A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Question answered

I was wondering what I would post about today and while reading the latest from one of my doll groups I came across a very interesting article about criticism and our insecurities about our art which I felt I should pass on to you. We all seem to have pretty thin skins when it comes to dealing with outspoken critics of our work,especially when the criticism isn't of the constructive sort. Check out today's post at Glo von Gesslein's blog here.

I know I've posted pictures of sunflowers before, but this one is rather odd...see the petals growing out of the middle of the flower?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hunter/Gatherer and labels

I do hope this isn't the last rose of summer because we have lots of buds left!

I've been spending the afternoon doing a 'hunter/gatherer' stint. Hunting for something I can't find and gathering 'stuff' into piles so I might be able to find other things when I undertake to look for them. I absolutely KNOW I printed off directions to make roses using duct tape...bought the tape...can't find the darned directions. Argh! They're in here....somewhere......but where???

The 'label' part of this post is arising because of my post from yesterday. I am reminded as I go through all the old photos of how very important it is to label each and every one thoroughly as to who they are and date them if possible. Simply labeling a photo with an 'Uncle Bob' or 'Aunt Jane' does nothing to help historians and genealogists because, chances are, there are several Uncle Bobs and Aunt Janes in the family tree! Believe me, I know this, because there is a John, William and Robert in every one of four generations in my line. I have a number of photos labeled 'Uncle Bill', but that really doesn't tell me anything that will identify a picture definitively. When the name was written onto the photo of course everybody in the family knew who 'Uncle Bill' was, but future generations won't. So, here's my hint (rant?) of the day....label ALL your pictures with proper names (William John Smith....not Bill, or Uncle Bill) and date them. Your descendants will thank you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Treasure trove!!

These are all pictures of my ancestors! My cousin visited today and brought me two albums full of photos, plus a small heap of cabinet cards (only a few of which are shown above). I have happily spent the afternoon scanning and photocopying what I might be able to use in 'the book' or in the next one (written by the original's son). There were also a number of family photos from my dads life (some of him when he was a young man) and some from my generation. To say I'm thrilled is the understatement of the year!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dumb and Dumber (and just plain stupid)

Sorry folks, no picture today because I haven't had a chance to do anything other than work on 'the book'.

However, this was on the front page of the Toronto Star newspaper this morning and it falls under the category of how STUPID people can be....under the headline "Shoplifters pay for TV confession"....."Even by the confessional standards of the Dr. Phil television show, it was a whopper of an admission. The nicely dressed couple said they had roamed several states as shoplifters, stealing mostly toys, selling them on the Internet and making as much as $1 million (US) over seven years"....."I'm no lawyer or a cop," said show host Phil McGraw, incredulously, "but isn't that a federal crime?".

The article then goes on to say that a federal grand jury in San Diego handed down an indictment against Mathew Allen Eaton, 34 and his wife, Laura, 26 and are using a transcript of the show as evidence.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hodge podge of things...

Edited to add the above photo....of the spindles referred to later in the post.....
2nd 'edit' to add this...thanks Irene for noticing that the part of my post referring to the spindles was awol! The spindles were picked up at the antique market referred to below for $1 each. I don't think they're really classed as 'antique' because there were too many of them and they were pretty cheap. No matter tho, because I liked them and can envision a doll coming out of them at some point.
Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, but the above picture sort of says it all. This was part of the venue for the outdoor wedding we attended yesterday. It was lovely and the weather was perfect.

While we were there, we had some time to kill, so we made the *mistake* of visiting a combination antique/curio mall and you can see that I was rather bad and added some more books to my already overflowing collection. I haven't had a real chance to read any of them, but the pictures in the gourd book are spectacular.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Well, actually it's only  one chicken! Before you ask, no I don't collect chickens, but I fell in love with this pottery one while poking through one of the antique/curio shops we were in yesterday. I have several small open shelves in my kitchen and she fits perfectly. My kitchen is primarily blue so she looks quite at home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Remember a little while ago when I said I'd won a drawing on Planet Purl for 16 balls of yarn? It came today, and I'm so thrilled with it! The colour is perfect and it feel divine. It will make a lovely short sleeve top once I find a nice pattern I like.

