Shot with Sony A5100 with 50mm lens.
The sweetest thing about June is wild strawberries. If you can find enough of them during the short window of time they are available, they really are a treat. The first year I foraged wild strawberries was in 2017 in a meadow in the Kawartha region of Ontario. I managed to find a lot and they were the most delicious fruit. That was the year I bought a camera and started to learn about photography and wild plants.
These are photos from 2017:
Since that year, I haven’t had another big harvest of wild strawberries. I currently live in a suburb and there are some growing along the hedge of the garden. Not nearly enough to enjoy them though.
Last year for my June bullet journal, I did a strawberry theme.
I so look forward to them every year.
I’ve been given a chance to review WAMA Hemp underwear since I have previously posted about eco-friendly and organic clothing on my blog.
It can be hard to find a good, natural fibre underwear brand so I was happy to give WAMA a chance.
My first impression of this brand was good – I like the packaging it came in. The underwear were folded nicely in a box with tissue paper. As opposed to when sometimes I have ordered organic clothing online and it just comes in a plastic shipping bag which is not as nice.
After over a month of wearing WAMA underwear now, I can now say with certainty that I like this product. They are comfortable, soft, fit nicely and the sizing is consistent throughout the styles of the boy short, thong and bikini. (Unlike another organic underwear brand I tried where the boy short fit but the other styles were way too small in the same size.)
I ordered one size up than I am according to their sizing chart and I found that this size is just right.
The fabric is nice and comfortable – a blend of 53% Hemp, 44% organic cotton and 3% spandex. It feels more durable than a pure cotton fabric. I have thrown my favourite pairs in the wash almost every other day for the past couple months (since I have a baby now and do laundry that frequently) and they got softer but they are not at all flimsy like pure cotton underwear can be.
I like the stitching on the underwear and the tags sewn in make it seem higher quality. The elastic bands are sturdy but soft.
These are the three styles I tried:
Hipster : These are my favourite. They fit snuggly but don’t show through jeans. So comfortable you don’t even notice them. And the colours are nice. They come in black, green and a mustard colour. Green is a favourite colour of mine so I like those best.
Bikini : Finally a bikini style underwear that I’m happy with. I don’t even notice I’m wearing them yet the seam doesn’t make a dent in my skin, so I can wear them under jeans no problem.
Thongs: I feel these ones a tiny bit, but I have always been picky with this style. I’m pretty sure that if you’re an every day thong-wearer it wouldn’t bother you as much. Nonetheless I still wear them since the fabric is nice and breathable and the seams and elastic don’t groove into my skin.
Overall, I think WAMA hemp underwear are quite good and I’m happy to have them. They fit snug and they are soft with a breathable fabric which, being made of hemp has natural anti-bacterial qualities.
Last night I was able to capture the sunset crescent with a 50mm portrait lens on my Sony A5100 mirrorless camera as well as my iphone. I have been waiting to try to capture the sunset crescent since the summer, but every month it has been too cloudy.
What luck that it was clear last night when Venus was visible as well! Sunset crescents a couple days after the new moon are spectacular enough on their own with a pink, purple or orange glow on the horizon as the faint sliver moon comes into sight. With Venus visible as well, this made it extra special.
I’ve been following EarthSky.org lately to try to start learning about astronomy and to keep updated with anything interesting going on with celestial movements.
Here’s a shot with my Iphone, which is probably just as good as my 50 mm lens :
And here’s with my camera and lens:
I really want to start nature journaling as we come into the New Year, so I thought this was a great subject to start with. My white paint for the moon and star wasn’t showing up (eek!). Not the prettiest painting, but the point is to practice and learn.
I’m using a Moleskin Art + Sketch journal for recording nature. I didn’t try to do a sky painting on these pages since it requires a lot of water and I think the pages can only handle a light wash.
Anyways, cheers to the return of the sun in the North and a New Year.
This year, I attempted to keep up with a bullet journal. I’m not clear on what the exact definition of a bullet journal is, but from what I see on social media it seems to be a personalized journal and planner often with your own doodles or sketches.
I say attempt, because I had a baby last winter so I definitely don’t have too much down-time for creative things. Hence why I didn’t really start my calendar designs until April this year.
I thought it was a great idea to design a a monthly planner spread because it forced me to practice drawing and calligraphy, even if it was only once a month. I also love to learn about plants in my area of the world, so every month I chose a plant that is prominent for that time. This helps me to keep up with learning about nature by drawing the plants and reading up on their history and uses – I wanted to include information about the plants in my planners with accompanying designs and calligraphy, but time was an issue this year. That’s what I’m hoping to do going forward – a planner that helps keep you interactive with nature and the seasons.
Anyways, it’s now already half way through October and it occured to me to share my designs on my blog. For this month, I chose crabapples.
I based the sketch on a photo I took :
And now the rest of my designs in reverse chronological order :
For September I chose wild grapes, which are still everywhere in my area. I love the sight of the grapes, demonstrating a ripening of Summer into Fall.
For August I chose chicory flowers for my cover design, and then wild lilies for the calendar.
Wild roses were the theme for July …
Wild Strawberries for June …
For May, my calendar remained incomplete, but my cover design was apple blossoms.
And violets for April :
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog.
My last post was Beltane 2018, around when I started to feel a lot of new creative energy, an even stronger desire to connect with nature and to improve my art skills, particularly in botanical illustration.
About two days after my last post I found out I was pregnant. Archie and I were not planning a pregnancy, however we were not opposed to it and so we welcomed the new chapter into our lives. Fast forward to today and my full-time job is to take care of the most beautiful angel I could ever imagine.
