Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Try dye

I guess we won't go hungry this winter. (7 small jars)
Ok, so blackberries are early this year. Since the picking was good, 
I decided to give the old jelly kit a go and ended up with a successful batch. (An unsuccessful batch would be the one I attempted in my early 20s when most of the boiling hot jam cascaded down between the stove and the cabinet instead of into the jelly bag.)
Then, with the leftover pulp beckoning—I decided to try a badcrafter shibori wrap. 
It looked pretty good; until I washed it… when most of the blackberry colour disappeared. Vinegar didn't work as a mordant.  Will try again with a pre-dye mordant, fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cairn on the rocks


Lying on the hot rocks at Patricia Bay, marvelling at the sky as blue as New Mexico; so unlike the whispy-watery blue so often seen over Vancouver Island. Oh August… please don't go.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Enjoying a great summer analogue-style, with my iMac in the shop I've reverted to books and enjoying it very much. Actually books are never far off my radar—even with the competition of blogs and Pinterest. No Twitter or Instagram for me, not enough hours in the day.
The charmers pictured here are a recent buy from Ex Libris Anonymous. Old books chopped, drilled and bound for conversion to journals. Some people collect designer handbags; well, this is my vice. Or just one of them, to be really honest :)
I also own one from a Canadian shop, dreamingtreepaper.com. 
I'm really partial to those that are cloth covered; though the glossy printed colour children's books and series such as Bobbsey Twins are certainly fun too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Secret ingredient

I wanted to like Kimchi, but we got off to a rocky start. A Korean grocer was unhelpful to the point of surliness as I tried to figure out which of the many was a good entry-level kimchi. My first attempts to include it in our meals were met with less than enthusiasm from my husband.
I just wasn't getting it, the strong flavour and the mushy texture. Then, today, a chilly day which called for soup. Bean, cabbage and Kimchi soup, as it turned out. Success! The sprouted legume blend cooked down to a satisfying toothiness, the green beans and New Zealand spinach stems added a bright note and the Kimchi held it all together like a funk bass line laid down by Bootsy Collins.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tiny harvest

It's "Oh Hi!, July" around here again… everwhere you look something seems picture-worthy.
Edibles from the garden and eye-candy florals everywhere… I think I'm becoming obsessed with hollyhocks in my dotage. Also, hydrangeas, dahlias, echinacea and zinnias. And alliums. And Italian bitter greens. And arugula and scarlet runners.
I promise this is the last picture of those damn beans for this summer. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If Rachel Zoe were a gardener

It's that time of year… July yields so much going on in the garden
I feel like Rachel Zoe—wandering plant to
plant, touching, looking and muttering "Ba-naan-as!"

…though it should be "Scarlet R-u-nners! 
C-u-cumbers! Ch-i-cory! Strawb-e-rries! Bego-o-nias! Zi-i-nnias!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

No. 6 King Street

On a recent vacation I went to southern Ontario.
Waterloo, to be more specific.
I always find it odd that after 30 years of living on the west coast, 4000+ kilometers away from where I grew up—that I feel with each visit that Thomas Wolfe was wrong; and that you can go home again.  Of course it helps greatly that my family and friends are still holding down the fort. Coming back to them always feels like climbing into a warm bath, welcome and soothing.
No. 6 King Street is where my longtime friend Kenton has resided for more than 30 years.  It's one of those main street stores with apartments up above… look up - waaay up and there's Kenton's place.
It always feels great to come back and find it same but different.
Different in small increments; new healthy-for-you food in the fridge, a beer glass or two I haven't seen before, an arrangement of pictures in the hallway.

Kenton always brings my bike from the storage area (down all those stairs) when I arrive. He likes bikes, does Kenton; and got this old Schwinn for me to pedal around town. Sweet Schwinn. And sweet Kenton.