Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

I was rummaging around in the archived photos and found this beautiful poppy being born...

For more Ruby Tuesday, stop by and visit here.  Thanks to Mary T for keeping this meme going.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Today I have taken a return trip to Cork, Ireland.  This beautiful old house in the city center seems so fragile set between two much sturdier-looking neighbors..

Hard to think about the recent flooding that may have damaged some of these lovely buildings.

Mellow Yellow Monday is hosted by Drowsy Monkey here.  There's a lot of yellow in the world on Monday morning. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday wonders - K

K is for a cat named Kalika.

She came into our lives over ten years ago when we adopted her from the SPCA as a gift for my younger son.  All of these photos are pretty old now as she passed away suddenly while taking a tour of the neighborhood - one of her favorite activities.

We thought she was the most beautiful and loving cat ever...probably most people feel that way about their pets.  She always made sure she was in our spotlight...

She liked to be warm and 'tested' the quilts out while they were still on the frame.  I  always had to leave a towel for her. 

She even had her own quilt in her basket.

Every now and then, I think about another cat.  But, really, she kind of spoiled us. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Scene

Taken from the ferry a couple of weeks ago...

in the middle of the ocean with the wind blowing and the rain threatening.  I think the weak sun just makes it all look more menacing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

At last!

Our eye was caught by the glow through the chimney smoke next door...

I grabbed the camera and stayed as the sun rose...

and blazed through the smoke.

It's been a while since we've seen the sun here.  It feels like it's rained every day in November. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A find!

Have you ever put on a coat that you haven't worn for a while?  What do you usually find in the pockets?

Last night it was pouring with rain and here, in our part of the world, we would normally be in Gore-tex.  But last night, we were dressing up a bit and so we dug out the classier raincoats.   I only found a tissue and a paper clip in mine.

Anne was luckier...she found some silk mittens.

I made these about 10 years ago from a pattern I found in Piecework magazine.  This was when I discovered the Silkweaving Studio on Granville Island.  They have the most beautiful silk yarns - and gorgeous woven garments and accessories. 

I have wondered for a long time where these mitts had gone to.  It never occurred to me to look in a coat pocket!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One hand down

It's great to have friends who like to be a bit different.

I found this sock yarn at Michael's one day while I was shopping with my daughter.  I thought it looked interesting and might make a nice warm sock - it's a tiny bit thicker than most sock yarn.  Doesn't everyone wear pink socks?

Then I discovered  gloves.  It's very tempting to knit gloves right now with winter moving in quickly.  They're so quick to knit...much faster than socks.  And, like socks, I can play around forever with a basic pattern.

These have a simple cable set at the wrist.  A complex pattern wouldn't show with this yarn.  I really like how each finger - thumb, too - is different.  Thanks, Penny, for being a fan of funky yarns, too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Piles of cables on board our ferry last week...

Ruby Tuesday is hosted by Mary T here.  Check out the other red photos, check in and play too.  You might win the giveaway.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

Hey, Dad!  I'm going on the slide now...'kay?

For more yellow photos on Monday, check out Drowsy Monkey who hosts this meme. 

Sunday wonders - J

J is for Joy.  The kind that comes from wonder at an amazing sight.
The snow geese are in residence!

We took the grandkids out for a walk and watched where the geese flew.

We walked towards the sound and found them all in gathered on the playing field at a local school.  There were hundreds.

When we walked toward the flocks, the birds would move away to maintain a safe distance.

Their strut is quite funny to watch.

Snow geese arrive here in late fall every year on their annual migration from the high Arctic to the southwestern U.S.  This is just a fraction of their numbers and, as you can imagine, not everyone is filled with joy to see them.  But when the air is filled with the sound of their cries, it's hard to resist  the lure to follow and visit with them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saturday Scene

I love this house perched on its rocky point.   We pass it on our way through the Gulf islands and it never fails to appeal.   I think it would be pretty lonely to live there year round but a week or so at a time wouldn't be too hard to take.  A few good books, lots of knitting...

Roadtrip redux

It's good to be back home.  We had a lovely - but short - visit to Salt Spring Island.  I knit while we wait for the ferry to arrive.

The day we left was promising to be very rough on the water with high winds predicted.  We're still in  the terminal so more sheltered.  The waves are breaking pretty high but that grebe was really energetic about his search for lunch.

 A traffic jam in Active Pass...we just hung around while these three ferries took the right of way.

