8 Days of Changing Landscapes


This gallery contains 11 photos.

A roadtrip this long deserves more time and reflection, until then, here is an overview of the landscapes we passed through last week – from the west coast to the Rockies and back again. Continue reading

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Crawling for Art: The Eastside Cultural Crawl

Vancouver’s Eastside Cultural Crawl takes place each fall with hundreds of artists opening their studios to the public. At last night’s opening event I took in just a few of the participating studios. Just a few still adds up to an overwhelming amount of art with everything from jewelry and furniture to paintings and sculptures, and yes some textiles were in the mix. As much as I’d love to give you detailed information on my top favorites it feels fitting to give you an overwhelming list of memorable artists. To find out more about the artists click on their images or find them in the list of links at the bottom. There is no particular order to the list.

Robyn Drage

Jen Hong

David Robinson

Arleigh Wood


Fiona Ackerman


Lisa Ochowycz

Claire Madill, Heyday Design

Jim Park

Laura McKibbon, Cul de Sac Design

Ann Thinghuus

Tanis Saxby


Crawling artists on the web

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Mission to Mission: from landmark to destination

Mission, BC
The future our mission

Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Fraser Valley
Regional District Fraser Valley Regional District
Founded 1868
Incorporated 1892
Population (2006) City: 34,505
Metro: 159,020

Mission Abbey - 3.bp.blogspot.com

Summers as a child were filled with family road-trips; camping at Harrison Lake or in Manning Park and longer trips through the Okanagan with stays at a cousin’s hobby farm in Salmon Arm. Mission, about an hour outside of Vancouver, was always a marker on these vacations. Leaving the city it was the marker of how much gas we needed. The price of gas drops dramatically when you reach Mission making it the first stop on our journeys. The spot where this price change occurs is marked by an intersection to no place of much significance, each corner of the T hosting a gas station. As of earlier this week the going rate was 104.9 a litter ($1.049) versus the 116.2 charged in the Vancouver and most of the lower-mainland. 

On the return trip the abbey atop Mission Hill was a landmark for dinner and a foreseeable end to the drive. As I’d grow restless after hours of driving and long since board of the valley landscape I would bombard my parents with “when do we get there” “I’m hungry” and any number of ploys to get out of the car. Instead of providing me with a time stamp and ETA my dad would point to the abbey off in the norther side of the valley and promise this would be our dinner stop. With this landmark I could see the target approaching and as I got older I altered the question to “when do we get to Mission?” and later to pointing the abbey out and informing the grown-ups this would be our next stop. 

Fraser River near Mission BC by M. Lounsbery - http://www.kissmycountry.com

Mission has gone from a road-trip landmark to a destination. About a ten years ago my father settled in Mission, purchasing a rancher style house and acquiring a small fleet of cats. While I prefer the bustle and convenience of city living I can appreciate the appeal of Mission. Unlike so many of the municipalities in the lower mainland, Mission has held onto its small town feel. There are the strip malls and massive chain stores that sprawl on the towns edges but the city center remains a four block stretch along the Lougheed highway and the Fraser River, farmlands and wilderness surround the town. 


My refusal to drive has limited my trips to Mission but the introduction of the Westcoast Express train line has made it easier. The system is a commuter line running Monday thru Friday, traveling west in the mornings and east in the evenings. On weekends like this, I book off the Saturday and leave work early on Friday returning early on Monday morning. It isn’t the ideal system but it works and the view is lovely. 

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Summer Meanderings

For some odd reason the desire to sit myself down and blog has been evading me. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the spectacular summer weather and sun past 9 pm. Well, perhaps that’s a factor. 

I keep envisioning myself sitting on the patio and typing away but I get distracted by the plants – this one needs water and that needs some pruning, and, oh my, this one has just sprung into bloom. So I’m fessing up, I have nothing to report. No new prints, although I have some ideas I want to run with. No crochet creations, I started a couple but … No new paintings, no crazy new finds.

What I have been doing is enjoying the sun. Caribbean festival, Cypress Mountain, my Dad’s in Mission. In fact, I am almost obsessed with the idea of finding a lake to jump into. There are lots in the area so it’s not as much about “finding” as it is about getting myself to one.

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These are just some of the lakes in the area. One of the amazing things about living in Vancouver is that you don’t have to go far to find wilderness, and lets face it, “Beautiful British Columbia” was a very fitting catch phrase and I’m not sure why they changed it. 

If I was a little more adventurous or had a partner that was, I’d likely end up at Garabaldi or Diamond Head. I’m not and he definitely isn’t so what ever lake we end up at it will be one we can drive right up to (and has flush toilets).