With Heart and Hand

It's time to wrap up the blog for another year. I look back with a mixture of exhaustion and exasperation - Did I really accomplish all that? And how come I didn't do more? I always have more projects in mind than are possible to achieve, so I am constantly feeling both slothful and overextended. Who needs enemies when I have myself? It's amazing that my creative spark continues to thrive.

In anticipation of the New Year, I have put another panel of the Codex embroidery into the frame. It's the page of the four little birds that always makes people exclaim, because Louis Nicolas gave one a red heart. It's so unusual in the context of the rest of the document, both for the rare use of colour and the sweetness of the symbolism amidst all the sharp claws and gnashing teeth of the other creatures. What the heck was going on in Louis' mind?
Image from the Library and Archives Canada
The bird is labelled "characaro", which I couldn't find a translation or reference of anywhere on the web, other than the original source. So it is a mystery, but if anybody has some insight into the meaning of this name, I would love to hear it.

I also have a pile of five kangaroo style jackets that I have to turn into zip-front cardigans for a walking club, looming large in my sewing room. The dread of such a job is much worse than actually just sitting down and doing it,  and so I shall.

But I am also excited and hopeful that Sherri Lynn Wood will choose me to try out one of her quilt templates for her new book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Sherri Lynn has been so inspiring to me with her heartfelt, holistic approach to pushing the boundaries of contemporary craft practise.

And what do I wish for 2014, other than world peace and the reversal of climate change? I would like to nail down a show for the Codex work. And although I won't stop working on the other two, that third wish just might be achievable .

Thank you, dear readers, for dropping by over the past year, and may all your wishes come true in 2014.


  1. I truly admire your perseverance and dedication to this project, Heather. A tour de force and love that it's "Canadian". That red heart is really something--perhaps the Mister had fallen in love and it was reflected here? Wish there were more stories available about himself and the Codex!

    On a side note, the lovely indigo piece you sent with the lovely little jewel case has already been pressed into service for a dimensional work i've started. Thank you so much again.

  2. Good luck with your exhibition proposals for the codex work.
    It is a wonderful Canadian body of work and so interesting and beautifully done.

    and re: "who needs enemies when I have myself" I totally understand and get that.

    Self destruction of the artist - a common complaint.

    BE well in 2014 and keep your stick on the ice.

  3. There is a bird called caracara, a South American falcon. Maybe falcons in general were referred to that way back at the time of the Codex?

    Love that red heart! Beautiful work, Heather--
    Happy New Year-

  4. Merry Christmas, Heather. I look forward to following your work in 2014.

  5. Anonymous8:04 AM

    There's always a great deal of work to do and never enough time or energy to do it all. The work you do accomplish is remarkable and so, just continue along your path in 2014 and I am sure you will get to where you want to go, or maybe even some place you never expected to go to. Looking forward to reading more fascinating posts on your blog throughout the Year of the Horse. Cheers! Jean-Pierre

  6. "Did I really accomplish all that? And how come I didn't do more?"

    I can so totally relate to this feeling! One's brain is always at least 10 projects ahead of one's hands. At least we're never bored, right?

    All the best in 2014, Heather! I'm sure you'll find the right place to show your Codex.

  7. Thanks for your fascinating posts Heather. I love finding out what you're up to, not only the stitching and creative work. Best wishes and Happy new year for 2014.


Post a Comment

Please forgive me for using word verification. The spam robots got to me.