We bought a HOUSE!

38 Inspiring Objects #11     our HOUSE!

I know, so exciting right? I keep hearing the price is right announcer bellowing out “Corey & Jen… you have  bought a house! C’moon down!” lol. With much love and support from family OXOXOX we will be moving into our first house together as a family, on September 15th! It’s in Courtenay BC, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Otherwise known as “the big island”. We are stoked. I’ve already been taking paint swatches to bed and planning the move. But where will the craft room go? So that’s been keeping us pretty busy this summer. winks*

Make Something  Every Day

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

Make Something Every Day

tried tested and true MEC

38 Inspiring Objects 

#8 The MEC Merganser tent and #9    the MEC thermos.

Both purchased pre-Haida Gwaii, during university days approx 10 years ago? Both in sort of mint condition still today! Used 2 weeks ago on our season opener camping trip on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. If you’re Canadian you know all about MEC. It’s an equipment co-op. It’s THE equipment co-op, really. Print catelogs no order exist so it’s all online at http://www.mec.ca I have lived remotely and in cities in Canada and always had a catalog at hand (& an Ikea one..lol). Their stuff is enviro friendly, lots of organics, durable, lasts forever and is all fully replaced if it ever dies.  These are just two of my fav oldest items from them. Happy to sport them again this camping season and picked up a few nice new MEC items this month as well – dresses, canoe foam racks, waterproofer etc. I swear photos of that trip will get posted this weekend! (some are amazing, if I do say so myself).

What’s your MEC story?

Make Something Every Day

Cruise Ship to work

This takes us calling the small ferry to the big island (on our daily commutes to work) “the cruise”  to a hole new level. This was taken from my iphone, in my car on the wee ferry headed back to Quadra. Usually they are doing the Vancouver to Alaska trip. This isn’t even close to the biggest cruise ships that come through here in the tourist season. Cool, though, heh?

Make Something Every Day 

Related articles

Just like I did when I was 3 years old & even more fun at 38 years old.

camping on Vancouver Island, BC. Exactly between the West Coast Trail and the Juan De Fuca Trail.                May 2012.

photo kinda crappy, sorry

Steps to make your very own shells in a  glass vase,  vases ( for your work side table or a table centre piece etc)

  1. Have your fantastic husband take you away on a “real” west coast camping adventure. Ours was all down the Juan Da Fuca trail, last week. Camping trip details to be blogged after I get back to work.
  2. Spend hours in the sun and mist just flipping over sea shells. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  3. Sit by the campfire at night with some water and clean the ass smell or possible live mini carbs and sand off of your gems. Seal in safe storage for journey home. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  4. Get that same adorable husband from step 1 to take you to Ikea on the way home.
  5. Purchase the three glass vases for under ten bucks deal as shown above.
  6. When you are home, alone, in the rain, by the woodstove~ assemble your shells lovingly into whimsical shell vases.
  7. Take them to work so when your clients are talking you are also daydreaming of flipping shells on a ” real” west coast beach.. in the sun.. with your super fun husband.
Make Something Every Day

Related articles

a beach story I’ve been following

A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life

by Community Team Posted: May 18, 2012 3:38 PM
A Harley Davidson lost in the Japanese Tsunami was found in Haida Gwai. (Peter Mark/CBC)
My name is Peter Mark. I am 32 years old and reside in Masset, B.C. On March 11, 2011 I, along with millions of others around the world watched in awe and horror as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Those images of vehicles, boats, buildings and even entire towns being swallowed up by sea will stick with all of us forever. Harder to comprehend is the cost of human life, the loss of family and community networks that are gone forever and can not be repaired or replaced. On that day more than 15,000 people died and many, many more lost family, friends, their homes, their communities and everything but the clothes on their back.

A year has passed since the horrific events of that disaster. I recently received a stark reminder of the event that quite literally shook the world. On April 18th I was beachcombing on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and came face to face with a piece of the aftermath from the wave that took so much from so many. In just 13 months an insulated container holding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, five golf clubs, tools, tent poles and other small weathered bits and pieces drifted across the Pacific Ocean some 6,500 kilometers and came ashore in an area I frequently visit.

The container washed up on a remote beach approximately 50 km south of Rose Spit. When I first arrived on the scene I was in shock. I could see the motorcycle from a distance but it wasn’t until I got closer that I could see the license plate, a bent, algae encrusted piece of metal with Japanese characters on it. We knew tsunami debris was coming but I never expected something this big this soon, never mind a Harley Davidson!

My first thought was, “What?!?”. It dawned on me that this was something that might be in my backyard, something one of my neighbors might own. These were somebody’s belongings, somebody that might have lost everything, possibly even their life.

