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Favourite: on collecting art

I spent a lot of my time through the morning and afternoon thinking about what I could share for “favourite”.  After all, there are so many ways a person could go with such an open ended photography challenge.  I thought about it while brushing my teeth, while running errands, while watering the plants…  It wasn’t until it was almost time to pick up the girl from kindergarten that I settled on my subject matter.  I would share my favourite piece of art.

I’m an art collector.  I love original art.  Due to lack of funds I often have to be creative to feed this particular passion.  Trading and bartering are wonderful things – and something I encourage even in my own line of work.  As a photographer I’m happy to trade time and skill with other artists and craftspeople.

My collection includes work by local talent, and those across the globe from me.  It includes digital works as well as more traditional pieces.  I’ll admit to the inclusion of a print as well – it’s an Emily Carr, and as much as it would thrill my soul to have an original of hers, purchasing one would put us out on the street…  where it’s especially difficult a collection.

And through all this variance, and all this beauty?  My current favourite piece of art is hanging on my fridge:

my fridge

An untitled, four part piece, in ink, glitter, and stickers on construction paper by Lily-Ann Smith and her Uncle, Wilson Yandt:

princesses, puppies, fairies, and a look into the ocean depths.

One of my favourite memories from our first month in this house was watching the two of them sitting at her art station shortly after my brother had moved in.  I loved listening to the back and forth, the love and genuine sharing.  It filled my heart in a huge way.  And I think what they created together is beautiful.  It is bright, vibrant and full of goodness.  There is a real possibility it may end up in a frame before the Winter is out.  I think it would break my heart if anything were to happen to it, so while it’s on the fridge now, I think it will be much safer behind glass.

Tomorrows challenge will be much easier.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

A vegan cake, a birthday dinner, and an absentee brother…

The title about says it all.

Today the girlie and I had a ton of fun making cakes.  We did up two 8×8 vegan cakes, a white and a chocolate.  When they’d cooled we made some frosting, and the wee girlie decorated to her hearts content.  I wrote my brothers name on the cake, and she drew an alligator… both of which were promptly covered in sprinkles and little candies.

Being the age that he is though, the birthday boy never made an appearance.  I can’t be too upset though…  it’s not like we actually made plans for tonight.  I just kinda hoped he’d come be home.  So Damon, the girlie, Marie, Jewles, Ron, Steven, and our friend Shaun all enjoyed Wilson’s birthday dinner and his birthday cake.  It was good.  Don’t worry though.  We saved him some.  😉

The cake.

A peek inside the cake.

If you are interested in the recipes I used here they are:

Chocolate Layer –

White Layer –

The icing was just a simple icing sugar frosting.  🙂

Night all!

Happy birthday Wilson.  We missed seeing you tonight.  Love you loads, and hope you’re having a fabulous birthday with your friends.

Happy birthday Dad.  We missed seeing you too.  Hope you are having the time of your life in Cuba with mom.  Love you lots.  We’ll see you when you get home.

Today was a better day…

The wee girlie wasn’t sick, and Damon is on the mend…  but even better?  Ron and I have seemingly reached an understanding.  We had a good morning.  Granted, I woke him up early to give him an additional 20 minutes to get ready, which meant I had to get up that much earlier too, but it was worth it.  Today he was waiting at the door, dressed in his Winter gear, waiting for the bus when it arrived.  It’s so much nicer NOT to be sworn at first thing in the A.M.  LOL

Tomorrow is my little brother’s birthday.  And with my parents still in Cuba, the cake and celebration fall to me.  Normally they’d just pick up a cake at Costco…  but…  well…  you know me.  LMAO  I’m all about Vegan baking.  The problem?  I don’t know what I did with the white cake recipe I love.  It’s the one I used for the castle on the top of the wee girlie’s birthday cake (the castle was a white cake, the field was a chocolate cake… all vegan).  I THINK this may be it: But I can’t remember for sure.  LOL  I sure hope so, because I don’t know what I did with my recipe card.

If I wasn’t out of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) I’d be doing these:

Vegan Cupcakes

Don’t they look amazing???  LOL  But that’s another recipe for another day.

