Catherine Bussiere: Taroudant, another carpet ride

After a memorable stay in the desert (I missed last week’s blog for lack of internet but you will find a post on that experience here if you like) we are now in Taroudant, a town that the locals call “the small Marrakech”. We got off the bus two days ago after a long ride through more Atlas where stunning scenery of mountains and valleys, dry river beds, oasis, herds of sheep, dusty road stands with colorful potteries kept us entertained. The landscapes in these parts are rugged and beautiful.

As we got off the bus I started looking for a taxi when Thami, upon asking me where we were staying, offered us directions then took upon himself to lead us there and carry some of our luggage. When I offered Thami a tip for his service he promptly refused, welcoming us to his town and offering us to take a horse drawn carriage ride with him for a tour of the city the next morning at a very reasonable price. Why not. We’ve never done that.

If there is something I have to learn about morocco it’s to be open to whatever the day will give (or lead to). The ride with Thami didn’t last an hour as I had expected, it took most of the day. Not only did he show us the city rampart where here and there we hopped off to climb, get a good view and take photos (he knew of all the good spots for pictures) but he made us visit the souk and of course some shops. Now the nice thing about visiting shops with a tour guide is that you are made to feel that there is no obligation or pressure to buy anything. Have a look, ask questions, take pictures.

We visited a women cooperative where several products are made from the argan nut. I already had bought argan oil in Fes so there was no need for more. We visited a jewelry shop and there, since this region is famous for this art, and because we had not indulged yet, Charlotte and I splurged. We went into an ancient synagogue transformed into a art shop where I saw the biggest carpet show room I had seen yet on this trip along with several rooms filled with ancient and new art from Morocco and other African country.We might as well have stepped into Ali Baba’s cavern. I knew nothing there was within my budget but oh my, what a feast for the eyes.

We saw mountain of spices at the market, and several other small artisan shop. But what took the main part of our tour was yet another carpet shop owned by one of Thami’s relative. Soon after we got in and as a gentleman was about to show us some carpets (tea already on it’s way) we did let them know that we had already bought carpets and blanket earlier on the trip. In fact, that was the heavy piece of luggage that Thami helped us carry the night before. No problem my friends, just have a look, no need to buy.

Of course you know what is next. Next comes an array of beautiful thin blankets made of camel hair and cactus fiber. They are light and roll up to almost nothing. When will I ever have a chance to acquire such beauty. We ponder, we do not have enough cash, I plead that we must go back to the hostel and get a credit card if we are to make a purchase. I think that really we should finish our tour first. The gentleman doesn’t settle for that. It is Friday, couscous day, why don’t you join us for couscous. Finish the tour then come eat with us. Hum, homemade couscous is an invite no one should refuse. We agree, we finish the tour, we come back. I know already that we will get those blankets. After couscous and more tea we not only get three but four blankets.

Maybe because we are not good at bartering, maybe because we spend time, maybe because tourism is low at the moment, who knows, not only our gentleman lowers the price a little but he trows in a few cushion covers to go with the blankets and give Eric a Fatima hand for his mom. Hands are shaken, shukran (thank you) exchanged, we are all happy with our day. Moroccans depends on tourism and will do their best to give you a good time. I have seen here some of the most beautiful craft / art there is. Generation of men and women have passed down their skills from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, and most of what you see has been made by hard working hands.

Thanks to Thami and extended family for a great day yesterday.

Here are some photos for you textile and art lover!

DSC_0062 DSC_0065 DSC_0066 DSC_0071 DSC_0073 DSC_0074 DSC_0075 DSC_0079 DSC_0091 DSC_0097 DSC_0099 DSC_0104 DSC_0114 DSC_0143 DSC_0145 DSC_0146 DSC_0147 DSC_0148 DSC_0149 DSC_0150 DSC_0151 DSC_0165 DSC_0176 DSC_0178 DSC_0179 DSC_0181 DSC_0183 DSC_0186 DSC_0189 DSC_0197

ps. one more thing, we visited Amoon, a collaborative of Berber women in Taroudant today, there was one rug that was hooked!

Here is their website: anmoon.com

If you ever visit Taroudant do visit their shop.

DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003

Catherine Bussiere: Textures

it’s been an interesting week
moving deeper into Morocco
new sights and smells
more interaction
with locals
with other travelers
with a new host

we’re by the ocean near Casablanca
Dar Bouazza it’s called
there is a little port where fishermen bring their catch
there’s a few fruit and vegetable vendors
the beach in front of us is sand with the regular pounding of waves
nothing too big
gentle and steady
further along there are very interesting rock formations
their design make me come back for a photo shoot

it is busy this week end
the weather is nice and several cars are parked in rudimentary parking lots along the ocean front
you wouldn’t think much of it
unpaved dirt lot overlooking the ocean
but in the shade with a glass of tea
an attendant keeps watch
over the nice looking cars

