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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

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!!

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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dog bits...

This new house we live in is lovely and old.
Which means the house has lots of rooms chopped up and even
though we put in an amazing wood stove, the heat doesn't quite
reach the room which is my studio.
So during the cold months I've been working in the main room where
the heat is but now the spring weather is on it's way
and I am once again able to work in the studio room in comfort.
Sometimes I watch these shows about the Tiny Living revolution and I wonder...
Could I be in a space that small?
I must admit I do love 'my stuff'...
I love to surround myself with lovely things from near and far, old and new and treasures
I've had for years. 
I love to look at art my friends have given me or pieces I have purchased from them.
Anyway, back to work..
I'm currently creating a likeness of a customers dog...
His name is Alexander The Great...appropriately since he is after all
a Great Pyrenees!
 So he's coming along nicely...
 The form is what I am looking for and so far so good...
 Sometimes I start a piece and It's just not taking shape.
I will cut off heads, legs or whatever and start again and 
do whatever it takes to get it just right...
Still got a ways to go...
The finishing touch will be using some of ATG's real fur which
the owner has been collecting...
That's all the news for now.
Hope everyone is well.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Variations on a and white

Alright, so everyone in the East and up North can stop laughing now.
Yes, Victoria has snow in February.
Our days of bragging about walking by the water in our shirt sleeves
whilst everyone is shovelling their walkways are over.
At least for now.
So, lets embrace this stuff called snow!
This is my street this morning...
Of course Lil' Jed was ready for some snow action!
Although he wasn't impressed with the tiny snowballs gathering on his legs and feet...
"these things are really starting to annoy me" 
Aside from the ornaments, he really had a great time out there plowing with his wee snout...
I live in an area filled with Garry Oak trees and they really lend themselves beautifully
to shadows and light and general perfect silhouette specimens...
The paths are no sooner trod with footprints then are covered up just as quickly...
Wild roses and blackberries preparing for spring have put their plans on hold...
The bright green lichens and mosses have been subdued by falling snow...
And so we trudge through our unpredictable season, 
embracing what may come, being grateful for the warmth of a good fire when we return home...