Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday wonders - W

W is for Water.

Here in British Columbia we usually have lots of water.  There is so much fast-running water that it generates most of our electricity.

Not only do we have many rivers, but we have an ocean on our doorstep which has provided food for generations of people and animals.

Water can be easy-going and relaxing to look on.

Or it can be a hard-working helper for the tough jobs.

Water can make a day serene...

or give the promise of storms to come.

Water can reflect anything.

But mostly, water is life.  We need to keep it healthy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rats! Disqualified.

This is a very pink Rat from the Chinese zodiac lanterns that we found on our trip to the O Zone last week.  But, sadly,  I have been left on the bench and I'll just be watching the events on TV this weekend.

I had planned to get out on the town for one more Olympic explore to share.  A nasty cold has sidelined me for any trips out.  There is talk of leaving some of the displays in place for the Paralympics later in March so all is not lost. I hear that they'll leave the zipline, too, so maybe the line-ups won't be so long and I'll get a chance to ride. 

Since our weather is not as spectacular as last week, I won't mind staying inside with a good book, my knitting and the TV.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cool down

I didn't really mean the weather but that's cooled down, too.  And is a bit wetter. Not so much fun touring all those nifty Olympic sights right now.  I'll be sitting at home, warm and dry in front of the TV,  cheering on the athletes.

What I needed to cool off is the fever of designing something and then getting it knit to the deadline.  My Sunflower Tea Cosy is on the catwalk now, struttin' her stuff.  You can click on the link in my sidebar for Project Yarnway to see lots of good designs.  Members can vote for their favorite after the Feb 28 deadline.  For those not on Ravelry, here she is:

And, flashing a bit of her underwear.

As a cool-down, I needed something I could knit while cheering.  Socks always fit that bill - I think I could knit socks in my sleep.  There was some pink yarn just begging to be used so I thought something lacy would be good.  I decided on a simple 6 row pattern that lets me pay minimal attention.  After a few repeats, I was reminded of rows of tulips  blooming in a field.  If you don`t see it, don`t worry.  I sometimes let my imagination carry me away.

 Speaking of imagination...I think I should soon be extremely fit and ready to take up some Olympic sports.  While I watch the events, in my mind, I`m off in the gym - training and working out along with the athletes.  Especially the speed skaters...and you should know that I skate very badly.   But it all starts with the mind, right?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

It's Ruby Tuesday again.  To celebrate the Olympics, the local  cranberry growers have created a huge display using millions of berries.  It's so big, I can't get it all in the frame.

Some like to get in and touch the berries...

Others like to get up close.

I think most of us are asking the question:  what happens to the berries at the end of the Olympic Games? 

For more red, join Mary T here.  There's lots of rubies around.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

It's Monday again...time for a Mellow Yellow photo.

These gymnasts are giving a free Olympic-style demonstration in a shopping mall for some special thermal underwear.  Sure don't look like my Grandpa's long johns. 

For more Mellow Yellow Monday photos, visit Drowsy Monkey here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday wonders - V

V is for Values.  I was digging in the old family photos and came up with a few illustrations.

Joy...laughter is good for the soul.

Hard work...makes the world go round.

Sharing....even when you don't really want to. comes the bride!

It's fun to look at these old photos.  They make me realize that kids don't change that much through the generations.  And kids play says everything about the values they've been taught. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The O Zone

Another day spent looking for interesting Olympic things to see. Today it's the O Zone.   To get from  North Vancouver - where we live - to Richmond City - where the O Zone is - we have to travel about 50 kilometers (30 miles) through Vancouver.  We chose public transit because we've not been on the Canada Line yet and any excuse for a new adventure is good.  But first we have to take the Sea Bus - a catamaran passenger ferry - across from North Vancouver.  When we get to the dock we can see the huge Russian tall ship which is moored here for the Games.

Underground to get on the train...

This is the first thing we see when we pop back out in the sunshine about 15 minutes later.  We have crossed the whole city and this is the Fraser River at work.

