Friday, December 28, 2007

The time between

It is the time between Christmas and New Years, between fall and spring, between daylight and dark.
It is winter. We seem to get a few inches of fresh snow every day and the roads out our way no longer show any pavement. It would be classed as "compact snow and ice." It is not always so snowy but it is this year.

Yesterday and today as we have driven down the driveway on our way to town there have been pheasants at the side of the drive or sitting on a wooden cross piece on the fence. They appear to be in lovely shape for winter and they are colour (!!!!!) in our black and white (blue and white might be closer) world.

Last night we drove our son to the bus and he has returned to the bustle of the city and his final semester before receiving his bachelor of fine arts.

Here there is no bustle, in fact the streets very firmly rolled up by Dec 24 and are only reopening ever so slowly. Finally there are a couple shops where one can find coffee in town again! Some businesses don't plan to re-open until January 2 and some not until the 7th!

Those who can have flown away to Mexico or Cuba or some place warm. Here we stock the fires to keep the cold from creeping in. I managed to send the Naniamo bars away with Larry, but I should have sent the fudge. I have great intentions of moving furniture and rearranging work spaces but I keep finding myself "en-chaired" in front of the television watching sad reports on the assassination of Benezir Bhutto over and over again.

January will come, and will pass, and gradually the light and warmth will return and spring will cheer us on.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another year is nearly gone

This has been a busy year but we have weathered it.

My mom went into Swan Valley Lodge in February and we are still sorting and compressing. Our house is an amazing maze at the moment and somewhere under the accumulation is a spare bed for our son who will soon be home for a brief Christmas visit.
James is farming less and painting more these days.
In March James held a one man show, "Gone Tribal", at Kingfisher Used Books, Creston's wonderful used book store which also features great coffee, cushy chairs, and good company.
He has an ongoing show in Creston at Annette’s Delicate Essen Coffee House which has 300 feet of wall space, which is very good when one paints big and James has numbers of works in the 4 X 4 ft range.
In June James taught a week long class in Acrylic painting here at the college and they have asked him to give a class again this coming summer.

Last summer my friend Betty Marzke and I coordinated our 40 year high school reunion here in Creston and found it to be great fun and wonderful to contact so many old friends...
I continue to co-ordinate Creston’s ArtWalk/ArtDrive which lasts from mid-June to Labour Day and runs a distance of 80 miles from Yahk to the ferry landing on Kootenay Lake. As well as the ArtWalk we sponsor a number of evenings of art and music throughout the year.
I have been building unique rustic birdhouses for 14 years and selling them all throughout the Kootenays and North Idaho but am having to cut back drastically as I have Dupuytrens Contracture, a condition affecting the ligaments in my hands and I have had and will continue to need multiple hand surgeries. It has left me without much grip, with very tender palms, and seeking new directions. I may be able to have birdhouses on hand here at our studio/gallery but I won't be able to continue suppying the other stores. I am meditating on what I can do next that is not as physically strenuous.

I've been making cards and calendars of photos of James’ paintings and am developing a line of cards made from copies of old post cards my grandparents exchanged in the 8 years they corresponded before their marriage in 1912.
I’m learning the good the bad and the ugly about printers too.
I’ve been using an Epson Inkjet which is VERY expensive to run as they don’t have the cheaper inks available for it and sadly most less expensive (under $600.00) printers only want to print on typing paper weight paper while I am trying to get them to run a heavier paper.

As I write I am looking at my new Xerox 6180 laser printer that says it will print on up to 80 lb card stock!
We shall see. I still have to get all the tape off and set it up. It came in a 3 X 3 X 4 ft box with 2 delivery men and a larger footprint than I had imagined so I’ve been reshuffling desks to get it in my office. That and finding the bed for Larry.

Wishing all a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.