The Art of … Caine, Again

Surprise! It’s another unfinished painting by Caine, sent in by her husband, Dakota Grease Monkey

Another unfinished artwork by C, directly painted on a wall, circa 2006. About 20″ X 20″, ( .5 X .5 meters).
I don’t know if C ever shared these works, but it’s time to share, now.

untitled portrait, ©Caine, all rights reserved.

The Art of … Caine!

I don’t normally put the artist’s name in The Art of… title, but today’s art is special, and I want as many people as possible to see it. It was sent in by Caine’s husband, DakotaGreaseMonkey, and I couldn’t be happier to share it. There is one other piece of Caine’s art that I will be sharing later in the week and a surprise bit of art by DakotaGreaseMonkey himself. You won’t want to miss any of it.

This is an unfinished bit of C’s art, painted on the wall. It is huge, about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide ( about 2.4 M  X 1.8 M ). No way to move it that I know of other than through pictures.

Unfinished wall art by Caine.



It’s Founder’s Day

Today would have been Caine’s birthday, and we’d like to celebrate it by officially designating the day as Founder’s Day here at Affinity. Caine started this blog in July of 2016, and her witty, insightful and eloquent writing coupled with her artistic talent, made the blog instantly appealing and quickly beloved. Her birthday seems like the right day to celebrate her legacy and all the gifts she shared with us. We decided as a team that we would celebrate today with a collection of photos that remind us of Caine. We hope you enjoy them and encourage you to share your memories of Caine in the comments section.

Note: This post has been updated to add 2 photographs that I missed from rq.

From Charly,

I remember Caine whenever I pick up my camera because she introduced me to photography and bird watching. By publishing my amateurish pictures, giving them platform and having nothing but kind words about them, she gave me motivation to go out and do something at a time when I was suffering from heavy depression, and doing anything at all was difficult. 
I have always admired her ability to make the most beautiful and interesting pictures by photographing the most ordinary things. So I took my camera today and I went in the garden to take pictures of completely ordinary things. Not arranging or changing anything, just pointing and clicking. I think I went a bit overboard and I cannot decide which of these are best to publish. They all remind me of Caine in one way or another – the bird-pecked sunflower, the late dandelion, the thorny hawthorn, the rough patterns on an old chopping block… All ordinary things, but each unique and beautiful.

Apple, ©Charly, all rights reserved

Fall leaves,©Charly, all rights reserved

Dandelion fluff,©Charly, all rights reserved

Firebrick pile,©Charly, all rights reserved

Firewood pile,©Charly, all rights reserved

Hawthorn,©Charly, all rights reserved

Sunflower,©Charly, all rights reserved

Strawberry patch,©Charly, all rights reserved

Sidewalk,©Charly, all rights reserved

Rubbish,©Charly, all rights reserved

Rotting Wood,©Charly, all rights reserved

Moss Garden,©Charly, all rights reserved

Lonely plant,©Charly, all rights reserved

From Giliell,

Caine taught me to look at things, really look at them. Oh, she loved the grand, spectacular shots, but she also had an amazing eye for the small things, the things people would just walk by, but that are also just as beautiful.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Dimensions

©Giliell, all rights reserved. A fleeting moment in time

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Tree bark

©Giliell, all rights reserved. A fairy castle

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Colours. Two varieties of the same plant


 I am very sure that Caine would have loved our resident rodents. She just loved all creatures. She showed me that you needn’t be religious or believe in anything supernatural to feel a deep, spiritual connection with the world around you.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Candy in paradise

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Estelle loves running

From rq,

Daffodils in the snow ©rq, all rights reserved.

Because Caine loved daisies ©rq, all rights reserved.

the hoverfly because flowers + insects and the spring’s first dandelion will be along soon ©rq, all rights reserved.

From Voyager,

I find it hard to put into words the way that Caine impacted my life. Much like Charly, I was in a bad place when I started blogging here. I’d been sick for years and struggling, but Caine believed in me and was endlessly supportive during a time when her own life was full of pain and turmoil. That support helped me redefine myself as something besides being chronically ill and this beautiful blog that she bequeathed to us continues to nurture me. I thank her for the gift of seeing the beauty in common things and for allowing me to become a part of the wonderful community that she created.

My boy Jack who started it all ©voyager, all rights reserved.

A touch of red ©voyager, all rights reserved.

My favourite cathedral ©voyager, all rights reserved.

Frog pond in colour ©voyager, all rights reserved.

Jack doing what he loves best ©voyager, all rights reserved.

A bit of reflection,©voyager, all rights reserved

Fire on the water©voyager, all rights reserved.


Degupdate Getting Snuggly.

It’s rare for me to like pics of myself. There are hardly any anyway, because I’m usually the camera person, but Candy has gotten me to take selfies. Also, the light in the degu run is pretty flattering, I think, and the degus make me happy, so who cares for the double chin when you got happiness?

