Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Clean Windows and Cigarettes

It's so nice to be able to see out of the windows again. Cleaning them is always a big job but rewarding in that they look so good after. The spring cleaning event is nearly done ... at least there's light at the end of the tunnel now, with only one room left to do, then a spruce up in the kitchen. 

Busy day ahead today. The bank accounts are topped up and sorted out so it's off grocery shopping and I have to buy a whole big bunch of cigarettes to send to His Nibs up north. He says he's busy, but he's still going through them pretty quick, so rather than have him buy them up there at Yukon prices, I'll send a care package up. He wants some t-shirts and some cord to do rope work. He makes mats and trivets out of it in his spare time. I have to go get a tin of Tim's coffee too. He's missing his Timmy's. I'm not convinced there's a difference and it all depends on how you make it ...
Don enjoys his coffee strong enough to float a horseshoe in it, so Tim's will do the trick. 

So, I'm off to run errands, and this afternoon will do more cleaning in the studio. By the end of the week I hope to be back at my artwork, taking photos of some made items in my new photo space and beginning a wool mask project. Hopefully, I'll be putting the vacuum and mop away for awhile and my dry, chapped hands will return to normal. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Masks: Repairs and Additions

These masks belong to a friend of mine. During her move across this vast country, they met with the misfortune of being smashed to bits. Poor things .. they are made of paper clay and quite fragile. The big smash weakened them in places where they didn't actually fly apart, and my friend was devastated at the extent of the damage. They are hand made by some artist which I'm not familiar with, but they do have markings and numbers on the inside, if anyone knows who the original artist is. I would like to know. Well, my first instinct was to write them off as trash, but out of respect for the artwork, I agreed to try to save them. The black one had the most damage. Shards were collected from both sides of the face, but under the chin was mostly missing, so had to be rebuilt. I made wool cords, with multiple tails and glued them to cover holes, rebuild the jaw area and generally cover the cracks that showed after the glue up of the paper clay. The owner has seen the pictures and loves them. She's already making plans for where to put them up in her new place. I'm not sure where these were originally purchased, but if I have the story correct, it would have been at an arts and crafts show here in Nova Scotia say about 25 years ago. My friend has been all over Canada since then, and they had survived all the moves except this last one. 

The bone colored mask had much less damage and only one small hole. This was easily covered with wool ropes. 

The spring cleaning is still going on schedule. I'm almost up to the studio, which I'm leaving to last. If any of it is going to run over time, it's going to be the studio. So, I realize, now I'm procrastinating. Off I go with my cleaning supplies .......

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gift From the North

The mystery gift finally arrived. It's a gorgeous zip up, lined fleece jacket with removable sleeves. It took just under two and a half weeks to come from up there by Canada Post! However, it was worth the wait and it fits and feels wonderful .. if a bit warm, since our weather here has been just phenomenal. I had it on while running a couple of errands yesterday and found it comfortable as it was a windy day. I'm not so into the sleeveless look so will be keeping the sleeves on. Also included in the parcel were some nice prints of a grizzly bear, taken close to the hotel where Don is working, by another employee. 

Don is finding his work very enjoyable and he says it's been getting a little busier. There are lots of well heeled Europeans on adventure tours and truckers pass through there every day. It's the only stop on that highway, so they pretty well have to stop in there. They're 400 km  from either end of the road. He's received lots of complements on his food. He says he's not getting outside very often because it's still way too cold. Being on the top of a plateau, with a valley on either side, they enjoy a good bit of wind so frostbite is a very real concern. 

I'm still slaving away at spring cleaning. My muscles are sore and my knees hurt, but the old place is starting to look so much better, so that keeps me going. I just returned from the store with a bag full of batteries of all different sizes. I'll soon have the smoke detectors, doorbell and a few remotes working top notch. Today, I'm tackling the dining room. It's actually an easy room to clean so I chose that one for today to give some body parts a rest. I'll likely be doing the laundry room as well. Such boring and uninspiring work ... I'd much rather be working with wool. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taking Time to Think

Sometimes I just have to stop and change direction for awhile. I spent almost a whole day taking apart beaded creations that just didn't work out, or had mistakes, etc and sorting and storing the beads for reuse. I'm still not finished as I've since found three more which need to be dismantled. I have some ideas spinning in my head for more beaded creations, but I'm missing the texture of the wool so I have to get back to that. The masks are almost done .. will have to be done before the middle of next week. There is a project I need to do very soon, for a dear friend who invites me to her wonderful cottage on a beach a couple of times every year to spend a weekend. It's such fun and always a great gathering of old female friends. The cottage owner collects masks and has them displayed on the vaulted ceiling of the cottage. They're great and there's lots of room for more, so I'm going to make her one from wool and dyed sand dollars. I need to sit down and do some sketches before I start, but I have a pretty complete concept in my head now. That will only refine more this week, as I stay far from the studio and concentrate on housework. Yes, it's that dreaded time again so I'm getting busy. 

