Monday, 18 February 2019


 Really listening 
listening to the voice within and
paying attention to the feelings that bubble up with every stitch
is important to my process.
I like to rest a piece for a while
and observe it
sometimes for days.
I like to double check that it is saying exactly when I want it to say
and that it is reflecting my truth.
For me those questions come way before
any principles and elements of design.

 It might sound strange but it is not always obvious to me
you would think it would be
but sometimes I feel bombarded by outside influences
and it is hard to to hear my own voice.

Whispering Cairns I feel speaks my truth
What I know for sure is 
this piece brings me joy

I feel very close to this piece
you might recall that it didn't really start to sing for me
until I turned it upside down!
As you see it is not always smooth sailing
so interesting to observe the struggles one goes through
and so important celebrate the aha moments!

I have always believed solitude to be a good thing.
For me that is to be in nature
or alone in my studio which looks out at nature.
Some can find their authentic self in a crowd
And that is why one stone in Whispering Cairn is unique.
Filled with a few french knots!

As I stitch on this piece
I wander back through the ages
to those folk to piled stone upon stone
in memory of those who had gone before them.
We are connected.

I will be sorry when it is finished
but today Handy Hubby and myself will
square it up before I start stitching the background.

 Greys are gathering in a basket for new stitchings
I have evolved
There was a time in my life when louder colours prevailed.
Softer gentler colours now speak to me
perhaps it is my age
or that I have grown gentler over the years
(though I try to be fierce!)
or simply because my hair is silver!
I hope I continue to evolve!

May your creative voice be loud and clear today.

Monday, 4 February 2019

A February Beginning

Sunday morning I played around with new stones
thinking they were going to be grey
but perhaps because it is the bleak mid-winter
the stones turned a warmer colour.

 This piece is inspired by Mark's paintings of
stones disappearing under water.
He is brilliant at that.
For both of us scenes like this bring up whisperings of
summers spent on beautiful Georgean Bay.
For those of you in Toronto don't forget
The Artist Project at the Better Living Centre
February 21-14, 2019
Mark Berens will be at Booth 506.

Strips of plant dyed fabrics 
soon to become rocks.

By Sunday evening I was happily couching away.
I have based the background onto an old blanket
and it is like stitching butter.
The one thing about this kind of stitching is
it allows for mind wandering
as I stitched these delicious rusts and browns 
my mind whispered memories of
my beautiful Rusty Pups

They are dearly missed

As are their antics and adventures.

And then as I prepared this post
A photo demanded to be noticed
So much like my new stones.
I have a teacher who always says the piece you start next
should always be informed by the last piece you did.

Perhaps this means my next piece will have to be seaweed
in the colours of my Georgean Bay stones.

But I already have soooo many new beginnings just started!
But my mind is flowing with ideas on how to go about a seaweed piece.

It is so easy to have many ideas isn't it
The days just aren't long enough for their execution!

I hope you have a day rich in creative ideas.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

How Things Change or Evolve

Back in the Fall a new beginning was pinned to the wall
Lines of a container to be filled with stones
was drawn with paper.

Paper was changed to fabric
and I was thinking it might be called 'Stone Ground'.

I fell in love with this piece as I sat in the evening light 
couching stone upon stone within the shape of my container.

One evening I threw it on the floor beside my favourite stitching chair
just to check on how the stones were looking
And low and behold
I realized it was no container at all but an ancient cairn.

Blanket stitch was added to the base of the cairn
and then I took it to the design wall.

Loved it so much more as an ancient pile of stones
rather than a bowl full of them!
As I searched for the placement of the final rock shapes
I noticed a layer of smaller stones working it's way through the cairn.
Loved the thought that perhaps this layer represented
a different era or generation adding stones through the centuries.

So.... went back to the design wall
Added more to my imagined layer
Removed smaller stones inserted between the top layer of larger ones.
I love it even more!
Makes things more interesting.
Adds to the story.
And I am happy to allow the piece to create it's own story.

The conversation between our work and us is indeed a dance.

Monday, 14 January 2019

And So Begins Another Year Another Piece

"Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End"
(Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

When my journey with 'Stone Pathways' came to an end
I was reluctant to let go
So the remnants of white backgrounds were stitched into strips
these were then filled with embroidered pebbles.
Remnants of the stones were sewn together in a rough fraying drunkard's path.
and pebbles embroidered immediately stitched all remnants together.

That was last year
But now a new year has begun
and so a home has been found for my remnants....
....more pathways!

There is so much white background surrounded by nothing but grey
So I have sprinkled bits of whiteness elsewhere.

Tiny dots are easier inserted with reverse appliqué
Larger ones with simple appliqué.
Perhaps tiptoes alongside heavy steps along life's pathway.

Frayed edges create a pathway of their own

Different paths, different lives.

Have no idea yet how I will stitch my new pathways
One step at a time
Next step will be to attach them to a background
and as I stitch them down by hand
ideas will come.

And here is a small beginning made many years ago
that hasn't found a home yet
but he will never be discarded
I love him!

Happy New Year
Happy Beginnings

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Towering Baskets

I decided at the end of November to make
baskets for all the grownup women in the family.

I ended up with nine

Days and days of machine stitching
yards and yards of washing line and cloth strips.
And, oh, yes, spool after spool of thread too.
It seems that stones can be of assistance even in basketry!

I had to get used to using a sewing machine again!
It has been quite a while.
I have to say I really enjoyed making useful things.

As I stitched it came to me that the little munchkins
would also like a basket
just like their mom.
One day I got a last minute request for oven mitts for Ashley.
Ended up making some for Stevie too.
At eighteen months old she wants everything her big sister gets.

I have found their baskets very useful
might make myself some in the new year
to hold threads and scraps.

 Hope everyone finds a use for their basket.
Loved making them.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Winter's Stitching

Thick, heavy snow fell all day
drooping branches
and even bending trees.

 Indoors I stitched lines

The wind howled outside

Inside I drew stones with strips of cloth.
Yes, more stones
I told you I was not finished with stones!

 Outside the already frozen pond
is now inches deep in snow.

Inside I am really enjoying the soft greys in linen and silk. more stitching for a little while.
It's family time!

I wish you a Christmas filled with family and friends
and snow too
(but not too much of the latter!)

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Nature Stitches on Trees

Some trees around the duckpond have very distinctive markings

They seem to be where branches used to be.

Like Kantha stitched triangles.

Meanwhile back in the studio
I have started stitching some beginnings on a new piece.

Paths that meet in places.

And some paths that meander more than others.

Hope your paths are clearly marked today!