I was looking to buy chicken the other day
on the main drag there are several small shops where you can find all the basics
but meat
for that there are meat stalls
I see a big side of beef hanging and a nice array of cuts in one of them
I’m looking for chicken though
I ask the man if he has any
I ask in French
turns out French is the unofficial third language in this country and is definitively not spoken by all
in the north more people speak Spanish as a third language
the two first ones you ask: Arabic and Berber
in Tangier for example, the first boy we met spoke Spanish, French and English aside from Arabic and maybe Berber
I’m thinking of my kids back home
the ones I used to help with french at school
who struggle with one extra tongue
back to my chicken; I am stubborn and ask again, in french, if he has any other type of meat
maybe mentioning lamb (but not pork) will help
the man graciously points to a nice piece of beef
he obviously thinks I want a particular cut
I understand that we will not understand each other if I keep on like this
so, I resort to a universal language and mime a chicken while clucking
that works, the man has a good laugh and points up the alley to another stall

I have been using this method daily with Mina the maid who works here
she too only speaks Arabic
on the first day after many “merci” for this or that
I muster the courage to try it out in Arabic
“shukran”
I can tell she is pleased
later she uses a few words in french
here we go, between gestures, a little of this and that we may understand each other

the photos were taken yesterday
fascinated I was by the various textures on my path

DSC_0162 DSC_0163 DSC_0165 DSC_0174 DSC_0178 DSC_0179 DSC_0184 DSC_0189 DSC_0191 DSC_0193 DSC_0200 DSC_0204

Catherine Bussiere: Chaouen blues

On the ferry we saw the edge of the Rif mountains
Africa
looking for a culture shock
looking for extra heat

we had been told many things
the cabs, the haggling, the food, the art, the hospitality
go to: Chefchaouen, Fes, Marrakech
do this, don’t do that
and
it won’t be much warmer

we experienced the cab first thing
an old Mercedes
the grand taxi
from Tangier port to the city
a good half hour drive
full speed

as soon as we step out a young boy is offering us direction
I know where I am going
I have my map
it’s around the corner
still he is one step ahead of me
pointing to where I am going
I tell him I have no money
which is true, I will need to find a bank first thing to get some local change
it doesn’t make any difference
one step ahead of me he goes

we’re at the hostel
still the boy and now another one are waiting around for us to be done with checking in
they want to take us to their uncle or other relative for dinner
we are exhausted and just want to settle in
it has been a long day
the clerk who knows them shoos them off

welcome to Morocco

Next day Chefchaouen or like people say Chaouen
the blue city
the Medina (the old city) is so pretty
just big enough to think you may get lost
but really, small, so you don’t

cats are everywhere
most of them look good
I think it’s a good sign
our hosts at the Riad are most welcoming
our house is your house
truly

we venture around
I click away
every door, every step
every shade of blue
catches my eye

there are shops everywhere
everything is beautiful
I don’t dare let my eye linger too much
the vendors know
they will catch me
once your caught it’s hard to get out

eventually I get caught
come to see this carpet shop one says
I will take you there
innocently I go
sure, let’s have a peak
we are treated the royal way
the place is large
mounds and mounds of carpets and blankets
all of them absolutely gorgeous
two men are busy picking several out to show
unrolling them on the floor
tea is offered
we agree
it’s a ritual
it’s also a trap

I really didn’t have any intention of buying anything that day
I was going to be smart and inform myself first
I had been told to bargain
I was not going to buy anything big
we are backpacking

you see where this is going

a couple hours later I came out with a large carpet
two small ones
and two blankets

did I bargain?
no
I couldn’t get myself to do it
the craftsmanship shown to me was so beautiful
how could I undermine it

later I felt a bit like a fool
my daughter and I, on another walk, got caught in a different shop
the vendors are so slick
so nice
like fine fisherman, they know how to hook you and slowly get you in
I am the biggest fish around
he offers prices that are way below what I just paid
I feel tired, I had enough
we manage to get out of this one empty handed

my daughter tells me what we got was way better
thanks Charlotte

there is much to adjust culture wise
as a foreigner I don’t want to offend anyone
we are in Muslim country
what do I know
much to learn

we are in Fes today
biggest Medina in the world
this time we will get lost

here are some Chaouen photos
enjoy

DSC_0014 DSC_0029 DSC_0030 DSC_0037 DSC_0038 DSC_0039 DSC_0043 DSC_0052 DSC_0156 DSC_0161 DSC_0182 DSC_0198 DSC_0202

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: walking

one of the thing I like about being in this city is that I can walk to places
walk to get fruits and veggies, meat, bread
walk to the theater, to the museum, to the park
walk to the beach and even to a hill top high enough to overlook the whole city and beyond
we’ve been walking several km a day pretty much each day since we got to Barcelona
I love it every time

here’s what caught my eye

DSC_0192 DSC_0209 DSC_0210 DSC_0214 DSC_0216 DSC_0235 DSC_0248 DSC_0265 DSC_0332 DSC_0333 DSC_0335 DSC_0342 DSC_0348 DSC_0349 DSC_0358 DSC_0360 DSC_0363 DSC_0364 DSC_0366 DSC_0368 DSC_0374 DSC_0377 DSC_0379 DSC_0380 DSC_0381

