- December 10, 2013
As I look back on the fact that I missed doing a
blog entry in November, I realize what a very quiet, mundane life I live.
Nothing much happened other than work and various projects. Some of those
projects will get their photos into this episode. Since I doubt that I
will get another entry done this month, here is wishing you all a very merry
Christmas and hoping you have great health and happiness in the New
We have had snow off and on since October and along with the
snow comes the Snow Buntings. These are one of my favorite winter
birds. They form large flocks and fly like finches dipping along in their
flight path. They have a cheerful chirp that welcomes me when I venture out to
see them. We enjoy the flocks until the snow leaves in the spring
time. Some special moments I remember were when they decided to roost in
the eaves just outside my library window. They were having little tiffs
over the best roosting spots, one of which I managed to photograph.
Another special event was after an ice storm had coated all the snow and made it
very slippery. These birds are ground feeders and we had enough weedy
seeds poking out of the icy crust to bring a pair of them into our front yard
to eat. The wind was blowing hard making their attempts at feeding very
difficult. One would fly to some of the weeds and start eating
seeds. The other would see that this was a good spot and fly
past, land and slide back to where it's buddy was feasting, knocking the poor
friend off of the bush to slide away. This bird would then find a new spot
only to lose it again to the more aggressive feeder. Their sliding and
scuffling over the best seeds gave me 20 minutes of laughter but unfortunately
at that time, I did not have a video camera or I would have filmed their
I have been busy with commissions and will continue with more
commissions into the new year. I hope to also tidy up any updates I have
available for the website early in the new year and that will include price
updates. One of the new designs I will be releasing is a sled dog
design. I have wanted to do one for years and with the request of an
afghan with this theme, I had a good reason to make the new design. I
still have to go over the design to do any touch-ups that I find and once it is
finalized, it will be available.
Along with the personal projects, I have
also been cleaning house. I'm trying to get it ready for paint which may
not happen now until spring. I don't like introducing more moisture into
the house than is already there. Building R2000 style has great advantages
in lowering heating/cooling costs but it is sealed so any moisture in the house
stays in the house. We don't tend to have a static electricity issues in
the winter. Some of the personal projects that have been keeping me busy
are tapestry weaving, rigid heddle weaving, small loom weaving, knitting,
stitching and beadwork. Samples of which are below. The woven scarf is
done on the small loom: each squre individually woven and then all of them
crocheted together to make the scarf. The knit cat: knit, stitched and
stuffed and then the face needlefelted onto the cat. I added amber beads
for the eyes. I also managed to find time to add some bead embellishment
to a pair of UGG boots I picked up for a super price last spring. I
stitched beads into the gimp trim up the back of the boots and then duplicated
that design with a bead lace stitch around the top edge of the boots. I
like the hint of sparkle that the red three-cut beads add to the work.
I always have more projects on the go so hopefully will remember to
photograph them and share them with you in the new year.
asked recently if I had all the money and time in the world, what would I
do? I know I would add some things to my 'to do' list but I would pretty
much do the same as I'm doing now other than hiring someone else to clean the
house. I love my work and am blessed to be able to do what I love to
All the best,
- October 17, 2013
Now that my fall shows are done my life/work has
shifted back to designing. For Thanksgiving, we managed to squeeze in a
family day and spent our time exploring Tobermory. It was great fun, hard
hiking and exhausting in a good way. Even Kodi, who does not travel well
because he cries, had a blast and was ready to hop in the car the next day for a
new adventure. I think we walked and hiked for at least 6 hours that
day. Some of the terrain was pretty tough and not all of the trails were
well marked but we managed. At the end of the day, when it was starting to
get dark, we were on one of those 'not well marked' trails and I decided to let
Kodi lead for a change. He knew exactly where the trail was and in the dim
light, made it easy for us to get back to the main trail. The
trail in the photo was one of the easy trials. On the tougher trails, I
was too busy watching where I was going, climbing up or down and trying not to
slip to take any photos . . . sorry. I was
especially amazed that none of us felt any stiffness from our adventures at
Tobermory. The photos show some of the limestone escarpment, trails and
There were also caves, lots of fungus and critters.
During our local walks, we've also come across various critters.
Sometimes a fox, bunny or deer, always birds and occasionally our little snake
hound will find a snake. Fortunately for the little one we came across
recently, Kodi didn't find it first. We'd found a red belly racer last
year and it was very small, the size of a dew worm. This is the second one
we've found this year unfortunately the two others had been, unfortunately, run
over. Hopefully not the one we found.
