Saturday, June 11, 2011


You might be wondering, "What is that?" Look hard, what do you see?
I live in the coastal rainforest of British Columbia. The name of the community is Refuge Cove on West Redonda Island, in the middle of Desolation Sound. This community is a land and housing cooperative shared by 18 shareholders, our family being one of them.
You enter " Refuge" from the series of docks, where, depending on the month of the year, you can see a wide range of qualities and quantities of boats moored there. In the summer months, it is a mecca for boaters in search of fuel, groceries, a meal out, perusing through the book exchange, or just some socializing-on-the-dock time. You might even catch a game of washers. In the wintertime, you may see a few float houses and a skiff or two.
Past the "commercial zone" are the "keep out" gates, the boundary of the members-only zone. This is how you would come to my house. I pass boardwalk, hillside and the last 100 feet of thick forest, which pops right onto the bluff where our house sits. This little forest trail has become the home for a few of my ceramic, metal or glass collectibles. I was ready to part with them (probably more like a de-cluttering mood) and decided to give them a new home along this trail. This all started about six years ago so some of the items have a nice coat of moss on them by this time and are getting hard to see.
Today five fairy houses appeared on this magical little mossy path. They are made of sticks, moss, rocks, pinecones and built into the natural curvature of the rock cliff that winds its way next to our path. They are hard to spot, but they are definitely fairy houses. (I don't think the fairies are living there yet, but are probably on their way.)
Who built those fairy houses? My niece, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Chris, were visiting for a week, and just this morning, I walked them to the boat to say good-by. On our way down the hill at 5:30 am, they mentioned for me to look for the fairy houses. It took a moment, but my eye finally tuned in. They had created them the previous afternoon, adding more magic to the path.
So the little quilt journal piece above is a fairy house. It's the one built under a cleft of rock that has the perfect triangle shape, so naturally created by the moss. Sarah and Chris added the finishing touches: sticks rocks, more moss, pinecones.
I've been trying to come up with an idea for this quilt journal challenge with the theme of "TODAY". Lately I've been in the sort of creative funk that does not allow me to have fast reaction times (from idea to reality in just one day???? You must be kidding!). Once I had taken photos of all five fairy houses and got to looking at them, putting it onto fabric seemed like a doable project, with the main idea to create a basic structure, similar to one the actual homes, covered with lots and lots of green stitching to represent the moss. It was therapeutic and the perfect activity to get some of the spider webs and kinks out of my free motion system. I finished, not on the "today", but on the "tomorrow" which isn't too bad for me.
So on this "TODAY" (which actually was the "today" of about 5 days ago), the fairy houses appeared, and Sarah and Chris left Refuge Cove for their return to Annapolis, Maryland, after a fantastic week-long visit. Two, bright and capable recent college graduates, they truly appreciated the uniqueness of our environment and took advantage of all the highlights of Refuge Cove: kayaking, canoeing and swimming in the lake, fishing, prawning, hiking, eating amazing home-harvested meals, playing washers, and enjoying family time together in a special surrounding.
Each time I walk down our path, I look hard to find the "fairy houses" that are tucked so secretively along the path and in the cliffside. Warm memories of a good visit come back to me.
Here's one of the real fairy houses: