Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day at the Races

Another beautiful end-of-summer day and matinee races at Kensington.  Days like this I miss having a horse but it was nice just to sit and watch everybody else working, too. 

I love this picture:

We start them young on the Island.

The view around this turn is breathtaking.  PEI is surprising for its hills and wonderful views of farmland and woods.

Old-fashioned racing with the horses tied to the trailers, kids running everywhere, blankets instead of purses to be won, no betting except between friends and a lot of people who really love their animals.  Lots of sun, hot dogs on the grill and pop in big buckets of ice.  Now I'm sleepy....

Friday, 27 August 2010

Glorious Summer

My friend Anne came to visit the end of July and it was my excuse to have a wonderful, glorious holiday for 10 days.  I meant to blog each day and chronicle our travels around the Island, but we really showed our age by coming home each day and collapsing.  After we ate, of course.  Lobster, lots of lobster. 
We travelled from one end of the Island to the other, hitting as many beaches as we could, sightseeing, deep sea fishing, attending a fiddle festival in Abrams Village and eating.  Surprisingly, we only got into the wine one day and that's probably a sign of age too.  We're out of practice.
So here's a pictorial review of some of our travels and something for me to look at in the dead of winter.  I was pretty ruthless, but there are still lots of pictures.

Day two was an ice delivery and an excuse to go to Cabots Park near Malpeque.  (Day one was a five minute drive to Chelton Beach and since it's so close to home, I forgot to take my camera!)

A stretch of beach at the end of a dirt road in Kildare, where my late husband was born.  Very quiet and private.

This is called the English Church by the locals.  Just north-west of Kildare Capes, it's a place I visit every time I'm in the area.  Surrounded by woods, it's one of the most peaceful and serene places I've ever been, and it also feels like one of the most haunted.

The stone marker at the gateway to the church commemorates the great storm of 1851, called the Yankee Gale, the most destructive storm ever to hit the Maritimes.  The wind came from the north-east and caught hundreds of ships out mackerel fishing.  A total of 90 ships and 160 men were lost.  Hulls, wreckage and bodies littered the north shore. 

The memorial stone erected when the bodies of three unknown American fishermen were found wrapped in sailcloth buried in the church's graveyard.

Deep sea fishing off of New London.  A gorgeous day, wonderful tour and a great feed of cod for supper.

Just one of the lighthouses we saw on our fishing trip.  I didn't see two whales and didn't see a seal, although some of the other passengers did. 

The North Cape windfarm, always impressive with the lighthouse and tides meeting off shore, now even more impressive with fields of monster windmills.  The building gives an idea of the scale of these windmills, with one of the generators and one of the blades in the foreground.

I love the landscape left by the wind and waves.  North Cape shoreline.

North Cape shoreline at low tide.

Singing Sands beach, near Souris, at the eastern end of the Island.  The sands didn't sing to me, but they were like walking in brown sugar.  The water was so clear you could see everything on the bottom and I picked up more quartz to add to my pile of rocks.

The cliff at the opposite end of the Singing Sands beach. 

Victoria Harbour, on the way home.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

My Idea of Tweeting - Another Bird

I find tweeting very difficult.  Can't figure out why anyone would want to know what I'm doing or thinking.  So why do I feel comfortable posting on my blog?  Pictures?  Dunno, don't care enough to worry about it.

Toucan Dance
Shipwreck Beads has some terrific Peruvian ceramics and a bag of birds (nice alliteration there) has been sitting on my table for some reason or other.

If I stare at stuff long enough, it usually provokes, shames or inspires me into making something and this is the second of my birds.  I love this toucan and I love the way he can swivel on his perch and face left, right or forward.  I really liked the parrot but think I like the toucan even better. 

He's sitting on a hammered argentium perch and has a double chain, both round and diamond links to lampwork beads, and then just the round sterling links and two more lampwork beads.  This necklace does not have or need a clasp because it should be long enough to go over any head.  If it goes over mine, which it does, it should be fine with any other head.  Except maybe my son's, but it wouldn't suit him anyway.

