Water Drops

water dropsSpring is finally here which means working in the garden. I was out weeding the other day and happened to notice that drops from the rain the previous night were still sitting on the plants in the flower bed. Judging from the location the drops might be on one of the Columbines, but I am not 100% sure.

plant, water drop and bugThis water drop had a visitor. There is so much happening in the flower beds when you get up close.

plant, water drop and bugEven the tiny plants were sparkling with droplets.

water drops on plantsSpring may have been a long time coming this year but perhaps it makes us appreciate the new growth more.


On a side note, for readers that follow all my blogs, last night I made the decision to deactivate the most recent blog, http://www.woodleaneighbours.wordpress.com . To quote my three year old it was “not working”. It is a good move that will free up time to paint, stitch, shoot and garden more plus eliminate being involved in neighbourhood politics. Perhaps this will allow me to get more interesting blog posts up on this blog, on Island Home, and on Debra Hunter .

Something Dirty Going On


It is always a good day if dirt is involved. After all if there is dirt there probably isn’t snow….or at least as much snow!


One end of our backyard looked like this, which is fine, because the flowerbeds near the house have finally started to melt off. Finally!

flowerbeds melting off

As I looked around the flowerbeds I found a lot of new growth had popped through the ground. This is quite remarkable as we have only had three or four days of warm weather.

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Even more remarkable was the fact that I was cleaning up the flowerbeds as my daughter did snow angels next to me. That is just a little surreal.

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I am never quite sure of what is coming up. Some plants and bulbs date back way before we had the house. Some of the bulbs are leftovers that my mom donated to me. It will all be a great surprise when they actually bloom……..well that is if the deer, moose and rabbits don’t get to them first.

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One thing that is for certain is that the beds were MUD. Sloshy and sticky, the sort of mud you sink into if you accidentally step off the grass. By the time we were done everyone had mud on them…..and was soaked through as well.

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I did notice the chives are up this is good news as chives out of the gardens are wonderful for cooking.

Watching the ladybugs.

Watching the ladybugs.

By the end of the afternoon we did have some excitement, exciting enough to even stop making snow angels. We found ladybugs.

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That is a sure sign that spring is here!

Indoor Gardening – The March 25th Edition

March 25th and it is STILL -16C outside with windchill. Winter is definitely dragging. At least our indoor gardening project gives us a little virtual escape from all the ice and snow outside. Here is how our growing is going:

lettuceThis was our lettuce on March 3rd.

lettuce march 25 2014This is our lettuce on March 25th. There is still quite a bit of growing to be done before we have salad, but it looks promising.

radishes march 3 2014These were the radishes on March 3rd.

radishes march 25 2014


radishes march 25 2014

Now the radishes have really grown. Let’s hope the radishes form under the soil. Time will tell.



The peas had just barely sprouted on March 3rd.

peas March 25 2014They are doing nicely now after a few setbacks due to altercations with a three-year old. I popped a few more seeds into the pot this week to try to increase our chances of peas to eat.

chives & basil?Meanwhile the chives did basically nothing except a little weed at the side of the pot. I did add in some basil seeds that also seem to have done nothing. I am racking the failure up to one of two things: I may have two lots of bad seeds, or “someone” may have dropped the pot throwing dirt and seeds onto the floor. Evidently this “someone” doesn’t live in our house but I keep finding oddly placed piles of soil in the family room. Hmmmmmm……………did I mention I have a three-year old?

Looking for the Bright Side in a Whole Lot of Snow – Red Deer, Alberta

We have just come out of a serious snowstorm, or shall I say “blizzard”. I was originally going to post pictures of the bad weather, of people stuck, and of snowplows, but then I thought “How boring!”.

Anyone who lives in a snowy nation knows snow happens, and with careless driving you will get stuck or in an accident. Quite honestly if most of the people moaning about the snow just picked up a shovel and got to work things wouldn’t be so bad, the sidewalks could be cleared as well as parking spots. This is what we spent yesterday doing, twice, to the tune of having shoveled out over 600 linear feet of sidewalk….and we get to do it again today!

Late yesterday afternoon I decided to shoot something positive even though it was a very snowy, windy and cold day. I popped across the street where there is a forested area and decided it was a great day for macro photography. I managed to find a few gems of nature dotted amongst the snowy landscape.





The snow continues to fall lightly today in starts and stops. I thought I would also share a couple of pictures of our house and yard to show just how much of the white stuff has dropped.


The spot where our two roofs join has snow 3-5 feet in depth.

have a seat? The snow is up to the chair's arms.

have a seat? The snow is up to the chair’s arms.

No outdoor dining today!

No outdoor dining today!

Bundling Up For Winter

The race is on. The last days of summer are coming to an end and I am busy eco printing and bundling fabrics to be used through the winter months. One hard frost and all the eco printing plants in my front garden will be done, what a sad thought.

laying out the leavesI have been super happy with my rose leaf eco prints recently. Not only am I achieving some lovely fabrics, but I am also slowly pruning a very large rose bush.

rose leafI start by laying out the prepped fabric and laying out the leaves.

all bundled upThen I bundle up the fabric, add some heat, add some time, and a dip.

eco printed fabricIsn’t it lovely!?

And all printed from nature.

Pretty cool.

eco printed fabric detailNow to plot what I will create from the piece. A pillow, a table runner, an art piece….we will have to see!

Finished pieces can be seen at www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and at www.thehuntergroup.ca .

Ecoprinting With Rose Leaves

rose bush This time of year the garden is growing. It is lovely to have the flowers and leaves to look at, but it is also great to have dyeing material almost literally on your doorstep. Rose leaves are great for eco-printing which is also called contact printing (and I am sure there are many other terms as well).

The  leaves I chose to work with come from my rose bush that grows in our front garden. It is a huge rose bush that easily grows over 6 feet high if I don’t keep up on my pruning. In June and July we are treated to lovely pink flowers with a wonderful smell, and in the fall we have huge rosehips dotting the bush.

materials ready for the project

I collected a handful of leaves from the rosebush and assembled the other items I needed: silk scarf, stick, leaves, and elastic bands.

scarf laid out

I laid the scarf out, dotted it with leaves, folded, rolled, and wrapped the bundle tight.


Then it was time for a little bit of steam, a little bit of time and a post mordant dip.

A wash, a dry, an iron, and the scarf was complete.rose leaf silk scarf 1 blogTo view another scarf using this same technique please visit www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and view the post “Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf – #2”.

Kerry Wood Nature Centre – Bluebells

bluebellsToday’s images are again from our walk along the paths in the sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta. During our walk the bluebells were everywhere, providing splashes of blue along the edges of the path. My “Alberta Wayside Wildflowers” book by Linda Kershaw is proving to be very valuable in identifying the wildflowers I have been photographing recently.


A Little Winter Joy

yellow rose

“While in Victorian times, the yellow rose symbolized jealousy, today it represents friendship, joy and caring. A bouquet of these sun-filled blossoms conveys warmth, gladness and affection.”

(The symbolism of the yellow rose according to the Teleflora website.)

yellow roseThis week my husband brought home this perfect yellow rose. It has been brightening up my week, sitting on my desk while I have spent endless hours working on the computer. It is interesting how one of the yellow rose’s meanings is “joy”as the rose has certainly brought a lot of joy over recent days, brightening our lives during a cold and grim wintry week.