Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Day

Yesterday was a perfect island kind of day.
First I went to a meeting to work on administration stuff for the fabric art event I'm helping to organize. (Hold on to your hats! Information will be available soon!) My meeting was at the home of a local artisan, and I was given an impromptu tour of the grounds. What a privilege it was - standing there in the yard of this potter. It was a testament to a lifetime of hard work and artistic drive, and he's still going strong. (Its all about the work! Do the work! I have to keep telling myself)
Then I came home, was putting on my boots to head up to the Anagama kiln firing that was open for viewing, when our friends from Hornby appeared. We all went up to view the firing, and WoW! Was that ever great. Shirley Phillips gave us an informative tour of the process - the kiln was being fed wood (about 5 cords per firing!) every ten or twenty minutes, the pottery inside, which you could view with the aid of sunglasses, and only when the fire was dying down, was white hot! There was a big chimney up the hill which spewed flames when the fire was fed, but no ash - it all gets burned up inside the kiln. After the firing, which is a days long process, the kiln doors get bricked up and the flue damped down and then its some more days to wait for it to cool down enough to go in and get the pots. WoW! I am definitely going on the Denman Island Pottery Tour this year.
Our friends went on to do what they were doing and K and I stopped in to deliver a catalogue to some friends up on their acreage. They have built the nicest log house, just 16' x 20' and they have a really productive garden. The apple trees are all in bloom and some of the baby plants are going in the ground... we had a great visit, and then we got invited down to our other friends' 10' x 10' handmade log house for wood-stove cooked pizza. Grand, just grand. I can't imagine a better island day. I love this place.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Wise birds that are inventive, intelligent
and like shiny things.
When spotted in a group are sometimes referred to as an "unkindness"
or a "conspiracy", depending
on what they are up to.

We have ravens here on our island. A family of three live in the trees above my house,
and taunt me and tease me
when I'm out in the garden.
I think they are spectacular birds.

I am one of a small group of quilters that has formed a conspiracy - to bring together fellow fiber freaks to learn and show and make stuff. Its called the Creative Threads Conspiracy, and will take place in October this year, in the village on Denman Island. Hopefully it will be so good that it will become an annual event. We have courses in patchwork and quilting planned- ranging from fairly traditional to embellished and improvisational, hand quilting, making paper-cloth, natural dying, needle felting, knitting, using scraps and thrift store finds to make quilts, a bevy of techniques to make the work easier. Good food, good company, lots of creativity all in a relaxed atmosphere away from phones and the daily grind. Stay posted and I'll give you more info when the time comes...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Gotta Sew!

Phew! I sewed today for the first time in what seems like weeks.
A lie - I sewed yesterday, for hours, but it was different than today. Yesterday I was working on my industrial machine, sewing large (10' x 30') sail-shaped things that will hang in a gym, lowering the ceiling to make the space more intimate and stylish. They are white, and constructed in an industrial vinyl mesh. Its exciting to be sewing such big things again, but its not the creative sewing that my brain craves.

Today I went into my new studio - its made of a shipping container (photos soon) - and I just stared at my blank design wall for a while. Then I got out some fabric that has been in storage for almost two years, and I cut some pieces and sewed them together. It was a practice piece that I made today, just to keep me in the loop, to keep the creating muscles active, to keep from getting rusty. It felt good, breaking in my new sewing space.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


 Xoxceptional Love

I'm involved in a quilting bee - by mail! The lovely and talented Cynthia Frenette started the Fab Bee and April is her month to 1) send out fabric and inspiration/ideas/instructions to the other participants and to 2) receive blocks made for her from the fabrics she sent out.
I was so inspired by her fabrics (many of which she designed herself, see Spoonflower) and her idea, that I got right to work and made my block. I drew up the pink branch thing and foundation pieced it. Then I pieced the background, cutting in some x's and o's - and I cut out the crazy heart and hand appliqued it to the background. I also made a little improvisational block with the leftovers, but I forgot to take a photo of it (oops), and sent it all back to Cynthia. Now if I could only figure out how to get a button on my sidebar that will connect to the Flickr photo page.....