Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Light Effects

My daily "commute" to work in the winter is a mile and a half walk, first through a dense cedar forest until I break through the trees at the top of Fort Hill where I can pause and enjoy the view of the harbor and lighthouses.

But back to the cedars - some days there's total silence, perhaps broken by the calling of chickadees or crows. Other days, the trees are talking amongst themselves, the wind shaking the tree tops, not able to reach me far below.

The best days are when the sun is before me, back lighting the trees and only emphasized by the snow:

It's almost as if I'm somehow inside a kaleidoscope, as each step I take changes the image slightly, the play of light and shadows ever changing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Gift

It's becoming a tradition for us to create a card to share with friends this time of year; the last couple have featured turtles.

Here's a rough draft of this years design:

And here's the block carved by my husband:

We decided to print on water-colored backgrounds, those were my task to create. I made a total of 21 different backgrounds, here's a few of my favorites:

Obviously, I wasn't terribly concerned about taking a traditional holiday approach!
We were able to make three imprints on each background sheet, which then had to be cut and trimmed. I'm still trying to come up with an idea for using those scraps - I just can't bear to throw them away!

And here's one of the finished cards:

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. Michael Strassfeld
During this time of celebration, may you both give and receive light in the coming year.

Waiting for a Run

The first boat arrives just as the sun is rising these days, putting a rosy glow in the sky and on the water. These big guys are waiting for their first run of the day, delivering the freight soon to arrive.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dancing Snowflakes

Like a large area of the country, we received lots of snow this week. Unlike a large area of the country, this is cause for celebration on the Island - our school didn't close for snow days, the snow makes it easier to get around here, out come the snowmobiles, skis and snowshoes.

In honor of all the snowflakes that joined us this week, here are some snowflakes from some artists at Etsy.

Here's a fun accessory from Ayca, snowflakes to adorn your neck.

These little watercolor snowflakes from cynthiacallan are each unique - just like the real thing!

This incredible"Snowflake Forest" is an original watercolor from UssherArt.

Porcelain snowflakes with a cobalt background, from obrienobjects, perfect for your tree.

Here's a "snowflake" to remind us of those bikes we won't be riding for several months, from 1byliz, made from a recycled bicycle sprocket.

And we end with a snowflake that could be displayed all year round, from ShadyGroveStudios, a sparkling beveled glass flake.

I hope you enjoyed this brief snow shower, I hope there's many more to come before Spring !

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ferry Decorating

Not the kind with wings!

There is just something magical about watching the ferry approach the dock, the snow falling and a Christmas tree complete with lights on the prow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just a Little Sole - Part Six -A Knitted Sole

I recently purchased an 1867 bound edition of Peterson's Magazine. It has many interesting projects including another example of insoles, instructions for a double layered knit pair.
I am becoming firmly convinced that insoles were commonly worn in the mid-19th century.
They were used to provide warmth, protection from damp and just plain comfort in leather soled shoes or boots.
I have found reference to both commercially produced examples, as well as instructions for home construction.
Here's the original image and instructions:



MATERIALS FOR A PAIR.-Quarter of an ounce of white fleecy wool; quarter of an ounce of white, and a little red Berlin wool.
This sole consists of two plain knitted parts, the upper of fleecy wool, the under of Berlin wool.

Knit in rows, working crosswise forward and backward, the under part upon coarse, the upper part upon fine wooden knitting-needles.

Cut a paper pattern the required size, which must be all round, about a quarter of an inch smaller than the shoe in which it is to be placed.

Begin at the back. Take care that the proper increase or decrease is made equally at both the outer sides in the edge stitches. The edges must be ornamented with two crochet rows in red wool.

1st row: *one double crochet through the edge stitches of both knitted parts, one chain. Repeat from *.

2nd row: One double crochet in the first stitch of the proceeding row; one scallop of three chain, one double in the first of three; with the scallop pass over two stitches of the proceeding row. Repeat from *.
I am not knitter, nor do I crochet, so I'm not able to evaluate the feasibility of the instructions.
If anyone attempts them, please do let me know the results.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Busy Little Elves

The evidence is obvious: the elves have been busily preparing the Island for Christmas!

Here's the community tree, in the middle of Main Street - somebody has been stringing lights.

And wreathes and roping are also appearing on each lamppost and banister.

The last special, perfect touch - SNOW!

Guess it's time to put the bikes away...

All just in time for the tree lighting this evening...the Christmas season here on Mackinac has begun once again.