I didn’t do the best job with planning the calendar this year. I usually start gearing up for Art Fair around this time with my time and attention 100% focused on weaving by the start of June. However, most of May and the beginning of June are being given over to actual vacation – the first one for us in a while.
Part I of this vacation is a week-long weaving class with Jane Stafford at her studio on Salt Spring Island. British Columbia is a close-cousin to Northern California both in geography and plant life. Looking out car and hotel windows make me think hard about being at home, but things are just different enough that I know I am somewhere else.
Ahead of the workshop, we spent a little time on Vancouver Island – both on the peninsula that is the home of Victoria and the balance in the Cowichan – just north and west. The peninsula was highlighted by Butchart Gardens – a former quarry/estate that’s been turned into a gigantic formal garden open to the public. In spring, the highlight is tulips:
they were absolutely everywhere – and the use of an understory of a complementing color was fantastic. There’s also a Japanese Garden with maples, blue poppies and a stream running throughout:
and also a section called “Sunken Garden”, which is what remains of the original quarry. If you look closely, you’ll see the large ivy-covered mound in the center – this was a piece of limestone that wasn’t suitable for quarrying and therefore left in place. It now serves as a viewing platform; there’s a set of stairs on the far side.
there’s as much again beyond that platform and the riot of color gives you an idea of the proliferation of tulips. If you’re ever in the area, it’s absolutely worth the (rather high) cost of admission.
But all that is behind me and today was a ferry ride just across the channel. I’m now happily ensconced in my little lake-side cottage, I’ve enjoyed a delicious meal with some of my fellow classmates and am ready to be immersed in weaving for a week. I sure hope I don’t come home lusting after another loom.