Wednesday, September 29, 2010

white chanterelles...

white chanterelles

with all the walking and mushroom foraging going on around here, we have of course been finding a few to eat as well. this is my first year really trying to find edible mushrooms, but i'm enjoying it a lot. while pacific golden chanterelles are generally the big draw around here, i seem to have more luck finding their white cousins, although i have found a few golden ones here and there. they all taste good to me! last night was not a particularly fruitful hunt, but we found a couple very large ones, as you can see above (plus one little puffball).

all this mushroom foraging had me thinking about making a few more permanent specimens:

white chanterelles

these are handstitched in a loose weave cotton, salvaged from an old shirt. the creamy colour is mottled with more golden stripes. as a first attempt, i quite like them. i think i need to work on the ruffled edges a bit more, but as a start i think they turned out well. i'm thinking about making a few more, and possibly experimenting with painting the fabric a bit, to make some golden chanterelles. a light wash of orange might do the trick.

white chanterelles

as the days get shorter, it's more tricky to forage for mushrooms after work. my eyes stop seeing variations in the mossy undergrowth as the light fades in the evening. it also makes it hard to take photos, which i tend to want to do of every fungi that pops its head up to say hello. but, as we headed home for a late dinner, we were rewarded with this lovely scene.

sunset at comox lake

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

fog and swell...

yup, i just re-used my blog title, but this past weekend was full of it.

again with my boots

our little one night away was good for the soul. on saturday we left the house early and headed out. the wind was howling (love driving in that on the freeway), but the rain was fairly light. then off the main island route and heading west through the trees and winding up through the hills. we got to tofino mid-morning and set up camp in continued light mist, securing the tarps so they wouldn't flap wildly in the gusting wind. as an aside, i always find it amusing to assess other people's camp set up - tarps uselessly waving about, or just draped loosely over the tent fly (which is also draped haphazardly over the tent itself. of course i have the benefit of a man who has many years experience as an outdoor guide, many days of camping on the wet coast.


we explored the nearby beach that day, watching the considerable swells where normally there are just small waves (at this particular beach - other pacific rim beaches have much larger swell most of the time). it was definitely a big storm day, considering all the surf lessons (and more than a few of the locals) had come to this beach to surf. i wished we had ventured out to some other spots that day to see the huge waves, but the rain began to set in with a vengeance and we retreated to our campsite and relaxed for a bit under cover. a warm dinner at the pub in town seemed a fitting way to escape the wet for bit. the rain stopped in the late evening as we settled in for the night, cozy in our tent.

early morning fog

sunday was quieter, the wind having died and replaced with a sleepy blanket of fog. the swells were still quite large and we explored several different beaches quietly together, A on his eternal quest for a glass ball and me snapping photo after photo. if you're wondering about the lack of actual wave photos, i can see now that they were obviously not catching my eye in that sense. foggy white backdrop and grey waves don't lend themselves to great photos, no matter the size. i was instead entranced by rocky shorelines and wispy trees, it seems.

foggy day

there's been plenty of stitching going on around here, but nothing quite ready to show yet. perhaps tomorrow?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


to the coast

we're headed to the west coast of the island tomorrow. sounds like a big storm is brewing, so here's hoping we don't get blown away. see you on the flip side...


ps - okay, obviously my initial plans of responding to comments at the bottom of the next post are not going so well. however, i am hoping to make it more of a habit, so have patience with me! thank you if you do leave a comment and i'm sorry if i don't always respond right away.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

just a little note...

banana slug let you know that the Fog and Swell shop is up and running! This little guy can be found there, plus one of the whales, and several other pieces will be added this afternoon.

please note that a link to the shop has been added to the right sidebar, along with a link to my new Fog and Swell facebook page, should you be inclined to "like" me. (no pressure!) the facebook page will be to help notify of shop updates and news, plus the occasional giveaway. if you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

this blog will continue to be about more than just what's going in the shop - my other crafting and my explorations and life. i really enjoy all of you who stop by, whether or not you might want to buy something. i'm happy just to find people who like to hear my ramblings and see my photos of mushrooms upon mushrooms, among other things!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

i know what you're thinking...

is all she ever does is go on walks now? well, sort of. definitely finding the need to escape on a regular basis all of a sudden, further escapism needed from the suffocation of my job, or something like that. but anyway, a few more pics to share.


i headed for a different river today, one where the trail wanders straight down to the shore. heavy clouds were in the air, but no rain came down while i walked. it was very still and peaceful, and i sat for awhile on the beach and watched the small boats off shore, a few fisherman standing in the water, many gulls squabbling in the water and in the air, and lots of salmon jumping, all signs of the fish hovering around the river mouth in preparation for swimming upstream.

