Archive | May, 2016

Is It Haikuesday, Already?

31 May

Blog Post #52

My heart is still at the beach. My haiku for this week is a remembrance of the lovely morning beach walk Bruce and I had on Sunday.

HaikuTues

The sea breeze whispers
The ocean waves rise and fall
A crab sidles by

I, like many haiku poets who write in English, follow the common form of three lines in  5-7-5 syllable pattern, as in my haiku below. However, I am wanting to try writing a haiku in the style of three lines of 17 or fewer syllables, without worrying about the pattern count. I think that this may give me more freedom of composition. Check back for future postings to see how I do.

Do you love writing haiku? The 2016 Haiku Invitational  (organized by the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival)  is taking submissions for its 2016 competition until tomorrow at 11:59pm (June 1st). Haiku Invitational welcomes submissions celebrating the blossoming of the cherry trees.

The top poems in six categories (Vancouver, BC, Canada, United States, International, and Youth) will be chosen by this year’s judges. This year’s theme is celebrations. You still have time to submit 2 unpublished haiku. Good luck!

Read last year’s winners.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #52

Brynne's Daily Drawing #52

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Monday, Monday!

30 May

Blog Post #51

It’s Monday. The weekend is over and it’s back to work. Enjoy this quote for today (and as they say “don’t forget to be awesome!)

Happiness Quote

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #51

Brynne's Daily Drawing #51

Life is a Beach!

29 May

Blog Post #50

It was a lovely morning, grey and white clouds sailing in the sky, the sun shining through, promising a delightful day perfect for walking. So we headed out to White Rock Beach to explore the oceanfront waters.

White Rock Beach stretches for 8km (5 miles) and is separated into East Beach and West Beach by a slight rise in the shoreline that the residents refer to as “the hump”.

East Beach - White Rock Beach, BC

West Beach is famous for its 1500 ft long pier and is a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike. East beach is closer to the US border and lies near Semiahmoo Park and Reserve. East beach is quieter than the west side, with a gorgeous walk boasting stunning ocean vistas.

Gorgeous view at White Rock Beach

When we arrived, there were a few souls sauntering along the sand — the tide was out but on its way back. We strolled leisurely along the shore, our footprints marking our way in the wet sand.

A lovely day to be at the beach - White Rock Beach

The tidal pools left by the ocean’s wake were teeming with life — tiny fishes, augur snails, mini crabs and sea grass.  All along the beach, we spotted glistening gel-like splotches — jellyfish bodies, we surmised, washed up on the sand, looking like glass. Strewn about were the skeletal remains of someone’s dinner — a dessicated crab claw, an entire shell — reminders of the circle of life.

Tidal Pool at White Rock Beach

Augus snail

tiny crab shell

Jellyfish washed up on shore

As we meandered along the beach we were warmed by the morning sun and we breathed in the tangy, salted sea air.

A walk on the beach

At White Rock Beach

Gratitude infused our entire beings as we filled our eyes and our hearts with the vista before us. How fortunate are we to live in this beautiful paradise.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #50

#50

Colour Me Foxy

28 May

Blog Post #49

Here I am again, one of the last people to join in on the latest craze. I finally hauled out one of the adult colouring books that I received for Christmas, sharpened my pencil crayons and started to shade in a beautiful drawing — from Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta. Watch Millie draw the fox from her book.

This trend started in the UK in 2013 when Johanna Basford, a Scottish illustrator, published Secret Garden, a colouring book for adults. Since then the fad has been growing wildly with many variations of this genre flooding the market. There is an adult colouring book for every taste — from nature-themed to TV and movie-themed — think Sherlock, Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Trek & Star Wars, mandela, tattoo, steampunk, and even a swear word colouring book — whaaat??!!!

Check out Johanna’s Colouring Gallery Watch as she shares her top five colouring tips in the video below.

Chapters-Indigo has a section on their website devoted to adult colouring books — Indigo Colouring Book Shop and there sites online where you can download free colouring pages, such as these:
Coloring Pages for Adults,
Everything Etsy (15 free colouring designs), and
Faber-Castell, one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of pens, pencils, and art supplies, has a page of free adult colouring pages here.

Find more free illustrations just by doing a search for “adult colouring pages”

After I got over my initial feelings of intimidation — you know, what colours do I use, where do I start, and “aaack — I can’t do this!” — I began to enjoy the simple pleasure of colouring a picture — as I filled in one colour on the fox’s body.

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Do you have any favourite adult colouring books?

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #49

Brynne's Daily Drwing #49

 

 

 

Beer, Chocolate and Dogs — 3 Things I Found on the Web

27 May

Blog post #48

It’s Friday — the end of the week — time for fun, relaxation and decompressing.

Before we head into the weekend, I’d like to share three things I found and loved on the internet this week.

