The Gardens at the Amboise Château Royal

….my favourite part of the château had to be the surrounding gardens

Part 2

The gardens were created at the end of the 15th century. King Charles VIII was so impressed with the gardens in Naples that he commissioned a Neapolitan priest, Dom Pacello da Mercogliano to recreate a pleasure garden and quiet space.

The Naples Terrace
View of the terrace from the château
The site of Leonardo da Vinci’s burial ground
In the past few years it has been replanted with boxwood, cypress trees, vines and grasses
The Lebanese Cedar provides a cool, shady spot to rest

Friendly Friday – Nostalgia

…thanks to Amanda for hosting this week’s Friendly Friday

Everyone once in awhile Facebook or my Photo Stream appear on my phone and remind me of events that took place in the past. It seems that I have done a most of my travelling in July which isn’t really unusual because the summer was the only time I could get away as a teacher.

Here are a few of my favourite moments from the past.

My husband when I first met him in 1972.2-B2890-D1-451-F-4-A30-B628-CBFC6-CDD175-B-1-201-a

Our daughter’s wedding day, 9/10/11

Hiking up the cliff side in Houth, Ireland 2011

Can you believe this is the same guy but 30 years younger?

My Dad meeting his first great grandchild, Winnie.

At Andrea’s and Josie’s wedding

Travelling with our daughter and granddaughter in Italy, July 2016

The family at Azadeh’s and Brendan’s wedding in Assisi, July 2016

Venice with my husband in July 2020

Gaelan, Winnie and me in Florence in July 2020

Visiting Brendan and Azadeh in London with the girls, 2018B8824435-4570-4997-ADBD-D8-C6-F72-FBE67

Touring the neighbourhoods of London with Andrea and Josie, 2018

Lens Artists Photo Challenge – #82 – Capital

…thanks to Viveka for hosting this week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge

  1. 1.
    the most important city or town of a country or region, usually its seat of government and administrative center.
    first city
    most important city
    seat of government
    centre of administration

  2. 2.
    wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or investing.
    “rates of return on invested capital were high”
    money, finance(s), wealth, resources
(of an offense or charge) liable to the death penalty.
“murder was a capital crime”
(of a letter of the alphabet) large in size and of the form used to begin sentences and names.
upper-case, block
A variety of photos depicting upper case letters, capital cities….Toronto (capital of Ontario), Rome (capital of Italy), Dublin (capital of Ireland) and play money.

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Revisit

…thanks to Amanda for hosting the The Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

This week’s theme is revisit. The idea is to look back over the years and pull some of your favourite places that you’ve been to. Here goes.

Niagara Falls, ON


My Island Paradise – Christian Island, ON


Italy for our son’s wedding

London, England

Landscape Studies

….trying to be less rigid on days 174 and 175

The second assignment with Anita Lehmann was to do a series of landscapes using the same elements we used for our pears. Anita is trying to get us to pull out shapes to create an abstract painting. I chose a photo that I took when I was in Ireland. We took a hike along the cliffs of Howth and I took this photo overlooking the Irish Channel.


Here are my studies:fullsizeoutput-7524

The following piece was my first motive painting. I realized as I was painting that I was being too finicky and that I needed to be more relaxed and loose. Some of the comments that I received were ‘You have made some great marks – i would try and go more abstract if that’s the direction you want to take in this class. Just a suggestion of rock, grass and sea..’ and ‘Your many studies become wonderful investigation of the next steps in a landscape and perhaps the mood or mark that becomes true to the concepts you wish to convey.fullsizeoutput-7522

I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I’ve done two more of the same scene that I will share with you tomorrow.

The 50 Mile Coat

…last weekend I attended the closing day of the EHS Inspires show at the Neilson Park Creative Centre  where the 50 mile coat had been completed and was on display

A good friend of mine is a member of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild. They recently undertook an enormous project that took 800 hours to complete. They designed and hand made a coat that used materials that were accessed within a 50 mile radius of the the studio where the materials where assembled and put together.

It started with the shearing of the wool from sheep in Pelham. The wool was then cleaned and carded and spun by hand into yarn. I don’t remember the numbers but there were several spinning wheels at the centre where members took turns spinning the wool into yarn. Neilson Park is in the middle of a naturalized park area and ladies of the guild collected plant materials to make natural dyes. One of the plants they used were marigolds. The yarn was dyed and then the loom was set up with the warping threads.

Once enough cloth was woven for the coat, the pattern (designed and made by one of the members) was pinned to the fabric and cut out. The entire coat was hand sewn with thread that was also handmade. The buttons were made from wood that came from another members property and carved into beautiful shapes. My friend made the felted colour for the coat.

I’m sure I haven’t done justice to the long process that was involved in making this coat and I’ve probably missed some steps. Now that the coat is done it is going on tour. I’m not sure where it will end up but it certainly should be in a museum somewhere so that many more people can enjoy it.

The show also featured many other beautiful works of art made by the members of the guild. All the felted pieces featured here were made by my friend ML and the one piece at the top of the gallery of photos she describes as ‘a memory of the colour and textures of the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland’.

Travel Theme: Where Land Meets Water

…..Ailsa’s travel theme this week is where land meets water

Water and beach scenes have to be my favourite subjects for photographs……. from the shores of Ireland to the rocky coast of Lake Ontario and the sandy beach at Christian Island.