Eclectic Cottage Art

As I mentioned in my last post, we traveled to Oregon in the summer and we stayed in a comfortable cottage within walking distance of the beach. I didn’t have much time to think about art, being quite busy with the kids. But I did take some {really bad} snapshots of some of the artwork around the cottage. I enjoyed the variety of artwork, and the different styles and skill levels.
cottage art 3This top one was neat just because it captured the experience our children were having. While it portrays a different time period, the essence of their play and enjoyment of the coast was the same.
cottage art 1I was most taken by the church painting above. it is representational, and amateurish in style. But I really like it. It made me want to paint and not worry about how things turn out.

cottage art 2The last one here is a very simple watercolour. It captures one of my favourite types of scenes: peaceful lakes! Wilderness.

My point being, I feel inspired to allow myself to get back into painting in all the different styles I’m capable of, from watercolour to realism (in my own non-exact kind of way) to abstract.

Oregon Coast roadtrip

One of the fun things we did this summer was to take a road trip to Oregon with my husband’s brother’s family. It was wonderful for our kids to be able to make memories with their cousins, and for all of us to get away and enjoy some beautiful scenery.

I think the sand was our favourite thing – in BC, the sand is pretty gravelly. Making a sand castle doesn’t always turn out as planned. We all loved the soft, flawless sand!

Here are a few highlights from my instagram photos that capture our time away.


Ready for a road trip and excited about their homemade masks.

cousins on vacation

Summer of cousins!

Oregon coast kite flying, Cannon Beach

Oregon coast

children buried in sand

Every kid loves trying this, being buried in sand.

Oregon coast beach scenes

Summer of cousins

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Oregon Coast beach Oregon Coast

Flowers painting progress

mixed media painting of flowers

In progress painting

What can I say? I am way behind on blogging, but I have a few good excuses. The main one being that I can hardly keep my eyes open by the time I get home from work. It recently took me three evenings to get through watching one movie.

So the progress I made on this flowers painting actually took place about six weeks ago! But here are a few photos. My daughter was quite taken with this and made her own version.

6-year-old girl paintingFrom the reaction on Instagram, it seemed like a lot of people thought I was done this painting. I have so far to go! I put a lot of work into my paintings, adding more texture, nuances of colour, distressing, etc. I might be able to finish it in one or two more goes, and hopefully that will happen soon.
In progress mixed media painting

Craft: Fairy necklaces

acorn caps

Have I mentioned that I LOVE FALL? Well I do – I just loved walking around, still in August, and already finding numerous fresh acorn caps on the ground, which were needed for my daughter’s birthday party.

I’m a pretty creative person, and sometimes cannot stop thinking of ideas. I know this can be tiring for less creative people. My daughter, who is turning seven, has been getting increasingly creative herself, and I have been surprised a few times how many ideas she generates. For example, she wanted a gumball machine she saw at the dollar store. I said no, because it looked like it would break in two seconds. At home, she made her own out of paper and tape!

So planning her seventh birthday party has been full of ideas. We took one look at pinterest and I already had to point out, Hey, this is not your wedding….we’re not creating an archway covered in tulle!

I am not exactly bursting with energy, being pregnant and working full time, but we did finally gather all the supplies needed to make these fairy necklace party favours on the weekend.

Fairy necklaces

Fairy necklaces


1. Drill holes in acorn caps big enough to get your ribbon or string through.

2. Glue glitter on the acorn caps (we used white glue).

3. Cut ribbon long enough to go over kids’ heads (estimate big…some of ours ended up still too small).

4. String ribbon through jingle bells and through the acorn cap.

5. Hot glue bell into place in acorn cap.

6. Tie knot in ribbon.

Waiting for the glue gun to heat up

Waiting for the glue gun to heat up

A little announcement

Photo Credit: MuthaCrafter

Photo Credit: MuthaCrafter

When I saw this image circulating, I couldn’t help think this suits me perfectly! It’s true, I have been busy this summer, but not making much art. I’ve been going through the first trimester of growing our third child.

announcementThus, the spotty blog posts. But we’ve had a great summer and a few getaways. We’re looking forward to the fall, though living in BC, we’re not sure when our kids will get to go back to school with the teachers’ strike still dragging on. Our youngest starts Kindergarten this year, and my oldest will be in Grade 2, both French Immersion.

I hope to get back to some more regular posts, as my usual fall motivation has kicked in – both with creative pursuits and work.

Nature colour wheel

nature colour wheel color wheelThings have been very quiet on the art front around here this summer. I wish I could get some painting in, but when I look back, I seem to do art in a pattern, primarily in the fall and winter. But I still feel a level of need to create something, even if it is not on a canvas, not a masterpiece.

So on a walk the other day, I had the idea to collect as many colours as we could find in nature. My parents were visiting from Ontario, so we had some berry picking pails along. My kids (age 5 and 6) have recently become avid bikers so they had zoomed off ahead, leaving me to do most of the sourcing for this project.

girl arranging natural objects in color wheelMy daughter was nearby and helped my mom and I arrange this colour wheel. I couldn’t believe the colours on this unsuspecting bike trail, which to me seemed kind of boring (flat, not in the forest, etc.).

My son finally came back and was dismayed to find that we had made this without him. Luckily, I was able to think of something he could contribute: the stick frame.

boy arranging natural objects and gravelPeople sometimes comment on how many creative things we do like this, wondering how we find the time. Our family really cherishes trying to live a fairly simple life, to get outside rather than doing other things like cleaning or shopping on weekends, and just being observant in nature. As I’ve shared before, sometimes I am known for doing odd things like picking up pods and other scavenging, which I find relaxing.

Give this a try – see what you can find! I’d love to see others’ nature creations.


Still delighting in leaves


I found these leaves the other day while our family was walking along the Vedder Canal. I delight in collecting leaves, and remembered how much the name of this blog still resonates with me, and sums up the way I experience the creative life.

I’m inspired by leaves; like snowflakes, every leaf is different. I love looking at them, comparing the different patterns. After the luscious perfection of early spring, the leaves’ short lives are marred by insects or disease. But like millions of fresh canvases, each year the results are spectacular.

When I re-branded my blog a few years ago, I tried to combine my love of nature and art in the name “Delight-filled leaves.” This name is a play on the first line of this 1979 Wendell Berry poem:

To sit and look at light-filled leaves
May let us see, or seem to see,
Far backward and through clearer eyes
To what unsighted hope believes:
The blessed conviviality
That sang Creation’s seventh sunrise.

Time when the Maker’s radiant sight
Made radiant every thing He saw,
And every thing He saw was filled
With perfect joy and life and light.
His perfect pleasure was sole law;
No pleasure had become self-willed.

For all His creatures were His pleasures
And their whole pleasure was to be
What He made them; they sought no gain
Or growth beyond their proper measures,
Nor longed for change or novelty.
The only new thing could be pain.

I’m kind of shamelessly geeky on this point – I love nature! And I love seeing this delight rub off on my little ones.

Lillia on rock

child throwing dirt in the air

My little Andy Goldsworthy, making dust art in the forest.