Now, I could have been writing this during the early covid period, but somehow I just didn’t have the heart. I felt lost, and definitely lost for words. There was too much swirling emotion to be able to write a fun and breezy blog post. But that was then, and this is now. We are stepping into a regressive lockdown as the second wave really gets going, but somehow my emotions are more stable and positive (except for that thing which will happen on November 3rd).
These are pictures of my wonderful new addition, the enclosed porch I wrote about in “On the edge of lockdown”.
It, like everything else, was put on hold during the early part of the first lockdown. Luckily I had my building permit, and I had ordered windows on the last day it was possible to order them, and they were ready. Now there are back orders for windows as it is hard to get some of the parts. The supply chain is disrupted, one of the many results of this plague and its effects.
As soon as it was possible, Sawchuk Carpentry got to work, and it proceeded at a rapid speed, something anyone who has had construction work done on their house will appreciate.
Interestingly one of the crew members could not return to work immediately as his wife was working from home. He was responsible for their child.
Every day more progress was made.
The trades all lined up beautifully, the electrician spent a day installing all of the rough in fixtures, and the insulation company came by to pump in the insulation foam on top of the cement floor of half of the old deck in an orderly and timely fashion.
It would be an understatement to say that I am happy, I am delighted. I love being able to go into my workroom for a few hours and not have to unpack everything before I start, and to be able to leave it at the end of the session. It is not completely sorted out, I guess that will happen never, but things will find their homes as I use each station and figure out where they need to be. Interesting to me is the fact that it was unpacking my aromatherapy library that finally got me going. I am sure some of those books will never be read again, and they take up a lot of space, but it was obviously important to me that they be there. Go figure.
You would be forgiven if you didn’t know that there were as many aromatherapy books in the world as their actually are. And this is not an exhaustive collection.
Now it was up to me to finish all the projects I had dragged my feet on. Years ago I found this bench in St. John’s Norway Cemetery.
A church in downtown Toronto was closing and some of the benches were brought to the Cemetery for disposal. This is just a bench from Ikea, but it was FREE. I have since put many hours of work into it, sanding all those nooks and crannies. Way more time and effort than it was really worth, but it was FREE. I have discovered I can sew for days on end, knit till the cows come home, but I do not like sanding. But I am glad to say that it now looks like this.
A first for me, I made the cushion cover. Had to figure out the pattern. I used fabric bought in the market in Chester-le-Street, Durham. I paid 2 pounds a metre. Well worth the weight to bring it back to Canada.
The table you see was completely re-built. I had purchased it for Beaches Therapeutics when we moved to a store front location in 1989. Then I loaned it to my glass artist friend Caroline who used it for 20 years in her studio as a wrapping table. Now it is back in my possession but it was too big. Each of the two planks on either side were 14.5 inches wide. A huge tree. With a 5 inch plank in the middle. The 5 inches had to go. I was the apprentice helper to Sue who took it apart, re doweled all the joints and put it back together. I cleaned it up with wire wool and beeswax and oil polish.
It is full of life nicks and character and I love being able to finally use it.
As we came out of the first lockdown, Georgian Bay Centre for the Arts, www.gbarts.ca ramped up their offerings and I feel as though they have become my home away from home. This was an afternoon workshop, transforming old silverplate trays into jewellery. The bangle is from a tray celebrating a marriage that took place in May 1964. Clearly no one wants silver plate as part of their inheritance. Then on to this:
One of the founders is renovating their house and they have piles of old lathe. Why not make it into art?
What blessed relief to spend time with other people doing something new and creative. Here I am socially distanced, hence no mask, but it is close by.
Just two weekends ago I did my fourth or fifth workshop, this time with Albert Cote, fabric artist extraordinaire. One day we dyed fabric with acrylic paint and the next we made layered quilted rugs.
They are not finished, but well along the way, and a really fun technique.
We sat like three ducks in a row, wearing our masks and working like demons. There is tremendous energy in the workshops, lots of focused attention.
I know we are in a second lockdown, and visiting is again restricted, but if you are interested in creative things to do I recommend signing up for their mailing list. It is a mini Haliburton School of the Arts, run all year. Staying with me may not be an option for the next while, but there are many inexpensive motels here. This coming weekend I am taking a “How to sell online” workshop. Two and a half days in a mask!
I wistfully call the second addition room my Muskoka room. But as you can see the view is not expansive, nor over water, but at least I have my fireplace……….