September 30, 2007

A few creative randoms....

A few random photos:

The rhododendrons in the courtyard where my parent's pretty, and I caught the sun at a really interesting focal point above the flowers.

Some interesting drawings that Shantala and I drew while waiting for our dinner one evening at Montana's. This is her conception of a dragon's face...very cool, quite horse-like which would be in keeping with one of our favourite authors, Anne McCaffery and her Dragonrider books.
My sketch of a dragon. Whenever I sketch, I am reminded of the very first Art lesson of grade four. Our Art teacher was the principal and he came in to show us how to sketch a scene with a cliff, not too unlike my dragon's cliff below, but with the ocean and a boat below. For some reason that Art lesson always stuck out, maybe it was when I first really saw my own artwork look realistic instead of colouring in the pictures bought in some children's colouring book.

I wish I could draw better than I do. I wish I had taken more Art lessons, or at least paid attention more in Art class all throughout my school years. Anything I ever drew or moulded or painted or created always felt a little juvenile, at least more so than the other 'artists' in the class.

I'll admit that I feel that I am a creative person, but I think I can create in a more abstract way then realistic, like a sketch or drawing. I enjoy manipulating photos and images into something interesting and unique, I enjoy using colour and shapes and layout to create the few websites I maintain, and I love even taking photos, trying to capture that one image that pops out and awes someone, if only me.

September 27, 2007

New Favourites - Classic Drama

These past few days I have come down with a most dreadful cold, suffering aches and pains, various maladies of the head and throat, with added congestion and now coughs.
Therefore, I headed to my local movie rental house, in which I always seem to find treasures of entertainment and amusement of all kinds.
On these last few occasions I happened upon a quite large British Drama section housing many famous titles and proudly displaying the BBC logo. I passed over many I had already enjoyed, and in fact own, such as the BBC mini series "Pride and Prejudice", and the films of "Mansfield Park" and "Sense and Sensibility". I roamed on over the various selections and found several new mini series and films I had not yet discovered. As I was in need of some relaxing entertainment on my days off work on sick leave, I ventured forth and decided to take home a few new-to-me discs.

First I played the mini series "North and South", based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, and was thoroughly delighted! I hadn't even realized that I had only brought home disc 1 of 2, so on the abrupt ending of the first disc late one night, I cried out and eagerly bundled up and walked back to the store the next day to find disc 2 and finish off the tale.
For more information on this series see the brief description on the BBC website
The second series I delved into was another work of Gaskell's called "Wives and Daughters". Apparently this was the last novel written by the 18th century author which was left incomplete as she died before she tied all the loose ends. Having not read the novel and have nothing to compare the film to, I greatly admire the way the BBC ended this series.
See more information on the Internet Movie Database website

Finally, found a Jane Austin novel adaptation of "Persuasion" that I had not yet seen. This film had me enthralled by the tension, the mishaps and miscommunication. All the characters come to life in a very realistic way, more so, I think, than any other period drama I have encountered. Somehow, these families look and feel so very lifelike and plausible. I am also now in admiration of the actor CiarĂ¡n Hinds (yes, I do realize he is way too old for me!)

More information on the IMDB here.

I am now inspired and determined to find these novels and begin reading the original texts.

I highly recommend all of these films to you, if you desire a strong dose of romance, silly dysfunctional families, lovely dear friends, heart-squeezing reconciliations and throat-closing proclamations of love!!!

September 16, 2007

Foggy Dayz - for those of you not on facebook...

I love summer for the hot days, the sunshine, the beach trips, the suntans and the sandal weather. But I must say, I love the Fall and Autumn season! Evenings cool with crisp air off the ocean, days with sun but clouds or fog rolling in, I love it all! I love the sweater season, wearing warm vests or hoodies and bundling up for walks. I love a mug of hot tea and a cozy quilt while watching a movie and my little dog Sophie cuddling up all snug.
I am happy to say...Fall is Here!!
Lately we've had quite a few foggy days and evenings, and here are a few cool foggy photos I took. Sophie and I down on Gonzales Bay, then Sophie, Shantala and I along the Ross Bay area.

Shantala taking some neat shots of the fog and ocean.

Sophie just would not stay still for a second for me to get a shot of her on the rocks with the fog.

Although this last Sophie photo is kinda cool.

This one of me is dark but I really like it!

Where's Shantala? Can you spot her?

Sophie spots her, and is watching her clambour over the rocks...

I felt like a ship from Pirates of the Caribbean would come sneaking out of the fog any second!

The water was so smooth and silky, like blown glass or rippling satin.

Ross Bay - so foggy we couldn't see the other side where Clover Point is. Crazy!