 

Catherine Bussiere: Catalonia Art

yesterday we went to visit the Catalonia art museum

I mostly spent time walking through the modern art exhibit

rooms and rooms of paintings, sculptures, furniture, drawings, metal work, photography you name it

the great thing was that I only knew very few of the artists

there might have been one Picasso and one Dali

of course there were some Miro

but otherwise I really didn’t know much

How refreshing and exciting to discovery all this art

here is some of it

enjoy

DSC_0207 DSC_0209 DSC_0216 DSC_0218 DSC_0220 DSC_0223 DSC_0226 DSC_0229 DSC_0231 DSC_0234 DSC_0236 DSC_0243 DSC_0244 DSC_0245 DSC_0246 DSC_0247 DSC_0253 DSC_0255 DSC_0262

Catherine Bussiere: highlights

when one doesn’t know where to start; start with highlights
Paris is already gone by and I barely said a thing busy we were soaking it up
and before Paris there was Canterbury
didn’t even mention that did I
images are worth a thousand word, I will use this

Canterbury: awe, solemnity, beauty, moved to tears when I entered the crypt
why?
I think the sense of time, history, people, us in some ways passing through, achievement, faith, war, love, peace
I don’t know
and didn’t need to think it
the feeling was there and was enough
I loved Canterbury
later on we went back to hear the choir
we went to mass
I never go to mass
it was beautiful
the whole ceremony punctuated by a mixture of voices all tones and range mixed in unison in this huge sacred place

that was Canterbury cathedral
highly recommended

then Paris
an overnight bus ride from London that took us on the ferry in the middle of the night
long and groggy is the feeling
in the middle of the night we go through border
the French one
I’m a little nervous again, borders tent to do that
Charlotte is ahead
the officer says “bonsoir”
she says “bonsoir”
he then says “and in the morning you say…”
She is puzzled for a second then responds “bonjour”
“and in the afternoon…”
that’s the trick question, one must know that to go through border
Charlotte answers: “bonne après-midi”

I go after Charlotte
He says: “Bonsoir”
“bonsoir”
“She looks like you”
“She’s my daughter”
the officer winks, stamps my passport, “Bon séjour”
off I go
I love France already

True things about Paris: people are not rude
or at least no more then anywhere else
also, I was under the impression that there would be dog droppings everywhere
that was an old rumor
Paris is clean, surprisingly clean
Paris highlights: everywhere you look is beautiful, the bakeries, la Seine, the multiple bridges, la tour Eiffel at night, walking and getting lost, our hosts
Paris was thrilling and exhausting
you just can’t help wanting more of it

We are now settled in a beautiful nook in Southern France
up against a cliff looking down valleys
olives trees lined up on “restanques” (dry-stone wall terraces)
a 2 km path takes us to the nearby village (and bakery)
today we’ll explore a different path that leads to a monastery
the monks are known to produce “Chartreuse” and honey
worth investigating

at this point in our trip we have been reunited with my son and his … fiancé!
he proposed in London about a week ago
sweethearts
so it’s five of us for the month in Provence
we will be clearing the orchard, helping out on the land
it is a country where thyme and rosemary grow wild
as my son said “herbes de Provence” could just as well be “weeds of Provence”
we love it

canterbury nightCanterbury 2Canterburypetit tout nu pétanquesversailleentréefenetretour eiffelcabanonolivier olives

Catherine Bussiere: this is it

next week, Sunday, I will be writing from … London!
it still doesn’t sound quite real
yet everything around me spells it out

Eric (my husband) is tying things up
painting, touching up cement, getting the house all ready for a cozy winter

Charlotte (my daughter) was done work at the end of September
is done all the homework for her correspondence studies
will do her exams this Tuesday (we leave Thursday)
has been packed for a month

I have been booking tickets, bought insurance, payed bills
I got my website up and running (thanks Michele)
took the cats to Grammy (boohoo we miss them)

So close to departure and feeling like it’s a pretty big deal
It’s the first time we cross the ocean
we’ve been all over North America and down in Mexico
yet this time is different
Is it the fact that we can’t drive there?
must be the ocean
I don’t know

Maybe it’s because we haven’t gone on a big trip for a while
maybe it’s the news
or maybe it’s because these are our last few months with Charlotte before she leaves the coop
Our last fall as a trio
we use to be a quintet
we’re about to be a duo

I don’t know if we’re all a little anxious
for whatever reason
I know I am
even though I can’t pinpoint why

it doesn’t matter
on Thursday night we’ll cross the ocean
on Friday we will meet people
start building new friendship
acquire new skills
fill our eyes with new sights

that is exciting

so, yes, I finally have my website up and running
it’s basic at the moment
it’s like a travel journal at the beginning of a trip
not much in it yet
but it’s coming
I will keep posting here (and on my site) on Sunday but if you get curious about what goes on the rest of the week have a peak www.catherinebussiere.com