The Documentary That Changed My Mind

The Champions is a documentary about the pit bull terriers that were rescued from Michael Vick’s vicious dog fighting ring. This uplifting film touched my heart as it related the story of the 22 dogs that were under threat of euthanization and the efforts that were made to save the lives of these misunderstood animals. Pit bulls, especially, are more likely to be euthanized in animal shelters and are one of the most feared dog breeds. This movie changed my perception of these dogs, made me believe in the power of people, and made me feel like signing up to foster rescue animals, especially dogs.

Watch the trailer for The Champions. The entire documentary is available on Netflix. A must see.

The Pinterest Find That Got Me Drooling

If you know me, but at all, you know that I LOVE chocolate! So you will understand my uncontrollable drooling when I found this recipe for Oatmeal Fudge Bars by Chocolate Covered Katie.  They are vegan, flourless and chocolately — I am definitely going to make these this weekend. Mmmm…I can taste them already!

oatbar

The Invention that Gives Me Hope

There is a small brewery in Florida that has come up with an amazing solution to the problem of plastic beer can rings.

We all know the devastating effects that plastic has on marine life. With more and more plastic ending up in our oceans, more sea animals and wildlife are dying after ingesting or becoming entangled in this non-biodegradable material.

Saltwater Brewery has developed edible, compostable, 100% biodegradable beer can rings. That’s right — edible, compostable, biodegradable. The rings are made from the leavings of the wheat and malt left over from the brewing process. Imagine if the big breweries jumped on board to help with this initiative — the manufacturing cost would go down and the number of plastic beer can rings that make their way to our oceans would decrease. Come on, Molson Coors, Labatt, Heineken, Budweiser, you CAN make a difference!

Watch the video below for more information

Tell me what did you find fascinating on the web today?

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #48

#48

Room — A Movie Review

26 May

Blog Post #47

I finally got around to watching the movie, Room. I resisted seeing it because I had read the book years before and I loved it. The book told exclusively from Jack’s perspective was so well done. Emma Donoghue really captured the voice of an innocent five-year-old. So well, in fact, that I couldn’t imagine anyone doing the story justice.

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I was wrong.

The movie, while different from the book, is heartbreaking and deeply emotional. With sterling performances from the entire cast, especially Brie Larson, (Ma) and Jacob Tremblay,  (Jack), this film is an exemplary story of the boundless love between a mother and her child.

Larson’s portrayal of a young mother, raising her son alone and in a tragic and dangerous situation is stunning. My heart ached for her as she struggled to provide Jack with as normal a childhood as she could.

The role of Jack, impeccably played by 9 year old Jacob Tremblay (he’s Canadian!!), was the pivotal character in this film. He was completely natural in his characterization of a 5-year old who had never been outside in the real world, and whose only view of the world was through a small TV and his mother’s stories. Jacob is very talented and played his role so naturally — no affectations, simply a little boy who was raised by a loving mother who gave him everything that she could.

Emma Donoghue’s screen adaptation of her book is flawless — one of the best book-into-movie projects that I have seen. The cinematography was excellent — the first half of the movie takes place in the one room where Jack and Ma live and I felt as if I was in the room seeing it through Jack’s eyes. The  camera showed us the reality of Room, stark, small, and depressing as well as the joyous side where Jack’s drawings are tacked up on the wall, and where Jack has room bounce around in boisterous play.

If you haven’t read the book, and haven’t yet seen the movie — watch it! If you have read the book — you should definitely watch the movie. You won’t be disappointed.

My only piece of advice? Make sure you have a LOT of tissues on hand. This movie will definitely pull on your heartstrings. I cried all the way through.

Watch the trailer for Room below.

 

Read the reviews of Room, the movie, on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you are interested in the book, check out Emma Donoghue’s website.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #47

#47

What Can You Buy with $25?

25 May

Blog Post #46

I found $25 in a purse that I hadn’t used in forever.  Oh, that rush you feel when something happens out of the blue — you now, like finding unexpected cash!

So, now, I have this new-found money burning a hole in my pocket. What to do? What to do?

piggybank

I put on my thinking cap (okay, I did an online search, you know me all too well!), and I came up with 4 awesome things to spend $25 on. Read on for some ideas on how you can spend your windfall!

Change the World. Buy a flock of ducks, chicks, or geese make an impact on a family’s life.

Heifer International is an organization that aims to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world by helping families achieve self-reliance. Donating a gift of a “flock of ducks” provides a family with the means to a sustainable income.

Buy a book (or two). Check out your favourite bookstore and pick up an exceptional read. Many stores have great sales on paperbacks, hardcovers, any genre — choose your favourite! Need some help figuring out what to read next? Check out CBC’s summer reading list. Read one or read all 16!

Summer sippers. Ditch the plastic and drink your iced tea or lemonade through these eco-friendly bamboo straws. Made from real bamboo stalks, these straws can last for years when properly cared for. Please note: you may need to add to your lucky find to pay for the shipping. The company also makes toothbrushes that are completely plant-based including the packaging. Check out Brush with Bamboo for more information.

