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Holiday trip to Vermont

Thanks to my amazing in-laws Chris and I were able to get back to Vermont between Christmas and New Years.  We try to do this every year for our anniversary and I just wanted to share a couple pics so you can see why we love it so much.  I didn’t get very many pics this time as I wanted to just be in the moment.

We picked up coffee and hit the road.

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 These are not relevant to the trip but I had them shipped to Ogdensburg from Modcloth and picked them up en route.  Aren’t they adorable???  Distracted by shoes again.

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 We always try out a new place every time we stay in Stowe and this time we stayed at The Gables Inn.  We got the last room which was quite small (so small in fact that I was joking that if one of us fell off of the bed we would hit the wall, haha), but the staff and breakfast were amazing.  You know it is good when the locals come to eat before they start their day.

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 Here is a view of the mountain right outside our Inn.  Since there wasn’t much snow, we decided to take snowboarding off the table on this trip and just tour around.

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 One of the many roadside barns.

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 Gorgeous covered bridge we saw on the way to Parker Pie.

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 One of the guys that work at our favourite bar, The Matterhorn (where we got to see Harvey Keitel play pool with his family btw), told us we needed to take a trip to Parker Pie.  One of the best pizzas in all of Vermont.  We drove almost an hour to go there for lunch but found out upon arrival that they are closed on Mondays in the winter and it was literally in the middle of nowhere so there was no other place to eat.

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The drive was beautiful though and we had no where we had to be (we were on vacation) so we drove another hour to the next town.

We saw this place along the way and I so wanted it to be open but it looked like it hadn’t been in business for a while and still had tons of awesome stuff in it.  What a shame.

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 Of course there were many, many churches but I LOVED the clock on this one.

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 We were headed for the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier (another place we were told we had to visit) and the drive was definitely worth it.  We had some AMAZING sandwiches, the bartender was great and the beer menu was entirely craft beer.

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It was dark by the time we got out of there.

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I of course had to stop into my girlfriend Mary’s shop Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace in Burlington.  I could probably fill a transport trailer with stuff I want from that place.  So beautifully curated and Mary is pretty talented so you can see her personal touches everywhere.

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 Mary took us for appetizers and drinks (to discuss a possible retreat together) at her son’s amazing restaurant Hen of the Wood.  It is THE place in town and luckily we had connections cause we would have never gotten in.  Food was delicious, atmosphere was nice (we were sitting by the fire) and of course, good beer.  They even had stuff from some Quebec breweries.  They change their menu every day so I got to take one home.

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  We were so busy running around on this trip that we didn’t get a chance to stop at my favourite artisan store in Stowe so I just snapped a picture on our way out of town.

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 Well, this was meant to be a quick post while my sick little one napped but it didn’t turn out that way sorry.  I do love Vermont.  Can you imagine if I would have had more pictures????  I also just realized that this post should have probably been entitled beer tastings of Vermont instead.

 

Eric Nadeau Exposition – Montcalm Gallery

Chris and I happened to be at Gatineau City Hall the other day which turned out to be surprisingly nice inside.  Lots of windows in a cathedral, six story high, inside courtyard type of thing.  If that makes any sense, haha.  While we were there we came across the Montcalm Gallery.  I had heard of it but never knew where it was and I, of course, had to go in.  We were quite pleased we did because we were introduced to the Eric Nadeau Exposition – Machine Memories and Work Stories.

“In work, in human labour, in our daily tasks, narratives are born, intersect, and are woven into the fabric of our collective memory.   The artist’s creations are variations on a single theme: the work stories that reveal and unite us.”

Here he made an automatic weapon out of an old typewriter and if you notice the typewriter on the right the keys were replaced with bullets.

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There were quite a few of these characters in the exhibit made with old Singer Sewing machines, all with their own personality.  There was quite a contrast between the sweetness of these two and some of the weapons he had created.

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This piece was a deconstructed umbrella.  I wish I had of written down the names of all the pieces.

