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Touring Grey-Bruce

It's a grand day at the farmette after a long Saturday of off-and-on rain that generated nearly 2.5 centimetres of the wet stuff in the gauge.

I love it when I can be tour operator for my friends. Yesterday, Jane, who lives in Toronto and I took a day trip to Paisley and Owen Sound to take in the sights.

Nature's Millworks in Paisley is a terrific old (circa 1885) converted flour mill that Rob and I have visited a number of times. Helen and Paul Crysler are the proprietors and they're quite simply the best – very supportive and engaged in the community and always looking to help local talent.

Right now, the second floor is dedicated to the Spring into Summer art sale focusing on local artisan crafts, paintings, furniture and sculptures. It's a wonderful place, and well suited to their tag line - the best darn mill by a dam site!

There was so much! Stained glass, hand woven towels and bags, silver jewelry, luscious paintings, oh my.

I especially liked the startling colours of the Frida Kahlo by artist Cindy McKenna. Her work is all over the mill and I even picked up a wee card depicting the local mythological local monster Saugie (who apparently lurks in the Saugeen River) that caught my eye. I love the intricacy and detail of her works.

We moved on for lunch in town at the Big Dipper Bakery and Chocolaterie. A cozy, homey place where the food is amazing, to say the least. Jane had a chicken satay and salad with curried rice and scrumptious peanut sauce. I went for the fancy (and delicious) BLT on a panini. This was taken before she indulged, but I can confirm from her that it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Next up was Owen Sound and the Tom Thomson art gallery. There, we were treated to a couple of really amazing shows. One was by Barbara Sprague, a long-time Ontario artist who now lives in Southampton. She got the idea to recreate her wedding dress in a stunning piece of art. It had been carefully packed away decades ago along with the pattern.

She used the pieces as a guide to draw a women's inner body - bones and all - interspersed with images of her matrilineal family, flowers, butterflies and dozens of other iconic symbols.

The art was then used to make an actual dress, and as you can tell, the results are stunning. I especially like the front panel, where it looks like her great-great grandmother is holding one of the main arteries that feeds blood to the heart. Amazing, eh?

Well, the sun's out, the garden is calling and I need to get a curried potato salad done for the barbecue we're having later at the Thornton's. So catch you all up next week.

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