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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, October 16, 2009

Inside...

Its nice and cozy in the studio and I thought I would post a  simple and REALLY inexpensive craft project...my main window faces south and sometimes the sun is glaring in on me, (yes we do get the occaisional sunny day on the wet coast!) I didn't want to block out the light or the view so I dug back into my childhood when we used to put pressed leaves between wax paper and run a hot iron gently and quickly over them....

I used to make pressed botanicals under glass and frame them, so I still have an abundance of flowers and leaves in phone books...these are Queen Anne's Lace flowers...it is a really soft look and they kind of look like snowflakes..
Then I started messing around with some smaller ones for an opening night at the market/deli/cafe that I work part time in (funny enough its called Farmers Daughter!)....
 

These ones are just to put over a small jar with a tea light in them. They're actually an inspiration from my friend Irma Beltgens who makes gorgeous lamps although not with wax paper but a very refined lamination process...
 
Anyway so there's a rainy day project for you...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to the farm


Well now that my trip to Ireland has finally been documented in its entirety, I will get back to life on the farm..
This was the sky this morning which seems to be staying darker a lot later...

It doesn't take long before the sun starts to peak through the clouds and the world is once again awake and goats and chickens want to be fed..This is Tramp, by the way...he is one of our 2 remaining goats that we rescued from the petting zoo in Victoria..we originally had 6 but the other 4 have gone to that big meadow in the sky...

The chickens LOVE to get out of the hen yard a few times a day but only under supervision since the hawks and ravens like to eat them for lunch..they spend hours scratching around looking for bugs and nibbling on grass...I'm always amazed at how good their eyesight is! They can pick out the tiniest black bug from a patch of black soil...

The Oh so Merry Ploughboy!


Well, as I said, I had left my extra battery and charger in Dingle and wouldn't see it again until back in Canada so our last few days in Dublin are luckily burned in my memory...Stayed a night in Cork at a lovely b&b on the river Lee. It got me to thinking how a lot of these towns are built on waterways and how life revolved around them for centuries before highways and cars came into being....It would be cool to time travel and see how life was 300 years ago in some of these places...We strolled around Cork with its modern Grand Mall and twisted old streets. We found a sleek modern bistro and decided to have some dinner there...really yummy pasta and a few good glasses of wine for me and Guinness for the Da. Luckily the b&b had a big  bathtub for me to soak in after all that driving from Dingle!Took the rental car back safe and sound the next morning and hopped the train for Dublin.Did I mention how much we loved the train travel? So relaxing and a great place to people watch...sat with these really crazy, dreadhead hippies from Poland with their beautiful daughter who was practicing her Irish language skills by reading all the signs aloud.
It was good to be back in Dublin and to see Aja and Robert and spent a few days in the city centre one last time to do some shopping with Aja...our second to last night there they decided to take us out for a farewell dinner up in the hills of Balleycullen at one of Irelands oldest pubs, The Merry Ploughboy.
When I say up in the hills I mean really up there...our taxi took about 20 minutes through twisting, winding, rock walled lined narrow roads to what seemed like the end of the road. And there it was...this pretty old pub/ eatery with the walls and shelves filled with antiques, old posters of the IRA, photos and general old stuff everywhere...We ordered up our pints and food and soon were served up with incredible plates of Wicklow lamb, salmon and fresh local veggies heaped on plates. We sat enjoying our dinner, then dessert then more pints and more pints kept coming...upstairs there was a private show going on for a bus tour where a traditional Irish band was playing so we had a peak in on that and came back down for another pint...before we realized it, the restaraunt had closed and we were the only patrons left...the band had come down to sit at the bar and brought a guitar with them and began to sing a few songs...Aja and I got brave enough to go up and request a song...well the pints kept flowing and Robert and Dad joined in and what can I say except it was the perfect end to the perfect trip....the next morning....Not so Merry...spent the day nursing a BIG Guinness hangover and laughing at the crumpled up bill from OUR share of the night...17 pints...and that was an hour before we left! Anyway much fun was had by all....As for the 29 hour trip home...what can I say..aside from almost missing our connection in Amsterdam, it went pretty smooth with views of Greenland gracing our windows.

It was a lifetime dream come true and it wouldn't have been a fraction of the fun and amazement if it weren't for my most excellent travel companion, my Dad. We were able to see so much and experience so much more than I could have imagined..to be able to dig up our roots and to meet the people who shadow our family history...to hear the beautiful voices of the most friendly people I've met will be imprinted on us forever...