Monday, 21 May 2018

Where The Stones Are

Stones come in every shape and size don't they.

Every day for a year I have picked up a stone
Carried it home in a pocket

Felt it's weight and texture in the palm of my hand and....

....I have wondered what each stone has seen in it's lifetime
for it has lived thousands of years longer than I ever will.

I have wondered who, through the centuries, could have walked upon each stone.

 Did any small boy, or man for that matter,
Use my chosen rock as a weapon?

I have wondered why some of my stones
have bits and pieces missing....

....and have they travelled to this place for afar?

This past week I needled the last stitches into the twelfth pathway.
I will miss the daily ritual of hunting for a new stone.
However, as I stitched around each stone,
I was inspired once again by their markings
perhaps another piece will come out of just the marks.
One thing leads to another.

May you be led down a new stone path of creativity on this day.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Been Away - At Maggie's

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit
Maggie generously invited Judy and I to stay with her and Fred after retreating.
That evening some dear friends came to dinner.

That night I started reading Maggie's book
A beautiful book where Maggie 
shares her work and her love of life, family and travel.

Maggie and Fred are collectors of Mark's art.

My particular favourite.

 And I was really drawn to her brother's beautiful carvings.

 A special treat was spending time with Maggie in her studio
and getting a personal showing of her work.

Thank you Maggie

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Been Away - SAQA Central Canada Retreat

My trip started with Brett meeting me at Toronto airport
and driving me all the way to Crieff.
Precious time in the car with my boy.
Thank you, Brett for spoiling me!

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit

What a joy it was to be included in the retreat.
I was an interloper, being from the Maritimes chapter of SAQA,
but a last minute cancellation
allowed me to go and spend some precious time with Judy
and other Ontario stitchers.
My goodness me, Judy and I have been friends
for years and years and years.
We are sisters in many ways.

Judy and I were able to catch up and talk about our upcoming show
"cloth of Time"
at the Mary E Black gallery in Halifax.
(Thank you to Rose for photographing our hands over Judy's stitching)

Thank you to the energetic and talented Maggie Vanderweit
who organized everything brilliantly.
I love that her mantra is "growing community".
Maggie and I have been friends for many a year too.
Ever since she too joined Connections.

Another great talent and dear friend, Bethany Garner
was there (in the background).
Bethany is a member of Kingston Fibrearts and 
a fellow member of Connections.
I met Lisa Courtnage (foreground) who impressed me with her dedication
 and focus on colour mixing for the whole retreat!

What a friendly and talented group it was.
Couldn't include them all but
asked the hand stitchers if I could include them here.
Rose Klein was hand stitching a large beautiful piece.

I loved her red and black....

 and choice of stitches....

and designs.

From left to right
June Robertson, Harriet Rynberk and Hildegarde Sausik.
Hildie on the right was hand stitching....

....her lovely natural dyed and printed cloths.

Loved them.

Well I never....
....As I worked on this post
the mail lady delivered this card from another retreater,
Linda A. Campbell who had promised to send this maritimer
a whale.
Thank you Linda!

Photograph by Maggie Vanderweit
I did manage to get one "Stone Pathway" out
but didn't really get much stitching done.
Connecting with as many fellow retreaters and 
like-minded spirits was my priority.

This was their first retreat
and I wish them many more!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Been Away - Family Visit

Took four Stone Pathways with me expecting to get all four finished
Not a single one came home completed!

 Stevie Ray's first birthday.
Very important to everyone but Stevie was quite unimpressed!

Three year old Ashley goes to ballet class.
Ashley is the youngest in the class
Ashley is a free spirit
Ashley does her own thing and loves every moment.

I gave her a book of scratching boards.

In Daddy's studio Ashley has her own painting.
Every now and then she is allowed to add three
more colours.
Oh, yes, and she now stitches too!

 I got very few snapshots of Stevie Ray
That wee one is in constant motion
focussed on walking and exploring every little thing.
She is so tactile
feeling everything with her hands and head too!

Drumming "We Are The Champions"
on Ashley while keeping an eye on Stevie.
Ironically wearing a Maple Leafs sweatshirt.
Oh, well, the Maple Leafs are champions in the eyes
of fans like Mark!

Home again with Handy Hubby and the Rusty Pups.
Eager to get back to work in the studio.

Wishing you a day of tactile play with needle and thread.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Not One, Not Two, Not Even Three....

....but 4 herons have arrived at the pond.
Can you spy the fourth?!
He wandered up the stream into the woods.

They seem to like the spot where the stream
enters the pond.
Only one caught a fish as far as we could see.

They must be wishing they stayed in warmer climes a bit longer.
It is so very cold here still.

One morning the Rusty Pups and I stepped outside
to photograph.  I was barefoot and really regretted that decision!

Stitching on six of the Stone Pathways is done.
Six more to go.

Stitching dots around dotty rocks!

 My little backstitched dots remind me of a dress I had
as a toddler many, many moons ago.
It was made of that cotton lawn Swiss dot fabric
covered in little raised dots.
Perhaps that dress is the reason I grew into a tactile person!
Don't you have to touch everything?
On-line shopping is difficult for people like me!
Have a tactile day!

Monday, 9 April 2018

In the Absence of Thread

 My thread order has arrived
Must say,  it's been fascinating watching it's progress
through the postal system
as it came northwards from Louisiana.

As I waited I worked on new beginnings.
Stitching together new pathways from scraps left over from
last year's stones.
Surprisingly the brown family of scraps seem to belong
with a few precious pieces of silk that I have been saving
for just the right opportunity.

And the greys seem to go perfectly with a couple of linens.

 One of last year's stones was cut out of a favourite grey silk.
I remember at the time being shocked that I would do such a thing.
Recently I came across the silk amidst the stone scraps
and was shocked once again to see a great big round hole in it!
So decided now is the time to honour it in it's entirety.
 I have been thinking a lot about darning and mending recently.
My initial thought was to just darn the hole
but then....

....I spied a square of ruching that has been looking for just the right home.
It fit perfectly over my stoney hole
and I like it.

Three new pieces to in their infancy.

But for now back to stitching Stone Pathway backgrounds.

Monday, 26 March 2018

When You Run Out Of Thread....

....You take the opportunity to work on
other (and thank goodness smaller) commitments.
Small 10" squares for a show
"East Meets West"
organized by

To my surprise I think this one is finished
despite the fact that it is not covered in stitch
from edge to edge.

On the other hand this one is certainly
stitched to the max.

....Then you move on to start new work.
I have saved all the small offcuts from "Stone Pathways".
This break from stitching has allowed me to organize them
into colours and....

 ....and arrange them onto 2" squares....

....then sew them together
into what could end up as a stone or cobbled pathway?

And with time to breathe this week
you sit and appreciate wonderful linens
given to you by a friend.
Thank you Andrea!

Winter seems to have arrived in Spring this year!
I am freeeeezing
Perhaps next week the snow and the cold will go away.

Eagerly awaiting my thread order
needed to finish "Stone Pathways".