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

DSC_0043 DSC_0044 DSC_0048 DSC_0053 DSC_0054 DSC_0055 DSC_0057 DSC_0058

Catherine Bussiere: thanks dinner

I am walking around this morning
I go to the lounge
it is another stunning morning
crisp, fresh, covered in dew
the lounge sits empty yet I can hear the rumor
yesterday the two tables were filled with friends, family, neighbors

before our trip and just for shear pleasure
we decided to host a thanks dinner
for your support, for looking after us, for your friendship

there is something I really like about hosting
sitting people around large tables
having counters filled with food and beverage
being outdoors on a rainy windy day
and not caring because of a warm sweater and good company

I love to mix people
to introduce and say, this is so and so, she is an artist, he is a gardener
the conversation rolls
glasses and bowls are being refilled
people relaxing, taking time, enjoying

It was busy, it was good
we were thankful and we were pleased

DSC_0044 DSC_0048 DSC_0056 DSC_0059 DSC_0060 DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0066 DSC_0067

Catherine Bussiere: I love today

today is the light of autumn with the heat of summer
the smells of fallen leaves and the sounds of crickets
the dear fly buzzing around my head as if it were July

today I want it all
I want to do nothing and do everything
I want to sit all day and soak it up
I want to hold it so it doesn’t end
I want to make the most of it and harvest and clean up and trim and get ready
but I don’t really
it’s Sunday and it’s indian summer and if I could I would push on pause

I’ll go visit someone today
I’ll go to the garden and find something to make a nice meal
I will throw myself in the pond for one last time
and run to the sauna if I get cold
or lay in the sun
yes, I will lay in the sun

now there’s a plan

DSC_0075 DSC_0078 DSC_0082 DSC_0089 DSC_0091 DSC_0115 DSC_0171 DSC_0179

made apple jelly yesterday

I am productive sometimes

Catherine Bussiere: Back

I am back from a trip to Québec (again)
my mom was giving me her old car (not that old)
I have been without wheels all summer (that was fine)
but the freedom of a car (even an old one that isn’t that old)
is thrilling

it’s an overcast day in Beckwith this morning
we started the day with some of the most amazing almond chocolate croissants I’ve ever had
I picked them up in Trois-Rivières just before I left yesterday in a traditional french bakery
One must love art and tradition
that bakery is the embodiment of that
I must let everyone know in Trois-Rivières
such places must thrive
it’s called “Les Gâteries D’Oli”
Look it up if you’re ever there

I went out for my Sunday morning photo shoot
it’s the end of summer with some things in full maturity and some fading already
I go around my property so often
sometimes I don’t see things anymore
it takes a little walking around to get into it and find a few images that I like
sometimes you must work harder to be content

my Charlie cat follows me around
I have two cats
Buster and Charlie
they couldn’t be more different
in appearance and in temperament
Charlie is the embodiment of the independent cat
yet, pretending he is not, he is following me around
we just happen to go in the same direction (says he)

it is drizzling now as I am typing away
there’s always a little melancholia that follows my return from Quebec
leaving family, culture, language, … new found best croissant ever…

I’ll make tomato sauce later today
time to harvest!

DSC_0063 DSC_0064 DSC_0069 DSC_0076 DSC_0083 DSC_0086 DSC_0091 DSC_0096 DSC_0099 DSC_0100 DSC_0111 DSC_0113 DSC_0119 DSC_0121 DSC_0123 DSC_0125 DSC_0126

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: lots to do

DSC_0279 DSC_0283 DSC_0286 DSC_0295 DSC_0299 DSC_0307 DSC_0309 DSC_0311on the news and to get me going
– those are very small Beckwith news by the way
the mosquitoes are back
it’s been driving us crazy
it’s the end of the summer crop
they are small and they are hungry

then there is the garden in it’s full mature beauty
I walked through parts of it this morning looking at patterns
closing in to borage
how velvety it seems

a friend of mine spent the week here working away at four short videos
she is a percussionist extraordinaire
it’s been fun helping her out

but the most exciting news at the moment
is our upcoming trip to Europe
this week more then any
things have developed
we now know for sure that we will be helping out for a month
harvesting olives in Southern France
it sounds romantic
maybe it’ll be brutal
I doubt it
I’m up for new grounds, experiences and challenges

on my to do list coming right up
is a blog site (shared with my daughter)
that will feature our adventures in Europe
I’d like to keep posting photos and make short videos

I will keep a post on Deanne’s Sunday blog
it will most likely be linked to my new blog site
must figure that out

for now my friend is waiting
today we must wrap up her video projects
lots to do
have a good week

Catherine Bussiere: it’s time

it’s berry time

it’s garlic time

it’s cherry time

it’s chanterelle time

oh my, not enough time in a day time

I love this time

chanterelle cherry garlic raspberryqueen anne

 

Catherine Bussiere: Kaffe

DSC_0120

my daughter and I had a delightful time at Kaffe Fasset’s presentation the other night
what a fantastic feat to be able to get such inspiration in our little town
the things I took home from Fasset’s presentation is that inspiration is everywhere
in your garden, in that old faded rug, at the flea market
it’s about having your eyes open
having an urge to create
to process what you see and put it into your own creation
it is for everyone
everyone who dares
it is not limited to the educated
it does not have to be thought out
it just is for whoever wants to embark and do
it may takes years
it may take a moment
it does not matter

the church was full on Friday evening
filled with people who makes art and craft
what a soothing sight
thanks Deanne and Megan and everyone at “this world class shop” to keep engaging people to create beauty everyday
thumbs up!

