Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh, Those Crazy, Hazy, (but not) Lazy Days of Summer!

(gentle reader,  I am now going to put the photos at the end of every blog.  This  means you are forced to read my carefully crafted script to know what the photos are about, and it is easier technically)

We are anything but lazy, unemployed maybe, but not lazy!  The windows are in the kitchen and livingroom now and look fabulous.  We cut down a very old apple tree that had split in a few places to improve the view from the window. 

Best of all, Brian has finished the clapboard on the lower part of the house that we hoped to finish this summer. 

We have made a template for the wood-stove hearth and have cut the concrete board.  The old chimney bricks have been cemented onto the concrete board and the rest of the footprint of the old hearth filled in with bricks. Brian has made an attractive wood frame and is, at this very moment, getting ready to pour sand in the cracks and then add the tinted (terra cotta) grout.   The wood stove will be installed next week. 

In the stud wall to fill-in where the old chimney was in the kitchen, Brian has put a half of one of the old windows, with the wonderfully wonky glass from the hand-blown glass.  In the 1700's the hand-blown glass for these windows was shipped in from Boston, in barrels filled with sawdust to protect the individual squares of glass.  The frames were made here to fit the glass squares.  This will allow light to enter the living room from the kitchen. 

The barn was cleaned out with the enthusiastic help of dear cousin Marcia (a.k.a. Mike), so there is now room to bring in the wood for the winter fires in the wood stove.

My art camp was a great success, and I have created a blog for my art news and schedules (and the odd personal rant as Brian says this blog is meant to be about the Valley House, not about me...honestly, how rude!), so please add to your reading list. 

The weather is amazing, a bald eagle is roosting on a tree by the river and king birds are in the apple tree below the back door.  My birthday was celebrated with a wonderful barbeque with new friends, neighbours and family, and one of my presents was that Brian agreed to go in the canoe.  He isn't much of a water baby, but with Steph's expert hand at the helm (her summers of paddling at Banook Lake really paid off) he survived, but as you can see by the photos, didn't like it.  He did, however, like the double kayak ride this past week on the river, and says he is ready for a single kayak next time.  We are planning to go on a group kayak/canoe excursion to go loon spotting at Keji park in August.  Keji is short for...well, I can't spell it, so here's the's a fantastic huge protected park in the middle of Nova Scotia.  
Keji National Park

The loon is the bird depicted on our "loonie", or one dollar coin.  It rides low in the water, and the babies ride piggyback!  Their undulating, haunting cry is a "trademark" of Canada.

We went for a picnic lunch at Kedji
The next few photos show the windows going in.
Paul and son did a fantastic job, as usual!

The last piece of clapboarding being measured before cutting.
HOORAY!  A job finished and very well done!
Brick hearth made out of the old fireplace bricks.
Here is the stud wall with the old window at the top, as seen from living room.
Clearing out the barn!
Some of the barn "treasures"!
Stephanie and I made these cupcakes for the birthday party, her coffee icing and Skor bar candy toppings were a hit!
In hysterics as we finally got Steph's head through the "horse collar" lifevest!
Steph made me wear the horsecollar, but it didn't dampen my enjoyment.
Steph and Brian coming into shore...he doesn't look too happy!
Marmalade on the wood pile
A lovely sunset at Hampton Beach, on the Bay of Fundy

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


While Brian is crashing clapboard around, I have been planning to run Summer Art Lessons.  Since my kid's art studio here at the house is currently our kitchen, I have rented the upstairs studio at ARTsPLACE in Annapolis Royal. 

The Summer lessons will run the week of July 25-29 with 5-8 year olds, and then the first week of August with 9-12 year olds.  If you are a local reader of this blog and are interested, please contact me at

There has been a good response, and I am really looking forward to getting back to teaching art.  I am also going to be offering Arty Parties (birthday parties with an art theme) and Face Painting. 

I am also participating in PAINT THE TOWN in August so it's a very "arty" summer!
Paint the Town, Annapolis Royal link