Monday, 22 June 2015

The Adventures in Woodcarving Continue: Miss Penelope

 The Spring session of woodcarving with 
my Uncle Mike is about to come to a close...

This is the third year I've been carving with Uncle Mike...
(Some of my first carvings can been seen here)
It's always fun - especially when I have no idea what to carve!

A couple of months ago Uncle Mike handed me 
an off cut (excess wood cut off from the block when 
cutting out a shape) and said, 'Look at it until you see 
one of your characters in it, then carve it.'

"Sure, okay! Yah, I can do that!"
"Ummm, okay... let's see here...."
"Hmmmm..... "

[25 minutes elapse]

Uncle Mike: Why aren't you carving yet?
Me: I don't know what to carve - I don't see anything!

Uncle Mike relieved me of my quandary when
he suggested a character with a big sun hat... 

That could work! The odd shape of the off cut certainly 
would allow for it! - Okay, where's my sketchbook?

That was how it started and this is how it finished up:

Meet Miss Penelope!
Miss Penelope is just on her way to market after gathering 
a pail full of flowers in the nearby meadows...  

"Miss Penelope"
(hand carved, basswood, approx. 7" tall)  

Uncle Mike helped me a lot with this piece!

- Did you notice how I italicized, bolded and underlined that?? -

Oh yes, I needed a lot of help! 
There were a lot of tight spots and angles I couldn't get quite right -
have I mentioned before how nice and patient my Uncle is?

He also thought to use an old wooden thread spool for Penelope's pail!
I'm glad he helped me find Penelope in that block of wood! 
She turned out really sweet!
If you happen to see Penelope's booth at a local market
this Summer, be sure to stop and say, "Hello!"


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Elderberry Hedge - Spring Woodland Wildflower Walk

Awww, Spring!

The temperatures may fluctuate and the rains may fall
but one cannot deny the renewal of hope that Spring instills in us each year.

The emerging emeralds, the charming chartreuses, and the soft celadons
awaken a part of my spirit that slumbers through the long Winter.

Each and every Spring my mind reacts to those delicious verdant hues
as though it has encountered something brand new and never before seen -
my impulse is to visually drink it all in, attempt to memorize it, and somehow,
somewhere in my mind, bottle it up so that it can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Yes, it's an impossible task, but maybe that is why Spring is so special!
Spring is a transition period between two strong and opposing seasons...

Spring is the peacemaker that gently coaxes us out of our huddled burrows,
 helping us forget the harsh cold days of Winter. It's warm days ease us toward
Summer's heat and refreshment is found in the still cool evenings.

Spring, in a word, is refreshing!

And we haven't even mentioned the flowers!
The joy of Spring is only increased by the beautiful colour 
that abounds in every garden, field, and meadow!!

That brings us to our most recent event held in Elderberry Hedge:
The Spring Woodland Wildflower Walk

Each year, the Elderberry Hedge residents are invited to take part in
this refreshing and informative walk through the nearby woodlands.
The walk is organized and hosted by the village librarian, Mrs. Robin Robins.

Mrs. Robins is always the first of the feathered residents to arrive back from her Winter travels 
and is always all a twitter about the beautiful things popping up in and around Elderberry Hedge
About a month after she arrives, Mrs. Robins has the flyers posted and the invites delivered for 
what she proclaims to be 'the most wonderful walk in the world!'

"Elderberry Hedge: Spring Woodland Wildflower Walk"
 (Watercolour, approx. 9" x 12")

 This year's walk was exceptional! A lovely group of Spring enthusiasts joyed in the
discovery of Woodland Hyacinths and the always pleasing periwinkle, as well as,
Johnny Jumps Ups, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, and the triumphant Trilliums!

Mrs. Robins beamed as she spoke of the history of each plant.
Her group would contentedly pause and observe the plants
with their unique flowers and ask questions that made
Mrs. Robins beam all the more as she answered each of them!

The walk continued on for about an hour and then everyone was welcomed back
to the library commons for a lovely luncheon and tea, where the happy hostess
flitted amongst her guests, showing them all kinds of books about wildflowers!

As the day stretched into mid-afternoon the woodland walkers, with full tummies
and happy hearts, began to take their leave but not before thanking Mrs. Robins
for a most wonderful day and assuring her that they would be back next Spring!

Mrs. Robins, exhausted but oh, so happy, quietly tidied up the library and
soon flew home, excited to tell Mr. Robins and her chicks all about her day!

  I hope during this season of transition that you 
make time to enjoy all that Spring has to offer! 

For, as Jane Austen has said, 
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."