September 4, 2007

Camp Imadene - My Journey Through Time

At the end of my summer, after 2 weeks of holidays over Alberta and BC on a lovely road trip tagging along after my parents, I somewhat hastily offered to help out at a youth summer camp that was as unfamiliar to me as beets are to bears....ask me some other time about that comparison.
I heard they were in need of a few more female cabin leaders (counsellors) and that they also needed some help with the fun and often hilarious videos that the leaders make to tie together the night games to some sort of plot in order to get the youths all riled up and raring to play.
So Sophie moped and sulked while she watched me (over) pack up my suitcase and all my computer gadgets and cables. Off I went to Camp Imadene, ready for a week of adventuresome fun and relaxation.
At this point I should pause to inform you of all my previous camp experiences. I have been a long-time, almost life-long, attendee and volunteer of Nanoose Bay Camp. I have done all sorts of various job at Nanoose; nursery worker, kid's camp counsellor, teen camp counsellor, worship team back-up singer, team head coach.....but most recently, I have helped Nanoose Teen Camp by way of the video/tech team. We ran all the media and filmed, edited and created daily videos of sports and other activities, including at least one funny video creation, and produced Camp videos for the end of the week.
The only other camp I have ever attended was Lakelse Lake Camp in Terrace, BC, one year at the age of 9 for a week of Kid's Camp. Though I have fond snippets of memories from that time, I do not remember much about what the camp was like, nor even the type of programs that were run for the week.
Let me pull you back to the present as I drove my brim-filled small red car up island towards the mystical and well-liked fable camp that is Imadene. I have heard nothing but good comments regarding the facility and the events that go on at Imadene, so I expected to have at least an enjoyable experience on the grounds no matter what my cabin full of youthful teen aged girls held in store for me.
Well....let me tell Imadene is B-E-Autiful!!!!!
They are situated on the small Mesachie Lake, south of Lake Cowichan, with pristine green lawns and fields sloping towards both the swimming area and dock, complete with slide and diving board, and to the ski dock, where two shiny boats awaited it's passengers to indulge in tubing, wake boarding or surfing or water skiing.

The buildings are small, but cozy and very well-kept. The chapel and dinning hall fit the entire compliment of campers and counsellors with the remaining staff to eat on sheltered picnic tables outside. To get to the circles of camper cabins, you must wander through a forested area that has been liberated of any choking underbrush, bushes or grasses, so walking through there late a night in the dark is not problem as long as you have the general direction in mind. The cabins, though a bit rustic with gaps between walls and roof are well-built and very large to accommodate 12 youth and 2 leaders. There are also other areas of the camp I didn't venture too much into, such as the Dryshed, an indoor gymnasium or sorts, the canoe dock and probably other places I didn't even find while on my first visit there.
I arrived Saturday afternoon with the other cabin leaders. We had a great time getting to know one another with games and chatter and a run through of rules and expectations for the week. I was one of only 2 leaders who had never been to Imadene before so I did feel a little out of the loop, but luckily my fellow cabin leader for the week was Amy who I had met from a few getogethers out of my church in Victoria. We decorated our cabin with blinking Christmas lights and hid our stashes of sugary treats to dole out over the week to come.
Sunday morning we, the leaders and staff, had our own chapel time where Andy, the speaker for the week and our own Student Ministries Pastor/Director, spoke to us about trying to reach into the lives of these youth to encourage great potential.
After lunch we all get decked out into our superhero costumes to welcome the campers to our Superhero Academy-themed Camp.
Soon we had a cabin full of talkative teens all getting their bunks settled with a few parents lingering and saying their goodbyes.
My cabin consisted of: myself and Amy with our campers - Jaimie, Marley, Julia, Hilary, Olivia, Kaitlyn, Marie, Claire, Emily, Dorothea and Meghan.

I simply cannot recall all that went on day-today over the entire week but I will say that the games were fun and crazy and full of running and glow sticks and water, with a few bumps and bruises along the way. The chapels were encouraging, well-thought out, touching, meaningful, deep, honest and reached my girls on all different levels. The meals were excellent, delicious, scrumptious and great!!! The activities and free time were full of fun with canoeing, skidock, swimming, soccer, dodge ball, Bead Tent (crafts, jewelry and book binding), rock climbing and many more I can't remember.

My cabin, as did all other cabins, went through the Challenge Course but in exceptional time with such wonderful teamwork and encouragement!!
We had the Spiderweb Challenge and I wish I had more photos, but here's one example. We had to lift, carry, push and cradle everyone up, over and through a wall of rope webbing, through all different sized holes, without touching the wall, the ropes or coming back through once over. Sound simple? I assure you, it was not! However, I am so very proud of the group my girls for what they accomplished!!

Friday morning we packed up our gear, hugged, exchanged contact info and began to head out our own separate ways back to our homes.

I had an exceptional week and loved every minute of it! Although I was extremely tired and store from a few too many crazy night games and um....the late night dance parties in our cabin!!

I love you all, my fellow Imadene-ers and I can't wait to help out in some way next summer.....maybe.....if I can....I'll try!!!!

Below are a few photos of our week....
some are self-explanatory...
some are a little on the crazy sized and I don't want to explain!!!

Sad to see everyone go home and to leave Camp!

Happy to go home and sleep in our own beds!!

PS - THANKS to Julia and Marley - I borrowed some photos from your Facebook to help make this blog post look better! I can't believe I didn't take more photos!! Next time!