Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Children's Book Illustrator (and Author) Ruth Ohi

I never really stopped loving children's books. I think part of that reason is the lovely illustrations. When people discuss artists, they don't often focus on all the talent and dedication that goes into illustration. Being as I worked as a teacher, and now a librarian, I thought I'd start occasionally posting on a few of my favourites.

So here you go....
I was drawn to this book because of it's large, simple, watercolour drawings. They're really cute and not at all drab. (Frog and Toad is one of my favourite books ever, but green and brown illustrations are drab, in my opinion).

The story is simple. The main character is trying to find quiet activities to do while his little brother naps. The big brother mouse is considerate of his brother and wants to be helpful to his mother. Parts of the story are humorous and so is the end of the story.

Ruth Ohi, the author and illustrator, is Canadian.
I liked that her stories are "aware" with distinct messages, without being too in your face.
And of course, as you can see, her illustrations are beautiful.

Her website is here and she provides fun activities to go along with her stories here.
The suggested age level is 3 to 7 for this book. There are about ten words per page on average, without any unusual or complicated phrases.

To read a more in-depth review, visit here.

Antiques can be weird and racist: Places I Go

In St. Jacob's, Ontario, just beside the market, there is a giant antique place, with individual vendors lining the aisles. I've never actually purchased anything, or really found anything I wanted... before this weekend. This time, it was very nearly heart-wrenching walking away with only one teeny tiny purchase.
A log cabin doll house
Multiple reasonably priced globes
This was my favourite find; a miniature wooden toy rabbit hutch, but for $45.00, there was no way I could justify buying it.

They also had a Rainbow Brite doll, and I've been looking for one for ages, but it wasn't in the best condition, so I passed this time.

And here a few of my racist finds....

And a few just interesting items...
Wooden toys are so great. I really love this one.

My final purchases?
Gobo Fraggle. Yep, that's correct. I also found the bracelets and mushroom knitty knotty at a weaving studio in the actual town. I can't believe how cute that mushroom is.
The stupid thing is, I recently got rid of all my yarn because I wasn't using it and it was taking up space. Sigh. So for now, the mushroom is contributing to my inspiration wall.

For those of you wondering, after the Market fire, there is a temporary building housing the food vendors. The other building, where normally the crafts and flea market stuff is housed, also has a lot of food vendors. Unfortunately, the day I was there, that building was SOOOO full of people and very, very hot, but maybe that was just the day. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Indoor Garden Making on Holiday Monday

I always have Mondays off anyway, but yesterday was the holiday so other than vacuum, my to do list consisted of "Read, Put Bunnies Outside, Re-pot Plants, Cross-stitch, Edit Photos". I am one of those people who won't relax without a "Relax" to-do list. My reading involved Hawkeye comic books and Janet Evanovich's One for the Money, so basically, very light reading. It was so beautiful out yesterday and I needed a make-up free day, so I sat in the backyard for a while, and potted my new (and old) plants in new pots.
The plants to be potted or re-potted. I used that little bowl for the succulents. It was a gift from my cousin. It has hearts all around the sides. I love it.
Pre-planted chives. These won't stay inside.
I picked really colourful flower pots this round
English daisies. English daisies are not a house plant, but you can keep them inside while the seeds germinate and the plants start out for a bit, so I'm going to give it a try. I bought two batches. One I will plant on my dad's grave in a few weeks.
They look so perfect in this pink orchid pot.
The heart bowl and mini succulent rock garden. I ran out of rocks, even though I scrounged around under the deck looking for more.

I also ate a whole lot of these yesterday....
 Sarah decorated the mug for me.... with coffee and Cadbury eggs... how could I resist?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Places: Terra Greenhouse in Hamilton

It was Resurrection Sunday yesterday, and such a beautiful day. After Church, we had a breakfast lunch, (at the Church), and then took this kid back to Hamilton so he can finish up his exams.
I was super excited because the girl got my name right at Starbucks, and then we learned that Jeff is one of those people that doesn't give his real name, so he was Miguel for the day, and probably forever after.
On the way in to Hamilton, on Highway 20, we passed a giant greenhouse, Terra. I'd heard about it at work, and begged to stop. It ended up being the only thing open, so despite Jeff's protests that it would be too traumatic for him, because he hates the commercials so much, we ended up there on the way home.
The plants themselves were pretty fairly priced. I found the flower pots and outdoor garden decorations a bit over priced though. The herb selection was very small, which was a bit disappointing. On the way out though, I found some mini succulents, so that redeemed more early disappointment. Joe found some fruit bushes or something for 20% off, so he was pleased as well. Jeff wasn't traumatized at all.
All the sales people were ridiculously nice. One took the time to assure me photographing the flowers was fine, I guess I must have looked sheepish when she saw me. 
I originally picked out some chives, lavendar, a fern, and English daisies.
But then I found the mini succulents and two colourful flower pots, so I put the fern and lavender back for a later day.
And my super white feet and glittery shoes.... my little patch of earth.

Flower Crowns

I got it in my head that I really wanted to make flower headbands. I had no particular inspiration for this thought, although since then, I've noticed them everywhere. I'm guessing somewhere along the road, the idea seeped into my subconscious. 
I couldn't decide what to do for the actual "crown" part, but I found these wreaths at the dollarstore, so I count and glued them so they looked how I wanted. I added an assortment of flowers. 
I love the daisy crown the most, but basically when I was trying them out, I realized how impractical they are for daily use. They aren't overly comfortable to be honest. I think because the wreath was literally a wreath.
On a whim, I stuck some extra flowers on a left-over hair-band from an older project.
This one definitely is the best... and all I did was hot glue fake flowers to a wide hair-band.
I wore it yesterday, and so many people said they liked it, (and that was at a greenhouse surrounded by gorgeous flowers!) It's so comfortable I forgot it was on my head.
My only advice.... I used the large flowers at the front of the band, and then tapered them off as the headband got smaller, rather than using all the same size flower. I think it looks more finished, and oddly less unnatural (as natural as fake flowers on a hair-band in your hair can look!)

I'm definitely going to make more, including likely, one with daisies.