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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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Variations on a theme...

Bloodline TV Series Poster.jpg

Theme songs.
Especially tv series theme songs.
There's something strangely comforting about them.
Even as a kid, the opening music to 'Wild Kingdom' or 'Wonderful World of Disney'
brought you running to know that the show had just begun!
Some theme songs from shows like 'Hill Street Blues' or 'Cheers' will 
always remind me of my dad...they are some of his favourites.
I once watched the whole series of 'Lost' on DVD in about a week when I 
was down with a torn calf muscle and there, that music 
gave me some sense of comfort in my state of non movement.
And now we have Netflix to watch our faves at our leisure.
'Breaking Bad', 'The Bridge' (the foreign version) 'The Knick', 'Downton Abbey'
just to name a few.
We're watching 'Bloodline' right now and I love this opening them song
by Book of Fears...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Big deep breaths...

So hopefully the rushing to and fro and is over for you 
and life is winding itself back down to a sense of routine and calmness.
So for now...take some deep breaths and take a minute or 
two to gaze at some lovely winter will do you good...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

hello out there!

To all of you out there who come to peek inside my world
and who have left such thoughtful comments throughout the year...
Love and Light to you and your loved ones from here 
on this Island in the Pacific to where ever you may find yourself this season...
 But most of all I wish for Peace on this beautiful planet of ours.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I spent last week travelling over to the mainland to visit my nieces.
My middle niece Rachel and I then took an alternate route home.
There's nothing like having the leisure time to take the long road home.
And so we did...
From Tsawwassen on the mainland you can take the 1.5 hour ferry to points
south near Victoria or you can take a 2 hour ferry to the middle of the island
to Nanaimo. 
I've only done this route once at night so it was such a treat to be sailing
on a gorgeous clear morning...
...there was a beautiful dusting of fresh snow that lay like icing sugar across the landscape...
I've never been up into these mountains but I've looked at them from down below
for half of my life when I lived in Vancouver and the many many times I've taken these ferry rides...
...and still they catch my breath...
The two 'bumps' standing out here are called The Lions...
Sometimes from certain angles they really do look like two majestic Egyptian 
sculptures of regal beasts keeping watch...
As the sailing continued I said to my niece "people pay money to go on cruises
like lucky we are to have this as part of our highway system!"
Closer to Nanaimo we passed the Entrance Island lighthouse station.
Built in 1885, one of the rare, still manned lighthouses on the coast,  it was built to
guide ships into the Nanaimo harbour from the Straight of Georgia, now renamed 
The Salish Sea by the Chemainus First Nations People who have lived here for thousands of years.
After an hour and a half drive we arrived on Denman Island to visit old friends and the mountains
up that way, the spine of Vancouver Island, looked just as lovely as ever...
There's a magic feeling of snow in December, right before the Solstice...
Winter skies travel gladly with us on our road trip...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Facing forward again...

I always keep my eyes open for nice old wood frames in the thrift stores.
A few weeks back I found this one for $5.
It would be perfect for a print I bought on Etsy that I've been meaning to frame.
(you can see more of her wonderful whimsical art here in her shop )
Since the print looked old world I was chuffed to find such
a dark coloured, aged and textured frame.
In the frame was this old, crappy photo of Lake Tahoe.
Nothing special. Something out of a magazine,  perhaps from the 50's or 60's
maybe older, there was no date on it but from the condition of the glass
it hadn't been cleaned in a LONG time.
That was the other thing, the glass. It has that warbley (is that a word?) 
wavy look of old glass. 
Now usually when you buy a framed piece in the thrift store the
workers will rip off a piece of the backing paper to
make sure there isn't a priceless Picasso or
VanGogh behind that cheap print of Lake Tahoe...
Now don't get ahead of me...this was NOT the case in the frame I bought!!
The backing was still in tact, no one had checked it.
When I finally pulled out all the little nails and 
removed the cardboard there WAS something else under
the Lake Tahoe photo...
It was her!
As soon as I turned the photo over I couldn't help but say "hello!" out loud.
 I just stared at her for a minute...
"who are you?" I said aloud
"who put you here, facing backwards?"
She is so beautiful and kind looking...
Her eyes look a little sad don't they?
It's a very good quality photograph, probably taken in the early 1900's.
No identifying marks anywhere though.
No photographers studio name, no penciled in name of the lady...
So I brought her out into the light of day...she is sitting with my
seasonal fairy lights, facing forward again after all these years.
I have many pictures like this of long dead relatives, 
some who I know, some who I don't.
If the picture could only talk.
I would like to know her story.
I thought about her while Tom and I were making dinner in the kitchen...
Was she married?
Did she lose someone in the Great War?
Did she have children?
Where did she live?
In the city?
Was she a country girl?
Someday, someone may look at a photograph of me and wonder the same things.
Maybe someone will recognize this lady one day and solve my mystery.
But for now she'll spend some time in my house, facing forward again.
Happy Christmas...whoever you are.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Kit on the block...