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More guns made from typewriters.  (Sorry about the photo quality, since it was an impromptu visit I only had my phone)

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Made from the top of an old wooden spool.  Would love to have this piece in my home.

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These little guys were made from steel toe boots.

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She was my favourite.  Not sure if it is because it was my favourite colour or if it is because I have the identical one (still in sewing machine form) that I inherited from my grandmother.

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If you are in the area, (Hull, near the Museum of Civilization) it is definitely worth a quick stop in.  I will also be keeping my eyes peeled for their next exhibit.

Nuit Blanche Ottawa + Gatineau

It’s almost time for Nuit Blanche here in the capital region.

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Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau is a 1 night per year, dusk-until-dawn celebration of multidisciplinary Art and local culture that takes place across multiple venues and within the cityscape of Ottawa and Gatineau. Nuit Blanche showcases the creativity and cohesion of the local community and the success of its industries. Approximately 160 artists took part in the inaugural event, and it was attended by approximately 30 000 smiling people on September 22nd, 2012, between 6pm and 4am.

It is a platform for recognizing the region within the national and international arts and festival scene, and it fosters the region as a cultural destination while generating revenue for local businesses.  You can head to the their website and get an idea of what is happening and a map here.

The 2014 theme is BYPASS.  The Oxford Dictionary says that the noun bypass is ‘A road passing … its centre to provide an alternative route for through traffic…[and] A secondary channel, pipe, or connection to allow a flow when the main one is closed or blocked.

I was asked by the City of Gatineau to do an art installation on this little ole tree that will be in the centre of a few activities (including a fashion show) happening the night of Nuit Blanche.

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My installation is all about getting out of the rat race, bypassing the highly technological road we are currently on and heading back to the past.  It is important to remind everyone and make the younger generation aware of how things used to be.  Time for everyone to return to the past lane, stop to smell the roses of yesteryear and remember the simplicity of things.  The kids, students and friends of Studio & Boutique Peaberry will assist in creating images of classic forms of entertainment and toys before the world of cell phones and tablets.  We will then be embellishing everything, including the tree with the crafts of the past such as embroidery and crochet.

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I invite you all to come down to the Boutique and be a part of the installation by embroidering together one of these pieces to be hung from the tree.

I also wanted to let you know about the Nocturnal Bazarre that will be happening the night of the festival on Laval Street in Old Hull.

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There will be street performers and artisans all along the street from 7pm to 11pm.  Come find me and a few other vendors such as

FARFALLE

VINTAGE GIRLS

ANNE COTE

KRYSTHLE DESIGNS

LITTLEST BIRD WORKSHOP

TEAROMA

and many more!!!

The Studio Cafe

I finally got to check out The Studio Cafe in Hintonburg and I just wanted to share this amazing space.  Open, bright and welcoming at the same time.

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I grabbed a delicious latte and got to sit and read my Somerset Studios magazine.

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They change out artists every few months and currently on exhibition is Laura Inksetter with her Flora & Fauna series.  They are gorgeous, btw.  The colours are amazing!

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I even took a little peek at the classroom in the back where they have all of their classes.  Nice big space with high ceilings.

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They have a Tea Party coming up where you get to paint and make a fascinator, you should head over and check it out!!

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Texture Hunting

 I hope everyone had a great, long, Easter weekend.  I got two days off in a row, for the first time in a while and got to get out of Dodge and visit some family.  It was great.  One of the things we always like to do when the family gets together is all go for a walk.  This time we got to tour an old family farm property that I was a little more than excited to visit.  The property has an old abandoned home and huge old barn on it.  I had my camera ready as I wanted to do some texture hunting through all of the old wood and machinery.

Here is the old house that once upon a time housed two families and has sat empty for almost 50 years.

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  The little addition.

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The front door.  I sooooo wanted to go in and have a look around.  Unfortunately the owner (Uncle Jim) was sick in bed and the place is always locked up.

