Friday, February 29, 2008

more about light

the days are getting longer. when keith finishes work at 4:00 or when i finish teaching (2 afternoons a week) we drive out the highway about 5 min. to some wonderful trails. at that time of evening there are few snowmobiles so abigail can run free. much nicer than walking in slush through town.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

the light stretches

i work in my home. i know the light in this house. in each room. at each hour. each season. now, in these last days of february, the light is stretching. as if waking from a long sleep.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

more tulips

i've been working on some "exhibition related" product for the craft council shop. the shop and gallery are in the same building and the shop will have a special display of deb and ray's and my work to compliment the show. it' always interesting to see how a motif translates onto different surfaces, different materials.

Monday, February 25, 2008

knittin' up a storm for spring!

now that my yarn stash is organized, i've been happily knitting scarves and scarflettes - both to post on my etsy shop and for an order of 12 scarves and scarflettes for the craft council shop in st. john's. i'm loving this. it's like play. choosing yarn, handspun wool, bits of jersey fabric, ribbon, lace. and even some of my own spindle spun wool. the scarflettes are crowned with a vintage button. playing with the colour combinations. mixing up the stitches. this scarflette will be up for sale on etsy today. it's inspired by the first crocuses of the season... i also have a "spring showcase" booked for tomorrow on etsy - these showcases cost $15.00 but draw in alot of views to my shop and usually lead to a sale.

fresh start

friday evening i delivered the work for the show to catherine and then went to get groceries (meals have been random this past week). and i bought these beautiful red tulips. all weekend i've been decluttering and organizing my studio.

it's hard to plan my next projects with such mess. my yarn is organized now . the scarves that i'm working on are all about combinations - of colours. of textures. so now i know what i have and at a glance i can begin to create.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

installation day in dallas

on friday robyn and co. laid out the knitted mile in dallas. for a complete description of the installation, check out robyn's blog (go to my link to myfairisle).

Saturday, February 23, 2008


yesterday barb taught my stage craft class embroidery(i taught rug hooking to her class a couple of weeks ago). we cover drawing ,painting, printmaking and sculpture in this class. but when we do "craft" we come to my house. there are only 5 students so that makes it easy. barb gave a presentation on the history of embroidery and on contemporary artists who incorporate embroidery in their work. then she taught them basic stitches and a few exercises of "expressive" embroidery. their project is to create a "totemic doll" that includes either expressive embroidery or text. i love this kind of teaching.

Friday, February 22, 2008


the work for the show is finished. i've spent this week finishing up the mats and working on 8 little boxes - they borrow from the design on the chintz mat and all have different colour combinations. so all the work is now boxed up and i'll deliver it to catherine this evening for her to take into st. john's with her tomorrow. the craft council gift shop wants a display of "exhibition" related work to sell in the shop so for the next couple of weeks i'll paint some more bowls and boxes. but with less pressure...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

what flowers do

our house is sad. skipper is not well. i think he had another mini-stroke. he's having more trouble with his back legs. he gets his front legs moving quickly in an attempt to move forward but his back legs remain still. keith says it looks like he's doing the river dance! and his breathing is more laboured. so right now we're waiting. it's so so hard to make the call. i look over at the hyacinths in full bloom. the house is filled with their scent. and for a moment my sadness lifts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

an invitation

here is an invitation (first draft and they're tweaking it) to "the relationship of bees to flowers". (i'm afraid you'll have to click on the photo to actually see it!) the show opens sunday mar.9th (2-4) at the craft council gallery, st. john's newfoundland. if you're in town (or live in town!), drop by and say hello...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

lotus mat

i finished the big lotus mat yesterday. even when the hooking is done, it takes a couple of days to bind and sew the edges to finish it up. in a mat this size (30"x30)" the edges need to be bound to prevent curling. so now i just have some little boxes to paint and i'll have this show done.

Monday, February 18, 2008

yellow tulips

the tulip mat is finished (sorry for the tiny dark photo - yesterday was pretty dull and it was hard to get a good photo). the mat measures 12"x 48". the craft council gallery is a large room of an old building and has a fireplace at each end. this mat will hang over one of the fireplaces. i'm working on the binding of the last large mat today. felt so cocky last night that i got out my spindle and played with plying two strands of different yarn together...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

almost there

it's so cold outside. yesterday keith was up at 4:00 am and set off with his buddy to go ice fishing. i tell him his idea of fun is my idea of torture. 2 hours of cold bumpy noisy snowmobile riding into the lake just as the sun is coming up. standing by a hole in the ice for hours in the cold wind. they actually didn't make it to the lake because there was a huge bull moose on the trail in front of them and they decided not to disturb him. so they just went to the "shiver shack" in the woods and had a boil-up and returned back around noon. i finished off another scarf for my "american shop" and sent off her order. then came home and hooked all day. the tulip mat is almost finished. i have to finish the binding on the large mat, paint 10 little "chintz" boxes and deliver all the work to catherine on friday to take into st. john's. almost there.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

we work around him...

we think this will be skipper's last winter. we're amazed that he is still with us. he is so frail. his world has become so small. from 1 bed in the livingroom to another bed in the livingroom. to his water dish. to his food dish. and outside to pee and poop in the little clearing keith shovels for him. we need to carry him in and out so we keep the boots in the warm kitchen (for middle of the night excursions). his food and water dishes are raised so he doesn't have to lean over so far and lose his footing. he wears rubber soled booties in the house because he can't get a grip on the hardwood floors without him). last week we got this mat so that it's easier for him to stand up and eat. our dream for him is that he lasts the winter. that in the spring we can take him one more time to the cabin and he can walk his slow and awkward walk across the sand...

