Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bay of Fundy, Alma Beach Part Two

Alma Beach, Bay of Fundy, beach structure at low tide
neptune72Shhh…don’t tell him I posted this. I call it Neptune.
This is the second part of my Sunday, Sept 9th diary entry. I SO much wish I’d written up the whole holiday on site. Further tales must all be scraped from my memory banks.

Sunday, September 9th, 2012:  That was yesterday.  This morning we went to the beach at low tide, and then, as we stepped through the wrack I could smell it tangy and sharp. We were both fascinated by the shapes and textures of the sea weed and the barnacles, and wandered all the way out to the edge, and then towards Alma and the banked boats, and we had some fresh breezes and sunshine then, very nice, and decided to do the coastal trail east, because we both needed some leg stretching exercise after a day and a half of bum time in the car.
alma-me-sea-wrack72And one of me, playing with seaweed.
And what a drive that was.  We started at 1pm from home, arrived in Cornwall at six and stopped a Tim Hortons that looked like the inside of a prison. It had no windows.  So we ate a sandwich outside instead and looked at maps.  And then onward to Montreal in the last of the daylight and the Saint Lawrence River was a sight to see, but then much map reading ensued.  Our plans were to stay in Mount Saint Bruno for the night, but we never found it, and I suspect there was no staying there anyway.  So onwards we drove to Quebec City and by then it was well past bedtime, and getting a hotel room seemed like such a waste of money, so that Randy just kept driving, but couldn't forever, so past Quebec we found a truckers rest stop, where we pulled over and at 1am finally crawled into our bags in the back of the van for a bit of sleep. Actually, Randy got no sleep, but I managed a little bit. I dreamed that I had stopped at truck stop and in the morning there we lots of people, families with children, and there were line-ups for the bathroom, but also free sandwiches.  But in reality, it was dark and 3am at a truck stop, with an empty but well-maintained bathroom and lots of dark trucks pulled over, a few campers, and us.  There had been a car but that had moved on.  By five am we gave up on sleeping, loaded out packs from the front the front to back and headed on eastward.  We had daylight, and by then the trees had a northerly look, and by the time we were in New Brunswick, the country was gorgeous.  The drive was wonderful, and in all that time I think I managed to use up almost all of one skein of Red Heart super saver, crocheting my Autumn Holiday capellete. It's almost done.  If it keeps on raining, I may just sit and finish it here.
autumn-holiday-capelet72Spoiler Alert: I did finish this, began somewhere en-route to Fundy, finished en-route to Fredericton.

After a lovely supper, I'm finally warming up. Socks and shoes help, but I also added my newly crochet hand-warmers, cowl and hat.   The handwarmers are too bulky for typing, so I had to push them back but they are still doing their job.
winter-crochet-set72Hat, gloves & collar where crocheted with this camping trip and such a night in mind. Success!
And some travel notes, for those to wish to try the same path.
From Stouffville Ontario:  1:30pm to 1:am to truck rest stop close to Riviere de Loop. Includes about 1 hr wasted time looking for things and getting lost. Traffic in Montreal was heavy but flowing at 7pm.
5:30am to Fundy 4pm.  This includes long breakfast, 20 min. at Grand Falls (not worth it), 1hr walk in Fredericton, some in car sight seeing, and travel info stop.
PS. 17 hours from Fredericton New Brunswick to Stouffville Ontario on the way back, no side-trips, no sight-seeing, no getting lost, and unnecessary stops.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bay of Fundy, Alma Beach

