wall a couple of weeks ago while walking around the Queen Street West neighbourhood in Toronto.  I love, love, love all the different patterns of these tiles!

Day 14/30 - #artfuladventures
Day 50/100 - #100dayproject (OMG, halfway done!!)

Monday, May 22, 2017


Today's Artful Adventures theme is "night". Given that it is Victoria Day here in Canada, you can guarantee that there will be fireworks as soon as darkness falls this evening.  A few people have been setting them off on each of the past 3 evenings (even last night in the rain - what?!?) but tonight will be the main event.  The view from my balcony will look something like this:
According to Wikipedia, "The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (24 May 1819)" and "Canada is the only country that commemorates Queen Victoria with an official holiday".  For most of us, it's the first long weekend of summer, no matter how chilly it may be.  That's seems a good enough reason to be setting off fireworks to me!

Day 13/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 49/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Today's Artful Adventure is all about trash.  In my apartment building, there is a small room on each floor with this sign on the door:
Presumably the hours of operation are posted as a courtesy to those whose units are closest to the disposal room, so it's a little quieter for them. (The outer door is quite heavy and noisy as it closes, as is the chute itself.)  These signs are posted inside the garbage room:
I've never quite figured out who would "wrap" their garbage? 

One opens the door and places the garbage inside the chute.  The picture of the green garbage bag above the opening is somewhat misleading, as it's a smallish opening, no way a big bag would fit in there. (There is an area outside for larger bags and items such as furniture).
Any items for recycling are deposited in containers like these on the main floor.  Our superintendent tells me the building has been fined several times because people put food waste in the recycling bins. Perhaps they don't realize there is a separate bin for compost, which is kept outside due to its tendency to get a little smelly.  But really, people, get your act together!! 
As the bins get filled up, they are placed outside where they sit until garbage day, which is Tuesday in our neighbourhood.

Day 12/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach     
Day 48/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, May 20, 2017


The prompt for today's #artfuladventures hosted by Nathalie Kalbach was "sign".  Nathalie herself posted a picture of a rusty sign in her neighbourhood that she has enjoyed seeing and which inspired her to create a mixed media piece of artwork.  I was going to take a walk and take pictures of the many directional and construction signs in my area.  But this morning, as I went to sit down at my art table, I realized I was being confronted by a different kind of sign:  a message from the universe. Like the one in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" when the pigeon poops on Diane Lane's head and the old woman says it is a sign from God that she is the one who should buy the house.

In my case, I took it as a sign telling me that it was time to clear off my desk.  I had only the grey grid area showing in the photo below left clear.  The rest of my table was a jumbled pile of art supplies and letter writing paraphernalia from April's NLWM activities.  It had been that way for weeks and it had been bothering me and, obviously, restricting my use of the space, but I hadn't had time to do anything about it.  Until today.
I was mostly finished when Maggie came to inspect the progress. She seemed happy with the results and so I continued on.
After only an hour or so of concentrated effort, success!

Day 11/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 47/100 - #100dayproject

Friday, May 19, 2017


Here in the city of Toronto, we have all sorts of wildlife.  We have animals of all sizes and descriptions, from the smallest (mice) to largest (deer) roaming through backyards.  It's not at all uncommon to see raccoons, possums and porcupines on local streets or in one of our many parks.  A raccoon ambled past our picnic table last Saturday afternoon, which was a shock to all of us, as he was quite close to us and did not appear to be at all perturbed by all the people and dogs nearby.  Just last week, authorities shot a bear in the east end of the city!  Which I admit is quite unusual but still, not completely surprising.

Squirrels are everywhere and come in various colours - black, brown and grey.  My mother tells a funny story about when she was driving guests from New Zealand around the city several years ago and they suddenly and urgently asked her to stop the car.  She thought there was some sort of emergency, they were making such a fuss. Turns out they had spotted a grey squirrel, an animal they had never seen back home. We laughed when we heard the story, for we tend to take them completely for granted here and most of us think of them as merely furry rodents who try to eat the birdseed in the feeder.

However, I was quite surprised to catch sight of this unusually coloured specimen just a few weeks ago as I was walking in my neighbourhood.  I have never, ever before seen a black squirrel with a white tail.

