Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faux Gogh Chair part 4

For everyone that guessed what we would have on the back of my Faux Gogh ... here's what it is. Zachary finished the preliminary drawing on the back of the chair ~ he did an awesome job!

Now I can't wait to get down to the nitty gritty of painting the last panel. Zach, though, reminds me that I still have the bottom of the cushion still to complete and to do the bottom of Arlene's Faux Gogh chair.

After I complete this chair, I'm considering the possibility of painting and selling other Faux Gogh chairs (purchasing new chairs from Ikea and going from there). What do you think?

Stay tuned ....

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ever train a Border Collie?


It's a very long story, but in short, we helped rescue a 7 month old Border Collie cross late this spring; cared for him and found a home for him on a sheep ranch. Sparky came to us totally untrained. Greg & Zach started training him, but he was not interested in the least to "sit" and "stay". He would jump up on everyone as soon as they came into the backyard. (I think Zach was saying "Down, down, down Sparky" in his sleep, for a while there). However, Zach did discover that the dog would sit if there was a cheese bribe involved.

It was hard to let Sparky go, but we knew for his sake and the sake of our backyard, he needed a LOT more room to run and jump and do all the things a Border Collie needs to do. Thankfully Jessica contacted us. She was looking to train a dog to herd her sheep. We drove Sparky out to the farm about an hour and a half out of the city to his new home.

We've kept in touch with Jessica from time to time to see how Sparky's doing. At first he was really thrilled to be with other dogs and loved making great discoveries like sheep poop in the grass. The other day, Jessica said in an email that Sparky is finally not chasing the sheep and goats unless he's asked to.

Which brings me to the photo on this post. This is a photograph of Sparky on the right and a pencil drawing that Zachary did of him on the left. I matted and framed it and now it's displayed on our "art gallery wall" in our livingroom next to the computer.

To see more adorable Border Collie hijinks, clink on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI7TN8q6ktk

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Welcome to my backyard


Autumn is my favourite time of the year. The smell is in the air, the earth is harvesting some of its finest fruits and everything is just sooo beautiful!

I would like to introduce the trees of our backyard to you. First we have an Aspen Poplar. A lot of people don't like poplars, but I enjoy this tree. We rescued this one from my husband's parents' acreage many years ago. It was about 6 feet tall and I could encircle it with one hand. When we transplanted it into our yard, we dreamt of the day when it would give shade. And it does. The Aspen is approximately 18 feet high. It also makes a beautiful rustling sound when the wind blows through its branches. Some native people call these trees "noisy leaf". I love that.

Our next tree is an Elm. One year, we noticed that a little birdie had planted a tree in our garden. So, instead of getting rid of the sapling, we decided to reduce the size of our garden to make room for a second tree. This beauty is now approximately 25 feet high. All the brilliant leaves have fallen off it now, but one of my gnomes stands guard at its feet.

Tree number three was yet another brilliant gift that fell from the sky into our raspberry patch in the northwest end of our garden. We decided immediately that we would sacrifice the raspberry bushes for a Mountain Ash Tree ~ one of my absolute favourites!

I recall about the second year the young tree was severely damaged when two young energetic boys who were visiting our house decided to sword fight the tree. They swatted off every single tender leaf that had grown on the Mountain Ash!

It was mid summer, and all that remained was a stick in the ground. We prayed that the tree would survive. And in the spring, we were thrilled to witness as buds started appearing on our precious tree. The Mountain Ash now stands about 10 feet tall. It's produced some beautiful berries for the birds to feed upon during the winter months.

What is your backyard like? Do you have trees that nest birds in the spring; give you shade in the summer months; turn brilliant hues in the autumn; and supply food for the birds during the winter?