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Check out the detail on the hinges.  They just don’t make things like they used to.

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The entire place was put together with these handmade nails, incredible.

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Old latch on the barn (of which I forgot to take a shot of the entire thing, ugh!!).

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Look at the amazing texture and colour on this door.

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Milah inside the barn.

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More metal work.

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The girls climbed up into the loft.  Love the colour of the old roof.

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This metal piece looked older then the rest.

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The old truck in the barn.

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You can see a bit of the old stone foundation of the barn here behind Miss Millie blowing her Easter bubbles.

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Such a fun afternoon and I just had to share some of the pics with you.  Thinking it would be an amazing spot for a photo shoot, hrm…  Can’t wait to go back!!

Peaberry Tour Part Deux

A bit of a delay between part 1 and 2.  I had a bit of an issue this past week with my back.  I have never really had back issues before but let me tell you, I now have even more sympathy for those that do.  Worst thing ever.  I couldn’t even get up to go pee by myself, haha.  For a pretty independent woman, this was a little unbearable.  Consequently the store was closed for a few days.  Talk about terrible timing.  Anyway, I digress, I am back at the store and wanted to share some more of my artisans so here is the Peaberry tour part deux.

The first is Bijoux Hélène Grondin who is just starting out her jewelry business but her pieces are quality timeless pieces.

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Lots of comfy knit pieces.  Hats and felted mitts by Tricots Lidia, boot cuffs (which I love) and hand dyed wool by Tink and infinity scarfs by Handmade by Andrea.

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Beautiful buttons, mugs and other pottery goodies by Sheppard Handmade.

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From funky to wedding pieces, Krysthle Designs does it all.

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Some vintage pieces.

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More gorgeous prints this time by Lissa Rachelle and Danielle Daniel.  Danielle also has cute lockets and has had a book published called “Sometimes I feel like a Fox” which is also available in French.  So talented!!

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Chalk boards and stars made with reclaimed barn boards by the talented Holmes Reclaimed.

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Unique upcycled vintage silverware made into bracelets and rings by Country Rune.  Painting by moi, which are all 25% off this month for my Christmas special btw.

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Hair pieces and jewelry by 2 Filles Du Nord and map pendants by Indie Go Designs.  So many great things for me to drool over every day.

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I am sure I missed a few but I have some banners to sew.

One final thing, there are a couple spots still available for the Christmas ornaments workshop on Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm.  You get to choose three to make out of a few different options.

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Have an amazing week everyone!!

Peaberry Tour Part 1

 Now for a little Peaberry Tour for those who wanted to see pics and are too far to pop by :)

Here is my sign.  According to the condo board I was supposed to do it in just gold and black like the rest of the businesses in the building but I was a bit of rebel and added white.

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My front entrance.

Peaberry Tour 2 My amazing counter that my friend Gord did.  He is in the entirely wrong profession and should be making furniture for a living.  The countertop is made with reclaimed oak from an old warehouse.  I cried when he brought it in as he has been hoarding that wood to make things like his sons crib with it.

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The cutie owls by Chouette par Monique that have been selling like hot cakes.

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A few vintage items and burlap pillows made by moi.

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Adorable felt brooches by Mika Art.

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Near the front window, soy candles in recycled wine and beer bottles by The Treehouse and some tidy totes by My Stow-n-Tow.

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More vintage items and handmade cards.

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Beautiful necklaces by Salvage Jewelry Co. that I have been lusting over.

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Lovely aprons by Sins Creations who is in the process of making me some purses.

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Gorgeous prints by Andrea of Poppet Art StudioJoyelle Brandt Creations, Ginger of Red Pear Creative and Kathleen Endicott.

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So many great artists.  I shall leave you with that for today and finish off soon!!

