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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer in the City and day trips to the country

Our long time and close friends moved to their country property some six years ago.  Their 50 acre property is situated on a hillside approximately one hour east of Toronto.  Nine horses, two dogs and three barn cats share the space.  Tuscany come to mind as we approach their home.  Two streams of fresh spring water flow through the property.

J outlines the property line to Helen
Horses happily grazing
Both J and O are excellent cooks and lunch was a feast of fresh farm and some home grown

Bleu and Jolie guard the fridge

The century old home has been renovated  using salvaged material and large picture windows have been installed to achieve maximum light.  From the kitchen window one can watch the horses travel to and from  the barn.

The day went by all too quickly and we promised we would get together again very soon.

I am painting in encaustic which is beeswax and oil

Summer Blessings original encaustic by Helen Tilston

Are you catching up with friends this summer?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Polo, Chukkas and Pleasure

Helen Tilston & Fred Mannix Jr.
Polo for Heart was held today.  Picnics were once again packed and we headed to the Polo Club.
Canada's No. 1 player is Fred Mannix Jr. (pictured above). He introduced us to his beautiful wife Kelesea and baby Brooklyn.   He looks forward to playing in the Triple Crown in Argentina this coming Autumn. He told us Buenos Aires is his favourite place to play polo.  "It has it all. History, great fields, the best horses and players in the world make it just about the best place to play. For those who have played here they know the unique feeling of riding out onto the best polo in the world."  He has played polo with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William saying they are all very enthusiastic polo playe

This year, we welcomed Team Mexico.  Below are members of team Mexico demonstrating the 3 different shots taken with  sticks.  One shot surprised me.  The stick swings beneath the chin of the horse.

My "new best friend" Fred Manniz Jr.

The Calendon Eglinton Hunt Club were guests and travelled with their 24 hounds, consisting of 12 male and 12 female hounds which is what they hunt with.
Many stylish guests brought their dogs and one wore spots to match her dog's markings.

Polo Team being presented with prizes
Sky-divers entertained us

There were tents selling elegant clothing, jewellery and equestrian style furnishings
 These saddle stools actually twirl.

Would you use these stools in your home?  Do you enjoy polo?

(All photos by Helen Tilston)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Adirondack Mountains Welomes Artists

Helen painting by Mirror Lake, Lake Placid
Mary Rose painting outside our home away from home
Violetta paints in early morning light
Long time friends who have a second home in the Adirondacks extended an invitation.  Our arms did not need much twisting.  My art partners, Violetta, Mary Rose and I are presently exploring the area and the painting subjects are numerous.  The scenery is varied and spectacular.

Helen and Violetta enjoying the open fire

Mirror Lake - Lake Placid

Lake Placid, home to the Winter Olympics in 1980 sits on Mirror Lake.  Many athletes  train here.

Helen painting at Atea's Garden

There is magic in the light that surrounds Lake Champlain and Essex. Our friend Atea invited us to paint at her home and her gardens are tended with love.

There more than eight variety of peony ploom.

Each day commences with a delicious breakfast.  Violetta is an excellent cook and today it is crepes.
Violetta flipping crepes
Mary Rose built this great fire

Each morning the deer assemble to greet us.
Violetta paints by Mirror Lake
Atea's Garden - Mary Rose painting
Atea presented us with this bouquet of peony

I must rush we are headed to a town called Essex to paint some more. Wishing you a delightful week.

Have you been to the Adirondacks?   Have you visited an Olympic village?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Engineer's Ring and Winning a Prize

Stainless Steel Engineer's ringH
This week, on the street, I met a man whom I worked with for many years. On my last assignment with "Mr X"  I had the pleasure of working alongside thirty engineers for a year.  Many were exceptionally gifted.
 Several had Double  Master degrees and still graduated from University in their early 20's.  One was a member of the Young Presidents' Organization.
One tip I picked up which I employ to this day is the "Engineer's Notebook".  A lined hard-covered black journal which goes to meetings and all items of importance and some not so important are entered.  Despite computer notepads, several used the hard covered journal. (this book has been a valuable  reference)

All  Engineers proudly wore a stainless ring on their pinkie finger.

The history of the ring for Canadian Engineers I found fascinating.

The Ring may be made from either wrought iron  or stainless steel. The rings are given in ceremonies held at individual universities.   Toronto  have completely stopped conferring rings made of iron and have switched to stainless steel rings.
Many believe,  that the rings are made from the steel of a beam from the first Quebec Bridge which collapsed during construction in 1907. Seventy-five construction workers died in the collapse which was attributed to poor planning and design by the overseeing engineers.

The Iron Ring is worn on the little finger (pinky)of the working (dominant) hand; this would be the left hand for a left handed person. There, the facets act as a sharp reminder of one's obligation while the engineer works, because it could drag on the writing surface while the engineer is drawing or writing. This is particularly true of recently obligated engineers, whose rings bear sharp, unworn, facets. Protocol dictates that the rings should be returned by retired engineers or by the families of deceased engineers. Some camps offer previously obligated or "experienced" rings, but they are now rare due to medical and practical complications.
The Ring itself is small and understated, designed as a constant reminder, rather than a piece of jewelry. The Rings were originally hammered manually with a rough outer surface. The modern machined ring design is unique, a reminder of the manual process. Twelve half-circle facets are carved into the top and bottom of the outer surface, with the two halves offset by one facet radius.

This week I received, a winning gift of perfume by Annick Goutal called Gardenia Passion.
A big warm thank you to Vicki Archer.  A most generous give away and I shall using it sparingly and treasure it.  I have been following her blog French Essence for many years.

Have you won an gifts from bloggers?