I grew up
playing with and catching odd critters like snakes. This was the first
time with a red bellied racer. It reminded me of the green snake, we
called a grass snake. Tiny and benign but great for eating bugs.
Arianna doesn't seem to mind snakes and things either. She even enjoys
snails which aren't something I would want crawling around on me.
will continue on the current commissions, all of which are larger jobs so will
occupy most of my design time. I am still knitting, painting, weaving and
stitching in my spare time and although I will not be selling any products at
the GHS Fall Fibres show on November 2nd, I will be demonstrating for the
day. I have also been working on cleaning up areas of the house in
prepration for painting and laying the floors. I would really like to get
a bunch of this work done before I'm too old to be able to do it. We'll
see how long I can keep the momentum going. I pick a section every day and
spend around an hour cleaning that area with the hopes that someone doesn't come
along and mess up the cleaned places behind me. Maybe if I keep at it, the
rest of the family will also get into the cleaning groove and do some to
Winter will soon be here and a whole new set of challenges for
living the rural life. In the mean time, I'm going to get the most out of one of
the best fall season's we've had in years.
Happy stitching, knitting and
Entry 9 - September 10, 2013
seems to have skipped on by and suddenly we are dealing with fall shows and
school. Silly season is almost over now that 'supposedly' cool weather has
arrived. I say supposedly since today and for the next few days we'll be
getting record highs with extremely high humidity making outside activities very
uncomfortable. It appears that life is settling down again into a more
normal rhythm and I'm hoping that this fall we'll be able to find time to
work on important things like getting back to finishing the house. It is
always good to get projects finished as well. I've included a sample of my
wood burning with the quail plaque as well as some of the experimental
paintings, my iris on watercolour paper and pink peony on a blotter like,
I finally figured
out what the large flock of birds was that kept visiting. It is called the
Common Starling. What threw me off was that it wasn't black. I've
grown up with starlings hanging around and they were always black. The
young would show speckles of white all over but otherwise - black. These
birds are much different. They have a white speckled, black breast but the
rest of them is a brown with this reddish stripe along the wings and iridescent
wing feathers. I'm surprised that I'd never seen one before and thanks to
Ari's education, found out that they were introduced from Europe when the 'new
world' was just beginning to be populated.
We've had some very raining
weather between those sunny days and one evening when I was headed for bed, I
noticed a silhouette of a tree frog stuck to the window of my front door.
I showed Glenn the frog plastered to the window and his one question was 'you
aren't going to keep it are you?' It was a legitimate question because I
was sorely tempted to at least hang on to him until the next day so Ari could
see it. I decided it would be better for all if I didn't keep it.
The little frog was brought inside for a grueling (for him) photo shoot where I
tried to capture all aspects of tree frogdom and then released back to the very
wet outdoors. I was late getting to bed but fully satisfied with my
reasons and happy to have the photos of the tiny, agile little frog. I
suspect that he too will end up in my designs at some point.
Work continues as new
commissions show up and preparations for my fall shows and classes
continue. I will be teaching at the Fringe Tatter's event at the end of
September in Cambridge and the following weekend, the first weekend in October,
I will be in Guelph with a booth at the GRBS bead show and sale. After
that, I have the weaving show at the Wellington County Museum, the first
Saturday in November. Most of my time will be spent over the next couple
of months, preparing for those shows. Once they are finished, I hope to
finalize the latest updates to my website. I've managed to keep up with
articles and projects for ANPT magazine and have more ideas for upcoming
For those not familiar with silly season, that is the time of
year when my husband's time becomes highly in demand by his customers. His
business is with antique cars and as soon as the weather is warm enough to work
on the cars, it becomes silly season. Once the weather changes and it is
too cold to take the cars out anymore, silly season is over. Generally
during this time, Glenn can end up working not only through the week days but
also evenings and weekends. We've tried to get summer vacations but his
schedule seems to make that impossible. Thankfully, silly season will soon
Hope all are enjoying fall. I know I am looking forward to
harvesting the squash that I've managed to grow this summer . . . as long as
the frost doesn't kill the plants.
Entry 8 - July 29,
I have been keeping busy with new designs as well as personal
projects. I hope that all who find time to read my blog have had a chance to do
something for themselves this summer. The weather has cooled a bit from
it's oppressive humid heat and is feeling more like the kind of summer I
prefer. I have had a chance to not only finish more designs but also to do
a watercolour painting. I admit that watercolour is not one of my normal
mediums to work with but I am making an effort to do more painting in whatever
form it takes. It is interesting working with the 'wet' brushes as well as
watercolour crayons. I may add pictures of my efforts in future blogs.
