Saturday, December 21, 2013

We wish you a merry Christmas

It seems the year has flown by at too fast a pace once again. Its only a few days till Christmas and I never got cards in the mail this year as have been in a terrible humbug mood. I think the lack of sun has given me the blues this year, though it didn't help being confined to my chair. Guess I am lucky though that I have a recliner I can rest in.

We won't get to the Nativities display this year as Gerald is working overtime with all the snow we are getting so I am posting one from a previous year.
Enjoy, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

An overflowing mind, and a recliner debut.

Hello to all connected by cyberspace.
Well I have been busy with recovering from severe finger dislocation, three joints did the 180 degree spin and three months later the end joint is still bruised, though less so now. I sure find the cold weather affects so I have been wearing fingerless gloves I adapted from some old woollen socks to keep joints warm while enabling use of my fingertips.

Then to top that off a few weeks ago I foolishly lifted a sewing machine, yea gads woman what was I thinking!!!!! It sucks to be a gimp I tell you. Living with EDS when I am feeling good I believe I can do that which I in all reality cannot do, such as lift anything with weight, Ouch! So as the story lags on... I literal ended up not being able to walk for over 24 hours, could only drag my feet two inches at a time with aid of a walking stick; major down time. I spend a weeks worth of whole days in my recliner chair with ice packs and heat-pads, add in a bit of feel sorry for and belabouring myself into the mix, well I swear I have the best husband around as he puts up with me helping me smile with his antics and jokes.

Anyhow I have made a few accomplishments.

On the left is a textile completed before the back injury and the right shows the drawing which became the preparatory study for the textile. http://teresastiebenart.blogspot.ca  link is to the other two pieces I did for the show.

Below is the second course I've finished through the Edmonton Public Library online study courses. I am presently working on three more, one for how to set up a Wordpress website blog which I am finding confusing yet will persevere.
I enjoyed the Photoshop course so much I have begun the second program which teaches more in-depth about Photoshop Elements. So there is lots to keep me busy in my recliner. 

But I have to admit the panic of losing valuable working time away from finishing the plinths I was making for my upcoming exhibition did cause anxiety. Through it all I have to reaffirm what gets done, gets done, what doesn't... well not much a gimpy gal can do about that.

Monday, November 18, 2013

In the midst of winter

Well, looks like we are in the midst of winter here in Alberta. The snows have come and intend on staying I'm sure. So instead of posting whats out my wintery window I shall post a mid-summers dream landscape taken this previous summer.
Enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crochet delightful hats

 Two of four hats recently made, I'm feeling lazy and not going to repeat what I posted on  http://tesstextiles.blogspot.ca so if you wish to view the other hats and read the story just click the link.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Serendipity at its best.

Have you ever had those circumstances that just seem to "open up" to new possibilities serendipitously?
Well thats whats happened. While perusing kiji I came across an add for quilt batting for  $10- a batt and as I'd been considering making a few quilts in the near future knowing that the last one I made cost about $80 to fill with commercial polyester filling I kindly asked hubby to take me to check it out. Well it was wool batting, wow big score. I bought 6 batts figuring that it would take about 2 and a half batts min to fill a "light" queen size quilt. I also noticed colored felt batts for wool felting crafts, clothes, dolls, whatever, so I enquired finding them to also be $10 per batt. Wonderful woman shows me a doll she was needle felting so I get to thinking maybe I should try some felting, after all I'm game to try new media. I buy 4 color batts, whereupon a few days later I get to thinking that I only bought 4 bright colors, what would I use for contrast? So I call up wonderful lady and ask if she had any left, and she did. She also had a few more quilt batts that I took off her hands as she is moving overseas and needed to rid her excess.

Well the story continues cause now I see an add on kiji for a "trade" of wool that was felted as from a washed quilt and some loose. Once again I ponder that if I make sculptures with wool what better to stuff it with than matted wool. Once again hubby is unknowingly chauffeuring me towards a new adventure. I now meet #2 wonderful lady who kindly enquires what I intend to do with the wool. I proceed to tell her about my projects and next thing I know we are leaving with fabric, colored wool roving and... felting needles, what did I say, serendipity. Oh ya. So for trade I am crocheting her a hat as she liked the one I was wearing and I have needle felted her a hanging "bird nest pod" with the supplies she gave me.

