Madeira and its Landmarks

PART FIVE A VISIT TO MACHICO

Machico was the original capital of the island in the early days of its settlement. It was first settled in 1491. As I understand it, Machico was only favoured until they discovered Funchal, which is about 20 minutes or 17 kilometres further West.

Machico Madeira Views Machico Madeira Views

In the town square, you can see an old public water fountain circa 1929. The architecture shows evidence of Machico being a very old city, and much of the streets are cobble stone, and feature a rustic look.

Machico Madeira Views Machico Madeira Views

The large mountains act as a protector of the small town.

Machico Madeira Views

A small feline Machiquenise resident of the town of Machico.

Machico Madeira Views

A bridge crossing a creek in the town. The creek leads to the ocean and beach area.

Machico Madeira Views

An East facing view of the town. As you can see, there are mountains in the East and West of the town, with the beach at the southern tip.

Machico Madeira Views

The southern tip of Machico- the beach with imported sand. During the winter months, the locals are rarely at any beach as they describe 20 degree Celsius weather as “too cold”. Most of the people here are all tourists from colder regions. Regardless of the temperature, the view is lovely.

NEXT: PART SIX FAVOURITE VIEWS OF MACHICO, MADEIRA

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Madeira and its Landmarks

Part one

This December holiday, we decided to leave the country to a sunny destination. My Partner is Portuguese, so among the list of possible destinations was the beautiful island of Madeira, a territory of Portugal.Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood

While examining what specific areas and towns to visit in this exuberant country, we had considered two places: Funchal and Machico. These locations are very popular for tourists, as well as being locations where my Partner has family living. When possible, it is enjoyable to see a foreign country as the locals do. I know that this is not always possible, but it offers a nice change of pace, scenery, and general attitude toward life for Western born people.

Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood2

We decided to chose our top option and stayed in Funchal, Madeira. This capital city is home to a comfortable condominium apartment in the neighbourhood of Sao Joao, which served us well as our accommodation for our trip.

Our rental car from Madeira Rentals was a sporty car equipped with GPS.

We wisely chose to spend a little extra money on a European Roaming Package for my mobile phone. It cost an extra 90$ on top of my monthly fee, but the amount of headaches that were alleviated by having access to Google Maps was well worth the cost.

NEXT: OUR VISIT TO DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO

Steph’s Super Shea Organic Body Butter

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  • 10 oz Yellow or White Shea Butter (or 2/3rds of a 16 oz tub)
  • 1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
  • 3 ½ tablespoon Glycerine
  • 3 tablespoons distilled or natural spring water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 drops of your favourite essential oil

Pre-fluff Shea Butter in a mixer on medium with a flat paddle. I use my electric mixer on a medium setting to accomplish this.

Melt coconut oil in a small bowl. Place small bowl in a shallow dish with hot water. Using a microwave will minimize the quality of the end product.

Strain melted coconut oil and mix into a small bowl. Add Vitamin E and stir gently.

Turn mixer on medium with pre-fluffed Shea Butter and pour coconut oil and Vitamin E mixture over top. Add Glycerine.

Pause your mixing at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure a good consistent mix.

Once well mixed, turn mixer on high to whip the butter. Add 3 table spoons of water. Speed must be high to “emulsify” the water into the oily mixture, or else it won’t combine and will just sit on top.

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Add in your essential oils to add your custom luxury scent!

 

Best stored in a jar with a screw-top lid.

New Art: Bow Ties!

I recently discovered an info graphic that was depicted a step by step process of how to make a bow tie.

It was a  tempting offer, since I had a few left over scraps selvages from exquisite materials I had used on earlier projects (*ahem-aprons*). I decided to give it a try, and found:

  • Bow ties are really handsome and can adorn a lot more a neck.
  • They can be made out of any material, and embellished with very different trims and lace- There is no limit to how creative you can get.
  • You can decide how fancy (or un-fancy you would like to make a bow tie depending on the pleats, material, trims, embellishments and style of the tie.
  • And finally: they are so easy to make!

Here are some great links to various styles of bows:

Simple Bow Tie hair clip

Another variation of the same method I used.

 

Here are photos of what I came up with:

 

And finally…

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I had to try one on- they are too cute to resist! I wore one to work the other day, and it was a hit with my colleagues. Paired with a pale blue dress shirt, gold cuff links, and ultra skinny black pants, my outfit was feminine and chic.

Thanks for reading,

S

 

 

 

 

 

Phantom Faces in colour

My latest work is a colourful study of phantom faces.

I wondered what it might be like to draw faces on canvas with India ink, and have them obscured by blended acrylic, like clouds of colourful milk in coffee.

My favourite of the three is this one:

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I wanted to capture the feeling of a first kiss. Eyes closed, and embracing the warmth of the moment, with a splash of orange excitement. I hung this 10 x 10 inch piece on the wall near my side of the bed.

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The eyes have it all in this piece. The concept is similar except orange represents desire in addition to excitement. The face is nondescript and slightly obscured by green smoke. The varied shades of green in this piece represent  renewed interest, ambition, and a slight sense of greed. Though desire exists in the subject’s eyes, there is an element of greed suggested here because the desire is directed somewhere it should not be. This is further supported by the overall obstruction of the phantom face…hidden feelings.

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Finally, the last but not the least of my three piece study of phantom faces. In this piece the phantom face has been completely taken over by the hot emotion of attraction. The subject’s face has been totally obscured and only the bridge of a nose and an ear can be seen.  I took my time with the application of orange in this piece. I did not want it to bleed and mix into the blue and yellow layers beneath; so I allowed the entire thing to dry completely before adding the final orange layer.

Passion, and excitement: I think my work is moving in a positive direction!

Thanks for reading,

-S

Experimental work for Spring 2017: Eden Grove

Acrylic on wood panel yellow, green, brown
Acrylic on wood panel

Spring is on its way!

I have been back to my experimental roots, and came up with this latest work while working on wood panels. This is a 14″ x 14″ wood panel. I still use canvas, but the wood can be so much more compact and full of texture than stretched art canvas.

Working with wood has been a nice change. Right now, I am working on a very exuberant acrylic on canvas piece that incorporates bright red and yellow. It’s different, and I can’t wait to post it as soon as I feel that it is complete.

Thanks for reading, and visit again soon!

-S

Behind the scenes: Eden Grove hanging
Behind the scenes: Eden Grove hanging

Jaune Tide: Acrylic on canvas 

Spring is nearly here: however in Southern Ontario, that does not always mean it will be warm outside or without snow.

The weather has been trite with gloomy over cast and threats of blizzards this week; so I decided to create a piece that would be an antithesis to current moods.

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I call my latest piece: Jaune (yellow) Tide.

I integrated bright yellows, cerulean blues, aqua, and green hues in vibrant splashes on a gallery wrapped canvas. My favourite parts of this piece are the bright expanses of Yellow that bring warmth and happiness to the eye. The aqua is a nice offset against the blue as well.

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As with many of my paintings, it can be hanged in any orientation; although it is difficult for me to decide where to sign each piece. I may adopt a symbol for signing my work in the future, so as to reduce the impact of a signature.

Thanks for reading,

-S