Big News prompting a Brockville Roadtrip

After days of running around, making phone calls, doing research and having meetings, I am beyond thrilled to tell you that I have been accepted into a provincial entrepreneurship program and I will be opening my very own brick and mortar store in our little town of Aylmer.  It will be a vintage and upcycled place for local and Canadian artists to share their wares with the world on a daily basis and not just twice a year at the Savoir Faire.  I will be open before Christmas.  WOOO!!

So much to do and things to buy.  First thing, Brockville roadtrip to find some gorgeous furniture and fixtures for the store.  After everyone was dropped off at their respective places for the day I cranked some tunes and hit the road.  It was a beautiful sunny day, I was rocking out to Modest Mouse and was so excited about the prospect of finding some really cool things.  I then had this huge wave of gratitude wash over me and I couldn’t stop crying, haha.  Anyone driving by must of thought I was a tad crazy.  I just had this immense gratitude in my heart for this opportunity, my man for consistently and unwaveringly supporting my dreams and my friends for helping out in any way they can.  I am truly a lucky gal.

Anyway, when I got to Brockville I ended up parking right under this sign.  Thrift store? Don’t mind if I do.  Unfortunately, no goodies were found.

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Then I walked down to the first reason for my visit, The Collector’s Cove just off of King Street on St. Andrew.  As soon as I pulled up I knew the drive had been worth it.

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Check out all of the antique goodness and the owners were super great and helpful.

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So many great pieces of furniture and lighting.

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They even had these cool painted antlers.

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This is what the back of the van looked like when I left and there was another old record cabinet to the right, JACKPOT!!  I will definitely be heading back there again soon as they were planning a buying trip around Ontario in the near future.

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Next a little stroll by the water because that is a must when you are there.

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Then a stop at the Tait’s Bakery for a soup and sandwich to recharge the batteries.  I also couldn’t resist a loaf of the potato bread to take home (which is to die for, btw).  Isn’t their old cash register amazing?

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Another pit stop at Seaway Treasures on my way to the other main reason for my visit…

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Connie Stage Right.  Her facebook page doesn’t come close to doing the shop justice.

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So many adorable vignettes everywhere.

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The sweet side of Halloween.

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Then the darker and stylish side of Halloween.

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So many things to look at and I wanted to take it all home.

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Connie has awesome taste and was so great helping me decide my priorities since I obviously couldn’t take everything, but I really wanted to.

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These are a few of the things I brought home.

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Brockville certainly has a lot of that small town charm, I really need to go there more often.

Stay tuned for more deets on the store!!

Peggy’s Cove and Amos Pewter

We are back from our whirlwind tour of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  The vacation was amazing but with so much driving I feel like we need a little vacation from our vacation, haha.  Do you ever feel that way?  We put 5500 km on our van in two weeks.  Pretty crazy!

So many beautiful spots but I wanted to share with you a little company called Amos Pewter we discovered at Peggy’s Cove (which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip).

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Look how stunning this place is.

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All of the little galleries and artsy shops were so fun AND right on the ocean.  Can you imagine?  I could totally live here.  Minus all the tourists of course.

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The famous light house that sits atop the rocks, which the girls ran on for hours.

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When on vacation the girls are given money to purchase a souvenir.  We try to encourage purchasing something useful and not a trinket that will sit on a shelf and gather dust.  The girls found Amos Pewter while wondering through the town and insisted on going in.  I thought for sure it would be way out of their budget so tried to discourage them but it ended up being the perfect thing.

Gorgeous, beachy, tasteful pewter jewelry and super affordable, SOLD!  The guy even offered to show us how they are made just a couple hours away in their shop.

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 Here is what their moulds look like (an owl Christmas ornament, must order that for the tree, adorable).

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 They put the moulds in a spinney thing (very technical, I know) then the hot pewter is poured in through a hole in the top.

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 It hardens in seconds and they then pop them out and sand them down.  Pretty cool.

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 Everything was so pretty I decided to get myself one as well.  I got a sand dollar and one of their new feathers to add to it.  In hindsight I should have bought three feathers so I could have made earrings as well.