Is that the end of my tale? Oh no tis not. This weekend we go to a reuse sale where I notice that balls of   yarn are 50 cents apiece. There am I digging through bins and bins of yarn looking for funky stuff to add to hats and as notes of funk on intended future sculptures when along comes hubby who was off looking for a small iron for me, he found two but both were kinda iffy condition so we passed on them. Upon returning the irons he finds me with two bags full of oddball yarn yet he also starts digging and finds about 6 skeins of real natural light color merino wool. Wow, so cool, I do so love this man, a true trooper and help mate, besides he says my craftiness keeps me busy and happy and that he likes. About $40 dollars lighter we are headed home.

Next day I decide we shall drop in on another fundraiser sale, this one is just fabric and yarn. Well what do my amazed eyes spy, raw wool, and wool roving, whoohoo, I am on a role and $40 later we head home. Last weekend I sold a painting for $80- and this weekend I reinvested the whole amount on a new venture. Serendipitous!

Needle felted "bird pod"
33 inches from top pointy tip to end of tails. Of course I am never one to start small and easy, no my second project was tiny but as its for the exhibition I cannot post it yet, stay tuned, more fun stuff to come. Ah life is exciting and life with artistic adventures is ecstatic!
So have some fun and create a bit of life's art today.

finished first online course

It was a fun learning curve and though the 24 hours of training took far longer to learn than that, but hey, I greatly enjoyed the task and can now edit my photos and I also learned how to make a slide show. So far only did the examples with the school training photos but am excited to try it with my own photos and art work in the near future. 

So what new thing have you learned lately?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Learning Lightroom 4


I found out that one can take free on-line education courses through the Edmonton Public Library so I signed up. Presently I am learning Lightroom 4 which I purchased last winter and never got around to understanding how it worked. Well I must say I am well on my way to learning it though with the  finger dislocation (twice) which still gives me problems though the swelling has receded, then our thanksgiving feast as well as an art exhibition last weekend I got a bit behind; two weeks in fact, just enough so that If I am stuck on a problem I cannot get help for it as one must request within 2 weeks for each module. I still have 4 classes to go though the final exam is posted already. I was having trouble with today's module and finally gave up and will have to skip to the next module later today to at least try and catch up enough to get in questions if I so need. It's difficult when one gets behind as there is a lot to learn. On top of it all I had signed up for another course which started last week so now I'm 2 weeks behind in it as well as modules are posted each wednesday and friday, sheesh. I really do love it and even if I don't "get" it all I am learning a lot about how to edit and fix photos. I have some photos that my husband took this summer of my nephews wedding that I am editing which I will  further manipulate in photoshop to make a small album for my sister. I take good bird shots but lousy people shots hence hubby having to shoot the family gatherings.

Well blogger is doing weird things to me once again; telling me I am signed out from another location and making it difficult to continue so shall say adios for today.

"Roses from my sweetie"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

3 year project coming to a close

I have been working for three years on an undisclosed project which has been accepted into an Exhibition at the Gallery of St Albert for march-april of 1014. I am pretty excited as it has an ecological theme around birds, or lack thereof. Anyhow I am going to keep you all in suspense till the unveiling in the new year. What I will say is its sculptural rather than paintings and I will post images once the show is up, so stay tuned. Presently I am working on handmade plinths for some of the pieces as there is a certain way I wish some to be viewed rather than on gallery style stands.

So with that being said I am also in the thinking and planning stage of a new possibly three year project, this one though will not be so secretive and as I may well be venturing into totally new to me media that I believe it may be fun to document my progress and or frustrations through the blog. So once again stay tuned as there is more to come...

Enjoy your weekend. These two are safe as its turkey time again. 
Happy thanksgiving one and all.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

recumbent bikes

I watched a fella ride one similar to the above around Cross Lake campsite late summer and it got me to thinking that maybe, just maybe I could ride again as it looks like the pedal pressure is not on the knees and it has back support which I need for my condition, mmmm possibilities are arising. Also with a recumbent there will be no strain on my neck.

