on the road again…

Well actually I was on the road but I am back home again after a whirlwind trip to Oliver BC, the wine capital of Canada! Oliver is a lovely little town about 5 hours east of Vancouver in the Okanagan Valley and yes, they grow wine there and apples, lots and lots of apples.

It was a gorgeous drive to Oliver last Sunday afternoon a rare sunny crisp afternoon with snow on the mountain tops and colour on the trees.

This time of year evening comes early when you are in the mountains and on a sunny day there are some amazing shadows.

I had a wonderful 3 days leading 2 different workshops with a  trunk show and talk one evening. Jim and Marilyn were perfect hosts and all the  members of the Double O Quilters Guild made me feel so welcome. The students created some wonderful work over the 3 days, exploring ideas and sampling techniques. I know there are some new quilts in the works and I am really looking forward to seeing some of the finished pieces.

There was lots to talk about and demonstrate!

After Tuesdays class I got a whirlwind tour of Oliver- first fruit and then wine. The fruit packing place was amazing, I have never seen so many apples and you’ll have to take my word for it the smell of the place is glorious.

These wonderful crates are full of apples and stacked in tall towers row upon row outside the building. Once you get inside the place is humming with apples being sorted, washed and packed, it’s a most amazing process and there are apples in every direction you look.


It really was a sea of apples. On the way out I spotted these striking palettes stacked around in the yard, I love the almost patchwork look of them and the colour as well.

After the apples there was a quick wine tour,  no pictures of that! Just this image of the amazing scenery down the valley with vineyards as far as you can see.

I did pick up a few bottles of wine, they were too good to resist, I also loaded the car with squash, yup all different types of squash. There were tons of them around, it appears that wine and fruit aren’t the only major crops in the area, squash are as well.

Sorry about the image quality but the roof high stacks of squash are worth seeing. Those crates on the ground are full  of them, each crate a different variety and there are all sorts. I gathered a collection of the most interesting looking ones and headed home- it’s time to get the soup pot warmed up.

I hope I’m not being boring but I wanted to share this most unusual image, it’s Ned- again! but this is something that isn’t seen often around here- he’s sleeping!

Bye for now, Catherine




go figure…

I have been life drawing for ages and have always enjoyed it,  I’m hoping working  in 2 dimensions might feel a bit simpler after this weekend! I attended an amazing Anatomical Sculpture workshop with  Santos Mignosa. The workshop is designed for artists who paint or draw the figure and want to know a bit more about what is under the skin.

We started the day with wire armature, a bag of sculptors clay and set to work with lots of guidance from Santos. I have never worked with clay before so I was a long way outside my comfort zone!

It’s amazing how many more mistakes you can make when working in 3 dimensions! There are so many things to consider posture, balance, proportions and then of course the muscle structure of the model.

Thanks to our  very patient model Guy who spent the entire day standing still, which is much more tiring than you would think!

At the end of the day we tore down the sculpture we had created! I must admit it took me a few minutes to gather the strength but it was a hugely liberating feeling. I made sure to take lots of images to record my progress and remind me of what we had done. What a great way to spend a rainy Sunday!

Thanks  for  all the lovely comments about Ned! “New Exceptional Dog” is a great version of his name… very clever, thanks Jennifer!  He has settled in well and is growing like a little weed, OK big weed.

In between dog walks- and there have been a lot of them -I brought these “mystery” squash and a few late tomatoes in from the garden. I know I should remember what I planted but this year I adopted these plants and other than some kind of squash I didn’t (and still don’t) know what kind they are. They are quite a lovely shape though….

Bye for now, Catherine

where has the month gone!

 September seems to have completely disappeared!

I’m quite sure life catches up with everyone from time to time but this last month seems to have evaporated completely. I was still in the UK when I last wrote and so much has happened since then this might be a lengthy post.

Before I left Edwina taught and indigo workshop and I got to tag along…oh, I had fun!


…and got some wonderful results. These lovely scarves took the indigo beautifully and I couldn’t resist taking some images once they were rinsed out and hanging on the line to dry. I love the shadows of the clothes pegs and washing lines showing through.


Just before coming home we managed a day out in Birmingham to see the sights and do a bit of shopping ( it feels like ages ago now- and I guess it was!) I have long been a fan of Edward Burne-Jones and the windows he designed for the Birmingham Cathedral are well worth a visit! they are stunning and the colours amazing.


We packed in a visit to the Cathedral, a turn around the African textile exhibition in the Gas Hall, lunch ,  a bit of shopping of course and some sightseeing. It’s probably old hat to the residents of Birmingham but I really enjoy wandering around their city. I love the contrast in the image below, the modern building rising out of the classic architecture.


The heavily shadowed building in the foreground is the outdoor market- or what was left of it by the end of the day. There were still a few bargains to be had- if you knew what any of these strange fruit (or are they veg?)  are and what to do with them.


Since getting home I have caught up on my sleep and gotten rid of the “airplane cold” I brought home and settled back into home life. Phase 3 of my renovation plan starts this week- the downstairs of the house is getting a face lift- nothing as major as the last round but enough to fill the house with dust!

I haven’t picked up a needle and thread in the past few weeks and I’m really missing it. I had a minor accident a few weeks ago and my right thumb has been immobilized. It’s amazing just how many things you need your right thumb for, even typing was tricky for awhile- especially when you are right handed.  I am just starting to get movement back now and am so looking forward to picking up some stitching- it’s been very annoying!

And just because I’m making excuses for not keeping my blog up to date- or even close to it! Here’s my latest distraction..Image

This is Ned, he is 4 months ( and a bit) old and keeping me on my toes. It’s great to have a dog around the house again and this one has me out walking a lot! He’s made himself right at home.


Bye for now, Catherine