Sunday, May 27, 2012

A walk in the meadow

Come with me for a walk in the meadow at Uplands Park on a sunny Saturday morning.

The path leads through some trees and opens up to this lovely view with the sun illuminating the grass stems and the beautiful blue of the Camas flowers.

Here's a close up of the Blue Camas.

As we walk deeper into the meadow our eyes are drawn to the long stems of the blooming buttercup growing into the sky.   

Closer up you can see the darling buds with the tiny little hairs.  I don't like them in my garden much but here they're really sweet.

Ahead in the distance is a clump of Lupine reaching up to the sky.

All around is the warbling of the Red Winged Blackbirds and other birdsong.  It's such a peaceful spot. If we had time we could spread a blanket in a sheltered spot and take some time to soak in the peace.  But appointments call so we'll have to wander back to where we parked the car and continue with our Saturday errands.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The fireplace, before and after

Last week we got our new gas fireplace installed and we're just so happy with it.  It's transformed our living room from a kind of cluttered look to a clean look but still very cozy.

Before, with the book cases filled with trinkets and the white mantel and contrasting dark tiles on hearth and fireplace creating a busy look.

We began by ripping out the shelves and discovered a false wall (left) so ripped that out too, revealing the 1960s fireplace bricks that had been painted garish yellow.

Here's the same view with the walls painted a paler colour.  I couldn't even think clearly when surrounded by such a strong yellow.  Here you can see some of the tile samples we were considering.

After building some legs under the hearth to create a bench look and tiling with 12 by 24 tiles that look like limestone, the fireplace now has a contemporary look.  

The walls are all painted the same colour and we've moved some furniture around to create a serene space.  Now I have to get rid of two decades of decorative items.   I love the simplicity of the new fireplace and don't want that stuff any more.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Granville Island

Yesterday I spent an hour or two wandering around Vancouver's Granville Island in the early morning. We were putting up posters for an event we're holding in Vancouver in mid-June.  Granville Island is a mixed use area combining industry, the arts, a public market, theatres and tourist amenities.  There was lots to see and point my camera at.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chairs in Havana

I was in Vancouver for a couple of days last week and we visited a funky restaurant on Commercial Drive called Havana.  On a sunny afternoon the inside was practically deserted but the sun shining through the windows on the chairs and tables made a great shadow shot.  

Here's another inside view showing the interesting walls painted and then inscribed with names and initials.  By the way, the food is good too.

I'm looking at chairs this week as part of the "Sense of Place" photography course I'm taking.  This week we look at the things that catch our eye no matter where we are.  For me this is chairs, doorways, fruits and vegetables, and bicycles, among others.  It's so interesting to think of how our eyes search out and find similarities in different places.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First warm day at Dallas Road

The southernmost part of Victoria lies on the Strait of Juan de Fuca just across from the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.  Dallas Road is the name of the drive along the water and there's also a beautiful walkway along the cliffs above the beach.  All year long people go there to walk and play with their dogs--but on the first warm day the place comes alive. 

I'm taking Kat's photography course called "A Sense of Place" and that's where I went for this week's assignment.  In places the cliffs are lined with clusters of Scotch Broom, which is actually an invasive plant but when it blooms in the sun it gives off a scent of coconut.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just at the moment you need it most...

Sometimes just when you're least expecting it something happens to give you a lift.  It just happened to me when I looked at the comments on my blog tonight and discovered that I'm the lucky winner of a draw.  I follow a fantastic blog, Three Dogs in a Garden, that features the most incredibly beautiful photographs of flowers and plants.  Jen's blog is a celebration of gardening and gardens and the beauty of the natural world.  Recently she held a draw to give away a book called The Untamed Garden, by Sonia Day.

I entered the draw because I was bewitched by the photographs from it that were featured in the blog.   I never thought any more about it but tonight I discovered my name had been drawn.  Thank you Jen for the contest.  Finding out this news was a lovely lift after a stressful few days.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dog Speak Blues

Advance notice:  this is a whine!

Ever since we got back from our trip to New Mexico in mid-March I've been working on a big public event for people who live and work with dogs.  We'd arranged to bring a world-renowned dog behaviourist to Victoria for a weekend of seminars we were calling Dog Speak: Deciphering the Canine Code.

It's actually quite a big deal to organize something like this.  There's the venue, the AV equipment, the tickets, the posters, the newspaper ads, the press releases, the airline flights, the hotels, the catering, the volunteers....  Well you get the picture.

So yesterday morning everything was done. A buzz had been building in the dog owning community and we had lots of registrations for the seminars and people were excited about coming to the Friday night talk.  All was well ... until our presenter ended up in the hospital.

By the end of the day her malady was diagnosed as something like the Norwalk Virus, and it was clear that our speaker would not be coming to Victoria this weekend.

UHHH.  Quick change of gears.  Instead of coasting into a fun weekend with everything coming together we've been doing damage control to retain our credibility in the face of a CANCELLATION.  This involves refunds, emails, apologies and phone calls.  Tomorrow night I'll be at the venue of the lecture with a fist full of $20 bills to give people refunds on the advance tickets they've purchased.  

The only upside is--at least my weekend is free now.