Friday, February 15, 2008

what's keeping me awake now...

i'm sleepless again. long nights of too much brain activity. last night i fantasized about unscrewing my head and setting it aside just so my body could rest. it's about working too hard at this show. catherine is driving into st. john's on the 24th and can take my work with her. this will save me alot of money and also get the work there early, which is what the gallery needs. some of the pieces (ie the 32" square mat) would have been awkward to ship so this will be such a good solution. but it means the work has to be finished in a week. it is do-able but it means long long hours...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

my heart

12 years ago i was leaving my marriage. john and i had been together since we were teenagers. and married 26 years.
i was working in a cafe and had the early morning shift. i arrived one morning and found a cap that had been left in the cafe the night before. i picked it up and smelled it. i know - an odd thing to do. moments later keith arrived to pick up his hat on his way to work. he bought a steamed milk and says he remembers the heat from my hand when i handed him his change. keith had lived all his life in corner brook but our paths had never crossed. 4 months later i was single and unsteadily reeling in my new life. 5 weeks after my separation, keith came back into the cafe. 2 weeks later we were together. we appeared to be an unlikely match. we took it a day at a time. and it works. keith holds my heart tenderly. as i hold his.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

too soon for dreaming?

pink hyacinths. soon the house will smell of spring.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

my american shop

last week kim bought this scarf on etsy. she also bought a hand knit baby sweater. and ordered 2 more scarves. kim is opening a knitting shop in may and will be carrying my knitwear. her new shop is in new hampshire and is called "essential knits". this is an exciting opportunity for me. it means i can keep knitting... it gives me confidence in what i'm making and also in the time and energy i'm putting into my online etsy shop.

Monday, February 11, 2008

sunny sunday

yesterday was one of those perfect winter days. hot clear sun. no wind. in the morning marilee and i went for a long walk around the pond with the dogs. first time in weeks that we've been together so alot of catching up (that's what made it a long walk!). marilee brought bird seed with her and scattered it as we went. abigail gleeful to see lucky again...
and in the afternoon keith and abigail went down to the cabin. such a winter day!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


keith hangs onto his clothes. because he works labour at the mill, he can wear them for years under his coveralls. his jersy shirts get so worn at the collar and cuffs that i tell him he looks like mozart in ruffles. so it was a surprise the other day when he came out of the bedroom with a pile of shirts wondering if i could use them! the green was exactly what i was looking for for my tulip mat. i love this recycling racket!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

white white

in the early '80's i lived for a year in greece . my then husband had a sabbatical leave from his teaching. we settled on the cycladic island of naxos and while he wrote, i homeschooled my children and learned how to cook on an open fire and wash the clothes in a running stream. the architecture there is all white. in the winter you would emerge from the dark interior of the home (the houses were built to keep out the sun) to the blinding white of outdoors. i think of that now as i heave the snow from our steps into higher and higher piles.

Friday, February 8, 2008


it is so rare for us to have snow without wind, so it was such a treat to wake up and see the tress laden with snow. yesterday i saw a robin. this is 2 months earlier than normal for the 1st robin sighting. he was in my little burning bush tree eating berries. plumped up so much and so awkward in his movements that i couldn't be sure it was a robin till he flew away (they fly like waves...). did he get blown up north by strong winds or for some reason not fly south?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the relationship of bees to flowers

i am working towards my show at the craft council gallery in st. john's that opens march 9th . it's a show that i'm sharing with ceramicists deb kuzyk and ray mackie who live in annapolis royal, nova scotia now ( they were living in newfoundland when i met them over 20 years ago) and run lucky rabbit pottery. the show is about interconnections. for me - the interconnection between my hooked mats and my paintings. for deb and ray - between themselves - and for all of us the influence we've had on one another's lives and work. it's also about our shared buddhist beliefs. about the influence of all things on all other things...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

at mile's end

we've come to the end of our part in robyn's knitted mile project. all day yesterday knitting was being dropped off at my house. today i'll take it up to the university to add to what has been collected there. barb will then send it off to robyn. robyn needs to add text, sew it all together, and intstall it in dallas at the end of february. she'll send all the participants photos of the installation so i'll update it on my blog. this has been such a group project. love it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

what gets ignored

when i'm working flat out (as i am this month getting ready for the devon house show) some things get ignored. it's a long list that includes almost everything but my work. housecleaning. keith. friends. meals. personal appearance. and abigail. she's always watching me. for the nod. time for a walk. for play. i look up from my work and there's a pile of toys she's brought for me - one after the other (is this the one you want?) without me noticing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

sometimes i get it wrong

sometimes i get it wrong. yesterday, for about 5 hours, i hooked this blue into my new mat. about half way into it i started questioning how it was looking. some fabrics seem to come to life in the hooking, others go flat. by the end of the evening i was hating it. but i've learned not to rip out/unravel/overpaint late at night. my eyes/brain see differently in the morning. this morning i'm starting over...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

kissy fish

finished up this "kissy fish" mat for the february challenge "unexpected love" with my fibre arts group on etsy. it's for sale in my etsy shop now.

yesterday morning - with the threat of another big storm - we drove up to the bulk food store stocked up on apricots and almonds and then to the video store for the 2nd part of the last season of sopranos. all set for another snowed in weekend.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

i have arrived

thursday night i finished knitting my last ball for the knitting mile project
and added the text "i have arrived" - one of my favourite quotes from buddhist monk thich nhat hanh. living in the moment, we are always already there...

Friday, February 1, 2008

so that's where all the bird seed went

we've been having a thaw for the past couple of days. wonderful to watch the layers of winter being exposed. to go outside with just a heavy sweater and gloves rather than bundles and bundles of clothes. we're stripping down the layers too...