Friday, October 10, 2014

Latest Version of the Studio

Our original vision of the studio has undergone many changes, and has yet to have an actual opening to people other than ourselves.  
Its' main function this past two years has been for Ron to upcycle beer and wine bottles into glasses, spoon rests, etc.  This entailed a lot of flying glass particles.  
Last summer Ron constructed a partition between the display area and the work area.
I painted it white.

We are just beginning to arrange the product.  And deciding what to feature.  So it is still a work in progress.

This is a very comfy chair just to sit and read, and dream...

We painted the siding to match the house.

And, in the spring, we can put out our sign  :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Markets

This summer has been our busiest.  Most weeks, we are doing three markets.  Our regular markets have been the Cariboo Farmers Market in 100 Mile and Loon Bay Resort.  This summer we added the Barriere and Clearwater Farmers Markets.   We have been meeting new fellow vendors and enjoying new customers.  So, making lots of product....

The kiln is loaded with pendants, bracelets, earrings, rings - to be.  Three pendants got a little too close - no problem, Ron can fix that

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Handmade Paper utilizing Wasps' Nests

I love making paper.  My original recipe was a simple one from a recycling newspaper, aimed at children - which suited me perfectly.  I have changed the methods over the years, but what remains the most fun is deciding what goes into the pulp.  Any scrap paper, even the ones with glossy finishes (which we are told not to use), all kinds of plant material, especially flowers that keep their colour - and now, wasps' nests!

A few weeks ago, a customer at the 100 Mile Farmers' Market was telling me about her homeschooling experiences, one of which was making paper from wasps nests.  Somehow, I had never heard of this.  As last year was the Summer of the Wasp, our barn was full of nests.  And as I began telling everyone who would listen,  wasps' nests (empty ones) are being donated to me.

Lucy is very curious

All kinds of bugs, unidentifiable things, black dots (eggs?) reside inside these wasps' nests.  I peeled off the outside, which feels not surprisingly, exactly like paper, and threw it into the pulp.  The resulting paper doesn't look particularly different, but it feels very different.  The only adjective I can think of is substantial.  

Thanks to the Internet, I have begun learning a lot about wasps.
I enjoyed this link, though not sure that I will ever think of a wasp as a possible pet.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Road Trip to Arizona

We have lots of points on our Visa so had planned to fly to Suzanne and Ken's this year.  But then Ron decided to make stained glass panels for their bathroom window - Frank Lloyd Wright design.  So, once again our aging van made the trip.
Ron took 33 days to make the panels

And, they are amazing

Once we arrived, the panels were soldered together.  Much help in maneuvering from Ken and Bob

Finally, the panels were hung.  So beautiful and worth all the work

Glass sculptures were on display at the Botanical Gardens.  We had seen them there a few years ago and were thrilled to see them again.

Time for Bob and Clarissa to be butterflies

Not as many baseball games as other years, and we forgot our camera for most of them.  But, here is Brendt making the out on first base.

Of course we went to Craft Shows

Fountain Hills, famous for its high fountain (what else) especially when it turns green on St Patrick's Day

One last lunch together - I always hate when visits are over

No lingering on the drive home as we both had eye appointments in White Rock.  We had a brief stop in Vancouver, visiting with Lee and Xiaoli.  Erin and Ron and I went to Improv Night at Theatre in the Country

Snow was still on the ground when we got home

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mama Jane - A Very Unique Cat

All cats are wonderful, but there was something very special about Mama Jane.  Her final years were spent with my daughter and son-in-law, Erin and Reg.  Her age and early life are unknown.  Erin met her at RAPS (Richmond Animal Protection Society), a shelter for feral cats where she volunteers.

Erin fell in love with Mama Jane and decided to bring her home, knowing that with her age and many ailments, she did not have much time left.  And Erin wanted to make those final days as happy, pain free and comfortable as possible.  

She became part of the family immediately.  Running to the door when Erin or Reg (or anyone for that matter) came in, vocally greeting whomever and asking to be picked up.  There were many trips to the vet to help with her mouth ulcers and respiratory problems, surgery to remove her abscessed teeth, and medications to alleviate the symptoms of her ailments.  She was a trouper during all of this.

I have mentioned what a good hostess she was - when we would visit, she made us feel very welcome.  Sleeping with us - on one of our heads, her favourite spot.  

She even made friends with Nibbles, the family cockatiel.  Well, she didn't attack him.  I might be exaggerating about the "making friends".

Mama lived for five more years with Erin and Reg.  She was loved by everyone, and had a good time wherever she went.  Here she is at Urban Tails, being babysat while Erin and Reg went on a trip.

A month before Mama died, it was discovered that she had cancer.  Erin was as determined as she had been all along to make this stage also as comfortable as she could.  And religiously made sure she had enough pain pills to be able to eat.  Mama still was as cuddly and loving as ever.  Even during the last days she didn't hide away but seemed to draw comfort from being with Erin and Reg.  

Finally, on April 7, 2014, Mama passed away, peacefully, lying on Reg's chest, with Erin beside her.  They were fortunate to find a vet, Dr. Susan Hetherington, who makes house calls.   She was very sensitive, explaining the process as she went along.  Many tears and prayers.  
And Mama Jane will forever be with us.  She gave as much to Erin and Reg as they gave to her
And I will never forget her.