Wednesday, July 30, 2008
From a lovely book by Eva Strickler and Anaoyok Allokee.
The below image is from the Canadian Museum of Civilisation. A perfect sealskin and cotton doll made in 1914 in Labrador. She's a true reflection in miniature of the dress of those living in the district from which she came. It's her represented height that strikes me most.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
3rd floor servants' quarters.
Swallows painted on the wall in her large 2nd floor work room,
where she started many a seedling.
Mosquito Bite Me Not.
The main hall.
The ceiling in George Black's study.
Servants' bath on the 3rd floor.
The dining room, its windows covered with beautiful hand-dyed
and block-printed linen drapes.
A globe light fixture in the stairwell.
Parquet flooring and avocado velvet drapery in the drawing room .
A grape cushion with hand-tatting on the chesterfield in the living room.
While in Dawson last weekend I had the pleasure of being led through two of my dear Janice Cliff's Parks Canada tours: Dawson proper and the Commissioner's residence on front street. DELIGHTFUL. Janice's manner is so engaging. She's a wealth of knowledge. Loved every minute of it, especially the ends - poking through the secret parts.
The Commissioner's Residence was the home of Chatelaine Martha Black and her Commissioner husband George Black from 1912 - 1916. Martha was one those extra-ordinary women drawn to abandon her existence of wealth and comfort in Chicago for the Klondike. She fell in great love with this place, created a long, remarkable life here and died here at the age of 91.
In the late 1800's, after refusing to join her then husband William Purdy in the Sandwich Islands, Martha came up North with her brother, crossed the Chilkoot Trail on foot (with the sole knowledge she was with child) and arrived in Dawson to give birth to her third son, alone in a cabin in January 1899.
An artistic botanist, war worker, politician, lecturer, correspondent, writer, wife and mother, Martha was an elegant, tough, and ethical lady respected at all levels of Dawson society. In 1935, at the age of 70, she was the second woman (to Agnes Campbell McPhail) elected to the House of Commons, replacing her ill husband as representative of the Yukon. Among the issues she pursued where public health, pensions for the blind and nature conservation.
The house was totaled by fire and flood in the 1900's and has since been partially restored by Parks according to photographs. The Sisters of St. Anne occupied the building during the 1940's and 50's as residents and keepers of a senior citizen's home. The main floor is fully restored to 1916 as Martha and George would have known it. The 2nd floor is mainly empty of furnishings but bears the wallpaper and floral linoleum of the Sister's time, their iron beds and washstands. The bathrooms on the 3rd floor are stunning with their clawfoot tubs and honeycomb tile and the exquisite light from little windows.
The house holds a strong sense of Martha: a lady of compassion and attentiveness to detail, who painted lovely swallows and always smiled in photographs.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
She's a week old today! & will come to live with me in September.
Mum, Lollie, and the full litter of four pups: 3 males and little Alice the peach pie.
And Dad, Toblerone, with a dirty Santa last Christmas.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Chera and I have been walking with the dogs near her house, marveling at the flowers.
Spreading Dogbane (pink)
Smooth Fleabane (pale purple)
Three Toothed Saxifrage (whitish-pink w/ teeny speckles)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
A Book of knitting patterns for babies, thrifted at the Whitehorse Sally Ann.
When I picked this up in the store and leafed through it I caught myself with my mouth wide open, then started looking around my immediate vicinity for a staff member, like you've gotta be kidding me - has anyone SEEN THIS??????
Hello, grown men,
Hello, tragic ones, bawling your little eyes out.
And Hello, adorable Little Miss in your twin set (plastic tennis racket conveniently tossed aside)
Sweet yin-yang pair in your blue and white britches and tank tops.