There are over-wintering Anna's hummingbirds on the island.  Andrea has a pair who have staked out her window feeder.  This was the best shot we could get of the female who made several trips from the hawthorne tree to the house.  It was pelting down rain but each time she would return to the safety of the tree branch to rest before making another run for food.

The weather outside was frightful with heavy rain and high winds blowing the trees above our heads.  I think we were one of the last ferry sailings out - the rest were canceled for several hours.   The little creek that usually runs quietly through the yard was raging down the hill on its way to the sea.  But inside we were warm and dry.  Doesn't Merlin look cozy?

It really was quite pleasant the next day with only a little rain.  A successful eye exam, new glasses frames all ordered and we were ready for home.  Where it's still raining.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I'll be  away for a couple of days. No, not to a Holiday Inn with palm trees.  Not sure where Mom and dad were then.  I love the photo, though.

I'm going to visit my favorite optometrist,  daughter and Salt Spring Island all at the same time.  This means knitting time on the ferry.  Socks? Or gloves?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This glam shoe - and ring holder - is something I'm happy to leave in the shop window.  It makes me smile to see it, though.

Do people still have dressing tables in their bedrooms where something like this would be right at home?

Ruby Tuesday is kindly hosted by Mary T.  Visit here for more red stuff...

Monday, November 16, 2009

That was easy!

I've found a new knitting love.  These gloves were such fun to knit.  They're pretty, quick to knit up and so warm.

And, best of all, I can knit a pair with the same amount of yarn it would take for just one sock.  Lots of pluses.

I think Anne has a definite future as a hand model.

Mellow Yellow Monday

The tree chipper is a pretty common sight in our neighborhood at this time of year.

The fall winds bring trees down.  So we're either cleaning up a downed tree or we're taking a proactive approach.  Either way, the air is frequently full of the smell of cedar.  Or fir or hemlock or pine.  Take your pick.  They're all big trees and take a lot of chipping.

Thank you to Drowsy Monkey for hosting this meme.  You can visit here for more mellow yellows.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday wonders - I

I is for Image.

I guess with Barbie that's a big "Duh!".  I've spent the past couple of days getting the donated Barbies ready for sale at the thrift shop.  I have to get pretty up-close and personal with every one. I get to decide how they wear their hair and what clothes they wear.  In short, I am the image-maker.

 I think about who buys the dolls.  Little girls or their moms?  So, the Barbie who is all dressed in a fancy - usually pink - gown will probably appeal to the girl. 

 But mom might be looking for a more realistic image.  I've noticed that the Barbies who wear jeans and T-shirts (even tiny ones)  are not as quickly snapped up as those who are ready for a royal event.  As a dresser, I find that I prefer the hiking boots to the high heels.  They stay on better for one thing.  But I can imagine better the life of a jeans-wearing hiker than I can that of a fairy princess.  

But, before I get to the dressing part, I have to make a decision to keep or discard the doll.  What some little girls (and probably boys) do to Barbies is beyond me.  Amputations I can't do anything about so,  mostly, it's a matter of cleaning the leaves from the back yard out of those long tresses.  And washing the sticky dirt off their arms and legs.  Oh, and the DIY tattoos made with felt pen.  My hope is that they've used a washable marker. 

But I find myself wondering about the image of the Barbie which has been 'mutilated'.  Is this doll any less beautiful because she has shorn hair?  I found this one so compelling that I dressed her for resale anyway.  I hope that someone else appreciates her a strong and quirky persona.

And the one below was covered in blue marker to the point where her face was unrecognizable. And I don't even want to think about why.  I managed to clean most but some of the ink had permeated the plastic and this was the result...

Now what's the story behind the image?  A battered woman?  A skin condition?  Again, I found it oddly beautiful.  As though the  the blue coloring enhanced her regular features and set her on a different plane of beauty.  Sadly, though, she was discarded. That speaks very loudly of image to me.

I know it's only dolls and I probably think way too much as I make them presentable again.  I do tend to give them personalities as I spend time with them - up to 20 minutes per doll.   I think personalities always deserve stories.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday scene

Today we were going to have such fun with the two younger kids.  But they have the flu at their house and have wisely chosen not to share it. 

Nothing like good home care. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Warm hands

I haven't knit a pair of gloves - ever.  Does it count if I've knit socks with toes?  Those would just be gloves for feet, right?

