Sunday, February 27, 2011

between the raindrops...

Orca at the beach

little whale and i hurried out to the beach just after noon, dodging the light rain coming down to explore a little along the shore. the wind was blowing more strongly that i expected, and chilled me through almost instantly, but we braved a short walk with the crashing waves.

point holmes

on the way out my back was to the wind and drops of rain, but my hands were numb holding my camera. the beach seemed empty, except for many birds circling overhead. sea foam had piled up on the shore and ruffled in the gusts. feathers in different states of disarray clung to rocks and pieces of wood, resisting the temptation to take flight again.

Orca at the beach

who is little whale? after a little sneak peek yesterday, this small orca was ready for his first excursion. he has a warm black wool coat, and is stuffed with wool as well, so it's possible he was warmer than me out there. it wasn't quite blubber, but it probably helped. his underside is silk shantung, and a saddle of the lightest silk gauze rests behind his dorsal fin. he was eager to look out to sea in hopes of spotting some friends playing in the waves. he didn't find any, but i'm hoping to make him a few soon.

Orca No. 1

this little orca/killer whale is now looking for someone to give him a new home, available in the the shop.

why do weekends always fly by? i'm not ready to return to work tomorrow. anyone else feel like they don't accomplish nearly close to what they hoped to each weekend?

afternoon storm

Saturday, February 26, 2011


quiet today. A has gone snowboarding on the north island without me, and i'm just puttering about at home. the tiniest of flakes occasionally swirl from the sky, and i'm waiting for the forecasted snow to start anytime. just a few centimetres overnight, but i look forward to a fresh new blanket. i might head out for a little walk later if the snow really does start to fall, in the still and quiet that usually accompanies it.

a wee little package

a few glimpses of what i'm working on today. above, a the smallest of packages that will be slipped into an envelope to be mailed out.

new growth

some new socks i started for my mom. we bought a couple of skeins of wonderfully soft malabrigo last weekend, and she strongly suggested this green would make wonderful socks for her. the colour is called "lettuce", so i have named these my lettuce leaf socks. i'm enjoying the pattern very much so far and you can see they are going fairly quickly (i just started them on thursday).

saturday stitching

and a little stitching. a black and white whale...oh whatever could it be? ;p i hope there will be more to share tomorrow. thanks for your sweet words - i'm doing some healing this weekend! also, thinking of making this for dinner.

Friday, February 25, 2011

ending the week in sunshine...

female pileated woodpecker

sorry for the quiet this week, and no wordless wednesday post. does an unexpected surgery and overnight stay in the hospital count as a good excuse? don't worry, it was relatively minor and although a little slow-moving, i'm on the mend now and feeling much better than i was before visiting the doctor. the sun is shining brightly today and is keeping me warm inside - outside is a different story, where it was -9 C when i went out to the car. that's nearly unheard of on the west coast, although i'm sure many folks in other parts of the world would just laugh at me.

female pileated woodpecker

yesterday upon arriving home, i was (sadly) parked in my usual spot in front of the computer, and watching the suet feeder outside. soon enough some chickadees came in, followed by some larger varied thrushes, and finally a flicker came in to monopolize the feeder. after that though, an unexpected surprise swooped in: this female pileated woodpecker. they are not uncommon around here, but i have never seen one this close, or at my feeder for that matter. i had fun trying to catch her large body swinging upside down as she ate,

i also meandered out for a short little walk at the estuary in the sun. i was glad for my down jacket and other layers as the windchill made it quite "bracing", shall we say, out there. the light was beautiful in the afternoon, with the mountains showing fresh layers of snow.

common merganser

the tide was very far out, showing mud flats stretching far off into the bay. this meant that the water level in the river was also very low, and in the clear cold water i could see the ducks swimming underwater as they dove for food. this pair of mergansers was working its way along, diving and resurfacing to flap their wings enthusiastically in the air.


on my last stretch of walk, i was distracted by a bird singing in a nearby tree. it took me awhile to spot this little fox sparrow far up in the branches. he spotted me very quickly in return. as i watched, a friend joined him and the pair of them sang.