Grow something. You can grow your own organic mushrooms. With the Mushroom Farm kit, from Back to the Roots, all you need to do is open the box, mist with water, then sit back and wait until your crop is ready.

But if you really want to do something good with your found riches — you could simply donate it to your favourite charity!

Or you could get ice cream — lots of Häagen-Dazs ice cream!

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #46

Day 46

It’s Tuesday — A Haiku For You

24 May

Blog Post #45

Matsuo Bashō was the most famous poet of 17th century Japan. Today, he is considered the greatest Japanese master of haiku, and his poetry is known throughout the world. Bashō originally made his living as a teacher, but later he gave up city life to wander the countryside seeking inspiration for his writing. Through simple, elegant lines of poetry, Bashō strove to evoke meaning and sentiment in his work as in the haiku below.

an ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water [1686]

100_views_edo_040-Basho

Hiroshige. One Hundred Famous Views of Edo #040. “Basho’s Hermitage and Camellia Hill on the Kanda Aqueduct at Sekiguchi” via Wikipedia Commons

My Haiku for today

Birdsong greets the day
a breeze stirs the greening leaves
morning sun fills the room

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #45

Brynne's Daily Drawing #45

Life Made Simple – My 10 Favourite Life Hacks

23 May

Blog Post #44

We all lead busy lives and if you are like me, you appreciate useful tricks that make your life easier. Here are ten of my favourite “life hacks” that I have found in my never-ending search for clever ideas. And check out the amusing Youtube video at the end of this post. Or, if you can’t wait, click the link: Weird Life Hacks Tested.

Are your kitchen cupboards or laundry room shelves overflowing with bottles of all-purpose cleaners, polishers, and soaps? A hanging shoe rack makes an ideal storage holder so you can keep all your cleaning products in one place and free up cupboard space.

Run out of hangers? Use pop can tabs to double your hanger space in your closet! Genius idea!

Want to save energy and reduce clothes drying time? Throw a clean, dry towel in the dryer with your next load — this speeds up drying time. It really works!

bucket of lemons

Did you know that lemons aren’t just for lemonade? Try cleaning your cheese grater by running half a lemon down the side of the grater to remove all the cheesy residue, then wash with warm, soapy water and rinse clear.  Easy and you won’t grate your fingertips!! Check out these clever ways to use lemons from Robin Konie at her post 31 Amazing Uses for Lemon Peels.

Do your love iced coffee or tea in the summer? Pour strong brewed coffee or tea into ice cube trays and freeze. Your delicious cold drink won’t be watered down!

A sheet of wax paper works great to remove water stains from sink faucets and handles. The waxy finish will leave your faucets sparkling and helps prevents future spotty build-up as well!

hiz-mor59

This is the easiest way ever to remove strawberry stems and still keep the fruit intact. Simply insert a straw into the bottom of the strawberry and push up. Voilà, a hulled berry — no fuss, no muss!

Need to ice a sprain or reduce swelling? Fill a plastic bag with ice (or use a small package of frozen peas) and put it into an orphan sock for a drip-free, soft ice pack.

Got a craving for a healthy breakfast smoothie but aack!!, there is not one leaf of spinach or kale to be found in your fridge? On your next shopping trip, buy an extra bunch or two of your favourite leafy greens and freeze them for future use. Try this tip for freezing spinach (I’m sure it would work with other greens too).

Here is a clever idea for your next Mexican fiesta!  Make your own taco shells by hanging tortillas directly on the rungs of your oven rack and heat at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Check out this delicious and easy recipe for homemade tortillas.

Watch this quirky video as Alisha Marie tests some weird life hacks.

Tell me your favourite life hacks — I love to learn new tips and tricks! Post them in the comments section.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #44

#44

 

 

VanCAF — A Festival in Photos

22 May

Blog Post #43

Whew! I spent the last two days at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, helping my daughter with her first professional show — sitting at her table off and on so that she could take a break, or walk around scoping out the other artists and visiting her friends that were also exhibiting.

With over 260 artists displaying their work and 12,000 fans on a shopping spree, it was an exhausting couple of days. I am glad to say that Brynne had a very successful experience — she sold a lot of her pieces and she picked up a lot of ideas for her next show!

I hope you enjoy these photos of the event — hopefully, they give you a bit of a sense of the talent and the activity that went on at the 5th annual VanCAF!

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A photo of one of the three original promo posters* for 2016

 

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Setting up the table

 

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Brynne’s art on display

 

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Ready for customers, fans and friends

 

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Brynne’s friend, Tim, ready for his first sale of the day

 

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Exhibitors at VanCAF 2016

 

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Comics ARE for everyone

 

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Sisters working together

 

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Colouring a page in his book for a happy customer!

 

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So much talent in one room!

 

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VanCAF 2016 – a big success!

For more of Brynne’s art, visit her website
Visit Tim’s website (Warning: 18+ only – LGBT art)
Find out more about VanCAF on their website
*Check out all three official 2016 promotional posters

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #43

Brynne's Daily Drawing #43

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