Friday, September 19, 2008

Finally, A Bit of Stitching

I am well aware of the irony of calling this page a stitching blog when it is painfully bereft of any evidence of actual stitching. Even though it's not finished, I wanted to show you what I have been working on this summer.

I seem to have bogged down on the word "pleasure". Suddenly, my eyes have lost the ability to focus at the necessary distance to see what I am doing. Bright light helps, but I fear a magnifying lens is in my near future. Working on a fine linen cloth, trying to do a counted satin stitch over 5 threads doesn't help either. But soon it will be done.

The text reads: "The object of their labours may have simply been the pleasure of the work itself." It is a quote from the weighty anthology "The Object of Labor", which I wrote about several months ago. It was referring to the possible reason behind the huge output of tea cloths, pillowcases, doilies and such that women produced in the 30's and 40's.

I have been thinking about the words in the context of this big project I have taken on, using text fragments and old cloth to explore ideas of impermanence, life and death, fate and faith. It amuses me to think of the Three Fates enjoying their work of spinning, measuring, and cutting the threads of our existence. Why shouldn't they take pleasure in their acts of creation? Every artist knows the need to be able to look at a piece of work and say, "It's done."

This piece of text will be one element in a larger cloth that more directly reference the Fates. I look forward to showing the finished work to you SOON.


I have been enjoying sitting under this large maple during the summer. Its leaves are now starting to shift in colour - autumn is only a day away.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Once Upon a Time (The Story Continues…)

I turn 50 tomorrow. Here is a tale that I hope may reassure those who read it that magic, romance and true love can come to us at any age.

The girl and her dog journeyed over land and sea, and found themselves on a magical island. There was a little house for them to live in, and a garden full of fruit and vegetables. They spent their days in happy companionship, walking on the beach and working in the orchard, accompanied by hummingbirds, ravens, and the occasional feral sheep.

The girl kept a blog to let her friends know what she was up to. One day she received a message signed “A Secret Admirer”. She was perplexed – who could it be? She had so many sweet friends who had helped her through difficult times. Most of them were women – how many men read a blog about sewing? But the girl was clever, and soon guessed who it might be – one of the prince’s courtiers, a steadfast, kind-hearted knight who had been loyal in spite of the prince’s ineptitude.

The girl and the knight began a correspondence and soon discovered that they shared many things in common. One day, with butterflies in her throat, the girl decided to invite the knight for a visit. He set out the very next day, more scared than he cared to admit, but he was courageous, and ready for adventure. When his boat touched the shore, the girl was waiting.

The island’s magic swept over them. Their middle-aged skin became smooth and glowing, their near-sighted eyes shone like stars, and they fell into each other’s arms like long lost lovers who had finally found each other again. They lay in the light of the full honey moon, marveling that such a gift should be given to them at this late stage in their lives.

Days passed, each one bringing the girl and the brave knight closer together. They slept like puppies, curled together, warm and gentle. The sun blessed their bodies as they bathed in the sea, and the green fronds of the cedars sheltered them as they rested underneath. The knight told stories of his adventures, making the girl laugh merrily, and he cooked ratatouille and patty pan squash with maple syrup. The girl tended the garden and made the little house a cozy home, and the dog (we mustn’t forget the dog) was overjoyed to be adored by two people instead of just one.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lingering on Lasqueti

Other than a childhood dream of being a lighthouse keeper, I've never had much of a chance to explore maritime life. Now I find myself falling in love with the rugged, timeless rocks, driftwood and even boat moorings.

Keiko and I have been blissing out in the late summer sun.

The beaches on Lasqueti are endlessly fascinating. The rock formations are very organic, resembling the work of Henry Moore on acid. They offer lots of opportunities for play.

Pebbles are embedded in sand, which over the years becomes stone. Waves and tides create erosion, and eventually loosen and release the pebbles.

The colours of a tidal pool are echoed in the garden.

This little tree frog paid a visit.

This giant, gnarled old maple shares the same water we drink. Our well is at it's foot.

Two sunsets. Every evening a spectacular canvas unfolds. (Completely un-Photoshopped!)