cherryblossoms

Happy Spring!

What a beautiful day it is here in Victoria! The sun is shining between puffs of cloud. Birds are vocalizing constantly from the twilight before dawn until well after dusk. This morning I saw two enormous woodpeckers working their way over an old snag in the woods. The cherry tree in our garden is snowing petals with every breath of wind. The grass is so long and lush and green my dog has to leap over bunches of grass rather than walk! Time to get out the lawnmower I guess, but for now I’m savouring the gorgeous carpet of green and the bumbling bumblebees on yellow dandelion pom poms.    watercolour

I have been very busy. Over the long weekend we worked very hard to get another section of our back room painted. This room is where I practice music, and it also houses our pet birds, our small library of books, a fireplace, the stereo and my CD collection. Up until recently it was an enormous mess, filled to the gills with clutter and piles of stuff, completely unwelcoming and dark due to the horrible dark green colour on the walls. We began the enormous task of weeding out the clutter back in the winter. We were inspired by Marie Kondo’s book and her new television series about reducing clutter and organizing your space to spark joy and create a better environment. It has been an enormous task but very refreshing to see the mounds of stuff gradually disappear and become an organized space. We are halfway finished the room, having to paint it and set it up again in sections due to our small home’s space restrictions. We’re down to the last big push now that the library and music corners are done. For the past two nights I was able to sit in my music corner in my nice new chair, select a fiddle tunes collection from my organized and accessible bookcase filled with music resources, then just play. The birds came out and Oliver (who was featured in a previous blog post) sang along and tried to talk to me while I practiced. What a joy to have a welcoming place to practice! I’ve been getting rusty so now I can brush up and get back to learning, as well as enjoying my new custom mandola made by Wyatt Wilkie. What a treat that instrument is to play!

Here is a photo of my bass and Cello the bird. Cellobird

But what about the art studio, you ask? Yes, that is on my mind also. After the music room, now affectionately dubbed “the parlour”, is finished then I will tackle the daunting task of reorganizing my art studio. I’m itching to paint right now, and I have multiple printmaking projects in my plans for projects. But currently the studio is unusable. It really needs an overhaul. I have big plans to grow my home studio business, but I can’t do that without a really efficient and welcoming workspace. So that is next! Lots of work ahead.

Meantime I have discovered a new creative joy – knitting! I have always wanted to learn how to knit. I used to go into yarn stores and just touch and admire all the gorgeous coloured fibres. But I could never justify buying anything because I had no idea what to do with a ball of yarn. I wished for a knitting teacher, and with a sparkle of magic fairy dust she arrived in my life and began to teach me last fall! Nicole Bottles is a gifted fibre artist here in Victoria. I have taken classes from Nicole to make a neck cowl, a toque, and the holy grail of knitting, the sock. Now I’m trying to learn some things on my own, but I often go to Nicole for support when I don’t understand a pattern or make a mistake I can’t figure out myself. I’ll probably take more classes from her very soon, but for now I’m trying a few patterns to challenge myself. There’s nothing more soothing these days then a couple hours of knitting soft fibres into a beautiful garment. I just finished my first pair of mittens made with pure alpaca dyed bright red. Knitting calms me, and keeps me present and engaged with a creative process even when I’m watching tv at night. It is a new discovery that my creative urges extend to fibre arts now too. I’m very happy about it and I love learning while doing.

knittingmittensMy knitting teacher Nicole just opened her own yarn store with her friend and business partner, and the two of them are dazzling the Westshore with their amazing inventory of hand dyed yarns, classes, knitting circles and spinning and weaving groups. Finally we have a yarn store right in my neighborhood! I intend to go to the weekly knitting circle on Monday afternoons. The store is called North by Knitwest, and it’s in Colwood on Sooke Road. https://northbyknitwest.ca/

The garden needs attention and my body is craving some warm sunshine and birdsong. Wishing you all a happy spring! Caroline

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