Sunday, July 28

Big Tub Lighthouse

When we went up to Tobermory awhile back, we also stopped by the Lighthouse, Big Tub, and explored a little bit. It is still a functioning lighthouse - it would have to be with all the rocky shorelines going into the harbour. 

I love how the rocks in the water looks so green compared the the super blue water and grey rocks - just so pretty!

The rocks in this area were very neat as well. They has little dimples all over them. Some were just perfect little circles.

Just being cute by the water....

The water was pretty shallow, and we probably could have gone in. But this was before the crazy heat wave last week - and it is Georgian Bay water - so it was freezing!

Saturday, July 27

West Rocks Conservation

Our backyard backs onto the West Rocks Conservation area, which is cool, as we can go hiking right from our backyard!! It's amazing what Owen Sound has hidden in the conservation areas in town.

You can barely even see the town from this view - and we were only ten minutes into the trail, already loosing the town.

West Rocks Conservation area has this beautiful, and very steep and tall cliffs. I know someone who actually  takes climbing gear and does rock climbing on them, they are tall enough. 

Parts of the trails are groomed, some aren't so much - above is as groomed as it gets. There are a couple points in the trail that you have to 'hop over' these huge holes / gorges. They are deep enough that if you fell in them, you would not be able to get yourself out - think 2-ish stories deep, maybe more. and maybe a foot or two wide..not too much. But after looking down, you want to be sure you don't slip into them. This particular trail has signs saying that access at night is forbidden - as people have fallen in these gorges before. To me, it just makes the trail so much more interesting. I become a fan of these rougher trails over the 'compeletely groomed' ones - I feel those are boring now lol. 

Friday, July 26

Milky Way Watercolour Painting

I just finished a new watercolour painting yesterday, Milky Way. It was inspired by Incona Pop's song, "I Love It". I edited the painting a little in photoshop and added the lyrics to the top image just for fun. 

I had so much fun creating this piece, experimenting with very watery watercolour paints and watercolour mediums to create the layered 'nebula' look for my milky way.

Since the night sky is the main focus point for this painting, it didn't need much else when that was complete. I added some shadows of trees, and lot of twinkly stars. 

And for a final touch, I painted around the edges with gold paint. It will most likely be hidden with framing, but I like having these little "secret" touches. They make me smile :).

It available for purchase in my online Etsy shop, here.

Thursday, July 25

Beach Days

With all this hot weather, we've been heading to the beach to cool down. The beaches have top water quality this year (according to a news article in the local paper the past week). This beach is off of Lake Huron, and the water is crystal clear. You can go in up to your neck, and still be able to see the bottom. Love clean beaches! 

Saturday, July 20

Mosaic Love

Finished frame with photo from our trip to Tobermory
This summer has been hectic - as I have probably mentioned in every post hehe. But last week, I had two days where my Mom was able to leave the farm in between field work (further up north in Ontario) and come down for a visit. One of the things we did was a little 'craft project' - it was super, super hot outside, and so finding something to do inside was indeed called for. She's also a creative person, so it was perfect!

After all the white plaster was dry.
Neither of us have done mosaic work before, so this was completely new territory, and the result has some cracks in the plaster I think because we weren't quite sure what we were doing 100%. But it was fun, and I think the cracks add some character :) I 'mosaic-ed' a wood frame, and my Mom did the top of two little boxes. 

After it was all dry, I added a tint of brown paint to give it a more vintage look to go along with the cracks. I really like how the blue and brown go together.

I love the little 'jewel' tiles that I have on the corners, they take in so much
light and sparkle
This project took lots of concentration and fiddling (as we did not know what we were doing LOL), but I really love the effect of tiles. It's a nice addition to the decor in our house, and it's neat to know that I made it.

It was so fun to try something new and to have a partner to struggle through it with me - mom, thanks! lol. We weren't even set on doing this project when we went to the store for the supplies. Initially I was thinking we'd get a kit to make some bracelets or something, but the store didn't have any of those, so we just wandered until we saw a project to do that wouldn't take too many extra tools. I'm happy with our choice :)

Monday, July 15

Fathom Five Marine Park in Tobermory Ontario

James and I have been having a blast exploring all the local activities / attractions in our area. Yes, we have been living here about two years now, but last year was just so busy we couldn't find any time. This year, we are just as busy - when both people in a relationship work shift work, it can be hard to have days off together, especially in the early years of employment where neither of us have a set schedule. But, a major 'pro' to be shift workers, is that we are often off together in the middle of the week - when all these busy touristy trips are not quite so busy. 

One of the ship wrecks that we went over
So, last Thursday, we packed ourselves up to Tobermory, Ontario - the tip of the Bruce peninsula. It is so very beautiful up there. Just breath taking. We had originally wanted to take a boat to Flower Pot Island, and hike around there for the day, but plans got side tracked, and so we did the Fathom Five Cruise from Blue Heron Cruises. It's a two hour cruise that tours all the little islands. 

The other ship wreck in the bay
Despite being a beautiful sunny day - a perfect day for this cruise as you could see the ship wrecks through the clear waters so wonderfully - it was chilly on the boat. Or, I should rephrase - it was freezing, hehe. I didn't think to bring a sweater, luckily James did. As, once we really got out into the waters, the chilly Georgian Bay winds showed no remorse.  Even in James huge, thick sweater, I had goose bumps. But it was all worth it to see a beautiful part of our country - one that many people over look.

Light house as we are heading out of the harbour

I took the picture above once things were really starting to move. We 'lost' the mainland pretty quickly. The water was very clear, so the water in this picture is very, very deep. It looked black to us. I forget how many meters down it was - a thousand something; definitely more - but it was deep!

This cute little island was just the tiniest mound of rocks sticking out of the water. Obviously, it was not always there - with falling water levels over the decades. But, what it is now - a breeding ground for these black birds that I have never seen inland. They're almost like geese, but all black. So now it is a very precious bit of land.

Despite how big our boat was - okay, it wasn't huge, but it was the biggest I've been on lol. We were able to 'cruise' through little channels between islands. The boat was powered by little jets, allowing it to travel in these more shallow waters.

I just love how crystal clear the water was, and how you can see all the rocks.

Here you can see just how shallow the water was that we were travelling over. All those cracked rocks underneath. 

Above has to be my most favourite picture from the lot. I took a lot of pictures, over 200. But this one was just perfect in that I caught those shallower rocks, with the warmer colours perfectly! And trust me, when you are on a boat moving, you have only a second or two - which was why I took so many. I knew some would be garbage, but I didn't want to miss out on shots like this :)

Our first sights of Flower Pot Island
The rock cliffs on this island are so pretty, and the little light house really gives a feel for the size of the cliffs. 

Flower Pot!! Our first view of the flower pots! Okay, we saw them for some time coming around the corner, but this is my first awesome picture of it hehe. There are two on the island, and our guide showed us a spot where a third might have stood (I read online it tumbled in 1903 - but not sure how accurate it is). These are natural sea stacks

A view as we go by, can you see the face of the man on the right of it? Hint: he has a huge nose ;)

Some of the caves / rocks around the island. There are supposed to be lots of caves to explore, rare plants and camping on this island. We are hoping our next time up, we will take one of the speedboats (as we have now toured the surrounding area), and spend the day exploring the island, followed by a brisk dip in the colder waters. There are campsites on the island - 6 to be exact. But, there is no fires allowed, and if weather or water conditions turns sour, they will not come to get you. They say to bring three days extra supplies in case you are stranded, and that even for emergencies they might not get you. It is more the no campfire that is deterring us so far. Since there are only 6 sites, they would obviously have a high cost to them. And a campfire is the best part about camping! The one plus to camping there...all extra tourists are taken off the island at 5pm (that's the last boat off) after 5, it's just you and the fellow campers on the island to explore for yourself. 

The last little island before getting back to the Tobermory harbour.

Below is the 'map' of our trip. It took about two hours, and it was gorgeous every part of the way.

 I cannot wait to go back up there are to the Flower Pot Island hikes :D

Tuesday, July 9

Trying to Grow a Green Thumb.

This weekend, after my shift on Sunday, I went out and got the tools to do a little gardening. My green thumb is quite sporadic, sometimes it makes an appearance, and something things just die. First on the list was to repot my Jade succulent into it's new home up above. This was long over due, and my poor plant wasn't making any progress in growth as the old pot just didn't give it space to grow!

Next up, was getting a second round of herbs growing. The first round did not fare too well - I had directly planted them outside, and despite prompt watering, most did not even make it up, and those that did were nibbled away before anything became of them. So, now I'm going to start them inside instead, and keep them inside. Despite how cute the neighbourhood rabbits are, I would rather not have them eat all my herbs up...and I may have let the weeds re-take the garden where they were planted, which might just also be a contributing factor...

But, the gardening that I was most excited for, was to try and take 'cuttings' from a gorgeous, and wildly out of control bush that started blooming like crazy in our yard. I googled 'rose cuttings' to dip my toes into at first, and looked at all the different methods. The easiest, and I felt most natural way, was to take cuttings, dip the ends in honey, and them plop them in some soil. I uses these little peat pellets to start off with, as I felt then I wouldn't be struggling with the task of trying to separate them. 

I'm also realistic in the sense that I don't think they will all "catch". I read that it can take up to 3-4 weeks for the roots to really take hold, and growth to happen, so I will just have to nurse these little guys until then. If I can have only one or two survive that will make me happy. 

Here's a bloom from the plant that I took the cuttings from, isn't just so vibrant?! And they are large blossoms, most the size of my palm. There has got to be more blooms then leaves on this rose bush right now too, it looks quite hardy. Since we are only renting this current property, I want to be able to take these roses with me when the time comes to move. I just love roses, and would love to have them planted all over the place when we own a house. 

Just have to cross my fingers that these little guys make it!

Tuesday, July 2

Sweet Roses

I have shared a lot of the flowers that have just been 'popping' out of the ground around our house, but the biggest surprise was the sweet, deep pink rose bush that we have! I love roses, and a couple years ago had a little rose plant that I had kept alive and blooming for almost two years, until I moved - and it didn't quite like that. Above are some cuttings that I took from the plant.

 I didn't want to cut a lot off, so I cut just one branch that seemed out of place, that had a lot of blossoms on it.  It's obvious that this rose bush has not been properly cared for, in that it's just sprouting out wildly, and has not been 'trimmed'; which helps it get more bush like.

I won't be doing that trimming, I'm not expert in these matters lol. As well, this is the bush that those sweet little baby birds are living in, so it's best that it stays nice and wild looking to help hide them.

My old rose plant that has since passed. ...I think I might go looking for a
new one :)