Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


This ‘Hood is for the Birds

Not meaning to make light of the very real shortage of affordable housing for people, I thought if  birds had any shortage of housing, here is one person’s way of dealing with it and helping them out. This tree with its “decoration” is located in a remote part of Vancouver Island. A handful of people live nearby and while some of them are very creative, all of them love nature. So this tribute to bird life is appreciated and admired by all. Some other objects have crept into a space among the birdhouses, but they don’t look out of place because they are part of the lifestyle there.

*Taken with the Captain’s little Fuji.

Do you see any objects that stand out for you?


Quilt Show in Comox

Last weekend I volunteered on behalf of the Schoolhouse Quilters’ Guild at the Comox Valley Exhibition. It was inspiring to see the  various creations of other quilters. The quilts were displayed on panels of black cloth hung on structures made especially for displays of this sort.

I’ve chosen a few of the quilts for this blog. I would like to have featured them all, but there simply isn’t the space to do that.

I like the way the quilter of this piece used the quilting lines to show the contours of the landscape.


These two wall hangings are hand  quilted. That’s a lot of work when it could have been done by machine, but the hand quilting gives them a special look and is more difficult to do exactly, and much more time consuming. Great care is taken to make sure that each stitch is the same length.
DSCN6356 The mermaid below is done by machine quilting. It doesn’t show up on my photo, but the mermaid’s hair is quilted in two colours of thread, one dark, one light, which give her hair a highlighted look. The scales on her body are not part of the pattern of the fabric; they are quilted on. Notice, too, the stitching lines that give the impression of the movement of the water.DSCN6349 One of my favourites is this sunflower quilt. In better lighting it would be glittering and sparkling, but it was hanging in a darker corner and so couldn’t be seen to its best advantage.DSCN6367 Again, the stitching lines show the contours of the landscape. Excellent job!DSCN6368 This jellyfish quilt has little lights sewn into it which can be switched on at the back of the quilt. But even without the lights, the work is very good.DSCN6370 And what’s not to love about “Oh Canada”? The applique of all the animals on the map must have taken a lot of time.DSCN6366After putting in my time at the exhibition, I couldn’t wait to get home and fire up my sewing machine.


Talent to Spare

Our friend Bruce Glover is a talented man. Not only does he know a lot about the habits of many animals, he can paint and carve their likenesses with such skill that any of his subjects would be flattered if they could see his work. Here, Bruce stands before a display of some of his work on loan to a seniors’ residence.

Bruce Glover

One of Bruce’s favourite birds to carve is the brant goose. Here is a flock of them flying near Goose Spit on Vancouver Island. Notice the various wing positions in this photo and the next one.



Now compare the live birds with carvings that he has made.


This life-size brant has fooled many an admirer whose first inclination is to touch it to see if it’s real. Of course, touching a carving is a no-no, because even the cleanest fingers leave an oily residue that would soon break down the paint. This brant is carved from wood and each feather looks delicate when you look closely. It’s hard to believe it’s not alive.

The little miniature ducks at the brant’s feet don’t belong there. That was my own (silly) addition to the scene.


Bruce also did this flock of Canada geese …



and this one of the pileated woodpecker.



The black brant carved right into this piece of wood was meant to be a sign by our driveway. We didn’t like to leave it out in all kinds of weather though, and it now hangs in the house.001

A very large sign that Bruce has recently made covers the whole table in his shop. The bend in the wood is from the way the trunk grew when the tree was knocked over by a larger tree that fell on it. The small tree continued to grow for many years and had a huge trunk when it was finally knocked down. It makes a unique piece to work with.


The lettering is part of the wood, not pieced on. So is the salmon which is about to eat a smaller fish. A great deal of work went into making this large sign which will hang at the entrance to a fishing charter business. You won’t find another one like it anywhere.032