Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vancouver Island Bead Show

The Vancouver Island Bead Show is March 7 & 8th at Saanichton Fairgrounds. I will have lots of news beads and am teaching a class!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


The piece above is a lovely reminder of my trip last week. I got it from Grey Art Glass in Merrickville Ontario. I got it on one the the days Karen and I travelled about the area. I really had a lot of fun with her and appreciated someone showing me all the local wonders.

The residency had some disappointments and this piece reminds me of a lot of the good that happened. I found it interesting that my meditation for today was about forgiveness and went to search out this lovely paperweight to focus on during my meditation. 

Sometimes things don't always go as planned, what's your method for moving past disappointment?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The ice in the caves

The Lafleche caves had some really interesting ice on the ceilings and walls. Turns out I took a lot of photos of it! The tour I took was the with Abraska Group and it real was special. If you live in the Ontario area I recommend a trip, follow it up with a visit to the Nordik Spa.

I was entranced with the ice crystals on the roof and walls. Maybe this will work into a bead series? Having come home to grey and rain I realized how much I really do love snow, it's so much brighter.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Church in the snow

Saw the most stunning church yesterday in what I think was Westport. This is one of my favourite photos of this trip. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cocoa 70

Yesterday's lunch was at Cocoa 70. The hot chocolate was served in a large brandy glass with chocolate around the rim that you added the milk mixture to. I thought it was such a special way to serve it, like a tea ceremony. I'll be trying it when I get home. 

The icicles on the hostel building were very ominous I had to get a quick photo of them. Today I'll spend with a friend seeing some more of the area. I'll need some time to process the week, some highs and some lows. Possibly journal it some more and try and make some sense of it. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

No Matter How You Feel

Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal freezes here in Ottawa and becomes one large skating rink. Today I skated 11 km on the canal. It gave me time to reflect on the week, the amazing things I've seen and the experiences I've had. It's interesting how much thinking you can get done as skaters buzz by. I've experienced some very unique things on this trip, it will be nice to have some time to absorb it. I'd like to come back to the area and have a bit more time to take in some of it. Possibly see some of the things we missed. Ice fishing, quinzee building, cross country skiing and ice carving. I feel like I've only scratched the surface of all there is. This could be the perfect area to connect with winter, possibly on a quiet snow shoe to some place remote with time to connect with the area. 

We did get to see some of Winterlude today. The ice carving was interesting to watch, the technique looked similar to large scale wood carving. Very unique sculptures, some with fine pieces that made me wonder how they were still standing. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Snow patterns

The house we are in is above a river. Yesterday morning I went for a walk along the railroad tracks were it looks like many people walk, snowshoe and cross country ski. There are many homes around the edge of the river but only 1/2 seem lived in. At one spot I could see across the river to a small cabin nestled at the edge of the frozen, snow covered river and though what a relaxing spot that would be to live. Quiet, pretty and peaceful. 

There is a large un touched hill right by the house and we discussed " stomping " patterns in the snow, so yesterday we put on our snowshoes and headed out. After a few tobogan runs on another hill we got to work. By working in pairs we each held one end of a rope and walked circles, creating crop circle like patterns all through the snow. 

This traveled across the hill like endless Olympic rings. 

This one was my favorite. Mandala like it had two mystery hills in the snow in the centre. This morning it's snowing so I'm curious to see if the patterns are still ther what they look like. 

We finished the dy with a trip to the Nordic spa. A large spa with 8 different saunas and many hot and cold pools it really was a treat. The finish sauna to a cold plunge followed by another sauna is quite an experience surrounded by snow. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stalagmites, bats and snowshoes

I have never seen anything like the caves I saw yesterday. A gorgeous day with snow falling and we headed to the caves. A lovely setting just outside Wakefield. Walking into the caves there were about 12 tiny brown bats hanging from the ceiling hibernating, covered in tiny frozen water droplets. They were the most amazing thing. Shimmering little creatures waiting for spring. 

The caves had the most spectacular stalagmites I've ever seen. As the water drops onto the floor they form. Some reaching almost as high as the ceiling. Each with a unique shape. The ceiling was covered in frost and mica making it look like its own unique Galaxy. I could have spent all day in there. 

The end was post card worthy. Looking out onto a snowscape while still standing inside the most magical place. 

We then went to the National Park to meet with a guide and snowshoe out about 5 km to a gorgeous lookout. If I remember correctly on a clear day you could see all the way to Montreal. We didn't see any wildlife but snowshoes certainly do give you the chance to reach areas that would be harder on foot. 

All in all a magical day with so much inspiration and ideas I'm not sure where to start. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dog sledding

Today we headed out to go dog sledding. On the way we stopped at Meech lake to see some ice fishing. There were no fisherman, we weren't sure if it's because it was a fairly cold day or because there was a fair amount of snow fall. I was a bit disappointed. Ice fishing seems to be such an iconic part of winter in Canada it would have been neat to see it or try it. 

We did put on the snow shoes and stomp some patterns in the snow. Practicing for a installation we hope to do Thursday based around patterns and snow. I am particularly draw to the idea that Mother Nature could erase or change it within hours of it being finished. 

The dog sledding was an adventure! I had no idea it took so many dogs to pull a sled. We each went on a short loop through the trees. There was a younger dog ( pup ) added for the loop I took and it was really interesting to see her trying to figure out where she should be and how to keep up with the rest. She was beside a particularly patient dog for that reason. She was still learning. It was comical to watch her little legs move so fast, often coming up off the ground lifted up it seemed by the harness. She sure enjoyed herself! I really could picture flying across a frozen field or lake. The dogs seem to have boundless energy. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Yesterday we went skiing at a hill not even 15 min from the house. There are several smaller hills easily accessible from the city around here. It was quite cold when we got there, snowing with a light wind. I wondered how long we'd last but within an hour or so the wind died down and the sun came out. It made for a lovely afternoon of skiing. 

The wind creates these interesting windrows in the snow here. I think it is because the snow is so much drier than in BC. 

As darkness fell the ski hill lit up. A decent amount of runs open for night skiing and a big influx of people. Night skiing is definitely something quite popular here. 

The sunset from the top of the hill was amazing. Purples and pinks on one side and fiery reds and yellows on the other. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

In wakefield

Yesterday I met with the Below Zero group at the National Gallery in Ottawa and were brought out to the house in Wakefield Quebec. Lovely house on the edge of trails nested in to the trees surrounded by lots and lots of snow. 

Each artist gave a short presentation on their work. It was interesting to see everyone's work each of us have a slightly different reason for wanting to participate in the residency but winter and cold were an interest for us all. 

Lots of interesting conversation over dinner. A really wonderful meal and a chance to relax. After a decent nights sleep I've woken up to light snowfall. My view while meditating this morning was peaceful.