DSC_0121 DSC_0127 DSC_0132 DSC_0134 DSC_0137  DSC_0145 DSC_0149

Catherine Bussiere: abstract in pink

DSC_0074 - Version 2

Abstract: existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence

can abstract be a feeling
can I be feeling abstract today
this word is imposing itself as I sit down to write

I went outside this morning not knowing what my post would be about
today is the first anniversary of my sister’s passing
what does that mean anyway: today
as if any other day didn’t matter
as if abstract doesn’t apply to that situation every single day

I went out with my camera realizing I hadn’t taken any pictures in a few days
I walked around feeling rusty
it’s only been a few days
why can’t I see anything

by the pond the most simple of roses
the wild one with four or five petals
was attracting all sorts of pollen hungry critters
I like critters
I stood there for a while snapping away
guessing none would be keepers
yet, as if stretching, I clicked away

I thought about the color pink
(I really thought “rose” because that is the word used in french for both the color and the flower)
pink isn’t my color of choice
not in clothing anyway
but what a soothing and beautiful color

I went on to look for more
other roses around
I looked into them
looked at texture, hue, qualities

today framing wasn’t about representation
it reflected how I felt
without really knowing
it summed itself up
in abstract and pink

DSC_0074 DSC_0075 DSC_0077 DSC_0078   DSC_0083

Catherine Bussiere: passion

If you read my previous blogs you know that I spent some time with family in Quebec.

I’ve been back for I week now and I miss them all already.

During my stay I spent a lot of time with my nephew Eliot and my niece Léonie.

It was precious.

For them I made this short video. It’s about passion, creativity, beauty, nature. It’s a little dreamy thanks to the music by Chan Wai Fat.

The commentary, by Eliot, is in french.

Here is the translation:

“I make flies since I’m 6 or 7. It’s my dad that showed me. I like it a lot. Since then I make lots.”

“I like to know that this fly will go on the water, fish will see it. It’s fun when you catch a fish and it’s you that made the fly.”

“I like to fish because; you’re on the water, you see fish, you’re in nature, all of those things that brings you close to nature.”

“When I’m fishing… I feel like… with all my equipment, in the middle of the river… I feel good… I don’t know how to say it… I lose a bit the notion of time… I can stay there a long time… so much I like it… That’s it.”

 

Catherine Bussiere: la jardinerie

DSC_0322

my brother and his wife have started a business together

three large greenhouses mostly filled with flowers

and another with tomatoes and cucumbers

here are a few things that caught my eye

DSC_0309 - Version 2 DSC_0286 DSC_0283 DSC_0264 DSC_0240 DSC_0238 DSC_0236 DSC_0216 DSC_0208 DSC_0206 DSC_0193 DSC_0181 tomatesfamille

 

Catherine Bussiere: light

DSC_0124 DSC_0125 DSC_0129 DSC_0132 DSC_0136 DSC_0137 DSC_0144 DSC_0145 DSC_0148 DSC_0150 DSC_0152 DSC_0153 DSC_0154

I was out first thing this morning
the sun just at the rim of the tree line
lighting up every piece of greenery
all covered with dew
the air still fresh from the cool night

beauty filled my eyes
urgency to capture the light

isn’t it interesting how we can marvel over and over
how many times
how many blossoms
it comes again and again
yet I marvel every single time

Catherine Bussiere: April = Easter Eggs

you’ve heard them sing

you’ve seen it thaw

it’s crazy how fast a season can change

one week we are buried under a blanket of snow

and the next the narcissus are poking their noses out

 

I was busy in my green house yesterday getting the ground ready, planting a few seeds

lettuce, spinach, beets

early greens that I hope to munch on in a month time

this morning thinking of Easter coming up

I looked for the eggs that were decorated last year

I wrote a blog then and I will share it again

if you have some old silk ties, or scarfs, or any silk with pretty patterns on it

round up some kids, empty a dozen eggs, and be ready to be awed

happy Sunday!

oh yes: the LINK

DSC_0057 DSC_0058  DSC_0060 DSC_0061 DSC_0062 DSC_0064

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: Souvlaki

There are mornings where I feel like cheating
Meaning I will not try too hard to write a blog
I’ll just post a recipe
It’s not really cheating
it could be seen as a gift
sounds much better
it’s all about point of view

speaking of view here is today’s weather report
it’s another grey day but there are no snowfall warning in effect (= improvement)
the sap is running
and the sun is trying hard to pierce through all these layers of grey
I have a feeling it might succeed