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Estelle is definitely getting more trusting. She comes out almost immediately now, puts her tiny feetses on me and takes treats. Oh, and tries whether my thumb is edible… She is also clearly the clumsy one. Where Candy has added the top of the side track to her territory, Estelle just makes it on top of the box next to it, doesn’t manage to get up and then does a half climb, half jump, half fall off it again. Yes, three halves, that’s how clumsy she is.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

They still make me think of Caine and her kingdom of rats a lot. She would be absolutely delighted with the degus.

Degupdate: Snugglebeasties and DIY

Slowly, the reality of having degus is getting us. No matter how much you read, it’s never going to come close. First of all, the two remaining degus have completely different characters. Candy will come to my hand as soon as I open the door and see if there’s a treat for her. I think before long she’ll ride on our shoulders.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As a result, Estelle is often missing out on the best treats. She still vanishes either inside the house or behind it and will not move any closer to us. Best we managed so far is that she no longer whistles in panic all the time. I try to place the treat near her while Candy is nibbling hers so she can get her nut as well.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s not like I’m worried about her. She’s obviously growing and in good shape, her fur is shiny and silky, and when I sit down and just watch from a distance, she is active and interacting with Candy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved The picture quality is sadly very bad as there wasn’t much light.

I love watching them. I just sit in an armchair for 15 minutes and watch them “talk” to each other, take a sand bath, or try to destroy Degustan. It’s so relaxing. It also makes me think of Caine a lot and her ratitude.

But talking about the reality: The People Who Tell You About Degus insisted that you can let them run in your room for an hour every day. After the two escapes by Estelle and the one by Candy it’s become clear that this is not an option. The room has way too many places where a degu can vanish and even possibly hurt herself. Also capturing them before they’re totally tame would always mean extreme amounts of stress for the degus, not to mention the risk of being savaged by degu teeth. But there’s also useful ideas on the internet and one lady just built a barrier to give them a bigger run but also protect the room.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s foldable and can be put away when not needed, but I’ll need to do something about the light.

Oh,a nd since the temperatures are getting lower, I bought them a “snuggle safe” heating pad. It gets heated in the microwave and then keeps the warmth for several hours. I much prefer that to a heating lamp, especially over night or when we’re not home. The degus absolutely love it and I can only recommend it if your pet could do with a how water bottle occasionally.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A Memory Braid for Caine

From Avalus,

I do have something to share, but it requires a bit of a back story. In June 2018 (has it really been that long?), Caine posted about hair braiding styles. ( 

I commented that I have a friend who likes to play with my hair, and I would post pictures of her handiwork.
Sadly, due to several sicknesses, we did not get together until earlier this week again for her birthday. And of course, she did something cool with my hair, which I now want to share.

I do feel very sad that I could not make good on my promise for Caine.

Have a good holiday season, stay safe and Fuck Cancer!

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Ripples for Caine- Water is Life

I have something very special from Nightjar for this Monday morning.

We had a rainy November, in fact I can’t remember a month in the recent past when it rained so much. The rain completely flooded the fields behind our house and again, I can’t remember when this last happened. I’m told by older people that this is what November used to be like and how the fields used to look like this time of the year. Makes sense. Before “normal” and “drought” became synonymous. Today we had a bit of sun and I had to go for a walk with my camera. While taking these photos all I could think of was Caine, for reasons I don’t think I have to explain. Hopefully the photos speak for themselves. Came back home with tears in my eyes and had to share this with you all. Water is Life. ♥

Your photos are beautiful, and they also make me think about Caine. She enjoyed photographing water in its many forms. I know she would love these pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them, Nightjar.

©Nightjar,all rights reserved

[Read more…]

A Fire Maple for Caine

Caine’s birthday was a week ago today and this just arrived in my inbox. It’s from Raucous Indignation and I think it’s special – So special, in fact, that I decided not to hold it back until Tree Tuesday next week.

I have had a lengthy absence from the blog, but the tree was planted this Spring. It is a fire maple/silver maple hybrid. Very hardy with dramatic colors. The tree is doing well and dropped it leaves a few weeks ago. It’s at the end of the line of cherry, maple and oaks bordering the driveway. It’s to my left every night I come home.

Next, the puppy!

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Happy Birthday, Caine

Robert, Desert Son OM kindly reminded us that today is Caine’s birthday. I am rubbish at dates, but I always prefer birthdays to death days, as they speak of life and quite often, of happy memories.

How to better celebrate Caine’s birthday than with a bird, so here’s a duck on a sea of gold. Happy Birthday, Caine!

©Giliell, all rights reserved


The Art of Book Design: Flowers of Evil

Charles Beaudelaire. Flowers of Evil. Translated by C. Bower Alcock. Illustrated by Beresford Egan. New York, Sylvan Press, 1947.

Flowers of Evil, illustrated by Beresford Egan, Title Page

Flowers of Evil, Illustrations by Beresford Egan, Page 35

Flowers of Evil, Illustrations by Beresford Egan, Page 45

The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs de Mal) by Beaudelaire was one of Caine’s favourite books and a special edition of it was gifted to her by Marcus. (stderr) The edition that she received was printed in limited quantities in 1947 with artwork by Beresford Egan and that’s Marcus in the first picture holding a copy of the same book he sent to Caine. The next 2 photos are Marcus displaying 2 of the interior plates to the book. Caine published several illustrations from the book on the blog and always noted how much she enjoyed the exaggerated forms and dark, macabre style of Egan. I’ve included the rest of the illustrations in the book below the fold.

