Tag Archives: saint john

Growing an organic garden cat, herbs, flowers and vegetables

Missy two shoes licking water droplets off of rainbow chard

Missy’s gotten herself into the habit of traveling into the garden to lick water droplets off the rainbow chard leaves after a rainfall or watering. I’ve been harvesting the chard for about six weeks now. It will continue growing well into the fall of the year.

Dill growing in the garden surrounded by mulch

Along the side of the foundation in the backyard I planted herbs. This is the dill with a few yellow pansies in the background. It’s about 16 inches in height now and is close to flowering. I think I’ll pick off the flowers and dry them as the whole plant is edible. By picking off the flower blooms you’ll force the plant to continue growing both taller and fuller. the flowers on the dill plant are where the seeds are created. I’ll likely keep one or two clusters of flowers and allow them to turn to seed and harvest those seeds in the fall. Continue reading

Seasonal Kaleidoscopes or Why I Like Winter

Each Winter I seem to migrate no hibernate into my dreams, put paint brush to hand and begin painting floral and embellished little artworks. Stroke after stroke I load the paintbrush and simply paint. I think it dawned on me that much of my recent angst was due to not letting my mind flow freely and for me that means creating sometimes anything.

While living in Vancouver I dearly missed Winter and the quietness it brought about. The seasons their blend into each other with Winter being but a blip of minor cold and incessant rain in December and January. There is no distinct separation of Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring. And this really affected my psyche, as for 30 years I was acclimatized to distinct seasonal separations and time lapses. That first year I remember thinking when does Winter start or end for that matter? And when does Spring arrive? Yes, the Magnolia’s and Cherry tree blossom’s bloomed but the grass was green in February when I arrived, and it was 11º Celsius when I a stepped off the plane in a bulky Winter coat thinking I’ve arrived in paradise. Is this really Canada? Continue reading

The shoveling of Snow and housekeeping of home

On Sunday, Saint John received it’s first snowfall. And with that comes the task of clearing of said snow from walkways, stairs, driveways and decks. I was pooped after shoveling, only to have to clean up the house afterwords.

Each Sunday, I strip the tenants beds, wash linens and towels, vacuum, clean the bathrooms and basically restock toilet paper, hand towels and other common goods that are included with the rent. I’ve got it down to a science, after doing this for the last four months and it takes me about four hours from beginning to end to do the housekeeping chores. I look it at as my part-time job. I claim the income from the rentals and pay much extra for residential insurance as opposed to regular home insurance which will not cover you when you rent to more than one person within your own home. And I rent to up to three people at times. At the moment, I have two tenants; one long-term and one short-term and am hoping to have another tenant by mid-next week who is coming to Saint John from Montreal for a work contract.

By doing it by the book, I am able to claim a percentage of all cleaning supplies, toilet paper, heating, power, cable, internet, furniture, bedding etc that the tenants use. On top of that, because I run and operate a business within this home I needed additional business insurance and therefore can claim all related utilities, basically a 1/4 of the main floor of the house. I can claim about 4/5 of my home as business due to the rental and art business combined, and do pay dearly for the insurance of both. The paperwork of running two businesses is a another job unto itself!

I raised the rents from $125 per week to $150 per week as the expenses were a bit more than I initially calculated. However, when compared to other room rentals available within the city my rooms are on the higher end of renting but they are legal, clean, bright, spacious and well maintained.

And I guess, that is what matters.

Needless to say, come late Sunday night I was exhausted after shoveling snow for two and half hours and then cleaning house for four hours, as both are very labour intensive. I definitely do not need a gym membership.

Begin RANT – I was just today declined for life insurance. Don’t ever get Crohn’s disease and/or mental health or addiction issues as you will be declined if you are self-employed and single in Canada. This is frustrating. I can’t get health insurance and now life insurance to, unless I am employed by a company who offers group insurance or am married and under my partners plan. Thank god I live in Canada where at least health care is free. We do need to pay for dental, eye care and prescription drugs (which would be covered if you had insurance) but anything else is free. BUT STILL I’ve been in remission from Crohn’s for 12 freaking years and clean of addiction for four years! End RANT

You are invited…

…to my home.

For a Merry Christmas open studio & art sale
Friday, December 4, 2009 – 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Saturday, December 5, 2009 – 11:00AM to 4:00PM

Hope you can make it even just to say hi to Milton the Fish!

Original artwork & illustrations, matted prints, framed art, open and limited edition prints, miniature prints, 2010 Art calendars, regular and miniature greeting card sets and handpainted art boxes will be on hand.

Oh and ho ho ho!
My address is 40 Park Avenue
Saint John, NB

There is plenty of free off street parking or if you are taking the bus my house sits directly on the East/West bus routes.


View Larger Map

Merry Merry!

