Monday, April 30, 2012

Okanagan weekend

Arlo lives in our house in Vernon - his parents rent it from us. His furry brothers wanted to get in on the love when I got to hang out with him!

Sand daisies, formally know as Arrow Leaf Balsam Root, are one of my favourite things about springtime in the Okanagan valley.

Sunset over Vernon, looking west onto Okanagan Lake ...

...and east over town and beyond:

It was a good weekend.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Surrey Vaisakhi 2012

Solid people for blocks and blocks

Such pretty suits

Chickpea curry by the gallon

Another crowd shot

Almost impossible to get near a stage through the crowds

Dave and I have gone to quite a few Vaisakhi parades over the years in both Vancouver and Surrey but this year's was incredibly well-attended. The Surrey celebration is the largest outside of India, and the crowd was estimated at 180,000 this year. It was actually overwhelming, but we did stay long enough to sample some curries and take in the brilliant colours and festive sounds.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Completed socks for our sockworthy neighbour

Why I prefer knitting lace to colourwork

Why I'm willing to knit a Kate Davies colourwork project: sheeps!!

Nasturtium seedling on the patio

Kale seedlings thriving in the patio coldframe

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A new yarn shop


Dave and I knew that a new yarn shop, Mrs. Hudson's Yarns and Teas, had opened in the Fairhaven neighbourhood of Bellingham, and on the weekend we got a chance to check it out. The store is named for a character in the Sherlock Holmes stories, which is an interesting coincidence given that I've been reading Laurie R. King's novels in which Holmes is a main character.

The store is quite large, and simply but carefully furnished. I loved the framed knitting-related vintage magazine covers.

Below you can see a jewelry box being used to display shawl pins - one of many cool little display ideas.

There is a comfortable and well-lit area in which to settle down for some knitting. Dave made himself at home while I explored books and notions.

The back of the shop is all about tea. Their selection is all imported from the UK.

I wish Callie, the owner, success with her new venture. Bellingham seems to be willing to support its local yarn stores - I believe this is the fifth one in the town of about 80,000.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yesterday I finished a few more imaginary creatures from the last Carla Sonheim class I took. Having all my art materials out and some time gave me the incentive I needed.

Dancing duckling

Yoga elephant


The texture shows up a bit better on them if you click to "biggen". They're done on watercolour paper and both the mouse and the elephant have a layer of gesso on them, but the details get lost a bit in the scanning. I'm pleased with them though, and with their cousin, Ratitude.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Progress report

I started my online art class with Carla Sonheim today. It was a simple drawing with some watercolour washes and a nice easy way to start the class.

We also got out into the garden plot again - it's our fourth day of sunshine in a row - amazing weather and we feel so lucky that the run of days coincided with the long weekend!

I've made a bit more progress on my Sheep Heid. I got to the rams' noses today (the random dark lined in the sheep are just shadows). I still love this project!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Plot D14

Dunsmuir Community Garden - sunset

The view from our plot

Baby pak choi

Lettuce seedlings

"I thought I heard a red-winged blackbird"

You'll have to add your own sound track - non-stop robin, red-winged blackbird, and sparrow song.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flower Crazy

I've signed up for another on-line art class with Carla Sonheim. It starts on Monday and I'm excited about it. I did a week-long class of hers in February - the Imaginary Creatures one, and it was a lot of fun. This class is called Flower Crazy and it's five weeks long! Plus, it starts on a holiday Monday, and the weather isn't supposed to be great that day, so I'll be able to spend some time painting and playing. Here is a creature that came out of the first class - I call him Ratitude.

I love painting but find it hard to do by myself unless I have a specific product in mind. I really need to spend more time doing it, though, because it's the only time I really get into that zone where you stop thinking and just immerse yourself in something you're passionate about. These on-line classes are perfect for me, because I get to work at home at whatever time I feel like, for however long I feel like, and I can get feedback and see other people's work through the Flickr group Carla sets up for each class.

My other inspiring blogger for visual arts is Geninne. I check her blog every day and love the glimpses into her studio and her process. Today my friend Annemarie gave me this gorgeous little book - I've been coveting these on Geninne's blog but hadn't actually seen one yet.

There are gorgeous birds throughout - here's a peek at the inside front cover:

Sunshine, gardening, birds, and time spent with friends - it has been a good Friday.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring patio

The parsley overwintered this year.

Kale seedlings popping up in the coldframe.

Fresh mini-pansies

Apologies to those whose gardens are still under snow - maybe this will give you hope?!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A good book

I just love it when I come across a great read. It's even better when the author has written other books as well, especially about the same character. My friend and I were discussing good books recently and she asked whether I'd read Laurie R. King. Well, I hadn't, but immediately queued up at the library for The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I'm now devouring the book and I love the main character and the premise. The idea is that Sherlock Holmes was a real person, and that in his fifties he meets a fifteen-year-old young woman who is as observant and sharp-witted as he is. The story takes off from there and I'm finding it compelling. It seems that I am now a reader of mystery novels. I didn't used to be, but I guess I hadn't come across the right authors.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A bit of sunshine...

The sun came out this afternoon after a very wet morning, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures. First are my tomato seedlings. It has to be spring, regardless of torrential downpours, when I have these little guys on the go. I have fun transplanting them repeatedly until they are ready to go outside for the season.

I finished that sock last night. This pair will be for our friend and neighbour, Rob,  who has been deemed sock-worthy due to how much he appreciates his first pair!

Today I finished another pair of socks. They were actually finished except that I had mistakenly bound off the two socks differently... oops! So I ripped out the sewn bound-off from the first sock and went with Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off, because I like how it makes the finished edge look like ribbing. These socks are for me, and knit from my current favourite sock yarn - Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. I knit them toe-up, with after-thought heels aforethought (ie: I put in waste yarn to mark the heel's future location rather than coming back and cutting into the yarn after the tube was knit).

Finally, this is our beautiful new yarn bowl - a gift from our friend, Sheila.