Wednesday 30 November 2011


Sometimes sadness sweeps through the body like a giant wave

and then we try to remember that the sun still shines way up there above the clouds.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Feather Fashions

Boldly striped

and speckled hints of stripes.

Misty greys dipped in marshmallow whites.

 Blacks and whites streaked with blue.

Polka-dots of night and day.

Snow tipped.

A swoosh of black.

Monday 28 November 2011

Snowy Boughs Again

Never been able to stitch on black 'cos I can't see what the heck I'm doing.
Stitching on white is not so easy either.
I can see what I'm doing but...

...the fear of marking it or dripping blood from my pin pricked fingers
is daunting!
There is also the urge to rebel and throw in some bright colours...
I'm being very disciplined
and satisfying that urge with delicate
threads of colour that will only be seen on close inspection.
And for B over at Aracne...
it will be one free standing tree just like my red one last year.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Snowy Boughs

Working in the studio on white tree shapes.

Machine stitching on Egyptian Cotton
or perhaps animal tracks on snowy ground.
Buttons from Grandmother's button box
or perhaps pearly tree ornaments.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Winter's Heavy Hand

On Monday I walked the dyke coatless and photographed long willowy grasses.
On Tuesday I bundled up and photographed icy puddles.
Yesterday I couldn't even get to the dyke.
It snowed
and snowed
and snowed all day long.

The rusty pups and I played outside.
taking a chance on not becoming snow-pups or a snow-woman.
For if we stood still long enough we would surely have been buried.

Inside the studio things are also very white.
I have to make another Christmas tree for our
Community arts Centre fundraiser.
I nearly forgot.
This year I decided on a white tree and time is short.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Winter has Arrived

It was cold on the dyke today.
Things are icing up.

The random lines are interesting to me.
There are potential stitches in those frozen puddles.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Thinking out Loud

As I stitch another layer onto the back of the rusty gate...

 I arrange my new fabrics on the wall and ponder what to do with them.

There seems to be two definite families.

Perhaps they belong together.
Perhaps they don't.
Is there one large piece here or many small ones?
Is there something completely different to be done with them?

But then there is also the feather piece I need to start
and this lovely rusty piece from a while back...

...which could be a fading Queen Anne's Lace.... perhaps.

So many ideas
Not enough time in the day to tackle them all at once.

Monday 21 November 2011

Up the Quarry Road

The rusty pups and I walked up the quarry road.
It's way too windy for the dyke walk.
At least here the trees protect us a bit.

 Before going for walks we usually frisk Rusty pup Shandy
checking for tennis balls she might smuggle along on the trip.
I missed this one!

We stumbled upon some rusty stuff.
I tried to pry it loose from a mountain of rocks
but it held firm.
Wonder if we have wire cutters large enough to free up some.

Saturday 19 November 2011

A Special Delivery Day

Winter arrived yesterday.
But after a cold and blustery walk along the dyke
my heart warmed with excitement...
...there was a parcel waiting for pick up
...and it turned out to be
a marvellous piece of Judy Martin's work
that I am now thrilled to be the custodian of.

 'Heart to Heart'
It is a piece with two sides and two titles.
Each side a poem in it's own right.

 'Mother Canada'
If you know how Judy works
you know that it is heavily stitched...
even the white snowy land around 'Mother Canada'
is covered in stitched leaves of white.

If you know how Judy works...

you know that every stitch is a thoughtful meditation.

If you know Judy's world...
you can feel the caring embrace of her mother figure.
For me Judy is a major voice in Canadian art today.
For me she is a poet who writes her poems in stitch.

I know Judy loves this piece
and that there is a small piece of her within it's stitched textures.
I'm honoured and thrilled to provide it a home.
Thank you Judy.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

High Tide on the Windswept Dyke

It's not only the colours that get me at this time of year...
It's also all that tangled mass of texture.

As the pups and I walked below the dyke 
a warm south wind blew hard against our faces
and the sound of rustling grasses surrounded us.
One day I need to do a piece on grasses.

 The rusty pups played 'ambush' up and down the dyke.

We returned along the top of the dyke
and those little monkeys decided it was the
perfect day for a swim.
Do you see one swimming off into the deep blue yonder?!
(Bottom right of the picture)

Monday 14 November 2011

If You Came Down to the Woods Today... would have been spied on by
black ringed eyes of firewood pixies
...and a few other critters I expect too. would have seen fungus
bursting from the ends of logs
like orange popcorn.

...and red berries dangling from a tangle of grey branches
just waiting for the deer to pass by.

...and rings of tree bark being colonized by moisture loving organisms.

Or perhaps you would have noticed other things.

Friday 11 November 2011

Threading Needles Again

You might remember that on a summers day quite some time ago
this small piece of fabric came out of the rust pot.

and around the same time this little chap clung to
the side of the house as I sat and stitched.
So to me they have always belonged together.

Yesterday I finally drew him onto that piece of linen

and with threaded needle tried to bring him to life.
Feels good to hold needle and thread again.

I'm reading a book about the first world war
and so today I will be thinking of all those heroes, including my grandfather,
who fought in those awful trenches at the battle of the Somme.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Under Clear Blue Skies

First thing in the morning on my way to meet Diane for a day of unwrapping bundles
I noticed the basin stretching for miles even beyond the horizon.
And just look at that clear blue sky fading to kiss the land and sea.

Fishing boats of every shape attach themselves to buoys 
after lengthy fishing trips.
Usually cormorants crowd onto each buoy
but I don't see any this morning.

Most people might take a photo of that boat
but I was looking at those rusty trees.
Boat is just in the way!

Later on I unwrapped this bundle that could be
a shoreline of rusty trees perhaps.

Surely I'll get to do some stitching today....
It's been so long, I couldn't find my needle case this morning.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Mulling Things Over

While in Toronto I did a talk about Environmental Influences.
In preparing the images I decided I had way too many.
So I collaged j-pegs of the inspiration behind the finished pieces.
Brilliant eh!

Bev misunderstood me and thought the background inspiration
was part of the whole stitched piece.

Since then Bev has caused me many sleepless nights
lying awake ruminating and mulling ideas over.
I'm  exploring hanging pieces over a backdrop
of the original photographic inspiration.

Photo transfer onto fabric is not something I am interested in.
The idea of a contrast between the textured stitching
and a smooth print on paper is a possibility.

The colour saturation on those prints would have to be cut back.
Viewing these images from my talk
I can see that the photo inspiration needs to be knocked back.
The stitched work should be the first thing you see.

Still have not had a moment to settle down to some stitching
but as you can see it is never far from my mind.