art + photography

all posts related to artwork I’ve created, or photography

Tea and Tulips on a February Day

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist

It is in February when I start longing for the sunshine and flowers of spring and summer. November and December hold the anticipation of Christmas and the snow is fresh and clean and appealing. January brings the promise of a bright New Year and fireside days. But, by the time February comes along, the snow is not a novelty anymore, and the days seem cold and lifeless. The weather warms up just enough to tease us with promise of Spring, only to freeze again. It is in the later days of February that we start to look towards Spring with expectation. I am not one to buy cut flowers often, but sometimes a bouquet of flowers is just the perfect thing to brighten up those long winter days. My mom surprised me and my sister this year on Valentine’s Day with a bouquet of gorgeous yellow and purple tulips. Yellow and purple are two colours that go extremely well together, and these tulips created a beautifully simple, yet elegant, bouquet.

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip vase

I love tulips as they are one of those funny kinds of flowers that seem to have a mind of their own. As soon as you arrange them in a bouquet, they rearrange themselves and completely undo all the arranging you did to them. Tulips actually continue to grow in the vase, and these certainly did as soon as I put them in the vase. I promise you that they were arranged in some kind of order, but by the time I took these photos, they had drooped and flopped all over the place. It’s OK though, as it makes them seem that much more natural and alive; and they do give me hope that Winter is not forever!

What could be more inviting on a cold February day than a bouquet of Spring flowers and a piping hot cup of tea in a pretty china teacup?

Do you like to have bouquets of flowers in winter? And tea in a pretty cup?

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, vase and teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip details

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup top view and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, horizontal tulips

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip and teacup detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, top view teacup

Valentine’s Day Postcards

the artyologist, valentine's day postcards

It is February, and you know what that means: it’s time for my favourite holiday- Valentine’s Day! I know that some people- OK a lot of people- hate Valentine’s Day, but I’ve never really been able to figure out why. It has recently come to my attention though, in a conversation on Instagram, that in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that strictly celebrates only romantic love. Well, of course that is how it started off back when the Victorians “invented” the holiday. Originally Valentine’s day was a feast day honouring St. Valentinus- and there are many different legends of why that came to be (who really knows?) However, over time it originated into a holiday celebrating love, where couples would exchange hearts, flowers, confectionery and love letters or “valentines”. By the time the 19th century came about, the Victorians, who were were obsessed with everything to do with romance and courtship, helped to turn it into the holiday we recognize today- where St. Valentinus is quite forgotten, but hearts and flowers and chocolates abound!

Even though the holiday was originally a celebration of only romantic love, over time, in Canada (and the USA I think too) it has turned into a day to celebrate all forms of love. When I was in elementary school, we always brought valentines to exchange with our classmates, and often had a party too. (Because really, who doesn’t want an excuse to eat pink heart shaped cookies and cakes?!) Nowadays, I hear the term “Galentines Day” circulating around, which has gotten fairly popular in the last few years; the idea being spending the day with your best girl friends instead of focusing on only romantic love. Even if you don’t have an opportunity for romance in your life right now, (I don’t) that’s no reason to dismiss Valentine’s Day as “Single’s Awareness Day”. Yes, romantic love is a beautiful thing, but having a holiday to celebrate all different kinds of love is a very nice idea too, I think. There are so many different kinds of love in the world, such as agape which is the love of man for God, and the love that God has for his children, eros or romantic love, philia, the beautiful love between friends, and storge which is familial love- just to name a few. Why should Valentine’s Day celebrate only eros, when there are so many more kinds of love in the world that are worth celebrating? I have always had that mindset about the day- and have always used it as a chance to send cards to friends and family and celebrate philia and storge love. Sometimes in past years, like with last year’s cards I’ve used the chance to highlight God’s agape love. And don’t forget that heart shaped cake too; which perhaps is an example of philautia- self love! 😉

Because Valentine’s Day is such a Victorian holiday, I usually make cards inspired by the era, so I thought I would show you all the cards I made and sent this year. Making and mailing valentines cards is such an old fashioned tradition, which is probably why it appeals to me so much 🙂

And, I also thought that since I can’t send all of you dear readers a Valentine of your own (I really wish I could!), it would be fun to share a Valentine’s card with you all in the form of a download! Just in case you haven’t gotten a card for someone special, but would like to give them one this year, I have a design I created a few years ago which is my Valentine’s Day card to you! I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to know if you decide to use it too!

So, is Valentine’s Day a strictly “romantic” holiday where you live? Or do you celebrate friends and family and all of the heart shaped things? And, do you make your own Valentine’s cards?

Click here to download my free Valentine’s Day Card!

the artyologist, writing valentine's day postcards

the artyologist, stack of valentine's day cards

the artyologist, four valentine's postcards

the artyologist, valentine's cards backs and fronts

the artyologist, peony and valentine's postcards

the artyologist, postcards ready to go, envelopes

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosty day

Remember that rime frost that I posted back in November? Well, these pictures were taken the very next day. One day the cold fog blew in and froze the world into a beautiful sparkling white wonderland, and the next, the sun came out from behind the clouds and melted it all away.

Rarely have I seen as beautiful sight as a bright sky blue backdrop behind frosty white trees glittering in the sunlight. I was glad when I noticed that the sun was peeking out that day, because by the end of the day, the frost had completely melted off, and we were left with bare branches again. But we didn’t have the bare branches for long, as the area I live in is very foggy, so we are always guaranteed some good winter frosts. In fact, the frost blew in a couple of days ago and the world is encased in sparkling diamonds again. I don’t think the frost will melt off for quite a while either, as we are currently in very cold temperatures (-30 degrees Celsius right now!) so unless there is a strong wind, it’s going to last for a while. In weather like this, I’m happy to look out my window and enjoy the view, without feeling the need to brave the cold in order to get some photographs! Photos would be nice but. . . 😉

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted grasses

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops and graineries

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, chickadee friend

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, tree over the rooftop

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted lacey grass

On the Edge of Winter: The Rime Frost

graineries-red, the edge of winter, the artyologist

Sometimes, when you get up and look out the window as you start a new day, you just think “Wow” and quickly grab a coat and your camera and run out the door to take pictures. Sometimes you are even in such a rush that you don’t grab a touque or gloves, and once you get out the door you realize just how cold that wind is too. But, the sacrifices one must make, are totally worth it on days like this. 😉 These photos are from a week ago, when we had such an incredibly beautiful few days of frost. I recently discovered the differences between “hoar frost’ and “rime frost”, and all these years what I thought was hoar frost, is actually rime frost. Rime frost is when water droplets, usually from a heavy fog, freeze to the outer surfaces of objects creating a white hard ice. It is often blown in with a wind and sometimes creates bizarre ice formations. Hoar frost is when frost grains grow larger than a regular frost, and is common around open areas of water.

The pictures I got on this day are of a heavy rime frost, when the world was white and beautiful. The fog was still in close too, and it created such a soft, quiet and eerie atmosphere. The frost has since melted off, as soon as the sunshine came out the next day, but it was amazing to see for the few days it was here.

rime frost on line of trees, edge of winter, the artyologist

rime frost on branch and pine tree, edge of winter, the artyologist

Here you can see how the wind blew the fog in from one direction, creating the horizontal ice formations.

red-shed, rime frost, the artyologist

grasses, edge of winter, the artyologist

view-of-the-valley, edge of winter, the artyologist

chicken-wire-and-red-branch, the artyologist

keys, rime frost, the artyologist

lamppost, rime frost, the artyologist

It’s Narnia! Ok, it’s not a lamppost, but close. . .

tree-and-sky, rime frost, the edge of winter, the artyologist

overhanging-trees, edge of winter, rime frost, the artyologist

rime frost on-pine, the artyologist

Here you can see that the pine tree was not completely covered in ice higher up, as the fog must have not swirled in that direction.

Have you ever seen a rime frost? Or a hoar frost?

Ps. You may have noticed that I have not been as active on here lately, or on the internet in general. I have been pretty overwhelmed, stressed, driven insane, busy getting ready for the Christmas craft sales I mentioned I would be in a few months ago, but with one down, and only one more to go (this Saturday), I am hoping that life will be back to “normal” soon. Although, then we’ll be right into Christmas time and so perhaps things won’t slow down at all. . . . 😉

Photography Lately: Autumn Comes

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

It seems like just yesterday the leaves were budding, and the flowers were poking their tiny heads up through the ground. Even just two weeks ago the trees were all still a vibrant green, and the sun was shining in full force (like in my last post). But, in the past week the weather has gotten cooler- there is that telltale chill, the sun sets earlier, and of course the leaves are changing colours quickly. They are no less vibrant than the greens of summer, but are made of a different artist’s palette. Fall, or autumn, (I’m never sure which word I like better!) is special to me. For one, my birthday is in October, so that always makes me anticipate the season. But I also just love the cooler days. I love tossing scarves on top of my outfits. I love the darker and warmer tones in my wardrobe that come out to play: cinnamon, cognac, rust, sage, black, mustard. And, I love not melting in the heat! You can always add a few layers if you are cold, but there comes a point when you can not take off any more layers 😉 I only wish that the season lasted a bit longer. One day you notice the leaves hinting a yellow undertone, and the next they have all dropped to the ground, leaving bare branches reaching for the distant autumnal sky. (Have you ever noticed that an autumn sky is different than a summer sky, or a winter, or a spring sky?)

Anyways. I guess I am rambling now, but really, this season passes by so quickly: you can pardon me for wanting to hold onto it a little bit longer! These photos have all been taken in the last few weeks, and just capture a few moments, unique to the season.

Do you like fall time? Do you call the season “Fall” or “Autumn”? Is it starting to look like autumn where you live?

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

We have a plum tree, with the sweetest little plums!

And mums at the grocery store: what a delicious shade of pink, with an undertone of orange!

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Some kind of weed seed. Oh well, it’s pretty. 

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Wash day. 

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

The perfectly situated photogenic bees.

Harvest time in Alberta.

Not your average egg. Above average I’d say. World’s largest Pysanka.

Obligatory, hipster, foot selfie (foolfie?) in autumn leaves. It just has to be done.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

This road.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Sunshine streams.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

First time I’ve ever seen an acorn in real life. We have two oak trees and they are dropping so many of these!

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

More harvest time in Alberta, this time on a smaller scale. 

Autumn comes.