i've been really wanting to work on some new things for the shop, but this week for various reasons has become something of a wash. i've got some new animals in mind though, that i'm eager to try out. i had planned for a fun day snowboarding tomorrow, but i think i might have to accept that that is not the best idea as i heal. nuts. however, instead i might get some good crafting in this weekend. stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

knitting for a little elf...

matty's elf toque

i've mentioned my littlest nephew here before, actually right around the time of his last birthday. that time of year came around again this january, although i didn't get to actually see him and his brother until this weekend. we had a nice afternoon in the sunshine throwing rocks in the ocean and soaking up some much-needed vitamin d.

matty's elf toque

along with a sturdy little triceratops toy, for his second birthday i made my nephew this toque. full details can be found on ravelry, but it is an improvised cable pattern knit in the softest araucania atacama, a thick and thin spun alpaca yarn in blue/green blend of colour. i purposely finished the top into a point, as i thought this little elf (or imp?) needed a hat to match his sense of humour.

matty's elf toque

the sun is back again today, but with it comes some very chilly temperatures this week. i am definitely noticing the lengthening of the days, so i hope to get out on a walk or two after work, amidst the lingering ice and snow.

a random aside - does anyone have good information about the "plush you" show this year? a recent commenter mentioned it to me, and i've been trying to track down a bit more information. i am thinking of applying and the deadline is quickly approaching, but the online info seems spotty at best other than the basic details. thanks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

late afternoon beach scene...

{thanks for all your kind comments about "heading south" yesterday. it means a lot to me to get such great feedback.}

like topography

A and i went to the beach yesterday with my sister and her two young sons, visiting from down island. my mom also joined us after a bit. the late afternoon sunshine and lack of wind made it surprisingly warm on a frosty day with snow still on the ground from friday's snowfall. it was so beautiful and peaceful to sit at the beach while the boys threw rocks in the water (that includes A!).

beach feathers

that warm, flattering afternoon light made me want to take close up shots of some things i found as we wandered along. i hope you will enjoy some beach finds and feel a bit of warmth as evening sets in here.


sunset light

we may get some more snow overnight, but it sounds like it will be mixed with rain, so it could be a bit miserable for the next few days, not warming up really, but not nice clean snow either. the end of the week should clear up but be very cold (-9 C), by west coast standards, at least. a warm afternoon certainly does not signal the end of winter just yet!


i took a few shots of my youngest nephew as well, as he was sporting the new toque that i made him. i will post about it later this week

Saturday, February 19, 2011

heading south

"heading south"

this piece was finally delivered today, a very late christmas present for my parents. i finished up the stitching on it this week. it's possible i could continue to stitch away on it, but it felt like a good time to call it "done" for now.

heading south - detail

"heading south" is all hand stitched, except for a a little bit of the border. i forgot to measure it before i gave it to them, but i think it is roughly 3 ft x 4 ft. definitely the biggest piece i have done so far. it is a mix of cotton, denim, linen, silk, wool, and other mixed fibres, layered over a bamboo batting and with white cotton stitched on the backside and a navy cotton border. a mix of new and repurposed fibres.

heading south

this was definitely a labour of love, and i hope my folks will enjoy it. my dad has a strong love of the ocean, and worked in various capacities on it for large portions of his life (he is now retired). my mom is not so big on being on the water, but i know she enjoys the view from shore. my parents immigrated from denmark in 1970, shortly after they were married, and i think they feel great love for this corner of the world they have called home for over 40 years. we lived just across from the beach when i was a kid, and i spent long hours at the shore with my friend and our sisters (remember when kids could just roam freely through the wilds, as long as you were home by dinner?). the tall beach grass was thick around the large logs of driftwood as we made forts and played our games.

heading south - detail

when i was young we lived in a log house, and my dad had carved wooden plaques that hung over each window downstairs. one featured a line of three seaspan barges moving along. i think this is a big part of why i love the red barges so much as they move up and down the waterways here, and why i wanted to make sure and include them in this piece. they also indirectly led to the title, as the tug and its charges march south against the backing of the coast range mountains.

