Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Scenes from Spruce Meadows

Today I am going to share with you a magical place in Alberta. Now, Alberta is full of magical places, but if you love horses, Spruce Meadows is a wonderous land where sport and family meet!

When I was a little girl living in Edmonton, I used to dutifully collect the free admission passes that came with the gas bill in hopes that some day my family would make the three hour trek to Calgary. That never happened - it was only until I moved here that I was able to indulge in Spruce Meadows and I loved every minute of it. Every visit, decades later, reminds me of my youthful enthusiasm for horses.

It's easy to forget that houses are right across the road from it now - but it still maintains its country charm. And here's the best part - there really is something for everyone at Spruce Meadows, from live music, delicious food, usually a car show or dog agility.

Spruce Meadows celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and this lasting gift from the Southern family always fills my heart with pride. Red Arrow kindly provides a free shuttle service so that the park is accessible to everyone and admission is free, although some day I am going to splurge on the paid seats :)

I couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect day when I went for the Continental on June 11th. It was sunny and cool and I marvelled at all the recent upgrades. It's been a couple of years since my last visit. The old bleacher seating at the Chinook Ring has been replaced with a fancy new Founder's Plaza with tables and chairs.

I was super excited this day because I borrowed a 200 mm zoom lens. For those of you who have never held one, it's about as long as your forearm and weighs about a pound or two. It was really hefty! I found a primo space for the event going on and tested it out. I was so nervous because of the borrowed lens that I forgot to make the most of the zoom! I had all sorts of dumb fears that it would fall off my camera or that I would drop it :D

Fortunately by the time we found seating in the International Ring I had a handle on it and I was thrilled with the results, as you can see in this sample on Flickr. I can't wait to go again!

Monday, May 9, 2016

New budgie colouring book

A couple of weeks ago I added a new printable colouring book to my Etsy shop. It's all about budgies! In fact, it's called OMG Budgies!!!. Like most budgie lovers, it's so exciting when you see something with a budgie on it! The big parrots get all the attention :-) I have so many budgie photos over the years that it was a no brainer to pick favourites of Moxie, Mr. Jill, Mellow and Feisty to turn into line art. I really enjoyed it and I found a lot of photos that I had forgotten about over the years. The colouring book is just $5 and you can print as many copies as you like for home use. Watch for a few paper copies at sales too - in fact, I sold the first paper copy at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The customer was overjoyed. OMG budgies!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

National Pet Day

Somehow I was caught off guard by National Pet Day...something I had never heard of before! Every day is pet day in our house and here's a recently completely papercut of Muffin. It's hard to believe that he is 14/15 and that we have had him for six and a half years.
Cockatiel Papercut

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Horse Papercut

Whew, I am always moving at the speed of life! Here is an 8.5x11" papercut that I did earlier in the month. It was inspired by a friend who reshares a lot of feathered horses on Facebook! Adding some horses within a horse made for a more interesting picture than just pinto coloured. It's for sale on Etsy too!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Come learn with me!

I'm excited to announce that I will be teaching a class on February 28 at Loft 112. Come and learn the magic of scherenschnitte or papercutting! If you can pronounce it, you can do it :-D All materials are provided.

Friday, January 22, 2016

2010 Lougheed House Visit

Like most creative people, I'm sitting on a pile of images and sometimes those images take longer than usual to see the light of day! I finally sat down and uploaded 20 of my favourite pictures from a 2010 visit to Lougheed House, a historic home and museum here in Calgary. It was a beautiful summer day, and my Mom and I headed down there to see what was new in the garden. I took along a piece of frosty plastic from an IKEA box and Mom patiently held it higher or lower behind the flowers. The effect worked well - a sort of fake selective focus which my old Canon PowerShot lacked. In pictures of the irises, it added a sparkly effect. A few of the irises and the violas have made it on to cards and magnets and now that I'm looking at them again, I'll probably pick out a few more for craft sales this year :-) Click through to see the whole album.
IMG_3718

Monday, January 4, 2016

Last year's holiday horse

I love how I'm so behind that I couldn't post this last year :-D If you're wondering if there was a 2014 holiday horse...nope...that one is half done. Late for this year, early for next seems to be my motto. This horse is made from layers of paper and PanPastel.

2015 Holiday Horse by calzephyr on DeviantArt