I have a couple of commissions that I will be working on over the next few
weeks as well as beginning preperations for upcoming classes and shows.
There always seems to be lots of work to keep me busy. As for the
critter's around us. I had noticed when photographing the doe and two fawn
that one of them seemed to be an adventurous type and always dawdled or went
it's own way, not caring whether mom and sibling were with it. The other
day I saw just the mother and one fawn. I hoped that the other fawn was
safe and was happy to see it's ears pop up out of the field behind the
house. It never did join up with the family but headed off in it's own
direction. I hope it continues to be safe.
We were visited by a
large flock of birds. They appeared to be young thrush but I couldn't find
what type in any of my reference books. They were fun to watch as they
crowded into and around the big rock near the driveway. Some of the birds
were bickering over who would occupy the hollow cavities and crevices of the
rock. Unfortunately, timing and the skittishness of the birds made it too
hard to photograph them. We also have flight school for the baby swallows
again. It seems that our large chocolate brown roof makes a wonderful
thermal area for the baby swallows to practice arial acrobatics. We have
tried to capture their joyous adventures on film but they are moving so fast, it
is very difficult. I did manage to get photos of some of the butterflies
that visited the yard and I am also adding some photos of Kodi with a 'short
term' playmate. It was hard to capture clear images of the
Monarch in flight but I did manage to get a few that turned out well.
One day when we were walking on our sideroad, Kodi came across a frog.
After warning him to be gentle, he gave the frog a good sniff and then waited
for it to do something. The frog, jumping to safety in the tall grass was
hard for my catlike Shiba Inu to resist and he went pouncing after it.
Fortunately the frog quickly disappeared to safety and Kodi did not catch
it. Sitting still is much safer for some critters than moving. That
movement insights the preditor in my dog. All it takes is some shifting in
the tall grass and he is pouncing on what he thinks may be prey. His
tightly curled tail wags like crazy when he thinks he's onto something.
He is fun to watch when he is hunting. You can see all his senses, nose,
eyes and ears, working overtime to find the prey. What surprised me the
most about the confrontation with the frog is how long it sat still and let Kodi
check it out. I have even more photos of the two, together. The one
with just the tip of Kodi's nose and the frog trying to be a rock was the very
first one I captured of the two of them.
Soccer season has just finished
and only baseball is left. Both Arianna and Glenn enjoy baseball and me,
not so much. I will likely attend some of the playoff games but with
sleeps that aren't so great and fighting off exhaustion most days, I prefer to
stay home. The games start late and the two get home way after my
bedtime. Not that I can sleep until they are home anyway, I just sleep
better if I'm settled down before 11 pm. I am definitely not a night
Here's wishing you all a wonderful August and hope to find time
to write again soon.
Entry 7 - July 6, 2013
School is finished, the report card has arrived home and Arianna did very
well. She works hard and deserves the great marks that she
gets. She has soccer and baseball to keep her somewhat active and
will be starting driver training this weekend. For those of you who are
local, consider yourselves warned . . . new driver will soon be on the
road. Ari is working on her novel and also doing some work for 'Dixies' so
I guess you could say she has a part time summer job.
I continue to be
working on new designs but I will soon have to prepare for the fall classes and
shows. I also have another project to put together for ANPT
magazine. This one is again beadwork but all about babies so it will be
interesting to see what I can come up with for a bead project and related to
babies. No one really wants those tiny beads anywhere near babies.
The only other thing that I really have to put time into is to update my prices
for my dealers and the website. That is a tedious, mind numbing job but
definitely needs some of my time.
I squeezed in a visit with my sister
in June and we enjoyed one of the local attractions, 'Jungle Cat World' where I
managed to collect a good selection of photos as well as actually get to be face
to face with some of my favorite large cats - with a fence between us.
They were beautiful to see and although I didn't like photographing the fence,
looking eye to eye with a snow leopard was something I never expected in my
life. The Siberian tiger was just more icing on that cake. We also
did some artsy things and concocting in the kitchen and I worked on a gift for a
The gift for my friend turned out well and I'm happy with the results,
'Bob' the cat. I hope she enjoys her birthday gift. This knit
pattern was from a book but I changed up the head a bit by adding rows, needle
felting the face, adding cheeks and a chin and attaching the ears differently
than the original design.
Locally, we have
critters and no fence between us but they don't let you get too close. Ive
noticed the doe hanging around with it's fawn. I was delighted to see that
it didn't have just one, but twins. They come by almost every day. I
hid on the balcony to take this picture, wishing I had a bigger telephoto
lens. From the backyard, I also managed to get some photos of Kodi's
backyard buddies, a pair of cottontails. He loves to chase them and
although has not yet caught one, we sort of cheat because he is usually tied up
and can only chase so far and then runs out of rope. He knows just when to
stop so he doesn't get yanked. These guys are around a fair bit as
well. We also get the occasional snake, skunk, groundhog, coyote and
raccoon. I think the snakes are his favorite, probably because of their
strong odor. We did come across a large garter snake on one of our bike
runs. It must have been run over although it was still alive, I could tell
it was hurting. We moved it carefully and gently off the road so that it
could have more of a chance for survival. Kodi didn't seem as interested
in one that doesn't move.
evergrowing collection of photos gives me more and more sources for new
designs. I am excited about the possibilities and now all I need to do is
find the time to see them happen. A few of the new designs are from my own
photos and more are from requests and photos submitted by you. Hopefully
you will see something that appeals to you when the updates are finished this
In the mean time, I wish that all can find some enjoyment this
summer even through all the challenges our crazy weather may bring.
Keep on stitching!
Entry 6 - June 14,
With the school year coming to a close, exams have begun.
I know that Arianna is well prepared and she knows she is well prepared but for
some reason, she seems to fret. She is writing one exam today and two next
week and then she will be done for the summer. Now that she is 16, it is
time to think about a driver's license. She has put that off until school
is out for summer but I know that Dad won't let her put it off any longer.
I'm thinking he may be weary of being the kid's chauffeur so driver's ed will be
one of this year's summer adventures.
I am finally feeling like I'm back
into a more consistent designing mode. It seemed to take awhile to get out
of the rhythm that teaching brought these past few years and I'm happy to be
back to a more productive state of mind. The latest ANPT Summer issue is
now available, the Festive ANPT issue is being edited and I'm working on a
project for the Spring 2014 issue. I have ideas kicking around in my head
but nothing has solidified yet.
Anyone who looks at my website
should be able to tell that I love animals since they are the main focus of my
art. I think that if I had a chance, I'd have all sorts of different types
of pets around but having one dog right now seems to be enough. As a
child, I had a variety of pets, both wild and pet shop bought. Watching
animals seems to be one of the joys I find in life. I even remember
spending hours watching ants struggle with a large dead beetle, dragging it to
their ant hill and trying to haul it down the hole. I enjoyed keeping
praying mantids as pets and feeding them as well as snapping turtles and lots of
other critters, including snakes. I don't mind most critters but dislike
spiders in the house - so spiders beware - If I find you, you're dead. I
was probably a tome boy as a child as well and in those days, my brother and
sister and I would cover a lot of territory together and on our own. It is
too bad that children don't have that freedom in today's world. The
treasure hunts we did, the games we played and the adventures we shared were
akin to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in our imaginations. Maybe that is a big
reason children aren't getting the exercise they should, they aren't allowed to
be out in the world enjoying those innocent childhood adventures I remember
My recent observations this past week were a doe with a
very small fawn, strolling across the back yard to the road where they
cautiously crossed into a swampy bush on the other side. I thought the
fawn was very small for this time of year. When out walking or biking,
we've seen wild turkeys. One was running across the field and it looked
like it was floating. It had not seen us yet and at the edge of the field
near the road it slowed down. As it walked towards the road, it'd head
would bob back and fourth and didn't have that floating grace when it seemed to
glide over the top of the field. Once it got on the road and spotted us,
it was gone in a flash into the bush on the other side. Closer to home we
came across a pair of turkeys in a wet section of our field. I had my
camera and thankfully a telephoto lens because they certainly don't let you get
very close before they take off.
The first photo are turkeys doing turkey things. The second one is
when they've spotted us and the third is 'run for the hills' time. The
other picture is the lastest robin's nest, under the hood of a car that is being
stripped for parts for my car. Unfortunately, the nest was too close to
the ground and has already been raided. Not long after I found the nest
and took the pictures, I found it completely empty. I'm hoping she finds a
much safer location for the next brood. She usually does two during the
Also on one walk, we happened across some fledgling red winged black
birds. They were just starting to get adult feathers and learning how to
use them so their flights were short. This fascinated Kodi who would love
to catch a bird but we didn't let him get too close. Ari tried to take
photos with the phone but that didn't work well enough so we gave up and just
enjoyed watching them while the parents fussed and complained nearby.