Illustrations via: Retro Sixty, Modern British Art

There are several other editions of this book available to read at The Internet Archive. If you desire to read this edition by Beresford Egan you will need to open an (free) account at The Internet Archive and formally borrow the book.

[Read more…]

Mni Wiconi- Water is Life: In Memory of Caine

A year ago today our community was devastated by the death of our beloved Caine. The team here at Affinity struggled with how to honor Caine on this day and we finally decided to carry forward her message to love and honor the planet. Caine stood with the tribe at Standing Rock in their struggle against the DAPL and today we’re passing on a few stories about the continuing struggle of Indigenous communities to protect the land and water. We are in no way qualified to speak about Indigenous culture or history, but we do so today with great respect.

First, a few reminders of the meaning of Mni Wiconi – Water is Life.

Mni Wiconi – The Stand at Standing Rock

Mni Wiconi – Water is Life

Hear the message of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111. We need every person to call Obama this week before Dec. 5th. Please share. For more information visit

Posted by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Tuesday, November 15, 2016


In an article on Indian Country Today, Woonspe—Education Gives Meaning to Mni Wiconi—Water Is Life they tell of the origin story behind the meaning of Mni Wiconi.

An origin story of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires, which make up the Lakota, Nakoda, and Dakota people, tells us that the blood of First Creation, Inyan, covers Unci Maka, our grandmother earth, and this blood, which is blue is mni, water, and mahpiya, the sky. Mni Wiconi, water is life.

The entire article is worth reading and the above link will take you right there.



Many Standing Rocks: Three Years and Still Fighting, by Tracy L. Barnett – The Esperanza Project)

LaDonna Allard, center, and Cheryl Angel at a march led by the women of Sacred Stone to the backwater bridge one week after a brutal attack there by law enforcement. (Photo from social media) – The Esperanza Project


So water is in danger, globally. Right now Indigenous communities are still at risk, and they are standing up, because they have to stand up.  When you finally realize — WATER IS LIFE — you understand why you can’t sit back down.

People keep saying “after” Standing Rock – but I’m still of the same state of mind, I still have the same passion for the water,  it has to be protected. It was when I was at Sicangu Wicoti Iyuksa that I learned about the aquifers that were in danger and when I was at Standing Rock I learned about the rivers that were in danger.

We encourage you to read the article. Cheryl Angel passes on wisdom from a lifetime spent in activism for the planet. Her reflections on the movement at Standing Rock are insightful, as is her take on the ongoing struggle to protect water and land resources.


Next, we’re providing links to 2 reports on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website.

SRST – No DAPL Remand Report Final, from February 5, 2019.

This first story is a damning and infuriating report on the deficient Corps of Engineers Analysis of the environmental impacts of the DAPL. The courts finally sided with the Standing Rock Tribe, but then decided that since the pipeline is already built they will let the oil flow.

Impacts of an Oil Spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from February 21, 2018, so that you can see just how much is at stake.
Both stories connect you to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website and we encourage you to have a look around. The About Us section contains lots of information about the history of the tribe and the reservation, as does the section about environmental issues.
Next, we’re going to point you toward the Indigenous Environmental Network.
IEN is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws. Adopted in 1994 by the IEN National Council, Denver, Colorado
The IEN website has a broad focus and they carry a variety of interesting stories about the ongoing fight to protect the land and water. It isn’t all just talk, though. The IEN runs several important environmental campaigns including the Keep It In The Ground Campaign run by Dallas Goldtooth. Dallas was born into an activist family and stood as a water protector at Standing Rock. He’s an accomplished activist, teacher, writer, poet and comedian who uses story and humor to tackle difficult subjects.
Here he is with his comedy troupe, The 1491’s, at Vasser College in 2018. His message is full of hope.

And finally, we leave you with a clip found on Twitter 2 days ago by rq. It’s a true message of hope from The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the it’s the perfect way to end this post.


The Art of Book Design: Salome

Oscar Wilde. Salome. Illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. London : John Lane, the Bodley Head ; New York : John Lane Co., 1907.

Aubrey Beardsley was one of Caine’s favourite artists from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Beardsley was commissioned directly by Oscar Wilde for this edition of Salome. Wilde felt that Beardsley’s modern, dark and macabre style captured the true spirit of the book.

I’ve included all the interior plates below the fold and they are deliciously grim and gruesome. The entire book can be viewed at The Internet Archive.

[Read more…]

The Art of Book Design: The Miroir

This week I’ll be featuring books with art that Caine would enjoy. This first book is in homage to Caine’s mastery and love of needlework.

The Miroir or Glasse of the Synneful Soul, copied in her own hand by Princess Elizabeth when just 11 years old (1544) and Presented to her stepmother Katherine Parr. Featured in English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) – source


via:The Public Domain Review