Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Field Trip: Edible Canada

        This week with our littlest Littles in Summer camp a few friends and I have been going for some Momma themed field trips- the beach for coffee, Gastown, Main Street and we had to hit Granville Island for some Duck Fat Donuts- yes you read that right- Duck Fat Donuts. Being touted as one of the top eight Summer treats to try in Vancouver these delicious morsels from Edible Canada more than stand up to their reputation!

       Sweet and savory these donuts really have more in common with a beignet than a Timbit- light and airy- not heavy at all- a perfect flavour balance. Ordered from the Edible Canada take out window (located directly across from the Public Market) the donuts are made fresh for each order- enjoy with a Saltspring Island coffee while sitting on adorable stumps covered in burlap.

        Of course a prudent woman would order one portion to share- but my friends and I don't roll like that! So this order of When Sticky Pigs Fly was all mine- caramel, chocolate and bacon- oh yah -good thing there were no kids around that I had to share with either! I'm thinking the next time we go I will have to try Bring on the Payne- spicy and salty!So many donuts so little time!

P.S. by now Lovely Cousin Laura will be drowning in drool- so go- pay the $9.00 for parking and just go get these donuts right now!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Collected: Driftwood

        I will confess to being a bit of a hoarder- rarely is there a pretty stone or piece of wood that I come across that gets left behind- it all comes home with me. My Littles are the same way- constantly bringing bits of nature indoors and adding it to their nature shrine. I guess they come by this collecting honestly and they are starting to develop an eye for beauty as well as strengthening their connection with nature.

        So when yesterday found us with a quiet afternoon and a bit of down time we decided to dip into the plentiful collection of driftwood we have accumulating on our deck and make some arts and crafts! Yes this project is totally campy and what some might regard as too seventies (Mom) but I'm OK with that! I love macrame and beads- throw in some pretty driftwood and it rounds things out nicely!

        These little drift wood mobiles have been cropping up all over the Interwebs lately- I spotted a really pretty one over on the Emma Dime blog and that got my creative wheels turning! I have had these pretty glass beads for an eternity it feels like- they were waiting for the right project- with the same softness as beach glass they mesh perfectly with the washed shades of the driftwood.

     I used the exact same technique as one would use when tying a hemp necklace but I used waxed cotton instead as the knots held tighter- I found that hemp string was too soft and the knots slipped. So simple and easy for a quiet afternoon in the shade. I love items in my home that have memory and meaning attached to them- I love that each piece of driftwood used in this project came from one of our adventures across B.C. This is a souvenir I can get behind- a souvenir of sunshine and Summer!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Coming Home: Vancouver

         My entire adult life my heart has lived in two places- half stays in the Okanagan and half I carry around with me in the city- I am not sure how it is possible to love two places so equally and miss them so equally when I am absent. This past weekend was a weekend of "one last time"- as in one last time picking green beans in the garden with Poppa- kale and broad beans too. Racing around to check every last thing in the yard before getting in the car- checking under beds to make sure nothing was missed- giving big hugs.

        One last dip in the lake- none of us wanted to leave- the water was so warm and perfect and that rope swing made things very interesting! Our sweet niece paid us a visit with her wee babe- and oh what a bundle! Those legs and cheeks I could have just eaten them up! It was so nice to sit in the shade holding a new baby and chatting with our niece who is quite the Little Mother- oh how I wish we were closer to watch them both grow!

         Our final day was spent in Vernon- lots of treats from Oma and Opa- ice creams at D.Q. and a quick run in the park before loading back into the truck and turning our sights West- as we came over the mountains my thoughts turned to the week ahead. All that we have on the go became a bit overwhelming after not planning or doing anything for ten days!

        So here I sit on an early Monday morning- a familiar coffee cup in my hand full of my favourite Saltspring Island brew- in my regular writing spot- trying to wake two sleepy heads for the first day of Summer camp- if not for the photographic evidence it is almost like last week never happened! But for the photos and the feeling of contentment- having connected with so many dear people- missing so many we didn't get to see. The hugs, snuggles,sunshine, laughter, brightness and even the sunburns have seeped into our souls- to carry us through till next time!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Craft Camp: Wooden Boats

          We arrived home from five- yes five hours at the beach yesterday to find my Dad had cut out these cute little wooden boats for the Littles. After setting down in a shady spot under the back deck we got to work with the finishing aspects of Poppa's awesome little boats- after five hours of some intensive playing and swimming with friends this was the perfect remedy to help a couple of Littles unwind.

          With a bit of unenthusiastic sanding- as in apparently children do not like to sand blocks of wood- the kids were ready to decorate their ships- we used some basic acrylic paints to cover the entire wood surface- I am hoping this seals the wood well enough. If not then a quick coat of water proof varnish will do the trick once we get home. We kept the pallet pretty limited so as not to overwhelm two tiered kiddos.

         As always my Littles had a great time painting- The Boy going for more of a camouflage effect where as Miss Lo went mostly pink- quell surprise! A sturdy mast was glued in place and we topped their ships with sails made of craft foam- super simple- and water proof.

     The Littles loved this post beach, pre-dinner project and so did the adults as we sat in the shade sipping a few libations- most essential after five hours at the beach! Today is our final day in Peachland and of course we are headed back down to he lake for more swimming- we will also set our boats out on their maiden voyage!

    This week has flown by- filled with loads of family, lots of emotion, friends old and new and a whole lot of swimming. As much as I love visiting the Okanagan I am looking forward to being back in my own home- sometimes I think I go away just to have that feeling of coming home! My wish for you dear Friends is that this weekend is filled with sunshine, laughter and love- Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Farmer's Market: Kelowna

          When in the sunny Okanagan we do what anyone would do- we head to the Farmer's Market to find some local goodies. Located at the corner of Springfield and Dilworth Ave this is literally one of Kelowna's hot spots! With an abundance of crafters and artisans I saw loads of lovely handmade wares- from natural beauty products to children's clothing and pottery.

        Of course we all have our favourites to look for when shopping a market like this- I was on the hunt for some in season cherries of course but was pleasantly surprised to see the peaches starting to come into season as well. All the other usual suspects were in attendance as well but we were not grocery shopping so ample time was afforded to check out everything else!

        With temperatures reaching into the 40s yesterday we headed straight for a cool and refreshing beverage at the lemonade cart- lemons, ice and sugar- you can't get much more simple or refreshing than that! I will admit that I am a total ocean girl now- I have become acclimatised to Vancouver's constant cool breeze and am currently sweltering in the Okanagan sun!

        Because I am clearly not in my right mind I went straight for the alpaca wool stand- where I lingered for several moments trying to decide on a colour or this gorgeous Alpaca wool from Sumaq Valley Alpaca. Lovely colours and ever so soft- The Boy decided on a variegated blue for a hat and matching scarf for the winter. Yes on the hottest day ever we were thinking of winter!

      Not to be missed is the Allergic Chef offers a selection of delicious gluten,nut and soy free treats along with rubs, spices and my favourite Pumpkin Brittle. James Mullen is one of the hardest working vendors I know- he can be found at most markets from Peachland to Vernon through out the week. We can all attest that the gluten free brownies are super yummy and chocolaty- a real treat!

         The Kelowna Farmer's and Crafter's Market is open Wednesday and Saturdays 8am - 1pm and rain or shine April through to October. If you go be sure to wear a hat and pack lots of water as this venue is not very well shaded and can get very hot. So much goodness to be found here- I love seeing such a vibrate artist community happening where not much existed for so long. This is a fantastic market and is on our list of "must dos" when we are in town!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Craft Camp: Print Making

       Last night I had the pleasure of teaching my screen and block printing textile class in my hometown of Peachland- the best part was a few of my oldest and dearest friends were in attendance! With the lake as our back drop we stayed up way too late making things, chatting and laughing as if no time had passed at all.

         I love seeing what participants in my class have in mind to print- everyone comes up with such varied images that are totally indicative of their personalities! The above little bird comes with a charming story- after being spotted as a window decal on a car in Oregon my friend Lisa snapped a picture- which she pulled out six months later and turned into a lovely little block- which she printed on a bunch of note cards. So cute! 

        My friend Amy has always been a Coca Cola fanatic- yes fanatic is the correct word since she is obsessed! So she came up with these clever "soda" bottles with the Coca Cola logo in the back ground- so graphic and totally custom to her taste. For sure these tea towels are one of a kind!

         The evening was just so much fun- the warm Okanagan breeze, the full moon over the lake and some of the funniest ladies I know! I love these gatherings- the coming together of friends- new and old- the learning of a new skill and the resulting camaraderie that is created where ever women gather and make things. These girls have long been a part of my Tribe- they know all my stories and we can finish each other's sentences and I was ever so pleased to be able to teach them a new skill!

        I will be running my class again in August- the date has yet to be determined but it will be guaranteed a good time! In addition to the actual classes I am hosting an open studio August 11 - $15.00 gets you three hours of studio time and my brain to pick! Bring your own supplies or purchase screens, inks and block printing supplies from me on the day of. Taking the screen and block printing class is a prerequisite of the open studio which I am hoping to hold on a regular basis- so if you miss August there is always September!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In The Garden :Garlic

     My parents have the most amazing garden or perhaps they have the greenest of thumbs- whatever they plant here in Peachland seems to grow to epic proportions! These past few days we have been enjoying the spoils from the garden- cucumbers, beans, kale and now giant heads of garlic. This garlic really puts the stuff I have grown to shame- it is the biggest garlic I have ever seen! Most definitely to be enjoyed in a variety of ways-  but mostly with cheese.

       The Boy has been his Poppa's shadow since we got here- super involved in all the construction happening next door and now following Poppa into the garden to harvest the end of that giant garlic. Our family loves garlic- it is sort of hoarded a bit like treasure at our house because once it's gone- it's gone! There are many months in between growing season and even the Farmer's Market often runs out mid Spring.

        The benefits of this garden are two fold- not only do we enjoy healthy and "free" fruits and vegetables but my Littles are strengthening their bond with their Grandparents and the earth. These city kids know exactly where their food is coming from- how tomatoes are pollinated, how to dig up garlic and potatoes and who makes honey. They know the feeling of good earth between their fingers and how to turn the hose on someone unsuspecting at a moments notice! This is something that can't be bought in a grocery store- this is a learned connection.

" I believe that every child in this world needs to have a relationship with the land... to know how to nourish themselves...and how to connect with the community around them"
Alice Waters