Monday, June 27, 2011

Flowers and Felines

At a shop called Olga's.
Graphite fiddlehead fern, feather and branch.

The most perfect rosebud.


Orcas Islanding

Just returned from a sunshine-filled two-day trip to Orcas Island. We stayed at Deer Harbor Inn (which came with wonderful free food, due to our Living Social coupon. A bottle of Pinot Gris, cheese and crackers, a pair of boxed lunches with gorgeous house-smoked wild salmon and a breakfast spread.) 

View from inside the Orcas Hotel, built in 1904. A brochure claimed connections to bootleggers, outlaws and a ghost.
 Bought a pretty, round-bellied mug from Orcas Island Pottery, a gallery/garden by the sea showcasing handmade ceramic goodies. And guarded by two handsome cats named Max and Duke.

One of several cabins filled with cups and plates and bowls for sale.
There was a treehouse!
View into the backyard from the treehouse.
Rob bought one of these. 
Gnarled driftwood.
Wooden swing!

We stopped at a self-serve farm stand and picked up some fresh goat chevre, a rolling pin and A CAST IRON COFFEE TABLE. The thing is a tad ridiculous, but so full of character.

Friday, June 17, 2011

From hunting tool and weapon to ornament

I was asked by a friend a few weeks ago to make a special Father's Day and retirement gift for his father- two bolo ties to celebrate his Christian faith and his long career as a surgeon.

The chi-ro symbol, composed of the first two letters of the Greek word christos. It is also found in marginalia to denote pertinent passages, used by pagan Greeks as shorthand for the word chreston, which means good.
The rod of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine, entwined with a serpent, symbol of rejuvenation and rebirth.
I had always thought of the bolo or bola tie as an essential part of American western wear, but of course its roots reach more broadly into time and space. The word bola comes from boleadora, a type of lariat used by native South Americans and gauchos to capture wayward cattle and large birds and also as a fighting weapon. I was surprised to discover that there are also surviving examples of boleadoras from Ming and Qing dynasty China as well as from the Inuit and Eskimo cultures (where the tool is called qilumitautit).

Ming dynasty Chinese boleadora