Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lady Fair

Here's something more cheerful than the disturbing illustration to my last post. I found a little treasure box at the recycling centre today. What secrets might it contain?
Jam packed full of vintage rick rack and seam binding. Bless the thrifty homemaker who discovered that the old toffee tin was the perfect size for packages of trim.
I once dated a guy who tried to lure me back to his place with promises of a whole box full of rickrack sitting in his basement. I almost went for it.
I love to imagine the story these old cards might tell. Was she calculating payments of some kind? Socking away some savings? Figuring out a budget? We'll never know.

Notice the package on the right. There is no longer an Eaton's - once Canada's premier chain of department stores. They had their own brand of household items, which included a whole range of sewing notions, "Lady Fair". Sigh... .takes me right back to my mother's sewing corner, with the old Viking machine set up on the table, and the lazy susan filled with spools of thread.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Human Pincushion

Well, the gentleman pictured above has taken it a bit farther, but I am on my way. This morning I woke up with the feeling that something was poking me under my arm. I sat up and the feeling stopped, but James had a look and exclaimed "Oh my god, Heather!" There was a rather large sewing needle stuck into the sleeve of my pajamas. Aha! I remembered the night before having taken the needle into the bathroom to poke at a sliver, and sticking the needle into the front of my pajama top so that I could, conscientiously and efficiently, return it to the pincushion on my way up the stairs to bed. Of course, in the ten steps between the bathroom and the stairs, I completely forgot about it, and somehow during the course of the night it migrated over to my sleeve.

James was horrified. "It could have stuck you in the eye!"

Hmmph. Typical non-stitcher's reaction! Maybe I was sewing in my dreams....

Friday, September 05, 2014

Boy, Is My Face Red!

What kind of Canadian am I? I just found out that I have been mispronouncing dear Louis Nicolas's name all this time. What a cretinous Anglophone! (I was saying Nicolas, not Nicolah, which of course is the proper French pronunciation.) Here, in this video, Nancy Senior, the translator of the Codex Canadensis, talks about the work, and our beloved rogue Jesuit.

Can you tell that another Codex piece is welling up in me? Not sure what it will be, but I am getting the itch.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

And the Winning Colour Is....

I went with the icy blue. The colour I did my sample with was discontinued, though, and even the expert eye of the lady at Stitcher's Muse couldn't come up with the perfect match - in the skein. So what I am doing is mixing the strands of thread, which on their own do look like a perfect match, and when blended together look pretty darn perfect too. Tricks of the light maybe? Anyways, I have begun, and I am liking it, I think.

I'm doing my usual manoeuvre of working the letters at random, so there is no obvious change of quality from beginning to end. When working this slowly, even a change in the weather can make the thread behave slightly differently - I don't know that anyone would ever notice, but in any case, I don't want to chance it.

Speaking of weather, we did have a very welcome day of rain, and it's now back to clear blue skies, sun and comfortably cool temperatures. I do love September!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Catching Up

I love September. It always feels like the start of a new year. But, maybe because our BC teachers are (legitimately, I feel) on strike, and the provincial government is determined to bust the union and further repress our constitutional rights, the kids aren't back to school, and therefore I feel like summer hasn't quite ended. Which is a long-winded and politically ranting way to say I haven't got back into the blogging groove.
Stuff has been happening, I suppose. I finished my little hooked mat, which I will keep to remind myself how humble I must be.
I dyed some thrift store wool for another hooked project, in my usual haphazard fashion, stuffing the cloth into mason jars, dumping some rather elderly acid dye into each jar until it looked right, and processing them all at once in a canner, then fulling the pieces in the dryer. It's funny how I can be such a perfectionist in some ways, and so "Whatever!" in others.

I have chosen a thread colour for Chris's piece, and will unveil it tomorrow, as a ruse to get myself back into regular posting.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trying to Avoid the Bad Puns...

 ...but when you're around a bunch of hookers, it's almost impossible. Yesterday I had my first lesson in hooking - rug hooking that is. Something I've always wanted to do, ever since my trip to St. John's, Newfoundland. Turns out that there is a lively group of hooking enthusiasts here on Gabriola, and yesterday they had an introductory workshop for newbies. Gill was our instructor, and I immediately liked her approach of using recycled materials and just using scissors to cut the strips. There's no way I'm getting into something that requires another closet to hold the stash.
All the supplies were provided, including sparkling water with Italian vanilla syrup, and fresh peaches. I'm glad the group is into such pleasures of the flesh.
It was a very pleasant couple of hours.
And here's what I got started on. I love the thick, dense pile - I would say that hooking is to painting as embroidery is to drawing - it's very easy to create a lush, juicy surface. The tonalities of my colours are too close, so the poor little flower isn't going to look like much, but I will finish it and have a nice little mat to put my teapot on.

The group is planning to meet weekly. I could be in trouble.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Hummm, this picture is a bit on the blue side. But you can see that I have auditioned a few more colours: a blush pink, an icy blue, a very pale aqua, and a pinky beige. I do prefer them to the neutrals, surprisingly enough. I just tried them because I won't hear from the needlework store til Monday as to whether that new shade of floss from DMC is available in Canada yet. It doesn't take much for my heart to wander! I'm now leaning towards the icy blue, or maybe the pinky beige.

Now it occurs to me that I could mix one strand each of the gray, the blue and the pink! Back to the embroidery hoop!

P.S. "Why the squiggles?" you may ask. Well, I'm approximating the thickness of the lines in the actual text, and the squiggles give me a better idea of how light will affect the colour in the curvature of the finished letters.