The unit had thick styrofoam under the fiberglass exterior which allowed it to float. How the bike and other items remained in the container all the way across the Pacific is a mystery to me. The bike was not tied down and the door of the container was ripped off. It was quite an eerie feeling stepping inside. It felt as though I was trespassing on someone’s property. I also knew this might be the first known item that washed ashore from the tsunami that could be traced, both by the license plate and the VIN on the motorcycle. I took several pictures of the container and the items inside.

Being on my ATV and alone there was no way for me to move a 600 pound bike from the container to high ground. I looked through the contents of the container for anything that could be saved. Everything was in bad condition. The bike was very rusty and banged up. The other items were badly corroded and equally battered. All I could save were the golf clubs that seemed to resist the corrosive effects of the salt water better than everything else. I could see that there was a water line showing on the bike, it looked as though it was sitting in at least 8 inches of water for quite some time. I also suspect waves would have often swept through the open door.

When I returned home from the beach I told several of my fellow beachcombers and friends about the find. I also researched the Internet on how to report such a find. I found very little out. NOAA posted an e-mail address for reporting debris. I sent an e-mail to them and have yet to receive a reply. Quickly word spread. It wasn’t very long before CBC got in touch with me (April 24th). I made them a deal. I told them that I would supply the VIN number and photos of the license plate so they could confirm the bikes’ origins before posting the story. Right away they called me back. I was informed the plate was registered in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. We had our smoking gun.

The CBC ran the story on the evening of April 29th. I was not prepared for the amount of attention the story would receive. Immediately Ralph Tieleman from Vancouver Island contacted me. A man I have never met before. He asked if I would be able to recover the motorcycle? I had not considered it. The bike was in such bad shape I didn’t think it would be practical to do anything with. I thought it would stay on the beach, a memorial to the Tōhoku tsunami. Ralph offered with the help of his friends to restore the motorcycle and return it to its owner if they could be located. We knew this would be an expensive undertaking. The bike was virtually destroyed. They would need to strip the bike to its frame and start from almost scratch. I agreed and the next day with the help of my friends we went and recovered the motorcycle.

In the following days I did interviews with 4 or 5 major news agencies in North America and 5 in Japan! Late in the evening on April 30th a Japanese news correspondent located in California called me with good news, the owner of the bike was alive! From the moment I laid eyes on the motorcycle I wondered the fate of the owner. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping he/she would be found alive. There it was, the words I was hoping for, “They found him, he’s alive!”. I went to bed with a sense of relief. The next morning the CBC called with the news.

Twenty-nine year old Ikuo Yokoyama lost much on that day in March 2011. While I was watching on TV, Ikuo lost three family members including his father and brother. His house, the container in his backyard he used as a shop/garage for his motorcycle and everything he owned were swept away by the devastating wave. I was very happy Ikuo was alive but overwhelmed by the thought that so many others were not. Ikuo like thousands of others, is currently living in temporary housing. The man from CBC referred me to an online video interview from NHK with Ikuo. He was looking at pictures of the motorcycle that I had taken. He expressed how happy it was found and returning to him, “A miracle!” he stated. He also wanted to thank me.

Harley Davidson stepped in. They heard what Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman were planning to do and decided to finance the restoration. They contacted Mr Yokoyama and told him about the planned restoration. Despite the desire to be reunited with his lost bike Ikuo declined the offer. He said that he was not financially capable of owning the bike nor did he have room to store it in his temporary shelter. He thought it wasn’t fair to spend so much on his bike when so many others had nothing. It is very honorable that Ikuo has put the needs of others and the needs of his community above his own hopes and desires. Harley Davidson has offered to give the money they would have spent on fixing and returning the bike to a tsunami relief fund in Ikuo’s name instead. Harley Davidson is going to stabilize and preserve the bike. It will either be put in a museum or made into a memorial for the victims of the tsunami. They have offered to pay for the salvage of the bike and the transport to Vancouver Island. Hats off to Harley Davidson, Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman for stepping up to the plate and doing a good thing.

The story isn’t over yet. So many people have lost so much. There may be few opportunities to reunite people with their missing belongings. I feel that there still may be something I can do for Ikuo and plans are in the works.

I have been told that items like the motorcycle were not insured for events like earthquakes. A reporter from a Japanese news agency sent me an article about insurance for the tsunami victims. It states only 23% of people were insured. People that had insurance were only covered for their houses. Vehicles, cash, items worth more than $3000 and businesses were not covered. It seems that Ikuo will receive nothing for his lost belongings. When I try to put myself in Ikuo’s shoes I come to the conclusion it would be very hard to decline Harley Davidson’s offer to return a prized possession after loosing everything. Could you do it? I know many people in Canada are financially strapped, especially in the northwest but in comparison to the events unfolding in Japan we’ve got it pretty darn good.

