Happy Anniversary!!!

Fifty years ago today I met my husband for the very first time : ) We were both at Teachers' College and were teaching one of our first "Unit Lessons". We were in a grade one class and Bruce taught Hallowe'en Safety. I cannot even remember what I was teaching- and I WAS paying attention. It is just that fifty years is a long time. I DO remember being VERY nervous.Anyway, it has been a great fifty years and we reckon we will go for another fifty!

This huge pumpkin on the left is called  a Fairy Tale pumpkin. Think Cinderella's coach. I was entranced last year and bought it thinking it would make a great Jack'o'lantern. Think again !!! The flesh was about five inches thick. It eventually just sat looking pretty until it did not look pretty any more.

Well, time to get dressed, shop for treats for the goblins and we are going for a treat ourselves today: ) I think we may hit Tim's for something naughty because it is only once in fifty years! Happy Hallowe'en all!

Glorious Chartreuse

My walk this morning ( used my Nordic poles all the way for 3.5 km today) was from "puddle to puddle" of fabulous rust and yellowy chartreuse mulberry leaves. They are a fabulous colour and very shiny to boot. Good colour combo for quilts. I must get a photo but did not take the camera as it is too hard to use when I have the poles. The mulberries seem to drop ALL leaves instantly when there is a hard frost and we had -5 C last night, so down they came. VERY VERY pretty. To heck with the red carpet. I'll take a carpet of chartreuse mulberry leaves any day

Blew It!!

I do not have  many real disasters - USUALLY. Today was an exception. I got Patchen together, sans sheep- and discovered that the McAlisters were listing to starboard, rather badly : ( BOOO! So....I and my trusty pointy scissors picked out a LOT of invisible blind hem stitch and at last, I am back to a nice blank canvas- just sky, sea and foreground grass. I have confessed, but I will not embarrass myself further by posting a photo. Anyway, the picture is no longer snapable as it was not recorded before it was picked apart.I am away tonight to teach people how not to make the same mistake as I . Wish me luck! We are going to make our own patterns from photos we have taken ourselves. Wish THEM luck!

More Plane talking

 The rain on the Plane stays mainly ... on the bark, altering the colours dramatically . Who knew that Plane bark had PURPLE in it??
I took more pictures of by brother's Plane tree bark in the rain yesterday. The colours were very much more intense so they will be added to the mix when I make my little series of pieces based on these pictures.

I had a lovely experience yesterday. I was invited to share in a fibre art bonanza by a VERY generous woman . We enjoyed a cuppa and shared many bags of gorgeous yarns and fabrics all given to her by an equally generous woman. No time to play at the moment but very soon I shall be experimenting with these.

Right now, I am working on Patchen . It is coming along nicely but not much to look at yet. I am making it all in quiet misty colours , faded and hard to see. Patchen is full of ancient gravestones which are hard to read commemorating  ancestors all long gone. As history fades lives,making details difficult to discover, so I HOPE this little quilt will have an air of distance, time and mystery . The sheep in the foreground should snap us back to this century! Pictures will follow soon.

Would you believe...

I DID manage to get a little sunprint yesterday after all.Because it was so windy, the leaves on top of the fabric blew about somewhat so some edges are not crisp but when I get the photo posted, you will see that, although it is an unspectacular example, the process DID work. It was cold, windy and not sunny at all except for a very few minutes.The UV is always there even though it is not very strong. So, in answer to the question, " yes, Virginia, one CAN sunprint with Setacolor in the winter months". Just tie your pretties down well and be patient. I think if I had pinned some laces on instead of leaves, it might have been more successful under the circumstances.

So, here they are ! I added these once they had been edited. You can see that it DID work but it is not gorgeous. Less wind might have helped, but  at least it did actually "print".

Photo to follow

I was asked the other day if Setacolor Transparent paints would work for heliographic prints in colder weather. I did not know for sure but here we are today, at 13C with not much sun, and I am getting nice little prints !! So...the answer is YES, it WILL work. The problem is at the moment that the back garden is full of jays who seem to settle any old where so I am hoping they will either NOT settle on the dyed fabric and mess it up, or sit there long enough to leave nice little birdy feetprints? AND, it is windy so the leaves I am printing are blowing away . I did weight as many as I could, but they are still blowing off. Stay tuned .

Westport beach textures

By special request, I am posting this little wall quilt. It was done from a photo I took as I stood mesmerized looking at the incoming tide one evening on Westport Beach in Kintyre, Scotland. Enjoy!

Just plane gorgeous

Dave's plane tree bark.

 Look at that purple - and the fantastic textures!!!