Here's a better shot.
You can bet I'll be watching to see if I can spot this little fellow again next time I'm walking in that area!!

Day 10/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalback
Day 46/100 - #100dayproject

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Plant Life

It's that time of year again. Almost overnight, fields of bright yellow flowers appear to blanket the green grass. Yes, it's dandelion season.
From many morning-glories
That in an hour will fade,
From many pansy buds
Gathered in the shade,
From lily of the valley
And dandelion buds,
From fiery poppy-buds
Are the Wings of the Morning made.

(from The Tree of Laughing Bells, a poem by Vachel Lindsay)

Day 9/30 of #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 45/100 - #100dayproject

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I noticed these petals on the ground underneath this blossoming tree near my office yesterday.
I had never stood on the ground under this tree before, never consciously noticed these blooms before this year.  They don't last long, one breezy day and they vanish. But the tree remains, firmly rooted.
“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.”
― Steve Goodier

Day 8/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 44/100 - #100dayproject

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


One of the things I love about my apartment is the view.  Whether it's looking south to the lake or east to the far away skyscrapers of the city centre, with just the top of the CN Tower peeking over the roof of the neighbouring building.  Long time readers of this blog have seen several photos of various sunrises here. Sometimes I think, I couldn't possibly post any more. And yet...
How could I not take a picture of this morning's sky for today's prompt? The softness of the colours was simply irresistible.

Day 7/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day43/100 - #100dayproject

Monday, May 15, 2017


This collection of items can be found on my balcony:  a skull I brought home from my travels one year, an old wooden window frame with the glass removed (I can't remember where I found it) and a piece of glass that used to hang in the window of the building in which my father's dental practice was located.
The skull reminds me of who I was with on that trip, the adventures we had, the discussions about whether this was a goat or a cow skull, the examination of the teeth.

I love the font on the glass, the effectiveness of the gold and black paint. I wonder who painted those letters and admire their skill.  It reminds me of visits to my dad's office and how this sign complimented the various antique pieces he had in his waiting room.

I wonder about the type of building in which this window frame used to be installed, who looked through the panes and what they might have seen.

I like the way these 3 things go together, the suggestion of days gone by they create both separately and together. I wonder what sort of stories these pieces could tell if they could talk, the people and times they have seen come and go.

Each of these items are a window into the past.

Day 6/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 42/100 - #100dayproject

Sunday, May 14, 2017


I went out for a walk this afternoon. I had some library books to return and one on hold to pick up. It's about a half hour each way. Took my camera along, looking for something to photograph for today's #Artful Adventures prompt: shiny.  Nothing seemed to suit. Just as I was nearing home, I pointed my camera upwards and took a picture directly into the sun.  When I got home and took a look at the image I had captured, I knew I had the perfect shot.
The heart-shaped cloud was just a bonus. :)

Day 5/30 - #ArtfulAdventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 41/100 - #100dayproject

Saturday, May 13, 2017


I get my mail every day from the collection of mailboxes in the lobby of the apartment building in which I live.
If I receive a parcel, the mailman leaves a key in my box and I get my package from this container. 
The funny thing is, I never think to post mail in the slot provided in this box. I always end up finding a mailbox on the street instead, don't ask me why! (perhaps because my mailman comes to our building around 6:30 pm most days, so anything he picks up probably doesn't get going on its way until the next day.)

I had an #Artful Adventure today exploring the Queen Street West/Trinity Bellwoods area with friends.
In between checking out several of the very cool shops in the area, lunch in a restaurant that served only perogies with various toppings (OMG, so very tasty!) and admiring the local wall art/graffiti and spring blooms,
they helped me look for mailboxes.  We found several examples.

This first one is similar to the package box in my building, only it's operated by a private delivery company, not Canada Post.
The traditional Canada Post red boxes were also around, complete with their own touches of graffiti.
The gray distribution boxes were much more heavily decorated with graffiti!
This old wooden door had a lovely mail slot at ground level.
One store we visited even had postbox t-shirts available!
Many thanks to Maria and Cheryl for a wonderful time enjoying this spring day and for their assistance in searching out examples for today's prompt.

Day 4/30 - #artfuladventures with Nathalie Kalbach
Day 40/100 - #100dayproject