Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Folk Love(r)

Sometimes of the Land by Catherine Campbell via her etsy store

Have I ever mentioned how much the art of Catherine Campbell kills me? The eyes in her pieces are always so emotive, engaging you instantly. I think my favourite part of her work is the whimsical details like flowers in someones hair, or a cape of leaves. So pretty.

I love her blog, too. Especially that she posts progress shots as she works on her art (you should go and check out what she's working on good), and just generally seems like a lovely and accessible person.

Really, I think the time has come for me to go and purchase a couple of prints rather than just sighing over her blog. But which one to choose??

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daddy was a union man

When I left London for Vancouver a year ago, I had to use an extra (as in, aside from the one I already had and a day pack) giant backpack stuffed to the brim in order to bring all the various things I'd accumulated with me. Despite this, there was still a box of some of the things most dear to me that I had to leave behind. It was mostly books and correspondence, and while I desperately wanted to take them with me I also desperately didn't want them to get damaged in anyway so I ended up leaving them with a friend who would bring them to Vancouver when she came to visit later that year.

Sadly that didn't happen, but she was recently able to send the box over and it was so very exciting to receive it! Obviously it was all my stuff, but it was like opening a present. I was reunited with old books bought at second hand bookstores on my travels and ones Richard had sent in care packages, there was even the copy of Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' that I'd found in Prague and the book of ee cummings poetry Richard had sent me when we'd first started dating. There were the cards we'd played with while training through Europe, chopsticks from dinner with Anna in Chinatown, a fan from when it was too hot in Barcelona and a flyer for 'Sunday Roasts and Records' at our favourite London pub. The best part was probably all the hand made cards Richard had sent, and a collage he had made for me while we were living so far apart. He is a clever boy, that one.

I am most definitely a hoarder, not to mention very nostalgic and a bit of a sentimentalist so I often find myself with these objects I cherish but don't really know what to do with. Some, like books obviously lend themselves to being used, but others I sometimes wonder if I just keep for the sake of keeping. Whenever I decide to hold on to something, my rationale is always that I would've loved to have had things like that of my parents' or grandparents' to play with and explore.

So, I've decided to start a glory box. It will possibly be for kids, or grandkids somewhere in the future to look through and also for Richard and I to reminisce over when we move from place to place and peek into the box of treasures.

So far it wedding dress (that's the one you can see in the photo), my aunt's wedding dress, the fan from Spain and one my mum gave me on my wedding day, a few scarves from my collection, Richard's first union card and his grandfathers fob chain, the cards from Europe and a couple old wallets of mine. It's all held together in the box my Grandma used to gift us our wedding quilt. Quite perfect really.

Monday, January 26, 2009

When I party, I party hearty

We had a unexpected visitor this afternoon that was quite the treat. The Little Mama dropped her biggest lad off to us for an impromptu visit and Richard and I were more than happy to trade in a schedule of homework and dishes for cookie baking, colouring, music making and Anthony Browne reading.

We walked out to get some fixing for veggie burgers, and made hand cut fries back at home while singing and dancing along to Sly and The Family Stone. The fish slice and a wooden spoon were used as microphones, obviously. So much better than cleaning the kitchen!

Back in business

It has been a very mellow start to the year so far, and I have found that writing in here was just not at the top of my list for the past wee while. Part of the reason is definitely that cute kid up there. No, no, I didn't pop one out over the festive season, that's a snap I found of Richard as a baby while I was cleaning up the den this week. He still has that slightly worried look on his face. He had his annual leave just after New Years, and as he usually works a night shift (9.30pm-5.30am) it was very exciting to have him home all the time. We drew, played music together, watched lots of movies, thought about going for walks but ended up staying in from the cold, hung out with friends and ate lots of cake and chocolate on his birthday.

Now, with a clean house and the laundry done I feel like I'm ready to get back into things. I haven't made any resolutions for the year, but I really, truly will try and get into some kind of routine this week. I have so many ideas of things I want to make and do, and I'm excited to share them with you!

This morning is off to a good start, too. Im lying on our bed (thanks to the new wireless, welcome to the technology age Becka!), looking out at the clear sky, listening to some Dusty (and Grayling snoring) and getting ready to knit.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have been meaning to blog for awhile, to fill everyone in on holiday excitement, goals, hopes and wishes for the coming year, what on earth we’ve been doing on the cold and snowy Vancouver days. However, something else has been on my mind. I am sure you are all aware of the situation in Gaza, the fighting that has been going on for the past 17 days and the ever growing humanitatirian crisis.

We attended a protest here in Vancouver on Jan 3rd, the day Israeli ground forces entered Gaza to take what was initially an air assault that had already killed around 300 people, to a full on war that has now reached a death toll of close to 900 Palestinians. The majority of this number are civilians, 275 are children.
It is amazing to me that this is still going on, with no sign of stopping. Both sides have rejected a ceasefire proposal with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stating ,“Nobody should be allowed to decide for us if we are allowed to strike” in response to the UN proposal. It is also amazing to me the enormous amount of support Israel is still getting from the U.S. government, and in the majority of the media. Articles like this in the Calgary Herald, and this in the Vancouver Sun sound like nothing more than propaganda.
Yes, Hamas has been responsible for firing rockets into Sderot (a city in southern Israel) and yes Hamas has stated the destruction of the state of Israel as their aim (as did the PLO prior to their relations with Isreal becoming more friendly, and becoming more friendly because there were talks and negotiations not bombs dropped on civilians). However, 1. Hamas was democratically elected, 2. Israel has supported Hamas in the past when it suited them (in an attempt to weaken Yasser Arafat led Fatah) and 3. (and most importantly) instead of viewing the rockets being launched as the root of the problem, let's look at them as a response to the horrific Israeli occupation of Palestine for the past 50 or so years.
The reality is, hundreds of people are dying. The IDF has bombed schools, universities, refugee centers and homes. The use of force by Israel on Gaza is completely disproportionate, this is the worlds 5th largest army and one of the most sophisticated, against a glorified ghetto. It is shooting fish in a barrel, Palestinians have nowhere to go. Not only this, but Israel has warned Palestinians to leave their homes for safe houses and then bombed those very safe houses! Both the UN and the Red Cross have declared the situation a humanitarian disaster and some have even had to stop humanitarian efforts due to the safety of their workers being threatened (one of the schools that was bombed, was a clearly marked UN school. Israel had been given the coordinates of all UN schools and buildings prior to the fighting starting).
My heart breaks for the people of Gaza, and for the many Jews who do not want this done in their name. I urge you all to be critical in your reading and viewing of the news, especially as Israel is not allowing reporters into Gaza in the first place. I also urge you to remember that this is not a battle between to equal rivals, but an attack on the occupied by the occupier, an act of aggression towards the opressed by the opressor.
Enough is enough.

For unbaised coverage of the situation in Gaza, you can watch/listen to Democracy Now! who has been reporting daily on the crisis. The Guardian has also had some excellent articles written, namely this one by Avi Shlaim, an Oxford professor of international relations and former member of the Israeli army.