Handmade Leather Sandals

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending one of Rachel Corry’s  leather sandal making workshops at Moonrise Creative here in Victoria.  Moonrise Creative is a beautiful space in Fernwood, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Victoria.  And I can’t say enough about the workshop itself.  Look below, in one day I came home with a pair of these and this skills to make more.  I foresee many more to come, today I am wearing my second pair and am working on a third.


My first pair of leather sandals.


Here I am working on them.  There are many steps, including drafting the pattern for the uppers and the soles, cutting, glueing, skiving, scratching, nailing and more glueing.


And, here are all the wonderful creations made by students and Rachel.


It’s Been a Long Winter

It’s been a long winter… well, not on the west coast.  Winter was over before it even began here in the Pacific Northwest.  I finished knitting this Rosemont Cardigan at the beginning of November, right before a short trip to Tofino.


Here I am on Chesterman’s Beach enjoying a warm sunny afternoon in Tofino.  I’ve wrapped myself up in the sweater all winter and its starting to show some wear, but I love it more and more.  I had some issues following the pattern at the beginning, but I believe it has since been re-released with some improved instructions.  I used Knit Picks Full Circle worsted yarn that I had in my stash.  It is incredibly soft, but if you are adverse to pilling, you might want to choose another yarn.

I spent my creative time this winter more with my knitting needles than at my sewing machine.  Man am I a slow knitter.  I am just now finishing up the second sleeve on my next sweater.  Hope to have more to show you soon.

Adventures in Solitude: Paddling In Desolation Sound

Back at the end of September I was fortunate enough to paddle about in Desolation Sound.  A portion of the title for this post is stolen from Grant Lawrence’s book “Adventures in Solitude.”  Which, I had the pleasure of reading while fully immersed in the sound.

We caught the ferry from Comox to Powell River bright and early, then drove north to the end of the road in Lund.  There we unpacked our cars and loaded up our boats. One canoe, one kayak, three ladies, and a dog. Plus, a cooler full of deliciously prepared food by the talented Bethany Jane and ample wine and whiskey to keep us warm.

Or first day out took us to the north end of the Copeland Islands.  It was a little grey and damp, but that didn’t stop of from taking our first of many dips in the ocean.


We entered through the gap at high tide and when we awoke the next morning our passage out was gone.  Not to worry, we had nowhere to be, so we waited. And, like it always does the tide came in.


We set off on our way to our destination, the Curme Islands.


Upon our arrival we paddled in and out and all around the islands.  We were in luck, we had the islands all to ourselves.  We chose the south island, with a great space for Benny to set up her kitchen and benches to sit and watch the seals go by.


We set up our tents, and as the sun set and the sky got dark it started to rain.  To our amazement the ocean before us began to sparkle as the rain hit the water and illuminated the phosphorescence.


The next morning the skies started to clear again and we set off on what we thought would be a quick exploration.



Five hours later, we returned to our little island paradise and the sun was out in full force.  The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing about on the hot rocks with intermittent dips in the ocean.


And on this night, the stars were out!


The sun greeted us the next morning, one last breathe of summer.  I escaped to the far side of our island for a solo Saturday morning yoga session.  Probably my favourite place to put my yoga “matt” to date.


The rest of the morning was spent enjoying the sun and the sea.


At the last possible moment we packed our boats and started the paddle out.


We reached the shores of Okeover with little time to spare, five more minutes and we would have been paddling with our headlamps.  In the dark we loaded up our cars and made a b-line for dinner at the Laughing Oyster.

Late September is a special time to be explore the sound.  While the ocean has cooled from its tropical temperatures, we probably only saw a couple boats a day sail by in the distance.


“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich