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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, April 3, 2014

As promised...

Yesterday I posted this picture.
It was a box I recycled and repurposed for a piece I just finished.
It's a nod to those who appreciate the unique and handmade
and are a part of the movement to support artisans.
To remind those who may not be totally familiar with the term artisan...
"An artisan[1] (from French: artisan, Italian: artigiano) or craftsman (craftsperson)[2] is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, sculpture, clothing, jewellery, household items and tools or even machines such as the handmade devices of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist."
I like this definition. It gives a wide berth to many a creator and doesn't limit the work to one thing.
I admire the work of a cheese maker and a cabinet maker just
as much as a sculptor or photographer.
My most recent commission was from a man (whom, him and his wife have bought several pieces
of mine), was to make a likeness of this card...
 Do you know of this illustrator?
His name is Jan Van Sandwyk and he does the most
whimsical and lovely work.
He spends his life between Vancouver and Fiji...hmm...nice life ey?
So my task was to make a likeness of this hare as a gift from my customer to his wife. hair for whiskers from my neighbour up the road.
She has a 32 year old horse!
 Nothing says spring like a March hare!
So here's to those who keep artisans going...Cheers!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Is it really?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
I suppose in my case, today, it is.
It seems that today my words and pictures have equaled 1000!
Yes, this is my 1000th post and I can hardly believe that I've had 
that much to say and show.
Just goes to show you that a little rambling and wandering and wondering goes a long way.
So what's new...lets see...
Yesterday I took this equipment...
 Clippers to cut the nettles and of course gloves because they
don't call them stinging nettle for nothing!
 After a long winter of eating rich foods, nettles are one of the best detoxes around...
 I also picked some kale since it has become very sweet with all the cold weather...
 Norene came over with her daughter Haley and our mission...
 ...besides avoiding the sting of nettles...
 ...Was to make a monster batch of pesto!
After steaming the nettles for a few minutes (to take the sting out) we added garlic (lots!)
cashews, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, basil and olive oil,
whipped it up in our food processors and...
Presto...Pesto for the masses!
I spread mine into a cake pan, about 6 cups worth and threw it in the freezer...
 ...this morning I took it out by lifting the parchment paper and cut it into squares and
then threw it in a freezer container, ready to use as much or as little as I need.
they look like pesto brownies!
 ...just as yummy in a savory way...
 My latest passion is being inspired by this new book I just bought, 'Art Made from Books'.
When I was visiting my brother he had a similar book and I knew I just had to have this one
when I saw it in Paper Ya on Granville Island.
It's full of artists who have taken cutting paper to a whole new art form...
They actually cut stories and lift them out of the book but keep the book in tact and 
the pages come alive...

 How beautiful is that?!
 I'm not sure how far I'll get with my endeavours but I certainly want to try.
 So that big stack of old books Ive collected....BEWARE!
You could be my next art project!
You probably think I'm crazy to cut up a book. I wouldn't cut up any of the more valuable ones
but I do have a few that were really cheap and somewhat falling apart.
Anyway, the weather is grand and I even hear the drone of a lawnmower must be spring!
So I'm off to take Griff for a ramble and another daily adventure!
(1000...whew! who knows whats next?!)