Well here she is...
Folks, meet Aurora.
She is the latest in my 'cruelty free taxidermy' series.
How wonderful to have a trophy such as a beautiful fox without the
dreaded and horrible ritual of the fox hunt!
Many folklore tales portray the fox as a trickster and tell of  'Reynard'
covering itself with blood and then playing dead to unsuspecting birds...who then
try to prey on the dead animal only to be devoured by the fox.
Foxes are seen as sneaky, evil little devils but I beg to differ...
I love the look of a fox.
Their beautiful long sleek red fur, the white tufts on their mane,
little pricky ears and those whiskers!
Foxes are survivors, top of the heap preditors.
Devoted to family.
So Aurora is a cruelty free trophy head joining the 
fine company of Orvis the Big horn sheep and Ursula the bear...
Available here in my shop...
(update: fox has been sold)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Le Reve de Geneviève...(The Dream of Genevieve)

She has travelled the world with all of the greats...
The Bolshoi, The Paris Opera, The Royal Ballet.
The bright lights, the late nights, the long flights.
Bleeding feet, teary eyes, torn calf muscles and all.
But she was never the one on stage.
Always behind the scenes, amidst the heavy velvet curtains,
 watching every detail of the costumes on the dancers.
You see she was Genevieve, the seamstress.
Not just any seamstress, but one of the best!
Prima Ballerinas would throw temper tantrums
if the basque was not made by Genevieve.
If Prince Charming's dance belt was not personally 
tailored by Genevieve, there might as well not be
a Sleeping Beauty.
Her tutus floated like little summer clouds around
the tiny waists of the dancers.
Every sparkly sequin had a special place on her garments.
They were like stars on a map of the night sky.
But she was not always high in demand...
Genevieve came from humble beginnings 
in a small village in the South of France...
One day she met a Russian Bear hitchhiking on the side of the road
 who was off to make his fortunes in The City of Lights.
Genevieve had only ever heard stories of Paris but 
had dreamed of seeing it since she was a tiny kit.
Her mother had a torn piece of a magazine in their
den with a picture of the skyline and there,
front and centre was The Eiffel Tower!
Some say she had fallen in love with an Irish aviator during the war.
His plane had been shot down in a field near Paris and when he finally recovered,
 with the help of the Resistance, she aided in his escape to Spain.
There are rumors of Genevieve's involvement
in many other escapes but she never spoke of them.
The only evidence is an old leather helmet that sits on a little corner table in her bedroom.
Anyway, that was a long time ago and many shows have come and gone.
Genevieve was respected by all of the companies and paid handsomely.
Now she lives in a beautiful elegant apartment overlooking
the Champs de Mars in the centre 
of Paris with everything she needs.
But secretly she dreamed of being a dancer and
in her apartment at night, Genevieve will put on
Beethoven's Romance for Violin Concerto,
and don a creation she designed especially for herself.
You see over the years she collected small scraps 
and bits from the finest handmade lace and ribbon.
Pieces that would have otherwise been thrown in the bin.
 Genevieve would work on it by lamplight late at night until
one day it was finished.
Fitting her svelte, long limbed body like a great costume should.
And she dances.
And spins.
And balances in an old pair of slippers that Anna Pavlova had 
once tossed into a corner of a dressing room, considering them 'Done.'
She always gives her most elegant curtsy when she is finished.
As any great ballerina would.
Genevieve has many great memories and volumes of tales to tell
but she is most happy with her wine and her the sun goes Paris.

(Currently for sale in my Etsy shop here)