We get off the train in Richmond and walk through a well-decorated mall to get to the O Zone.

Now we're joined by the grandkids - and mom, Maria.  We have our first priority: the ferris wheel.

I've promised Becky we'll have a ride.  And here we are!  She's there just peeking around my legs.  It looks close but that's the magic of the zoom lens at work.

We went for another ride since that was so much fun.  And I had the camera to get a birds-eye view of the cranberries.  The local growers' association have created the Olympic rings and a torch in a maple leaf design over a huge space using over 13 million cranberries.



I could also look back over to the mountains in the north - where we'd started this morning.

We wanted to see the Ice Gate which was created especially for this event.  You can see more - and better - photos here.  It's covered in glass to keep it safe and  frozen.   Even so, you can see it has melted and refrozen at some time.

Around a corner, we found a gorgeous display of the symbols of the Chinese zodiac.  These have been created from fabric and light up at night.   We have a large population here who have Chinese ancestry and many live in Richmond.  This is the Year of the can see the Horse, too.  They are all playing an Olympic sport - the Tiger is curling.

Since most  the events and displays don't open until 3pm, we had fun just looking around.  We found a warehouse full of bicycles.  These are available for anyone who wants to tour Richmond by bike: helmets are included.  This is a partnership with the Netherlands and these bicycles are like the ones you find there.  Richmond is very flat so this would be an ideal way of touring around.  There's lots to see.

 We managed to get on the train to go back home before the huge crowds materialized on their way to hockey games and figure skating events.  But when we got downtown to get on the Sea Bus to go home, we had to turn around and grab a bus.  This was a good decision and we were happy that we had options.  There were so many people all trying to go in so many directions at the same time.

This was our last photo for the day and is a shot out the back window of the train as we enter the long tunnel home.  We plan one more day but it will have to wait until next week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Project Yarnway

Ravelry is hosting yet another challenge.  And I fell into it.  There will be 11 design challenges in the next year in Project Yarnway.    Since I don't do much hardly any original designs, this seemed like a way to stretch my mind.  The rules for the first one involve using only stash yarn  - mine could use a serious down-sizing.

I had some inspiration in the yellow and green of the daffodils we bought to brighten the house.  And then, I spied my first dandelion of spring.  This is my favorite flower.

 I knew I had some some yellow and green yarn  and I wanted a new tea cosy.  The red one seemed so red all of a sudden.  I think spring just shoved the need for such a hot color out the door.

I used a sunflower design instead of the pictured flowers because I like them, they're easier to depict and I wanted to play with seed stitch a little more.  It makes a perfect sunflower center.

Here it is blocking - the yellow in the first yarn picture is more accurate...this is bright!.  The green is on the needles right now becoming a lining.  I found that the red tea cosy didn't keep the teapot as hot as I wanted.  So, I'm giving this one thermal underwear.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A few posts ago, my friend Mimi made a list of her passions and invited readers to do the same.  I've been rolling this idea around in my head ever since.  Sort of like a wiggly tooth:  I can't leave it alone.  So, I think it must be meant to be.

Passion is such a huge word and I don't really apply it myself.  It was so hard to come up with anything that I could call a passion.  So, in my mental mulling, I realized that what stirs me the most is transformation.  I like the 'becoming' quality of change.  Everything that I love, and love to do, has this fluidity and continuity. 

New life, babies or seedlings, hold a special fascination.  I'm intrigued with their potential and, at the same, time I search for their connection to the past.  Who does she/he look like?  How do they walk, talk, laugh?  A new little plant is looked at the same way.  Where did it come from?  What will it become?   I enjoy watching the transformation over days, months and years. 

No surprise:  spring is my favorite season. And my favorite color is simply the whole spectrum:  a rainbow, an infinite color wheel.

