Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

Every year the Deggan clan gathers for Easter on Gaviola Island. We decorate Easter eggs, eat far too much, and discuss modern art. The latter ought to require ear plugs for safety.

The last time we were able to make it was when Maïa was a wee babe, and so we were very excited to be able to join the family this year. My sister-in-law, who is currently in Germany with her boys for a few weeks, kindly gave us the key to her house on Gabriola, and we enjoyed the luxuries of hot showers and real beds rather than the tent or tiny cabin we usually stay in. We made it out to Gaviola on Saturday. The weather forecast, which had predicted rain with great confidence, was once again proved wrong and we were blessed with a gorgeous warm spring sun. We walked around the island and both Lonny and I went a little camera happy (see photos below!).

On Sunday we had an egg hunt in the rain (the forecast had predicted sun on that day). Maïa didn't seem to notice, however, and was delighted with her soggy chocolate eggs. And speaking of eggs...on our way home to Seattle, after stopping for a quick visit with Grandma in White Rock, we drove to the border and were delighted to find that there was no lineup. I was especially delighted mostly because I had to pee and was looking forward to stopping in Blaine at the gas station to fill up, and, well, empty.

The border guard asked us the usual questions, to which we replied: " Bellevue, and just an Easter basket." He raised his eyebrows, and asked if we had any Kinder Eggs. Lonny was telling him no when I looked around to check Maïa's basket, only to find a Kinder Egg sitting atop it, in plain view. I immediately notified Lonny, who notified the guard, who actually went a bit pink and said it would be seized and destroyed but we wouldn't be fined this time. At this point we were still both thinking that this was some sort of a joke, although were well aware that border guards don't usually have a sense of humour. We did our utmost not to laugh as we were asked to pull over, leave the vehicle and enter a building while they searched the car for drugs, weapons, and, I suppose, more eggs.

Once inside, no less than five guards, all at least six foot four and twice as wide, confiscated our contraband and began the paperwork. We were notified that the egg was a choking hazard, and would be destroyed by fire. At this point Lonny and I were no longer able to control our giggles. This was not helping my situation, and my bladder was protesting. I searched for the restrooms, only to discover that I had been sitting next to a large sign which read: No cell phones, No restrooms. And the guard was making his fifth attempt at spelling Bellevue, with the assistance of the other four guards who were taking turns hitting the delete key.

I can say I was extremely relieved to be released, despite the fact that Maïa's little basket was short one egg. I hope they at least ate the damn thing, that's some pretty tasty chocolate. Perhaps they were planning a chocolate fondue?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weekend of play

A happy day! The sun came out, and we spent the afternoon working in the front yard. I got my raised bed finished, and am now ready to plant my lettuce and chard. I think the kids would rather keep it as a playpen!

my first sprouts!

We took a break from our yard work to check out a garage sale two streets away...and came home with the most darling chest of drawers for Maïa's room. In the family for three generations, solid oak with a gorgeous mirror, needs a little tlc but nothing major. Am thinking from the 1920's. I love old pieces. Also bought some wooden kitting needles and some yarn for the kids. Their Papa will get to teach them how to use them! One of the benefits of being married to an ex-Waldorfian.

test drive

Thursday, April 2, 2009

teo's stripes

oil on birch panel
10" square

There are two things I have re-discovered this week: Trader Joe's and oil painting. Both of which I was deprived of for far too long due to, well, babies. Well worth it though, of course. But yes, Kieran is now quite happy to sit in a shopping cart and flirt with other shoppers while I navigate us through Trader Joe's. I used to order pretty much everything and have it delivered, which isn't bad, but not the same as actually going out and getting to buy nice things for crazy cheap. And talk to real people. Love how small the store is too, I don't feel like I'm compeeting in the Iron Man if I forget the milk at the opposite end of the store.

As for the oils, Teo's Stripes is my first oil painting in years. Kieran is now going to bed earlier, and I actually get a real chunk of time before he figures out that the pillow isn't me. Which means time to paint!!! I can't tell you how happy this makes me. And painting on the birch is heavenly.

And here are some photos of the kiddos. Isn't Maïa's little top just the most adorable thing you've ever seen? I realize that the craft matches perfectly. This was unintentional...Maïa picked out the felt from her craft box. Or maybe she's really that coordinated. Watch out Martha!

teething and none too happy, poor little dude.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My cradled birch panels finally arrived today! Yay! I had decided not to touch these until the weather warmed up enough for me to work on them in the garage, a space which I am slowly claiming as studio space. But as soon as I opened the box, I simply could not resist. We taped the sides off, and I applied a coat of buff on one of them, and tried out the yellow ochre on another. The buff is pretty much the same colour as the birch, which is a nice neutral base to work with. The yellow ochre looked more like Dijon mustard when first applied, with way more yellow than ochre, but it is calming down a bit as it dries so I am hopeful.

Oh I can't wait to get these babies covered in oils! I have been filling my sketchbook with ideas and am dreaming of colours...I am into red right now. Looks like Lonny will get to watch the kids for a few hours this weekend, here's hoping it's warm enough to set up in the garage.

Speaking of the garage, while rummaging for brushes I was startled by the sound of dirt being deposited all over the window. Splat, splat splat! The neighbour is having his roof power-washed and basically the entire side of our house in now covered with what was once on his roof. I went out to try and get the guy's attention but no luck with the noise. Grrrrrrrr.