The weather has been fabulous here for the first time in who knows when? We're really having a spring this year and it's sooooo nice! It's been surprisingly warm and sunny for the last week. (Showing all the dirt on the windows so need to get them done too.) The dog is loving it as well and has been lounging outside on the grass. She's a pretty good girl as I haven't put her in her kennel and she's been staying on the property, as she's supposed to. We've had quite a few ball games together lately. 

Don is still doing well up in the Yukon. I'm still waiting for the parcel he sent me two weeks ago. It wasn't in the mail again this morning. I'm sure it's coming by dog sled. Or tortoise. 

It's unlikely I'll be doing much blogging over the next week or so, unless that mystery gift arrives. I might have to comment on that. Housework is much too boring a subject to be writing about. Having said that, break is over and I must get back to scrubbing the tubs. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wonderful Weather

I can't get over the weather! Other than yesterday's cold bitter wind, it's been wonderful for this early in the year. I was just outside playing with the dog, and I've decided it's warm enough to go back out and do more cleaning up in the yard. 

I've spoken to Don a couple of times in the past week. Things are still a bit quiet up north ... however a few European tourists filter through all times of the year. They had one big snowstorm which closed the road, so they had a busy night as it's the only place in town ... so to speak. ( What town?)  He told me he sent me a gift in the mail and I'm so excited as this doesn't happen often. He won't tell me what it is, so it's driving me crazy. It should arrive by the end of this week or the first of next. 

I've been busy repairing a pair of masks for a friend of mine. They met with misfortune and were badly smashed so I was asked to do what I could with them, as they have strong sentimental value to the owner. I managed to glue what pieces I had, back together but the cracks are horrible and there are holes where pieces are missing. I'm covering the damage with needle felted wool element to hide the damage. I'm quite pleased with the work so far.  I've also been busy creating a new beaded bracelet pattern for spring.  It's a little different, very feminine, sparkled and delicate. These will debut here later in the week. I still need to take some pics. 

Well, the sunshine is calling so I'm off to do a bit of light yard work and play with Daisy. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rings and Things

I'm running around here today trying to get a few things organized. A friend sent me the pattern for this pretty cocktail ring so I played with it last night for awhile. I came up with a couple of different looks for it. You'll have to excuse the old, dry wrinkled hand in this picture. It's the ring you're supposed to be looking at. The bands on these are beaded with 11/0 seed beads so they feel very nice on the finger. 

I just finished bathing the dog. She'll be going into the city with me this afternoon for a nice visit with my friend, Lu. I wanted to make sure she smelled pretty for the visit. She was due for a bath anyway. My next move is to have a shower myself and try to do something with my hair.  Then I'm off to the big city to spend the rest of the day. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wooly Brooch

This brooch was snapped up yesterday on Facebook buy a return customer. He loves my wool creations and this is the second piece he's purchased. I managed to get the rest of the completed ones uploaded to Etsy so they're waiting for new homes.

While doing some blog browsing, I came across a nice recipe for Scottish oatcakes. There was a lovely photo of the ingredients, so it was easy to figure out the consistency of the oatmeal required, as I wasn't familiar with the local names. They turned out great and they're party worthy, easy and delicious, so will likely be sharing these with my friends at our next gathering. 

I haven't heard any more from Don. We agreed on  one phone call a week and decided Friday would be good. It's still only Tuesday. Being garbage day, I spent some time in the garage yesterday, sorting and bagging various trash. I managed to get up early this morning and have everything to the edge of the road before the truck arrived for pickup. I over slept last week and missed it. There is nothing else on the slate for today, so I can enjoy finishing up the pins,  begin either a pair of earrings or a ring ...  the new ring pattern I received is very enticing, and do a bit of cleaning up. Tomorrow I have to make a trip into Dartmouth to drop off a couple of pieces and meet up with some friends for coffee. I don't plan on being in there more than a few hours so Daisy will be fine here by herself for the afternoon.  Well, that's all for today folks, and now I'm off to begin working. Wishing all a fabulous day.