nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for February 2020

Watercolour lessons

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Although I have painted in various media for years, I have never had a watercolour lesson. I decided to remedy this when a friend told me about a series of seven lessons being given in the evenings once a week at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.

This week will be my third class and I have already learned so much.

Lesson one was a review of the colour chart and I learned how to find the complimentary colour and make variants of grey.

Lesson two had us trying various techniques. I have never sprinkled salt on wet watercolour before – the effects are delightful.

Although I have used resist techniques before, it was fun using wax pencil to make a moon.

Watercolour is very relaxing. I love the wet-on-wet technique, watching how colours bleed into one another.

And here is my new watercolour of tiny trees.

Looking forward to this week’s lesson.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 28, 2020 at 7:00 am

Something the Sundial Said

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The new book in my Kaye Eliot Mystery Series will be released in a couple of days.  Something the Sundial Said features the main characters from the first book How Her Garden Grew. The Eliot family, Kaye and Michael, and their children, Katie and Matthew, have moved to a new home and discovered a new mystery to solve.

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The Eliots are a typical family: they have trouble communicating at times; they squabble; they keep secrets from one another. But they also work together when they face danger and they love to go on adventures together in Nova Scotia’s countryside.

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As in the first book, I have included an inanimate ‘character’. In How Her Garden Grew, it was the Grinning Tun, a seashell from tropical seas. In Something the Sundial Said, yes, you guessed it, it’s a sundial.  After the Eliots move into their new home, they discover the sundial in the garden is missing. And they find out the sundial was the setting for a murder a century ago. Of course they are going to search for it and try and bring it back home.

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sundial and lupins paperback

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Sundials are one of the many ways we have used to tell time. Using the shadow cast by the sun, a sundial counts the hours. Kaye and her kids find lots of sundials in their search for the Carmelwood sundial …

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At the end of the path, before it exited to a back yard, were three sundials. Odd to keep, indoors, lawn furniture that craved the sunlight.

The first was made of plastic. The circular, numbered dial perched on a curvy pedestal and the gnomon was a triangle, moulded to look like iron.

“A no-sun sundial.” Even Matt was not impressed.

The next was made of metal, perhaps copper. The flat plate was made to sit on a wall or railing. The designer had tried to appeal to a wide range of tastes and ethnicities. The outer rim was marked in Roman numerals. The inner rim was a decorative chain of Chinese characters. Beside the gnomon was a moveable dial showing the sun. In the small remaining space were words. “Others may tell of storms and showers. I only mark your sunny hours.” Matt was beginning to read and I sounded out the words for him.

The next sundial was made of grey marble with a wrought iron gnomon. It was perched on a slender metal stand with clawed bird’s feet. The caption on this one read “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

I looked at the three sundials. Our only clues to the Carmelwood sundial were the brief glimpse we’d had and the small grey blur in the oil painting, but I was certain none of the three was our sundial.

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I hope you enjoy Something the Sundial Said. Look for it here early in March.

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cover SSS scaled

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 26, 2020 at 7:00 am

collections

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In this age of “simplify, simplify” I cling to my collections. I collect paintings of poppies, tomatoware, botanical sculptures made of tin, books by various authors, and so on. I believe that collections are part of our identity; the things we collect explain elements of personality and history. Collections are probably a remnant of our ancient need to explore and understand our environment.

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I think other animals share this need to collect. Many rodents collect and hoard food and nesting materials. Some of this behavior is practical, ensuring plenty in lean times. However, I think some animals have a more frivolous need to collect.

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Recently, we moved the library in our house to another floor. Moving the contents of an entire room is a great opportunity to sort and clean. We have had mice in our house on at least three occasions in 40 years of our lives here. So I was not surprised to find a little mouse hoard in one hidden corner of the room.

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I was surprised at the contents of the hoard: one bright pink blood pressure pill, one pale pink cholesterol pill and one pale pink button. A mouse with a colour preference!

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Scan_20200224 (2)

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all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 24, 2020 at 11:24 am

coming in March: next book in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series

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The next book in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series will be released at the end of March. Something the Sundial Said continues the adventures of Kaye and her family, first seen in How Her Garden Grew. To catch up, get a copy of How Her Garden Grew (click here).

Something the Sundial Said:

“In 1995, Kaye and her young family attend a country auction, never dreaming the stone sundial in the garden is the site of a century-old murder. They end up buying the house and property but someone else buys the sundial. Then Kaye finds a diary written in 1880, chronicling the days leading up to the murder.

When Kaye reads the diary, she decides to search for the sundial and return it to the property. And she follows clues in the diary to discover who shot Rodney in the sundial garden.

At every corner, she is outmaneuvered by a local genealogist who is anxious to obtain the diary and keep information damaging to her family hidden. The woman will go to ridiculous lengths to obtain the diary, even stalking Katie, Kaye’s teenaged daughter. As Kaye discovers someone is entering her house at night to find the diary, she wonders who she can trust.”

Here is the cover art for Something the Sundial Said:

sss cover image

Cover art for How Her Garden Grew:

jdb1_1280

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 20, 2020 at 12:51 pm

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