Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Looking UP is something I forget to do. When walking about and especially in a quilt shop, I am so intent on the displays in the window, the people passing by, the litter that may be a piece of art,the fabric and notions on display..... I often forget to look above my eye level.

This past weekend was a perfect example of that. I had the pleasure of travelling to Victoria, BC with my very good friend. The trip was a gift from her sweetie, who sent us away together to shop and find upholstery fabric! I think there may be a message in there somewhere, but that’s not what this is about!
We went to Munro’s books, where a quilt artist described to us by the clerk in a nearby clothing store had quilts on display. They are mounted on the wall space between the top bookshelf and the ceiling.  This building is a heritage one so you can imagine how high they are! I’d never have noticed them if I’d been there without the advice of the sales clerk!  I would have been absorbed in the books on display at eye level!

You can see great photos of the entire display  here at this link. These quilts are described in the lower paragraph and are quite stunning and amazing to see in person. So “look up” if you go to Munro’s! The artist is Carol Sabistan.  The one to the right is one of a series of 4, my personal favorite, but they are all amazing works of art.  And huge! 

After our sojourn into the book store, we decided we needed to eat something. A restaurant named “Mo:Le” was recommended to us. We walk everywhere we go, and often get distracted (I bet you’d never have guessed that!) by something we pass. We had the address of the restaurant in hand, but we walked by this building. I had to stop and take a picture of this piece of impromptu art mounted on the wall, at eye level, of the deserted building. I thought it was beautiful in the fact that an unidentified artist had chosen that spot to display it.


This somewhat derelict building is in the Chinatown area of Victoria,  and this painting is done on the column next to the wall where the mixed media art was mounted.  You can just see the edge of it on the left side of the picture.

And then Ang pointed out the roofline of the building. I looked up to see that the building was actually just the front wall and portions of the side, but the windows were gone and the sky was showing through! No roof, no windows and no back. How intriquing is that? I was quite fascinated.

After our little photo shoot we continued our walk to Mo:Le. We were walking along looking at street numbers on the doors and buildings and unable to find the one we wanted…..554 Pandora. Since I am "directionally challenged", we decided to use the map application on my phone to get a map from where we stood to the address we were looking for. There we are in the street, typing in the address and waiting for the data to download. Aha! We have two dots….start walking and see if they get closer together or further apart……they got closer together.

FIVE steps later they merged!! We stopped in our tracks and looked around not seeing anything that indicated a 554 or a “Mo:Le”. And then we looked around and UP! There, hanging above the street visible to people down the block, was the restaurant sign. Go to this link and check the menu selections: The food was absolutely fabulous….we were eating from the breakfast menu. Everything made right there: salsa, tortillas, hot sauce, the works. It was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever eaten and when I say that it really means something because I don't enjoy cooking, but travel with a food oriented person most of the time! I will certainly be revisiting this one! 

After a most delicious meal, we walked to Chintz & Company, to buy the upholstery fabric.  Ang has a lovely funky old chair that was her Grandma’s, and we are going to recover it with fresh fabric. I’ve done a chair before so have promised to help. That should be another interesting adventure….only we’ll be looking down!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weddings, Windstorms and Melancholy

Today was a day of weddings.  My middle son and his wife are visiting because she is a bridesmaid today.  Wearing the dress I altered!  My youngest son, his partner and I were invited to the wedding of a friend's daughter, whom he grew up next door to and went to school with. 

Last night everyone was here for dinner before the celebrations today.  Five adults, and 2 children and this little house was warmed with children's voices, laughter, sarcasm, teasing, good food and best of all, family love.  But that much fun is exhausting I must say!

Today the bridesmaid and family took off to attend their wedding, and we other three went to our wedding.  It was alarming for me to be at a reception with all these adults, who turned out to be what I remembered as little people, all of whom have stayed in touch since heading out to their adult lives!  It was incredibly heart warming to see the number of people who just accepted my son and his partner with no reservations.  And hilarious to see the number of people who had gone to school with him and approached with funny memories and anecdotes! 

It was a horrendous wind storm last night, and today was terribly rainy so both celebrations had to take place inside.  But with so much happiness in the room, the weather didn't dampen anyone's spirits.  The couple in the wedding I attended actually got married last summer in the groom's homeland, Israel.  This reception was for those friends who couldn't travel that far.  It was very well done, with a slide show playing at the front of the room with pictures of the actual wedding ceremony where it was held.  They were spectacular and I found myself going to my friend, the mother of the bride and asking if I could please come over and look at all these pictures individually.....there was some fabulous quilt inspiration in there.  She seemed to think that was a great idea so I can't wait till she's recovered from the stress of planning and preparing and we can do that.  Two projects are percolating in my mind already. 

