Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FOR YOU, I AM A FLOWER ...

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I AM YOUR SPRING ...

Upon returning from our Mexican vacations, I wanted to paint Frida once again, relying on fresh souvenirs of deep, rich and bold colors I had seen there.

It is 10"x20" and quite a nice size to work on and to display. This is my best Frida so far, my Spring Angel Frida with Flowers... And I just listed it on eBay !!!

Last Sunday was so hot, we spent our day drinking iced tea, diving in the pool (still melted-iceberg cold) and working outside at slow-mo pace. We slept outside most of last week but winter crept back on us Monday...

There is a saying in French that goes "En avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil" which translates to "In April, do not uncover yourself of even a thread". Guess what? This morning, we woke up with below freezing temperature and a perfect little white carpet of snow. Thank God it disapeared by the end of the afternoon. Crazy, isn't it? One day it is 80 degrees F, next day it is down to 30...

I went for a walk with my dog Bibi , the clouds were just amazing and I needed to take a break from working. Bibi is just like me... She can sleep just about anywhere when she is tired. She fell asleep in the middle of the road !!!

I always take my cup of coffee outside in the morning, love to walk to my little pond that just thawed to see what little miracle of nature is happening in there. One day, it is the peeper that have laid eggs on the aloes, another the waterlilies that are showing their new glossy pointing leaves or the new sprigs of mint coming out from under a rock. Today I found this maculated salamander swimming lazily in the cold water. They are amazing! We get different kinds of salamanders and trytons but this one is my favorite! They look so prehistoric! This particular kind is not so common here and a protected specie. They live in dark humid locations like under rocks or old wood but when spring arrives, they seek water to mate and lay their eggs. Hopefully, this one will be a proud parent soon!

I promise, tomorrow I will show you more pictures of our Yucatan trip!

So many things to do in a day and so little time...

But you know that one, right?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'LL BE BACK ...

My laptop needed a few upgrades and a tune up so I took it to the computer doctor and he prescribed complete rest for 5 days...

It came back tonite fully envigorated and ready to rock!

But it is getting late, I have had a full day of work finishing a BIG frida painting that I will be listing on eBay and Etsy tomorrow and I am too tired to write...

I will be back tomorrow with plenty of bla bla bla and oh!!! and ah!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

STRAWBERRY JAM AND GUACAMOLE ...

We slept outside again last night, under piles of blankets and an astonishly clear star-dusted black sky. Ahhhh! we love these early spring-almost-summer days. After this loooooong winter, these unexpected warm days put a balm on our freeze-burnt heart and soul...

I took a dive in the cold water of the pool after my first cup of coffee, made a batch of strawberry jam with the Florida berries I got at the grocery store yesterday (I could not wait till June for the local ones, it is summer now !!!) and made a BIG bowl of guacamole à la LuLu with tons of lime juice, garlic and habanero chilis, which I adore! Then, I went in my studio to do some serious working drawing and painting. I am finishing some commissioned orders and getting a batch of canvas ready for coloring. Can't wait to show off some of my new pieces !!!

MORE ABOUT OUR MEXICAN TRIP...

Picture # 5 and #6 - The little turtle...

I did a lot of walking on the beach, most of the times alone, a few times with Ulysse. I always tried to go beyond human living sites, beyond palapas, huts and cabanas, pass the last lonely tourist, where the real playa begins, playa of palm trees and unkept sand, of nature treasures and complete quietness...

Very early one morning, I walked south as far as my skin under the sun (dipped in sunblock) could stand and just before turning back to return, I found this little baby turtle drying in the hot sun and sand, dying. Sea turtle season starts in the Yucatan in April and this one must have been unable to pass the big waves on her first venture to the big ocean. I put it in the water but it was too weak to swim. I cupped it with my hands to shade it and walked back home for an hour and a half, wetting it once in a while to keep it confortable. When I reached our room, we placed it in a plastic pan with sand and water and kept it cool on the floor of the bathroom. Ulysse was really impressed and so worried about it not surviving. I asked friends and Mayans around what I could do about it but no one really knew... So, I told Ulysse we would be her savior!

The next morning, I thought it was dead but when I turned it on its back in my hand I could see a tiny tremor in her chin showing she was still breathing. So, we kept it again for the entire day, looked at it once in a while to see how she was doing but things did not look too good. We pulled out the barnacle shell that was attached to her head (not painful), held her in our hands hoping to transfer some energy to her poor tiny little body.

On the second morning as the sun was rising up, I went to check on her once again. When I held her she started moving ... So, I thought the moment was right, the energy transfer had worked! I ran to the ocean with her and as I was nearing the shore she started making swimming moves in the air. So, I took her with me in the waves, swam beyond the harshest ones still holding on to her and when I reached a calm spot, I let her go. She disapeared, my heart sank... then suddenly, I saw her little head stick out of the water. She scanned the horizon for a few seconds then plunged for good. There! She made it !!! I came back to the shore, all excited and yet worried she would be washed back by the waves but no, no sign of her. I ran to tell the boys about it, we were all so happy!

All day long, we went back at the same spot, making sure she was not lying there like a poor little rejected shell on the beach but no. I walked up and down the beach each day and we never saw her again...

Our little turtle had a second chance and we participated in its incredible rescue.

Have a long and peacefull life...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FREE HOLLYHOCKS SEEDS FOR EARTH DAY !!!

Today is Earth Day. And I thought I should share with you on this special day my love for hollihocks... In French, we call them "Roses Trémières", my grandmother used to call them "Passeroses". They are beautiful, tall, majestous, breathtaking, colorful, delicate yet bold. They are stunning. They are the queens of my garden... People stop by on the road when they are in season and look at the army of hollyhocks that grow everywhere around our house. They are easy to grow if you do not fuss too much about them. They are independant and will decide where they like to grow best. They are THE flowers everyone should have the pleasure to marvel at yearly...

