The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

EF4887E2-B07C-4FFB-91F0-CE574CDD8C14

Last weekend I was driving down Mountain Rd in Moncton, minding my own business, when something caught my eye; I saw the most colourful and unique birdhouses strewn across a parking lot.

24F51CDE-3F94-4618-8EBA-A491439F449D

After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.

B1DFE901-6C47-4F1D-AA61-83FC1D3D48FB

Two funny things; the first is that the birdhouse lady’s name is Blanche, which in French means white; her birdhouses are pretty much every colour but white (except for her Acadian houses). The second thing is that I had just shared a blog post about colourful Maritime houses and then, bam! More colourful houses!

A666F8CA-ADDC-45F4-B75A-471BEE4B2BB8
Mary Helen made the observation that they looked like houses from Whoville in the Grinch.

 

I posted a few pics on Facebook and got inundated with questions of where people could buy them. Someone introduced me to her daughter who shared where her mom would be this weekend.

Weather permitting, on Saturdays Blanche is usually in Moncton on Mountain Rd, across the street from Rosario’s Restaurant. And on Sundays in Shediac, on the corner of Main St and Pointe du chêne Rd, in the parking lot across the Irving.

F39FDCDA-CB63-42FE-A946-180CA126E5C4

E824DF59-7AAF-4645-A754-0B17AA66C852

Blanche is a true folk artist with a warm and welcoming personality who creates beautifully colourful houses; they just making you smile when you see them. I went back to see her this morning to buy a few houses for one of my cousin’s and had the opportunity to chat with her for a bit.

Blanche was kind enough to share a bit of her background with me. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring; at 13 she found herself homeless and sleeping in a car. She experienced many traumatic events and hardships in her young life. Unable to read or write she turned to carpentry and has been working in construction all of her life.

First of all; how bad ass is it to be a woman who makes her living in construction? It’s super bad ass!! Lol. She shared that she is able to do pretty much everything except for brick layering. She owns a small house in Moncton and updated her plumbing on her own; once done she had a licensed plumber come check her work. He confirmed everything was up to code and done perfectly. She said that she made him turn the water back on and there were no leaks!

She started making and painting these little houses and sells them on weekends. After knowing more about Blanche, I believe that the reason that so many people are drawn to her houses is because it’s a reflection of her spirit and joie de vivre. It may sound corny, but I believe that when something is created with love people are unconsciously drawn to them.

42DA76AB-FDCC-4DAD-86A2-69EABC4E3A6A
Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

To contact Blanche you can leave her a message on Facebook (Blanche Young) and I encourage you to post pictures of your birdhouses once you get them home and tag her. Her daughter helps her with her Facebook page and will be posting updates on where she will be selling her works of art.

C52DD964-36E8-4DAF-B18F-B8BCD77DC25C

CF710665-1AD2-44F2-90CE-E0C4260D3C40

Thank you for reading! Like Blanche’s Facebook page: Blanche Young. Let’s support our local artists and let’s be thankful for all the bad ass woman out there, they are an example for us all!

muah!

Liette

32F94508-3786-486A-A238-1C4AC9DCFD44

DC78495F-7CF4-44BB-85AA-296880BE4D35

 

 

Colours of the Maritimes

Colours of the Maritimes


One of the things that struct me when I first moved, to the west coast of the US, was that all the houses were the same colour, a light beige ish, they also all looked the same. They were all Spanish looking, at least they looked Spanish ish to a girl from the east coast.

I would go to my friends homes and have to look up the house number because once on the proper street, I couldn’t remember which house was theirs, even though I had been there before.

I moved to the desert in the summer when everything was brown and dried up. I remember how green everything looked on my first visit back to Canada. I had never noticed how freaking green New Brunswick was; I was seriously amazed.

FD99BD18-CAEA-41C2-AA87-9B41A1B322F6
I’d love to live in a green house with a lilac coloured door.

The same was true with the houses; who knew that Maritime houses were so exotic? Growing up here exotic was the last word I would have used to describe anything about us.

032915E3-6602-43E7-8471-2080D155B776

Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been unconsciously  taking pictures of colourful houses. I am always taking pictures of random things. I notice my new obsession with brightly coloured houses when I happened upon this pink house, below, during a Covid sanity drive; as I drove past it I had an uncontrollable need to turn around and take a picture of it. I physically had to stop, turn around, and take a picture.

9048EB0A-751B-426D-AAEB-6F70EF9127D3
I want to live in a pink house.
3D3C5E1B-3888-4EA8-B816-F2744A5658DD
This is a house in NS, don’t let the US flag fool you.

My hope for this post is that my fellow Maritimers will look at the pretty pictures and be like; she’s right, these are pretty funky. And that my American desert friends will enjoy looking at exotic homes from where I grew up.

36A2DD19-531A-4AF3-BFA4-799A3379757A
One of the ladies who lives in this house is from les îles de la Madeleine, they are famous for colourful houses.

These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!

D78BB43E-72B3-4737-9856-EBA226515D43

Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.

F2268552-68A8-4DDE-A66B-867007C168E4

419B8066-6C67-4B69-B9B3-D0F1A2D8B619

I know that colourful houses are not unique to Atlantic Canada. I did a bit of research and the most common explanation is that it ties back to fishing villages. Fishermen would paint their homes vibrant colours in order to see them as they sailed into the harbour. I’ve always loved colour, as a Maritimer, I guess it’s in my DNA.

E3338C8B-2D53-4722-A587-0CCC58478A49

D6E4298B-74DF-4E65-B448-BA07F7F854C1

DEAC2744-FC5F-4FE7-AA15-730F3B9051E3

I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?

AFC22C27-1E44-4287-833E-70F606E72F84

Once we are allowed to roam between province, I am going to add to my colourful house pictures to my collection; ouff I can’t wait to roam!

EB10C9AD-DB69-48BC-BD81-04718FC5F824

This post could have been called Colours of Atlantic Canada in order to include Newfoundland and it’s beautiful row houses, I’ll do a dedicated post to them on my next trip to the rock.

Thank you for reading this cheery post, I felt something light, fluffy and pretty was called for.

muah!

Liette

924A3294-48ED-4663-A7C7-72764D3C99FB