Nature wins !

Remember the round project? Every round thing I could find on my walk that was man made? Well, I have given Nature a chance to put in her oar and look what I found- almost all from one walk! They are taken in the diningroom in the dark so the composite is not too well focussed but you get the picture. I will try again in daylight. Nature wins every time, doesn't she?

Here's the crow!

Well, he is finished ! Cool, eh?? I love him - all except his flying Helmet but I did it as the pattern suggested. Next time I do him, I shall alter the pattern a little.

This is NOT an original, alas! I would love to have been the one to design him  but Frowning Francis got there first. Congratulations FF. That company does some fun things, very whimsical and cool. My daughter is a Steampunk fan so this fellow is for her birthday - unless I get a second one done first with a better fitting helmet.

You must pay attention

Tiny things can escape our notice. That is a shame as in tiny things we often see some of the wonders of nature.On my walk yesterday I was photographing nature's round(ed) things and found this fellow lurking. I did not notice him until I edited the picture! Even macro shots sometimes don't reveal all of the secrets.

All of these trees have made interesting contributions to my round project. You COULD miss them but here they are . They are all round , though not perfect circles.

 Our street is covered in acorn caps in places. I do love the shape and texture of these little hats. The acorns themselves are a mess as a result of our many squirrels . They are also responsible for the dark brown stains all over the road from the squirrels having torn walnut husks off the nuts before burying them. When I was doing a lot of natural dyeing years ago, I used to try to make deals with the squirrels. I give them the nuts and they peel them for me . It never seemed to excite them somehow so we still have the dark stains on the roadand on the chins of the squirrels!

I am almost finished the Steampunk Crow and will post pics soon. He is not my original design but too much fun not to show everyone.Watch this space!

Outside the comfort zone- but fun!

Here is my Blue Moon Reflections, one of the uncomfortable things I enjoyed doing this summer.There is a bit more but this had to be cropped.

Silk coccoon, silk hankie, hot transfer foil, embroidery- all a LOT of fun to do, but not the norm for me .

Oh, Joy!

I have finally solved the macro focus problem with a lovely new Gorillapod tripod for my digital camera. I am having a hard time keeping it steady enough for real closeups which is one of my great passions.

These are tiny fungi growing along the edge of the lawn and road at a neighbour's house. They are no bigger thab the end of my pinkie so it is a LONG way down and a very closeup look at them. That Gorilla is my new best friend!

This is the ripening head of perennial Oat Grass in the side garden. Gorgeous colours, eh!

I am thinking I would like to try a sort of construction based on the little fungi. 3D would be fun for a change.

At it again !

I am collecting round things for a new project. Earlier in the week, I collected manmade things on my walk. Last night, I began looking for the "round things" made by bature. Naturally, nature wins the beauty contest.

Not all of them are equally pretty . The tarspot fungus that currently "decorates" our maple trees is something I could do without, but it is made by nature and it is round-ish! I tooklots more pics but this is all I have edited. More to follow, no doubt.

That tiny puffball is slightly out of focus. I MUST redo it because it was snapped at the end of my walk when I was very hot and very tired. It is only about 1/3 of an inch in diameter and it is sitting right on the roadside. Stunning little thing! It is pouring rain today so I will have to wait to retake the picture. Hope it survives.

All done now

Here he is in all his glory! All finished and blanket stitched all round with another piece of the grey Melton on the back . It is  very heavy!

A little bit closer for the detail. This was really fun to do- VERY time -consuming, but really fun! He will be a very nice addition to the Scotland Quilted collection .I feel pretty pleased with him.

He's finished !!!

The Oyster Catcher is all done and trimmed and backed. I did the back in the same wool and blanket stitched all round to finish using a four ply yarn split. The yarn is a dead on colour match , a mix of silk and bamboo. He will be hung with the patented McMillan hanging system, pics to follow. We are entertaining today so I am busy but will take pics asap. Stay tuned.

AROUND the neighbourhood

I walk almost daily and I see lots but rarely  record it. I was thinking I would top up my powers of observation and make a little walking project so yesterday, I decided to photograph everything I could that was man made and round . I printed 65  and used 64 but actually took many more . They are all lying on the diningroom table, randomly placed but all with the photo curve going the same way. Looking at the collection I realized two things-1, I could arrange them more interestingly and 2, I might attach them to a circular something- like a piece of Sono Tube or something so they could be viewed in the round too. I am busy right at the moment but will think on this and see if maybe I could figure out how long a piece of tubing of what diameter I would need.... and then we shall see! Always good to have an idea in abeyance : )

Trimmed, decorated and ready to finish

Well, I am calling this fellow done and ready to back and bind. In all, I am pretty pleased but there are a couple of things I might have done differently another time. I think he does evoke that lovely sunny day at Keil . Everything was slightly overexposed because of the clear sky and pale stones on the beach. I DO wish I could create the bird call for you. It is so lovely and haunting in the stillness.