Since they give me tons of seeds each year, I have made a pledge in 2008 to throw a handful of hollyhock seeds where ever I go, on the highway while driving in my car, in Montreal in front of sad and diry houses, in fields, in secret little nooks and crannies, at school, at the grocery... I took some to Mexico a few weeks ago and scattered them in a little Mayan village that had no flowers at all to perk it up. Took some with me in Maine last summer, gave some to a friend who travelled to France at the end of the winter and to another one who is going to Alaska. EVERYWHERE I GO I will drop seeds of hollyhocks until I have no more... And hopefully, this year or the next one, when I see my favorite flower lady in an unusual place, I will know that it comes from my little corner of earth. And if I am lucky, each flower will bear seeds that will grow tons of hollyhocks everywhere, even maybe fields of them...

If you leave a comment on my blog (whether you live in Canada, the US or anywhere else around the world) to let me know you love hollyhocks too, I will be more than happy to send you a little packet of seeds for free. This way, you will have part of my garden in your part of the world...

HAPPY DAY, DESPITE EVERYTHING, MISS EARTH !!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

UNBELIEVABLE...

The old Volvo brake pedal broke down, the water heater broke down, the power pack for my computer broke down, all within 24 hours of getting back home from vacations. But...

I DO NOT CARE BECAUSE ...

SPRING HAS SPRUNG !!! And in a BIG way!

We spent the weekened working outside half-naked (sounds much more fun than 'in our bathing suit'), eating paletas (Mexican homemade frozen fruit bars), dreaking iced coffee (10 cups of strong brewed coffee mixed with a can of condensed milk, put in the refrigerator till cold then served in a large glass full of ice - Miam ! SUPER good and NOT expensive or tedious to make), watching garden snakes swim on top of the pond between ice chunks and taking dips in the not-ready-nor-cleaned-but-it-is-not-so-dirty pool where the water was slightly above freezing point, sleeping outside on the deck with the sound of the roaring water running in the overflowed stream in the back of our house. I LOVE IT ALL !!!

LOVE the sound of the frogs and peepers right outside my studio's window making so much noise at night it makes it hard to listing to other music. LOVE watching the cats go crazy in the garden, rubbing their back in dusty dry dirt and stretching forever while yawning. LOVE holding warm freshly laid eggs in my hand, bigger and more than perfect while the hens and the rooster act fresh, walking in the newly green grass. LOVE the smell of the freshly thawed earth mixed with the smell of old leaves burning and fresh manure sprinkled on the fields nearby. LOVE the thought of spring returning year after year, making us older each time but reminding us without failure that the wheel keeps on turning despite what is happening with this planet, that nature, our dearest friend, will always be there to make us feel good, and that we need to be good for her too...

I NEED TO TELL YOU MORE ABOUT OUR TRIP TO THE YUCATAN WHILE IT IS STILL FRESH ENOUGH IN MY MIND TO FEEL IT COMPLETELY. ..

We simply lived on the beach of Tulum for 14 days. We rented a turquoise-color cement room right on the ocean in a very quiet part of the Yucatan and spent all of our time around it, sleeping on hammocks outside on the terrace, eating frugal breakfast and lunch at a small table by the beach, swimming in the unusually fierce waves of the Carribean sea, sometimes amusing, sometimes scarry, meeting old friends and making new ones, speaking Spanish as often as possible, chatting with Mayans about their families and their lives, hunting crabs and chopping coconuts with Ulysse's newly bought machete, playing chess in the shade in the hottest part of the afternoon, munching on pan dulces bought the evening before at the local tienda, going to the pueblo for supper at the restaurant and to the fruit store for some guayabana and tamarindo juice, returning 'home' at night after a smooth simple day spent at one of the most beautiful spot in the world and getting ready to rest for the next one...

HERE ARE A FEW PICTURES...

Picture # 2 - This is what my eyes saw when I opened them on the first morning at the beach...

Picture # 3 - This is the view we had seated on the terrace of our room... Just perfect ! Notice the coconuts Ulysse had put aside just in case ...

Picture # 4 - The boys could not go fishing so they tried snorkeling. But the sea was wild and beautiful and not in the mood for that activity...

MORE TOMORROW ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

PARADISE ...

Today has been so busy, trying to go back to normal after almost 3 weeks vacations. The weather was just incredible, I ended up cleaning pots and jars in bathing suit, standing there on the back deck while snow and ice was still melting in the pond.

The timing for our return is just P E R F E C T, we left a tropical paradise to get back home to an amazing spring time paradise...

Picture # 1

When we arrived from the bus ride from Cancun to Tulum, 20 years since we had last visited the same spot on the same beach, this is the first sight we had of the playa maya... Someone had build a Mayan pyramid and left it for the tide to take it...This is when I knew for sure a bit of my heart had stayed there and was waiting for me to return...

All kinds of old friends were waiting for us, people, souvenirs, good vibrations and paradise...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BONJOUR ! HOLA ! HELLO !

Just got home a few hours ago... Back from our divine Yucatan vacation... and ready to jump in the wonderful spring that just started here...

I will tell you all about our trip as soon as I am done unpacking the suitcases, downloading the 597 pictures we took, washing tons of dirty clothing, calling my parents and friends, kissing each animal of the zoo, unwrapping the treasures I brought back, opening the mail and email, checking the garden and the pond outside and eating something like maple syrup pancakes, chocolate croissants or blueberry muffins...

I am so ENERGIZED, I can hardly contain myself !!!

It will be great to go back to work in my sunny studio and to put in words and painted colors the bags of souvenirs I carried back home in my head ...

ME GUSTA MEXICO more than ever !!!