heading south - detail

now where they live, the bottom of the driveway is marked by another sign he carved, with three gulls in flight above the street number. they also bottle their own wine, which is aptly called "three gulls" with some labels i designed. i made sure to include three seagulls in this piece for them. in this case one is perched on a rock while two float nearby amongst the gentle waves.

a little visitor

when i was taking photos of the quilt this morning, i hung it from the cherry tree outside, incidentally from the same branch the suet feeder hangs from. all was quiet when i went out, but shortly i became aware of a flurry of chips and cheeps descending on me, and soon a crew of chestnut backed chickadees had popped down to see what i was doing. they were very brave, resting in the tree just feet from where i stood. soon enough, they were on the feeder, unperturbed by the quilt hanging next to it. they only darted away at the sound of the camera shutter, but then came back again quickly for another bit of seed. funny little birds, made my morning.

the sun shone brightly today after yesterday's snowfall. the snow has stayed around and tonight is very cold, but we took a nice walk at the beach today in warm sunshine. i will share some photos tomorrow. hope you are all having a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

a winner & little snow scenery...

*first up, thanks so much to all who entered my giveaway! i really appreciate your support of my work. while i wish i could send something to each of you, the recipient of the "my heart is with the sea" piece is...kimber! please send me your address at fogandswell [at] gmail [dot] com so i can get it sent off to you.*

the long ride up

my friend M and i went up to play in the snow on sunday. the mountains got lots of fresh stuff over the weekend and into this week. it was fresh and powdery, like icing sugar really. perfect. hardly a groomed run to be seen.

a short break

it snowed steadily all day, and the wind picked up as the morning turned into afternoon. so although the snow was great, my face froze as little pellets pelted against it on the downhill and back up on the lifts. still, carving across the runs felt good in the fresh air, riding atop my "surf" board (note the swirling ocean wave art). when the skies are clear, the mountain and ocean views are incredible from up here, but i also love when the clouds hang low and the world is mostly just shades of grey and white. makes me forget about the world below and be lost in the clouds for a little while.

lone boarder

...and hi. a random shot of me. i don't include those often here, but figure i should check in once in a while. like my new red helmet? it matches my red face, so cold in the wind.


happy tuesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

heart of the ocean?

oyster heart?

wishing you a happy valentines day. i know many people shrug it off as a "greeting card holiday" or one just for folks in love, and i probably used to be one of those people. but i think now i'd prefer to think of it as a love all around holiday, not just for romantic love.

found this oyster shell on the beach the other day, thought it had a bit of familiar shape. i know many people who are good at finding heart-shaped rocks, but i guess they don't jump out at me, so this is my attempt instead.

just a reminder you still have until 5pm PT today to enter my giveaway.

after a wee break yesterday, the deluge is back, and the wind is howling again too. hope you stay warm and dry and with those you love!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a little love for you...


just a small cloth, a little bit of love stitched up this week. jude has been stitching lots of hearts lately, and she has inspired me to try one of my own. a heart of silk and wool, reminiscent of the danish christmas hearts we make (my viking heart, perhaps?) nestled on a turbulent ocean of blue silk, cotton and linen. frayed bits of hand dyed silk create froth and foam atop the pitching waves. and a few words to bring it all together (west coast love, as margie so succintly put it).


in the spirit of that sentimental holiday approaching, i'd like to give this one away. please leave a comment before monday, february 14, at 5pm pst, if you would like a little piece to remind you of your love for the sea. it has a small grommet and a twist of wool for hanging. or use it as a bookmark. or just for holding. it measures 4.5" x 9.5". i will use the random number generator to pick someone, and notify in a follow-up post.


wishing you warms hearts this weekend. the gloom yesterday has carried over into a heavy deluge through the night and this morning. my plans for going out and getting some stuff done are fighting against my urges to curl up on the couch with some stitching or a book.