What about those unfinished projects you ask?  I know I know.....I'll try to apply myself to them while I wait for the photos and permission to use them! 

After the reception, I came home to walk the dog and Josh and Gil went to town to visit friends they haven't seen in quite a while.  My walk is normally in the forest but in heavy winds that isn't wise so we went to the beach....always my preference anyway!  It was a perfectly wonderful winter beach day.  Crashing waves, lots of wind and rain (I was soaked when I got home), and birds dipping and floating on the updrafts.  I couldn't help feeling a little melancholy at all these young people growing up and starting new things while I grow old and finish a career, but they are so happy it didn't last long.  And finding some super special rocks and some beach glass fixed my mood instantly! 

Re-Living City Quilter, Scott, Mussels and my Hostel!

4:00 at City Quilter. Met Scott there and some other nice quilters.....all so friendly. Picked up goodies I had on hold from an email conversation with them. And two books....It was fun.

On the way home I stopped at Macy’s looking for housecoat. (besides it’s air conditioned so even if you only cut through, it’s a nice break! )  as for housecoats....only short ones....too expensive and not my style....I’ll have to make my own.

Charles, another student from QBL, who was the teacher of the class at the City Quilter, recommended that I stop at the Ginger Jar (or was it Pot), on my way home. It supposedly makes delicious Chinese and Thai food, spicy and with a little curry. However, besides being able to get Chinese food which is good at home, and the fact that I don’t care for curry, I decided to walk on and see what else there was. I went in Red Lobster but it was going to be a 40 minute wait. Nothing else was appealing, so I once again headed towards restaurant row. I read the menus posted out front to see if anything struck my fancy. Lo and behold, on a corner with tables outside on the sidewalk, was a restaurant tat served mussels and chips. So I sat down, ordered mussels, escargot and a glass of wine. Truly delicious meal. I enjoyed it so much I had to ask the waitress for a spoon so I could finish up the “soup” they were steamed in.....milk, peppers, onions, carrots, and some parsley. Yum Yum.

Another day of lots of walking so it was ok.....I knew I’d already walked it off.....? The scales will be interesting when I get home! Again I went to my room, luxuriated in the air conditioning for a while, sorting out my bits and pieces that I’d purchased at The City Quilter, and stroking my fabrics, dreaming of what I’ll do with it. It’s all their special line of New York Designs so it will be cut big and be my own New York Quilt. I think I have enough to make Angie one too! Now there’s that resolution to spend this coming winter finishing my UFO’s.......trouble is something else always comes along that I want to do first!

Again, I had a quick shower (one doesn’t need moisturizer in New York in August. It is so muggy that you are moist most of the time. And washrooms aren’t as much of an issue as some places because your body is using the fluid in other ways. ) After my shower I again went out and wandered around people-watching in Times Square and then back to the hostel to sit in the common room for a while to check and send emails. The connection there was slow, but free. Other hotels charge up to $15.00 a day for High Speed WiFi. Another part of the hostel that I enjoyed. Spending time in the common room with the students from everywhere. But they were all truly gracious to an old lady in their midst, and I felt comfortable with them....perhaps because they were all so nice or perhaps because I work at a school, but either way, I enjoyed the young people. There were other people my age staying there, but they kept pretty much to themselves. I got a chuckle out of the common room each morning and evening. There were anywhere between 3 to 7 people in the tiny room, sharing little round bar tables, and all of us clicking away on computers or I phones. Nobody turned on the TV. It was all very quiet until someone laughed or read their email out to someone.....usually in German or Japanese. When one young man exclaimed “F**@” I looked up and he shame faced lookd at me and said “Deutsch?” I replied “No, but apparently that word and email are a universal language! His eyes popped and he clapped his hand over his mouth and said “So Sorry!” I laughed and said “Just don’t say it to your mother....” His girlfriend started laughing. She explained to me that they were short of money to pay for their last night at the hostel and had emailed his mother to get it sent to them. They were waiting anxiously to see if it came in time. I told them I’d lend it to them rather than see them doing dishes or something and they laughed. I said I meant it and they could email it to me when they got home....if they didn’t it would be another life lesson. They were amazed. About an hour later they came looking for me and told me with great relief that they had received their money and would be fine but wanted to thank me for being so kind. I was just happy to know they could get home and wished them a safe and enjoyable trip.