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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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Song for Friday...Cheers!

I started this blog as a journal and never really thought ANYONE would read it
but I've since learned that there are a few out there who visit regularly
and comment as well.
And I do LOVE to read them!
And I really do appreciate the time you take to stop by.
So this song for Friday is for you.
Have a great weekend all!

All's well...

Remember this post ?
Seems the house hunters were successful in raising a little family.
Yesterday I heard peeping from the nest box
and spotted this fat little one...
Calling for mom and dad to come and feed him...
I watched for about 20 minutes and then had to go to work but
seems like the chicks are just about ready to fly off.
Good luck in the big wide world!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Movie review... Think.

Last night I watched a fascinating documentary by a young Vancouver couple called
"The Clean Bin Project".
They were tired of garbage and plastic packaging and disposable "stuff'"
and decided that for 1 year they wouldn't buy ANYTHING except food and neccessities
and use their own bags and containers if they needed them.
WOW! Where do I start?
This film will really get you thinking about the amount of garbage produced
by plastic and where it ends up.
Some of it in the bellies of birds...
No lie. This is an albatross from the island of Midway in the Pacific
Ocean where the adults are literally eating this stuff to bring back to feed
their chicks and the chicks are dying from it.
The artist Chris Jordan who is featured in the film, will give you some amazing images
and facts about plastic garbage.
Have a look at this...
Look familiar?
Based on the famous Japanese woodcut, it is Chris' rendition but made up
of thousands of bits of plastic found floating in the ocean.
How about this?
It's kinda like a tree landscape but if you looked close, it's 1.14 million paper bags.
The amount used every hour in the U.S!
His artwork gives you a sense of numbers.
People can tell you a number but when it's something so high as this,
it helps more to SHOW you what it may look like.
Her's the amount of cell phones retired every day in the U.S...
half a million...where do they end up?
Now I'm not picking on my fellow Americans, it's just that the artist is from Seattle
so he gets his 'inspiration' from his country.
Canadians have loads of their own garbage as well.
We all know that the world can't change overnight but we also
know that one small change can add up when millions of
like minded people start to do little things to help.
I hope you get a chance to watch the film.
It's inspiring and will definitley make you think twice when someone
offers you a bag that you probably don't need.
Just a little plug for Mother Earth.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The gift that keeps on giving...

It was hers as a young lady...
probably bought not long after she was married...
The craftsmanship was beautifully detailed...
And now it has been handed down to another generation.
This was my Great Grandma Cairns White sewing machine.
Used well into her old age, handed down to my Grandmother, my Aunt, my mother
and now to me.
If this beauty could talk and tell tales of the mending, the quilts, the baby clothes,
the pretty dresses, the curtains.
The life on Saltspring Island.
Then life in the little house near the city on Battleford.
It sat by a window and sewed a thousand miles of cloth.
I feel so honored to have inherited it.
Still loved and in tact.
Original bobbins and attachment case...
Original instructions as well...
 Even has the original key...
I'm not quite sure why you would lock up sewing notions...maybe it
would have been the needle drawer, to keep curious little hands out.
This machine would have been sold by the Sears company and although it
looks fancy to my eyes, it was the norm back
 in the day to have all of these lovely details...
Love the built-in ruler...
Heavy cast iron so it would last...
Seems like now days they make things so they break down
within a few years. These machines were TOUGH!
Have you ever used a treadle sewing machine?
It takes A LOT of practice to get the rhythm down
to an art. If you dont' get the proper technique going,
the machine starts to sew backwards.
Very frustrating.
I guess that's why I found these in the drawer as well!!...
So here it sits in my studio, hopeful to be sewing cloth again.
It stands directly across from my other machine, which I use
all the time...
This one was my Grandma's and then my mom's.
My daughter's prom dress was made on it with
a lot of help from my Grandma!
These are the gifts that keep on giving.
The things that whisper to me of the life before me.
That remind me of the women who I am getting to
know over and over again.
The fragments of their lives which grow bigger and bigger
every time a story is told or an artifact of their life is brought back into the light.
I didn't know my Great Grandma that well since I grew up 3,000 miles away from her but
when we finally did come back to the West Coast, we visited her regularly.
She was kind and gentle and always smiled.
This is how I remember her, not long before she died 3 months short
of her 100th birthday. Still living at home with her daughter, my Aunt San.
Maybe one day this old machine will be part of my daughters household.
(here with her Great Great Grandma in 1983)
And hopefully one day I will master the rhythms of the treadle and bring
her gift to life once again.