sewing again…

Another sunny Sunday, that’s 2 in a row now! Tomorrow’s forecast is a return to rain, but that might not be all bad. I got a lot of gardening done today but rainy days are perfect for spending in the studio. I did manage to get out of the garden, clean up and visit friends at 195 Pemberton Arts Studios for their summer solstice open studio on Sunday.

It was great fun to catch up and see the work they had been doing.

A number of my life drawing friends have studios in this wonderful building. I loved seeing  their “other” work . Michael and David had a chance to visit and view some of    Michael   oil paintings.

There is such a wonderful energy in the building  all these talented artists share, it was inspiring to be there.  As soon as I got home I went to work.

The plan is all done,  the measurements are calculated….

and the pieces cut. This is when my comfy chair comes in really handy for things other than sitting!  I stitched the pieces into strips and have given everything a good press. As I was running out of steam, I laid out the strips that will make up the background for this piece across the counter in the workroom.

I know better than to start stitching things together when I am tired! so I left everything in place and will wait for the morning to make sure I still like the layout.



pretty in pink….


It’s finally warming up here! This lovely peony has popped out and I couldn’t resist, can you believe it! I am not usually a big pink fan, but really I had to take photo’s of this one. The sun has been out for 2 days in a row ( a great cause for celebration!) and things in the garden are bursting out, you can almost hear the plants growing and the flowers blooming.

I love the bold marks on these hosta’s  the stripes and the shadows…

Everyone has been enjoying the sunshine and getting to work outside, did you notice the bee in the image above? the plant was absolutely humming with busy bee’s as I was taking this shot. Some of course just want to play!

The garden has been taking allot of my time lately but I have started work on a new piece as well. These longer days are great for getting things done. Here’s the colour palette so far, subject to change of course! You’ll have to wait a bit to see where everything will go…


catching up…

I have been doing some catching up –  in the house, on the computer and in the garden. I know I have done nothing but complain about the weather but it really has been grim here and the garden is slow to get going this year. Tomorrow is the first day of summer according to the calendar and a few of the plants in the garden are doing their best to provide a good show.

These roses are just getting started, the fragrance of this one is wonderful!

The peonies are thinking about opening up, but if they’ve heard the latest weather forecast it might take a while yet!

The lettuce and arugula are really slow to get going, they look so small still…

and I have figs! not many (these are the only two!) I’m not sure what to do with them or about them. One neighbour says we get 2 crops a year though the season isn’t long enough for the second crop to ripen. Another neighbour says she has never had a rip fig from her tree  and she has loads more fruit than my little tree. I will have to wait and see what happens… I won’t be planning any fig feasts this year!

The bad weather is good for inside chores though and one of my favourite pastimes…baking!


Tomorrow is the longest day of the year in this hemisphere, a sunny one would be great, fingers crossed!

Happy Solstice!


weekend at Whistler

I had a great time this past weekend! The Whistler Valley Quilters Guild held their quilt show complete with workshops and merchant mall. I had the pleasure of delivering a Trunk show and talk on Saturday evening and teaching a workshop on Sunday.

The guild may be small in numbers but they sure can organize a wonderful event! I was so well taken care of – thanks to Gail, Marlene, Sue and the rest of the committee.

The talk was held in the Whistler library, a beautiful building in the Upper Village area. Lots of quilts got an airing…

Thanks to Anne, Gail, Sue and Lee for holding up what must have felt like an endless string of quilts. I had a chance to talk about all the things that inspire me, the work that has resulted and really enjoyed the questions from the audience. They got me thinking about allot of things….the way I work and the all important “why?”

I realized just how much I have to say about what I do and of course talked longer than I was supposed to!

After the talk there was a chance to mingle and get up close to the quilts in the entrance to the library and for me to keep talking!

…even with “someone” looking over my shoulder!

I caught up with email pal Madeleine from Australia who arrived in Canada just in time to come to Whistler for the show, talk and take the workshop! Thanks Madeleine…

Now for the confession… there are absolutely no images of the workshop! or at least there are none that I have taken. I was so busy, I completely forgot to take any! I did get the camera out in the morning but it sat untouched all day, sorry about that!

The workshop was “Drawn to Pen and Ink” and you’ll have to take my word for it , the students created some wonderful samples! Just to give you a little taste of what we were doing, here’s my Cherry Blossom quilt done with pen, ink and a little bit pf paint.

