Monday, October 2, 2017

Ahike, a rope bridge, some stitching

  Recently, I’ve been discovering parts of the old Mi’kmag trail that is being developed here. It runs from Daley Point all the way to mount Carlton and is 100+ Kms. In places where there are rivers or streams the volunteers have built bridges —something I wanted to try. My husband has still been out golfing so I searched on the fb site for someone to go with me. A woman and her dogs joined me yesterday for a short hike. I was trying to get over a sore throat. 
She knows the trails well and took me to this spot called Gordon’s meadows ( my husband is named Gordon) where we ate lunch.


Before getting there I crossed over on the rope bridge further up while she walked across the shallows with her dogs.





It was fun and a bit challenging but not as hard as it might seem. I’m hoping to take my husband up next time.

I came home and stretched out with tea and a book which I’m quite enjoying.



My current socks are called Octopus’ Garden by Jenna Swanson. There are always interesting patterns going round at my knitting group.



This morning while hanging out the bedding, I noticed a woodpecker at our back birdhouse. My husband had seen it yesterday and told me how close he could get for a pic. I took a short movie too; however, I don’t know how to add it in this blog platform. Some research is needed.



Maybe he’s moving in for the winter. I do believe they stay here.

This morning I attended to some much needed cleaning and made pumpkin bran muffins. They are yummy!




That’s it for housework for the week! I like to get it over with so I can concentrate on my artwork which I did this afternoon. I spent over an hour and a half cutting the water and all the little bits on it as well as getting to a bit of the stitching.

 

Before finishing the length and breadth of the waterfall, I need to finish all the surrounding rocks as well as the water. I’m finding it’s still in the ugly stage and thus takes a bit of determination to get back at it. I’m hoping that it’s starting to look more like the scene but there’s still a lot more work.

I’m pretty satisfied with my Monday. I hope your day has been as productive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

PEI, kayaking, swimming, sketching and stitching

Since my last post, I’ve been to PEI to visit my family, my daughter, my grandson and my mom. We went to the Island Preserve Company for lunch and a short stroll afterwards.



There are lovely gardens and paths along the river and beautiful views from inside the restaurant. The food is great too. I recommend it. Sorry, I didn’t think to get pictures of the inside.
Call me a biased mom but I think these two are pretty cute!



I was back home by the weekend when I enjoyed the weird fall heat wave by getting out in my kayak.



And even went for a swim in the Bay! Anazing on September 23rd.



After a trail walk Sunday, I did a watercolour sketch of a few found items.



This week, I’ve caught up with some much needed housework and  tended the veggie garden. The beans, Swiss chard, lettuce and carrots are still growing in the raised bed. We’ll cover them. Tonight, I picked a bunch of tomatoes, peppers and yellow zucchini.
Finally, today, I spent most of the day in the sewing studio stitching on the waterfall. There’s still lots of work left.



Around 3:00 I stopped to get ready to go to the pool for my swim. I wish I had energy left at night to do more stitching. My head really wants to but the body won’t cooperate.
I’ve got some paperwork for a submission to get done in the morning and a dentist’s appointment later in the day. In between I will be stitching.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The best kind of day--kayaking, sketching and stitching.

This morning, while hubby was golfing, I actually went kayaking along the Beresford beach and into the lagune to sketch. It's been a year since my hip replacement and 9 months since my shoulder repair. I'm so happy to finally be able to get myself in and out of the kayak!
The air was still, slightly cool and a bit hazy when I started.


It soon cleared and warmed up.



It was very calm and I paddled lazily with the tide.



I paddled along the beach, through the channel and into the lagune.



One of the best paddling days all season. Of course I say that every time, lol.




I stopped against the shore for an apple and some sketching.

Back home after lunch, I went straight to my sewing studio where I finished stitching some lace onto this piece that's been lolling about for a while.







I will trim it this week and cut a binding for it.