With sadness I gave away my upright antique pedal bike eight years ago due severe dislocations and pain in my knees so seeing this bike gave me inspiration and best of all is hubby said he would get a bike and ride if a recumbent bike will work for me, Yes!!!

So... Last night I did a little research and found that Bently Cycle sell recumbents, hence another excited resounding Yes emitted from my gaping mouth as Bently is only about an hour and a half drive from here. It seems like a fall picnic is in order for this weekend, do a little birding and check out the only store in Alberta online that I could find selling recumbents and go try a few out. http://www.bentleycycle.net/recumbenttadpoletrikes.htm

I posted the link as I swiped the photos from it to show what I am excited about, and hey I don't believe they would mind as its extra advertising for them. The baby below is quite pricy for this disabled wild bird but it has shocks for a smoother ride which with my condition is a good, no a great idea, and hey if it gets me out riding the trails then whoo-hoo its all good. Just wish we were not going into fall right now, but then if I get one then maybe the snow will not come till january, now wouldn't that be great. Ahh, yes the proverbial dreamer.
Enjoy your day as I head back to dreaming of free-rolling the terrain once again.
Hugs!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I am missing writing

I realize that the experience of writing a blog started out so that I would keep my hand in writing even if it be ever so little. So here I go again, starting small, no major essays, just noting what ever I so choose at the time.

Did a few hours of volunteer work at the Muttart Conservatory today with Edmonton Naturalization Group. (ok the blog is already telling me its having trouble saving my content, so this post will be short)
Floral Train outside the Muttart Conservatory, photo by G Delorme.
Have a wonderful week!
Hugs!

Friday, September 13, 2013

further down the road

ok this is the second time I have written a lengthy post with numerous photos that took hours to compile that supposedly saved that has vanished. I am becoming frustrated with blogging, it seems when I  go back later its vanished. Grrr!!!!!
Not sure if and when I will post again on this blog though I will keep up postings of my art work on
http://teresastiebenart.blogspot.ca

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2 days and 2 bears in wells gray provincial park


We saw a traffic jam up the road and I noted this wee fella munching along the roadside so I stuck my camera out the window and took a shot and glad I did as a moment later he vanished into the dense underbrush. Taken with a 300m prime lens, this is a highly cropped image. 

Brilliant color dew-dropped blossoms greet us in the park.


Now back to our previous mystery bear.
The shoulder hump seems very defined, that and the light color claws is why I gauged this to be a young grizzly. I have seen many black bears of all colors, grew up around them though never saw one with such hump definition or such a defined face profile. I now wish I had closely checked the foot imprints in the dirt to see how they looked.





poster identity profiles taken from fish and wildlife site http://www.fws.gov/pacific/lawenforcement/Sam%20Stuff/Aug%202009.html


Characteristics of a Grizzly Bear


As fast as the water flows

Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park BC.
 It was overcast and cool so I wore a slicker just in case.

 Absolutely stunning falls with spray mist climbing the canyon walls.
 The trail along the ridge affords a spectacular view of the falls.


Earlier in the day I captured a surprise shot. I was manually focusing on the female chipping sparrow who was rapidly fluttering her wings and when the shutter clicked this is what I got; a second later the male was gone. On that note, have a great day.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grand vacation; The Bear Tale of exploring BC in comfort.

Hello all, well it has been one fantastic summer for my sweetie and I. We took the plunge and bought a used truck and trailer to travel through BC for six weeks, whoo-hoo! It was the best camping experience, I am still savouring the thrill of not having to battle mosquitoes all night long. Oh how I love our little trailer, it's nice to have a bit of comfort at our age. We are not extravagant people, we go out camping cause we like to hear the frogs and early birds sing as we waken, the trees creak an talk with the breeze, and gentle licking waves upon the shore, so no tv or radio for us, just pure nature.
Face to face; and speaking of face to face with nature, my sweetie got to meet this fella face to face with about five feet of air, very still air between them when he was getting the trailer ready to hook up to the truck.  Gerald jumps into the trailer motioning hands while speaking to me yet no sound is emitting. "what" I say and read his lips as he repeats soundlessly while pointing that there is a bear outside. Excitedly "where" say I promptly opening the screen door of the trailer, "o-there" and quickly close the screen then attempt to take this shot.
The photo is blurry cause he was that close as I excitedly take a shot through the doorway of the trailer, what an adrenaline rush.
 We waited till he moved on a few campsites away then took a few shots with telephoto lens as we did not want to add stress to a scrawny hungry bear. With due diligence we stopped by the info booth at the entrance to Wells Gray Park to inform them of the bear as I believed it to be a young hungry Grizzly but staff said the ears were too big so this was a cinnamon black bear as the Grizz are at higher elevation this time of year but I believe it to be a young grizzly as it does have a shoulder hump and light color claws.
Anyone out there have an opinion as to identity?
Have a great day all and big bear hugs to ya!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

