Monday 29 May 2017

Deciding on a Softer Touch

Another hag stone
A stone with a hole through it
A stone from Dorset.
This is how my cloth stone ended up
but it started like this.....

.....To me it looked heavy handed
so picked out all the stitching
and decided on a softer touch
or perhaps a more minimalist touch.

Speckled pebble
Found hanging out in my curio shelves
crammed full of precious things.
Just love it.
It's only an inch wide.

Mapping marks with one strand of DMC.

A gift of thread from Betsy
helped me decide on
how to interpret these smokey markings.

A speckled rock gift from Nancy
but the scrap of silk I chose was way too beautiful to cover over!

A wrapped stone gift from Nadine.
My goodness me I have received a lot of gifts this week!

Nadine lives down on the French shore
and five of us met at her place

where we ate mouthwatering lobster,
planned for our upcoming show
and played with photo manipulation.

Another gift of a stone from Nancy.
Thank you girls for all your gifts.
How lucky am I.

Monday 22 May 2017

Moving on Like a Rolling Stone

Funny how some of us are
are bedecked and bejewelled
and beautiful

Some of us are plain janes
and beautiful

Some of us are a bit ruffled
and beautiful.
This rusched piece of silk
caught my eye
very textured and very floppy
but I wanted to make sure the edges were smooth
so stitched it to a light-weight background
pinned a strong linen on top
and performed reverse applique.

Some of us are blotched
and beautiful.
This photo doesn't give any hint of
the stone's pale shape
but it's there
and I took great pains to choose the tiny piece of silk!

Some of us bear scars
and are beautiful

Some of us like cake
and are beautiful

Some of us try to make ourselves into copies of others
....not so beautiful!
I haven't yet mastered those stones
with beautiful smokey  markings.
Perhaps next week.

Happy Victoria Day Canada!

Friday 19 May 2017

Pups and Ducks

If there is a ball in the mouth
you know it is Rusty Pup Shandy

Every year a pair of black ducks nests across the pond.
We love observing them
They are quite comfortable with the Rusty Pups
Several times a day the male escorts the female onto our lawn
and stands guard as she feeds
two of them come and feed
on our very damp lawn.
This morning was different
the female just sat as still as she could 
in another part of the garden.
I was worried
didn't let the dogs out
but she eventually wandered back to the pond
so the RP's and I followed.

This morning she stayed on the pond
and the male was at the other end of the pond
This is different
So we assume she must have had her babies yesterday.
Now, when we get to close
she quacks at us
and if she is really worried
the male takes flight and circles overhead.
The babies must be close by.
soon they will be in the water and shepherded down the stream
past the beaver lodge and into the Annapolis Basin.
There they will grow up
and finally fly south when the days shorten.
I must say I would like to follow the sun too!

Rusty Pup Kayla 
will keep a close eye on them
but we often miss seeing the babies
float downstream huddled together like a raft.
The thing is their colouring really camouflages them
against the dappled brownish water.

That's enough wildlife for the day, Mom
Can we go in now?

Pleease let us in
it must surely be time for another meal.

spiralling energy
wishing those ducks safe travels.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Pink Rocks!

This is the fourth piece for a show this summer
It has been up on the design wall for about a month!
All of a sudden, one day this week
I knew what to try.....Pink!
A discharged fabric with hints of pink was ripped into strips
and pinned up into rock-like shapes.
I like that.
So then.... more pink.
That little scrap of silk
a rare pink from natural dying last summer.

Decided the rock shapes looked too perfect
so cut out a section.

 Then.... a day later
after discharging all morning
the new discharge had to be auditioned.
But the pink was overwhelmed.... got removed.
This one I like.
But let's take it a bit further

 Let's try even more discharge. much weight on the left side now.
Going back to version three.
No pink in sight.....

....but I do have pink thread!

So I am stitching

Six more rows of pink
then it will go up on the design wall gain
to see what is needed next.
As I mentioned this is the fourth of five
Last one soon.
They need to be finished by the time I go and visit
these two little munchkins

Happy pink days!

Monday 15 May 2017

A Forgotten Stone

Mmmm....a slice of pizza perhaps.
Well, my version of this beauty....not the handsome agate!

Must have food on my mind this week
because I thought walnut coffee cake!

Tracking across the surface
Tiny footsteps

A beautiful and fascinating stone
a gift from Diane
all the way from the Baja Peninsula
I need to go back in and add those pink specks.

Plain Jane
and quite small
You don't really get an idea of how big or small
some of these are until
you see them all together.

A bit late for Easter!
And this is the 'forgotten' stone
because as I photographed it I realized
I hadn't stitched any of the markings.
Will have to go back into this one too.

I just love this little pebble
just because of the fabrics and tiny lumps of stitches
being perfect in my mind's eye.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Garden inspection

We were out inspecting the stream before the rain.
And just for Lillian....

Wait for it....
Over we go....

Aaah, that's better!

Monday 8 May 2017

Listening to What the Stones Say

A gnarled and wrinkled stone
 silk noil seemed just right

Simple and nearly round

One of my favourite pieces of dyed silk
It took me a while but
I surprised myself and cut into it.
Oh, such courage!

This little interpretation could have been more subtle.
I always seem to prefer a gentler change in colour.

Of course pink for Thursday
when baby Stevie Ray was born!
I think I need to take another look at pink
now that both my grandchildren are girls!

So now I am in the fifth month of Stone Pathways
and am wishing I knew a bit more about
each one.
How it was formed
what it is made of.

Another piece of precious silk
this had been scrunched and pressed for another project
but now it's speckled nature
is sitting here for a beautiful speckled
smooth stone.
I didn't have the heart to iron out my silk!

Four months of stone pathways
are now pinned up on one of the design walls.
It is about 7ft long by 29".
I need time to sit and reflect.
Do I want to continue in this format?
The seams are curved
Do I want to change to straight seams for the next four months?
How many layers does it need? 
A quilt batte and a backing or just one layer of backing?
What stitching marks bring it all together?
These are some of the questions I will be asking myself
as I stitch on into May.
I am smiling because I was trained to have everything
resolved on paper before starting
before wasting materials.
But that has never suited me
I need to have the freedom to change my mind
to change the direction of a piece.
Basically as stitchers we spend a lot of time with our work
and it changes with every stitch
every mark
and I work best if I take the time to listen to what it asks of me.