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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 8, 2014

Book reviews...

Winter is definitely the season for reading.
While Griffin was convalescing, long, cold, rainy days by the fire made
for prime reading time.
Lets see if I can summerize the last few books I've read...

'The Little Giant of Aberdeen County' by Tiffany Baker
was a sad tale of two orphaned sisters growing up in
two different worlds in a small town.
The story spans over their lifetimes and how very different they are.
One sister, the perfect girl and the other, Truley, an enormous misfit.
Uncovering the secrets in a family hierloom, long a mystery in the town,
Truley finds her calling which becomes a blessing and a curse.
A tale of family history, love, murder, and betrayal.
Definitely worth a read.
'The Lost Garden' by Helen Humphreys
Gwen Davis flees the bombing of London in 1941 to the Devon countryside
and volunteers to supervise a group of young women known as The Land Girls.
Living together in the abandoned servants buildings on a large estate, 
they are there to grow potatoes for the war effort.
Living in the main estate house is regiment of Canadian soldiers waiting for orders
and these two groups become entangled in the confusion of wartime.
At the same time, Gwen discovers a garden that was seemingly left abandoned at 
the start of the previous war in 1917.
She begins to unravel the quiet history left behind in the head gardeners potting shed
but is haunted by the ghosts within the walled gardens.
I loved this short novel.
Both of them were picked up in the thrift shop for about $3 each.
I love when I can find good books for such a small investment!
My other two books I bought online with some birthday money.
They are both to do with felting....surprise surprise!
The first is simply called 'Felt' by Willow Mullins.
As the back cover states...
"From nomads to poodle skirts, from car parts to Christmas tree ornaments,
felt is one of the oldest and most understated textiles"
This book covers the wide-ranging history and development
of felt from the earliest of archaeological evidence in Siberia to
modern fiber arts and sculpture.
Largely a text book and chock full of yards of information but not without 
some witty writing, I love the lines from the opening pages...
"Unique among textile structures, felt does not rely on first turning raw fibers
into yarn as weaving and knitting do; 
rather felt harnesses the chaos of tangles. While those of us who weave
and knit may look upon the confused snarl of our yarn with frustration,
for those who felt, this confusion of fibers is a thing of beauty."
 The second book is a small 50 page gem called 'The Felt Industry' by Peter Walter.
Here we have a superb little book full of text as well as photos
of the story of the felt industry in Britain from 1840 to the modern age.
I had no idea what a huge industry this was and how innovative the 
pioneers of this massive movement were.
The impact of the felt industry both in its glory days and now as an art form
are documented very well in this small but mighty book.
Speaking of felt..just finished another 'experiment' in the 'lab'.
Just trying to get the felted bag to a desired state.
Miles to go, but getting there is almost all of the fun!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Song for Friday...for the sun seekers!

(Mexico 2012)

Seems like everywhere I go people are flying off to hot and sunny places.
My daughter and son in law are in Panama...
the dentist is off to Maui...
her receptionist is off to Costa Rica...
the hygienist is off to Mexico...
a customer in the flower shop is off to The Grand Caymans and Cuba...
a friend from yoga is off to Joshua Tree...
Me? I'm here sitting in the sun but its bitter cold outside.
No plans for us to go anywhere right now but I'm fine by the fire.
So here's one for all you sun seekers...
Have a great trip!
Have a great weekend all!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Around the house...

Sitting here at the table and I'm intoxicated by the fragrance of these...
 I bought them last week and within a few days of  being inside
with the warmth of the wood stove and some sunshine...
 ...they are all three stems, heavily laden with spring perfume...
 ...filling the house with promise and the optimism of warmer days to come...
My little oxalis which I received last St Patricks Day has laid dormant
for most of the winter. But in the past few weeks she has been
sprouting new leaves almost daily... if she's just bursting with spring joy!
I received something most interesting in the mail for my birthday a few weeks back...
 My daughter had these shipped from this shop. They hand make these beautiful arrows
with real feathers and poplar wood from sustainable sources...
 Sweet little gift tag as well!
 They're only for decorative use so don't imagine me out there in 
the forest looking for deer...maybe I'll use a few on Valentines Day!
 Do you like marbles? 
 I inherited a bunch of odds and ends from another crafter who was getting
rid of some felting supplies and these were in amongst them...
 We used to have huge marble collections when I was a girl and I remember
in the spring the school yard was full of all types of games to challenge your marble skills.
Many kids carried them around in those purple Crown Royal cloth bags that the 
whiskey came in. Of course the big boulder types and the clear crystal ones were the real prize ones...
...I always wondered about the coloured bits in the middle and how it was 
that the twisty design was made. I'm sure with technology these days I could 
google it and find out but for now I'll just enjoy them as is on my table reflecting the light.