Tag Archives: denman island

A Summer For The Books

Here we are, three days into September.  It’s cooler out and dark at 6 AM; almost like someone flipped a switch to turn summer off.  Fall officially starts on Thursday, September 22 at 7:21 AM PDT.  But, in so many ways, I’ve mentally made the jump and I’ll look back at summer 2016 with fond memories.

We hung out with family and friends.  We made short trips to Victoria, Penticton and Calgary   and enjoyed three wonderful months on Denman Island.  Old chores that have been put off for too long got tackled and I finished several projects that had been starting to weigh on my mind.

Our home on Denman Island is built on a piece of property that was once rented to a stained glass artist.  For some reason, and I honestly can’t think what it would be, he disposed of piles of leftover glass bits in the yard.  When it came time for us to build, we unearthed this glass and I gathered up a small box full.  I’ve saved it for 8+ years, wanting to use if for something.  I found the perfect table for my project at a garage sale in Victoria for $4.  I painted the table, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. https://www.anniesloan.com  Then, using mosaic glue, I stuck the glass bits to the table top.  Blake took over with the grouting, making a nice flat surface.  It’s been sealed and is good to be used indoors or outdoors.  Here are before and after shots.

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Two years ago our neighbours sold their home on Denman Island.  The new owner inherited three metal fish and was going to send them to the trash.  I asked if we could rescue them and she was thrilled.  Again, using the Annie Sloan paint, I fixed them up and have attached them to a retaining wall.  They don’t all fit into one picture, but here’s an idea.

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Other victories include finishing a pair of socks, a scarf and a rag rug, (6 years later!).  The postage stamp quilt that I’ve been working on since January has been quilted and I’ve just started to hand sew the binding.

Yesterday I competed in a sprint distance triathlon as part of the Americas Masters Games.  A sprint triathlon comprises a 750 metre swim (ocean), a 20 km bike and a 5 km run.  It’s been more than four years since I’ve raced and I was both nervous and excited.   The night before, the weather was terrible with torrential rain and high wind.  Swimming and running in bad weather don’t bother me at all, but cycling is another story.  Thankfully, conditions during the race were ok and I was pretty happy with my finishing time.  (I missed the podium by 10 seconds and have replayed that many times as it was firmly in my grasp.  I’ll have to work on my killer instinct!!)  I realized how much I enjoy triathlon and the challenge and variety of training for three sports.  Such fun and a perfect way to cap off the summer.

Today I’m feeling a bit lost.  We’ve settled back into city life, my projects are all done, the big Modern Quilt Showcase is over and I’ve completed the race that I’ve been training for all summer.  It’s a good time to sit back and take stock of what I’d like to work on and achieve in the next few months.

I hope your summer memories are special and I wish you a pleasant Labour Day Weekend, wherever you are!

Until next time, thanks for reading.



Successful Weekend

In the previous post I talked about getting ready for the Denman Island Artists’ Studio Tour.  Now, four days later I’ve unpacked my bags and put away all my display things and can reflect on the weekend.

The weather cooperated – sort of.  Compared to last year’s torrential rain and cold temperatures this was lovely.  Compared to how a summer weekend should be, it wasn’t great.  There were showers, winds, sun and clouds.  Mostly it was grey and iffy.  We had arranged several quilts on fences and in the trees, where they really look awesome.  But then they had to be brought under cover, where they don’t show well.

I sold several pieces on Saturday and nothing on Sunday.  In fact, by Saturday lunch, I had made almost all of my sales.  The comments and feedback all weekend were really positive.  I handed out many business cards and, who knows, perhaps one of those people will be looking for something one day.

Overall, I’m satisfied with how the weekend went.  I cleared out some older pieces and brought in some cash, which I’ll probably use for more fabric!  Will I do it again next year?  That’s a tough question and it’s way too early to know the answer.  For now I’m happy to enjoy the remainder of the summer and think about new projects.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.  Click on a photo to enlarge it.

Studio Tour 2016

The Denman Island Artist Studio Tour is coming up on Saturday and Sunday and I’ll be participating with a few of the other local quilters.  This will be my second year and I’m way more relaxed this time around.

Why is that?  Well, a couple of things come to mind.  Last year I knocked myself out getting new pieces made.  It was kind of frantic.  In the end, sales were slow and most of the things came home with me.  This year I’ve got a couple of new things, but I’m also going to try to sell some quilts that I made a while back and am now ready to part with.

It’s really hard, maybe impossible, to know what’s going to sell, and that can be frustrating.  There are always lots of kind comments, ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and people saying that they’ll stop in at the end of the tour – they never do because they’re heading to catch a ferry.  The trick is to hook them early, and we’re in a good place for that.  We will set up in Downtown Denman, between the Art Centre and the General Store.  This is where people will pick up their tour maps and plan their route; pretty much the start line.

I’m more comfortable accepting that not everything will sell.  Maybe nothing will sell.  My style and colour/size choices won’t appeal to everybody. Some may not like my prices.  That’s all OK, as I’m still enjoying the process of imagining and creating.

As a group, we’re more organized this year.  We’ve talked about how to display our quilts, how the traffic should flow and how to engage the ‘tourists’.  We’ll have a small demo table, where we’ll show the different steps involved in making a quilt.  In addition to cash and cheque, we’re going to accept VISA.

This is all great and I feel confident that we’ve taken steps to make a better experience for those who take the time to stop by.  The one thing that has me concerned is something that I have no control over – the weather.  Last year was awful.  The rain was torrential and the temperature was cold.   We had to cram our quilts under tents and then take many home to dry after the first day.  To top it off, on the Sunday there was a propane leak at the General Store and traffic was shut down for over an hour, keeping everyone away.

I put this post away for two days, while we had company.  Now it’s the day before The Big Tour and it’s pouring rain.  Thunder and lightning are overhead.  I’ve checked the weekend forecast and it looks promising.  Something like the photo below, from a couple of years ago, would be a good start.  Right now I’m going outside to do a sun dance.  If you read this post in the next 18 hours, perhaps you could do the same.  Thanks in advance!