Friday, August 30, 2013

Exploring the Kootenays

Part 1 
Nelson & Skimmerhorn Winery

As we settle in more and more, we feel now ready to explore our beautiful new homeland a bit.
This last week we spontaneously decided to check out Nelson, a little town nestled at the banks of the Kootenay Lake, and surrounded by mountain ranges.
Nelson is called the coolest city in BC, not because of the temperature but rather it's vibe.
We arrived right in time to have a stroll through the Baker Street Market

where local farmer and artisans offer their goods,

and street performers enjoy an engaged audience.

The downtown streets are bustling with life

and radiate an eclectic and uplifting vibe.

It reminded me a lot of downtown Santa Cruz in California, with a mountain culture instead of a beach culture.

After a long stroll through the neighborhood we checked in at our historic hotel, the Hume Hotel, "Nelson’s hip, heritage hotel since 1898"
The Hume Hotel got renovated, I believe in 2005, with great attention to detail and managed to combine modern hospitality with heritage feeling.

We had a newly renovated suite on the 4th floor with a great view.
Unfortunately the hotel restaurant could not keep up with the quality that was promised......

After a delicious organic Belgian Chocolate croissant breakfast at the Kootenay Bakery Cafe, the next morning I went off shopping at the Kootenay Coop, a member-owned cooperative we had heard about at the Permacultur Conference here in Kimberley and that I wanted to check out ever since.
Organic food shopping heaven for me...;-)

Leaving Nelson with the promise to come back soon we headed back home, but not without stopping in Creston to visit the Skimmerhorn Winery. A real highlight of our short trip.

Skimmerhorn Winery overlooks the almost Tuscany like Creston Valley. A so called "banana belt" providing just the right climate for vineyards and orchards.

I was debating if I even should mention it, since I rather would like it to be a well kept secret...the Bistro at Skimmerhorn is absolutely outstanding. Seating only a few guests out on a lovely patio, the ambiance and the food are to die for.
Oliver, my husband, is really hard to please when it comes to restaurants and food, and he is still raving...

After a scrumptious lunch, a wine tasting and stocking up on Skimmerhorn wine it was time to head home...we will be back here, too!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August Conservation Tip


....the art of finding new uses for old items

The oldest form of repurposing I can remember are these old Chianti bottles brought home from Italy and then used as candle holders....luckily we got more inventive over time...

All of us probably have something stored away, with the thought it would be a pity to throw it away, but not really sure what to to with it.

Here some ideas:

The dog bed

Our dogs love to snuggle on our clothes, especially on warm, cozy sweaters. As I saw this idea, I knew what to do with our old fleece sweaters.

Fill the arms and the shoulder area with other old clothes and pad the middle.

Then arrange the arms in a circle and attach them to each other.

And you have a cozy dog bed in seconds

...behind the scenes shot...the cat seems to like it, too.

If you don't have an old sweater, but other old clothes and are in need of a new dog bed, check out Molly Mutt for more ideas and inspiration.

Outdoor cushions

I bet you have some old blankets and pillows stored away,

why not give them a new life as outdoor cushions.
Here I bought some UV resistant outdoor fabric and sewed some really simple outdoor cushions. Enjoyed by everyone.

The chicken wire frame

I won this chicken wire frame from Hill Jilly Boutique here in Cranbrook at a facebook give away. I think it is a great idea to reuse an old picture frame!

The glove vase

Ok, I confess, a bit unusual, but....

A very good friend of mine gave me these gloves a few years ago and it was the best pair of working gloves I ever had. I climbed the Half Dome cables with them, carried around countless hay bales, longed my horse and much more...and then it happened....I lost one of them. I know where I lost it and I went back there many times, but I never found the glove. Now can I throw away the other one? Nope. Just recently I opened a new test tube style vanilla bean container when it hit me: The vanilla bean container would fit exactly in one finger of the glove, so I collected three of these vanilla bean "tubes", put them into the three middle fingers of the glove, hung the glove on the wall and...had a nice little wall vase, honoring my glove! This would also work with an old work glove in a workshop, not as vase but for your most used screw drivers etc.

Local (East Kootenay) stores that specialize in "repurposing":

Salvar Design

Hill Jilly Boutique

And for even more inspiration, here some cool websites you should check out:

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Epson International Photographic Pano Awards 2013

I'm happy to announce that two of my submitted images earned bronze awards at the fourth Epson International Photographic Pano Awards.

"The fourth Epson International Pano Awards is dedicated to the art of panoramic photography and showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide. The Epson International Photographic Pano Awards is the largest and most important competition for panoramic photography. "

There are two entry classes, one for amateurs (amateur) and one for professional photographers and amateurs (open), with two categories each, Nature and The Built Environment.

Open Competition Nature Category:                                         
Paradise Harbour, Antarctic Peninsula

Open Competition The Built Environment Category:                                         
San Francisco Sunrise