What's your style


A great many of us, when we think of wall art, think of paintings and prints. Here you get an overview  of the many different types of wall hangings you can have. Jenn Schleich, www.thecruxdesign.com, not only explains about each one, but also why she chose them. Her descriptive blogs give a plethora of information, beautiful photos, and an expression of her love in all the projects she undertakes. Her blogs will be sure to give you plenty of other great ideas for your home and how you can tap into your own personal style.



Mixing Colours


Sometimes you just have to go back to basics! I was never taught to do a colour chart, not in local art classes or with the art instructor that I chose to help me paint. In fact, I never knew the value of having one until I started mixing colours on my own and the level of frustration I would reach.

If this is where you are, there are many tutorials on how to create your own colour chart. After reviewing several, some better than others, I found these two rather easy to follow – Ginger Cook https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMtZxDM5Ab0, who actually creates a Colour Mixing Journal, and Karen Ilari https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVyaGBnH0nE who creates her colours on individual charts designed for the beginner.

Ginger Cook also alludes to a true story about a famous artist who actually had someone else mix his colours for him because he never learned! Check her out. She has several videos including one called “can your brush do that” – not “what can you do with your brush.”

How much value do you place on colour charts?


I have been in a ‘slump’ for awhile, in fact about 5 months! In my mind, I see the vivid colours, the scenes I want to create, taking numerous beautiful pictures of sunsets, skies, water, wanting to put on canvas what I feel and want to share! Being in a beautiful country like Costa Rica gives one much to choose from, and having a champion who constantly encourages me and tells everyone about my work, well, that should inspire me. Right? It hasn’t been happening and I believe I know what part of the reason is – I am getting hung up on mixing colours. The other part is worrying too much about detail, but that’s for another day.

I have looked at, and read, a gazillion tutorials on how to mix the colours and it sure looks easy. After all, an artist is supposed to create; mix the colours and put them on the canvas, blah blah blah.

So today, I decided that I was going to address my creative block in a simple way and focus only on colours, and particular colours at that – shades of yellow and orange.

I decided to take the smallest canvas I had, 6“ x 6” – no sense using a larger one if I couldn’t get it right!

My first attempt, to my eye, was very blasé – the yellows were pale, the oranges paler. I thought, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? Ten minutes into the drying process (paints and mess had been cleared away), I decided to try again, lugging everything back out.

As you can see, the one on the right is a bit more vivid and the colours flow a bit better. Who knows? Tomorrow I may tackle some blues!


Please share what your Creative Block is and what helps you to overcome it.



Now that you have received your rolled print, what should you do to have it professionally framed? You don’t need to do anything, just take it to your framer in its original shipping tube.  However, if you choose to do it yourself, there are a few things you must NEVER do!!

  • NEVER use an iron, even if you put protective layers between it and the print.
  • NEVER use steam or moisture; this will compromise the longevity of the print.
  • NEVER (and I am sure a few of us have been guilty of this with other rolled products) scrape the back of a print over the edge of a table or other surface.


  • Gently de-curl the print by rolling it in the opposite direction to which it is curled. Make sure the surface you are working on is clear of all debris – grit and particles that might imbed itself in the print and damage it.
  • Make sure your hands are super clean. Skin oils are not good for a print.
  • Handle the print by its edges, not touching the printed image area.
  • Place a smooth, heavier paper, the same size or slightly larger, on the working surface. Place the print image-side down on the paper.
  • With extreme care so as not to damage or bend the print, proceed with the following:
    • Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the paper and print in the opposite direction to the curl, but not too tightly to run the risk of bruising/damaging the print.
    • Slide both paper and print fully into the shipping tube.
    • Let sit this way for a time; this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours (the longer the better).
    • Remove paper and print from tube, unroll it, and lay out with image side up on a clean flat surface.
    • Leaving the smooth paper in place, lay several heavy objects such as books on the corners and in the middle of the print and leave for several hours.
    • Remove the heavy objects; if still not uncurled, replace objects and let sit for a few more hours.

If this seems too daunting or too much work, simply take print in original tube to your framer.


I used to walk for exercise, a lot! But sometimes life gets in the way – travelling, relocating etc. I still walk but it is more strolling and meandering with hubby who considers that sufficient; I like to walk a brisk 30 minutes at least and decided it was time to get back into the routine.

Before going to bed last night, I set my alarm for early this morning to allow me to have my lemon juice and warm water, a protein smoothie, one cup of coffee and my stretch exercises.

An hour later, I chose my route and walked quickly, noticing a magnolia tree I wanted to snap a photo of on my way back (that’s where cell phones come in handy).

The morning was dreary but coming back I could see the sun peeking through the clouds. I took a moment to enjoy the beautiful yellow Magnolia tree and quickly take a couple of photos before resuming my walk. I think I much prefer the yellow one – there are so many light and dark pinks everywhere – but this is the first yellow one I have seen. Yesterday it was covered in buds, this morning many of them were blossoms. I hope to enjoy it a few more days before the blossoms begin to fall.

What is your favourite colour? Leave a comment below and share which you prefer and why…after all, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder!


I have always loved the pink Magnolia trees you see around Ontario but was disappointed at how quickly the leaves fall. When we left Tiverton to meet up with our friends, Judy & John in Ingersoll Ontario, I saw this magnificent tree on their lawn. Turns out it is called the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) and was covered in white blossoms; it is also a native of Japan. It blooms in early spring before its leaves are open, much like the forsythia tree, and is approximately 12-15 feet in height. I would say it definitely has great growing conditions, in full sunlight, judging by the massive number of blossoms and buds on it.

What a great way to herald Spring after all the cold and snow!



Poppa "C" and Willow



I’ve often considered blogging, but like most new bloggers, I had no idea where to start. Who would read my blogs or even care about what I wrote. Would anyone be interested in my fledgling art career or my ebook in progress? Then I realized I have been living in Costa Rica, or Paradise, where it is described as ‘pura vida’ or the pure life. Every day something new or interesting happens. There are so many wonderful opportunities that I could translate into art – remember my fledgling career?

For instance, dining out with friends one evening at La Pradera Bar Restaurante, (located 1.5 km from Tilaran junction, road to Nuevo Arenal), I was able to capture the beauty of the sun setting. I particularly like the fading sunset behind the palm tree, and it was immensely satisfying to view the vibrant colours with a great group of new friends, each of us appreciating it in our own way. This can be one of the most breathtaking sites you can share with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day it might make it to canvass!

Setting Sun