Toucan Dance is $50 when I can part with him.  He's still sitting on my kitchen table so that I can admire him every once in awhile.  Not my work, just the bird and the beads.  Look at the way the light shines through the lampwork.  Maybe on a cloudy day, I'll take him out to the store.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

For the Birds

It didn't take long to figure out a use for one of the shiny pieces from the tumbler.
Hand formed and hammered argentium silver ring with a Peruvian ceramic parrot sitting on two gorgeous prehnite briolettes from Luxbeads at Etsy.  The chain is flat oval links attached to flat round links, all sterling silver, with a sterling lobster clasp.
$50 CDN

Monday, 16 August 2010


Isn't it magpies that love shiny things?  I love, love, love silver and nothing looks prettier to me than a bunch of silver right out of the tumbler.  As usual, my picture doesn't do it justice, but it's just so shiny and sparkly clean and ...silver! 
A few hammered rings, some melted silver, a few balled headpins, a metal clay flower for remedial work and some miscellaneous stuff that might become anything.  Stuff to play with when there's time. 
I'd be happy right now just melting and hammering and tumbling!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Catching Up

How come winter seems to last forever and summer goes so fast?  It's after 11 p.m. but tomorrow is a typical day - open the store at 7 a.m., work until 3:30 and then make two deliveries of ice, back in the store from 9 til 10, probably 11 before everything is done, counted and closed.  About this time every summer, I'm almost wishing it was over and life could be a little slower...almost.  After Labour Day, sales go back to a normal level, there's no ice to deliver and all of my summer friends have gone back to their own province or state, and the letdown is so sudden.  So, yeah, I'm tired, but I have to try to enjoy each day as it speeds by or I'll be shivering in the middle of winter and wishing it was summer again.
Before things got so crazy, a piece of sea glass had been calling and I finally got around to wrapping it.  Dana, on the forum, had suggested wrapping it with the narrow end at the bottom and that's exactly what it needed.
The challenge with this piece was to wrap it without covering up or taking away from the lovely ripples. 
It was an interesting challenge but I was pleased with the way it turned out.  I laid three pieces of 21 gauge square wire out, with lots of extra length and the centre wire about an inch longer than the outside two.  Using a pair of round-nosed pliers, I formed a loop at the exact centre of the middle wire and then taped the wires together about a half inch from the loop.  My first wraps were about an eighth of an inch above either side of the loop and that left enough wire to bend up over the point of the glass and hold it from the bottom.
Just above the second wrap, I bent the inside wire across the front of the glass and used an X-acto knife holder to twist just enough wire to reach the other side, work hardening it and making it stronger.  I made a 90 degree bend, took the outside wire from the other side and did the same thing on the back.  The tricky part was wrapping the wires in with the glass set in the wire frame, because crossing the wires made the frame tight enough that the sea glass couldn't be removed.

 What isn't obvious, is that when I bent the wires across the top of the sea glass, I got too cocky and wove the three wires around each other.  Once they were bent again to make the bail, you couldn't see the weaving and it actually made a looser fit to the top of the wire.  It was a dumb move, but luckily, didn't really show. 

I took my flat-nosed pliers, grasped the loop at the bottom and twisted it around 180 degrees.  That gave stability to the loop and then I added three labradorite briolettes to the loop.  They were a perfect complement to the glass, with their beautiful aqua fire.  This piece is sold.

Friday, 6 August 2010

How To Be Alone

I just dropped my friend Anne off at the airport for her trip home and I'm really going to miss her.  It seemed very fitting that CBC was profiling a PEI artist and her video/poem "How To Be Alone" as I made the lonesome drive home and when I arrived, I listened to the whole thing without wind or traffic gaps. 
If you count my dogs, I don't live alone, but I'm probably too set in my ways to share living space with another human for any length of time.  But Tanya Davis struck a chord with her video and I want to share it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, even if you aren't alone.