Walking is getting trickier with lots of bugs out to feed on us. This is
when those really windy days make walking more pleasurable rather than adding a
nasty windchill factor cold enough to cause frost bite. When it is really
windy, the bugs have trouble flying anywhere but away with the wind.
warmer weather will soon be bringing the ragweed and Kodi will be in full blown
allergic reaction. This is when he and I tend to hibernate and he is on
heavy duty allergy meds. Since he has a weakness for peanut butter, it is
very easy to give him the pills, just cover them in nutty goop and he'll take
them without issue. I know that locally produced honey will help but all
local producers are out and I honestly have not seen more than one honey bee
this year which is very sad. I'm afraid that we are losing too many
bees. I will be giving him not so local but still Ontario honey and hope
that it still gives him some relief. He doesn't like honey all that much
though so it is a bit more difficult to feed that to him.
My life in
rural Ontario is relatively quiet and peaceful (boring), which I love.
Work will continue on new designs and hopefully before the end of the summer
I'll have my website updated again.
Entry 5 - May
This month brought a few challenges with it. One was
getting a garden plot set up for some haskap berry bushes we purchased and the
other, a partial flood in the basement from a malfunctioning sump and lots of
rain. At least a day and a half of back-breaking work for all three of us
was spent getting the bushes planted, along with some of the strawberry plants
that needed to be moved. Thankfully Glenn had the tractor and used a
cultivator to scratch the surface soil and then the weeds had to be cleared out,
rocks hauled over to surround the garden, and a chicken wire fence put in around
it to keep the bunnies out. The deer had stopped by and checked out the
new bushes before the short fence went up, but left them alone. The
strawberry patch that is being transplanted was being ravaged by a hungry
cottontail so it also got covered with chickenwire. Another 12 hours of
heavy work was spent cleaning the flooded area of the basement so that it could
dry up again. Mostly what was stored there was empty boxes for shipping so
there was no great loss other than time and since shipping has slowed down so
much, those boxes weren't really needed anyway. The forced cleanup was
probably a good thing. Makes one wonder what June will bring since it is
Kodi indirectly treed a racoon while we were out for our
walk. Ari and I actualy saw it before Kodi did but he could smell it and
became very intense. As soon as he spotted it, he barked determinedly as
he tried to get to the racoon. I wasn't going to let go of the leash so he
was out of luck. I had an Akita which weighed 5 times more than Kodi
wrestle with a racoon once and he was all biten and scratched so I wasn't going
to let Kodi near the coon. It was across a deep ditch and up a tree so
pretty much out of his reach anyway. We watched the racoon for a short
while as it tried to be invisible behind the tree trunk but eventually it
figured out that we were still there and looked around the trunk at us.
It was one of those withering glares that Ari calls 'the hairy eyeball' and what
I call 'if looks could kill'. It was not pleased about the interruption to
it's day. We continued on with our walk and on the return trip it was no
longer there. What is it about certain types of critters that can really
send a dog over the edge of invader alert to extreme dislike and desire to
As is typical of our area these past few years, we seem to go from
winter stright into summer weather. It has been a wet spring but is also
suddenly very hot and muggy. This may bring on Kodi's allergy season early
this year and that also means it will last longer. Lots of things seem to
make him itchy but the worst is ragweed. We are trying local honey this
year to see if it will help reduce his general itchiness and will likely have
him on allergy meds by the end of July.
The killdeer must have given up
nesting on the driveway. They are out in the field but not hanging around
the rockanymore. The robin gave
up trying to build a nest on the manifold of the tractor after we removed their
muddy construction twice and then filled the area with chunks of 2 x 4's to
crowd them out. They have nested there in past years if we don't catch
them quickly enough. Glenn can't use the tractor or he'd light up their
lives a bit. The robins have built nests in other unusual locations that
were not necessarily good ideas. The basket ball net nest was blown over
during a storm last year and the eggs did not survive the fall. The
swallows are back and our windows are again decorated with plastic bags that get
stuffed under the drip rail on top of the windows. The bags flap around in
the breeze and discourage the swallows from building the nests above the
windows. These are some of the most agile flyers I've seen in this area
and hopefully flight school will be back again this year. The only other
bird that we've watched display some amazing flying abilities is the
kestrel. I was watching a murder of crows flying very eratically and just
about flying into each other. I kept watching, trying to figure out why
they were flying so crazily. I realized that there was a kestrel in their
midst, showing the crows that flying was more than just flapping wings to stay
up in the air. Not long after, most of the crows grew weary of the game of
trying to catch the kestrel and landed in the trees below. A few hardier
crows still attempted to tag the kestrel but didn't have a chance. Once
all of the crows gave up, the kestrel then made a few diving passes at the crows
in the trees, probably trying to insite them into the game again but got not
takers. The kestrel eventually flew off but the crows, defeated, stayed in
the tree to rest for quite awhile after. I've always wanted to fly and my
best dreams are the ones where I actually do fly.
time of year I call silly season. Mostly for my husband's business.