honey mushrooms

there weren't as many mushrooms to be found on this trail - a lot of the soil is quite sandy which i think discourages them a bit. still, there were some interesting finds, such as the honey mushrooms (i think?) above. i also picked a bunch of rosehips, which i plan to brew into a vitamin c bomb to be added to teas. there was a big patch of blackberries, with many still to ripen, but i was surprised to discover the ripe ones had no flavour. wonder if that's what happens late in the season? i was less happy to see an american bullfrog, an invasive species around these parts that does a lot of damage to local habitats. but the way i keep spotting frogs (thankfully mostly native species) these days i'm going to have to name it "frog fall".

low water

staring out my window now in the near dark, i can see the wind has picked up a lot. i love stormy weather, although i was glad for the quiet today. i'm sad it gets dark so early already though, and also that it's darker in the mornings, at the unfortunate hour i have to get up for work. guess it's becoming that time of year. cooler weather has not really moved in yet though; warm muggy air sat in our town this afternoon. i have finished my chinook mitts, but it's not quite cold enough to wear them. A has already made his seasonal shift from ball caps to toques, but i'm not quite there i'm finding. still, these will come in handy shortly, probably already next weekend when we head to the west coast of the island.

chinook mitts

i have a few hand sewing projects on the go which i hope to share with you soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

further explorations...

orange jelly

another forest walk today, to another spot nearby. i'm enjoying getting out on these walks as the days are growing shorter, enjoying making sure to get some fresh air in. saturdays can disappear under loads of laundry, cleaning, and time spent over the stove (chicken stock and squash/carrot/apple soup!), but i'm glad i still got away. even with the mist/drizzle all day, it felt good to escape into the trees all by myself and wander along the trail, camera in hand. i also remembered one of my mushroom books today, along with my knife and a bag to put any prizes in. we've been chanterelle hunting a few times in the past couple weeks, so i thought i should be ready should more present themselves to me.


sadly i only found one small one (not the mushroom above), but also found evidence of a few larger patches that someone had already beaten me to. that's okay, i love looking at all the other mushrooms as well, and there are many many to be found with all this newfound wet.

wet day in the woods

the woods have now been thoroughly soaked through, droplets clinging to every surface, everything full and lush once more as it recovers from the dry summer.

cauliflower mushroom

but i did happen on another edible treasure. a large cauliflower mushroom, nearly a foot across. this one came home with me, along with a few small puffballs. i'm thinking tomorrow these will all get sauteed up with the remaining chanterelles in the fridge, and a good dose of butter. sounds like a wild mushroom feast to me!


also, i am going to start adding replies to comments at the bottom of the following post. it seems quite often lately that when i get comments, i don't have an email address to reply to, but i would love to still respond, so we'll try this out for a bit. thanks for all your kind words in general by the way!

kate: thanks, i am feeling pretty contemplative in general, but this fall weather certainly brings it on, doesn't it?

craftingabetterlife: i've tried city living, but i've come to realize it's not for me. i love to be surrounded by the woods and ocean!

maribeth/lovely world: thanks for stopping by! i love when the internet can bring people with common interests my way, and your creatures are amazing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

finding a rhythm...

quilt squares

since returning from our little trip to central washington, i've been trying to coax myself back into the rhythm of daily life. i've been restless and unable to sit and focus on a project, stitching, etc. since thursday i think the restlessness has been exacerbated by the fact that most of our valley is on a boil-water advisory due to e.coli in the water supply. a untidy house just fuels my distraction, but it's even easier to avoid the dishes when water has to be boiled first, not to mention the pots of water crowding up the stove. A has also been painting some molding, which means the dining area where i normally sit and work is in disarray.

nonetheless, i've been playing around with some string quilting to try and inspire the flow, and i'm seeing some promise. i think these could evolve into a new quilt for our bed, a mix of denim, cotton, and linen, much of it recycled from old clothes, or scraps leftover from clothes i have made.

tiny mushrooms

a few days of rain and the season has definitely changed. walking through the damp woods today in between rain showers, signs of autumn were everywhere.

i see you

the banana slugs were constantly underfoot. although they are generally very common around here, i was having to watch my step even more than usual, which was hard since many a spider had strung her web across the trail, and i was trying to avoid those as well.

red-legged frog

another red-legged frog crossed my path, jumping out in front of me but then pausing on the other side of the trail for a quick photo shoot. the woods were quiet but for the rushing of the river running alongside, a quiet sunday for reflection. i was happy to emerge with wet cords after pushing through many sword ferns, and a camera full of shots. i recently acquired a pair of bean boots and i've been so happy with them. i guess i'm shamelessly promoting, but they are much more comfortable for long walks and more supportive than my usual gumboots. if they get me out exploring more, all the better.

purple corduroy and duck boots

ps - you may have noticed that i've changed my header, and also the name of my blog. i've been thinking on this for awhile, and wanted to incorporate the coastal landscape that inspires me so heavily. i'll also be using this name when my shop is up and running.