Sunday, August 29, 2010

oh hey! i still knit sometimes

chinook mitts, in progress

the rumours are true. the change in the air is definitely palpable now, rain is in the forecast, and a cool breeze is blowing through despite the sunshine. autumn is nearly here, so what better way to welcome it in with a new pair of fingerless mitts? here is the first one (minus a thumb). i might wait till wednesday, when i am on a ferry, or waiting in border traffic as we head south, before i get to work on the second. good distracting knitting for a long drive (and what i suspect might be an even longer return drive, being that the monday is labour day).

i'm calling these my chinook mitts. is this cable called a fish cable? or is it just me that thinks it looks like a fish spine. combine that with this mottled silvery grey, working into hints of blush at certain points, that reminds me of a shiny tyee (chinook, spring, king) salmon pulled fresh from the ocean. soon enough they will be headed up the rivers around here, changing colour and developing hooked snouts, ready to spawn and start the next generation of its life cycle. hmmm, maybe there will have to be a whole other pair of mitts for that stage, in shimmering reds...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

exploring and stitching...

an afternoon of exploring

recent post and pics from resurrectionfern and lilfishstudios have me daydreaming about fungi and walks in the forest. i decided it was high time i got out in the woods myself, as life seemed to have me forgetting that recently. so today i headed to nymph falls park for a little hike. i was in search of mushrooms, but i quickly determined a few showers here and there had not been enough to bring forth the fungi in abundance, not just yet anyway. it's been a hot, dry summer on the whole, but soon enough we will be overrun with mushrooms. but anyway, there were still a few to be found, not to mention some other prizes if you kept your eyes open (see that big frog in the centre square?).

stitching outdoors

i brought my basket with me with a few stitching supplies, so that i could sit by the roaring water and work on some rocks i have been playing around with. after playing with large animals, i decided to try the very small, and i've been stitching barnacles. the first one is probably headed for a friend who is (just today!) moving to calgary, far away from the ocean, and might need a little west coast reminder so she comes back once in awhile. but i'm enjoying them, so i am making a few more, which will for sale soon. yes, i have decided to go ahead with a shop on etsy. details are still in the works and i will let you know as soon as things are up and running. we are going away for the first week of september, so i think it's easiest to wait till i return before diving into things.

steller sea lion

i made another little guy too. my version of a steller sea lion, a big bull with a ruff of thick fur around his neck. these guys get up to 1100kg, aptly referred to as the "grizzlies of the sea", but this one here is a bit less threatening, don't you think?

with all these little creatures i am making, i'm trying to stick to animals that can be found on or around my island home for now. my mind is buzzing with ideas; there are so many to choose from - elk, bears, seals, eagles, deer, herons, just to name a few. and that is just the big ones; the barnacles have me thinking about mussels and other shellfish, seastars and many tide pool wonders. this could keep me occupied for awhile. i think next i'd like to get a bit more feline - there's only one big cat on vancouver island, can you figure out what it is?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

beach scene

beach scene, originally uploaded by westcoastcreative.

a little something in progess. this is a small section of a larger piece, a west coast beach landscape. lots lots lots more stitching to be done...isn't there always?

the weather here has been very sporadic, which is actually pretty usual for the island, but seems unusual after a couple months of fairly solid sun and heat. today was a quiet day, but yesterday we did manage to get out for a few hours paddleboarding, which is quickly becoming my new favourite sport. got some great views of seals feasting on salmon in the river, and then came home to cook our own sockeye on the barbecue, and share it with good friends. always sad for another weekend to come to an end.

hope you had a happy weekend!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

scenes from a hot hot saturday

a series of pics from yesterday, when it was too hot to do much of anything, really. above is the view from quadra island back toward vancouver island. mountains obscured by haze/smoke, and not the slightest breeze to offer relief.

discovery passage. if you look carefully where the land meets water, you can see hundreds of sport fishing boats fishing for pink salmon near the entrance to the campbell river.

the sunset seems much more intense through the haze. it could just be from the heat, but it seems more likely it is more smoke coming over from the forest fires in the interior. for more details on this weird phenomenon, read kate's post.

the ten minutes of cool breeze on my return journey on the ferry were the best i felt all day. i am not cut out for this heat.

normally this view, as i drive back down the island, showcases snow capped peaks of the coast range. but here you can just barely see the cruise ship moving north and a bit of the lowlands.

a bit clearer as it got darker, and looking west instead of east again. moon rising over mount washington.

Friday, August 13, 2010

{this moment}

building a pod, originally uploaded by westcoastcreative.

per soulemama: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

my new friend...

...or, possibly A's new friend. it's good to see that a grown man can still play with plush toys - ha.

in my last post i briefly mentioned about working on something a bit more three dimensional. well, here he is. a little humpy to swim in the local waters. i am still completely enamoured with hand stitching, enjoying the peace of not having to be tied to the machine; something i can do quietly wherever i feel like it - on the patio, in front of the tv, etc. kind of like knitting, which i have been neglecting a lot lately (do you know how hot it's been??? but still there is a cardigan in the works, eventually, crap, getting off on a tangent...). i am still working on more hanging art pieces/quilts, and playing around with some ideas for items for the home (pillows, etc). but i've also really been wanting to try soft sculpture for a little while. and lately it's all about going where the mood strikes me, it seems.

this little guy is made from denim from a pair of jeans, scraps of linen, lots of stitches (and yay for more barnacles!), and stuffed with raw wool fleece donated from a friend's flock. i might have to make him some whale friends, and possibly some other west coast companions - dolphins, eagles, bears, perhaps a seastar or two...

with that in mind, i've been thinking a lot lately about opening an online shop. i would like to try selling my handmade items, an assortment of creatures,art pieces, and items for the home, with a focus on repurposed materials, lots of hand stitching, and a west coast spirit. is there any interest in this?

right now it's raining as i look out the window. it hasn't rained in a month, so you can feel the earth sighing with relief. however, it's supposed to switch back to dry and sunny again tomorrow for at least the next week, so we are enjoying it while it lasts. after a trip to the farmers market this morning, i am restocked with fresh veggies so dinner is looking tasty. and another use for veggies:

zucchini/beet/carrot bread, tweaked from the zucchini bread recipe in hollyhock cooks. hoping it tastes as good as it smells.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


ah, august. can you feel the almost imperceptible change in the air? it hints at cooler days to come, a growing crispness that i'm longing for. yes, i do feel a bit of guilt about it. summer was so late in arriving, june was ridiculously wet. but now after nearly a month with not a bit of rain, i am ready for the cooling freshness of the clouds opening up. i love the shoulder seasons, especially fall which i'm sure i've mentioned many times before. the bright sunny days still but a clarity to the air that can't be found in the heat of summer. and the rainy days too.

i've been doing more fabric weaving, as you can see above. the other one is still in progress. it's waiting to have a border attached of some kind, and so it sits in the pile with another piece i'm also working on.

but i had an urge to try something else (something like startitis, affliction of many a knitter?). it is much farther along than when i took this picture. now it sits as a long rectangular piece, stitched and stitched in to a solid piece. i'm thinking now of cutting it in half and making two pillow covers from it. soon. i've been recently playing around with something more three dimensional, but it hasn't evolved into something worth reporting on just yet.

hmmm, was this post about anything? guess i'm just checking in. hello! more things to share soon, i hope.