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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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Incoming treasures...

I always know when something special has arrived in the mail
when I see that big square gold stamp from the UK...
 ...this is what came to me late last week from  
Valerie Greeley, illustrator, writer, book binder,painter extraordinaire..
I've been a fan of hers for years now and own several of her prints.
These three children's books are now in my ever growing collection.
Valerie's sensitivity to flora and fauna is justifiably evident in all her work.
Of course attention to detail is one of the reasons I love her work so much...
Living in the English countryside has left an impact on her.
She pays homage to things as big as an oak and as tiny as a raindrop.
The first book, 'Down the Lane' is a lovely walk through the calender year
as well as the meadows and hedgerows of her native, rural homeland...
I have one of the prints from this book...I love foxes and the face on this one just tugs at my heart..
 The second book, 'Acorns Story' is told in the style of the classic 'Who Killed Cock Robin'
but in a much more gentle and optimistic layered tale of how the mighty
oak grows from it's humble beginnings...
 Opposite the illustrations are beautifully detailed headers for the verse...
I own a print of one of the illustrations in this book as well.
It hangs in my studio...
 The third book is a second edition of a book first published in 1990...make sense?!
 (hope that's right Val!)
 Like all of the books, its printed on beautiful quality paper 
with the most vivid colours...
...more lovely headers in this book too...
 Here is a book of verse about colour and creature alike...
 At the end is a little educational section on all the creatures within...
 Forgive my photos for they don't portray the richness of the pages 
but it can give you an idea.
Valerie has kindly signed my books and this one in particular  is
signed for my wee nephew...
I'm sure she would be more than happy to sign a copy for you too!
 Valerie also keeps a blog, acorn moon which chronicles her
adventures through book making, illustrating, painting
and general wandering through the beautiful countryside of the UK and beyond.
You can purchase these books and prints and cards in her etsy shop here
If you're looking for that something special for a little one in your life
and, if like me, you appreciate lovely children's books,
think of Valerie and her gentle, thoughtful pictures and verse.
These books are perfect for bedtime stories as well as
anytime of the day you want to engage children in 
looking at and imaging the details of the natural world in and around their doorstep.
Thanks Val!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Excite' !

Well it's official!!!
Exactly 2 months today I'll be on my way!
Where, you ask?
Here's a few clues...
Bon! oui!
 I'm off to Paris in July!
My daughter and son in law are living there and have given 
me the ultimate Mothers Day gift of a trip to visit them!
I've never been so I'm super excited and that I haven't seen them since last 
summer for their wedding in Toronto well, lets just say
I can't wait to see them.
We've already booked a little road trip down through Provence and Burgundy
(lavender and wine country!)
and onto Marsilees on the Cote d' dreamy I feel!
Now to find the perfect, all purpose little black dress and
 try to recall some junior high school French and I'm set...
Enchante' je suis sur!
(Enchanted I'm sure!)