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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, February 8, 2013

Song for Friday...for an old friend...

I've had one of those weeks when I've felt like there's a greater power out there,
something much bigger than me. When somehow, all the right things align.
I was up on Denman Island where I lived about 32 years ago, strolling down memory
lane with friends I've had for just about as many years.
The 3 hour drive up triggered flashbacks to places and people who
are only in the past now. Some who've passed on and some who
faded out of my life as people do.
When I got back to Sooke, I was early for work so I did the usual peruse
through the thrift stores. While I was in the Sally Ann, I ran into
a workmate who shares my love for a lot of things, mainly music.
We were standing by the cd's chatting and there happened to be an old Bonnie Raitt
record (the actual vinyl) propped up against the shelf.
I said "I use to have that album, it's a really good one."
Claire said "you should buy it, it's only .75 cents."
I picked it up and took it out of it's sleeve and indeed it was still in good shape.
Then I told her a story about the record I had once owned.
When my daughter was in grade 1 (25 years ago) I met another mom waiting for her son
outside the classroom. We got to know each other a bit and would chat most
days waiting for the kids to come out.
One day she mentioned that she was a budding singer and I asked her
if she knew of Bonnie Raitt...Bonnie wasn't famous like she is now and I had
about 5 of her older albums which I offered to lend to this woman
so she could check her out.
Anyway, life went on and summer holidays came and went and  I never
saw the woman or my Bonnie Raitt albums again.
I don't even remember her name but I think her son's name was Luke.
I'm sure she didn't intend to keep them but sometimes these things just
happen and you keep thinking, oh I'll get them back someday.
I bought the Bonnie Raitt album, brought it home and the next
morning I decided to give it a spin on the old turntable (yes we still have one!).
As I picked it up and turned it over to look at the year it came out...
there were my initials!! No lie!
K.O... in faded permanent marker.
I always initialled my records just in case.
So here was MY ALBUM!
Who knows how or why but it came back to me...25 years later in a different town
than where I lived when I lent this woman my records!
When I put the record on I found myself quite weepy.
I actually got emotional about it and remembered an old friend in particular
who died of a brain tumor 10 years ago. Jay Poulsen. 
Her and I would listen to this album all the time (that and Joni Mitchell)
drinking white wine, in various houses where each of us lived throughout the years.
When I played the record a few days ago, it was as if an old friend had come back
and indeed she did, her and several other faces from the past.
It felt good to connect again, even if it was only in spirit.
A similar story happened to my friend Norene who bought this pair of boots
in a thrift store...
Turns out, one night her sister-in-law was over for dinner and after close inspection
announced that these were the boots she wore while travelling around Europe in the '70s!
She knew because she had them resoled in a particular way and
gave them to the thrift store after not wearing them anymore.
So there you go.
Call it serendipity.
It's just good to know that life can be Oh so sweet sometimes!
So this song is for my old friend Jay, who's long gone now
and my new friends Claire (for talking me into buying the record)
 and Norene (for her fun boots story.)
Roll on girls! 

Have a great weekend all!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I just can't help myself!

More wet felting!
There's something about a new, creative discovery that just
makes me want to get up in the middle of the night and felt!
In the past few years I wake up, quite often during the night and can't get back
to sleep (must be my age!) so I lie there and dream up the
worlds greatest ideas....things to make, solutions to problems, what to make for dinner,
how I'm going to get to the Faroe Islands one day, etc...
The other night I thought about 'painting' with wool.
Making another pair of cuffs is a simple and fairly quick way to experiment.
In this instance I thought of  summer fields, of Monet, pink poppies, fluffy clouds
 and got to work on it the next day. I laid out the 'painting ever so gently...
The tufts of roving are light as a feather so any sudden movement or the slightest
bit of breeze will disrupt the pattern.
After felting I was quite pleased with how it turned out...
Still wet...
Look at the sun peaking through the fibers...
Did you know that each strand of wool has scales sort of like a fish?
When they are moistened and agitated the scales stick together.
(Just a bit of wool nerd information.)
After the cuffs were dry, I got out my jar of white buttons, all shapes and sizes,
a lot of them vintage Mother of Pearl and chose three, little different ones for each cuff...
 I added snaps for ease of getting them on and off. The buttons are purely decorative...
I believe it's off to the wool store again!!


Wordless Wednesday... In which Griffin's 'cousin' comes for a visit

Monday, February 4, 2013

I had a dream...

Once upon a time, in 1950, there was a man named Bernard Rogers.
He had a dream.
He said to his wife one day:
"How would you like to live in a house like this?"
He showed her a plasticine model of a funny looking gnome like cottage.
"I think it would be grand!" she replied.
And so he built the dream house and named it Fable Cottage.
It was a home to a family for many years but people were always
curious about the funny house in Cordova Bay just outside of Victoria,B.C.
Sometimes the children that lived there woke up to see a bus
full of Japanese tourists outside their gate, wanting to photograph the
strange little house.
It was decided that the house would be opened to the public for all to see
and was a tourist attraction for decades.
Over 2 million people walked through the doors.
It was sold in the '70s to Bob and Anita Lane who continued to run it
 until, sadly, a divorce settlement caused the couple to sell off the house and property.
Instead of demolishing the house, they sold it...
 for $1.
The only stipulation was that it had to be moved off of the original property.
Once upon-another-time there was a man named Wes Ritter.
Since Wes was a dreamer too, he bought the house and moved it
on a barge on the sea, 100 miles north to Denman Island.
He had taken it apart for the move and in the last 4 or 5 years has been piecing it
back together as his home.
And hopefully he lives there happily ever after here.
Once upon-ANOTHER-time there was a girl named Kerry.
When she was a young lass she longed to go to visit the Fable Cottage, but
sadly the journey never happened.
Then, years later, she was visiting her friend, The Widow O'Reilly, Jane Ann of Denman Island
when some subject led to another in conversation and she mentioned that
she knew the man who had bought The Fable Cottage!
So off they strolled, through the junk...
Past the home made campers...
...and the vintage M.A.S.H vehicles...
To a vision from something out of a fairy tale...
There it was!
The fabled Fable Cottage!
A thing of beauty...
...and uniqueness...
Hand cut shingles...15 times more than a regular roof...
Roof lines that an architect either dreams of or wakes up in a sweat in a nightmare about...
This is a labour of love where a passion for fantasy and design play key roles...
And so the young lass who had a dream as well, will hope to
live happily ever after with this vision of loveliness in her head...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Warm and fuzzy...

So Norene and I set out to attempt to make wet felted slippers.
It was an extremely long process and made all the more difficult since
we'd never done these before. Wet felting, yes... hats, gauntlets, bowls and cuffs
but never a pair of slippers. We were a bit nervous about the amount of wool
to be used. As you can see in these pictures, Norene is beginning to lay
out the many, many tufts of roving...
It's about 8 - 12 layers.
I won't go into the fine details as I've already talked about wet felting in previous posts.
It took about 4 and a half hours to get to this point...
Obviously the one on the left is finished and the one on the right still has to be worked into shape.
It's amazing how big they start!
By the way, did you notice that these ones are NOT the same colours as the pictures above?
That's because the first pair turned out to be a bit of a disaster which is
a learning curve and we won't go into how much we learned.
Let's just say that it was enough knowledge to make us want to conquer another pair.
Never let a craft beat you!
Anyway the second pair turned out pretty good except I might change the
pattern a bit  next time...
I added some pretty orange silk bits to the tops to break up the grey colour...
I love the green / gold colours of the inside...
So there you more reason to visit the wool shop!
(like I needed one!)