Monday, March 19, 2012

A New Willie Nelson Tune.

"On the frame again. I just couldn't wait to be on the frame again...."   Admit it - you were humming, right?

After more than a month of no hooking, I got back on the frame this weekend, with a new mat for the theme display at the OHCG Annual in North Bay at the end of May. It's a small piece that should be easy enough to get done in time, but I must confess to feeling a little rusty. But it is good to be back.

Can't spoil the surprise for this little piece (the theme being "All Abuzz About Bugs") but here is a little sneak peek. I decided to applique a caterpillar and some ladybugs into the mat and had to do them before starting the hooking.  I did do some hooking, but can't show you yet.


Speaking of bugs, I should imagine with these crazy warm temperatures we have been having, ours will be along any minute now - the real ones, not the cute hooked ones. Yesterday it was 23, today 24 - which made my hanging baskets of evergreens and red things completely ridiculous. So, yesterday, I did my pussy willow baskets and think they will do a nice job of bridging the gap between now and "real flower" season. People are telling me that their crocuses, tulips and daffodils are all up. And I know that the melting of the ice on the lake is about a month ahead of last year.


With all this craziness, I hope that we aren't in for more "winter" for Easter.  But if you look closely, you will see the snow shovel still by the front door, just in case.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Dangerous Little Dress

Here is a "little" slip of a dress that has a "big" story behind it.


One day this week, at low tide, we walked from Holetown to Payne's Bay - not a great distance, but about an hour's walk at a leisurely pace. On the way, we passed a few vendors who set up on the beach, and the one at Sandy Lane (a very upscale resort) had several of these little dresses. My friend Jane had been looking for a second one and scooped hers up. I initially resisted the temptation.

At Payne's Bay, we found a little beach bar called Coconutz, rented some chaises and umbrellas and stayed for a couple of swims and lunch. Our original plan had been to take the bus back once the tide started to come back up, but I wanted to go back to Sandy Lane for this little dress.  I had decided I would make a pattern from it and sew some more for next year.

Sandy Lane doesn't provide any road access from their beachfront - I guess to discourage the masses from coming onto their property - so we were faced with two choices: walk back to Payne's Bay and go through there; or brave the high tide and walk back via the beach. We knew there were a couple of places that would be "iffy", but decided to chance it anyway.

Because of the full moon, the sea has been rougher than usual, with really big breakers rolling in. And we had one treacherous stretch to walk in the water, next to a large wall, in front of a private home. It didn't look that bad - really!! But when we were well into it, we realized that the breakers were hitting the wall and rolling along it, which meant that, no matter how carefully we tried to move between breakers, they basically crashed over our heads once they hit the wall. We were "in the curl". And once we were into it, it didn't make any sense to turn back - either way was equally as dangerous!!!

My straw hat washed into the sea at one point, but I managed to snatch it back. My bag filled with water with each crashing wave, and my new little dress got a total soaking before it even made it home. Luckily, I had handed my cell phone in Jane's waterproof pack before we began, but none of us could believe that any electronics would survive our own personal tsunami.

Four soggy and battered travellers arrived at the set of stairs at the end of the wall, made our way back and found, to our relief, that all cell phones and cameras were still in working order.  Phew. I would have been a very unpopular gal if that had not been the case.

Because after all, it was my going back for the dangerous little dress that put us all at risk.

Now, just a few days later, this tale has taken on bragging rights. But at the time, it was pretty darn scary!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Earthworks Pottery

After yet another day of rain, we decided on Friday to take a taxi to Earthworks, a renowned business on the island that has been growing since the 1970's. Their wares are sold in all of the gift shops on the island, but I was eager to see the studio where all these beautiful works of art are made.

We actually tried to go last year, but arrived a half hour after they closed for the day on a Saturday. So this time, we were successful and it was very much worth the ride.

I am not sure what is more astounding, the product they produce - or the place where they produce it. Here are a few shots of the building, which quickly explain what I mean:

There is no poultry theme, I promise, but this guy was definitely posing.
I must not have had my camera with me last year, or I would surely have taken these pictures
outside the place.  A never-ending supply of pottery would sure come in handy, but the design prowess and the creativity displayed in all of these surfaces was really something else!

These are the steps leading from the car park to the studio. 

This is the wall in the upper car park.

This is the side of the building next to the entrance.

This is actually an interior wall, facing the tables that hold the moulds.
With an outside as incredible as this, it almost seems anti-climactic to show the wares that are housed inside, although there are aisles and aisles of them. And it is very difficult to choose what you like best.  I did take a couple of pictures of some of the shelves, but it was actually hard to move back enough to get them in. The place was hopping! While my friend Jane and I spent our time trying to choose our favourite pieces, our husbands got an impromptu tour of the facility from one of the glazers. There is real pride among the people who create these pieces. And they are 100% Bajan - Bajan clay, Bajan design, Bajan labour. I think the whole island is proud.

The shelves go from floor to ceiling.

And the array of beautiful wares is quite overwhelming. 

In every shop where the pottery is displayed around the island, there is a mixture of many of the different designs. They all look amazing together so every shopper is hard pressed to choose where to begin a collection. Do you go with a favourite design, or just mix and match all of them?

To give you a taste, here is a link to their designs page of their website. Yes indeed-y, thanks to technology, should you fall hopelessly in love with any of their pieces, you can order anything you like and have it shipped anywhere you like. They love custom orders and one couple we met are contemplating a custom sink for their powder room at home. I guess anything's possible!

I did pick up a few pieces and started my personal collection with two coffee mugs that will allow us to feel like we are having coffee in Barbados every morning. Since the cost of shipping really ups the price, I have convinced myself that it far more cost effective to just come back every year and take home a couple of pieces LOL.

It's easy to see how people who love this island have two kinds of days:

the days in Barbados
and
the days till Barbados