spring walk-about

 Along the Whitemud Creek Ravine in the city of Edmonton delights of the season include butterflies
 and barred owls.

 Driving the back roads somewhere in east Alberta a Red-necked Grebe with lunch.

 Mr & Mrs Scaup on a man-made city pond.
The bachelors, three amigos, Mallards.

Enjoy your summer, share good laughs with friends and share a smile and kind word with those in passing, I intend to.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Considering it was a long weekend the opening for the exhibition went well last month, sheesh how time flies. My sista Mary E made a bannock bouquet and saskatoon bannock for the opening. She is starting her own business called Bannock Bouquets which is really wonderful as she makes the best fry bread ever. Sharon, Wayne and the fantastic members of Emmaus Fine Art Group set out a wonderful table of varied foods, it is wonderful to have their support.

Dear ole friends Badger, Deb and Mary came to the opening and we had a wonderful visit. We don't get to see one another as often as I would like with living 3 hrs drive north of them.

Sharon presenting me and Gerald flowers on behalf of Emmaus Fine Art Group. (Gerald took the photo) 

Emmaus Fine Arts Group hanging the show. Gerald's work is fantastic on the brick wall.

The present series I am working on looked good hanging together.


Yahoo, those little red sold dots on the title cards look great, it keeps me in art supplies.
Thank you to all my friends and patrons, Emmaus Fine Arts Group and Bannock Bouquets for making this a wonderful opening for Gerald and I

The exhibition is up till June 14th @ The House Coffee Sanctuary, 126 10th st NW Calgary.
Big hugs to all.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where oh where have I been?


Well I have been very busy as my husband and I are having an exhibition in Calgary in a few weeks.
Its pretty exciting to have a show with the man whom has been so super supportive to my artistic ways. He puts up with my overtaking the whole house with alternative art and sewing projects all the while just smiling and giving encouragement while ignoring the messes I make. Such a joy to share art and life with him.


Also I will have some paintings at...
In Edmonton next weekend. I am happy to be busy painting and showing my work.

Happy days, the sun is shinning, the birds though have been slow to come north but I don't blame them as we had snow three mornings this week. On monday eve we went for a walk and the rain/sleet started once again and lo what do we behold but a swan troupe dispenses from the cloud cover flying low looking for a spot to land to wait out the squall. 
Have a wonderful week, hugs!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

pencil portraits

A portrait of my beautiful nephews and niece recently completed. I chose graphite 2b pencil (my favourite) and 3b as a soft medium with which to work the portraits and then to add a subtle bit of color and link the children together I washed in the background and parts of the clothing with watercolor. The portraits are drawn on quality Arches watercolor paper. I found out years ago never skimp on supplies, always use the best available.
It has been a while since I have drawn or painted people portraits and quite enjoyed doing this piece.
Years ago I lived in Manitoba and painted many portraits in pencil and chalk pastel. I enjoyed taking courses at the Winnipeg Art Gallery to have access to models and great teachers, it was my love and passion then and quite enjoyed seeing clients so happy with the finale results. I have painted children, centurions and also memory portraits of loved ones who had passed on.

Today I posted nine more new paintings at:
 http://teresastiebenart.blogspot.ca
enjoy!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

of birds and bears

Well I finally had a light filled day enabling taking photographs of my latest paintings, so you see I have been busy the last while, though have not been posting. To view all of the new 5x5 inch acrylic paintings (there are nine new ones) go to http://teresastiebenart.blogspot.ca
I had to do a little research and learning to set up my new camera to capture truer colors than I was previously getting, thank goodness it was an easy learning curve this time, its amazing what a difference a few minor setting make. 

