Sunday, April 19, 2009

And then there were two.....

I do think it is spring this time. The chickadees are singing "Spring's coming" from the bushes. There's a large older magnolia tree ( the kind with white blossoms) on the way to the mall that is just coming into bloom and many bushes and trees are just waiting to pop their leaves.

Went driving north toward Sirdar. The banks are covered with dog toothed violets (avalanche lilies) We decided to drive out on the dike: lots of ducks, geese, coots, Black Necked Stilts, a couple swans, a blue heron, swallows, and a mamma black bear with her two last year's cubs!

The Black Necked Stilt is fairly rare here in the Creston Valley. They have wonderful "formal attire" and were quite close to shore so we could stop and see them well.
They have bright orange legs. They are quite showy little birds.
It was one of those days when I again think "Why don't I just put a pair of binoculars in the jeep?"
The binos were at home on the table because that is where the best bird watching starts.
Friday evening we had a pair of vultures soaring and swooping right close to us - so utterly wonderful!
Mamma bear and babies were across the channel from us far enough away that we weren't making her nervous, nor she us.
This week will be Arts and Culture Week across the province. Here in Creston we are again renting "The Blue Awning Gallery" across from the government agent's office on Canyon (main) Street. We have a show opening tonight in the west side and going on for the week with different activities in the east side of the building.
Next Saturday James will be helping Sandy Kunze raky behind Kingfisher Used Books and I will be attending an Artist Trading Card lecture and session at the Painted Turtle Gallery.
James and I are going to the opening of Arts and Culture Week tonight. James is showing the 2 pieces of metal sculpture shown at the top of the post. They are made to hang and are about 4 feet tall.
I have created an installation from some of the many, many toques I knit from Jan through March. The show's theme is Forty Forward, celebrating the 40 years of the existence of the Arts Council here in Creston and looking top the future.
My installation has large picture frames (4 of them) hung vertically and strung with wire like clothes lines and at the bottom I hung, using brightly coloured clothes pins, 10 infant hats for the very years, then, above that, 10 toddler hats, for a bit older, then 10 adolescent hats, and then 10 large adult hats.
In the top frame I have hung many hats of all sizes and colours representing the future.
I'll try to get a picture. James tried but it wasn't until we got home we realized his picture only showed the bottom 3 frames.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Promises of spring

Now that the Wynndel Ats Center is "virtually finished" James has had a chance to do some art himself. This is his metal sculpture from last weekend which he will show in the Art Show celebrating Arts and Culture Week at the "Blue Awning Gallery."
I need to evaluate who we've heard from and who we need to be contacting for this summer's ArtWalk.

Meanwhile, my frantic and joyful round-loom knitting has paid off. I have many, many touques to show as an installation at the Blue Awning and to sell this next fall and have had to have another hand surgery for a very badly triggering thumb. I am swanning about while James does the cooking and dishes. Stitches come out Friday -yea!!!!
Spring progresses slowly without me. The daffodils by the front door are nearly open and the little purple violets are blooming with abandon. These are "better behaved" than some and spreading slowly but my hope is for some more inclined to "take over".

I went up on the hill today to see what new wildflowers are about. These teeny, tiny blue flowers will soon carpet the ground but now they are still few and far between.

This is a slow spring. Down in the Lower Mainland, in the farming communities east and south of Vancouver the strawberry growers say their crops will be later than usual and sparser.
I've suggested to James we plant some of our own strawberries in the chicken pen where the deer can't get them. We had them in a raised bed where the deer ate the berries and James mulched them for one winter so well they composted, poor things.

Yesterday we bought our seed potatoes. At Straight from Earth Natural Food Store in town I see a sign saying they are selling the last of the local carrots and I need to buy some before they are all gone. I'm anxious to see things planted but I am a spectator at this time and it's still pretty cold to expect things to grow.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A whole day of sunshine! and a job well done.

Whee! Spring feels really here. I saw 2 towhees in the bushes, the honey bees are out again, the little tortoise shell kitty is seeking shade, and everything feels ready to pop.
James has been redoing his greenhouse, getting ready for tomatoes, and the project for the Wynndel Mudders is essentially finished!

James and Bruce Johnson renovated (rebuilt?) the old changing rooms from the former Wynndel Pool and made them into a really nice open 700 square foot clay studio.
Wednesday we threw a surprise party to honour James and Bruce for all their hard work.
Above, James and Dirk Kunze are philosophizing.
Sadly, we don't have any "before" pictures of the warren of toilet stalls and shower rooms and walls rotting off at the bottom.
James and Bruce tore out all that and with some help from several of the women pulling nails, cleaning, and painting they've made a real silk purse out of a sow's ear.

The outer walls and ceiling are all natural wood and the men post and beamed the room so it could be open concept.

In case one fears there's nothing left to do the outside of the building will need some help and there needs to be a bit of landscaping but for the time being both James and Bruce need to do their spring work at home. This being such a late spring they got a bit of a reprieve.
In November I posted pictures of James and Bruce working on the concrete which formed the floor for this large storage room (about 1/2 shown) which runs the width of the north wall.