Search This Blog

...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, July 14, 2011

Putting yourself out there...

I've never been one to want to be in the spotlight, so when a friend encouraged
me to submit a piece to The Sooke Fine Arts show, I hummed and hawed about it.
First of all I wasn't even sure if one of my pieces were what they were looking for.
Secondly, I honestly don't like rejection...but who does?
I make things because it's a thing I do.
I've always done it. I enjoy creating. Maybe it's a drive in me as well.
Anyway after a bit of heel dragging, I finished up a rather large piece and took it in on submission day.
I had to wait for a week for the results.
I've had work judged for entry into craft fairs, big and small but I've never
submitted to an actual 'art show'.
This particular one has over 1500 entries with 350 chosen for the show.
I figured I was up against some pretty stiff competition and again, wasn't 
sure if my needle felting was 'art show' caliber. 
Or if I really cared.
On the morning of the posted results, I made my way to the website and found
myself a bit nervous in anticipation.
Although I had told myself it was no big deal, I started to feel the pangs of 'being judged'.
Was it good enough?
The thing about art is that it's all very personal.
There's a lot of art out there that I don't get or like but it's out there for
someone else' taste.
When I create something, I do it because I know I will enjoy it and however
it turns out, the process gives me the thrill.
Sometimes the end result isn't quite what I expect but still brings me joy.
And gratitude to know that I've been given a precious gift to be able to create.
Well to make a long story longer....
And there it was...a big deal to me...sort of...well I guess more of a giddy feeling.
Learning to put your work out there is something artists have been struggling with forever.
Did ancient man paint on cave walls because they were a bit shy?!
For me it's about telling stories.
Making characters come to life.
When I started to sell work years ago, my friend Irma (her amazing lamps are here) taught me a lot.
I've taken much of her advice with me throughout the years and am grateful for her experience.
She had been doing craft fairs for years before I met her and had
great ideas about pricing and presentation.
Still, when I sell a piece, I sell a little bit of myself along with it.
Anyway, "Market Day" is off to the land of art shows.
If you're in Sooke during the July 23rd - August 1st stop by and have a look.
It's the 25th anniversary of the show and there's some really spectacular work there.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Good things...

Seems like this time of year, it's all about the garden...
What's abundant, what's coming up, what's to eat.
Right now, in my garden, roses, iris' and strawberries!
This morning after my walk with Griffin, I took my little basket out
for yet another batch of strawberries...
I'm not sure if it's because of the honeybees we have now, but this has been
a bumper crop this year.
I've had these plants forever and I don't know where they came from.
Probably one of those friends who had extra 'babies' and pawned them off on me.
Now these are not the prettiest berries around, but OH! the flavour!!!
They remind me of the precious little wild strawberries in their flavour.
So intense and sweet and full of July.
I remember a friend of mines mother used to make wild strawberry jam.
It must have taken her forever to pick enough to make it.
One time while I was visiting, we were sitting down to toast and tea 
and she asked me to go get a jar of jam out of the pantry.
I came back with my chosen jar and the room went COMPLETELY silent.
GASP! I had chosen one of her few, precious jars of wild strawberry jam!!
They were only reserved for special occasions.
Of course being a young, city girl, I didn't realize the faux pas I had just made.
Lucky for me though, the jar was opened by said mother,
and I was educated on the rare, culinary extravaganza of 
wild strawberry jam!
I've also got these beautiful roses in bloom right now...
They are a David Austin rose called 'Abraham Darby' and are the most
deeply scented rose around.
If I could, I would, strap one to my face and walk around all day 
inhaling the lemony, rose, tea blend which is intoxicating!
Just imagine...
Unfortunately they don't last at all as a cut flower so I bring them in
when they're just about half way through blooming and float them
in a pretty bowl of water. 
 They'll last for a few days and give us their perfume every time you walk in the room.
I move them around with me wherever I'm sitting or working in the studio.
Last but definitely not least are these gorgeous iris'...
These DO last for at least a week after cutting and have a second bud which opens
up after the first one fades away...
So, a few treasures to behold at this most horticultural rich time of year...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not so far and 2...

After a night of smores and campfires it was a morning of leisurely lounging
at the breakfast table...
There was one thing on the agenda after breakfast and that was the horse chores...
We checked their feet...gave them a good brush...
And some good scratching on the withers...
Kicker makes the funniest faces when we hit 'the spot'!
Then the kids make funny faces back and every ones giggling...
Blue is getting old and just takes it all in stride...
But Kicker just loves these kids...loves to try and nibble on the ears...
These kinds of days are the ones that kids take home with them
and talk about them in years to come.
It's what summer holidays are all about.
Actually it's what life in general is all about.
Moving through the simple beauties of everyday life and grasping
on to the threads of things that make you feel joyful.
Abbey and Michael cast out a few of these threads to me.
Beautiful, interesting, people.
The kind that makes camping in your own backyard a real treat.