His customers all want everything this time of year and it gets so busy with
weekend shows and things that silly season seemed to be the best name for
it. Once winter is back, things will get very quiet again. I guess
that is the car hobby industry in Ontario. Cars are parked for the winter
and most people find it too cold to work on them. In the mean time, it
will be silly season.
This is also the time of year when Arianna's sports
kick in. She is playing co-ed baseball (softball) as well as soccer.
She enjoys both of these games and has been playing them for many years
now. Once she is on her own, she may not get a chance or the time to play
so thankfully she is getting that chance now.
I am working on one
last commission and expect to have that tidied up in the next week. I also
have some book work to do for the government . . . does that type of
work never end? The only other pressing item I need to finish is the next
project for ANPT and the festive issue. This issue will be featuring
ornaments. Once those jobs are tidied up, I will be concentrating on
speculative and requested designs, more dogs mostly. When I pick a new
subject for a design, it is either by request or a subject that appeals to
me. We'll have to wait and see what my next batch of new designs will
There is not much spring time left this year and even if it feels
like summer, my advise is to enjoy it while it lasts. School will soon be
done for this school year and summer will be in full swing.
Entry 4 - May 13, 2013
I knew that April would be a busy
month with the trunk show at Gitta's in Mississauga. Life is finally
getting back to normal now that Glenn's show schedule is kicking in. We
had some very nice summer weather for a couple of weeks and the current joke,
after the crazy snow storms we got yesterday is "hope you enjoyed your
summer". Glenn is happy that the snow tires are still on the van.
Maybe he'll be able to swap them for summer tires next weekend. The
weather is supposed to improve again soon.
I've been busy getting
commissions done and soon will be caught up with them. I continue to work
on requested designs as well. There is always lots of work to keep me
busy. In my spare time, I continue to weave and knit but also have some
bead concepts to try out. They start with sketches and then playing with
beads to try and work out how to make what I've sketched into a new bead
design. I also have to consider my fall show schedule and at this point,
I will be attending the Fringe Tatter's event in Cambridge on the last weekend
in September and the GRBS show in Guelph, the first weekend in October.
Having back to back shows is good and bad. Good in that I'm all set up for
the shows after the first one and bad in that there isn't much time for anything
but doing the shows. There are things that need to be done to prepare for
the shows and then busy with the shows and after the shows, time to recover
because once you stop, there is a tendancy to crash.
With the improved
weather, I have been able to get out for more walks with the dog. He is
loving this and his normal signal for getting outside has switched from banging
the closet door with his paw to sitting and looking at the front door. I
guess he figures that banging the closet door puts him out the back but if he
sits looking at the front door long enough, we'll get the hint that he is ready
to go for a walk since we always head out through the front when we are going
some place - dog logic. He learned to bang the closet door when he was a
pup. We got him in the fall so we always put a coat on to take him out and
the closet door was closed every time. He never went out alone and I'm
happy about that because a couple of times, at night, I had to wave off an owl
that was trying to grab him for a meal. He's big enough now that he only
interests the local coyotes. There was only one confrontation with a
coyote that I know of. Kodi was tied and snarling like a demon at the
coyote who stood about 15 feet away and looked at him. Not sure what was
going through it's head but when I did a growly dominant 'get away from my pack
mate' yell at it, it just stood there and looked at me. I turned back to
the door to get Glenn to try and scare it off and when I turned back, it was
gone. Kodi was still in snarly 'doesn't play well with other's' mode and
didn't want to come in until he knew he'd chased it off for good. Now I'm
happy he wasn't well socialized because he wasn't interested in playing with the
'new doggy', he wanted nothing to do with it. When it comes to some dogs
defending their territory, they don't care if the other critter is twice their
size, they'll still take it on. I don't understand how Kodibear survived
his confrontation with the coyote because I know that it was out there for a few
minutes before I showed up to figure out why Kodi was carrying on so
nastily. I'm just glad he did. Maybe it's because Shiba Inus don't
smell like a normal dog. If someone has any ideas why the coyote didn't
just kill my dog, they could let me know. The next big issue I'll have to
deal with is Kodi's allergies. Not looking forward to that but ragweed
season will soon be here and he'll be so itchy, I'll be putting him back onto
