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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, September 15, 2017

Her reign is the summer fields...

I once knew a horse with a feathery mane of this colour...
Her body was a shade darker.
A Palomino.
The colour of dry summer wheat and grasses.
Her name was Sundance.  
One Sunday morning while I was giving out carrots at the riding stable,
I came to her stall.
She had her head sticking out over a piece of binding twine that went across the stall.
I gave her a carrot and as I walked away she tried to grab another one
and bit down hard on my upper arm and pulled me towards her with her big, strong head,
ripping my upper arm open.
I ended up with 15 stitches and a permanent scar...and a new born fear of horses.
I eventually, literally got back up on the horse (not her) and rode for many more years after that.
But I digress...I always think of that horse when I see those colours.
Summer fields bring me to daydream and remember.
These days, they are not only crisp with the Palomino grasses but also with filled with the Queen...
Queen Anne's Lace Daucus carota. 
A kin to the modern day carrot but high above it in her royal dress...
A banner year for her majesty this year...
As far as the eye can see, she billows and calls to the bees...

In grand company is the purple Canada Thistle Cirsium arvense.
An introduced species from Eurasia but happily living amongst royalty...
A fat and dewy bumble just waking up this morning...
A world above me, a flutter of starlings! 
My mom used to call this a Bird Wedding!
Seed heads landing delicately...
Some heads are closed for the season and show the soft cloak of spider silk...
Beautiful in her dying as well as her blooming...

Providing the fields with seeds for next summer's show...
love bugs!
Love bud!
I have been lax in blogging as of late, but now that the weather is changing and autumn is
at the gate, I hope to spend more time observing and telling tales of said visions and thoughts.
Hope you are all well and healthy and have had a joyful summertime!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What's up?...

It's been a while since writing, in the meantime, 
SPRING has arrived here!
The woods, all dark and mossy have been lit up with the first sweet little wildflowers...
Fawn lilies or if you want to get all Latin about it, Erythronium oregonum.
 No matter what you call them, they will call to you along the paths with their
little nodding heads, like fairy hats on parade...
 Holding onto drops of rain until the most delicate of movement shakes them off...
 My walks are twice as long now while I stop and stoop on bended knees
(sometimes stiff and achy bended knees!)
to try and capture this fleeting show...
 The mushrooms are staring to make a show as well.
I spotted these tiny little ones, the biggest about the size of a nickel, 
reminding me of minute Japanese paper parasol's 
 Jed is growing into a sweet little pup and I love that he's beginning to
know the trails and paths we walk every morning...
 ...running ahead, knowing which fork to take, full of joy, as only a young pup can!
 I must apologize for photo quality as I seem to just bring along my iPhone
thinking I won't really take any photos...I should know better!!
A few things completed on the studio table in prep 
for a gallery show coming up in May.
This is Stuart.
I named him after our beloved CBC storyteller extraordinaire who passed away
early this year. He will be missed by many, many listeners who have been
following 'The Vinyl Cafe' and before that his stints on 'Morningside' for many years.
He once did a story on birdwatching and called the ones he couldn't identify 'LBJ's'
or 'Little Brown Jobs'.
So thanks for all the stories Stuart.
This little Stuart bird will always be singing your praise as one of 
the best storytellers of our time.
This other piece was so much fun to make...
 It's called 'Spike on Wellesley Street', a nod to my dads childhood home...
...and yes Spike is anatomically correct!
I used a thin piece of gold wire for his pee.
Funny enough, while I was sleeping, someone left tiny hand prints in the sidewalk!
It may be the part of a series as I'm now making two more versions of Spike.
So that's about all from this big rock in the North Western Pacific Ocean.
Hope you are all well and enjoying spring wherever you are!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 13, 2017

'Little' Alexander The Great!

(FYI this is a surprise for Brenda so anyone who knows her...SSHHHHHHH!!)
Hello, it is I, Alexander The Great. 
(the dog that is.)
I am a Great Pyrenees.
(note the word 'Great'?)
This is a picture of myself and my humans Brenda and Gerard...they are pretty 'Great' too!
...and since Gerard is a romantic and loves me and Brenda so much, 
he asked a lady named Kerry to make a wee likeness of me.
From what I have heard, Brenda and Gerard have many fine pieces of art
including several other wooly sculptures by Kerry.
So have a look at the likeness of me...
It's Mini Me!!
Pretty good hey?!
Looks like Kerry added all my tiny details...the bit of smokey colour on my muzzle...
...that little pink spot on top of my muzzle and the pink spots below my eyes...
...she really captured that big fluffy tail too!...
...she even gave me a sweet little faux leather collar with brass buckles...
Don't mind me saying this, but it would be pretty hard to capture my...ahem...'Great' looks
but by golly Kerry really did go all out on this one indeed!
 She even included some of my real fur that Gerard stashed away after grooming one day!
I almost wish I could get a hold of Mini Me for a play date but I think my...ahem...'Great' and Powerful jaws would do some damage!
I imagine Mini Me will miss sitting in the window looking out at the oak trees...
I've heard he's had some...ahem...'Great' conversations with this odd little felted Chess man.
He tells me his lineage is Nordic and is a replica of his ancestors from the Bronze Age...
I told him that I came from...ahem...'Great' lineage as well...he says he's heard of me indeed.
He asks me where my travels will take Mini Me...
I tell him that Kerry says Mini Me will go to live on the beautiful and rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island
in a small hamlet called Shirley.
It's a land of  big, tall trees and the wild Pacific ocean nearby.
Oh and a great cafe called 'Shirley Delicious'! Best sausage rolls around I hear!!
So thats the story of 'Little' Alexander The Great's creation.
Maybe one day you'll see a picture Mini Me in Shirley,
but for now I bid you a fond Adieu and hope you have a...ahem...'GREAT' day!!

Post Script...
Here's a photo I just received from my customer!

Friday, March 3, 2017

These woods....

The other morning we had a very frosty one. 
The sun came out a bit and showed off the workings of cold and nature...
Look how sporty Jed looks!!
Ready for some duck hunting bud?
Another perspective on wabi sabi...the beauty of the decaying...acceptance of the imperfect...
I have a never ending fascination with moss...thick, thin, feathered, velvety, fluffy, trailing...
Remnants of the old farm that used to be here many years ago...
And then there are These Woods.
Growing up in Victoria I had a love for Garry Oaks.
There ecosystem is restricted to a small area on the Southeast part of our Island.
Nowhere else in the world do these gnarly, craggy ones grow...
The very bones of them in the winter, the loving dappled shade in the summer.
But for eighteen years when I lived in Sooke I had a relationship with the coniferous
evergreen forests that surrounded our house.
The deep, tall woods of the west coast are a spiritual place for me.
A free and open place of worship where quite often I was alone with my thoughts and prayers.
So now I think among these different beings...some tall, some short and scrubby. 
But a place like this is my tall drink of water in this sad and beautiful world.
I can sit and wonder and grow along with the moss and the lichen.
Invent my own stories of the things I find.
Like this simple wooden cross I found lying at the base of a big oak.
I wondered...what lies beneath?
So I propped it up against the great tree, stood up some of it's meaning again...
So I will wander these wiry meadows now.
They are new kin to get to know.
I find comfort when I drive up our road, past the subdivision, entering our block
 where the oaks still line the sidewalk-less street. 
Some parts around here were left to be.
For that I am grateful.