garden

Weekly Photo Challenge – Evanescent

If you don’t get up early enough in the morning, you may just miss the Evanescent moment of the morning dew on the flowers in the garden!!! Here is a view of a magical morning earlier this month when the dew bejewelled one of my Queen of Night Tulips…

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A Staycation!!!

What does that word mean to you? Have you ever taken one of those? And if so, what did you do? Or what would you do if you took one?

So I just had a staycation right here on Cortes Island… and I think it’s a really interesting thing to do and would suggest everyone to give it a try – whether it means taking five days, two weeks, or a month off your regular routine. Mine ended up lasting two weeks and instead of jetting off somewhere you have been before or on to an new adventure, try Staying Where You Live!!!

So I obviously stayed on Cortes Island, in  beautiful BC, Canada. I did this for many reasons: 1st – I love where I live as there are many activities to do here that I enjoy but don’t always give myself the time to enjoy… I am often too busy to – shall I say – smell the flowers and chillax. 2nd – I had a desire to slightly change my routine. For one thing, we went through a very long, cold winter which saw us spend much time inside, and then I co-produced an art event (Expose Yourself) that had me working from September to March and kept me at my computer more than I usually want or desire. I also created an art installation that grew beyond its original scope to something much bigger than planned, which meant a lot of work inside my studio (which I love!), and with the sunlight rising earlier and setting later, I started to feel antsy for the outdoors. And 3rd – I needed to not be distracted from who I really am, take some well needed time in my own brain to figure out what my next move/chapter/mission really is and figure out what do I love, what am I really into, what and who did I really want to vote for (politically as we just had an election in our province), what do I really stand for?

So of course, my staycation meant staying in my own environment – my home, my studio, and my brain! And with my family and away from social media (there were a few moments, I do admit, when I did go on social media but only for very specific reasons). It was refreshing in so many ways. Yes, I missed seeing what my friends were up to, chatting on my network because I do live in a very rural area and can be quite isolated. Taking a break from the computer however, helped me realize how much distraction there is on social media; it can take up so much space in your mind and leave little space to see how to get to the next step, or makes you lose focus and forget what your goals are in the first place.

My staycation turned out to be very interesting in ways I did not expect: For one thing, I saw things on Cortes Island I had never noticed before and will certainly share on some of those things in future posts. And the list of what I did accomplished during that time is quite extensive: I finished my online classes and started a new introductory class at the School for Aromatic Studies, which I also finished (this was very inspiring and brought me back to my roots in so many ways, but that’s for another blog post). I got all caught up with my spring work in my gardens. I  started installing the show that was created during the Curators Workshop for the upcoming season at The Cortes Island Museum on Refugee Cove. I brought out my hula-hoop again. I went boating on the Salish Sea. I went out for brunch with friends and had a beautiful dinner with my sweetheart at our local restaurant at the Gorge Marina, and spent countless hours walking up and down all the different white sandy beaches with my family. Yes, the one down side of a staycation is that you still have to do your chores, run your usual errands but at the same time, you know you will be sleeping in a clean and comfy bed and enjoy the food! So all in all, it was great and I am now ready to move on to an enjoyable rest of spring and a fruitful summer ahead, and keep working towards the next chapter of what “creating art” means to me. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to try a staycation someday because it was a thoroughly refreshing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my goals.

And here are a few photos of my staycation!!!

xoxo Laura Balducci

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Meet Ms. Boutika

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Ms. Boutika

Ms. Boutika is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin.” I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering.  Ms. Boutika was created and inspired by the idea of a flower shop. I recycled an old vintage lampshade to craft the skirt, first by gilding it with gold leaf to imbue it with the luxury of being surrounded by flowers; I then used dried flowers from my garden that I pressed myself, placed them on the lamp shade in the hope of creating a beautiful shadow when the light shined through it… and I am glad to say that it worked!

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Her body and her brown boots are made out of polymer clay. Ms. Boutika’s hair was naturally dyed with Queen Anne’s lace from my garden and I made her dreadlocks made from local Cortes Island wool by Joy Shipway. Back in the early 90s I had the opportunity to follow The Grateful Dead for seven shows and during that journey I made a necklace by sewing little red roses together with rose quartz beads; I had kept it all these years and decided that it was very suitable to adorn Ms. Boutika’s hair.

For your own experience of seeing the full art installation come to life, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Dense

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The garden beds are ready to be turned for Spring planting and are filled with organic matter, including: seaweed, rabbit compost, collected mulch of leaves and soil. It’s become Dense with nutrients that only need to be watered. This surely heralds an amazing season of fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowers ahead.

Here is some info about the material we collect and why we use it in our garden beds as fertilizer!!!

Seaweed  – Has 60 trace minerals and ready-to-use nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium; it also contains hormones that encourage plant growth. And unlike other garden amendments such as manure, seaweed does not need to decompose before being of benefit to your garden.

Bunny BerriesRabbit manure is dry, odourless, and comes in pellet form, which means it is suitable for direct use in the garden. It can be applied any time of the year and helps give your plants a boost during the growing season, and can also serve as a storehouse of nutrients when applied in the late fall and winter.

Well, this is the end of the gardening lesson… I will be sharing our results throughout the growing season, so stay tuned for more info, tips and inspiration!

Happy Gardening Season! xoxo

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Pure

At the end of every summer, we usually clean up our gardens and put them to rest for the following spring… I was taught to do this at a very early age by my very Italian Grandma (whom I love and miss dearly). Well last year, after seeing one of my good friends’ wild garden – which was very impressive – I decided to break the cycle. It is with Pure Excitement that I witnessed what happened next!!! I decided to share the spot I had reserved to plant my basil this year with tomatoes of various varieties – some of which were unknown to me – and much to my surprise, the bounty is astounding! I think permaculture is my new way of gardening… Sorry Grandma but I am pretty sure I won’t be cleaning my garden next year. Wink wink ; )

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another day another pick

I consider gardening and preserving food an art and Its been a very busy season.As we are in the middle of a big move we are also still picking from our existing garden that never seems to end.This years garden has produced 3 seasons worth of fresh vegs and fruit to eat since spring to fall and has also filled a big freezer,3 fridge freezers,and lots of shelves for the winter on wards.Today much to our surprise after a week of stormy weather !!!Another great pick of fresh vegs ,there is nothing like eating right out of your own organic garden daily.