The yarn is 'Linarte' by Lana Grossa (from Italy)...40% Rayon, 30% Cotton, 20% Linen, and 10% Polyamide and calls for either 4 or 4.5 needles. I will have to research to see if that's in mm, but I expect it is. Unfortunately the band doesn't have the universal # that would help to narrow down the pattern choices.

I must remind you though, that my "speedy" knitting won't result in a completed sweater for at least three years, so don't hold your breath waiting to see it!
Thank you Planet rock!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Backhoe needed

Another garden picture, because obviously nothing creative is being done. The bee on the sunflower is accomplishing more than I seem to be!

However, in my defense, 'the book' is coming along. I'm approaching a third done (127 pages of my typed pages is pretty much equaling 5 of the original diary). I try to do two or three pages per day, but that doesn't always happen.

So...after I did my daily pages today...I parceled up Bravura (the latest Art Doll in the collaberation) ready to mail. Then I started to shovel out my studio so that I could change gears and work on another project for awhile. I signed up to swap a 4" Halloween doll so that might be my next project...or...gasp.....I might go back to work on my coat!! Decisions, decisions.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Today has been one of spinning my wheels and accomplishing nothing of interest to anybody (including me). So...for your viewing pleasure, two more garden pictures. Above is the neighbours sneaky morning glory that is blooming beautifully on OUR side of the fence, but on hers, not so much. Our side of the fence gets the morning sun which morning glories seem to like.

Below is the pink-tinged sedum we have in the front garden. It is just starting to turn colour and will get much redder than this in a couple of weeks. It's a plant I particularly like because it has rather interesting foliage AND turns the most lovely colour in the fall. It's also a simple plant to look after...stick it in the ground and watch it do it's thing! Perfect plant.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Journal pages for Bravura

Here are the four journal pages I completed to go along with Bravura. Her 'story' is that she is a real heart breaker and leaves many men behind. I decided that the reason she did this was because "It all comes down to who does the dishes". Obviously she has yet to meet a man who does this dishes!

I used various techniques to do these pages. The 'dishes' page was simply a photocopy of the material I used for her cape, with the addition of some glitter in the sealant. The tears are flat-backed 'beads' meant for scrapbooking I think.

Page two (the pic of Bravura)...I laid down a piece of aluminum foil. Over that a single layer of paper napkin. Painted all over with black folk art paint. After it dried, I lightly brushed over it with Twinkling H2O's. Let dry and carefully peel away from foil. After I added the quote and the picture of Bravura, I sealed with a coat of water based varnish.

PAge three (bottom left) has watercolour paper, moistened on both sides. Drops and 'spluges' of H2O's with some salt sprinkled on top. There are five tags inside the pocket.

Page four (bottom right) began with a piece of watercolour paper, moistened well on both sides. I painted it with purple folk art paint and let it dry. Stencil it using gold paint and sequin waste. Circles were stamped using the bottom of a bottle dipped in paint. The 'trim' along the side is fine glass beads, to represent tears.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New flower

We were trolling the local nurseries the other day looking for good deals on perennials (not that we NEED any more but it comes down to WANT!). We fell in love with this hibiscus and it was half price! It climbed right into our hands and wanted to come home with us. It had a couple of flowers already and several buds yet to open. Now we just have to hope it doesn't succumb to the winter cold....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


30 Years with this man!!

Thirty years ago yesterday I married a wonderful man. 30 years in some ways feels like a very long time, and in other ways it seems like just yesterday. He's a good man and I consider myself a very lucky woman to have him in my life and to have him as the father of our sons. Here's hoping we're lucky enough to have thirty more years together.

