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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, October 3, 2015

Two Paths...

I took my bike out for a ride yesterday morning.
I like to say "I took it out" like it's a dog or a horse and indeed 
it's become my companion most mornings...
An old friend, a bit rusty but hardy and dependable as it's always been.
It's the same bike I've had for about 25 years. I use this one instead of
my Dutch ladies bike for trail riding, much lighter and maneuverable.
As I trundle past the trees I'm reminded of a favourite poem...

'The Road Not Taken'
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This poem has echoed in my head on many paths, in many woods, for many years.
 An autumn morning, like most others have been...
...taking note of the signs of a turning season...
It's one of the reasons I come out here, to ground myself, to connect my 
world with the earth....
The creatures...
Water,  trees, 
The minuscule world under my feet...
Even reflecting on mans footprint here in these 500 acre woods...
It's so quiet and, most times, I am totally alone here. 
Today I ran into one woman and her dogs, chatted about bears and the weather.
I rode on, missing my past days with Griff by my side...
Feeling fine just the same though...still taking the road less travelled, making all the difference.

Monday, September 28, 2015

La bella luna...

...and so she came up above the trees in a sliver of orange...
...she sat for a while while her cloak grew wider around her girth...
...and then, she showed us all the magic she could on this clear autumn night.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

last nights moon...

Last nights 'pre' moon...we'll see what kind of magic is in store for tonights actual full moon.
Here's looking at you kids.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Out and about in the big city...

Sunday and Monday I went to a Floral Design talk/show in Vancouver
with my boss and another co-worker.
It's a treat to take a trip back to a city where I lived for about 5 years.
I did some schooling there at BCIT for a horticulture program.
Admittedly it was a tough and lonely time for me living
there, trying to make a life,  single motherhood but of course
things all worked out as they should in the end.
I still enjoy getting a hit of the big city especially when you get to share it
with a few friends. We had SO much fun together and even got
a bit silly at times...that's what happens when the country mice visit the city!
Aside from the business end of things we did get to trip around the streets, 
went out for a great meal, saw some good, saw some bad, even saw 
some wildlife of the city kind...raccoons and skunks oh my!
One store I love to check out is called's the sister
store of Daiso, a Japanese discount store. Not quite a dollar store. 
A bit better quality in my opinion.
Picked up a few little bits and bobs like these great waterproof 
fabric buckets...
I'm always in need of storage in the studio and these will work out perfectly...
Since I love sending letter in the old fashioned way...stamps and all, I 
found a few things to make the envelopes more interesting...
Sometimes the translations are fun to read...useful AND cute!
I've been searching for thin black wire for several projects regarding my sculptures...sorted!
I also found this sweet little box of addition flash cards for kids but I bought it, again for
storage, but was pleasantly surprised at the illustrations...
...I mean who doesn't love 8 flying raccoons with scarves and flags?!...
Or 12 floating elephants?!!...
One other shop that I love is Saje.
They make the most beautifully packaged essential oil products.
The key word is the word 'essential'.
I find essential oils indeed ESSENTIAL to my health and well being.
Aromatherapy equals many things to me.
Well being, relaxation, sleep aid, you name it, it helps me deal with so many things.
I think Neroli, an oil from northern India is one of my favourites
so I picked up a bottle at Saje. It can be hard to find.
It's only 20% pure Neroli because of it's strength...
I also picked up a bottle of a combination scent called Yoga which
has such a calming effect.
Like I said...their packaging is so pretty...
that's about it for my big city report....till next time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Isn't She grand?!...


                         I went for a visit/workshop at my friend Gillian's house the other day.
(oh, and yummy apple crisp and tea!)
She's a textile artist extraordinaire!
     She makes gorgeous slippers and throws (not to mention a million other things!)
out of up cycled wool sweaters and blankets...
She also does Eco dying with leaves.
This is a printing process using leaves on fibre and adding mordants.
If you want a more detailed idea of the process have a look at this website.
So the first thing you have to do is to soak your fibre in pure vinegar overnight.
We were using 12" wide strips of washed and shrunk pure wool blankets...
Next we places our leaves where we wanted....
We used feather and round eucalyptus (the grey green leaves), cotinus (the round purple leaves),
 alder cones and some native trailing blackberry...
Look at these sweet heart shaped eucalyptus!...
Next step is to roll up your bundle tightly and tie it well with string...
You can do it nice and neat or randomly. I'll show you why later...
All bundled up and ready for a nice hot bath...
Into the boiling water bath we go...if you add a piece of iron it affects the outcome of the colours.
We left our bundles boiling for about 3 hours...
Peeps break!
(Gillian's gorgeous boy!)
Out it comes, looking like a big grub...the bundle, not Peeps...
So have a look at this...
The feather eucalyptus leaves an amazingly distinct orange print.
The cotinus and native blackberry left beautiful purple dyes...
 and the alder cones left very dark brown, heavy imprints of itself...
Isn't nature fantastic?!
All of the incredible mysteries she holds...why orange from grey green leaves?
And purple from bright green leaves?
The faint round shape is from the round eucalyptus leaves that didn't really print,
 although I have seen many examples of it printing the same colour as the feather eucalyptus.
Could just be a different variety.
I really love the patterns and textures of the tie marks...
The second piece I dyed had much more iron in the pot and so made these beautiful
prominent patterns from the bundling string...
This piece I only used the feather eucalyptus...
I absolutely love the results!
I may add some embroidery or some needle felting to it...
For some reason I get a 'Japanese feel' to this...
May be a bag...may be a wall hanging...may be a pillow cover...but lovely just the same.
 The world around us is full of unending gifts and surprises.
I am blessed to be surrounded by creative, kindred spirits 
and the boundless offerings of nature herself.
Thanks Gillian for sharing yours!
You can find Gillian on and here