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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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

vintage love...

Modern technology has made many advances in the way of textiles.
Some downright scary (like the thick polyester of the '50s - '70's!),
and some incredibly amazing (like Gortex and polar fleece) but there's 
nothing out there that beats a lovely old wool blanket...
Once in a while I come across these beauties in the thrift shop and if the price is right, I scoop them up.
This one I found the other day for $5.49 and I love the pastel tones of the stripes...
I love to see the weave of a wool blanket ...
 This other one I found a few years ago is an unusual combo of mint and pink...
I keep this over my duvet and Ruben thinks that's just grand!...
(sorry for the disturbance your Highness)
Another pale cream one I keep in the studio for those chilly morns until it warms up in there...
One of the things I adore about these blankets is sometimes they still have the label attached...
This red plaid one I bought years ago became so worn that it became a dog blanket
but it still carries a nice vintage label...
Don't you just love the name of the town of Moose Jaw?
Only in Canada ey?
I have a friend who uses these blankets in her craft.
I've posted about her little studio called the Wren House
 She makes these beautiful images with vintage sweaters, embroidery thread and blankets and applies them to pillows or puts them in frames..
I love the history of a thing.
I always wonder who owned it, who cuddled under that blanket, where it was made.
Wool is a textile from the past.
Has been here forever and will certainly be with me forever.
Maybe it's the Irish blood in me...connecting me to sheep and green hills of Eire.
There are still some places that  make woolen blankets the old fashioned way which
gives me comfort to know it's a craft being kept alive and well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

you feelin' alright?...part II

"hey Cino...are you there?"
"yeah, right here Paul..."
"Can you give me a hand?"
"Sure thing, dude..."
"yeah, that's's about the other one?"
"consider it done ..."
"hmmm...a little better...still havin' a sort of out of body experience..."
"Yeah, still look kinda funny. Maybe you should try some meditation or something..."
...(to be continued)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You feelin' alright?...part 1...

"Hey, Paul, is that you man?"
"yeah, hey Cino...not quite feelin' all together today..."
"uh, yeah.. look a bit discombobulated..."
"yeah...I'm a bit outta my head right now."
"let me know if I can fetch you anything, o.k Paul?"...
"Sure bud, thanks."

(to be continued)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Places of mystery...

Often I walk in places where stories are hidden beneath the forest floor.
Around these parts, I can usually guess at it's past...logging and fishing mostly.
The other day Griffin and I took a walk down Ayum Creek which we haven't done in a year or so.
On your way into Sooke, there's a Shell station and then a little bridge.
This is where we parked and took the  trail through the woods...
We wander alongside the creek until it begins to open up.
This is where some of the story begins to take shape.
Those pilons in the distance are evidence of the logging that went on here many years ago.
I believe large barges and booms were tied up here loaded up with the timber from up in the hills.
Now they sit abandoned by humans but fully utilized by the natural world around them...
The logs would be cut, brought down by oxen or trains, put into the creek,
floated down to this holding pond...
...I imagine burly loggers running atop the logs, preparing them to be sorted and
guided through this channel...
it was all part of the Sooke Forest Products Mill which stood on the peninsula in the distance...
The rusted water tower still stands awaiting those brave enough to climb up
 and put their mark in spray paint.
I believe it shut down in the early '80's and the land is now empty save for
a few random ships tied up to the old wharf...
I used to walk Griffin down there but now it's off limits, probably due to vandalism.
There was once talk of putting up a hotel here but those plans were nixed.
Too's prime real estate and would have had magnificent views.
Part of the problem is the amount of time and money to clean up
 all the toxins left behind from the mill.
But on my side of the creek, you can still walk amongst the history,
lying on the beach...
Old boom chains becoming one with the mudflats at low tide.
As with a lot of these places, the natural world is still alive and well and
the birds, deer, bear and vegetation abounds.
These Purple Martin boxes were put up to try and attract this endangered swallow...
The long and slender arms of the Arbutus trees dot the seashore...
She gives up her bark instead of her leaves to reveal the smooth auburn skin beneath...
Old Mans beard seems to love it here as well...
and from the big and beautiful to the tiny moss crop and lichens that grow beneath...

Back down the creek, through the woods, I find bits and pieces of a chapter of this
area that is no more...
We now have a park and maybe a few stories from some old timers but nature
will stake her claim on this land as she so often does.