Wednesday, January 30, 2013


sometimes all you need to do is arrange cloth to bring out its beauty and depth. without threads stitched through its surface the cloth is free to shift. move. evolve. express. without hindrance. allowing a natural and temporal fluidity that could not exist when constrained by the chains of needle and thread.

sometimes this is enough to express creative thought...


Monday, January 28, 2013

warm hands

just when you think it's safe to go outstide in short sleeves and flip flops, you wake up to find a new dusting of snow and chilly temperatures!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

this. that. and the other thing.

"man is born broken.
he lives by mending."
-eugene o'neill

there are always opportunities for mending. how we choose to mend them is what sets us apart. do we mend to conceal? or mend to embellish? or simply ignore it altogether and see the beauty in the wabi sabi nature of things?

over-winding an old wood spool with softly hand-dyed thread. new shape. i stepped on the scales this morning after thinking my jeans were feeling somewhat snug. i am feeling in a rather round mood today.

nicky is getting old and grey. he soon will follow my elderly ward beyond the veil. i have not really been sad. i do not cry when one moves beyond the veil for i know that "dying" is simply a transition from one state to another. for, as the buddha once taught us, "everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death." loved ones will be missed. but there is truly no sorrow in their passing.

i read somewhere: don't cry because it's over. smile because it happened. this shall be my focus for a while.


Monday, January 21, 2013

a quiet silence

"a dying man needs to die,
as a sleepy man needs to sleep,
and there comes a time 
when it is wrong,
as well as useless,
to resist"
-stewart alsop

i have been quiet this past week. will most likely continue to be so for a few more days. it has been difficult for me to sit and stitch or to contemplate words to share. my favorite resident at the cottage fell gravely ill last week and the prognosis is ominous. three days ago she was placed on comfort care, which means medical treatment has been withdrawn and efforts are made to keep her as comfortable as possible as she enters the process of dying. it is always difficult when these dearly loved elders enter this process. it is especially so with this one...


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

mixing some media

i'm just continuing my thoughts about mixing free-motion machine embroidery with hand stitching and then taking it another step down that brambled path that is the intrepid "what if" trail by adding in some other media besides thread and cloth. i've tossed in some metal and buttons; safety pin and metal beads. before we are done journeying down this road there will most likely be glass and paper and who knows what all else added! all the while keeping within this year's focus: fragments.

i don't think i have really talked much about this focus yet. the intent here is to allow these seemingly "unfinished" pieces to stand on their own. they will range from simple cloth fragments with snatches of thoughts embroidered with simplicity on through the gamut to ones such as this one, exhibiting a riot of color and materials!

of course, i have much still to do with this piece and it seems to be full steam ahead, filled with passionate momentum! there is much embellishment to be done in the lower left corner amongst the metal bits, the knots running diagonally across the cloth are only just beginning to emerge, the bird is still largely untouched, and upper corners and borders need further development. the idea is offset the rather bleak fragment of thought with a counterpoint of joyous color and riotous activity to illustrate that even dressed up. decorated. a broken heart is still always going to be broken. of course, there are many ways one can go with this idea. but that travels well beyond this humble fragment's purpose...which is merely to pose the idea. compel you to think and draw your own conclusions.


Friday, January 11, 2013

hungry critters

it's amazing what some critters won't do to get at a shiny apple in your hand!

i've been stitching this week. playing at mixing machine stitching on my new/old featherweight and hand stitching with my vintage straw needles. experimenting with adding vintage buttons and scraps of other paraphernalia. but i haven't managed to get any of it in front of the camera. boo! i know. so y'all will just have to wait another day and enjoy this hungry critter for today...

huh! did y'all notice that we got snow today? ha! it's a great day to stay by the fire and stitch some more.


Friday, January 4, 2013

vintage french linens

there is nothing quite like stitching on vintage french linen! it is so soft yet has a wonderful body to it. with the new year finally here, i am looking forward to more hand work. more time. and great changes! i do so hope you will join me in their discovery!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

small actions - no expectations

"small actions,
and no expectations."
-anna lisa

this past year has been one of unrealized dreams and postponed goals for me. not for want of trying. not for lack of initiation. but for a loss of focus. day to day work has taken over my life. or life has become obscured by my day to day work. no one should have to (or choose to) work 70-80+ hours a week and sacrifice one's home and friends. one's creativity. indeed, one's very life.

i find myself wondering "why? why have i done this?" reflectling deeply brings the answer in a hushed whisper: "to hide. hide from your feelings. hide from the world. hide from whatever."

when you hide for so long, you forget who you are. how you are. how to move forward. to climb out of the pit you have dug. you become overwhelmed and long to dig deeper. to hide better. but there is only one way out of this trap.

small. deliberate. actions.

so i begin to stitch again. to be more mindful of the life food i take into my body. to stretch and play music. to say "no" gently, but firmly, when asked to take up the gauntlet of un-covered shifts at the cottage. to venture forth into the world with small steps with no expectations beyond to move in some direction. to not just look, but to see each moment. quietly. thoughtfully. savour each step, no matter how small or great, for it is a step to another place. another moment.

this is as close to a new year's resolution as i will come. and it is well and good.

may you all find your moments of joy and fulfillment throughout the new year!