I think I have found my next project! I have been photographing tree barks and the colours and textures are stunning. Today though, I found the piece de resistance on my brother's lawn!! It is a young plane tree and the colours are fabulous. The texture is exquisite. I am thinking hand dyed fabrics and machine quilting with hand embroidery.

Watch this space - but not for a little while.

Lots of experimentation

 This piece is not finished here but the sky and hills have been pieced, the water in the foreground, handpainted and the smaller details, fused.

This series of pieces was inspired by Luminous Landscapes, a lovely little book by Australian quilter, Gloria Loughman. Her work is lovely and her books are VERY informative. Thank you Gloria!
 This piece and the one underneath are exactly the same but the finished one has an extra border added with the picture spilling out into the border. A dandy idea for sure, but I SHOULD have planned it ahead!! In the end, it was an afterthought so matching shapes, coours and fabrics was a bit of a problem. Turned out fine in the end though : )

This picture is a little out of focus but the idea here was to make a sort of mosaic sky. It is easy to do and surprising what colours and patterns you can get away with. When it is at the top of a landscape picture, it is the sky!!

Glory in the simple things and give Thanks

On my walk this morning , I found this exquisite little tendril of a wild grapevene, yet another bit of roadside sculpture.

The morning dew sparkled all over this perfect spider's web almost hidden from public view. They are such nasty things  but so very elegant in their construction - and all God's children gotta eat!

There is a lot of lovely colour in our garden . Sadly, the maple colour does not show well in this photo but this particular coleus is certainly proud of herself, flaunting crimson ruffles in several spots around the house.

Thanksgiving is always a time of reflection for me . I think of how very fortunate I am to have so much beauty all around me. I have a loving family , albeit a widespread one : ( I enjoy good health , good fortune and I thank God regularly for all of that. Hopefully I can bring a little beauty into the lives of others .

We shall have a lovely Thanksgiving I know. We will share it with my Mum who is a pretty spry 91 year old. For her, I am VERY thankful! Our absent daughter will celebrate American Thanksgiving but we will remember how very VERY fortunate we are to have her and her dear husband and we shall have them with us in spirit at least.  We wish everyone a lovely Thanksgiving 2011 filled with all good things. Enjoy!

Light and Line

Still photographing things ! Today, while hunting for bananas, I found a small goldmine of pictures to illustrate light and shadow and line. Keep your eyes open in the most mundane spots - like the now deserted Wal Mart garden centre!

Once you have photographed some interesting things, edit them. Switch them to B&W . Increase the contrast. Turn the picture around so it no longer makes sense and look at the interesting composition.

Spring in Autumn

I had to dig these pictures out today for a class and thought I would share them. This wood is part of a sewage treatment plant's property near Oakville ON and last year some rather extensive rebuilding of the facilities took place. I hope not too many of these beauties were destroyed. They are such elegant plants and so very deserving of our respect and protection. Enjoy and remember, after winter, comes TRILLIUMS : )

And here is a fun little piece I did based on the photos. The little Trilliums are distressed Tyvek.

New project

I have stared at my photos of Patchen Cemetery on the wild west coast of Kintyre for a long time , trying to decide what to do with them. Patchen is an ancient cemetery right on the sea cliff with the North Atlantic at its feet. It is said that some of the unmarked lumps in the back corner of the cemetery are graves of drowned sailors whose bodies washed ashore following storms . Some graves are new but many have barely legible inscriptions and a number of souls related to my husband's family are buried there. Standing in front of those gravestones transports us back to the day when his ancestors would have stood on that same spot mourning the loss of a loved one. Being inside the enclosure at Patchen is like being inside a time machine! The big towers that face the highway are part of the enclosure where generations of MacAlisters, the local lairds, are buried.

Autumn is here today

Well, this was a blustery, chilly, wettish walk this morning. I took these pictures a few days ago when it was sunny and warm . Today, most of these lovely maple leaves are on the ground somewhere. The world here is littered with brilliant leaves and there are acorns, walnuts, beechnuts - or the shells thereof in many places. Squirrels bound and abound with nuts in their smiling little faces, oblivious to the equally oblivious traffic. As a result, little grey and black corpses dot the roadsides. Very sad: (

Not much sewing today, alas. I have some other very mundane things to do instead but will be glad when they are finished up. I have a new bobbin case for my machine and cannot wait to try it. It has a little "pigtail" where thread from the bobbin threads in . This puts a little more tension on the bobbin thread which , theoretically, will make machine embroidery and quilting easier in that the bobbin thread will not be so apt to pull to the top side of the work. I have had very little problem but did have a bobbin case like this for my old machine and it was wonderful. I am NOT a person who likes to mess with my lower tension so this is a real help.

On to the mundane tasks. The sooner I start, the sooner I finish : )