This has been a wake up call. There are no good systems in place for reporting tsunami debris and no plans as of yet to deal with it once it’s here. Its very likely that much more debris is coming. It is very important that any items located should be treated with respect. I’m sure there will be times when personal items can be retuned to their rightful owners. Common sense is important in these cases. Not everything can be returned and there will be many cases the items would bring back bad memories for the original owner. There are many people that care about the beaches and spend a lot of time on them. I’m sure many of these people will go out of their way to clean up debris. Nowadays the world is a very small place. I hope people keep this in mind. I myself live in a coastal town on the ring of fire. One day my ATV or boat may wash up on the shore of Japan. If that ever were to happen I know I’d hope that my belongings would be treated with respect as well. I also hope that government agencies will work will local people who have been exploring the local beaches for years if not decades. Many of us have a deep understanding of ocean currents and what types of items might wash up and where. This knowledge may prove invaluable in the years to come.

Peter Mark
May 2012

oh how I’ve missed you blog

Well here we meet again blog friends.. me by the woodstove with the winds howling and once again impending doom of power outage hangs over us. I’m solo, with my man at work today and possibly not even home tonight if the 80km wind gusts keep up ~ there will be no ferry home. Fingers crossed for spoons tonight with my man!    It’s been an eventful and somewhat creative while since we’ve spoken. I considered doing a V-log today but you have to pay to post videos on wordpress.com unless they are uploaded to youtube first. I digress ~ here’s what I’ve been up to.

We have been enjoying my record a day BLOG project which is now in month FOUR or twelve! It has been the soundtrack to many creative festivities around the pad, including baking. Here we baked more Theryaki smoked salmon tarts with Mr. Music maker’s help! And a one and a two and a … 

The record blog has been getting a great response and has a ton of followers. What a riot going through all different genres and styles. There’s a really romantic slowness to the vinyl process. The stink of the cover albums, the inserts, the album art. Deciding to get up to flip over to Side B. All great.

Check it out if you wish ~ just for the records BLOG 365 project

 I also made a another batch of peanut butter balls ~see my blog here for the recipe near xmas.

We had an awesome visit from my in~laws recently. Thankfully the weather was excellent FINALLY and we spent some time down at the beach. We gathered oysters and clams and then were told we couldn’t take them home (by a strange fella on the shore with no evidence but a fantastic story of  a shipping container that flipped over in the ocean and some chemicals released into the local waters).

Make Something Every Day

a break in the rain beachcomb with my 2 fav guys

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Make Something Every Day 

Because it’s worth it.

Still not feeling the creative bug as I ‘m back at work and trying to get rid of this flu bug. These two videos make me smile so i hope they brighten your day as well.

toenails from a man.

treats n snoozin. snoozin n treats. Oh god. i can smell his face. Read on!

Make Something Every Day

 

 

good morning moon

A really impressive full moon ferry ride from Quadra to Campbell, last week.

 

Make Something Every Day

the Mexico Sign

front

the back of the sign

38 Inspiring Objects

#6 of 38

the MEXICO sign  was originally created for a roadtrip around The Breton trail Cape Breton, Canada. It was a cold April weekend when we set out to honour our favourite movie at the time NEWWATERFORD GIRL. I’ve mentioned it before on this BLOG and included a youtube video clip of the trailor ~ but if you haven’t seen it ~ it’s a Canadian GEM! The sign is featured in the first 5 mins of the movie. We recreated it between my best friend and I when we moved across the country from one another. Every time one of us travelled over a period of a few years, we mailed it,  took the sign and attempted to photograph it in different locations. As seen below Kate in Newfoundland and in Cape Breton. A newer version was created for my  wedding in MEXICO a year ago, next month. The original version arrived this xmas 2011 to BC, in my xmas package from Nova Scotia. Where will it go next? It’s for sure an inspiring object. Thanks Kate, love you.  

    

Make Something Every Day 

winter storm walk scores

My 13.5 year old,  young dog and I hit the beach today. What better thing to do on a dark, rainy, windy afternoon ~when the weather has basically sucked for 2 weeks? Hit the beach! Here’s some photos of what we found and where we went. Wonder what I’ll make with these? Suggestions? 

my Amos! 

Make Something Every Day

new catagory..”photography from my commute to work”

I found myself using my ferry commute to work as an opportunity for creative expression for my BLOG. However, most of what I found mysef writing was judgemental about hippies etc…and not very pretty. When I open my eyes up during my commute, which can be very helpful while driving…  I see a LOT of beauty. It is, in fact, the reason I moved back to the coast, almost 2 years ago. So without further a dew.. (ado?) here is a new photography catagory for your viewing pleasure. It will be found down the side column with the other catagories on my blog & photos can be enlarged or saved by double clicking on them. 