The second picture just shows a little more detail of the stitching and the little shells. I will post him once more when he is finally hangable. Meantime, he is a nice reminder of a gorgeous afternoon in Scotland .

And soft, refreshing rain

We had it last night . The entire garden, including the grass seed we planted last night seemed to bounce back to life. Hoses are great in a pinch but you cannot beat real rain. This is the ONLY corner of our garden that is civilized at all right now.This was taken just at supper time and it all looked so happy. Me too: )

Oyster Catcher update

I am nearing the end of the background embroidery for Oyster Catcher. He is happily appliqued in place now looking for some trouble to get into. I wish I could applique sound. This fellow was one vociferous bird!! His peeweet, peeweet could be heard for miles.

I am still trying to work out whether to add a bit of paint under his feet to ground him a bit more. Since I fastened his feet down , he seems more permanent  but I might like the ground darker. We shall see.

My other concern is how to display him. I may just pillowcase a backing and add a little hanging sleeve. There is almost no actual quilting on this piece but I might add a light layer of batting , just to make it a bit more oomphy!As I have said before, watch this space : )

Silly Walk




trees blowing in the wind
I walked last night - with the camera again and on the road, found...

Big old sunflowers.....

A perfect little landscape.....

Trees blowing in the wind.....

.....and some very interesting roadside sculpture!

I also started a collection of photos of round things which will all be printed in 5"x5" format.

Rain !

We have had a whole day of wonderful rain- just what the doctor ordered. Lawns and gardens are parched. I am so fearful for the trees and shrubs going into winter so dry. This will really help a lot!

Yesterday, we had a happy surprise. We thought the hummingbirds had abandoned us for this year . The last one we had seen was on 15 Septemberand the , lo, and behold, yesterday at noontime, a little female appeared at the feeders and she continued to visit all afternoon. Today was pretty wet so I did not notice her again but if it is dry tomorrow, she may be back.


Boy, this getting old is NOT for sissies! I am still whacked after the morning chucking stuff into the garbage and recycling. Job well done though .

I work a lot from my own photos. Many are from our travels but this one is from last Christmas. I absolutely love the texture of Amaryllis petals.This one graced our dining room for the whole of the Christmas season so I decided to immortalize it.

Sadly, the colours of the little quilt are not quite true in this photo but you get the idea. They are MUCH more vibrant in real life. I have SO many more pictures I want to quilt. so many pictures, so little time!

What WERE we thinking ???

We have just spent the whole of this Sunday getting rid of stuff. Tomorrow morning is the last Ugly Pickup of this year so we have been culling the herd, so to speak. And what a herd! We must have half a ton of corrugated cardboard boxes cut up, wrapped and stacked by the street. I was tossing scrap metal things and by the time I took a second load out, the junk collector was just leaving so I asked if he wanted the rest and he kindly waited till I brought the rest upstairs. He might put his first two children through Uni by selling this lot on the scrap metal market . Now I am tired but we still have to put the yard waste and the rest of the garbage out. We usually have very little garbage, but this week was a bonanza.

No creativity today - so far : ( day ain't over yet though : )

All the guys!

The picture is a quilt I made - not finished yet - created by copying drawings made by my darling preschool daughter . She LOVED and still LOVES to draw. I could not just store those wonderful little drawings and have them languish unseen in a box in the basement. They deserve public exposure. Children's art is so beautiful and so very very honest! There is no pretense. They just draw what they see AND sometimes, what they think. My very favourite of all of the panels in this quilt is the pair of Happy Dancing Yaks !!! Can you find it? Who does not love Happy Dancing Yaks? Who would not have one for a pet if he could , or, if not, maybe just draw some pictures to remember them by. I can honestly nd proudly say that the girl who drew these fabulous pictures so long ago is now an equally talented, equally honest, equally imaginative young woman- a true force to be reckoned with !She is my hero- or should that be heroine ? She would not care which.

Oh, the holly bears a berry

The holly this year bears MANY berries! We had a big crop last year that promised a very pretty Christmas dinner table but before Christmas came, the Cedar Waxwings came and attacked the bushes. Result- not a SINGLE berry. I hope the Waxwings enjoy them again this year. They are so very beautiful and I can always buy a sprig or two of holly for the table!


I spent part of the past summer playing with synthetic felt- acrylic, I think. If the felt is heated with a heat gun, it melts unevenly and creates very interesting holes and shapes. if there has been stitching done on the surface before melting, the thread ( cotton or rayon ) resists the burning and leaves delicious patterns . I shall pursue this further and WILL get better photos of the finished products!

I have also played with Tyvek, Evolon, Lutraur and have had a blast!