Saturday 30 April 2011

Cathedrals of Man and Nature

Ceiling embroidery

Sky stitching

Living in the same space.

Stone cutwork.

Leafy cutwork.

Hand painted sentinels of the cathedral.

Nature misted woodland sentinels.

Cathedral and tree living side by side.

England's St. Alban's Cathedral by the way....
parts of which date back to 1077...
but there was a shrine to St. Alban here in 429.

It is hard to wrap my mind around
the passage of time from then to now.
Hard to imagine all the footsteps
that have worn stone floors to a 'thread'.....
and the lives...
and the stories.

Don't know how old the trees are!
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Friday 29 April 2011

Colour Play

Give six women
pieces of wool, silk, cotton and linen
small jars of natural dyes, extracts and pigments
and you get
a day that started with
resolutions to calculate percentages of weight to the n'th degree
careful note-taking
disagreement of results of said calculations
spillages and accidents...oops
breakdown in resolution to be accurate
laughter, laughter, laughter

Cochineal crushed to a powder..

did not produce the colour we expected..
so we added some vinegar..
no change..
more to learn about that one.

Dyer's Broom.... liked that one.
As usual wool sucked up colour beautifully
and Linen absorbed the least.

Madder was my favourite.
We learn something new each time.
A great day with Diane, Betsy, Sharon, Marilyn, Sheila.
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Wednesday 27 April 2011

Cut Through

Fooling around with cutwork
attracted a crowd of terrestrials
and a gazillion seed stitches.

Buttonhole stitch worked it's way around holes of machine embroidery.

One stood out from the crowd.
I think he fancies himself.

Hands and toes and heads meeting in the crowd.

Stitched years ago
Looking it at today with older eyes
I think I have an idea coming on! 

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Tuesday 26 April 2011

Winter's Star

A star who lives in the frozen north
requires thick wintery snowpants
and a warm and fuzzy jacket.

If he didn't wear bright red earmuffs,
the tips of his ears might turn to frozen blue.

Despite all the layers required to keep him warm
he still wears his heart on the outside.

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Monday 25 April 2011

Heartfull Stars

Some stars live within hearts.
Their windmill shape allows them to twirl around and around
when a heart needs uplifting.

Smaller stars live among the woven
points of bigger stars.

All these stars have been gathering on this cloth started in March. 

Sunday 24 April 2011

Tree Invaders

Moss invading shaggy bark....

and working it's way through deep crusty canyons.... 

...creates a soft and gentle playground for woodland fairies
and a warm and cozy home for a gazillion tiny insects.

Whole cities of fungus climbing trees... makes me think of urban sprawl.

And of course old man's beard..
so delicate yet seemingly indestructible.

Thursday 21 April 2011

Birds of a Golden Feather

Chattering Goldfinches are everywhere at the moment, despite the rain.
They crowd the crab apple tree above the bird feeders
waiting their turn.

Waiting their turn.

Seemingly oblivious of raindrops that must hit hard on a tiny little thing like that.

The skyscraper feeder is crowded and empties fast. 

Niger seed is of course popular.

A Goldfinch might find that he has to share it with a Chipping Sparrow.

Wednesday 20 April 2011


This star was to be a star of simple means.

But he insisted that I weave him a coat of many colours.
And it seems he has a star-struck hanger on!

He wears one red shoe and one of purple.

Perhaps he is a star with ears or even horns.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Goosey Visitors to the Pond

A devoted pair of Canada Geese
came, despite the pouring rain, to reconnoitre the pond this morning.

These are handsome birds that I love...
but not enough to encourage them to stay!
I have experienced life on a migration route..
where parks and soccer fields would fill with gaggling geese...quite an amazing sight.
However, what the geese left behind was not a pretty sight! 

Luckily, after munching on grass, swimming in the pond and generally checking us out,
one of them hooted and 
with mighty flapping they went.
Perhaps they spied the beaver.
I hadn't let the rusty pups out yet....that would have caused quite a todo!

Brings to mind a childhood nursery rhyme..
Goosey Goosey Gander
Where shall I wander...

Monday 18 April 2011

This Story is Complete

Amazing how a deadline makes one focus.
So this woodland story is complete...
for the time being at least.

When starting this piece
The year was closing with a blue moon
and days of snow followed.

If I was starting this piece today
the trees would be bent over in the wind and rain
and hundreds of American Goldfinches would be perched in the trees
chattering loudly.  

Trees can dance beyond the moon....

...and with the stars.

Trees of years gone by stand guard among their offspring.

Rocks and boulders litter the woodland floor
making it tough on trees to stay rooted.

Saturday 16 April 2011

He's Back!

So, yesterday, when the rusty pups were finally let out,
they ran straight to the pond and chased the Wood Ducks away with great bravado.
But to my surprise they stayed up at the pond.
There was obviously still something going on up there.
I worried that a duck was left behind and hurt perhaps.

Then I saw that familiar brown lump on the bank.
The Beaver was back for his springtime visit. 

Beaver looks bigger than he did last year.

The rusty pups were thrilled!
It took all that doggy training to stop them diving in with him.
His favourite sunbathing spot is right in front of those small spruce trees.
He has worn a muddy path into the pond just there.

When we're at the pond he likes to swim back and forth in front of us.
At times he whacks the water with his mighty tail and dives beneath the surface.
Then the dogs run back and forth wondering where he will come up again.

Love the water reflections here.