Bay of Fundy, Alma Beach at low tide
This is my only diary entry from my holidays. We kept pretty busy, hiking our socks off, or driving our bums off, alternating busy days on the trails with busy days on the highway.  Not the most restful, but so much to see.  I wish I had at least jotted notes, as I’m having trouble, after the fact, writing anything at all. So without further preamble, the diary.
September 9th 2012 Sunday
I hope it doesn't start bucketing down. Electronics are not very happy with the damp <I write on an android tablet with external keyboard>, and it has been so all day long, but here we are at the Bay of Fundy, camped with a fine view of Alma, which is very pretty with lights at night.
The tide is coming in right now, and that is such a new thing for me.  I can hear it moving in, although, in truth, it sounds quite similar to Lake Superior storm surf.  It is not stormy, but calm and lightly raining.  We walked down to Alma Beach this morning at low tide, but yesterday is when we arrived in the late afternoon, and worried about finding a campsite, and did that wrong, as we picked a lovely one in the closed zone, whoops, but we set up anyway.  It was such a long drive, and we tired and cranky, and so much wanted to get our bed set up as soon as possible, and I was itching to put my toe in the ocean for the first time ever, and so we choose, and pitched and set and then we went to the self-serve kiosk only to read that we had camped in a closed section.  So after grumping for a few minutes, we decided to not worry about it till morning, which is a fine example of advantageous procrastination, and then we finally got down to the beach after six.  We didn't know it, but it was high tide. Of course, that was obvious in hindsight.  So, I sniffed a bit to see if I could smell the sea, but it only smelled of damp coastline, and nothing new, and the ocean was as calm as a lake, and down by the beach was gravel and weed, and I thought as I walked to it, this is just like Lake Ontario,and then I saw the seashells, scattered at my feet. Wow, seashells, so picked and inspected and dropped them, and then I saw the seaweeds, different kinds and they were so unlike anything I've seen before, thick and rubbery and interesting shapes and textures. And then I put my toe in and it was warm, so the other toe went in and then I was up to my knees, in an ocean! Wow!  And as I waded in, I remembered my swim suit was in the car, and the water was so much warmer than I expected, so I ran back and forth to enter the ocean in more appropriate attire.  Toes, knees, waist, see, I'm in the ocean! No, you aren't said Randy, so I jumped all the way, in yes I am!  And I cupped the water in my hand and still could not smell Ocean, so I dunked underwater, and came up sputtering. Yuck, Ocean!  Like the saltiest fries ever tasted with out the crunch.
To be continued….
PS.  Don’t let anyone tell you Bay of Fundy is too cold for swimming. Alma Beach was warm and toasty that first evening, sun-warmed from the tide rising over the sandy flats.
PPS.  Realize that this advice comes from someone accustomed to swimming Lake Superior in September (at least once while snow was falling from the sky).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vision Occluded—mixed-media monotype

Vision Occluded: Gelatin Monotype overlaid with coloured pencil and ink, 5.5” x 8.5”, available on Etsy
I’m back from holidays (and more (much more) on that later), but I really wanted to get into doing and showing art.  I’m continuing on ‘finishing’ ‘started gelatin prints’ that I’ve had in storage. I fish through the pile, pull one out and let the image dictate the progress. Faces come to the fore, one bit at a time. Themes emerge.  Back to the primitive images that have no known history. It is something I consider much, especially after dealing with a family member with dementia, the question of who are we if we cannot remember our past.  What is our identity if the past is forgotten, or erased. For the individual, it is a complete loss of self, but broaden that, and think we live in a society that constantly, often frivolously, replaces the old with the new.  We race forward, without looking back, and if we do look back, what do we see? Is there anything left to contemplate, absorb, build on?  Is our past culture accessible, or is an incoherent jumble, or like any human memory, eroded and altered.  Has our rush into the future left us in an endless present where our only pursuit is to satisfy immediate desires.
PS. in spite of such a serious and jumbled post, I did have a great holiday by the sea. It’ll take me a year to process thoughts and photo’s on it. Starting that cheery project soon, and pictures of seascape will begin to decorate this blog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

By the Sea

Here’s another little book and an explanation of what I’ve been up to.  The entire book is one printed page (just click on the image below). Cut the waste edges 1st, then, fold it’s length twice, (into quarter sections) and it’s width once, your almost there. Slice or tear the middle lengthwise line from the centre out to the start of the edge pages (ie, lengthwise middle for the two middle sections, then squish it all together).
Or if that doesn’t work, I guess you look at it on line while turning sidewise and hanging upside down.  Or wait for me to get you one. Free if you see me in person, or with SASE.
12090701by-the-sea-poi-bookHere’s the printable image.

IMG_4511Should look like this when you are done.
IMG_4509Here you can see the folds and the cut (I actually tear it)
IMG_4510getting there
IMG_4512Ha, ha, if that doesn’t tell a story. I’m out of time.
I will be back in the saddle again at the end of September.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

That Special Sauce

Another jelly+ mixed-media monoprint. Starting with an extreme close-up because today I’m going to share my secret special sauce recipe. Are you ready for it?
It’s in the antlers, do you see that sparkly silver?  And in the previous post, notice the gold? I’ve tried lots of metallic inks and pens and found them all to be somewhat disappointing in shine and precision.  When block-printing, I avoid the issue by printing in plain ink and quickly brushing in pearlex powders. These powders have the high gleam of gold and silver leaf, but what they are actually made of is a state secret. The only description on the package is ‘non-toxic’. My guess is that it is finely crushed and dyed mica mineral, but the bottom line is that it is brilliant and beautiful. Remember, mica is also known as fools gold, as its sparkle tricked many a prospector into false joy.
And sooooo…I finally decided to try my own ink.  Here’s the recipe. Equal amounts gum--arabic for watercolours (liquid) and water, and then add the pearlex powder until you get the desired consistency.  I would also advice you to start with an eyedropper and a few drops as a little goes a long way. Dry, it is very permanent and smear proof, but remains water-soluble. I mixed mine into a used air-freshener bottle (tiny one) which was possibly not such a good idea, as right now, that’s all I can smell. And nope, the ink doesn’t smell like air-freshener.
Well, that’s the secret, here’s the whole art, tentatively titled Canadiana Celtic.


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