Monday, 9 July 2018

Circling The Mind

This piece is in my hands again after a long break.
An important break.
In the beginning it was simply a big circle of a rock
resting at sunrise or sunset
if life is a circle
perhaps it is more.
Perhaps it is a life
split into the person we are in public
and the one we keep for when we are home alone in familiar surroundings.

There again if a story is a circle
Perhaps it is a life circle
filling up with a thousand small stories....

....Small stories that make up all our lives.
Stories that rest on the foundation of our life experiences.

I have been told several times in my life
that my fascination with rocks
is from a need for a solid foundation
which I picture could be both physical and mental and emotional.

And then a circle, or a rock, or a life, or a stitching
always has a hidden side
a side that to me is less perfect
more spontaneous
and therefore more beautiful.

Talking of life circles
I do hope we have filled the Rusty Pup lives with rich stories.
Rusty Pup Shandy still jumps into the car
but Rusty Pup Kayla waits patiently for a helping hand.
Just after taking this photo I stumbled
trying to lift her into the car and we both nearly ended up
head over tail in the dust.
Made me realize how trusting she is.

I hope your life is full of many stories.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

When One Thing Leads To Another

Daily Scratchings 2012-2015

Community Conversations 2017

It was a while back now that I heard from an old friend
Fay is a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant/Educator
a marvellous storyteller and artist.
She wanted me to know that my 'Daily Scratchings' had inspired a community project hosted by Visible Voices Open Arts Studio in Halliburton, Ontario
called Community Conversations.

Participants learnt various techniques

even weaving.

With their new skills at hand everyone was invited to create a small piece of fibre art based the following conversation openers:
My 5 word life story ....
My grandmother used to say ....
When I was 7 I wanted to ....
My best friends would describe me as ....
The three most challenging parts of growing older are ....
The one thing I've learned is ....
What is important to me now is ....

The finished pieces were assembled into long panels
that now hang in a beautiful wooden display unit.

How amazing is that!

Monday, 25 June 2018

New Beginnings Times Three

As Stone Pathways and Daily Scratchings rest along one side of the table
awaiting installation at the Mary E Black gallery in July...

...In the little table space left I'm working on new beginnings.
More stones
It seems I am not through with stones yet.
I must have more to discover about them.

Another large piece of silk and linen
has been layered onto felted wool.
I believe this will be tree-like lines of stitch
growing out of.....stones.

And a third new beginning of silk on linen
has been layered onto a thin damask.
Don't yet know how I will treat this one.
I love that piece of natural dyed silk.
It was soaking in my stream so long that it has a few small frayed
holes that I might emphasize or do a little darning over.
The grey linen will of be stitched all over
but have to decide on whether to continue the markings from the silk
onto the linen
or whether I just stitch a simple repetitive mark.

A little bit of green and grey and red.
I have a thing about red flowers nowadays.
Perhaps a little bit of red will start appearing in my work.
You never know
It might be necessary one of these days.

I hope that if you love red...
...or even if you don't love it....
...that you will find a place for it in your studio today!

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