Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gathering the Moments: September

Mellow September. As the earth tilts imperceptibly away from the sun, temperatures cool. Summer's absorbed heat slowly fades from the earth. Sunny days yet, with just a few of rain. A beautiful month.
When I look back, I can see why these 30 days simply flew by. It was filled with family times - visiting Tim's mom and siblings in Alberta, my parents and siblings in Chilliwack, and family gatherings here on our Island.

Hiking in the Rockies, kayaking in the ocean, admiring ever-changing skies in the prairies, drifting through a misty landscape on the ferry, puttering in the garden - this month was filled with nature experiences. 

And it was a month of celebration! Three birthdays, one baby baptism/dedication, and one fashion show. Whew! Bring on October!

Joining with Cheryl of Thinking About Home

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Change in the Weather

Autumn arrived in drifts of mist and dripping rain. A quiet symphony of greys colored our mid-week ferry ride. I thought of naming this post "50 *Shades * Gr*ey, but thought better of it, not wanting the traffic that might engender. There are surely more than that number in this mist-laden landscape.

The lighthouse is the brightest spot in the above photo, but even its bright red bands are dulled.

Clouds pile up over the islands fading into the horizon. When seeing sights like these (colors straight out of the camera), it's hard to remember the vibrant blues and greens of sunnier days.

A ferry railing drips with rain. There's beauty in the grey, mysterious and soft: an abstract world that beguiles the imagination with possibilities.

The sun has returned, but I know we'll have more of these misty days.

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage Gardening. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Embracing Autumn

 One can't hang onto summer forever. Now that autumn is officially here, I'm ready to embrace all the loveliness of the season. Like these red, red apples, hundreds of them, hanging over a fence along my walk. 

And the grasses, taller than I am, rustling in the wind along the bog path. Moody skies that remind me of a Bronte novel.

A collection of bits and pieces accompanied me home. Leaves, warmly coloured, bits of bark and seed pods.

Together with candles the bits and pieces add an autumnal air to the dining room. Autumn is here in all her glory. I'm ready to enjoy her. How about you?

Mersad invited me to link up to his Friday My Town Shoot Out which features Seasonal Changes this week. There are lots of interesting shots from around the world there.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another New Activity

left to right, Katie, yours truly, Cristal, Ashley, Owen, Tim

It was a gala occasion. Tim and I, along with Cristal and Katie caught the 1 pm ferry to Vancouver. Owen's mom and sister met us on the ferry and we all piled into our vehicle (someone compared it to Mary Poppins' expanding carpetbag). We met Owen and Ashley for dinner. Then....

Off to the fashion show we went. This was a totally new experience for most of us. In February 2013 Ashley was a participant in a design competition in Montreal. To open the fashion show, her design, shown above, along with two others from the school (Vancouver Community College) were shown on the runway.

Then the finishing class's garments were shown. Ashley's designs were inspired by the pre-Revolution Russian aristocracy. She used silks, wools and blends. In the look above the silk dupioni skirt is laser cut, using embroidery patterns from the inspiration era as the basis for the design.

I really liked this look - narrow skirt with a vertical band over pants, a shirt and vest. 

The back of the above look. I have to say that her designs fit the models very well (she did a lot of fitting adjustments in the past couple of weeks) and her outfits had a very polished look.

For this collection, Ashley had to design 20 looks (complete outfits) but only had to sew up 5 of them. She was the only student in her class to include menswear in her collection. She stitched two of them for the show. Above is one of them - her tailoring really impressed me.

And here's the designer herself, walking the runway with one of her models. She's now completed her schooling and has a job in the industry as a junior pattern drafter - just what she wanted to do. 

Kudos to the dads of the Little Misses A and S, and Little Mister F who stayed behind while Katie and Cristal attended the event. We had a lot of fun and I hope the moms enjoyed their night of uninterrupted sleep.

So that's my latest new thing, unlikely to be repeated. It was a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Trying Something New

Tim and I have talked about renting kayaks for several years. We've canoed and boated, but never kayaked. Until Sunday afternoon. The sunshine beguiled, the calendar free and off we went to Brentwood Bay.

Tim was in a snazzy Black Spartan and I in a cool blue Wave Sport. We might look like we know what we are doing, but really, it was an experiment with lots of giggles. 

One sits very close to the water in a kayak. Birds seemed less wary as we approached them slowly and we were able to get quite close. We paddled our way into Tod Inlet where hundreds and hundreds of moon jellyfish floated in layers beneath the surface of the water.

Warm sunshine poured down on this last day of full summer. That night clouds rolled in and the rains began. Trees are beginning to change color.

After paddling for two hours I thought my arms and shoulders would be sore, but they were not. Better yet, my back felt loose and wonderful. This is no small thing. There will definitely be more kayaking in our future.

I'm doing something new this evening, too, and will hopefully share that tomorrow or Thursday. What's the last new thing you tried?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My September Garden

Most of the flowers I like are the cool tones - the blues, the pale pinks and dark purples. Come September, however, golden yellow appeals. Shadows deepen in the rich green foliage. Flowers seem to soak in the sunshine that slants low in the clear afternoon light. 

Paper thin hydrangea blossoms benefit from this light, too. The pale blue of summer darkens to a richness that reflects the colours of harvest. Summer's end is here yet she loiters, not wanting to miss anything. 

We enjoy the sunset on our evening walk. Curtains are pulled against the darkness that falls earlier. Street lights wink on as we pass. Farewell, sweet Summer, welcome Autumn.

I'll be linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage Gardening. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Apple Season

Orchards used to grow where there are subdivisions today. The odd tree survives, mute witness to a once productive landscape, abandoned now among blackberries, ivy and natural growth. We see them along our walks and collect apples from time to time. Our little trees don't yet produce enough. 

With a few scavenged apples (pale green, crisp and moderately sweet) I made a Norwegian Apple Cake. The recipe comes from Mia's blog "Mias Landliv. It's a delightful place to visit, full of the beauty of Mia's garden, her charming home and her sewing and knitting projects. If you aren't a regular visitor, I'd encourage you to pop over there.

Mia served her cake with ice cream, but I had some caramel sauce left over from the pumpkin cheesecake we enjoyed over the weekend. Delicious!

Apples go so well in so many recipes. What's your favourite way to use them?