Today’s commute: COMOX

the white swans of Comox

Make Something Every Day

Adventures of the Beachcombers

20111128-102638.jpg

20111128-101709.jpg Late fall après le crazy storms beachcombing season has returned! We have had SUCH intense power outage for 2 days winds & indescribable rains ~ that we have been getting cabin fever. Especially our 13 yr old dane cross. Seriously, I missed a day of work last week, because the ferry off our island wasn’t even running. We had friends who were hunting on island, stay overnight after waiting 6 hours in the stormy ferry parking lot! The second the rain stopped, we marched the giant puppy to the ocean.

20111128-102307.jpg The lighting was lovely, the driftwood plentiful.

20111128-102412.jpg The red cedar looks like it’s bleeding.

20111128-102512.jpg The beachcombers were back at it!

20111128-102551.jpg

20111128-102605.jpg And what did we find today?

20111128-115103.jpg stay tuned for more beachcombing adventures & art projects this fall / winter!

Make Something Every Day

Never tired of eagles

20110707-101314.jpg

An hour and a half wait today to put the car on the ferry at Q-Cove… Again! Sigh.

Corey had to walk on or he’d be late for work so I chilled (tried not to steam, actually) in the parking lot with my iPhone camera.
This photo is actually just one eagle. Sometimes the delay on the HD works for me!
Make Something Every Day

Happy Gobble Gobble Johnny Cash Day!

Last night we had a WICKED first of the storm season storm! Though we didn’t lose power.. we did lose some patio furniture and the hot tub lid. Sad to report Corey – the jack o lanterns all got eaten when Glen mowed the lawn and didn’t put my fish netting back up. Growl. But I have recovered all missing furnishings.. less the Canadian flag. I woke to complete sunshine, not a whiffft of wind out there and the cry of the eagles. The eagles took off for salmon season but have returned to share in my winter beach combing pleasures. Though it’s so super high tide with 3x the driftwood, there is no beach to access until after coffee times*, anyway.

Today I am on a mission to hit up Walmart (save the applause or boo’ing) for packing / moving supplies ie. rubbermaids and packing tape. Currently, there seems to be a life milestone happening every two weeks.. and starting tomorrow.. we are moving! Just up the beach on Quadra..details and decor adventures to be blogged, not to worry it’s pretty awesome too. Same phone, same PO box, folks. But before I embark on that mission… I’m lucky to be adopted into Knudsen family Thanksgiving dinner in CR. gobble gobble.

Don’t forget to listen to some Johnny Cash this morning..and MAKE SOMETHING EVERY DAY.

the cruise "ferry" over to Campbell River

…to eat some gobble gobble and to play with THESE guys!

stock summer photo of the adorable team Knudsen.

it’s been a when-it-rains-it-pours kind of couple of weeks

Dearest BLOG friends,

I’ve got a few emails lately from people I don’t know. They are asking what happened to my daily posts? So it occurs to me, a little slower than most, I suppose ~ people are reading my missives. Cool. That’s cool. I’m not signed onto the blogroll or blogger system, i don’t think, so how are they hearing about me? (tech friends chime in here… what gives?


Of late ~ it’s been a when-it-rains-it-pours couple of weeks, without much rain actually. (Wow that was really witty. Maybe now I’m telling bad jokes to please the masses? I mustn’t).  I’ll use that as my subject title and we’ll call it even. Lots of changes in boat adventures, me closing my Quadra office and opening one in Campbell River, working on changing letters behind the name, insurance and spring times at the beachhouse require some maintaining. Mostly that’s code for composting and making out. wink. All that said – I’m back in action and will post some entries that altho are not beachcombing ARE in fact beachlife and it ALL makes me happy.

I’ve been making Corey watch lame upcycling youtube videos of crafting, while on the ferry. He loathes the term but did learn how to make a girl’s headband from a recycled bike tire tube, on the 5:25 ferry.  How lucky is he?

upcycling (click on LINK)
Upcycling is a new term and there still seems to be some talk about what it’s true meaning is. To me upcycling is a step up from recycling (hence the name?). Upcycling is when you reuse an item, or a piece of an item to create something new. Upcycling doesn’t take as much energy or produce as much of a carbon footprint as Recycling does. With upcycling you do not need to reprocess the item back into a raw form. Most of the items on this blog are upcycled. Upcycling is more fun than the previous two. With upcycling anyone can use their imagination, take some items from the recycling bin or trash and use them to create something new.

C’MON CRAFTERS >>>

Is there an UPCYCLE  project you’d like to see me attempt?

Upcycle something and email me  a photo with a list of the items used to make your new creation. I’ll post it on this blog. If you want you can send the instructions for making that item and I’ll post that too.

Hope you enjoy & feel free to comment & compliment

p.s. The weather has been STUNNING for a while!

more soon ~mermaid