After lightly tacking with a basting stick all the little pieces I've been cutting for the rocky section of the waterfall piece, I finally got it to the machine and just had time to get started free motion stitching the black sections.
I've only laid out some of my thread lace to see how it might work for the water. I think it may be ok once I press it flat, shape it and stitch it down. The purple shows more than I'd like but I think will recede when I stitch more on top of it. I hope.






That was my Saturday. I'm feeling pretty lucky. I hope your weekend is going well too.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stitching foliage

As long as the sin is shining, I feel it's a priority for me to get outside. We've been very fortunate to miss the terrible weather that the hurricanes have inflicted down south so I don't want to wish for a rainy day to stay inside. I went to my first yoga class this morning in a long time-- since before all my surgeries. A gentle flow yoga. It went pretty well. On my way home I drove out to a farm and picked up some greens and a bag of garlic. 
After lunch, I went for a short walk on the trail nearby. 45 minutes. Just a short time ago I would have considered it a long walk!  I love the soft colors and textures in this fungi.
My eye is often drawn to little details such as this old stump that is gradually being reclaimed by the earth. A microcosm. I've passed this stump by many times from when it was solid and have watched it gradually being eaten and broken down into sawdust with bits of fungi and foliage growing inside it.  
While walking I'm also thinking about how I'll proceed with my latest fibre art piece. The dilemma was what to do about all the small pieces I'd cut. I decided tomstart to stitch working my way from top to bottom. I thought about tacking it all down with dabs of glue but that would be a lot of dabbing! Instead, I rolled it all as tightly as possible and clipped it. Lol. The clips are inside the rolled part below.
I started free motion stitching most of the foliage at the top of the waterfall. Nothing was pinned or fused which is totally new for me. I was holding my breath until I got going. I plan to work my way down the waterfall section and go back to add small details like thread lace foliage later.
My window doesn't look out on an ocean or large vista but I appreciate my garden view just as much. It calms me.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gardening and gathering

Transitioning from summer to fall is a bittersweet time. Im letting go of hot days (which I don't miss) and swimming in the bay and moving into slightly cooler days with more walking and hiking.
Since that 4 hour hike last weekend--I still can't believe I did it-- I purchased a small backpack with a water bladder and a new set of poles. I've got the hiking bug! It's also the time to move into the garden to gather the ends of vegetables, to pull out those that are done and to do some trimming.
Some fall blooms are truly showy, like the pink tinged hydrangea that actually need the cool nights to turn them pink.
All of the beautiful seed pods remind me that while many plants are  turning color (the spectacular part of a maritime fall) and many are shriveling and dying, that these wonderful little cases that are left behind are quite beautiful in their archetecture and importantly, they carry the seeds for next years plants. They represent hope and the eternal cycling of the seasons. After spending a couple of hours outside, pulling, picking, and pruning, it was time to come inside for a break. I made a tea and sat at the table with a few sprigs.
I got out a sketchbook and paints.
Lately, I've noticed that my hand is a little shaky but I still enjoy a detailed study sometimes.
Tomorrow there is rain in the forecast so I expect to be spending the afternoon in my sewing studio. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Reason for my fatigue