With spring also comes the birds back to their nesting grounds
and baby birds. The robins still want to build their nest on the tractor's
manifold and Glenn continues to try and discourage them. This is a common
problem every year with the robins. They also build nests on top of tires
in the wheel wells of any vehicle that sits long enough. We have a few
vehicles that fit that description so if we want to move one, we have to check
it for nests. I don't understand why they dont pick a tree like most birds
but robins like the strangest places for nesting. Many of those spots are
not protected enough from the egg loving critters that hang out at night and the
eggs or babies get eaten. The other bird that is determined to build it's
nest in a less than convenient location for us is the killdeer. Glenn
figures that they must have a GPS locater in their brain because every year they
pick the same location on the driveway. This year, they were back again
and Glenn was working on making sure the Model T would run because Ari wanted to
use it in the movie she was doing for French class. Anyway, they
industriously dug a hole in the driveway and Glenn went over to check on
it. He filled it back in and went back to the T. The birds were soon
back and had re-dug the hole. Glenn filled it in again and put a rock big
enough so that they couldn't move it on top of the spot they'd chosen for their
nest. Glenn said there was a lot of fussing and scolding at the rock
shortly after he went back to working on the Model T. Then they decided to
work right next to the rock. Glenn then moved the rock over the new
dig. They gave up, or appeared to give up at that point. I'm not
sure where they've put their nest this year but it isn't in the driveway.
Too often, the driveway nest was accidentally driven over so we would prefer
they build their nest elsewhere. Finally, we get the swallows. They
are fun to watch but they also would like to build their nests in awkward
locations. We tuck plastic milk bags into the tops of our windows on the
house so that the moving bags discourage them from building on top of our
windows. We do love when they bring the baby swallows around the house for
flight school. With the dark metal roof, I guess the air currents make the
house an ideal location for flight training and every year we get flocks of them
doing wild flying around the house. I've tried to film it but they are so
quick. Maybe I'll get some good shots with the new camera. Stepping
out onto the balcony can be an adventure when they are doing the fly throughs
and weaving in and out of the pillars. They've been almost close enough to
fly into me but they are too maneuverable for that to actually happen . .
. I hope.
Continue to enjoy spring and look forward to summer.
Entry 3 - April 3, 2013
It appears that
March got away from since I didn't manage to get an update
posted. I did manage to get everthing ready for the trunk show
at Gitta's and will be there this weekend doing demonstrations as well as
meeting and greeting the customers. For a complete schedule of
my April events at Gitta's, check out the events page on Gitta's website.
Also in March, I squeezed in a visit with my sister. Since our previous
visit, I've managed to get her totally hooked on fulling (felting in the washing
machine) and needle felting. I'm probaby a bad influence when it comes to
things like that. Too bad she doesn't have a top loading washing
I have not noticed anything that resembles spring weather since
we've been getting snow flurries all week. I know that it will warm up and
the snow will melt. That is when the mud shows up. I have been
working on a variety of projects, most of which have been either for ANPT or for
Gitta's. I hope to be back into designing this month and definitely fully
involved in it by May. In my spare time I have begun a new knitting
project and finished putting together a bunch of little woven squares to make a
baby afghan. I'm now working on more little squares for other projects and
using up odds and ends of leftover yarns.
I enjoy doing cryptographic type word puzzles. I find it
interesting how words and letters can have distinct patterns. Some of
these words really stand out even though they aren't in the normal letter
configuration we are used to reading. Words like 'people, that (can also
be else) never, there and these' are some of the more obvious candidates.
This enjoyment of deciphering word puzzles may be part of why I like to design
needlework patterns. Sometimes when I'm designing, I feel like I'm putting
together a jigsaw puzzle as I chart the colours around the eyes and nose.
I also find that there are certain shapes in the way the colours fall that I
don't like to use, like the + shape. I do mostly organic designs and I
find this shape to regular and static to properly represent hair or whatever
else I'm working on. If I've charted this shape, I will more often than
not, change it if possible.
For most of April, I will be trying to keep
up with my schedule of events at Gitta's. I will also be working on new
articles and projects for ANPT magazine and the commissions that are starting to
pile up. In my spare time I will continue to knit, weave and bead.
