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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

Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

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!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Patience, my dears...

We've had some gorgeous clear days and even more clear nights.
We had a friend come out from the city to stay a few days and 
we stayed up into the wee hours playing cribbage.
A few times during the course of the evening we stepped outside
and Derrek remarked that the sky looked like a planetarium!
The sky so black and the stars like fairy lights strung above us.
In the morning the van windows were painted frosty masterpieces...
 I don't know what phenomenon is at work to develop such intricate designs...
 ...but life's beautiful little  mysteries astound me over and over!
 Icy chrysanthemums etched in silvers and greys...
 Whirls of cloud shapes...
 ...the sun comes out to enhance the hues and add some sparkle...
 A little warmth from my mitten and I can create a tiny porthole to the sunrise!
 Meanwhile, inside the house I'm enjoying a dreamy summer bouquet...
 ...perks from working at a flower shop...
 ...leftovers from last week...
 ...still gorgeous for at least a few more days...
 ...summer will come before we know it...
 ...keep dreaming... the grand scheme, it really is 'just around the corner'...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Song for Friday...thinking back....

There's so many things about my childhood in Toronto that
bring back many vivid and cherished memories....
One of the more prominent ones are those of
Maybe it's because we don't have those kind of winters here on the coast.
Last Christmas when we went to visit my daughter and her husband I ventured
up to the local park a few days after it had been snowing.
And there they players!
Just a bunch of guys in sweaters and skates goofing around on the ice...the sound of
skates, the slap of a puck on the stick.
But what memories it brought back to me of those evenings when you
had to be forced to come home for dinner..."just another half an hour...please!"
You would be so bundled up that even if you fell playing 'Crack the whip'
it didn't matter because you had so many layers on...
And so today my song is a tribute to those long ago winter afternoons.
I've included the lyrics to this song because they a word...
I'm not sure whatever happened to Jane Siberry but
she wrote some really fine songs at one time.
A warning that there a few 'f' words in one line but its
sort of a reference to a big riot in the '50s in Montreal when they
benched Maurice "Rocket" Richard of the Montreal Canadiens and
 apparently the swear words reference
 what he said to a fan or a referee after being handed down the penalty.
winter time on the frozen river
Sunday afternoon
they're playing hockey on the river
he'll have that scar on his chin forever
someday his girlfriend will say "hey, where...?"
he might look out the window... or not
you skate as fast as you can
'til you hit the snowbank (that's how you stop)
and you got your sweater from the catalogue

 you use your rubber boots for goal posts
ah, and walkin' home
don't let those Sunday afternoons
get away get away get away get away
break away break away...

this stick was signed by Jean Belliveau
so don't fucking tell me where to fucking go...
oh Sunday afternoon
someone's dog just took the puck
he's buried it it's in the snowbank ....your turn
they rioted in the streets of Montreal
when they benched Rocket Richard it's true

don't let those Sunday afternoons
get away get away get away get away
break away break away break away break away

the sun is fading on the frozen river
the wind is dying down
someone else just got called for dinner
hmm...Sunday afternoon
Have a great weekend all! and if you're anywhere where it's
cold enough....have a skate for me!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chasing Ice...

As the cold temps continue I've been treated to some
 beautiful ice formations along my walks with Griffin.
Yesterday was no exception in our beloved Erinan,
a 500 acre piece of private property whose owners graciously
allow people to respectfully use the trails and the lake therein.
This old water tower may not look like much of an artist...
...but with the help of Mother Nature it has made the
most stunning ice sculpture...
...drop by drop and splash by splash the build up has taken on
other worldly proportions...
...the steady and patient hand of freezing nights and crisp clear days
has unveiled this blue, white glassy marvel...
Blades of grass and twigs of trees encased in a frozen, transparent cloak...
Time lapsed photography would have shown the artistry in progress
but alas! we are only given the final product of a master sculptor...
Down by the creek, it seems the same hand has been working here as well...
On another note...
The title of this post came from a magnificent and very important documentary
that you must watch. One of the most beautiful and thought provoking films
about climate change you'll ever see.
From the Chasing Ice website...
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. -
Its available on Netflix here in Canada.
Usually I find films about this subject full of scientists and politicians and fact finders
a tad dull but this film in all its sad beauty is physically stunning.
It literally is the proof that our world is changing.
Have a look.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The winter hours...

It's been an extremely cold week least for us on
the Coast. We don't usually get below freezing temps and
wow!, snow too!
The fires been on 24/7...

Thanks to Norene who has been perfecting the business of candle making,
She is now the wax maven,
many beeswax candles have been burning as the night grows dark...
 I've been doing a bit of seasonal decorating
around the house...picking big, fat, plump snow berries and
placing them in clear glass vases...
 I don't know if I've ever seen them so full...
 Could be a sign of a cold winter!
Setting out little winter dioramas under glass...
This is a picture of my mom when she was about 10 one long ago winter
at St Annes school in Victoria...
 ...pine cones, and faux snow in the bottom of an old mason jar cradle her picture...
I saw this idea on Poppytalk and since we just got a bunch
of very fragrant Bay leaves, I thought I'd make myself one.
Even after the leaves begin to dry and curl, it still looks quite pretty...
A big basket of pine cones sits by the fire...
And the precious little Anna's hummingbird outside our window...
 Yesterday he was just sitting there for a long spell...
 Perhaps letting the sun warm his back...
 Did you know at night when they go into torpor, they can
slow their hear trate down from 246 beats a minute to 6?!!
 Truly little miracles...
Now today I will put some outdoor greenery on the porch since its warmed up
a bit...get up some fairy lights up and hunker down into
the season of light.
Happy Sunday.