nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for January 2016

gates and gateposts

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Looking through my watercolours, I came across the painting below of a gatepost. I painted this during my virtual excursion through Cornwall, using Street View and Google Earth. The painting reminds me of how much fun I had, painting the scenes I discovered on my virtual journey.

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I am still using Street View to motivate my exercise program – since last year, I have been following the Saint John River from its origins in Quebec and Maine. My goal is to ‘cycle’ the length of the Saint John River, all the way to where it empties into the Bay of Fundy.

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Gateways mark change.  They represent movement from one space to another.  They can be entryways.  They can also be barriers. The challenge is always to step through that gate and keep on going.

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Oct. 4, 2013 'gate near Feock' Jane Tims

Oct. 4, 2013 ‘gate near Feock’ Jane Tims

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through the gate

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grey granite cold

black body to

absorb the sun

emit no warm

even lichens

rooted to stone

are barely alive

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the stone invites

admiration

but curves disguise

the jagged edge

biotite and

muscovite honed

razor thin

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step forward, through

the gate, ignore

the risk

the path behind

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

local eating … sprout sandwich

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Winter in New Brunswick – snow, frozen ground, temperatures far below zero. Not a time to be thinking about growing your own food? Not quite true!

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Anyone can grow sprouts. I have a great sprouter, the 8 X 10 Sproutmaster from Sprout People.

https://sproutpeople.org/sproutmaster-8×10-tray-sprouter/

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I have also used a one pint mason jar for growing sprouts. For me, a twice daily water rinse and careful draining is key to growing the best sprouts.

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Today, I had a couple of sprout sandwiches for breakfast. Sprouted alfalfa, multi-grain bread from Real Food Connections in Fredericton, and mayo. Yum!

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sprout sandwich

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sprouts peek

between sheets

of whole wheat

green baby beaks

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stems tickle lips

as though I kissed

a man with a mobile

mustache

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satisfying crunch

crisp bunch

of alfalfa

delight

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green and white

and mayo

daub of mustard

sprig of thyme

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a sprinkle

from my stash of seed

a little time

sprouts did all the work

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swell, burst seed coat, grow

rinse, dry , fluff

pluck and toss

and wow! what a kiss!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims


local foods

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Yesterday we made our second visit to Real Food Connections in Fredericton. Real Food Connections sells locally grown and produced food. On their wall is a huge map of New Brunswick and surroundings, showing all the growers and producers who supply foods to the store.  https://www.realfoodconnections.ca/

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On our first trip we bought the most flavourful carrots! We also bought a beautiful head of garlic, alfalfa seeds for my sprouter, Gouda cheese, big red onions and a bottle of canola oil.

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This week we signed up online for Real Food Connections’ $25 produce box.  In our box we had potatoes, white onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic, a squash, a head of garlic, a beautiful leek, a bag of cranberries, a bag of apples and frozen cauliflower. I can hardly wait to plan this week’s meals around our items.

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Last night, for supper, we had a first-class Leek and Potato Soup.  I used leeks, onions, garlic and potatoes from our box and added chicken stock, spices and 2% milk. It was quick to prepare and delicious!

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If you are lucky enough to have a store specializing in local foods, try it out!  Buying food this way supports local producers and takes a step towards food security. I try to buy local products whenever possible by shopping at farmers’ markets and local food stands, and by choosing carefully at the grocery store. I am so happy to be able to go into Real Food Connections and see what a full range of foods are available to us!

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Do you have a store where you can buy local products in season?

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 22, 2016 at 7:50 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – shelter?

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‘shelter’

– n.

1. protection from danger, bad weather, etc.

2. place giving shelter or refuge.

-v.

1. act or serve as a shelter to; protect; conceal; defend.

2. find refuge, take cover.

(Oxford English Dictionary)

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As I refine the results of my poetry project, ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, I am thinking about the idea of ‘shelter’ and how important it is to all living things.

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A covered bridge changes the landscape, alters the environment and encourages habitat diversity. It changes the availability of light, water and air. It provides cover from harsh environments.

