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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

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Song for Friday...the long way

 
I love back roads and the long way home.
Especially if there's a good song playing ...maybe I play it again, a few times more.
If I have the time and the choice of the highway or the byway,
I'll choose the byway every time.
Less traffic, slower speeds, more interesting scenery, strange and wonderful landmarks.
So here's a beautiful cover of a Tom Waits song done by the lovely Nora Jones.
Have a great weekend and try to take the long way home once in a while.
 


March madness...

"It was one of those March days
When the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold.
When it's summer in the light 
and winter in the shade."
Charles Dickens



Ah, yes, March...the kind of month which can have 4 seasons in an hour.
Much has been said of the Mad March Hare.
(illustration by John Tenniel)
(Tim Burton's fabulous updated version)
(Arthur Rackam's illustration from 1903)


Made famous in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" where it seemed everyone but Alice was stark raving mad.
The term originated somewhere in Europe, centuries  ago, when people would witness
wild hares, seemingly going mad in March.
This is, of course, the beginning of their mating season and keeping in tune with most other animals, (including humans) they tend to get a wee bit crazy...
Hares, being usually shy and secretive, have been observed
boxing, flipping in the air and generally acting
Hare Brained.
(painting by Julia Cassels)

They aren't really going mad, but just cavorting to attract.
The boxing is done between male and female, a sort of lovers waltz.
Understandably, March is associated with power.
Named for the god of war, Mars.
When you witness a typical March day with weather coming at you from all sides, 
you can see why!
Mars was also the guardian of agriculture, which makes sense, since it's this time of year that gardeners start to get that itchy feeling 
of getting out there,
hands in the soil, foot on the spade.
We've had quite a bit of this wild weather in the past few days.
A kind of spring cleaning of earth and sky, with things blowing about and being washed down over and over.
 But there will be a time soon when calmness speaks and the crocus crowned maiden has closed the door on her northern gale cousin.
The wind will quiet down enough to hear the dawn chorus of birds again and pussy willows
will be felt across rosey, wind kissed cheeks.





Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The winner is...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KMCcIbv0XzI/TVhqQNT7kZI/AAAAAAAABeo/x9hnZC8vpQY/s1600/StylishBloggerAward%5B1%5D.jpg 
 Well, I have been flattered by a fellow blogger.
Irish blooded lass, Sherri O'Keefe
Her poetry is mind painting.
Every time I read one of her poems, I can close my eyes and see the painting right before my eyes.
It is an incredible gift she has.

In accepting this award, I am supposed to pass it on to numerous other bloggers.
Honestly, I can't even begin to choose.
I am inspired by so many out there for so many reasons.
I have mentioned before my love of community I have gained through blogging.
Knowing that there are so many like minded people in all corners of the world, make this a smaller and more friendly place to live.
So here's to ALL of the blogs I follow.
I send this award graciously out to you.
Thank you all for allowing me to peek into your work and lives.

The other part of accepting this award is to tell you 7 things you may not know about me...
Deep breath....here goes....

I am afraid of windstorms (one is coming our way tonight!)
I love a good, sad song
I can hear voices in moving water (maybe it's the fairies)
I'm terrible at math
I once had to kill a goat that was dying, with no vet around for miles and miles
I am a dark chocolate chocoholic
I love the big city (although a country girl at heart)

The Installation....

For months now, mosaic genius, Norene Schmuck, has been working on a piece for our house.
In particular, an aspect of this house which I have never liked.
Funny how long you can live with something like that isn't it?
We have a loft above the living room which had this awful, rough railing made with OUTDOOR deck rails.
Here we are, 12 years after moving in, FINALLY taking it down!
YAY!!
We decided to put a big, wide bookcase up there in its place.
Eventually, I will get one of those light weight, bamboo ladders from Chinatown.
Even though we can access it from upstairs, I always wanted a library ladder and this is the next best thing.
Anyway, we were then faced with how to finish the rough, dark brown board below it...
Super Mosaic Artist to the rescue!!
I gave Norene a few ideas I had, and she set to the task...
Drawing, designing, dreaming of what could be...
Picking through her vast (and I mean VAST) collection of broken dishes...
Finding just the right colours, shapes and characters...
The mosaic would consist of arbutus trees, sky, hills and sea...
Little treasures can be found every time you take a look...
She even incorporated an old piece of china that I brought home from Ireland...
It's the blue 'moon' bits surrounding the raven...
After seeing what goes into doing this kind of art, I am a witness to the hard work and vision it takes to create these types of artwork...
Hours of cutting pieces, fitting them into place, gluing, grouting, wiping grout, 
polishing, polishing and MORE polishing.
Finally on Sunday, she brought the 5 collective works over for installing...
More glue...
drilling...
screwing into place...
And then....
VOILA!
The picture really doesn't do it justice.
You should see how the light catches the pieces of china!
Here is the one on the far end, around the left corner...
A tree with the phases of the moon...
 
According to definitions of this type of mosaic art, "pique assiette", it means 
'scrounger', 'sponger', 'gatecrasher or 
'one who steals from dishes'.
To see more of the progress of this piece, and other incredible works by her, visit Norene's website/ blog