Connecting and Reconnecting on the West Coast

As you know, my eldest brother Krystopf got married to the lovely Atlas on the 7th of July in Vancouver, and the Pie and I took the opportunity to head out west and explore both Vancouver itself and Vancouver Island, where I spent five years of my childhood.  It was a good opportunity to see old friends and old places again, and we met so many new people who are now part of our (extremely large) extended family.  It was also fun to show the Pie some of the places I remembered growing up.

We saw and did so much in the 12 days that we were gone that I can’t even begin to cram it all into one blog post.  I will therefore be doling it out every couple days (interspersed with your regular DIYs, so you don’t get bored!) for the next little while.  I learned some new recipes while I was gone and we ate soooooooooo very much food, so you’ll get to hear all about it.

We’ll start off slow, though.  The weather while we were out west was remarkable, in that it was sunny every day (which you know is rare for that side of the Rockies).  We stayed at Atlas’ parents’ house in Coquitlam, a suburb of Vancouver, and their house is perched halfway up a hill with a great view of the river and surrounding cities.  This is the night-time view.

Hooshang's Garden

Atlas’ parents have a fascinating little garden at this place (they also have a hobby farm outside of town where they keep all sorts of things).  I’m a sucker for sunshine shining on plants (because I see it so rarely here in St. John’s), so I took tons of pictures of the wee garden, which was right outside our bedroom window.

These look like giant thistles, but I’m sure they are something else entirely.

Hooshang's Garden

Those things that look like beans are actually curly leaves.

Hooshang's Garden

But I wish they were beans.  I like beans.

Hooshang's Garden

And so many flowers tucked in every corner.

Hooshang's Garden

Hooshang's Garden

Hooshang's Garden

Hooshang's Garden

And some illicit flowers as well.

Hooshang's Garden

You might be familiar with this plant.  It’s called giant hogweed, and its sap, if you get it onto your skin, acts as a magnifier for UV rays, so you can easily get yourself a third-degree sunburn if you aren’t careful.  They are a banned plant in Ottawa, and probably many other cities as well.  Atlas’ parents, however, cook with the seeds, so they keep the plants around.

Hooshang's Garden

They made me feel quite tiny wandering between their stalks (careful not to touch them, of course).

Hooshang's Garden

And it seems I wasn’t the only visitor to the garden on this day.

Hooshang's Garden

The ladybug kindly stayed still long enough for me to take a million photos.

Hooshang's GardenMore to come in the next little while: new recipes, daring tree-top adventures, massive festivities, and me with tons of makeup!  Stay tuned!

Removing Orchid Fungus

How’s that for an inviting title?

This is my orchid.  Isn’t it lovely?  My neighbour gave it to me for Christmas.

But you see the leaves here?  See that white stuff?  It’s FUNGUS.  Ew.

Not to worry.  It doesn’t do any real damage to your plant.

And it’s easy to remove.

Check this out.  Take an alcohol pad, or a cotton ball with alcohol on it, and just give your leaves a thorough wiping.

Don’t forget the undersides of the leaves either. 

And of course make sure you get all the other leaves.

That’s it, that’s all there is to it.  TADA.

Autumn Leaves Butterflies

On a sunny afternoon back in October my mother and I wandered down to the neighbourhood park to collect some leaves and twigs for some of my various projects.  She was looking for seed pods to draw or whatever it is that artists do.

I found a ladybug.

My mother had a go on the swingset.I got a pretty good haul.  I only picked up leaves from the ground and only twigs that were from broken branches, so no plants were harmed in the making of this DIY.We’ll talk about the twigs in a later post, but today we’re going to focus on the leaves.

I sorted them into piles of similar shapes.And put them between the pages of some of my mother’s art books for pressing.And left them there for a couple of weeks.And then when they were flat I glued them onto pieces of mat board to make butterflies!

You can mat them and frame them or do whatever you like with them!Enjoy your pretty insects!