Sunday, October 31, 2010

keeping focus

it's good to have out kitty flora home. we need to get food and medicine into her. after a lifetime of dry vet food we're now turning cartwheels trying to entice her - low protein wet vet food mixed with gravy and warmed to make it more attractive. we'll do this as long as it makes sense.
at the same time, all my thought and energy needs to be in getting ready for the big show. i mailed off my product on friday so it will be waiting for me when i arrive in 3 weeks, and the next 3 weeks i'll be working night and day trying to get more work produced. i do it all myself - dyeing and carding and spinning and knitting. there's no way to speed it up and there's no way to increase my output. it is what it is...

Saturday, October 30, 2010


our cat flora is 13. we got her as a tiny kitten the 2nd year keith and i were together. she's outlived another cat and 3 dogs. she's always been there. skittish and unaffectionate (we've never been able to actually pick her up and cuddle her) - although she's mellowed as she's aged. for weeks now she's been eating less and less and loosing weight (although she hasn't seemed sick - still lots of energy and interest). we've tempted her with the most extravagant cat food and with tins of sardines and salmon. some days she'll eat nothing, other days she'll just lick the juice off of her food. so yesterday i took her to the vet and with blood work and urine tests it's evident that her kidneys are failing. she's not eating because she is nauseous. she stayed overnight on an iv drip to help de-toxify her little body. and we'll pick her up today with medication. if we can get her eating and taking the medication, there's hope. but if we can't,we won't let this go on much longer.

Friday, October 29, 2010

revisiting venice

our book club is small (4 members) and polite. we wait until everyone has read the book and then we wait until everyone can come to the meeting. so we don't cover many books and we don't meet that often. but when we finally do get together, it's wonderful.
our latest book was sally vicker's "miss garnet's angel" which takes place mostly in venice. we've all been to venice 2 of us in 1965, me in 1972, and another in 2002. so a big spread and alot of memories. tess served up an elegant italian meal. everything sumptuous and candle-lit and shimmering. like venice.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

first frost

yesterday we lost most of our leaves. a heavy frost coated everything. when i was out in the backyard meadow i kept turnig around thinking someone else was there. but it was just the stiff, heavy leaves clacking to the ground.
today the weather is balmy...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

last chance!

tomorrow morning i'll be pulling most of my product from my etsy shop to mail off to toronto for the ooak show, so if you were thinking of buying anything... i'll start adding new product as i make it.

tribute yarns

for the past couple of days i've been spinning up "tribute yarns" - yarns inspired by people who have inspired me. here are 3 visual artists.
1. frida kahlo - her raw imagination. her fiery colours.
2. georgia okeefe - her independent spirit. her desert home - adobe, bones and new mexican turquoise.
3. mark rothko - his juxtaposition of colours that always have a slight twist. the blurring edge of one colour meeting another.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

atlantic city

this past weekend we started watching "boardwalk empire" the new series by the team who created "the sopranos". so it's bloody. but it's also fascinating - taking place in the 1920's american prohibition era in atlantic city. i didn't even know where atlantic city was so i've been reading up a little on it's history. described as an adult disneyland, a las vegas before las vegas. i'm enthralled by the glitter (like old-time hollywood movies) and the sleaze. so this is my "atlantic city" yarn - to be posted on my etsy shop today.

Monday, October 25, 2010


this past week i received a large order of undyed fibre from louet - mostly merino and bfl. but also some gem-like dyed bamboo, soysilk and my favourite latte (a milk fibre). so this weekend, in spite of the rainy weather, i got alot of dying done. small pots on the kitchen stove, cooled outside and then hung up in my studio on a clothes horse in front of a heater. i have a new mound of colour to chose from this morning.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the dark ages

as an undergraduate art student, i took as many art history courses as i did studio courses. my favourite period was gothic with its spiritual simplicity.
this summer we watched ken follett's "pillars of the earth" - a wonderful 8 part hbo series on tv. and this fall i've been listening to the 32 disc audio presentation (that i got from the library) as i spin an knit. i finished it on friday and feel a little lost.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


we're heading into the darkest days of the year. i'm using more and more grey in my yarns as i dye and spin...