My fiber arts have a definite transformative nature.  To think of animal fleece or plant fibers being changed into a long thread that I can manipulate into almost anything is truly amazing.  Cutting strips from wool  fabric that is no longer useful and give it new life as a hooked rug or mat is so satisfying.  And giving them new color is definitely magical.

I love the idea of recycling.  Turning the unwanted, worn out or used up items into useful products is, to me, a very civilized thing to do.  If they can be beautiful, too, then that's a big and important bonus.

I trained as a teacher but realized early that I didn't really enjoy the classroom and was glad to leave it behind.  But I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with anyone who wants it.  I love to see the change in a person that comes  from success - it's usually a big smile. 

I love music - all kinds.  Well, maybe not so much heavy metal and rap but there are times when that works, too.  Music changes my mood.  It can take me so high or it can cast me down.  A pipe band can make me cry but I think they're happy tears.  The potential for music to transform my emotions is endless. 

I can spend hours with books and I love to watch birds.  I am happy walking through the forest or by the sea. 

Oddly, I dislike changes in my home setting.  Moving furniture around is the worst.  My mother was famous for that and I always dreaded coming home from school to one of her campaigns - which were frequent.   Maybe, there's only so much change my mind can tolerate. 

So, that's my big passion and some of its spin-offs. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One day

We don't have tickets to any of the events but we have planned at least three days touring the various Olympic sites.  There's lots of stuff to see and most of it is free.  Since it's spread out around Metro Vancouver, we decided to take transit and focus on one area each trip.  Today was downtown.

The Dutch are here in force to support their national sport, speedskating.  If you thought they took those costumes off when they left the rink, think again.  Here we are all riding the bus together.Once again, shoes are the subject of my stealth photo but these yellow plush 'clogs' were a hoot.  As were the windmill print pyjama pants.  I was quite taken with the orange lace on his cap, too.

My Big Plan when we got downtown was to head for the zipline since I knew there'd be a lineup.  Ever since I've heard of the free zip over Robson Square, I couldn't wait to try it.  But, not gonna happen this day.  The wait in line - at 10.30 in the morning - was over seven hours.  I could reduce it to two hours if I had arrived around 7.30 am.  So, now I think I'll save my pennies and ride the Grouse Mountain zip this summer.

Disappointed, we just started walking around the downtown core, seeking out the places we'd been interested in seeing.  I thought about trying a ride in the bobsled but worried I might not get out!

We found a lot of art installations.  I have no idea what this is supposed to be...

Along part of Granville St.,  there was a forest of  2,010 paper lanterns made by Taiwanese and Canadian schoolkids.  The bamboo 'trees' were fixed to wooden platforms that made a wonderful noise when you ran through the forest: a favorite with the little ones who sounded like elephants.  Lanterns?  What lanterns?

I think these were in the 7-11.  There's a lot of faux Canadiana around.

And there's some real stuff, too.  Well, sort of.  This Red River cart is not an original used by settlers but it's real.

I liked this vertical garden hanging on a wall. 

If you're wondering where the crowds are,  the lineups will tell you.  Anyone who wasn't at an event was lined up to get into the various cultural display venues.  Long, long lines for some things.  Security seems to be a necessary evil but it sure slows things down. 

The sun was shining and we took a long walk through parks and along the waterfront to get to Russky Dom (Russia House).  The lineup was shorter - less than an hour - so we stood.  Then along came a soft-spoken Russian boy who offered us the Seniors' line: no waiting; no security check.  Good deal.

Here we discovered that Sochi, the site of the Winter Games in 2014, is even warmer than Vancouver.  It looks like Florida - lots of palm trees - with huge mountains behind it.  Not sure why we didn't take any photos here.

Then it was time to come home.  We hopped on a very  crowded Sky Train where a young man  jumped up and offered me a seat.  I must have been looking very elderly yesterday. 

A good day and well worth the trip.  Even if we didn't sacrifice hours to the lineups,  we saw lots of interesting stuff.  We rediscovered places and things that we've not seen in a while and we  bookmarked other sights for further exploration in the future.


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