Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Visiting Victoria

This past weekend I visited our youngest son in Victoria.  This is about 4 hours from home, and I was absolutely astounded at the traffic that was out there.  School isn't out yet?  It's not a long weekend?  There's nothing special going on?  I didn't know why, but the traffic was solid and steady for the entire drive.  I didn't even want to use cruise control because I tend to daydream and find myself right on someone's bumper before I remember to back it down!  (I blame that on my husband who is always the driver so I don't get enough practice!) 

It was a great visit, and I was delighted to meet some of his friends Friday evening.  Saturday morning, we visited most of my favorite shops, and even one of my husband's....Valu Village.  Josh and I did well in that we found a pair of blue jeans for $7.00 which were my husband's favorite brand and his size as well.  He was thrilled when I got home and pulled them out of my suitcase.  Amazing the little things that please him.  He would not have been near as pleased with the same pair of jeans purchased brand new! 

One shop we went thru had this fountain on the steps at the entrance.  Inside they had the most fabulous wall hangings.  They were made of bits of wedding saris by women in India who were garnering an income from these projects.  They were all beautiful but one in particular was fabulous and I would have loved to purchase it.  I didn't have the nerve to ask if I could take a picture and not buy anything, but I was thoroughly impressed with the work.  It was all shades of greenish gold, with hand stitching and hand beading and was about the size of a lap quilt.  Exquisite work.  Another was a mixture of fabrics and the hidden shape in it reminded me of "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt. 

But, back to the fountain that is pictured above.  This is the sign that was behind it.  I thought it was intriguing enough just seeing it in operation, but then reading the sign I thought it was a great project.  And.....it would be fun to try and make one with some of the favorite stones in my collection!

For more information on this project, check out http://www.fountainofpeace.com/

For information on the store or the work of the women in India, visit http://www.fullcirclestudio.ca/

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Rock a Textile Too?

Last weekend my friend and I went to the Rock Hound show and sale. We do this every couple of years and always come home with some kind of beads, rocks or trinkets that we can use in our artistic pursuits.  There are also some other friends of mine that I invariably run into at this event.  This year was no different. We walked in and the first thing we saw was this incredibly colorful display of strung beads. This picture hardly does it justice since my focus is unfortunately more than a little off!  But you get the idea!

From there we walked to each display and admired the work of the rock artists. These photos were a banquet table set up with each plate looking like food being served. My favorite were the cookies (no surprise there), and the steak.

This photo shows a rock that is found in this area, on the beach mostly, and is commonly known as Oyster River Flower stone, used. It can be stunningly beautiful when sliced open, and equally as beautiful just as it’s found. I’ve got some in my own collection!  This rock is a beautiful example of nature's art.....in fact ALL the rocks were!  Polished pebbles, polished slices, carved shapes, jewelery, beads.....all a testament to the beauty inside something that usually doesn't look too exciting at first glance......sort of like a lot of people!

This is one I found somewhat intriguing, although I can’t say beautiful. I just think it’s one of those formations that everyone would see a different shape or subject in when they view it. Interesting isn’t it?

And yes, I did come home with a couple of pieces I'm going to try tying into my textile art.  More on that later. 
You should know that my friend and I are rock and stone "hounds" too. We don’t slice or carve the rocks, but we have our collections of pet rocks that are placed in strategic locations in our gardens. Yesterday my husband and I went to his brother’s home where we had “stashed’ all my pet rocks before we listed our house for sale. I didn’t even want to take the chance of someone asking for any of my collection to stay with the house! They were found in local rivers, on the local beaches, and even two that I hauled all the way home from a trip to Alberta! They will show up in future pictures when they get strategically placed in my garden! 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Forgetful Start and a Happy Ending

Recently I was invited to teach at an “Art Quilter’s Day” for the Parksville Quilt Guild http://www.parksvillequilthousequilters.com/ . I mentioned it in a previous post where I had been preparing to teach a class that was not the one advertised!

Preparations were done in advance. The class was scheduled and organized before our move, and then took place after the move. I felt accomplished in that I not only remembered that I had to teach, but I could find samples, demo items and supplies I had packed beforehand.  Picture me patting myself on the head here!

I got up on the Saturday morning confident that all was well. I was up in plenty of time to have tea before I left, and had everything in the car the evening before. But my husband seemed as if he couldn’t wait to see me off. He kept offering to help, offering to put things in the car, offering to fill my travel mug……I couldn’t help but wonder what he was up to and why he was so anxious to get me on the road.

But I left, took the turn onto the new inland Island Highway, which zips past all the towns and various turn offs and makes for a faster trip. It’s an hour’s drive and I’m in plenty of time. It wasn’t until I crossed the overpass on the intersection that I USED to use to turn onto this highway that I realized what my husband was fretting about. I’d forgotten to add distance we moved north of our previous home….twenty minutes!!!

Now I’m driving with the cruise control set at 10 over the limit, in hopes of getting there a little sooner and not getting caught! Added to my anxiety is the fact that I have proven to be directionally challenged and often take the wrong turn…..I’ve even done it WITH a GPS! But luckily this time I found the place without a false turn. I was so relieved.

I walked into the room where all the classes were set up to find two classes ready to go and my students all ready to go but looking a little concerned at their lack of a teacher. walked in, stood in front of everyone and said “I forgot where I lived!” One student, who knows me, said “Oh Right….you moved further north didn’t you?” And the laughter burst out.....he discussions about the difficulties of moving, and the stories of my previous meanderings on the wrong road, and then we got down to the business at hand. It was a class teaching how to make the tree on the cover of my book, “Embellishing with Anything” published through C&T http://www.ctpub.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=1288 

It was one of the best classes I’ve taught. Excellent students, all with a sense of humour and a sense of adventure. All with different color choices, all with different applications for the same project and every student finished at least one during the day, some doing a second one as well.

Thank you to all of you because you forgave my silliness in not leaving quite on time (I did thank my husband when I got home), and I look forward to another day like that one any time you want to organize it!