Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Adventure or Two... and Summer Friends

One of my goals 'photographically' speaking was to get a shot of our black squirrels....well, I haven't had much luck but my husband got a great shot of the chubby little guy, plus a Blue Jay as a bonus. There are actually several squirrels here and they chase each other through the trees.
So I returned the favour for hubby by taking his picture with his new acquisition: a Kubota tractor, which we are calling the Kub (sort of obvious but works for us) We won't be house bound this winter like the last! This area normally gets light snowfall that quickly melts but the last two winters have been nasty and the snow just kept on coming. We feel a trend is happening and so preparing! Also it's needed for various jobs around the property and we can add a mower if our other mower fails, needs repairs or dies. Hubby is one happy fella! As a friend said, it pushes all the 'guy buttons' and is just plain fun to use.

As you can imagine, with beautiful weather here, we have been out and about. On the Canada Day holiday period (July 1st), we took a short cut ferry ride from Mill Bay across Saanich Inlet to Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsula. It's supposed to cut an hour off a trip if you were to drive around, but since we sat in the ferry line up 40 mins, we couldn't see the time savings. It was also not cheap, so we reckoned it was cheaper to drive as well. Oh, well... we did it the once! We weren't there for that reason anyhow, we were there for the experience and to see the sights. It had been years since I had seen Sidney and the Saanich area so we were simply exploring. Here we are coming into the ferry slip at Brentwood Bay:

It's a small open air ferry that has been working this route since 1924. (I dare say there has been a few upgrades and new boats along the way.... :)

It was a great day weather wise and we found a neat place for dinner and made our way home. Summer is my husband's busy season at work, so a day trip like this is a great way to have a break together.

Summer also means 'house guest' season too and so for the past week we have had good friends Lynnette and her husband here. The time flew by and we saw the sights from Victoria in the south to Qualicum Beach in the north and over to Cathedral Grove on the west. The weather was cool and wet at times but we didn't let that bother us. (We have been having fabulous weather here with virtually no rain for 6-7 weeks, and I was happy to see some rain.) They are from a very hot region of the Okanagan Valley, so they felt the cold far more than we did unfortunately.
Lynnette and I didn't weave while she was here but we did discuss weaving, weaving and more weaving while she was here. We yapped till the wee hours and spent time in my studio exploring yarns, beads, the colour wheel and my books. I got to see and touch the first echo weave scarf she wove and its a stunning combination of colours. Simply gorgeous! When we were not talking, we were shopping! We visited my LYS, aptly named The Loom (but is primarily a knitting yarn store). There was some stash enhancement of course... I bought these skeins to make black braids with my lucet.

It's called Seduce by Berrocco and is 47% rayon, 25% linen, 17% silk and 11% nylon. I thought it would make some beautiful braids. I also picked up a Spin Off magazine for my daughter in NC and that was it for me. Lynnette made a few purchases and later gifted me with 2 skeins of sugar cane yarn from Chile! What a sweetie...

Size wise it is about the same as Bambu 7 and so I will have to think about something very special for these gems. I guess they have come up with a great way to utilize the fibres left over after the sugar is extracted and is more environmentally sound than burning the waste.
The next day we headed to Victoria and our goal was 'Beadworld' at the Johnson Street Market. Sounds kind of lofty to call yourself bead World huh? Well, the place is huge and the selection is amazing. Both Lynnette and I like to add some special touches to our work and this was the place to find those special somethings! I brought home a selection of deep reds as I will be beaming a red shawl project next for a client and it made sense to find something related to that over indiscriminate buying.... okay, I did some of that but not anything I couldn't envision using !
I'm sorry the reds don't show up as well as I would like. I had lights on and the camera flash but it doesn't do justice to the clear vibrant ruby colours. The top three on the left are some lovely soft terracotta, opalescent, and plum beads. Just too lovely to leave behind and quite inexpensive.
They had a great selection of small metal emblems such as star fish, butterflies, bees, stars, and small Chinese coins, pins (to which you add beads) as closures for shawls or scarves, and bought some cones for sliding over knots on fringes. You don't know until you give it a try!

Then our guests were gone and the house was very quiet...

So now while the washing machine hums along, I'm keeping busy next door in the studio and plan to get some weaving in today. The weather has warmed up again and is hot again so a cool place to weave is fine by me! I'll be concentrating on getting the mats done and so I can load this:
It's 2/8 tencel for a shawl commission for a client. I will be featuring it a bit here as she is following the weaving along as I go. Kind of neat to watch it being made for you!

The red is actually two shades wound together..

We have about a week to get caught up and back to some semblance or normal and then my brother is coming for a few days. Really looking forward to seeing him! That will have made three sets of company in less than 30 days... but that is it until October now. We plan a time away in September (still in the planning phase) but August should see us here.... but it's all subject to change of course!
Hope your summer is going well ....back soon!


Louisa said...

Those are actually fuzzy-tailed rats! I wish I could get rid of ours and then I might actually get to eat some of my walnuts and hazelnuts.

Nice boy toy! Oh and the tractor is cute too. ;)

I can't get out of Bead World for under $50 so it's a good thing it's a ferry ride away from me, huh? Nice haul!

Susan said...

Yarn Harlot calls them 'rat bastards' as they creep up and steal her fleece drying outdoors. She has delared war on them. So they are know by the same name here as well... it really suits them. These fat fellas steal the seed from the feeders and it supposed to be squirrel proof with the sliding cage. They actually worked out how to get the lid open and by pass the cage.
They sit on my side deck by the studio door and 'chitter' at me as I weave.


Life Looms Large said...

I think the black squirrel picture is cute. Maybe that's because there's a continent between us! I love that your jays are different than ours too!

That sugar cane yarn looks sweet! (I'm so funny, eh?)

That's great that you and Lynnette got together....two of my favorite bloggers in one place. Too fun!

Looks like you've got lots of weaving projects coming up. I still have my last day at NEWS, and then I'll head home and back to my studio!!

There's always a use for a Kubota, right??


Lynnette said...

Glad to hear you're getting in some weaving time after our visit kept you away from the looms. You have so many lovely projects on the go to choose from, which one first?
It was fun wasn't it? Having a weaving buddy is the best! And going through stash with a friend is sooooooo much fun!

Anonymous said...

I miss the black squirrels! (amongst other things of course. Namely you and Dad) They were so uniquely Canadian. They used to run around me when I studied on the lawn at UBC :P
I'm really quite jealous of your yarn store adventure. I have to buy mine online and haven't had the pleasure of walking into a skein filled wonderland. One day! :) I know there are some in Greenboro that I may have to drag G to :)
Love you!