These are some pictures from our road trip yesterday. It's hard to believe but the greenery in the front of the picture above is actually onions. A whole huge field of them! This is in the Holland Marsh, which is the area where a large percentage of our vegetables are grown and marketed from.

Below is a picture of one of the massive wind turbines we saw. They are absolutely spectacular to see up close. Hopefully they will continue to be erected to provide for our hydro electric needs in the future.
Finally, this picture is overlooking Georgian Bay and was taken in a little park we stopped at. There were a couple of sailboats out there, but too far away for a picture, so I settled for this pretty-sounding fountain instead.
We had a lovely day! Thank you to everyone who wished us a happy anniversary.
p.s. Jack has Mitzy (the cat) and Gypsy (the dog) on his lap in his photo. He can't form a lap without attracting animals.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bravura's progress

Here is Bravura!

Bravura is the latest doll I've been working on for the Art Doll Coolaberation. She's a fragile lady, but a huge heart-breaker and leaves a trail of disconsolate men behind her. Her skirt is a glass vase (and believe me, I worry about breaking it!!). Her upper body is made from papier mache.

I made her a cape, trimmed with a beaded fringe. The picture doesn't show it very well, but the purple fabric is very shiny and textured. I only had a little bit and fortunately I was able to get enough. It's lined with green dupioni silk.
Because Bravura is such a heart breaker, she now has a lachrymatory bottle, full of tears shed by all her conquests. She even has a wee book that contains all the names of the men she has left behind!
She also sports a beaded necklace (with a nod to Betty Rubble from the Flinstones!). Someone said Bravura was reminiscent of Betty, so I HAD to make the beads!! While Bravura was visiting with Barb, she got her lovely dress and her skin (which is fantastic!). Now I'm working on her journal and will post pictures when I'm done.

I won't be posting tomorrow because we're skipping town for the day. It's our 30th anniversary and we feel a road trip is in order. Not sure where we'll end up, but that's the fun of a sanity day! Feel free to talk amongst yourselves....

Friday, September 04, 2009

Flowers - two kinds

The pictures today are from our garden. Figured I should be taking some photos of the remaining ones, because it's bound to be a long winter.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wedding prep

This is what I spent my afternoon working on. They're pouches made from handmade paper I put together using my sewing machine and then added the ribbons at the top. These will be filled with fresh rose petals and hung at the ends of the rows of chairs at the wedding. It's an outdoor wedding so let's hope the weather co-operates!! (oh...the wedding is the daughter of a friend of mine).
Speaking of roses...I wonder if this will be the last rose of summer in our garden. Hope not!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! On the weekend I used the pipe shibori technique, mid weight denim material, and bleach to create what you see below.
First I basted the fabric into a tube that would fit around a piece of plastic pipe I scrounged from the garage. The plastic pipe was placed inside the tube and then the fabric was scrunched down the pipe (you can see it in the top photo). I immersed it in water to be sure the fabric was wet and then drizzled bleach over it. After about five minutes (and much peering into the pail to see what was going on), I immersed it all in a vinegar/water solution and let that soak for a few minutes to stop the bleaching action. There was lots of water in the rain barrel, so it went through several rinsings. Then into the washing machine and through two cycles to be sure the bleach was removed.

These pieces will be used in my coat....I hope!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rusty bits - as promised

Here they are, in all their rusty glory! I'm happy with the piece shown below, but the larger piece (shown above) is in need of another dose of rust.
The nicer piece was done around the steel wool-wrapped cardboard tube. The vinegar made the steel wool rust amazingly well (and fast). I need to wash the fabric yet to see how much of the colour fades, but hopefully not too much.

The larger piece was the one I wrapped around a rusty piece of metal pole and the colours came out much more faded and also in a striped pattern. This one is going back to the drawing board and will be rewrapped the other way on. Hmmm...maybe I'll end up with a plaid effect? Of course I ran out of vinegar and need to get more before I can proceed.

Tomorrow I hope to show you pictures of the shibori I did over the weekend. Stay tuned!