Monday, 18 June 2018

Touching Life

for me
is most important.
It connects me to my work
more so than seeing it displayed on a wall.
Touch is memory.
Touch is healing.

In preparing for a show I have to
think of the visual too.
Remind myself that presentation is important.
So, for that reason I am stitching galvanized nails
to the bottom of my long narrow paths.
I am thinking the weight will keep them hanging nicely.

As I stitch I spy a precious rock that I have carried with me for years.
A talisman of sorts
A tactile memory of a difficult time in my life.
Strangely enough I hadn't thought of including it 
as one of my stones for 'Stone Pathways'.

As I stitch I am also musing on what
the next daily stitching journal will be.
drawing outlines of important things
like my tiny piece of whittling
done on the shores of Georgian Bay
when my three boys were oh so young.

Perhaps these would be a part of a project like that.
Small bits and pieces from my life
that are always with me
kept safely in a pouch.
We shall see.

I hope you have a collection of talismans from your life
that might inspire.
Sometimes we ignore the things we see or touch every day.

Monday, 4 June 2018


Daily Scratchings
was a large part of my life for four years.
Recording time passing
Stitching every day.

It will be shown it in it's entirety for the first time this summer,
all 200 feet of it.
I am working on it at the moment
checking it out and adding tabs for the first day of each month.
Sometimes adding to the writing on the back
where I had written about special days and thoughts.
I hope you can visualize the
difficulty I am having in controlling a 200 foot 'snake' on the tables in my studio!

But that is the least of my worries.
Which photos to use for promotions
Which words to use in Bios
artist statements
backs of cards
are decisions that are simply freaking me out!

I have to say that the blue section above
is a favourite of mine.
It includes the day that we received news from our insurance
that my car was a write-off
killed by chewing mice! 

Back when it was a more manageable size
It was easily rolled around a stick
and taken hither and thither.

Another favourite
when I spied a crow flying overhead
with the biggest twig he could manage.

At this moment I might be quietly freaking out
I am so looking forward to having this show with my dear friend
 the Mary E Black gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Where The Stones Are

Stones come in every shape and size don't they.

Every day for a year I have picked up a stone
Carried it home in a pocket

Felt it's weight and texture in the palm of my hand and....

....I have wondered what each stone has seen in it's lifetime
for it has lived thousands of years longer than I ever will.

I have wondered who, through the centuries, could have walked upon each stone.

 Did any small boy, or man for that matter,
Use my chosen rock as a weapon?

I have wondered why some of my stones
have bits and pieces missing....

....and have they travelled to this place for afar?

This past week I needled the last stitches into the twelfth pathway.
I will miss the daily ritual of hunting for a new stone.
However, as I stitched around each stone,
I was inspired once again by their markings
perhaps another piece will come out of just the marks.
One thing leads to another.

May you be led down a new stone path of creativity on this day.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Been Away - At Maggie's

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit
Maggie generously invited Judy and I to stay with her and Fred after retreating.
That evening some dear friends came to dinner.

That night I started reading Maggie's book
A beautiful book where Maggie 
shares her work and her love of life, family and travel.

Maggie and Fred are collectors of Mark's art.

My particular favourite.

 And I was really drawn to her brother's beautiful carvings.

 A special treat was spending time with Maggie in her studio
and getting a personal showing of her work.

Thank you Maggie

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Been Away - SAQA Central Canada Retreat

My trip started with Brett meeting me at Toronto airport
and driving me all the way to Crieff.
Precious time in the car with my boy.
Thank you, Brett for spoiling me!

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit

What a joy it was to be included in the retreat.
I was an interloper, being from the Maritimes chapter of SAQA,
but a last minute cancellation
allowed me to go and spend some precious time with Judy
and other Ontario stitchers.
My goodness me, Judy and I have been friends
for years and years and years.
We are sisters in many ways.

Judy and I were able to catch up and talk about our upcoming show
"cloth of Time"
at the Mary E Black gallery in Halifax.
(Thank you to Rose for photographing our hands over Judy's stitching)

Thank you to the energetic and talented Maggie Vanderweit
who organized everything brilliantly.
I love that her mantra is "growing community".
Maggie and I have been friends for many a year too.
Ever since she too joined Connections.

Another great talent and dear friend, Bethany Garner
was there (in the background).
Bethany is a member of Kingston Fibrearts and 
a fellow member of Connections.
I met Lisa Courtnage (foreground) who impressed me with her dedication
 and focus on colour mixing for the whole retreat!

What a friendly and talented group it was.
Couldn't include them all but
asked the hand stitchers if I could include them here.
Rose Klein was hand stitching a large beautiful piece.

I loved her red and black....

 and choice of stitches....

and designs.

From left to right
June Robertson, Harriet Rynberk and Hildegarde Sausik.
Hildie on the right was hand stitching....

....her lovely natural dyed and printed cloths.

Loved them.

Well I never....
....As I worked on this post
the mail lady delivered this card from another retreater,
Linda A. Campbell who had promised to send this maritimer
a whale.
Thank you Linda!

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit
I did manage to get one "Stone Pathway" out
but didn't really get much stitching done.
Connecting with as many fellow retreaters and 
like-minded spirits was my priority.

This was their first retreat
and I wish them many more!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Been Away - Family Visit

Took four Stone Pathways with me expecting to get all four finished
Not a single one came home completed!

 Stevie Ray's first birthday.
Very important to everyone but Stevie was quite unimpressed!

Three year old Ashley goes to ballet class.
Ashley is the youngest in the class
Ashley is a free spirit
Ashley does her own thing and loves every moment.

I gave her a book of scratching boards.

In Daddy's studio Ashley has her own painting.
Every now and then she is allowed to add three
more colours.
Oh, yes, and she now stitches too!

 I got very few snapshots of Stevie Ray
That wee one is in constant motion
focussed on walking and exploring every little thing.
She is so tactile
feeling everything with her hands and head too!

Drumming "We Are The Champions"
on Ashley while keeping an eye on Stevie.
Ironically wearing a Maple Leafs sweatshirt.
Oh, well, the Maple Leafs are champions in the eyes
of fans like Mark!

Home again with Handy Hubby and the Rusty Pups.
Eager to get back to work in the studio.

Wishing you a day of tactile play with needle and thread.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Not One, Not Two, Not Even Three....

....but 4 herons have arrived at the pond.
Can you spy the fourth?!
He wandered up the stream into the woods.

They seem to like the spot where the stream
enters the pond.
Only one caught a fish as far as we could see.

They must be wishing they stayed in warmer climes a bit longer.
It is so very cold here still.

One morning the Rusty Pups and I stepped outside
to photograph.  I was barefoot and really regretted that decision!

Stitching on six of the Stone Pathways is done.
Six more to go.

Stitching dots around dotty rocks!

 My little backstitched dots remind me of a dress I had
as a toddler many, many moons ago.
It was made of that cotton lawn Swiss dot fabric
covered in little raised dots.
Perhaps that dress is the reason I grew into a tactile person!
Don't you have to touch everything?
On-line shopping is difficult for people like me!
Have a tactile day!