Thoughts on that Christmas Art Show at Harbour Station

Well, now that a few days have passed, my mind seems to be calming from the experience of prepping, setting up, selling, tearing down and unpacking from the Art’s and Craft’s Sale held at Harbour Station this past weekend.

I’m not sure if my mind has calmed much if at all. It seems to be on hyperdrive these last few weeks between trying to find new tenants, managing this household and selling on Etsy and wondering where I fit into this world.

I guess I fit right here in my home, both online and offline. :)

The show was good. Not as good financially as I had hoped for as I am short two tenants but not as bad as it could have been. My booth display needs work for future shows yet it was presentable and people saw my artwork, commented and bought. That in itself; the getting of feedback and of having your work received by a public you’ve sheltered yourself from, for so long was invigorating, exciting and downright thrilling at times.

I met some fantastic people who surprisingly either follow my blog and/or new of my Etsy shop and dropped by to say so. I met students of art, mothers and daughters, my ex-husband, extended family members namely cousins (as I have close to 40 first cousins), old school mates from secondary school, other artists and crafters, shop owners and a few folks from government art agencies and many new faces! It was so nice to meet, talk with and see you all!

And I earned enough that I was able to pay a bit to both my Mom and Dad and Tricia for their help during the weekend. That felt great!

I’ll be doing it all over again in 2010 having booked and paid a deposit to reserve my spot for then. Hope to see you next year! Until then my online art shop found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JessicaDoyle is open 24/7 and whatever you order is carefully packaged by me and shipped directly to your home from mine.

Cheers! Thanks everyone! xo

Do keep in mind that online Holiday Shipping and Ordering Deadlines are approaching quickly.

I am selling my art at Rhodas Christmas Festival at Harbour Station this weekend!

Wow, what an insane couple of week’s it has been getting ready for this giant upcoming sale. I will be selling my originals, prints, limited edition prints, ACEO (wallet size) mini prints, matted prints, calendars, greeting cards and miniature greeting cards. Also on hand will be a nice selection of framed and ready to hang artwork.

Rhodas Christmas Festival of Arts, Crafts, Food, and Antiques at Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick

20 Nov 2009 , 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM
21 Nov 2009 , 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
22 Nov 2009 , 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

If there is an original illustration, mixed media or artwork in my Etsy shop that you have been eying I suggest buying it before the weekend as they will be traveling to the show with me.

Tens of thousands of people attend this annual show. I’m beyond excited. Every last penny I had went into producing enough stock for the show and I met my goal for production late last night or should that be early this morning at 3:30AM.

harbour-station-sale

My Mom and Dad (John) are helping me with set-up on Thursday night. Mom (Louella) will be working the booth with me on both Friday and Sunday. My bother’s girlfriend (Trisha) is working the booth with me on Saturday. Do come by to say hi and see the art in person!

aceo-art-by-jessicadoyle

The screen shot above shows a selection of original miniature art and prints which make great stocking stuffers!

Whilst driving home on Saturday night I hit this stillness of noise

Let me elaborate:

The roads in Saint John are not for the faint of heart. They are twisting, potted, patched and pitted with most yellow and white lines missing or faded beyond recognition. Decades of shaded grey tar and layered pavement speckle the streets, avenues and thruways of this industrial seaside city. If you are not familiar from whence you are going you will get lost or in the least damage your car during your trek.

One learns quickly and avidly takes delight in swerving into oncoming traffic so as to not hit a monstrous gaping hole in the road and becomes adept in the management of not looking ahead to far while driving which in turn circumvents everything one was taught when learning to drive as a teenager.

I can remember the driving instructor saying “Jessica, look ahead 3 telephone poles and follow at least a car length behind the vehicle in front of you for every 10KM of speed you are travelling.”

LOOK.

At 11:00PM on Saturday night I was driving home on the twisting winding Old Red Head road after deciding not to take the new, improved, speedy highway as the old road is vintage and just plain to damn cool to not drive upon when I hit this patch of blazing black freshly paved surface. No bumps. No more swerving. No more orange pylons marking where the road had washed out or deteriorated. I slowed right down to 20 clicks. I smiled deeply looking at the moon upwards in the sky and staring at the glittering sea to the left and with the looming gigantic science fiction inspiring Irving oil refinery in front of me… Wow! Inspiration. Juxtaposition. SILENCE.

Brain on Overload

I almost wanted to pull over and just listen to it all. It was so quiet on that road that night. As quickly as it began it was stolen again and I resumed the road war to get home along Bayside Drive. Holy shit that road is in rough shape.

On a side note:
I’m 14 days smoke free today!
I get the keys to my new house on Thursday!
I was visiting my good friends Lisa and Jillian that Saturday night!
And I’ve been gardening!