Monday, 21 March 2022

Tending Winter's Garden

Summer's Dance

I thought that using brighter colours
would help me through the winter months that I find so difficult
and, boy oh boy, last summer was glorious.
I wanted to record and celebrate that too
and forget the winter winds outside.

But then I read Rainer Maria Rilke's thoughts on winter
A time to care for one's inner garden
A time to mend
A time of growth for mind and spirit. 

A time of looking deeply inwards 

For so many Winters
I have said I should do a winter piece.
When the word 'should' comes out of my mouth
I now recognize it's never gonna happen!

So in this deep mid-winter stitching of the joyful dance of summer's dahlias
I hope I am learning to accept winter's edge
as a quietness
a retreat into deepening knowledge.

Now that this piece is finished
it fills me with joy and rich memories.

Winter's edge was harsh this year
So much so that the Rusty Pups could sniff the upturned top
of quite a few sixty foot spruce

At the other end I found inspiration in it's, oh so shallow, root ball.

There were many days when it was best to stay inside!
Even the RP's thought so.

In May the dahlia corms will go back into the ground
In August their blooms will be dancing and bobbing in summer breezes.

Monday, 7 February 2022

Living in an Ice Covered World

At break of day the sky was heavy with dark, dark clouds
Except for a brave sun trying to rise above the South Mountain.

Our world has been completely icebound for two days
Branches drooping with the weight.

Everything encased

Everything bending over from the weight

Broken branches scattered on the ground

Rusty Pups were able to walk on deep ice covered snow
Not me
but I tried
and after a second each step would suddenly break the surface
and I was up to my calves in snow.
Thank goodness the driveway took my weight
and so we walked back and forth
for half an hour
then gave up
frozen fingers and toes!

Relieved to get back in the warmth
prepare breakfast 

....get down to a day's stitching on a new smaller peony piece.

Bringing colour back into a cold icy weekend.

I hope you too are all warm and safe inside.
A stormy weekend of power cuts
is no fun at all.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry if I want to!

Just Joking!
It's my 75th....3/4 of a century old am I!

We are celebrating snuggled at home under our third weekend of storm and wind warnings. 

Fingers crossed we don't lose power or any more trees.

Or perhaps the storm won't be as bad as anticipated and the Robins will come and join our celebrations.
At this time of year flocks of them come and gorge on the wild holly berries.

One thing's for sure the Rusty Pups will have to stay close
 no walking up the frozen stream.

The three of us will miss our break of dawn walk because I'm not venturing out there!

Handy Hubby has been alongside me for 53 of my 75 years.
Thank you for being there through thick and thin sweetheart.

And thank you to my three boys of whom I am so proud.
They have made my life so complete.
Love you

Friday, 31 December 2021

A New Year's Wish for You

My favourite New Year wish for you
first posted on January 1, 2014.

May your day be filled with blessings
Like the sun that lights the sky,
And may you always have the courage
To spread your wings and fly!

May your past be a pleasant memory,
Your future filled with delight and mystery,
Your now a glorious moment,
That fills your life with deep contentment.

May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours
May the clarity of light be yours
May the fluency of the ocean be yours
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

Blessings on you and yours this new year.

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Our Show is Closing on December 18th With a Closing Online Conversation


Judy Martin, Miranda Bouchard and I would like to invite you
to a closing reception online at Zoom.
Like last time you can register through this link

I noticed that you have to scroll down their page to get to the
registration link.

We are very grateful for all of you who have managed to make the trip to see our show.
The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum tell us that it has been very well attended
considering all the Covid restrictions.

If you have been there very recently you will have met photographer Paul Latour who has been documenting the show.

The two installation images here are by Paul.

Perhaps we will see you online in seven more days!

Sunday, 5 December 2021

When Beavers Live Close By


It amuses me that the beaver sticks have gathered in their own little corner of the show.

"Chasing the Moon"
Memories of daily walks down to the marshlands
Watching as the landscape changed when beavers moved in.

When they moved in and built oh so many dams
what was a meandering stream became a lake
covering all the grass you see here.

They would greet me and the Rusty Pups
with noses just above water
and sharp black eyes watching....
....then with a noisy slap of the tail on the water's surface
they would casually get on with their business.
I imagined that slap to be a greeting 
but of course it must have been a claim to territory where we were not welcome

My work is a bringing together of snippets of memory
Trees stripped of bark and marked by strong beaver teeth
Cold dark waters of winter
Marshland grasses that flourished so well in that watery environment
But turned golden yellow in the long wintery months.

On winter mornings after a good snowfall
the beaver tracks were easy to find 
 revealing nighttime activity and favourite pathways
 leading from water's edge towards the woods and back again

The black velvet water so uninviting on a cold winter's day
yet a refuge, a place of safety where beavers can thrive.

And of course a moon on a windy, winter's night
whilst I am warm and safe in my bed
the beaver were busy as beavers tend to be
fixing leaky dams
and storing edible trees underwater.
Such fascinating creatures who can change a landscape with two strong front teeth!

 I hope you too find joy in observing nature at work.

So many thanks to Susan Purney Mark and Miranda Bouchard for their photos of the show.

Monday, 22 November 2021

When friends come together "In the Middle of the World"


Judy Martin's exciting larger than life pieces
Reflections on a lifetime living in beautiful rural Northern Ontario

My heavily stitched smaller pieces
Reflections on years of living close to nature in beautiful Nova Scotia

An aged record of time past

In a way all three connected to the passage of time

Every year as the seasons move towards Winter
the undergrowth in our woods dies down to soft greys
All that remains are the deep ever greens and waves of red berries
Life giving berries for the creatures and birds of these parts.
Our winters are harsh here.

In the depth of winter swarms of robins with their white eye markings
descend on the wild holly bushes and eat to their hearts content.
The berries are all gone before winter's end.

The older trees whose bark is weaker and less resistant to insect invasions
soon become scarred by pecking woodpeckers searching for supper.
Did you know their tongues wrap around the back of their brains
protecting them from concussion as they hammer away at those holes?
This is the sort of information that comes out of my Handy Hubby.
The practical thinker in the family
Thank goodness one of us is!

I would wrap both arms around Judy's bundles and hold them close.
In the background is "Winter's Edge" my response to Autumn fading into winter.
The season when warm hugs are needed.

We both used warm autumnal colours
I can imagine Judy's repetitive motion while wrapping her wool strips around and around each bundle. 
I remember well my repetitive tearing of strips and couching them down over and over each other.
They are connected as we are in friendship.

My thoughts were to fade the colours into the sky
ending with a barely visible weakening sun
that is really only visible when you stand close to the actual piece.

Right from the days of childhood embroidery
Repetition and rhythm have been my favourite creative principle
Repetition of simple stitches
Rhythm in the physical movements that create the stitches
And I try to create flow and rhythm in my pieces.

Always exploring and still learning.

And this is the mess of all beginnings!

And finally one more friend who is such an important part of this project
A young curator who's dedication to this project is unbounded
A wise, thoughtful person working very hard in the background on our behalf.

I am full of gratitude for these two amazing women

We are sharing quite a journey.

And thank you to Judy who sent me her photos of the show for me to use since I could not travel.
More to come!