I also would like to continue working on finishing the house and getting my car
on the road for the summer. It has been under restoration for the past
couple of summers and it would be nice to have it back on the road. It is
a very fun car to drive but only safe to drive in the summer. We'll see
how this month shapes up and how much I can fill it with as time goes by.
Wishing all a wonderful spring.
Entry 2 - February
It is a very exciting day for me as I have just recently
checked out the proof for the Spring 2013 issue of 'A Needle Pulling
Thread', www.ANPT.com - one of the perks of being the bead editor.
This will be my first serious article for ANPT as the bead editor and the topic
of choice is beading thread.
It was interesting, gathering up the
information to put the article together. I poled many of the local beaders
to find out their thread preferences as well as searched for more information on
the types of thread that beaders use. I have been using the same threads
for years so it was enlightening to see such a variety of preferences and types
of beading threads that have become available as bead stitching has grown in
popularity. I feel that the thread of choice will always be an
individual's personal preference but it is nice to know that they can use a wide
variety of thread types, depending on the project that they are working on.
February brings a variety of special occasions with family birthdays as well
as Valentine's day. This time, I requested a simple 'pin' loom for my gift
and my husband kindly obliged me by making one. That led to some of my
spare time being taken up with weaving little squares and experimenting with
colour, texture and weave pattern. My husband commented a few days after
giving me the loom that it was wonderful that a chunk of wood full of nails
could bring me such joy. I'm loving the chance to use up more of my stash
in such a constructive way. I will have no problem making things from all
those little woven squares, the ideas are filling my head as I sample another
leftover scrap of yarn. I have requested a slightly larger version that
will be set up for weaving squares with much heavier yarn and hope to be able to
make floor mats using up more of my yarn scraps. Finally, I will have to
figure out how to incorporate beads into my little pin loom projects.
The weather continues to be crazy in Southern Ontario and we are expecting more
snowy, windy weather this week. There have already been a few 'snow days'
for my daughter which means catching up on school work when she gets back.
In some ways she likes the break but mostly, she'd rather be at school and
keeping up with the work. She's one of those children who likes
school. The nastier weather also means that I stay home more which adds up
to more time to work on projects. I've recently finished knitting a
sweater for my mother-in-law and now have to wash and block it and then it will
be ready for 'Grammy' to wear. I decided to make the sweater based on one
that she has loved for years and has seen better days. Hopefully the
replacement will bring her as much joy.
I'm currently working on new designs as well updating catalogues and the
website. I am also preparing for the April trunk show that will include a
few workshops at Gitta's in Mississauga. There is always lots of work to
keep me busy and give me an excuse to avoid housework. Time to get back to
the work on hand.
Entry 1 - February 7, 2013
I often am asked where I live and the best way to describe my location is
that I'm in the middle of nowhere, central to everything. Below is a photo
of my home, unfinished but comfortable. We are still working on some
painting and trim inside. I'm sure that anyone who has built their own
home can understand the dilemma of moving into an unfinished home.
That's my 'not so little
anymore' daughter in the picture. She's now in highschool. That
giant chunk of limestone was dragged and rolled out of the field and placed at
the corner of the front yard. There is 90 acres of farmland around the
house that we rent to a local farmer.
I love my work and that is probably
why I do it all of the time. When I'm not designing, I'm knitting,
weaving, stitching or doing beadwork. I always have multiple projects on
the go and work at them in my spare time. The most recently finished
projects are a knit top for my daughter, some handwoven towels from my rigid
heddle loom and the beaded box pictured below. The top of the box is
beaded with 'Sea Foam', my favorite sea serpent. The sides of the box
have a beaded Celtic woven design and the inside top, not shown, has a beaded
Celtic maze design.
This project took many months to complete but was worth every moment.
Thank you to my friend Madeleine for supplying the fabric for this project.
There is very little excitment out here in rural Ontario unless you count
our crazy winter weather. I'm currently awaiting the next 'weather bomb'
to strike and hope it is not as bad as they are predicting. I enjoy the
quiet of rural living and hope to be able to live here many more years.
Besides my husband and daughter, we also live with a gorgeous little
'four-legger', Kodi, a Shiba Inu. He has a full winter coat right now and
is so soft and plush that we can't help but want to cuddle him. Shiba Inus
are not exactly a cuddling type of dog, in their opinion but he does put up with
our affectionate petting and scratching. He is the feature model for the
'red sesame' designs on the Shiba Inu page.
When I decided to write a
blog, I had no idea what I would write. We'll see where my wordy path will
follow and hopefully I will be able to keep this going on a regular basis.
Chat again soon,