Thursday, June 18, 2009

More ducky business…

I know I originally said that this blog would be more about creative ideas and endeavours, but this paddling of ducks is a muse of sorts, and certainly amusing!  And yes, apparently a group of ducks is not a flock unless in flight, but can also be called a paddling, a skiff, a raft, a team and a brace, among other terms, and since ours don’t fly (mama’s wings are clipped and the youngsters aren’t quite there yet) I think a paddling sounds good, don’t you?

Mostly, I just had to add this picture which my mom sent to me in an email last night with the caption, “and Lola came home with her friends.”

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Apparently, they wandered into the kitchen and made themselves right at home. I think it must be Lola in the front because she looks like she is about to topple over and you can see that the one on the left has a slimy beak from chowing on slugs in the garden. The best of both worlds, wouldn’t you say?

I’m not sure how my mom will feel to see her oh-so-up-to-date kitchen posted to the worldwide web, but it is one of the many rooms that will have to wait for an overhaul, and really, what does it matter when there is a window above the sink that looks out at the ocean just beyond a rolling hill…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Story of Lola the Pigeon-toed Duck

One Saturday, about a month and a half ago, I accompanied my mom to a “poultry swap” and we came home with a mama call duck, Bella, and her three sweet ducklings.


At that time, we had no idea what kind of adventures we were in for and we busily went about building a pen under the willow tree and converting an old dog house into a duck house so they could be safely locked up at night.

A short while later, when I was at my “other” home in Victoria, I talked to my mom on the phone and heard about Lola (although she could very well be a Lolo – we don’t really know yet). We had noticed that one of the ducklings was smaller than the others. Now my mom informed me that the little one, whom she had affectionately named Lola, seemed to be ill with pneumonia. Things were looking grim and so she had brought her into the house for some emergency medicine, i.e. extra food and warmth. By the time I visited the following weekend, Lola was on the road to recovery and completely tame. She had imprinted on my mom and refused to be left alone, peeping plaintively at the top of her little lungs if left in the other room or area of the garden. In order to keep her safe and happy, the pocket of a old work shirt came in handy to tote her around and my mom was glad to have me there to help out as a second surrogate.

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The bathroom sink became a swimming pool, the laundry basket became a playpen and a spot to sleep at night, and our lives were filled with digging for worms, apparently duck candy, and the sweet little peeps that showed her appreciation. Indeed, in no time we learned the difference between her happy cuddly peeps, her “thank you for the food” peeps and her “where are you” peeps. We really couldn’t leave her alone, and not because of the dog or the cat, they seemed to have gotten used to her presence although they were most definitely jealous of the attention she was getting, but because she was always falling down and on some some occasions she got stuck on her back and wasn’t strong enough to right herself. If we weren’t there to help her up she would have peeped herself hoarse and exhausted herself of the little life force she had. We noticed that our stumble-duck was pigeon-toed and was tripping over her own webbed feet!

So she spent time in the garden…

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but was often in the house as well.

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She was content to cuddle up in a bowl while I worked on jewelry…

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and have a little snooze. Notice how she tucked her beak behind her non-existent wing. Nonetheless, she always kept an eye out to make sure we were close at wing-tip.

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She loved her bath time and was starting to prefer being inside the house rather than out…

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when it seemed like she was strong enough to be reintroduced to her real family.

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Mama Duck accepted her right away, which we were worried wouldn’t happen, but her siblings, and the one we call Jethro in particular, seemed to pick on her whenever she got too close. This resulted in a gradual reintroduction which included continuing the bath and bed routine in the house. Here you can see that she is getting her “big girl” feathers, but that she still has a lot of duckling fluff as well.

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Now she has been completely accepted by the others and although she is still a tad smaller, she is almost indistinguishable from them.

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Luckily, little Lola hasn’t completely forgotten us. She is still the tamest and succumbs to a snuggle from time to time… if you can catch her!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Open for Business

The last few months have flown by and we have finished the studio and been open for business the last few weekends. The studio looks lovely with its window-boxes and I often set up a table in the garden so that I can work on jewelry and watch for customers at the same time – luckily the weather has been just sublime for that sort of thing.


Inside there is just enough room for my display case, a second-hand bargain turned shabby chic showstopper which also houses our friend Kerry’s needle-felted critters, my mom’s beautiful lamps, and a futon that creates a cozy spare bedroom in a pinch.

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Coming in from the gate, it is impossible not to stop and smell the peonies…

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or find something else of interest, like this fella.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

The studio takes shape

As artists, my mom and I have always dreamed of having our own special space in which to showcase our work. When she moved to the country last summer, we really started to think seriously about making that a reality. We eyed an old potting shed towards the back of her three + acres and thought about moving it near her gate. When we found out how much moving it would cost, a new plan was hatched and family and friends were hired to help us start from scratch.

The first day that Jordan started working on it in early March, it actually snowed. Before long, the foundation had taken shape.

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Then came the walls, the roof, tarpaper and trim…

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Mom hurried to paint the windows, salvaged from an old house, in her crowded basement.

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The weather finally got nicer…

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And in the end of March we started to put the weathered cedar shingles on. They came from an old roof that had been replaced – more recycling!

A big thank you to Dee and Chris and Wes for all their help!

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The sun was setting but we kept at it…

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Now it’s mid-April and this is where we are at.

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The shingles are done. A large beach-weathered plank that was once the transom of a boat makes a lovely, rustic front step. A little more work and it will look like it has always been there.

Now, for the inside…

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting started...

Okay, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m one of those types – if my hands are not busy with some sort of tool, knitting needles, pliers or otherwise, I’m likely to be drumming my fingers on my leg or playing with my hair. And there are two things that I think I need to address in terms of my creativity. First, I have more ideas in my head of things I’d like to make then I have time to ever attempt. Second, I spent way too much time in cyberspace soaking up the inspiration of others and getting even more ideas. My addiction to Etsy does not help. Therefore, this blog will be a place to get excited about new projects and ideas. I hope that documenting them will make them seem more real. Entries will be sporadic depending on schoolwork and the like, but that’s okay.