New Cedar Wand

It has been a while since I have taken up my carving knife to create a new wand. I find that carving is rarely something which I can do without the right attitude. Still, when the spirit of inspiration strikes I must be ready. I started this wand more than a month ago and bit by bit I completed it.

I used a new finish this time around. Normally I use walnut oil, but I wanted to try linseed oil for a change. I really enjoy the smell and texture which linseed oil has on wood. I’m not quite sure which I prefer so I may simply mix and match the two from now on. We’ll see.


Pulpit Rock Day Hike

Perhaps the most well known hike near Nelson BC is Pulpit Rock. Pulpit can be seen from almost anywhere in town on the side of Elephant Mountain (real name Mt Nelson). The climb is short but steep and results in a panoramic view of the city of Nelson.

It has been a long time since I have gone on this particular hike. The trailhead used to be on private property and the trail was poorly maintained. Now it seems that great improvements have been made. There is a new trail head on the side of a public road and stairs have been installed along some of the steeper parts of the trail. I was a little overwhelmed by the steepness of the trail, something which had lessened in my recollections. Nevertheless, the trail was very enjoyable, if a little short. The view alone is certainly worth the effort.

On my way back down, the need for new footwear became readily apparent. I am trying to avoid buying new things as a part of my experimentation with minimalism. So I have been putting off purchasing new hiking shoes for a while and the tread on my current pare is rapidly deteriorating. I slipped and scraped up my hand while stopping myself from sliding all the way off the trail. Before I go on anymore hikes, I will have to buy a new pare of hiking shoes.

More Book Covers

Yesterday I completed three more book covers. For each cover, I used a different technique. For each cover, I used a slightly different technique. For my copy of Animals as Teachers and Healers by Susan Chernak McElroy, I decided to try to create the cover on top of the existing soft cover. Visually, the book turned out well, but the binding is very stiff. For the other two projects, I fully removed the covers. I used paper with ribbon trim for the finish material as opposed to using just fabric as with my first project. For the third book; The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, I covered the spine in a grey/silver velvet and the rest in paper. Finally, I have an old copy of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Howard Pyle. This is the very first ‘novel’ that I ever read and I have held onto it ever since. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this book and the cover was ripped and falling off. I chose to cover the book in a plain deep purple velvet. This binding technique varies from my first in a few minor ways. First, the text block is held to the cover by paper, not cloth, and second, the first and last pages are not sacrificed by gluing them to the leaves connected to the cover.

Creating Hardcovers For My Books

A few months ago I donated most of my books in an effort to live minimally. Those books that I did keep are the ones which I reread or that I have a special attachment to. Even though some of these books are old or falling apart after years of reading, I still want to hold on to them. I have made a notebook from scratch before and when I was ten, created a hardcover for my copy of Eragon with some success. I have decided to relearn that skill, improve upon it and to make new hardcovers for all of my books which are not already beautiful. This is an art project perfect for minimalism as you do not end up with more things than you started out with, only more beautiful ones. For my first attempt, I decided to start simple and create a cover for my copy of The Fifth Sacred Thing in black cloth with a patterned paper for the lining. I mostly followed this instructables tutorial though I did make a few changes most notably the addition of faux headbands created by folding two pieces of cloth in half (see image 2 below). I find their addition to greatly add to the complete look of the book. The entire process of creating a hardcover is easier than one might think, though it is important to pay attention to every minor detail especially early on. One thing which I have yet to do is mark the title and author on the outside of the book. I am currently looking for a set of alphabet stamps that will allow every book to have a uniform feel when viewed together. I plan on creating more covers and on trying new techniques. Hopefully, my library will only expand in quality, not quantity.

Hiking The Gimli Ridge Trail

Today, I ascended the Gimli Ridge Trail with three others; two family friends Tim and Gary, and my grade school teacher Phil. We left early and spent an hour ascending a logging road in Tim’s 4×4. The trail itself starts of tamely. A thin track cuts straight through the trees and Mount Gimli can be seen high in the distance through the gap of the trail itself. The air in the forest was muggy, but the sky was full of clouds so the temperature was relatively low. After crossing a small creek by way of a new bridge, the trail’s incline increases. Spruce and fir trees line the switchbacks which make up the first part of the trail. We took the first half of the climb slowly which gave us the opportunity to fully take in each new vista that came into view. The Valhalla Mountains are some of the most beautiful and un-adulterated mountains in the area and they are truly wondrous to behold.

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