I have always worn mitts when the walking is cold because they seem warmer and so I've knit many pairs of mittens.  But, I stumbled over this lovely pattern  and decided they would be a good small project for my sock yarn stash.  A bit more complex than a sock but that's a good thing.  It's called Knotty and was designed by Julia Mueller.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry - just search for Knotty under gloves.  I'm sorry, there doesn't seem to be a direct link to her pattern.

I began knitting the right glove but it looks thumbless.  I've had to model it on my left hand.  Have you ever tried to take a photo with your left hand?  Cameras are definitely right-oriented. Note to self:  always start with the left glove.

The cables - I really do like cables - nip the glove in at the wrist making a nice snug fit.  And the ribbing goes past my watch to keep me warm.  And they're pretty quick to knit so I should have cosy gloves by Monday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's coming!

The S-word.  Winter is on its way.

We took these pictures on our walk this morning.  The sun was shining through the clouds and making interesting light patterns on  the snow.

This is the main corner in our 'village'.
As long as the snow stays up in those mountains, I'm a happy villager. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aah, relief!

I have my new 3.5 circular needles.  What a difference they make!  I just whizzed through a row or two of the Honeycomb vest last night.

We went out to White Rock for a rainy day adventure.  There was a lovely but very small, yarn store, Knitopia,  which had just moved back to this town  and it was nice to get in out of the wind and rain.  The owner is very friendly and she stocks a lot of really interesting yarns in her narrow space.  I found my needles - bought two lengths - for a quarter the cost of what I was looking at in our LYS's.  I didn't buy any yarn but I have an excuse to return, don't I?

A tasty - and very filling - lunch at the Five Corners Cafe set us up to check out the shops nearby.  This retail section is truly not large but look at the interesting stuff in one store...

White Rock must have a very active social scene after dark 'cuz during the day, it's a LOT more casual.

Then we drove among the lovely homes with gorgeous ocean views  and ended up in Crescent Beach.  They call this a resort community and I would love to live here.  Not because it's a resort since it looks more like a very small village on the seashore.  No, I would like to be here for the winter storms, the summer sunshine, the many walking trails and all the birds.  We visited Blackie Spit which is on the flight path of the Pacific Coast migratory birds.

But it was a blustery day and, while we did see a couple of grebes, a loon and an unidentified duck, it was too rainy to get any good photos.  We did get very close to a few seagulls hunkering down in the parking lot, though.

Definitely a day to keep your head down and face away from the wind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Can you see him?

That's a varied thrush snacking on the mountain ash berries.  Yesterday was the first day this fall for the thrushes and their cousins, the robins, to come and feast.  Lots of berries have fallen but there's still enough left for a party.

Today is Ruby Tuesday and those who play on Mary T's wonderful meme have posted their photos with a touch of red.  Visit here to see them all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

It was dark at 6.15 this morning when we went out for walk in the wind.  We made it home just before the rain began.  These were the last leaves left on our little maple tree yesterday afternoon.

They're gone today. 

Thanks to Drowsy Monkey, we can share our mellow photos.  Visit here to join up and see more.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday wonders - H

H is for helping hands...

...big and small.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Scene

Not exactly what it seems...

A tiny channel of tide water  coming in through the rocks on the beach near the Wickanninish Inn near Tofino, BC. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Primitive music skills

Inspired by Ireland, our family Christmas  party this year will be a ceilidh.  More about that later.

I was talking about Christmas tunes with my son who admitted he was practicing Jingle Bells.

As soon as he said that, I realized that whenever that song was mentioned, I always flashed back to a time in my childhood.  I remember a kid's xylophone - it may not have been mine - that I played.  It had colored metal strips similar to this photo that I have 'borrowed'.  Each strip had a number on it and there was a paper with the music for about three songs.  When I say music, it was just the numbers.  So, now whenever I hear Jingle Bells, I'm imagining my younger self pounding out the melody with the wooden mallet: 333, 333...

So, back to the ceilidh.  We thought it would be fun for everyone to bring whatever instruments they had (and their respective abilities to play them) and just jam.  There'll be kids of all ages - we're really all kids - and a great assortment of instruments.  Keyboards, penny whistles, harmonicas, a drum, ukelele, guitars and some amazing singing talents.  Maybe a flute and, for sure, an electric bass.

We don't have a big old farmhouse but I predict some dancing...

This will not be the quietest house on the street for this night!


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