Friday, October 22, 2010

giving in to temptation

i'm working on a tight deadline for the next month. but yesterday morning was so beautiful, and with the forcast for rain for the forseeable future, i gave in to tempatation and spent the morning outside. cleaned out the greenhouse, planted my garlic (it was so successful this year that i've planted twice as much for next year) and prepared the back flower bed for winter. in the next couple of weeks i have to find time to rake leaves and tie up the bushes. i'll wait for the next good day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the push

with just over a month to go before the toronto one of a kind showbegins, i'm working flat out trying to reach my daily goals and have enough product to sell for the 11 day show. that means i wasn't able to stop work the past few days when i was suffering from gout. it was alot better yesterday and today it's gone. i was able to keep spinning, favouring one foot, because my little kiwi spinning wheel is double treadle. and the piles of yarn and knitwear are beginning to grow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


while i was in st. john's a few weeks ago, i finished reading kathleen winter's "annabel". one of my favourite books ever. not only because of the plot but because of her exquisite writng. i wanted to read it again. immediately. "annabel" has been nominated for the 3 top literary prizes in canada this year. kathleen grew up in corner brook and we couldn't be more proud of her.annabel

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


yesterday i had a gout attack. i don't eat meat or fish or drink alcohol, so gout is something i've never even thought about. yesterday afternoon i started feeling a tingling in my foot - like i'd cut off the circulation. but by evening the pain was excruciating - like stepping in stinging nettles.
it was keith who mentioned gout. that buddies at the mill suffer if they've had too much shellfish or too many beer.
last week i bought a bag of small eggplant at the market. keith doesn't eat it so i've been working it into everything i eat. eggplant and chickpea hummus. roasted with peppers over pasta. on the weekend i made an eggplant stew - eggplant and tomatoes and onions and peppers and garlic. delicious. yesterday for lunch i ate a big bowl of it to finish it off. although not usually linked to gout, i ate too much at one time and now i'm suffering. remind myself - moderation in everything.

Monday, October 18, 2010

update on abigail's collar

abigail and the boys

yesterday was a gorgeous fall day. so in the morning abigail and i went with 3 friends and their 3 big black dogs across to prince edward park (the campgrounds closed for the season so a wonderful place to take the dogs off-leash). the 3 boys played and ran and fetched sticks in the water. abigail must have had a good time too becasue she arrived back at the car without her collar. we'll go back this morning to see if we can find it...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

hitting the fast lane

there's an article about me and my use of the internet in promoting my work in the latest issue of studio. gloria hickey from st. john's is a wonderful writer and interviewer and i'm always pleased when she wants to talk to me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

what a little sunshine will do...

i'd been feeling that the leaves just weren't as brilliant this fall - that they seemed to lack energy. but yesterday's sun changed my mind. bright colour everywhere.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


yesterday, taking advantage of a small break from the rain, i picked the last of my flowers and the last of the tomatoes in the greenhouse. the gardening season is over. if the rain stops this weekend, we'll put the garden to bed for the winter.
it's always hard to go back to supermarket produce - it feels like playfood - weak flavour and picked so long ago. each year i need to expand the garden and put away more of our own food.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

are you the sun?

we've had so much greyness and rain lately. yesterday the sun made a brief appearance. i grabbed the skeins of yarn drying in front of the fire and hung them out on the clothesline for a few hours. then abigail and i went for a lovely autumn walk on three bear mountain. today it's raining...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

an infusion of colour

we've had days of cold grey rain here. so indoors i've been dyeing and spinning up some pretty bright colours in retaliation. "limelight" is now available for purchase in my etsy shop

Monday, October 11, 2010


it's canadian thanksgiving and our collective brains turn to food. this year our plum crop was meager. i passed on some to keith's mum for a few bottles of plum jam. but the rest we are just eating. last night i made a wonderful gingered plum sauce from "moosewood restaurant cooks at home" - 12 prune plums pitted, heated with 1/4 c maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp ground ginger. when the plums begin to relase their juice, add the juice of 1/2 lemon that has been combined with 1 tsp. of cornstarch. bring to a boil and cook until thickened. wonderful on yoghurt - a really tart exotic flavour. and i used the plums to inspire some of the fleece dyeing i did over the weekend.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


it is canadian thanksgiving weekend and i am grateful for all that surrounds me.