Friday, January 29, 2016

Up in the mountains

I took a little trip up to Whistler Mountain with my friend Kath. She has just finished building a beautiful house right on Green Lake there. What a fantastic spot with its view across the water to glaciers on the other side! Here are few photos from the days up there.

The entrance to the house. You can see right through the door across the floor and out the lake beyond.

Of course it's frozen now, and Kath's grandson Dawson created a wonderful snow fisherman on the dock.

When we first got there it was pretty socked in but once we were settled into our chairs looking across the lake the skies cleared and we could see the gorgeous Armchair Glacier across the lake.

It wasn't that cold while I was there. In fact the snow was melting but it made for great mists and clouds. One day we drove north to Permberton, a gorgeous farming area known for its potatoes. I will remember it for the closeness of the mountains. It looks like the mountains are advancing towards us as we drive the road.

Here are a couple of patient horses in Pemberton and their lovely stable and farm.

I'm back in Victoria now getting ready for another little trip. This time I'm going with my sister to catch a little bit of sun in Puerto Vallarta. It seems only fair that if Harry's in Mexico I can spend a bit of time there too.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A quick tour of our group art show

This little video was made by a fellow who loves to record artists talking about their work. Efren visits just about every art show in Victoria and posts the videos on youtube. It's hard to explain what visual art is about but if you click the link you can see three of us (including me) making an effort.

By the way, the show is getting lots of attention and two of my paintings sold at our artist's receptions the other day. I am pleased.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Creating Mr. Fox

Introducing Mr. Fox, who was nothing but unspun wool on Saturday morning. Isn't he cute?
Who knew that I could create such a character in four hours? 

Jan and I went to a workshop in Maple Bay run by a very creative woman, Nancy, who makes her living from felting and teaching workshops. Fifteen people sat around a table in the Knights of Columbus Hall and built 8" tall foxes out of fleece. It was such fun to learn this technique. This is the demo fox that Nancy made. All that was required was some fleece and a felting needle.                                                        

Everyone made foxes but they all looked different. And they all looked adorable. This was the fox created by the woman sitting beside me. She used a different colour fleece for the fur. Jan is creating a silver fox with grey tones.

Nancy offers lots of different workshops at her studio in Duncan as well as kits so we can continue creating at home. It's so much easier than I thought it would be.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Keeping busy

With all the changes in my household (loss of dog, Jamie moving away, and Harry going to Mexico to teach English for a month) I am working hard to keep busy and active. Otherwise the January doldrums will descend. But I've been doing exceptionally well.

I am part of a four-woman abstract art show at a "real" gallery on Fisgard Street. Fisgard Street is a very cool and artsy area of Victoria in its tiny Chinatown. We were invited to come at the last minute because there had been a cancellation. But we're not proud. We'll take a show in a commercial gallery for the exposure if nothing else.  Here are a few of my paintings in the show.

On Sunday afternoon we're holding an artist's reception and I'm busy baking my "famous" seed crackers to serve with wine and sparkling water.

What else have I been doing while Harry's away? Well, cleaning my house, going out for dinner at friend's houses, going for walks with friends, having people over for dinner, going to the gym and my aquafit classes. For sure I'm keeping busy.

Last summer and fall I couldn't walk very well because of a foot condition (Morton's Neuroma) but it's gradually improving and last week I walked around the entire Cedar Hill Golf Course with a friend. Hooray.  Here are a few images from that walk. Love those little duckies.

Another thing I'm doing is working on a larger painting for a woman who liked one of my smaller works in the December show. She's commissioned me to make a bigger version of it and I'm really enjoying this process.  I'll post photos of that project next time.  Happy New Year.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Remembering dear Geordie

This photo was taken on New Year's Day at Willows Beach. It was my darling Geordie's last day with us. Two days earlier we had to make a tough decision to end his pain and his struggles. His rear end was partially paralyzed and he was in such discomfort that he spent a lot of time whining and moaning in spite of the meds he was on.

New Years Day was so beautiful though. When we got to the beach with his sister Sophie and our friends Linette and Mark he perked right up and walked and even tried to run and pick up a stick. All the while he had a big smile on his face.  But now we are missing him so much.

When our older dog Maggie moved on two years ago it was hard and sad but we still had Geordie to focus our attention and love on. And he truly benefited from that attention. The last two years he has mellowed so much and given us so much joy and laughter and love.  He was a dog with fear aggression issues and was such a teacher to me about dog training and dog behaviour--and the limitlessness of dog love. Once you were in Geordie's "address book" he was your friend for life.

Here he is with his good friend Donna in the camas fields in Beacon Hill Park.

Geordie was never off his leash because he was afraid of kids and other dogs and could be fear aggressive. But in spite of his fears Geordie lived a full and happy life.  He had fourteen happy years with us, learning to play flyball, do freestyle dancing, and playing ball and jumping for the frisbee. He and Maggie came to Mexico with us twice and we spent time up at the Saturna cabin, a place they loved. What a brave hearted dog he was. And how I miss him.

Here are a few photos from earlier times. I treasure these memories.

A tiny puppy with Jamie in 2002

Finally wrested the frisbee away from Maggie and her sister Maddie.

Maggie and Geordie up at the ridge at Saturna

Watching out for squirrels at Haliburton Road

Waiting to catch the ball

 Two views of Geordie showing his big nose and his gorgeous cheeks.

Geordie was lucky enough to be part of a Border Collie pack, consisting of him and his sister Sophie plus our other dog Maggie and her sister Maddie. The dogs loved to get together and walk in some of Victoria's many rural parks.

Geordie and Sophie

Just two years ago Geordie finally overcame his fear of going further than chest-deep into the water and learned to swim. He loved going into the lake to retrieve a stick.

Geordie loved cookies. Here he is putting on his most appealing look as he thinks about cookies.

Playing with Maggie (on a rope)

Geordie as an older dog at Yukon Street.  But to me he still looked almost puppyish at times.

Goodbye sweet Geordie. You can run free now.