Friday, June 29, 2007

News from the Home Front

Hello! It's been a while since the last post because I was in Victoria at the Furniture Society Conference. It was so great! And for those of you in Victoria that I wasn't able to see - I"m sorry! It was such a short trip! Hopefully next time we'll both be able to come, and we'll have time to do some actual visiting!
Anyway, I thought I should put some pics up here, just to give you an idea about what I was up to!

I did get some visiting in:

I took way too many bunny pictures:

And I went to some really amazing workshops, talks and demos: (this is Kim Kelzer talking about making wood "Anything But Brown.")

All in all, it was a great trip, and a very inspiring conference.
But, of course, it's good to be home, too! The garden really took off while I was gone - the tomatoe plants are HUGE now! And they're starting to blossom, so yay, we should have tomatoes this summer. The potatoe plants are even HUGER than they were before, and the corn that we planted right before I left is coming up in cute little rows, so maybe we'll even get some corn out of them. Nothing died (way to go Jai!)
It's been really hot and humid here for the last couple of days, and we had a spectacular thunder and lightening storm here two nights ago. Tomorrow we're back to the market, and then on Sunday, we are having some friends over for Canada Day. The fireworks in Bridgetown are legendary for the valley, and they happen right in the park behind our house, so we should have prime seats. No pie-eating contest this year though - apparently no one enjoyed seeing the fire chief rolf all over the stage last year. Oh well.
I'll keep you updated on how it goes! Oh, and Connor, I got your note, the business card holder is up on Etsy now, and there are two more on the way...some day! Let me know if you're interested!
That's about all our news, but there's sure to be more any day now!

Friday, June 15, 2007

The flowers are coming...

Hello! jai's off working at the theatre tonight, so I thought I would take a second and update our news. First off, the pics of the lupins I promised in the last post:

They are SO gorgeous! All along all the highways, there are just mounds and mounds of them. We pulled over and picked some the other day, and they look fabulous in a vase.
Also, the garden is doing well. Our potatoes are the happiest potatoes on the block.

Even the pumpkins are growing merrily.
We haven't eaten anything out of it yet (although we probably will be able to soon) but I have had a couple of cups of mint tea - YUM!!!!! Fresh tea should be a delicacy!
I got a commission today to make this for a lady:

She gave me the deposit, and it's all official, now I just have to figure out how I'm going to make it!
Other stuff in the shop:
Business card holders:

Bird panels completed:

Bird box:

That picture really doesn't do it justice (it's the only one I had that was facing the right way!) but you can see it better if you want - just click on the Etsy link for our store on the left side of the page. I think it turned out pretty good.
Jai turned a whole bunch more tops to bring to the market, and he made me a garden dibbler to use when I (finally) plant my corn.
And here are some pictures of the peonies which are just starting to open up. They are the most beautiful deep red colour. They look a little less like aliens now!

Monday, June 11, 2007

East Coast Update

Hey! I seem to only be able to find time for writing once a week nowadays! We have had another event-filled week here on the East Coast!

On the work front: Jai and I are now being represented at the Under One Roof gallery in Upper Clements. I have picked up a commission on a book, and probably one on an entertainment unit as well (two different people.) And also it looks like I will be working in another shop one or two days a week. You can check out the types of things they make at:
I think it will be really good experience, and also will help to still bring some money in when we are renovating our shop! All the local woodworkers here have been really great and supportive (kind of like Victoria that way!)
The market this week was a little better than last week, but all of the above has been happening because of people seeing us there, so we have definitely benefitted from going. The lady beside us also gave us some great tips on different shows to attend, and on where to buy the best local beef! Now all we need is a deep freeze.
Our garden is coming along really well - so far the only thing that I've killed is my little cucumber seedlings that I was so proud of! I'm going to try again, though, just direct seeding them into the ground. Whatever was eating my lettuce seems to have slowed down on the munching - Jai was out there squishing bugs with his fingers for a while two days ago. Yuck!
I just got confirmation that the loan people will pay for my attendance at the conference (one of the bonuses of the particular loan that I qualified for is that it comes with up to $2000 for training.) So now I am officially registered in the Studio Furniture Conference in Victoria from June 20-23. It will be a whirlwind of a trip, as I have a long list of things that I want to get done while I'm there!
Jai's work with the driving company is finally slowing down this week, so he is getting a little more time in the shop. The little tops that he makes have been our best seller so far at the market - kids come running from all directions. He says he feels like the store that puts the candy machine right at the cash register (aka Yo Video) so parents constantly have to buy them to get their kids to shut up. Whatever works, I say! Spinning tops are fun for the whole family!
I got some work done on the companion panel to the last bird panel. I've decided to put them into the doors of a pair of bedside tables.

And we sold our trusty trailer. We towed it out for the last time to the local auctioneers house, where I'm sure it will be put to good use. They have a gorgeous hobby farm with horses and cattle, and two geese who are best friends with one of the barn cats. They were so cute - they actually took turns grooming one another!

We lost a lot of privacy when we sold the trailer, though, as we have a neighbour across the street and two houses down who sits on his front porch drinking beer with his buddies at all hours of the day and night. Whenever we go out, he shouts at us to come over and have a beer. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, except that we would like to be able to enjoy our yard without having to refuse an invitation to come over, and then being watched. So on the way home from dropping off the trailer, we stopped at Canadian Tire and bought some cedar trees. They help a little already, and one day will give us a lot more privacy!

I bought some more flowers for the yard, too, as we mostly have vegetables and herbs right now. The lupins are coming out all along the highways now - it's so pretty! I got some pics, but I haven't had a chance to download them yet - I'll post them when I do.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Spring Sprang!

Hello Again! We have been so busy, the time has just been flying by! Mostly I have been working in the shop and the garden, and Jai has just been working. It will be nice when school is out, and his schedule is a little less hectic! Things are humming right along, though.
I finished the marquetry panel:

made up a portfolio of our work

and a couple other books. We didn't get a lot of business at the market, but I picked up a custom job that made up the difference, so that was good.

And we are really enjoying having a garden for the first time! I think we could do with a little less grass to mow, so the garden will probably get substantially larger in the next couple of years! For now, though, it's a nice manageable size.

Spring has really sprung here. It's totally different than what I'm used to from living in Victoria. I never really noticed a sharp difference in the seasons like this before. It seems like it went from being cold and bare to hot and flowering in an instant!
The lilacs are out everywhere!

It seems like almost every yard has at least one lilac bush, so you can't walk around anywhere in town without smelling it in the air.
And the lupins are on their way! I can't wait to see them!