 "When the honeysuckle is heavy on the vine"

 "The art of conversing with nature"

 "Singing along with Willie, Waylon and the Boys"

I was pretty frustrated this week with drastic weather changes causing severe bone pain and sleeplessness which of course make it harder to cope so most of the week was spent in the recliner with a heating pad, hot tea and books. I finally gave in to pain-meds last night to enable sleep and glad of it as I managed to rough in three small paintings today. I probably over did myself but with having a down week and upcoming exhibitions I have to put the push on now.
Ah so looking toward spring; someone said its already here, but I don't believe them as out my window is piles of snow four feet high.
Well what can I say but enjoy the song while the singers on stage, hugs!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

winter is back with us

Thoughts of sunny summer days and birdsong fill my thoughts as I view the whiteness of falling snow that lie silent on my world today. Hugs and warm wishes to all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back in the saddle again

Well truthfully there is no saddle involved but we did go out to the countryside for a winter picnic yesterday afternoon and what a wonderful day it was. To begin we had bright sunshine, o-so -glorious sunshine. Its a wonderful day when there are no chem-trail clouds blocking the sunlight.
I moved to Alberta years ago even though I don't relish the cold I loved the bright blue clear winter sky, sadly these days planes crisscross dumping who knows what all crap into the environment that causes cloud formations. If you don't believe watch the sky for a year and see how some days planes leave spurts or trails that form cloud cover rather than dissipate and dissolve as regular plane trails do. Its unbelievable I know, but I believe what I can see and I have watched these plane systematically checker the sky with trails or grids or spurts and an hour or so later, voila, the sun is not seen only man-playing-at-God-cloud-cover. Is this the cause of Asthma and sensitivities being on the rise? Our environment is continually under attack by greed;  one day maybe our Mother (earth) will give a darn good shake and toss us mutants off her back.

When one realizes that great civilizations have come and gone throughout history one must wonder did they bring about their own downfall due human greed of always wanting more, of wanting whats our neighbours, of wanting "all" there is to one selves rather than sharing. Greed, its a consumptive illness and it surrounds our lives like an ever eroding disease. This time of year its so apparent with the garbage that is uncovered by snow melt, we are a disgrace to the wonderful planet God gave us to live well on. As society on the whole we have failed at the living well part haven't we? Grassroots people are rallying more and thats a good sign, a sign of change, and hopefully our leaders will see there is a better way to live than raping and pillaging our Mother. Lets bless her with love and giving back in a good way in return for all she graciously gives. For without clean air to breath, fresh water to drink and unpolluted earth to grow our foods in we have nothing.

I didn't mean to go on a rant this morning it all just came out, and more, thank goodness there is delete, lol. Onward now with yesterday; that thought is kinda like living in the past isn't it?
Mom and last years young-un.
There was a group of eight does and young out in a field but they saw us coming from miles away and headed lickity-split for the shelter-belt. Arriving near the abandoned farm we were lucky enough to spot these two stragglers momentarily in the open. 
 Love this image of curiosity.

 Porcupine, this is the best shot I could get through the tree branches. Such sweet creatures to behold. I find it exciting to meet these cute fuzzy spiky rodents. I was hoping for a bit of action or a face shot at least but he casually shifted position, curled in his head, then went to sleep, so we trudged through the snow back to the road and left him be.

 Fore-bearers of spring, the Horned Lark migration is in full force, we saw three separate groupings of them, smallest was a group of three and largest was about eighteen. You can see their heads poking up out mid field. We had our lunch and afternoon tea while watching them, ah I love going on picnics.

Further along the gravel road we came across more larks, don't they blend well. These are real long shots as the larks kept quite a distance. I was shooting 7D, 300m lens with extender and this is a highly cropped image as well.

Headed homeward we encountered a winter squall, it was quite beautiful watching the wind stream snowflakes past the window. This drive by shooting is a keeper only for photo reference for paintings for the effects it captured of blowing snow.

Going past Elk Island Park the buffalo were within view of the highway so we stopped to watch them for about 15 mins, such magnificent beasts.
Well its snowing here again, so much for the three days of sun forecast. May all have a great week, I know I will as I am busy painting for an upcoming exhibition in Calgary this spring. 
Hugs!