During my pregnancy, I didn’t really feel like sharing too much online. I had nausea in the beginning and then when that passed, I just felt very inward (I actually am not a social person anyways). I continued to practice drawing, learning about plants and decided to learn calligraphy on my own.
Then when I had the baby I totally didn’t feel like being online at all. In the beginning phase of having your first baby it’s very stressful to say the least and I felt like I wanted to be more present for my daughter. I still want to be that way, but now I’m more in the groove of having a baby and I can relax a little bit more and occasionally do some things for myself while she’s napping or playing on her own.
I’m still not on social media as often as I was before and I like it that way. Becoming a mother has forced that change on me, or I did it to myself because I take my role as a mother to a baby pretty seriously.
I had a traumatizing birth experience and was forced to be in the hospital since I went into labour early. The medical staff were horrific and we are still dealing with the consequences of how awful they were today. It sickens me to even think of the whole event. Maybe one day I will write about what happened, but not now.
I’ve never been apart from her since she’s been home and have never even asked anyone to babysit. I cloth diaper and make all her purees. (In the beginning I used disposables because I was so overwhelmed, sleep-deprived and couldn’t think straight). I don’t sleep train her, I stay with her until she can fall asleep. I try to make sure she’s in fresh air and exposed to nature for a bare minimum of an hour a day.
I can’t imagine doing things any other way even though it is very time consuming. It’s a labour of love.
This year I was able to grow a little bit of my own baby food. Having a new addition forced us to move to a bigger space where we had room to dig out a garden. So I grew my first vegetable garden this year and was able to accomplish my goal of growing at least some food that I could puree for the baby. I didn’t get much – three zucchinis and three small squashes and a pumpkin – but it all went, or will be made, into purees for Sophie.
Other than growing some baby food we had a tomato overload in our garden. We’ve also got brussels sprouts that are almost ready, a couple eggplants, a few peppers and some onion scallions. Not much, but it’s very satisfying to at least begin learning about growing my own food and I’m looking forward to building on that skill year after year.
Anyways … I’d like to start posting on here again, time permitting. I don’t really have a strict niche on this blog and for now I will just post as I’m inspired to and see where it goes. I might just want to share my art and photography, or maybe natural home and lifestyle things, wild plants I learn about, or maybe even books that I love.
I suppose there is a general theme though … nature, creativity, “slow-living”, healthy home.
It feels good to post again. It must be the Autumn air … the autumn has a creative effect on me and I think on lots of others as well.
Happy October and thanks for reading.
Happy May & Beltane!
It’s such a relief to be at the midway point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Now, as the year is unfolding, nature becomes more magical and warm and blooming with life. Warm summer nights are around the corner, and adventures await.
We had an especially lovely First of May because it was very warm out, like a summer day, but without the uncomfortable heat. It was just perfect. Here in Ontario, our landscape has not become green and lively yet but that will all happen this month.
I spent the day with my mother and we decided to go hiking in the Ken Reid Conservation area in the Kawartha Lakes region. We were out for the whole afternoon in the woods which flew by so quickly. It was such a nice way to bring in the new season and spend quality time together.
This is the map of the trails in the park, and we wanted to get to the very point on the blue trail so we could look out at the lake.
The Point Trail is mostly a cedar-wooded area.
We arrived at the point of the peninsula, where there is a little resting shelter facing the lake.
The view of the lake was so pretty, especially on a day like today.
Being here reminded me of going to our cottage which we longer have, when my sisters and I were children. The sound of the lake, the warm breeze, scent of cedar and the sounds of the ducks and fish in the water … very nostalgic.
On our way back, we stopped at the beach area on the other side of the peninsula. It is a natural beach and there is a children’s park there. It was beautiful, truly what a Canadian summer feels like.
I would definitely come back.
Cheers to summertime fun <3
Finally Spring has arrived here in Southern Ontario.
I’ve been eagerly waiting for things to start popping up, as this is the first year I set out on a mission to catch some new plant growth as it happens.
We had an especially long winter this year, with a snowfall and ice storm in April. For the first time in my life it was cold, wet and snowy on my birthday, April 17th. So it has been an especially long wait!
I’ve deliberately walked along the same trails since the Fall in order to observe changes in nature and the plants. February, March and the beginning of April were a very long wait for anything interesting to happen. But then suddenly, I would say within 24 hours of our very first warm day, young sprouts are coming up everywhere as if by magic.
I have never noticed before how quickly these things happen! It’s really so delightful.
The violets and nettles that I have been dreaming about are here. These are both edible plants, and if I was in an area that wasn’t a popular dog-walking trail in the city, then I would forage some to eat.
Also Coltsfoot is one of the very first signs of Spring. They resemble dandelions. It’s so nice to see them finally appearing along the river.
I also saw bees among the scilla flowers! These flowers are a garden-escape species and they actually come up pretty early, before the last frost.
Life has regenerated and nature is alive again with new energy.
“The coming in of spring is like the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization of the Golden Age.” – Thoreau
The sight of robins around here signals the beginning of Spring. And for a long while, birds are really the only noticeable promise of the warmer season coming.
In January and February, I will usually see lots of them decorating crab apple trees. By the time it gets to April, they will be out hopping around in the fields and parks, presumably worm hunting.
It’s a very gloomy April here right now, but I do love the sight of these birds practically everywhere in the park when it is raining. On dark, overcast days the red of the maple blooms and the robins breasts appear so deep and moody.
I’ve been working on my bird sketches a lot lately. I never thought I would enjoy them as a subject as much as I do. Drawing animals and plants makes me feel so much love for the species.
Anyways, here is my little spring Robin <3