Last night I was hungry and inspired
those are two things that can equal into a good dinner
I happened to have all I needed to make a Greek style meal
I made my own version of souvlaki

You will need:

pork, chicken or lamb

for the marinade: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper

Chop meat in cubes. Marinate in oil mixture for 8 hours (for 1 pound of meat have 1/2 cup of oil mix – with lots of fresh herbs – looks and smells like a tasty dressing)

Cook meat on parchment paper in hot oven (doesn’t take long)

Serve on pita with tzaziki, chopped tomatoes and cucumber
or serve with rice and Greek salad

Tzaziki: drain 750 g of balkan yogurt in cheese cloth for a few hours. Put 1 grated cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle salt over. Let sit a couple hours to extract water. Rinse and drain cucumber (squeeze all that water out). Mix drained yogurt and cucumber. Add grated garlic, pepper, mint or dill. Taste, see if it needs salt.

* Lately I mix a small container of sour cream with half container of astro balkan yogurt and skipped the draining bit for the yogurt. Of course I get the 14% sour cream. Works well.

cucumber herbs red pepper souvlaki

Look with Lorna

Sheree Fitch stopped in after her visit at the Spa. As she sat at the table hooking she said “I think I was a rainbow in my past life.” I think she may be right.

Jan 31, 2014 026 Jan 31, 2014 025

Catherine Bussiere: this morning

this morning
there was an attempt to clean my desk
– picture of a cat

boots on desk

two forgotten cob of indian corn that I meant to snap last fall
– picture of the corn

DSC_0021

a carnation received yesterday after attending a women’s day celebration
– picture of much needed color saturation

DSC_0024
and my oh so lovely geranium that blossoms all year round
– picture of unassuming beauty

DSC_0026

Catherine Bussiere: stormy day

stormy day
wind and snow
swirling

engulfed,
somewhere on the map
a cozy house at the end of a road

no one needs to go
no one can go

it’s a full house
winter break has started
family is all together

time capsuled in the storm
all that is needed is fire in the wood stove

palms and taro are being read
hot chocolate has been made

enveloped in white
serenity infuses my senses

DSC_0060

DSC_0061

DSC_0062

DSC_0059 DSC_0058 DSC_0055

Do you have a favorite colour?

 

Sage Green is a winter colour. I’d like to say it is my favorite colour, shades of it, but , it is only my favorite colour right now in this moment. I love it because it is January soothing. It is warm. It is the first colour I see when I walk in my door at home.

I have a sage green camel back sofa that I bought eighteen years ago. I still like it. It still looks good to me. I change the pillows on it every few years but essentially I still like it. Every once in a while I imagine cream sofas but the feeling goes away. I am a sofa dreamer. I like couches. I like to think it is because I like to sit on them but really I am attracted to patterns, fabric, colour and sofas are covered in them. This one has managed to last. It has been in four different rooms in the house  and now it greets me as I walk in, a sage green welcome.

So if I tell you sage green is my favorite colour I ‘d have to lie because as much as I like it when I walk in the door, I am attracted to something else when I walk out the door. As a child I could name a favorite colour with certainty. This year it is purple, next year it would be green. Now I am smitten with so many shades I could never choose, not even for a season. I’ll find myself drawn towards certain shades for a while and then all of a sudden I am pulled towards something else. I love the jewels tones they get me excited. I love the neutrals, they soothe me. When it comes to colour I am all over the place.

Every colour is beautiful. I guess for me  there is no deciding anymore. I know I am effected by trends in the market place to some degree but now there is hardly a shade I do not like. I do notice in clothing, or furniture we are really limited by the trends because the colour is dictated by fashion. In knitting and rug hooking you can always source out or dye new colours which is refreshing. There are still colour trends in craft that usually follow the marketplace but there is less of it.

So right now at this very moment if you asked me my favorite colour I might say sage green. If you asked me tomorrow…I am not sure what I would say. Are you the same or do you have a favorite colour?

IMG_7765 IMG_7766 IMG_7767

Look with Lorna

Megan and Norma were busy today putting up wall paper in the bathroom. Deanne found this great company that can take a picture of her rugs and transfer them to wall paper or fabric.

Dec 6, 2013 001

Dec 6, 2013 010

Dec 6, 2013 041

 

Dec 6, 2013 038

Dec 6, 2013 037

Happy Birthday Norma !

 

Look with Lorna

We received an order from Briggs and Little today. Great to see a company that has been in business since 1857 and still embraces the simplest of packaging.

015 020   026 027 025

Megan and I had a little photo shoot while unpacking.

There is never a dull moment here that’s for sure.

