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It’s been awhile since we featured any of Janet Cameron’s art work … and since we have an entire collection of fabulous cartoons which she did just for our Breakfast with the Broads Cookbook, we thought we would share a couple of our favourite images from the book for some smiles:

Breakfast Menu by Cat and Menu by Dog

Breakfast Menu by Cat and Menu by Dog

Anyone with a dog can appreciate this "Oh yeah - then why don't I remember that I just ate"

Anyone with a dog can appreciate this "Oh yeah - then why don't I remember that I just ate"

Dog disguised as Garbage Can

Dog disguised as Garbage Can

It’s an entire story about the Cat and the Dog’s visit to Rose’s Bed and Breakfast. Of course, we can’t share too many or it will spoil the story! But we thought you’d enjoy seeing some of Janet’s talented work!

To see even more of her work you can visit our Bed and Breakfast Anne’s Oceanfront Hideaway. Our walls are covered in her various art pieces, and while we would never sell any of them, there’s a chance you can catch a piece from the one of the local art galleries on Salt Spring Island.

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Tree Branch

Tree Branch

On my walk back to the house last week I found an interesting Arbutus branch on the side of the road. If it hasn’t blown away in the last few days, I think I will give it a quick rub and see if  it turns into an Easter Tree.

I first saw my first Easter Tree about five years ago. I asked   “What is an Easter Tree?”  It is a tradition that originated in Germany.  The family would decorate, either a branch inside or a tree outside, with brightly colored easter eggs and decorations. Some do it to add color as they decorate for Easter

Sprayed Branch

Sprayed Branch

festivities while others find significance in the 40 days of Lent by daily hanging one egg and reading scripture. It is one of those traditions that has been handed down through many generations.  Although in past the decorated eggs, ornaments or  scriptures were handmade most today are ‘reusable’ from year to year being made of plaster, plastic, wood or paper.

(It could be a great project for children to cut out and decorate eggs shaped from construction paper, or to decorate boiled eggs for the Easter Tree.)

The Base

The Base

Find a fallen branch that appeals to you.  Do you want it to sit on the floor, a top the table?  This will determine how large you want it. If you want a modern/minimal look keep it straight  with branches fairly clean,  and curving up (or straight out if you have a housebound Norfolk Pine tree).  A more traditional look would be fuller with many twists, turns and ‘kinks’.  Think of  what you will use or make to decorate your tree as this will determine the size and strength you will need.

Now it is time to start the creative process. Will you leave it au naturel, or strip some or all of the bark, give it a rub with sand paper, oil it or even paint it to suit your decor?  Paint is optional and of course could be one color or many colors. Remember this is your tree and it is your whimsy so have fun with it.

Next we need a container to anchor the tree.  It needs to be something that will safely hold the tree and its decorations in place so it should have a bit of weight.  You can use  sand or rocks to hold it in place if it is larger. I have collected a few rocks and some granite eggs on trips (Rick loves it when I bring home rocks -even if they are shaped and polished.  He just shakes his head and asks if I could find something a bit heavier!)  I will use them at the base.

Now it is on to the ornamentation.  This can be whatever you wish to use.  I have some little Easter ornaments but you can make your own. Use decorated boiled eggs, blown eggs, construction paper eggs, yarn eggs, cottonball bunnies, felt chicks, flowers, origami birds etc.  Or if you are going for minimal perhaps just the tree anchored in a basket without further decoration.

Here is my tree.  HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

When our children were younger they would come to me and say “Mommy I am bored” to which I would reply “Boredom is a state of mind, find something to do and you will no longer be bored”. Lately that has been a test even for me. Not so much that I have been bored but feeling trapped. It is still a state of mind

Day after the first snow.

Day after the first snow.

What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

but at times I had to do some real self-talking to keep out of a slump. It started in December when we were snowed in for nearly two and a half weeks. There were days of brief sunshine which of course I inhaled with great joy, but it didn’t take away the snow, it just made it crispy and icy. It rained a couple of days, so on top of the snow it iced up the road, making it impossible to get in and out of our driveway.

