Category Archives: crafts and skills

Tracks

I get to work teaching canoeing. One of the small wonders of this job is spending time connecting with the animals that have left a shadow of their souls in the footprints they leave on the beach.
Two of my favourites: the elusive mustelid, the mink, whose slinky body and webbed feet adorn sand as it goes foraging for fish and small rodents. second, the muskrats, whose tracks remained a mystery to me for years, with their special halo of hair on their bare feet to help with swimming. These two share in a predator/prey relationship, both have beautiful pelts, and both leave me excited when I leave my tracks alongside theirs.

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Dream catcher

I wanted to do something else for my sweetie, and wanted to use those plant presses I had made before. So I attached them to a home made dream catcher. I added shells, sea glass, and washers that Luke’s sister had in her beading trays.
I think it turned out pretty good!

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Fusion knitting

My sweetie is a surfer and I figured I would make him some warm surf gear for when he hits the waves on the chilly west coast. So I knit him this. I sewed a button so that the scarf can stay all tied up while he’s warming up. Originally, it was a deer phalange, but Jax the dog somehow managed to removed the sewn on button and eat it without harming the scarf. So I sawed off a piece of antler, drilled a couple of holes into it, et voila!

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Plant press with a twist

My buddy Luke’s sister, who we are staying with in L.A. had this great idea for plant presses with fimo. They are beautiful, and are a fun way to infuse nature into your home. It’s simple: collect some plants (I did sequoia, California live oak, and lavender) press them into some fimo, and bake. I wrote their common name on their back, and they make beads, magnets, and wall hangings. Great gifts!

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California adventures 1

I’m in California, hence the adventure series. One if the things I love about parks is visiting their nature centres. You get a chance to see just how the animals around you look, which is helpful, since you probably won’t get to see them in real life. They also provide you with tons of naturalist info about that species, which helps you better identify track and sign in a new ecosystem. Here are some examples!

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bobcat
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Teaching outside

My buddy Steve hired me to work some weekend programs for kids. One of my favourite things is coming up with fun and exciting ways to wake them up in the a.m., because we take away their watches. Steve dressed up as a dragonfly with a fox tail, and me as a bear with moose antlers. Both our costumes were home made! Steve
Played guitar while I danced in the twilight, and I think it set the tone just right for the rest of our wilderness adventure. Steve turned to me on the first morning and said:” how could they be expecting this?” Exactly. That’s the whole point! Act in a way that blurs the boundary between kid behaviour and adult behaviour, to show that adults can and still do play. I love my job!

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Eating bugs

My sister had her birthday out in the country, and naturally, the nephews were there. Someone needed to watch them out in the front garden where they can play. I figured it would be a fun activity to try my hand at harvesting grasshoppers with them. In a few hours, we harvested a quarter of a ball jar of grasshoppers, most of which were fat from stealing kale from the garden. I brought them home and froze them to kill them, then removed the heads and legs. I fried them up in butter and chilli and shared them with my roommate ( seen below) because eating grasshoppers kind of freaked me out. But guess what? They were delicious, and honestly quite beautiful! Hooray!

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