Wednesday 29 February 2012

Finding Old Messages and Making New Ones

After photographing my frosty stream on Monday
had to scratch a memory of that
steel grey water edged with snow and ice.
Then it snowed on Tuesday.

Rummaging through old sketchbooks
I found this page of intention from 12 years ago.
Surprised to find I was interested in daily scratchings back then.
Shows you there is no such thing as an original idea!

This is what I wrote immediately after
declaring those admirable intentions!

Yesterday I was intent on covering this page of colour with potential stitches
when lo and behold a bird of sorts simply insisted on being included.
Perhaps it means my handsome heron will soon be back from the sunny South.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Watery Influences

Painted page
marked with stitch lines
just wondering what it would look like.
The end result brings to mind the marshland down by the dykes.
Funny how unintentionally my surroundings influence just about everything.

Down at the stream yesterday
it looked like the ice was melting

but it was so cold
perhaps it was freezing over again!

Monday 27 February 2012

A Week of Scratchings

Another week gone by.
Mighty winds have swept up the valley all weekend long.
Like nature's spring cleaner
blowing fresh air through the woods
ripping off dust and debris
whipping waves into a frenzy
polishing snow and ice into smooth and slippery surfaces
sending clouds scurrying overhead.

The woods are alive with dancing trees.

Snow clinging to grasses...

...bring to mind the daily scratchings.

Thursday 23 February 2012


A daily sketch but more of a doodle.
It started off as tree bark
How things change when we're in control.
Perhaps not as smoothly as we would like
A bit too much here
or not enough there
but the spaces allow us to breathe.
There is a flow in the empty bits.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Working in the Shadow of the Sun

Dappled stitching stretching back towards the sun.

Kisses and crosses hide in the shadows.

Every new stitch affects the whole.
There is a push and a pull to balancing my work.
As the stitches in the shadows increase
that first row of tiny flames around the sun have faded into insignificance.
So as I stitch my mind wanders back to them
thinking through how to bring them back into balance. 

And you will remember the beginnings of this piece involved
a million pale stitches for silver birch tree trunks.
This too is now out of balance creating a distraction rather than
adding to the whole story.
Darker, more like a shadow,  would be better.
The thought of unpicking  all that fills me with dread!
Perhaps painting/dyeing each stitch would work?!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Beneath Clear Blue Skies

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Monday 20 February 2012

A Busy Week of Family Events

Just after Valentine's
it was second son's birthday.
The crescent moon is heraldic symbol for second son
and as you can see his candles would light up the night sky.

You will remember these young folks visited recently.
What Donna didn't know is that when they left for home
Mark also took along his grandmother's engagement ring...

....and this Friday he gave her the ring.
So my scratchings include the star symbol for third son
and Mi'kmaq hieroglyphs that says
how deeply they love each other.

Talking of rings...
I put my wedding ring amongst these teeny tiny postcards and letters.
My grandmother's joy in life was entertaining children.
She made these minute mailings for us.

 Those of you with British blood will recognize
the Telegraph and the Times newspapers
lying next to a postman's bag...

....and the old letterboxes
 that were easy to find in busy towns
and tiny village.

It's been quite a red-letter week in our family!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Stitching Some Sunshine into Snowy Winter Days

The sun has been hidden by thick snow-filled clouds for the last couple of days
so I sat in front of the fire
and stitched lots of my own sun rays.

As I stitched I thought of my Mother
whose name was Ray.
My grandparents named her that
because they thought of her 
as their ray of sunshine.
The funny thing is she very nearly married a man
whose surname was Ray!
But luckily my father swept her off her feet instead.

A lot of logs have gone on the fire
over the last few snowy days
but I had to rescue this one

and examine it closer...

and closer.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Valentine Scratchings

Happy Valentine's Day!
Surprise, surprise...
today's scratchings are heart shaped.

However my favourite so far was scratched a couple of days ago.
I decided to do the cretan stitch
but make it higgledy-piggledy
and change all the proportions.
Now that is scratching!

Monday 13 February 2012

Not Just for the Birds

Do you see
All is not normal at the feeder?
See the little paw just below the roof.
Well, I suppose it is normal here
where birds and squirrels and raccoons
breakfast at the feeders regularly.

With his tummy squished between glass and roof
he still eats!
He's a red squirrel and they're small.
Visitors often mistake them for chipmunks.
The large grey squirrels have not yet arrived
in our neck of the woods.

If we lived in town we would have another bird feed raider.
Some deer there have learnt to get their long tongues
into bird feeders
and scoop out the seeds.
Those who haven't mastered that skill yet
then nibble at whatever falls to the ground.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Sharing The Love

Carolynn over at Artystuff has generously given me the Liebster Blog Award which recognizes blogs with under 200 followers.  Carolynn is a fellow Canadian who creates beautiful art quilts and writes about the natural world that inspires her.  She's only been blogging a short time and is already raking in the awards!

There are rules to follow when given this award:
1.  Thank the giver and link back to their blog.
2.  Reveal your 5 top picks and leave a comment on their blog.
3.  Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
4.  Have faith that your followers will spread the love too.

The actual origins of this award are a mystery it would seem but it's surely German.  Having been given it I am happy to pass the love along and share it with others.  So here are my nominations and you'll find I can't count!

Art Journey belongs to another Penny.  This Penny is committed to the art of punchneedle and designs wonderfully organic and tactile pieces. 

Chris over at Textile Butterfly sips tea on Tuesdays and creates beautiful stitched works inspired mostly by ancient tribal symbols.

Sweetpea is Christi's blog where you will find 'scribblings' of a stitcher of stories, a beader and a gardener...oh, and she loves her 'dawg'.

Stitching Life is Karen's blog where she shares her love of stitch and her respect for tradition in cloth.

Deanna's blog is Eclectic Meanderings which is the perfect title for Deanna who makes art using an eclectic collection of materials and techniques.

Kaite's at KaiteYarngarden is a generous soul who creates not for herself but always for those in dire straits or lucky friends.

Saturday 11 February 2012


Granville Ferry reflected on a perfectly smooth Annapolis Basin
Looking like little Lego houses gathering around a mirror
to work out who's the fairest of them all!

As you look down the coast
houses start petering out
and at some point down that road you'll find my home.
It's the oldest road in Canada
and to our surprise the Pony Express
used to ride down this finger of land
and hop on a ferry to the Eastern States.

That was yesterday
a glorious sun filled day
but today we're expecting about 12" snow!

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Thread and Ink

January's scratchings.

Decided to pen a leaf yesterday.

February scratchings are beginning to line up row upon row.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Cold Effects

Frozen shoreline

Frozen waterfall

Frozen Stream

Huntress frozen in time

Flapping ears frozen on film

Cheeky raccoon frozen in the act of petty thievery. 

Sunday 5 February 2012

We Walked the Rocky Shore

We drove over the mountain to the Fundy shore.
A great place to come when it's too hot in the valley.

A wee bit cold on a sunny mid winter's day
and a wee bit treacherous for the trail was mostly ice.
Donna wore two coats and pretty much two of everything else
but rusty pups ......
they need no extra padding.....
they just take things as they come.

Where solid rock meets rhythmic waves
always fills me with awe.

Mark wore the best hat for the occasion.

and snapped away taking photos of potential landscapes. 

Take a deep breath
ad release it slowly.