Oct 26, 2013

Autumn as it should be (and other splendid things)

Since coming back to B.C. after a wonderful Ontario Thanksgiving, Autumn has really made a full and beautiful appearance here. It seems that all the sunshine and colours that we were promised are true after all (and not just figments of some great imaginative scheme).

I couldn't help but stop and take some photos of the gorgeous colour today as I made a trip to the local independent grocery store for fresh fall fruits and vegetables. Because Autumn comes so much later here, there seems to be more home-grown veggies in store until later in the year. Where Ontario would be seeing the last of its squash, pumpkin, and apple crops straggling into the farmers markets, B.C. seems to have an abundance of these, not to mention fresh spinach, red leaf lettuces, the last of the vine-tomato crops, radishes, potatoes, gourds, and so many more. My grocery bag was packed full of fruits and veggies (and ziplock baggies so that some of the greens could be frozen for later use).

I was thus inspired to take home some of these beautiful coloured leaves and collage (ha, is that even a verb? oh well, it is now) them into a collection of things that have made my weekend happy.

Aren't these leaves just incredible?! The candle is pumpkin spice, and the nail-polish reminds me of the
green bushes and the leaves still to change in the previous photos... 

I've also been spending a bit of time on Pinterest (okay, a bit is a HUGE understatement, I've basically been living on there), and have compiled a collection of some of my favourite photos and pretty things that have come across my visual path and wishful thoughts these last few days. I had a bout of the flu, so finding a little bit of beauty to balance out the icky was delightful.

Gorgeous spring colours that make me want springtime.
So. Much. Joy.
Christmas comes soon. Quebec, Canada.

So, so true.
I really like the last picture in the collection. It rings entirely true after the last year and a half. One thing about adventures is that, if you don't find yourself longing for the place you call home while you're on it, then it wasn't really your home to begin with. 

I guess I have found the place where I belong... and it's with this guy: 

Happy weekend, readers! 

Oct 23, 2013

An Experiment in Memory

This semester, as a part of my MA program, I am in a course on the writing of creative non-fiction. The course is specifically designed to deal with memoir writing. As such, I have been reading everything from Annie Dillard to Michael Ondaatje to Salman Rushdie to Virginia Woolf.

Our final assignment for the course, then (logically), is to produce our own short memoir peice. Short, of course, is relative, since the assignment is to be between 5000 and 10 000 words.

We have had little exercises in writing to complete, some which I have done and some which, admittedly, I have not. One of my favourites, though, was a short 150 word description of our earliest memory, visually stimulated by an old photograph. This short "experiment in memory" has consequently served as the launching point for the narrative arch of my memoir peice.

Prelude complete.

An Experiment in Memory

Fragranced by crimson gerber daisies and black-eyed-susans, it is the Carpenter’s world. Reclined in the corner of a home he built with his own hands, he is snoring softly to himself while overcooked pot roast begins to decompose melodiously against his bowels. Barely four years old, I concern myself with memorizing the spored texture of a raggedy black mutt’s flushed tongue as he licks his dinner from grandma’s porcelain. Second-hand immigrants discuss the weather (it has been warmer than usual this year which probably isn’t good for the farmers. Solemn nodding). She crouches in the foreground, her energy spent resisting the desire to touch - then slowly moves forward for prevailing curiosity. But the dog growls, and the Carpenter snortles in response, so she recoils and purses her lower lip against the upper, biting hard on toothless gum. We make no noise, and instead, I smile curiously and carefully. Dinners should not be interrupted; children should be seen and not heard. 

Oct 16, 2013

Ocean Ripple Afghan (pattern by Bernat)

After much work, I present to you my Ocean Ripple Afghan. 

This afghan was quite the undertaking. I started working on it in the summer after the family camping trip and successfully finding colours that I thought would work well together (and also match my boyfriend's taste). 

I loved the pattern by Bernat (which was one of those freebies you rip off of the stash at craft stores) and I wanted to create the blanket. I just wasn't too fond of the colours in the picture. It was too much blue (though, I suppose for an Ocean Ripple, the blues make sense...)

So I decided, instead, to go with the beige, cream white, and navy that I purchased at a tent sale at a country market in SouthHampton, Ontario in mid-July of this year. The wool was wonderfully soft, and the navy matched the colour on my boyfriend's bedroom walls. 

The blanket's construction began in during my final weeks in Kitchener-Waterloo. I got quite far on it over the course of a month. Many episodes of Star Trek, Stargate, and Doctor Who went into this - which, I figured, my man would love since he's a bit of a science-fiction nerd (all the best ones have their nerd streaks, no?).

There may even have been a few episodes of Dawson's Creek too...

When I got to BC (and yes, I took it with me because I had to finish it) the blanket was just a few rows away from being finished. So I buckled down one (rainy) Saturday afternoon and completed it. 

I also embroidered a wash tag for it, just in case.

I apologize for the terrible quality photo, but this was the finished tag, which I sewed to the bottom
of the afghan.

I brought the afghan home with me and gave it to my boyfriend this Thanksgiving weekend.

He loved it, which was wonderful. I couldn't help but take a picture of it against the backdrop of my parents' old park bench and the wonderful falling leaves. I do miss Ontario in autumn.

Blanket Materials:
- 5mm hook
- seven 100 gram balls of beige/brown (one more ball than the pattern called for)
- five 100 gram balls of navy
- five 100 gram balls of cream white
(all wool used was acrylic. use the softest wool you can find, this is a heavy blanket once finished.)