A couple of years ago i started another blog in hopes of chronicaling my journey in health.  I haven't written anything there for ages. Life is busy as a senior, especially one who pursues art, who tries to make exercise and diet a priority and one who has become a new grandparent! So little time. I've been reading a blog this morning written by a cancer fighter who just passed away--someone I knew in my youth and haven't seen other than in pictures thanks to facebook since then. It is funny, poignant and sad all at once. This and the flooding in Houston right now really make one think about how we spend our time. I had some semi important errands to do this morning, but thought about what i really wanted to do. It eill wait until tomorrow.  I felt like being domestic-- processing a few of my garden tomatoes for the freezer. Then, I simmered my bag of saved veggie ends from the freezer to make a broth which I used in a Thai carrot lentil soup that I've been craving.
I didn't even need supper for tonight as I'm going to an end of summer knitters group barbecue and corn boil.  My husband can have some and I'll get to it tomorrow. And, there'll be some for the freezer. Satisfying.
  The past weekend we made a quick trip to Moncton for the first car check up. My daughter surprised us by coming over from Charlottetown for the day. We were invited for an early barbecue supper at my brother in laws. Ollie is on the move now, crawling, and quickly.
  I've mentioned a bit lately about my dusatisfaction and restlessness in my art this summer. I feel the need for change; as a result I've been experimenting. My head is full of ideas but my body has been too fatigued to do what i want. Yesterday, i found out that my iron is very low again. Also, i have mild sleep apnea. We'll address the iron first and I'll try the C Pap machine for a month once my iron levels are up. I've been mulling over doing a fiber art piece depicting the waterfall where i swam this summer. Finally, yesterday, I got started.
I've got the pattern drawn and base fabric cut and think I know how I'll start. Some of the process will be similar to how I've done my birch forests and rocks, but I'm going to try out some new things here with the water.
Usually, i spend as much time thinking about how I'll do it as i spend in the actual process. I'm excited to finally get going. Still, I'll have to go with the flow and pace my progress for now. It is good just to be working and to experience that lost in time effect as I pick fabrics and cut the first pieces.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Idling away the day, sketching

I see my lifeline as a circle or spiral that is ever expanding and ever reshrinking. There are days and occasionally weeks when my energy seems to grow and times like now when i seem to be withering under a foggy fatigue--all things that happen when one is dealing with  a variety of autoimmune conditions its resulting effects.  Acceptance along with a bit of stubborness and fight are helpful. We have been so busy lately that finally this week, I decided a slow down was needed. I called in a cleaning lady yesterday, I'm fixing simple meals and leftovers and I'm keeping my days easy. After a small errand today (picking up perle cottons to match my latest fiber work), i lolled over lunch and afterwards tea. I ventured outside to water a few plants and clip a few spent flowers. I've noticed that I'm attracted to dried shriveled flowers and wildflowers as well as seed heads.  I took the tansy collected last  week and added some pearly everlasting.
The drying Queen Anne's lace I added to a jar containing poppy, columbine, and balloon flower seed heads. These are beautidful to me. Even though they signify  an impending end to summer they also give me a feeling of hope, thinking about the potential in all those tiny seeds contained within. It is funny that I'm out collecting these on one of our hottest days, but nature will be what it is. Preparation for the next life is underway.
I brought them inside and sat down to sketch a few. 
There wasn't time for sewing-- I'm going to throw a few veggies onto a pizza crust for supper--partway through my sketching I noticed an empty feeling and had to grab a snack to keep those sugars normal.
How is your summer going? Are you doing some things that feed your soul and aid your body?  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Free motion stitching

We arrived home last night from a nice long weekend and a family gathering at the cottage on Prince Edward Island.
The old folks are a bit slow.
We hadn't thought it was going to be warm so although we had bathing suits on, Ollie didn't have his. It didn't seem to bother him.
 I had a clinic appointment this morning and then picked up a few groceries. I'm feeling pretty tired! After lunch, cup of tea in hand, I went into the studio to putter which often gets me going. Since black thread was still on my machine, i sat down to stitch a few sea shells onto deli paper.
These are meant to be added to my mixed media piece and painted and stitched over.
Before removing the black thread, I also finished stitching the left hand flower on this Gelli print that I started as a demo for my workshop.
I'm always thinking ahead; I knew there would be lots of Queen Anne's lace growing in the ditches by the cottage so I packed an old phone book. 
I like to press wildflowers late summer into fall for winter to be used in my printing sessions. Finally, I took off the black and threaded the machine with a variegated color that I picked up while away to match my collaged piece.  I had time to get started. This piece is made from various prints of wildflowers picked and pressed last year. I have phone books full.
I can't wait to finish so i can add some layers of hand work and other shear fabrics.