022

023

Catherine Bussiere: going to town

going to town today
see my babies
see a show
woooohooooo

on my walk this morning it was rather brown
more and more shades of it

I don’t mind
colors in my mind
I see my boys tonight

I brought them pies
made yesterday with apples from our trees
here you go my boys
remember how much you miss home

 

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: color blast

before it all goes to grey

nature does give us a grand party;  a fiesta of colors

even in the peak of summer we don’t see anything like it

nature, kindly, through spring and summer

reveals one at a time                                                                                                                                                                her bountiful gifts
it’s like fireworks

one could go with a big blast and hope the company will stick around for the dancing devils

or, like nature, give it out one by one

and build up the tension

until bam,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
in a grand explosion                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 give it all

I went for a drive

I went for a walk

truthfully, most of it is off the trees

but omg (if I may) 
the fields

have you seen a blueberry field this time of year

it’s almost too much

it’s like: on fire

and then the forest

it’s a bummer that it’s hunting season now

I just make sure I ruin it for them

I’m going anyway

I yell that I’m not a duck or a dear

I make tons of noise 
and then

I enjoy the feast

for the eye that is

The floor is covered in all shades of reds, yellows, orange and browns

in every corner there is something to frame

the way one leaf fell on another

how it got stuck on a different tree

the end of a cycle

preparing for another

beauty, once more                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is at hand                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     for who wants to reach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ps. forgive me for the lay out, I seem to have no control over it this week

Catherine Bussiere: fall impression

so much can be said

so much can be seen

in a state of tiredness

all I share is this

a walk in the woods

of fall before the falls

wonders of nature

once again

fulfill ones mind, heart, soul

the drive home

long after too short a night

in the back seat

listening to music

I watch the changing light

over hours

pouring rain, rainbow, clouds

a strange evening

puts me in an impressionist state

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look with Lorna

Brenda put together this amazing custom kit last week, called Moon Over County Road for a customer. We were like, could you imagine getting this in the mail.  WOW!

Oct 11, 2013 020 Oct 11, 2013 021 Oct 11, 2013 022

This Is for Debbie and Carol. I know Carol couldn’t be here this time but I think Debbie did enough shopping for you both.

Oct 11, 2013 001

 

Catherine Bussiere: September 15

one more week of summer
this morning is the essence
can I bottle this morning?
the colors, the freshness, the warm sun, the crickets, even the flies buzzing about
ok, maybe not the flies
but the crickets for sure

I love today
there’s a stillness in the air as if summer itself knows how precious today is
maybe if nothing moves it won’t go away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: mushroom hunting

My husband and I went on a mushroom walk yesterday.
It’s been raining and grey lately but yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day.
The walk was organized by the ecology action center.
With school starting everywhere I was thinking how nice it was to learn right there in the middle of the woods instead of sitting in a classroom.
So the 20 or so group of us went on a trail, crossed a brook, kept going onto a lesser trail and finally stopped on a mossy slope of an open mixed forest. There we spread out with the mushroom expert standing in one location waiting for us to come to him with our finds.
Oh the fun!
Like kids we all went around and shouts of “look at this one” started fusing.
The diversity of mushroom we found on a small area of these woods was remarkable.
Every time we brought something to the expert we realized how much there is to learn, how infinite a variation of fungus there is and how precious this whole ecosystem is.
My main question was always – Can we eat this one?
It’s not a simple affair and you really have to know your mushrooms.
You have to know families, some families are plain poisonous, others are mostly safe, and there’s always exceptions.
Hum….
I can recognize a Chanterelles, I’ll stick with those for now.
If I learned one thing yesterday it’s that we have in this part of the world some mushrooms with amazing characteristics that are found in very few places if not only here. I learned that the fungus and the woods are tightly connected and need one another in order to be. There is a world at my door step that I barely know yet I depend on.
I’m thinking, there should much more classrooms in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look with Lorna

Megan’s Lichen & Lace yarns

Aug 23, 2013 044

Aug 23, 2013 032

Aug 23, 2013 045  Aug 23, 2013 047 Aug 23, 2013 048 Aug 23, 2013 049

Burly Spun Yarns 100 % Wool

Aug 23, 2013 006 Aug 23, 2013 009    Aug 23, 2013 025 Aug 23, 2013 028

Our friend Vicky has been enjoying Deanne’s new Knitting Shop. Vicky knits and sells  these beautiful purses.

Aug 9, 2013 026

She made this gorgeous purse with the Fleece Artist Chantel Silk yarn.

Aug 23, 2013 041

Aug 19, 2013 007

Aug 19, 2013 010

Free Canvas Tote Bag with orders over $50

 

I just designed these canvas bags with our Create Beauty Everyday logo on them. You can own one by shopping online with us. When you order $50  or more excluding tax and shipping (online courses or downloads do not apply) we will send you a bag with your order and you can enjoy it. It is big enough to  carry a large hoop and your project or lots of anything!

When I designed them I had no idea people would have so much fun with them and I am so glad they did.

Shop online  at the studio now and receive your free bag.

You can also phone in your order at 1 800 328 7756

offer is good until Wednesday August 14 only

 

It could be your project bag…

IMG_6864

or your market bag..

IMG_6866

 

Here are some examples of what our great customers decided to do with the bags….they embroidered them.