Thanks again to the Whistler Guild for such a warm welcome and to Gail and Jack for their hospitality!




wow! what a week…

On Thursday evening I demonstrated  hand stitching on paper techniques at the Vancouver Guild of Fiber Artists meeting. Their “wrap up for the season” meeting included card making, strawberry shortcake ( yum!),  tea and a hat parade as the grand finale. The members visited different stations around the room for inspiration and ideas and then got to work making cards. Supplies were brought in and the members of the guild could dip and create! They could make as many cards as they could get done in the allotted time as long as one “Thank You” card was made and donated to the guild for future use. What a great idea and a terrific way to gather handmade cards to thank teachers and speakers who visit the guild.

Everyone got right to work , most wearing their hats!

Judy had little strawberries on the side of her period hat.. and Anne Love dazzled in her spring “outfit”.

The evening was great fun, the strawberry shortcake was delicious! and the guild now has a collection of cards ready to go!

Thanks for organizing everything Judy, I had a great time!

On Saturday morning I loaded up the car and headed to Whistler for the Whistler Valley Quilters Guild Quilt Show, so more pictures to come in a day or two!


PS I heard from the Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project 2011 that my sketchbook has been added to the digital library! My book can be viewed  at

Art House mentions that it takes about 20 minutes to upload the entire book to the site, but it didn’t take anywhere near that long for me to view the book, it loaded really quickly!


and now for something completely different…

This is a busy week! OK, most weeks are busy but this one seems to be a bit busier than the normal busy if you know what I mean. In and amongst the normal things to be done there have been some “fun to do” things and this is one of them.

I belong to the North Shore Needle Arts Guild here in Vancouver and one of the benefits of belonging is access to wonderful workshops with talented members. I have always loved words so loving books is the next logical step, so a chance to make a book was too good to miss! This was a 2 session workshop with the first one getting us started on embroidering (or quilting for me!) our book covers on a lovely linen. We then got together again to put the actual pages together and build our books.

Here’s my finished ( well there’s a few little things left to do) book. The cover is stenciled with fabric paint and then stitched.

Our books are open spine and involve stitching across the spine with waxed linen thread. It’s a bit tricky but once you  get the hang of the sequence it goes together quite quickly.

Of course I couldn’t resist one more etc… on the back cover. Each of the signatures (that’s book talk for the groups of pages) is covered with a slightly different natural colored card stock. Not only does it make the open spine really attractive, the pages inside look great as well!

My book turned out so well, I am really pleased with it! Thanks to Bonnie and Gaye for all their expert guidance.

Now to start filling in the pages…


it’s good to be back to work….

The studio is all finished, almost everything is put away and best of all I am getting back to work! It’s been awhile since I have worked on a “serious” project! Oh, I have been knitting and doing a bit of stitching on some small samples but I have been itching to get back to the nests piece I started earlier this year. ( see the post dated February 26th, 2011 )

I hatched ( sorry!) a plan and drew out my design on paper but it wasn’t until things were settled that I  got started up again. I’m using one of my favorite techniques to add some lettering to the nest piece…

using pen and ink.  I love the look of the stippled ink and it’s perfect to use with a stencil to create text. I can’t show you the whole thing yet, mostly because it isn’t finished! I will taking the top with me to  the Whistler Valley Quilt Quilters Guild Show this weekend. I am teaching a Drawn to Pen and Ink workshop and think this quilt top is a great way to show just how much fun you can have with pen and ink!

It’s going to be a great weekend at Whistler, there’s a quilt show, workshops and me giving a trunk show and talk! I understand that the talk and workshop are sold out but the show will be on all weekend – do drop by if you can! Whistler Valley Quilt Show


rainy day visitors…

One of the first things I did when I moved to the new studio is hang up some bird feeders in hopes of attracting a few of “the locals” to come by for a visit. It has taken a little while for my guests to arrive, I don’t think they much liked the workmen coming and going, but now they’ve here in force. The rain doesn’t seem to bother them much as long as the feeders are kept full!This little fellow is a Black-Capped Chickadee according to my Peterson’s Field Guide to Western Birds and he has a lovely bright song. OK, not so lovely at 6 am, but he’s very cheerful! I was just thrilled to get an image of this soggy little hummingbird. I’m not sure what type he (or maybe she?) is but it paused barely long enough for me to get the picture. This little bird was drinking the rain drops as they ran down the branches of the tree…very clever!

Another rain day, perfect for an afternoon in the studio…