Wednesday 30 March 2011

Did Someone Say Spring Had Arrived?

I came here, to Mickey Hill that is, hoping for signs of Spring.
Instead I found evidence of Old Man Winter's reluctance to move on.

He has even nestled in hollow tree stumps attempting to hide from the sun's warmth.

Winter has ravaged the woodlands this time around.

As we walk through the woods the rusty pups are very busy scenting every nook and cranny, 
catching up on the local wildlife gossip. 
We reach the lake. 
To my surprise it's still frozen solid.
But around the edges, the ice is loosing it's grip on the land.

At any moment now the rusty pups will start a game of tag. 
This involves running at breakneck speed along the beach
Tearing around rocks
and crashing through the undergrowth between trees.
If it was warmer they would then collapse in the cool waters of the lake.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Moon Chaser

This morning it looks as if the sun is closing in on the moon. 
She is rising just beyond the tall, tall spruce 
and he is going as fast as he can trying to keep up with the darkness.

Blue trees have revealed themselves in the fragile pillowcase. 
One with edges smoothed by stitches and another untamed and frayed.

Monday 28 March 2011

Trying Another Tack

An old embroidered pillowcase revealed itself in the detritus of my last false start.
Then squares of woven strips surfaced...homework from my first workshop with Jude some time ago now.
The pillowcase is threadbare.
When laid over the weaving you get a hint of pentimento..... yet another theme imposed on me.
So perhaps I will work on bringing the two together.

The old pillowcase is very fragile and will appreciate the support of the woven strips.
I see lots of darning and boro type repairing.

We shall see what transpires.
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Friday 25 March 2011

Re-roofing Woes

My poor perennial flowerbed is somewhere under all this...

Fingers crossed that it survives to be beautiful again.
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Wednesday 23 March 2011

Leading Nowhere

In an attempt to jump start moving out of the doldrums
Strip upon strip of rusted and dyed cottons rose in piles on table tops.

The sewing machine tamed them into submission.

What would be more normal than cutting them up again!
A 30" square of these little pieces was carefully laid out in a pleasing design.
A bit problematic when sneezes or breezes endangered the whole thing.

Trouble is the design ended up being not so very pleasing at all, at all.

So all those little pieces are back in piles.
That was two days' work.
Oh, well!
Think I'll go tidy up the mess that attempt created...
and try another approach.
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Tuesday 22 March 2011

One Woman's Trash....

Last week at our local guild meeting Kay handed me a brown paper bag. She didn't want to offend me; but before throwing the contents of the bag out she thought I should see them. Inside that bag was a very old, half finished embroidery on linen. A threaded needle still pierced the cloth caught in the act of creating the next stitch. I wondered why the needlewoman had stopped. She had obviously intended to continue...but never did. 

The needle was so rusty it was stuck fast in the cloth...really stuck. It took several tugs with pliars and pressure against a hard surface to remove said needle.

But I finally got it out.
An embroidery hoop was still in place creating this lovely half circle crease. I wondered if it would ever come out. Kay was pleased that I accepted her gift. I fear she expects me to finish it as the original needlewoman would have.   She might not recognize after I've had my way with it!
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Monday 21 March 2011

Seam Lines, Edges, Cusps and In Betweens

Sometimes between the end of one thing and the beginning of another lies a narrow stretch of something else.
I feel I am wandering a narrow strip of indecision ...
well, I hope it is narrow and brief.
Perhaps I am on the cusp of something new...
hope so.
Because this discontent with what I've been working on...
and not knowing what to do next is driving me crazy!

Must be Spring....
though it doesn't feel like it in my neck of the woods.

Edges can be straight and sometimes frayed...
or perhaps softened with stitch.

They can be torn and feathery or cut into sharp teeth.

Where tree lined mountains meet the pale blue sky
is a favourite edge of mine.

Drainage ditches form seam lines in between farmers' fields.
Snow still clings on wherever it can.
We are straddling an in between at the moment...
the edge of winter and the birth of spring.
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Wednesday 16 March 2011

Stars and Frozen Stardust

Sitting quietly in the company of my boro piece.....
A star tapped me on the shoulder and asked to be included.
So stitching started on a small star.
As I laid down row upon row of satin stitch....
with another tap on the shoulder the star said 'weave me'!
Why hadn't I thought of that earlier?

It was so obvious....
woven cloth had played an important role in the basic make-up of the piece.

I see the hint of a moon looking on.

We woke to find frozen stardust crystals had been sprinkled all over our world.
They sparkled in the morning sun.

Quite amazing, haven't seen anything like that before.
It was as if the gods had spent the night
standing over us scraping away at a block of ice.

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Tuesday 15 March 2011

The Power of Silence

"Make a place to sit down.
Sit down.  Be quiet.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditional air.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it."
Just a few lines from Wendell Berry's poem "How to be a Poet".
Grandmothers in their wisdom find time to sit in the warmth of the sun and watch the world go by.

Cats make a place to sit down in the most impossible of places....
and still they manage to look comfortable as they observe the world around them.

There needs to be more time for sitting in silence and just being in this world.
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Friday 11 March 2011

Watery Backwoods and Stitched Backs

A thin strip of water in the woods still manages to reflect the sky above...

but a tumbling river rushes by too fast to capture sky reflections.

Made me think of the back side of the rusty gate piece.
Perhaps a frozen river passing through my stitches.

Could be ski tracks in the snow.

Perhaps some whirlpool activity in a wintery river.
Stitched backs are fascinating.

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Thursday 10 March 2011

Colour Starved!

Wild, bold colour has been absent from our wintery world for many months.
We've been surrounded by soft whites, greys, browns and blues....
All beautiful colours indeed

enough is enough....
Colour starvation is setting in!

No surprise that I got sidetracked by glorious dyes as I searched my stash for blacks.

My favourite.
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Wednesday 9 March 2011

Firewood Lichen

Lichen manages to grow in the unfriendliest of environments.

Even on our firewood.
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