It was relief to finally get out on New Years Eve. I don’t think I really appreciated ‘freedom’ until it wasn’t easily attained. I am usually quite a homebody and can stay at home for weeks without any thoughts of leaving. Those few weeks became quite a test!.

Midnight snowfall

Midnight snowfall

Next came the fog, thick peas soup fog which lasted for days!

Next came the fog.

Next came the fog.

Fog rolling in.

Are you wondering how everyone got in yet, I didn’t get out? Well had the need to exit been important we could have

Freighter coming out of the fog.

Freighter coming out of the fog.

Geese during snowfall

Geese during snowfall

worked at it. As a friend said “We did not have a burning desire to extricate ourselves from paradise!” After Christmas we were able to move our car to the end of the driveway, but the snow melted and froze the tires into the ice. We worked our way back to the house for another five days while Mother Nature melted it.

Jackfrost's artwork

Jackfrost's artwork

More of Jack's work

More of Jack's work

The photographic opportunities over the month were wonderful, such a variety of ever changing scenes. I hope you enjoy them! These two are my favorite.  I took them through the glass on the front deck.  Jack Frost’s artwork in the foreground!

Several great things happened during this month of strange weather that helped me re-focus on the bigger picture. First my mom and our daughter were able to get in and out before Christmas. Second we had a short day in Victoria so mom could have a visit with our son. Third and most important to me our son and daughter, their spouses and dogs made it in on Christmas Day. Through knee deep snow (no they were not barefoot in driving winds walking a mile!) they were able to carry their bags over their heads and no one slipped on the ice. Even our friends made it for dinner, although when they realized how bad the roads were they left shortly after dinner which meant we missed out on “Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” Whew! Our kids would have cleaned up!!

Janet Cameron has been doing art in many different mediums for many years. She is a self taught artist who attended school for a bit but when they told her it was impossible to do this or that with the different mediums she left. She had been doing those impossible things for years with great success.

When we met ten years ago she was producing ‘Thread Art’ pictures and was sewing as fast as she could. She took a hacksaw to the motor housing of her machine because it kept overheating. Still no matter how many she produced she could not keep up. Because it was such a unique craft – sewing a complete picture on canvas using a sewing maching – her work was in demand all over the world and the demand got to be too overwhelming, she got tired and has switched gears.

She had been busy with many smaller projects as she has switched mediums. She made geese out of old golf clubs, painted miniature pictures inside old barnacles, painted Santa Claus on toothpicks, painted Santa heads on each flap of a pine cone, made sheep out of papier mache, torn paper pictures, rug hooking, and several thread and acrylic commissions over the years. The list is extensive and varied. She uses these ‘fun projects’ as a break. I would go for coffee and put my feet up but she switches tables and keeps on working!

She is challenging herself with a different medium for now. She has moved on to ‘mud and acrylic on canvas’. She produced two one foot by one foot canvases of sheep last month. They were outstanding. She sells her work at Judy Mitchell Gallery and I think they sold before she got home from delivering them. Today she took two more of the same size and they sold before she left the parking lot. Her work is stunning and so realistic I would love to have a huge wall to display at least eight one foot by one foot sheep pictures. If she brings them over to show before she takes them to the gallery I will take a picture and put them up for you to enjoy.

I was privileged to see the first two sheep pictures the same day she took them to the gallery. They were so life like I stood and stared for over ten minutes, I knew they would sell instantly they stared right back and held your gaze!

When we asked Janet about art for the cookbook she said yes with great enthusiasm. We had no idea what she would come up with. The cartoon works in “Breakfast with the Broads” are sure to bring a smile. She has a great sense of humour and has applied it to the cartoon story board she has created for her characters.

We are privileged to own a variety of Janet’s art work and proud to call her our friend as well. If you come to stay with us and view her works, you will be amazed at her talent. And you may even get to meet her!

If Janet stops by and we happen to be serving Salmon Benedict I make sure I have a full jar of capers on hand as she is likely to design some sort of image on top of the Hollandaise Sauce using the capers. The more there are the happier she is as she loves capers!

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