Sunday, 21 May 2023

A special Road trip through Northern Ontario

'In the Middle of the World' is hanging in the Muse Gallery in Kenora.
 Judy Martin, Miranda Bouchard and I had an appointment to spend time at the gallery on Mothers' Day weekend.

Judy and Miranda are Northern Ontario girls and they wanted to show me their part of the world.  Plus we wanted to spend as much time as we could together. So I flew into Sault Saint Marie and from there we drove two days to get to Kenora.

We had a lot of catching up to do. Covid wrecked any plans of getting together but we managed to continu meeting virtually.  It was always good to see them on screen but there is nothing like actually being together. The eleven hour drive to Thunder Bay and then another six hour day to Kenora were perfect for all the catching up and discussing our work and art and creativity. 
Throughout the years of this project Miranda has asked thought provoking questions and this trip was no exception.  They often reveal our differences but mostly our deep connections. 
So much fun.
Such a special trip.

I have always been drawn to the edges of things....particularly treelines.

The trees here are birch, sumac and black spruce. I was fascinated by the black spruce that seemed to have topknots with a smattering of branches beneath and perhaps thicker branches towards their base.

 I didn't get very good images of those topknots so as we drove a did a tiny little sketch to remind me.

Islands beyond the treeline ......a different kind of edge.

We stopped at Wawa. I needed a photo with their goose to send one of my boys. Many years ago he had a summer job somewhere even further north but Wawa was where he got off the train before the long drive north. Just to give you an idea of how big Ontario is the train took 36 hours from southern Ontario Wawa. Oh, yes, and I learnt that Wawa means snow goose in Ojibwe.

Of course we had to stop for stones….so the girls found Deadman’s cove and we had a wander!

It was special….all the stones so different to my Nova Scotian ones. That day it was stones covered in dots that caught my eye. Oh joy! And of course a few came home with me.

As we neared Thunder Bay we stopped at the Terry Fox memorial which I found deeply moving. I remember him running up Davis drive near our home in Newmarket, Ontario.
An inspiring, courageous and memorable young man.

A special time with Judy

And of course with Miranda too. 

And me too!
I don’t often include images of people but this time I really want to record and remember these two beloved women who are so important to me.
Hugs to you both.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Rusty Pups are Four Years Old Today....Already!


The day we brought them home they started chewing sticks

Today they prefer to chew or move much larger bits of fallen trees all over the garden!

Rusty Pup Brandy loves rolling all over her chosen stick of the day.
Normal dogs prefer to roll in interesting dead things or animal droppings.
Not our Brandy

Rusty Pup Ginger is the explorer, our protector 
especially when I'm alone with them.
They bark at anything new like a fallen tree
or a recycling bin on the curb
or a lawn mower parked in a new spot.
But they are enthusiastic greeters of any human beings!

They would really like to be lap dogs but my old bones can't take their weight!

They have a friend called Michael who brings them toys
Needless to say....they adore him.

These are the first Rusty Pups we've adopted that are gentle with their toys
Previous Rusty Pups have eaten any toys offered them.

It is a great joy to have them in our lives

Happy Birthday girls!

Monday, 17 April 2023

Just Play or Perhaps Beginnings?

In my year of silence not knowing if I had anything worth saying
I filled my cup with play
mostly unsuccessful
but that's not the point is it.
Touching cloth keeps my tanks full!

Challenging myself to exploring colours I normally shy away from.
My hands often picked up greens.

It is easy to return to old favourites....

....easier still to come up with dismal choices!

All who know me know I cannot work with blue
Well, I probably can but I resist anything blue
And now I have to make a piece for a show called Blue!
Trouble is whatever I come up with must be nearly 100% blue.
Not be easy for me.
A couple of clever friends have suggested that I use my normal colour pallet and then dip the finished piece in an indigo vat.
Could be an interesting experiment
Using lots of different fabrics and threads
They would all take the dye differently.


Pink...not my colour either

Back to the comfort of greys and browns

Working with new new colours hasn't been my only play.
Taking apart old work
Is a slow unpicking process
A meditation
 Wondering if they have a new story to tell.

Sunday, 2 April 2023

Today my Little Brother Arrives from the UK


Malcolm is just a couple of years younger
But he’s catching up fast!
We both have grey hair and wrinkles now.
Seventy years ago swimming kept us cool in a hot clime.

Malcolm’s  life‘s ambition back then was to burp as long and loud as anyone else!
Mine was probably to be a princess or perhaps a mermaid.

As a teenager Malcolm became a rower…..I remember Henley Regattas.
I was more interested in art than sport.

For his gap year he travelled and worked his way across Australia
About that time I was already in love with Handy Hubby!
Our first baby boy arrived by the time Malcolm married Flick.
Funny that we had three handsome boys and they had three beautiful girls!

The Rusty Pups love visitors!

They understand family visits create important memories.

Saturday, 1 April 2023

In The Middle Of The World Opens in Kenora

Judy's The Forever (side b)          Penny's Whispering Cairn
Today the stitched works of my friend Judy Martin and me are once again hanging together.
Our show In The Middle Of The World
can now be seen at 
The Muse Gallery
224 Main Street South
Kenora, Ontario, Canada

Eternity (side b). Judy              Beaver Moon Dreaming.Penny 

This time around all three of us who have worked so hard on this project
will be in Kenora May 11th - 15th.
We will be in the gallery in the afternoon of May 12th
That evening we will be doing a talk and walk through.

Overhead the Sun (side b). Judy                  Winter's Edge.Penny

It has been so long since we three have actually been together
so I am really looking forward
to joining both Judy and our curator Miranda Bouchard
up in Sault Ste Marie.
From there we will drive to Kenora
along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Reconnecting with the girls will feed my soul
as will the beautiful rugged scenery of that part of the world.

It will be amazing!
I hope you also have big plans to look forward to!

Friday, 11 November 2022

Lest We Forget

Lost at Ypres in 1915 WW1
My great uncle Hugo Freeland

WWI Veteran
My grandfather "Shanks" Cecil Freeland
I was lucky to know my grandad who I adored

WWI veteran
My grandfather Dr. Frank Robertson
who served as a doctor
but come home early from the trenches suffering from TB.
I was a baby when he died and I so regret not getting to know him. 

Lost at Katyn WWII
Handy Hubby's uncle Zdzislaw Berens

WWII Veteran
My lovely Handy Hubby's father Tadeusz Berens

and my beloved father
WWII veteran
Desmond Hugo Freeland

Remembering on this day of Memory


Thursday, 4 August 2022

Colours in the Garden


Our one rame flowerbed 
 So colourful this year full
Full of joy
I love it
Though I'm no gardener
I am trying!

Red the colour of our Root Chakra at the base of our spine
Keeps us grounded and connected to the universe
Deepening our sense of belonging and trust

Reds that dance in Summery breezes
For red is the colour that energizes us
Calls us into action

Romantic, passionate reds
Sexy and attention getting

A wee bit of quiet greyness
The perfect understated neutral
The colour of intellect and knowledge
And the colour of wisdom acquired through age
as us grey haired ancients!
Respect your elders kids!

Yellow sunshine
The colour of the Solar Plexus Chakra
located in our abdomen
provider of vitality and personal strength

 Happy Yellow brings warmth and positivity

Lavender is prolific this year
Purple the colour of our Crown Chakra
Connecting us to the universal consciousness
Deepening our spiritual understanding

But back to intoxicating, alluring red!

And luscious browns are simmering in the garden too of course!
Associated with all things natural and organic
Hearth and home
Life giving soil

Wishing you a day full of colour