This one was done by Christina Mosley…

Aug 9, 2013 002

And this one by Helen Dyer

Aug 9, 2013 011

Brenda coloured hers with Sharpie Marker

..Aug 9, 2013 014

Catherine Bussiere: morning walk

I went for a walk this morning

this is what I saw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look with Lorna

Our Knitting studio is coming together. The new shelving has been placed, now just to fill them up. We have beautiful yarns arriving every week.

July 12, 2013 041

July 12, 2013 037

July 12, 2013 044

July 12, 2013 007  July 12, 2013 012

July 12, 2013 034    July 11, 2013 061July 12, 2013 023

July 12, 2013 033

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: visiting

I woke up at my mama this morning
A few years ago she moved from the house she owned and had been born in to a bran new condo
It was hard in a sentimental kind of way to see her sell the old house
It was hard to let go

For her it was time

I woke at my mama this morning and you know smells
Each house has a smell
Turns out the smell of the old house seemed to have transferred to the new condo

It must be the books, the house plants, the bedding, the tablecloth

Not only the smell but the feel of the old place transferred to the new place
It must be my mama

I did realize at the time of the move that home was not so much that old house but rather where my mama was

I love the way she decorates
She likes books, artwork, photos of her children and grandchildren, plants
She likes wooden furniture, she likes owls

It feels warm and welcoming

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: poppy

I love poppies
they must be one of my favorite flower
then again, I love all kinds of flowers
but poppies;
there’s something special about them

I like how simple and flamboyant they are
the ones I have, have few petals
wrinkly petals they are
I like that too, the wrinkles
like they don’t bother with perfectly iron outfits
fits me
I never iron a thing
then, they have that incredible collar
they are all dressed up
bohemian style

tall, glorious, they fade fast
a strong wind and off they go
petal by petal
until all that stands
holder of their future
is a capsule
filled with the seeds of another glorious summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: white

In times of hardship

beauty (still) appears everyday

I must be attentive

open my eyes, my ears, my heart

A visit, a word said, a memory

– moments of grace –

as little as they may be

must be nourished

There is a thin line between sweet and sour

fresh and faded

In the presence of the ephemeral :  life

I am reminded to look now

at beauty

in all forms

create it

and share it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: Green

 

It’s been raining non stop for days
grey sky, puddles
drizzle, showers
cats and dogs
buckets

away
in the city
cozy in the warmth of my sister’s house
I look out the window every morning
at her backward garden
drenched
and long for sunshine

I need to put flowers in
and a few veggies
no need to rush I know
I know

this morning I stepped out
protected by the roof of the front entrance
I clicked away at the nearby greenery
various shapes and shades of green
tender, dark, lined, wet
it’s all so pretty
I love to come up close with the lens
another world

in all colors
lightness and darkness
can be found

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brampton…Ontario …anyone know anyone?

Dear Diary, My son has asked me to ask all of you if you know anyone in Brampton who is looking for a room mate or border for the summer as he has a summer job there. He is serious, if you know anyone please leave a comment or give me a call. He just got a great job in a business there for the summer and needs to get a place to stay. He is a good young man ( I am his mother after all) and would be a great tenant or border. So let us know if you know someone in Brampton, Ontario who wants a twenty year old summer student to live with them. He is mature and sensible. There is my pitch.

So today I had a great visit with Heidi Wulfraat. We had a few laughs and really enjoyed each other. I left with some handspun for a new rug I am working on and a swift and a ball winder for the studio. Heidi has also started carrying great fabrics so I bought some curtain fabric and I am going to handset curtains for my kitchen. I like to handset curtains, one nice straight line across.

Last week I met some women for lunch in Pugwash at The Elms restaurant and they had a great idea for gorgeous fabric. It was simply six blocks of wood covered with fabric. It would also be lovely covered with dyed wool. You could use canvases if you wanted. I think fabric is really getting me excited lately. I put both pictures here because there is such subtle differences in the light I could not decide which one I liked better. I also love the pressback chair peeking up the side of the picture. Composition, even in a snap off your phone is always worth considering. I have oodles of new wool…56 bolts I counted. I have not had curtains for years in my houses but I just hung some in my front room and now have plans for kitchen curtains and maybe some out of linen( yes the backing) for another room. All just a simple fold over with a hand sewn straight stitch on a clean simple rod.

So that is the news today…we need a boarding house in Brampton, Ontario, and I bought fabric for curtains. All ends of the spectrum, thanks for reading. I’ll look forward to your studio visits this summer.

IMG_1767 IMG_1768

Catherine Bussiere: Sunny Sunday

it’s a gorgeous morning
the one we’ve all been waiting for around here
sunny, no clouds, it will be warm

this was a pancake morning
my husband makes the best
I’ll tell you what he does
he puts way more eggs then the recipe calls for
separate the whites from the yolks
beats the whites until light and fluffy
than gently adds it to the pancake mixture
(egg yolk, flour, milk, melted butter, vanilla – no baking soda or powder)

it’s like eating a cloud filled with maple syrup
slightly decadent

 

I really can’t sit here too long
so much to do
if only sit in the sun
and be thankful

I’ll most likely get my hand dirty
have a good Sunday