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Some examples of finding shelter in a covered bridge:

Plants:

  • seeds on the wind, waylaid, find a place to germinate
  • grasses growing beneath the bridge get less light as shadows thicken – sometimes there is too little light to grow at all
  • a crack between boards in the floor of the bridge provides a space to grow away from competition from other plants
  • mosses and lichens find a place to thrive in the rotted hollows of posts and timbers

Animals:

  • birds use rafters and beams as nesting sites
  • spiders find places to attach their webs
  • mice store seeds in nooks and crannies
  • birds hunt insects on the sun-warmed boards of the bridge

Humans:

  • travellers find brief respite from wind and snow and rain
  • friends and lovers find meeting places, out of the view of curious eyes
  • visitors find surfaces for expression – graffiti, vulgarity, art, a space to say ‘I was here’
  • children of all ages find a place to shout, hear echoes, remember

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shelter

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the engine dies – after midnight

not far from home

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snow builds on track

eyelash and mitten

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wind conceals the road

sweeps the bridge

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enter, a lull and chill subsides

bright of snow subdued

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no solitude – a mouse ticked

off, her hibernation interrupted

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and ghosts carve names, spray

broad epithets in purple

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inspire defiance, kick me

out, into the storm

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

January 20, 2016 at 7:39 am

warming winter – my finished quilt

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Last week I began making a small quilt for my guest room. The fabrics are printed with lavender, morning glory, violet and primrose, perfect for a room themed with purple flowers! To see my method for this quilt, see my post for January 11, 2016.

https://janetims.com/2016/01/11/warming-winter/

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I promised a look at the finished quilt. Here it is, back and front and front again!

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I tried something different with this quilt. I used some drawstring details from the blouses I cut up for fabric and made the quilt so it could be rolled and tied. Now it can be stored neatly on the corner of the bed and unrolled when needed!

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I have plans for a few more quilts this winter. Lots of cold evenings with needle and thread …

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

January 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Next painting for Isaac’s Way art auction …

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On January 25, 2016, the 25th Art Auction and Sale at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton, New Brunswick will come to an end. Only a few more days to own some reasonably-priced art and help kids-in-need. As of January 4, 2016 this 25th auction has sold 22 paintings and raised $7,600 for art lessons for kids. For a look at the paintings still available, visit http://isaacsway.ca/art/. To have a look at my submission to the 25th Art Auction, see my post for September 18, 2015 https://janetims.com/2015/09/18/art-auction-new-painting/

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My next submission, for the Isaac’s Way 26th Art Auction and Sale, is a landscape.  The piece features a view of the Saint John River, from the Nerepis Marsh at Grand Bay-Westfield towards the Westfield Ferry. It is entitled ‘across the bay’ (24” wide by 20” high, acrylic on canvas, unframed with gallery edges). This auction will run from January 27, 2016 to late May, 2016.  The proceeds from the auction will go to sponsor kids-in-need. I am donating 50% of the proceeds from my painting to the charity.

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‘across the bay’ Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

warming winter

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After Christmas, especially on cold evenings, I stay warm by making lap quilts. These little quilts warm you when you make them, and when you use them!

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the patchwork of the lap quilt I am making

the patchwork of the lap quilt I am making

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These evenings, I am working on a quilt for my guest room. The theme of the room is purple violets, so this quilt will use fabrics printed with various purple flowers.

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some of the patches I am using

some of the patches I am using

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My quilting methods are not academy worthy. I don’t follow any pattern and my stitches are a bit long and haphazard. Thanks to an aunt who gave me a store of left-over fabrics last year, I have lots of pretty fabric and quilt-backed material to use as a batt for my quilt.  I begin by measuring out the quilted fabric. My guest room lap quilt will be about a meter by a meter.

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I use ready-quilted fabric for the quilt batt

I use ready-quilted fabric for the quilt batt … the fabric doesn’t have to match the quilt patches because it will be covered in the end

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I cut rectangular blocks of fabric in random sizes and baste them to the backing. Then I apply other fabric patches by top-stitching. Gradually, the quilt takes shape.

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patches go on in a random pattern, wherever they seem to fit

patches go on in a random pattern, wherever they seem to fit

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For this quilt I have a plan to incorporate a drawstring tie, so the finished quilt can be rolled up and tied to use as a neck roll. For the ties I will use salvaged bits of the dresses I used for fabric patches.

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I like salvaging parts of the clothes I used to make the patches … pockets, ties, drawstrings and hems may make it into the finished quilt.

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Once one side of the quilt is done, I will work on the other side. I do the backing with wide strips of fabric, stitching through all layers of fabric so the whole quilt is sewn securely together. I’ll bind the quilt in more wide strips.

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My quilt will be done in five or six evenings. I will be showing you the final result! You can see one of my quilts from last January at https://janetims.com/2015/01/23/stitching-a-small-quilt/

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

January 11, 2016 at 7:05 am

Posted in strategies for winter

Tagged with , , ,

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