Monday, August 25, 2008

The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair(s) in July has been one of my favorite summer events since I started going with my mom when I was in college. Sometimes it was just Mom & me and one or both of my sisters, sometimes friends came along. A few years ago, we got a little turned around about which exit (from US 23) led to the Briarwood Mall, where we parked and took the shuttle. (We finally wrote step-by-step directions and kept them in the glove box.)

This year, thousands of miles away, I could feel in my skin, without looking at the calendar, when it was the art fairs weekend. I was itching for an art show. Ohio seems to have a lot of them, way more than I've found here. We'd got to two or three in the summer (including Ann Arbor), but in remote little Powell River, there's Art in the Park, which is part of the Blackberry Festival, and that's usually tiny and considerably poorly attended (because it's always the same weekend as a ton of other events in the area). Besides, they don't get a lot of outside vendors, so most of the artists' works are familiar.

So just when I was feeling art show withdrawal, I got an e-mail from Powell River artist Skye Morrison, letting me (as one of her many fans) know that she was going to be part of the Filberg Festival, a juried arts & crafts show in Comox. I brought the festival up with my workout buddy Velma and she said she'd love to go--especially if it meant she could check out her competition. (She's a soapmaker.)

She arranged for some of her friends to come along; the more people who came, the more ways the ferry fare would be divided (and the ferry fares just keep going up). Plus, there's that whole "the more, the merrier" idea.

As the festival weekend neared, the weather forecasts grew less promising. People in our group decided not to go, and by Thursday, our group was back to just Velma & me. We decided to go to Comox as walk-ons ('cause taking a vehicle was going to be about $100 more) and catch one of the shuttles to the festival. Dressed in layers and carrying umbrellas and extra socks in our bags, we met the morning of August 1 and after purchasing our ferry tickets, we ran (in the rain) to Rocky Mountain Pizza to get some breakfast and tea.

Fortunately, that was the last rain we saw that day. Though directly overhead was gray for a lot of the day and you could always see gray clouds somewhere in the distance, we didn't have further need for our umbrellas. Yay!

As we were now a party of two, Velma's fellow soapmaker and friend Natalie agreed to pick us up at the ferry (no need for a shuttle!) and took in the festival with us.

What first struck me was how strange it felt to not be allowed in to the festival until 11. I've never been to an art fair where people couldn't walk around and get glimpses of artists setting up. Plus, since we got there at 9:30, we had an hour and a half to kill. (More tea. Biscotti.)

When we were allowed in, I realized this was a park. I'd been told it was, but I apparently didn't take the fact in until I wasn't walking around on pavement and sidewalks. Very relaxing, low key. And compared to the Ann Arbor I was craving, it was tiny.

There were fantastic flowers everywhere, and I thought I took more pictures of them, but apparently not.

Vendors at Filberg include every kind of vendor you'd find at larger shows--just with less selection. These vendors were selling spice mixes to be used as marinade/rubs, created to effect the results of marinating without taking the time to marinate.

This is Skye's booth; I know I'm biased, but she was on of my favorite artists here. She had new paintings, lots of prints, and of all the stalls, hers was one of the busiest I saw.

I was just about to get a picture of her in her tent, but then someone asked her a question and she turned around.

In the end, my purchases included a birthday present, some earrings, and a hair stick (now that my hair is long enough to be held up with one). And we determined that we didn't like any of the three soapmakers' products there as much as we like Velma's and Natalie's soaps. Well, I have to take Velma's word about Natalie's; I haven't tried it yet, but I figure I can trust Velma's judgment on the matter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today, I'm sharing a few photos:

Some critter (an otter, maybe) got into the burn barrel a few months ago.
(And back out. And then back in again.)

Roger thought this was a baby dragonfly, newly hatched and drying out. Can baby dragonflies be this big?

Kitty asleep on Roger's computer cords.

Sunset from last week.

Sunset from a few weeks ago.

A cruise ship that passed by our place last weekend.
(My camera doesn't like night pictures.)

Me, holding a very licky 11-week-old chihuahua last weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This is a long overdue post. Sorry, Mom.

View Larger Map

Roger and I have been busy. A few weekends ago, we went to a wood boat show in Madeira Park. A few weeks before that, we were on Texada for Van Anda Days. I'll stick with Van Anda Days for now. On the map above, Powell River is just north of the northern tip of the island.

Texada is a large island, generally known for its limestone and grow ops. And, according to Wikipedia, Jennifer Tilley was raised there, too. (Who knew?). The whole population of Texada is about that of Pemberville, Ohio, where I grew up--and Texada takes up considerably more space. Van Anda is one of its biggest towns, and they got some of the money being given for the celebration of BC's 150th anniversary to use to celebrate the founding of the town.

The first day's spectacles included the local bagpipers, kids' activities, the opening of the local history museum, and a performance that wasn't really a play in which a few people played many voices in the history of Van Anda. Roger brought his camera and caught a lot of the events on video. And there was a costume prize.

The guy in the above picture is Elder. He and his dad built these amazing wood cars, and they brought them into town to entertain the kids.

After the first of the Van Anda Days wrapped up, Roger's friend Gary and his wife Phyllis invited us to spend the afternoon on their sailboat in the harbor, and later, Gary took us out for a "sail" (there wasn't rally any wind, so we just motored close to Powell River and back).

Gary even let Roger drive.

And we headed back to Texada just in time for the sunset.

Though you can't see it well, this is Powell River at dusk. (If you click on it to open it in its own tab or window, you can see the stacks from the paper mill.)

The second day of Van Anda Days was at the airport, starting with a fly-in pancake breakfast. I volunteered, wormed my into one of three flipping positions, and didn't get any photos of what was going on. Roger was otherwise occupied--he got to go up in a plane with his video camera--and didn't get any pictures of me behind the griddle, spatula in hand. The rest of the day was spent watching planes coming in, leaving, talking to pilots. I think they said they had over 90 planes in. The Fraser Blues--which were supposed to be part of the first day's festivities as well, but one of the planes had mechanical issues--flew formations for us as the culmination of the weekend.

Of course, the guy on the ground is my love with his video camera.

And the last memorable bit of my first visit to Texada: There was a pretty long line-up for the ferry (it was the end of Diversity Festival weekend, too, which is also held on Texada). People got out of their cars and socialized. Suddenly, in this little turnaround area, there was a deer. I was stunned--there were way too many people around for this deer to be out there in broad daylight. We were a little far away to be getting good, detailed pictures, but we did try:

Next posts (not necessarily in this order):
  • Wood Boat Festival
  • Filberg Art Festival
  • Sandcastle Days
  • My garden
  • At the shooting range
  • Meeting Joni Mitchell (yes, the Joni Mitchell)