I really do hope that’s the white cake recipe I used for the girlie’s birthday, because it was amazing.  Cross your fingers for me.

Night all.  🙂

My little holiday miracle…

Some of you know about my brother Aaron, who has been missing from my life for some time.  He’s just a kid, but has made some choices (and had others hoisted upon him) that have left him very little options…  I hadn’t seen or heard from him in months.  I had no idea if he was okay, or if he was safe.  I love him very much.  No matter what has happened, he’s still my baby brother.  So I’ve been very very worried.  As of today I still worry, but at least I know he’s alive.

We were driving home from my friend Amber’s place, when Damon said sharply “Isn’t that your brother?”, his voice became urgent as he continued (after our car got closer to the figure walking down the street) “That’s Aaron!”.  He quickly pulled out of traffic and drove around the block so we could cut Aaron off at the next corner.  When Damon pulled over I bolted from the car and yelled – as Aaron was about to cross the street.

I ran to him and gave him the biggest hug EVER!  I couldn’t help but cry…  standing there on the sidewalk.  So I just hugged him even tighter.

Things haven’t been good for him, but it sounds like they may get a little better soon.  We couldn’t talk  for long – he was on his way to an appointment.  To not know if your little brother is okay or not, whether he is safe, or even if he’s alive, is impossibly difficult.  So seeing him today, getting to hold him, meant the world to me.

Damon pulled the wee girlie out of her car seat, so she got to hug and kiss her uncle too, before he had to keep trekking.  It had been so long, I honestly wasn’t sure if she’d really remember who he was.  At three kids kinda lose a lot of their cognitive memory, so the people they don’t see on a regular basis can get lost into the recesses of their mind.  But she knew who he was… and I was so grateful.

It took me about an hour after we drove off to get the tears to stop.  I will still worry, but seeing him today was the best holiday gift I could ask for.  Hopefully, having this bit of contact, will have been enough for him to remember, that no matter what has happened or will happen, we always love him, and will always be his family.

Aaron, I love you!  We love you!  Be safe, and know that you are always in our thoughts, and that if you ever need us, we are here.

a tiny, tiny, christmas orange

an itty bitty orange


It was library day.  And the librarian gave Lily-Ann this tiny little Christmas orange.  Like my little miracle, it was awesome.

Tonight, hold tight to those you love, and make sure they know how important they are to you.

I’ve been sick…

I’ve spent the last week sick…  mostly in bed…  I finally wandered out yesterday (went to my parents place).  Today, I was out and about.  Still got one heck of a cough, but I’m not contagious.  LOL  And I’m feeling VERY housebound.  Definitely needed to be out and about.  But now I’m exhausted.  Sooo…  here are pictures from the last week.  I did take a picture with my phone every day.  Mostly just boring stuff that was right beside me.  I’ll share today’s picture tomorrow.  Too tired to transfer all the photos from my camera tonight still.  LOL  Hope you’ll forgive me.  🙂  Will get right back on track now that I’m almost all better.

Herbon cough drops

Feb 25 - still don't make it far without these on me.

paper butterfly on a pencil

Feb 26 - playing with a paper butterfly the wee girlie and I made a couple of days previously

wee girlie has a strong immune system, here she is... sleeping.

Feb 27 - sleeping girlie

playing with paper dolls...

Feb 28 - playing with paper dolls, a good mommy-is-stuck-in-bed activity

more paper dolls... paper fairies to be more precise

Feb 29 - paper dolls... again.

a very bored little girl

Mar 1 - "no pictures mother"... bored and housebound wee girlie

a crown and a bear...

Mar 2 - stuff in the bed, a crown, a bear, and a rag doll

finally out of the house!  My brother Wilson playing with the delighted wee girlie

Mar 3 - finally out of the house! My brother Wilson, playing with Lily-Ann.


Mom and Aaron working on a jigsaw puzzle

Mom & Aaron - Puzzling

My mom and my brother started a new puzzle today.  Here they are at the kitchen table, hard at work.

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