*Comments are now closed. I will announce the winner tomorrow! Thanks to all who entered.*

Friday, February 11, 2011

week end sunshine...

manila clam shell

really, there's no sunshine to be seen around here (and not just because it's dark). rain and a bit of wind set in this afternoon, and the weekend forecast looks a little gloomy. the plus side of that is that the mountains are finally supposed to get some new snow, which means i'll be heading up on sunday for some snowboarding. but, until then, i thought i would brighten the end of your (and my) week with a few more shots from the beach earlier this week. hope you enjoy!!

little rocks

broken shell

oh! and please check back in tomorrow - i'm having a little giveaway. it's a little bit love-themed, because i heard there is a certain holiday approaching; but it's also west coast themed, because, well, that's how i roll. are you glad it's the weekend? because i am. :)

sand arteries

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

wordless wednesday

from the passenger seat, originally uploaded by k | fogandswell.

Beach Feather

Beach Feather, originally uploaded by k | fogandswell.

new 8x10 photo print available in the shop! more to come soon.

{there will still be a wordless wednesday post later today}

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


low tide at goose spit

yesterday the northwest wind came howling in, whistling through the trees in violent gusts and knocking out power in some areas, including the area of town where i work. after a little wait, we decided to call it a day, as there isn't much work i can do without a computer or printer. so off i went to enjoy some sunshine (at least one benefit of the northwest wind, as opposed to the prevailing southeasterly, which brings rain), with camera in hand. wait, when is my camera not in hand?

ducks in the wind

i had originally set out to see some waves, but quickly realized the south facing beach i picked was a bit sheltered from the wind (perhaps thankfully), and the waves coming in were small, although the wind blowing off shore cut the tops off them in a wild spray of water. on the spit of land i walked along, the wind came howling over the top and whooshed down along the sand, stirring up little bits of grit in clouds that i had to turn my back (and camera!) to. the tide was out, leaving blinding stretches of sand in the glare of the sun.

webbed prints

despite the brightness of the sun, the side lighting as afternoon began to make its way toward evening created a warm glow for photos. the beach is certainly a warmer, more welcoming place in summer, but the light tends to be more flat, and therefore less flattering. i found lots of shells and bits along the way and found myself snapping away wildly. i think at least one shot will make its way into the shop as an 8x10 print.

low tide at goose spit

truth be told though, i think i've let me focus on proper photo technique slip a bit. not that i think one should always abide by the rules (see exposure above, that while wrong, gives a pleasing result i think), but that i'm not using the full features of a camera the way i used to. lately i'm thinking this old canon rebel xt is showing its age (nearly 5 years), or maybe it's not offering what i'm looking for anymore. or perhaps it makes it too easy to slip it into "auto" mode, rather than spending a bit of time choosing aperture and shutter speed wisely. anyone using a higher end canon DSLR that they enjoy? with my setup of lenses, i will stick to canon, but i'm looking at upgrading to something a bit more in the advanced amateur (60d) or semi-pro (7d) category.

Monday, February 07, 2011

snow shots

rugged range from mount cain

just a few pics from our mountain trip. the morning light on saturday was gorgeous when we headed up the lower t-bar, and i had to snap this shot of the highlighted rugged range to the west. the sun never came out fully from behind the thin haze of clouds though, and the hardpack of snow (without any recent snowfall), stayed nearly bulletproof and icy all day.

new snow

at the end of the day though, delicate flakes began to fall. after changing out of my ski clothes i went for a little walk along the paths between the cabins to try and catch some of the beauty.

delicate new snow

the little flakes seemed so fragile, but gently coated all surfaces as the afternoon faded quietly into evening, hushed by the falling snow. even the jays, ravens and squirrels, noisy all day, seemed to quiet down for a little while, giving me a moment of peace alone in the stillness.

delicate new snow

and what did i wear for my little walk? why, my down slippers of course! after a day in snowboard boots, and no real danger of them getting wet, they seemed to work just fine for a quick outing.

snow walk in slippers

hope your week is off to a good start!