Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a beautiful life

a brave little fighter who fought the good fight...

over and over and over again

she stole our hearts twelve years ago - the only little girl cat we've ever had
a tiny little green-eyed feline with dainty white feet

we all tried so hard, marc, doug, claire,  the vet... this time, the third time, was not the charm

more than any other cat we've had, josie knew how to sleep the best

feet straight out in front

a princess at rest

we miss you girly-girl

 thank you to everyone for your suggestions, well wishes and wonderful thoughts... they were all so very much appreciated...

Monday, September 15, 2014

if two wrongs don't...

well, if two wrongs don't make a right how do you feel about three?

i feel pretty good about it myself - it worked quite well the other day as a matter of fact...

i had a hankering to make a snippet cloth snowman christmas card
winter's coming and all that

and as snippet cloth is so artistically unusual i wanted an interesting background for the snowman to sit upon

i thought about hand embroidering a tree but it seemed like it would be too cute somehow...

so i decided to try machine embroidering one

i have no idea how to do machine embroidery

and even though i have no idea i thought i would just give it a go - you know, thread up the machine, cut a piece of fabric and sew


first effort - thread too light, background too dark, fabric badly puckered

second effort - change the orientation

why i thought that would help i have no idea

it didn't

i sewed over the lines more times but it didn't really make the trees stand out - just made the fabric pucker more

and the scale is wrong - the snowman is so big!

from any angle, too big

i knew then what would the perfect background fabric would be - icy blueish grey, fossil fern pattern... scraps left over from many years ago

still wrong, perhaps even more so

 wrong, wrong, wrong

then a thought crossed my mind - a hoop perhaps?

good gracious - i knew that, of course, you can't do this kind of thing without a hoop but somehow or other i thought it would be ok

a big piece of the original fabric, a large hoop, darker thread and bingo!

much better

the only thing i will differently next time is to use a permanent marker to trace the tree
i did this in a wash away pen and the slight puckering happened after the washing - permanent marker, no water

and the scale doesn't seem so bad now

from every angle

a single embroidered snowflake, hanging on a high branch

arms raised in a proclamation of joy 

the wonder of a winter night's sky

i don't mind when things go wrong - i don't see it as a failure, just that i haven't got it right - yet

i know if i keep trying i will sooner or later

how does that go???

"i haven't failed, i've just found a thousand ways that won't work"

i am glad, however, that this was solved a tad sooner!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


as i was sitting in my sewing room the other morning, doing my daily writing, the room brightened considerably in the most incredible way... slowly and steadily, over the space of about fifteen seconds, the level of lightness increased in such a manner that i stopped writing and looked around

it was the most amazing thing...

as i glanced around, i noticed the sunlight highlighting certain things and casting shadows on others

the shadow of the curtains, sunlight sparkling off jars filled with buttons, beads and baubles

 my linen rabbit from many years ago; i never did get around to "finishing" him and now i've decided to leave him just as he is

magnetic snowflakes sparkling like jewels

adding the softest sheen to the lid of a very old preserving jar

highlighting this delightful pin keep by lori ann corelis

late summer early morning sunshine - the best kind

sunshine through freshly opened leaves, the strong scent of green, their shadows dappling lightly on the wooden sidewalk outside our front yard - i was three and playing with my dolls sam, fred, george and charles, hidden among the low branches
{all my dolls had boy's names, even though they were girl dolls - my dad thought it would be a funny thing and so convinced me to name them all that way... i remember as i grew older that it seemed curious to me, but their names were their names and sam, fred, george and charles they were}

i remember sunshine on my shoulders as i played in the water at marsh lake when i was a few years older, humming "sunshine on the water makes me smile" over and over

as a teenager it was nazareth's "sunshine, every single day helps to light my way"

and then dr. hooks' beautiful, haunting "i can't touch the sun"

several years ago my daughter made a cd for me with all my favourite sun songs on it - i don't remember the order of them but i do believe the first one was "walking on sunshine" by katrina and the waves

my most favourite one of all though is by the beatles, and it's what i was humming the other morning as my room filled slowly and steadily with such glowing light...

"here comes the sun"
so beautifully fitting

 which sun song suits you best?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


here i am landing in blogland with a big thump after several weeks' absence...

the image below is pretty accurate 

it's mayhem, alright

not really controlled either... barely managed, mostly endured

the summer of easy relaxed days was not to be, but it was a good summer nonetheless

gallivanting around bc, alberta and the western states
visitors coming and going
canning and preserving
a quilt shop closing and another opening
work, work and more work

these past few weeks i've also been struggling to get my class samples made
i think i'm half-way through, and the first one done is my hand-made book
"a compendium of spells, potions and lotions"

the book-binding part is done - i have the spells and receipts to do next
know any good ones????

charms and beads and special buttons decorate the spine

the man in the moon is a charm from a pair of banana bob earrings from a decade or two ago

the stray cat strut below is from a funky bracelet that belonged to my grand-mother
i have enough cats to share one with each person taking the class

 the black net adds a little elegance i think...

hallowe'en fabric for the cover, deep purple ribbon for the tie

most of the papers are black, orange, purple, brown...

 with the odd spooky one thrown in here and there

i loved making this book and will love filling it even better

"eye of newt" and all that

a local outdoor theatre poster from last year makes for a fun fold-out page too!

teaching classes pushes me in ways i can hardly begin to describe - asking myself all the time, "what can i do to make this piece more interesting?"

"what detail can i add that might inspire someone to sign up? to say to themselves "i have to make this!?!"

and then of course, the desire to put your best face forward, do your best work, think of what else could be done with this technique, and wrap it all up in a fun-filled experience that would make them want to come back

it can be exhausting, but it's ever so exhilarating at the same time

all of this would be more than enough to keep a body and a mind busy to the nth degree

but life has a cruel way of coming back to haunt one from time to time

in this year of re-visiting words, about mid-august i was wondering about september's word and how that might possibly play out... two years ago the word i chose for september was "sorrow"

that was the month we lost bozzy, our dear little cat

and with cruel irony, it appears miss josie is herself failing on us now

she is terribly ill, frail, and in need of great looking after
tiny little cat who seems to be slipping away from us a little more each day

she sleeps a lot, so we all pile on the bed and hang out together, watching movies, reading books - she seems to take comfort from having someone close by


so if you know of a spell or a potion or an incantation or two that might put a spring in her step or a smile on my face tell me true and i'll write it in my wee book

and i'll be trying to wend my way through all this to see what y'all have been up to - i miss you!!