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Milah got a gorgeous starfish. I really liked it and almost bought the same one.

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The other two weren’t as co-operative with the photos but Ava ended up getting a shell and we bought Amelia a little turtle as she kept hoping to see one on our trip.  I was a little concerned she wouldn’t want to wear it as she is only two but she insisted on wearing it every day we were away, so adorable.

Something they can cherish for years and will always remind them of this summer, money very well spent I think.

Ottawa Children’s Garden

On Wednesday night I took the girls to an eco-art night at the Ottawa Children’s Garden on the corner of Main and Clegg.   It is Ottawa’s first dedicated children’s garden. It’s big purpose is to serve as a space to engage and educate the senses, the mind and the imagination in terms of our relationships with nature. The bigger purpose is to have fun in the process.

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This is the adorable fence that surrounds the gardens.

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 Most Wednesday nights throughout the summer they offer free eco-art sessions for families.  All they ask for is a small donation to cover the cost of the supplies.

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 This past Wednesday we made lavender buddies.  The coordinator of the art events, Aamina, got some wool from an actual sheep farm and the lavender was taken from the garden.  (Isn’t that felted lady in the bowl the coolest?)

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 Here is Ava starting her creation.

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 Amelia treasure hunting for beads, she was in heaven.

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 I love that they encourage the kids to pick the veggies right from the plant and have a nibble.  It really encourages kids to eat and try things they might not at home.

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 Pretty Echinacea.

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 There is a pretty cool twig hut in the garden which was created by Marc Walter.  The lighting really does not do it justice.  Amelia just loved it.

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 I couldn’t get her out of it.

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 Another cute structure that reminds me of a little school house.

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 Making a new friend.

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 The girls completed projects.  They smell delightful.

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Proud of their creations.

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I will be teaching a painting with fruits and vegetables class on August 28th which I am looking forward to.   It is such a great space and they are always looking for local help with the general upkeep of it.  It truly is an example of what is good in the world as it is loved and cared for by local families and neighbours of the park who come out to help with the compost, weeding and anything else that needs done.

Just in case you are interested in attending any of their upcoming events…

Eco-Art – Needle Felting 
Wed Aug 14, 6:30-7:30pm
Sculpt a little mouse using raw wool and a special barbed needle.
Suitable for over 5 years old, accompanied by an adult helper (needles are very sharp).
Donations appreciated to cover material costs ($4/kit).
Registration required: please email aaminadesigns@hotmail.com to reserve your spot.

Eco-Art – Sushi Roll Beads
Wed Aug 21, 6:30-7:30pm
Make colourful beads by agitating raw wool with soap and water.
Suitable for all ages, under 8 must be accompanied by an adult helper.
Donations appreciated to cover material costs ($4/kit).
Registration required: please email aaminadesigns@hotmail.com to reserve your spot.

Potluck Event – Sunshine Tea Fairy Garden Party
Sat Aug 24, 11-12:30pm
A fun-filled fantasy potluck party, dress up as your favourite woodland creature (fairy, frog…) and mingle amongst the flowers.
Suitable for all ages.
11-11:30 – face painting + crafts
11:30 -12 – potluck lunch + sunshine tea
12-12:30 – fairy circle (songs +games)
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE CUP + SAUCER AND SOMETHING TASTY TO SHARE.
Donations appreciated to help us continue to offer programming to the community.
If you want to help or have any questions, please email aaminadesigns@hotmail.com.

Eco-Art- Painting With Fruits + Veggies
Wed Aug 28, 6:15-7pm
Join local artist, Renee Savoie, of Peaberry™ Designs for this hands-on art workshop using the fruits (+ veggies) of our garden for some creative fun.
Suitable for all ages, under 5 must be accompanied by an adult helper.
Wear appropriate clothes, it could get messy.
Donations appreciated to cover material costs.
Registration required: please email aaminadesigns@hotmail.com to reserve your spot.

Hope to see you there!!