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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, September 12, 2015

I love you just the way you are...

We had a customer at the flower shop that we were doing wedding flowers 
for and this is what the bride and groom to be pulled up in to pick up their arrangements...I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures...
So me, a girl who loves a classic car, wanted to know everything about it...
The man who owns it told me that the car originally came into his fathers automotive
shop for repairs. He bought it new off the lot in Victoria in 1945 and had it 
painted with his business logo and info at the same time...

I love so many things about this van...the simple phone #, the aged look of the paint, 
the grill, the lights. the history!
The current owner said he would never change a thing about it.
I said that you couldn't re create that look no matter how hard you tried.
These are original paint cans that the current owner of the car has been collecting over the years.
Same brand as the original owner use to use...
So then he told me how it came into his families hands...turns out over the years, the original
owner kept bringing it in for maintenance and when he retired from his business he offered
the mechanic the van for sale. The mechanic wanted to know how much he wanted for it...
"what I paid for it" says the guy..."$1,287.00".
Needless to say the mechanic bought it and in time handed it down to his son,
 who still drives it today.
How cool is that?!
She's a real beauty isn't she? 
Some things are just worth perfect the way they are.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New kid on the block...

Sometimes things have to sit and simmer before they "become".
I had made a mouse that ended up looking like a rat but I wanted a mouse.
Then I needed the eyes from the rat for the new mouse.
So the rat sat in a corner of my studio, blind and on the back burner....
Until one day I thought "this little guy needs a life".
I don't like to have too many UFO's in my studio.
(that's 'unfinished objects')
I had just got a new shipment of eyes and they were just the ticket to 
get this little guy back on his little rat feet agin.
But it wasn't just the eyes...he needed something else...
Oh, I about some work socks and gumboots?
Out came the Fimo clay and I baked a fresh new pair.
Now since it's harvest time I figured maybe a little pumpkin was in order...
Yup...things were looking up for the young rat lad.
Of course he might need a wee cap with all this rain we've been having...
Acorn tops are the perfect soloution!
Some donkey fir for whiskers.
And we shall call him 'Percy'!
I made him a little wooden platform covered in nice felt and did a blanket stitch around the edges with some vintage linen thread from Northern Ireland
 (thanks for the thread Gillian!)...
 One last look...
Available in here my etsy shop 
Sorry, Percy has now been sold!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Old haunts...

Been trying to ride my bike everyday that I can.
This morning I went down into the Boy Scout camp where I use to walk Griff
and had a nice meander through the trails.
We always used to stop at this big old fir tree...
Is it slightly wonky to say hello to a tree?
 I do anyway..."hello old friend".
And indeed it is old...probably 300 or 400 years old.
"What have you seen growing here?"
"I'm sure you've seen your share of windy nights and lovely sunrises.
This year we had a terrible drought...did you ever witness one like that?
I imagine you've had many hands touch your rough coat and stare up in awe at your size.
To city kids you would be as tall as a 5 storey building.
To me you're as lovely as always."
I stopped to admire the quietness of the marsh as well...
The birds are still singing, some getting ready to migrate to other, warmer places.
I feel so grateful to have these places just outside my door.
Lucky to have the leg power to get there as well.
And always I am eternally thankful to have walked these places many mornings
with Griff by my side.
It just makes these places all the more sweet and precious.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A winter reading list for you...

I've been taking a cue from a few fellow bloggers regarding reading lists.
Fall is approaching and the long nights will soon be upon us and with that, for me anyway,
means there is a growing stack of books by my bedside.
I'm squirreling nuts away.
There's nothing more fearsome to me than being on the last chapter of a 
good book and not having anything else to read.
For now though, I'll share with you some titles and brief descriptions
on a few of the better ones I've had the pleasure of reading in the last little while.
First off is a fact based novel by Hannah Kent...
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It tells the incredibly moving story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir who, as a young woman,
is convicted and sentenced to death by beheading. 
The last public execution held in Iceland in 1829.
The descriptions of the vast and desolate landscape is a juxtaposition against the 
backdrop of a claustrophobic rural family farmhouse 
where Agnes is being held until her execution.
The farmer, his wife and two daughters avoid contact as much as possible with
Agnes and she is befriended only by the young assistant priest appointed to be
her spiritual guidance.
I read this book during the early part of this year when it was dark and bleak.
I had to be warm under the comforter  for this one most nights.

One of my all time favourite books is my next recommendations ...
In this beautifully written book, Robert MacFarlane ventures out on a quest to
find the most undomesticated, remote places in England, Scotland and Ireland.
I think I dogeared about half the pages in this book for quotes by MacFarlane.

'Landscape was here long before we were even dreamed. It watched us arrive.'

He is such an evocative writer taking us along on his many journeys while versing
us in the history and sense of the disappearing 'wild' places of our world.
 I was taken back to some of the more remote places I visited in Ireland and I also felt
he echoed many feelings I have here at home on my walks.
I especially loved and related to this paragraph...

“Wild animals, like wild places, are invaluable to us precisely because they are not us. They are uncompromisingly different. The paths they follow, the impulses that guide them, are of other orders. The seal's holding gaze, before it flukes to push another tunnel through the sea, the hare's run, the hawk's high gyres : such things are wild. Seeing them, you are made briefly aware of a world at work around and beside our own, a world operating in patterns and purposes that you do not share. These are creatures, you realise that live by voices inaudible to you.”

It's both encouraging and enlightening to know that we can still walk out our back doors and search 
for such places, hopefully find them and meditate on them to bring 
a sense of quiet and wonder to our lives.

Next up is a book I have recommended to quite a few people...
I'll let this review speak for me...
'Elizabeth Gilbert’s first novel in twelve years is an extraordinary story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. The novel follows the fortunes of the brilliant Alma Whittaker (daughter of a bold and charismatic botanical explorer) as she comes into her own within the world of plants and science. As Alma’s careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she loves draws her in the opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose is a Utopian artist. But what unites this couple is a shared passion for knowing—a desperate need to understand the workings of this world, and the mechanism behind of all life.
The Signature of All Things is a big novel, about a big century. Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, this story novel soars across the globe—from London, to Peru, to Philadelphia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam and beyond. It is written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time. Alma Whittaker is a witness to history, as well as maker of history herself. She stands on the cusp of the modern, with one foot still in the Enlightened Age, and she is certain to be loved by readers across the world.'
I tell you, you'll never look at a patch of moss the same again. Elizabeth Gilbert has researched her subjects in great detail and her writing is simply beautiful. There were so many poignant moments in this book for me. Near the end of the book she has many discussions on the subject of death and dying and I read this on the day Griff (my best dog ever) died. It really hit home with me and gave me a lot of comfort.
The next book...
Cover Image
Such an insightful read into the tragedy of the 1982  sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland during a terrible night storm where all 84 men were lost. The main character Helen is one of the widows left behind and this book deals with her struggles with the present and her memories of the past while giving us a human look at what happens within a small community after such an incident. Winner of 2013 Canada Reads.
O.K now for something completely different...
A Nun in the Closet
I was at a jumble sale and walked by this book, laughed at the title then went back 5 minutes later and picked it up for a quarter. I just had to buy it for the cover and part of the description on the back which states...."the nuns were up to their wimples in trouble." How could I resist?! Its a light, well written mystery that takes place amidst the back drop of a large abandoned estate donated to an order of nuns in upstate New York during the early '70's. Hippies have been squatting there, the mob is involved and yes, these nuns are up to their wimples in trouble! An easy read, an in between serious books read.
Anyway a few to mull over.
I'll come back with some of the titles by the bedside in a while...happy reading.