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the neighbourhood

November 25, 2015

after two and a half years of construction noise

we have an impressive new high school

it replaces the first school opened on this site in 1929

P1070936with a special totem pole to celebrate the occasion

named Sno’uytth – Coast Salish for “spreading good energy”

carved by Butch and Clarence Dick

P1070938the tree behind the pole, planted in 1862, has its own plaque

when driving home yesterday I couldn’t resist stopping to enjoy the sunset

P1070940it wasn’t until I got home that I realized there was something on the lens!!

directly behind me the moon was rising

P1070941while I was taking the picture

a lady walking her dog stopped and asked if I was snapping the moon or the naked swimmer?

yes, he was “in the buff” on a very cold, clear November evening


spinning cotton in the eveningsP1070943trying to ignore the chaos

12 boxes now unpacked and recycled


November 19, 2015

progress on the clean-up front has been painfully s-l-o-w!

 I’ve seen this time as the much needed push to get rid of stuff

 every day I take a box to either the consignment store, the charity shop or the recycle/dump

this can be problematic

P1070931 today I came home with

a book I’ve been lusting after, in new condition at 1/3 the cover price

and a sweet kokeshi to go with my growing collection

I know, I’m already scolding myself —

weaving is off the loom

P1070926haven’t decided what it will become but it does make a nice long table runner

P1070932amazing how different the same weave structure can look

the tea towel has a multi-colour warp and nine weft colours

warp for the runner is bleached linen with one charcoal grey thread at the change of each block

the weft is seven colours of cotton, cottolin and linen

now I have to free the warping mill from the back of a pile

to start winding a new warp

but what to weave?

prepared for a soggy weekend

November 14, 2015

amid the chaos and flooding rains

P1070923it’s Studio Tour weekend

P1070922I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!

ink and water

November 12, 2015

 sumi ink dyeing has taken on a new life!

not sure dyeing is the correct term


this is a quickly stitched and tied piece on cotton

without any design planning

the fabric was pre-soaked, then soaked in the ink solution overnight

after drying it looked like the ink had not worked into all the areas between the ties

it went back into the solution and I worked/squeezed it vigorously

before washing, on the left — right, after washing/rinsing until water ran clear

 ink migrates into the fibres differently than dyes









washing softened the colour

pattern definition was reduced significantly

how much is this due to different fibres??

the ink is very messy to use but washes up easily while wet

it seems to fix on fibres only once it is dry

next I’ll try a small piece of silk


meanwhile the clean-up/restoration seems endless

the kitchen floor is down to the original 1940s sub-floor – not pretty!

 fans are still blowing, when it is declared dry a new sub-floor will be installed

after that nice new flooring

the boxes from the cabinets, that are piled almost to the ceiling in the living room

can go back to the kitchen and wait for the cabinets to be returned from the repair shop

(somewhere in one of those boxes is my GoreTex rain jacket)

and we have rain and wind warnings for the next 48 hours

at this rate it won’t be finished before Christmas

and I may have run away and joined the circus!

carrying on

November 9, 2015

on the weekend I visited the Quilters’ Guild Christmas show and sale

P1070900it was very well attended

there was thousands of hours of work

the prices were sadly low

P1070899this small piece was everyone’s favorite

a rooster with attitude!

the bottom border is a feather pattern with chicken wire on the three sides

the background fabric hand dyed

(sorry, I’ve lost the slip of paper with names)

P1070898this piece with the grey and white background

featuring the arbutus, common it this area, was very effective

P1070904handspun, 2 ply tussah silk dyed with liquid sumi ink

diluted – 1 part ink to 5 parts water

left to soak approximately 1 hour

P1070907 it shines like metal

P1070908the silk (top) and below shifu paper yarn

dyed in full strength ink

it has a strong but not unpleasant smell

 there is still enough left in the dye pot

so I’m going to start stitching a small shibori piece

can’t wait to see how the yarns weave

P1070912now, in the middle of my mess, I need to prepare for my Studio Tour

Sat. and Sun. Nov. 14-15

keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is nice

Monkey Mind

November 6, 2015

I am suffering from a severe case of self-diagnosed Monkey Mind

from Wikipedia ” a Buddhist term meaning – unsettled; restless; capricious, whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable

well – maybe not whimsical!

packing a lifetime of STUFF and only moving it from room to room

reaching into the dark recesses of cupboards, drawers and shelves

a small sampling of “the stash”

P1070877handspun cotton

P1070879handspun wool

P1070880handspun and natural dyed silk

P1070883precious shifu paper yarns

this started when I was looking for the next project

designing from the stash

P1070887years ago someone gave me several pounds of very fine mohair

— the 2 balls on the left and large skein at the bottom of picture

it all went into the indigo vat

this yardage was woven several years ago for a conference

P1070889(sorry about the wrinkles – the iron is hiding)

P1070891 cochineal dyed 60/2 silk and the itchy mohair

it never got made up

now if I can find the swift and ball winder??

the mohair will make a warp

wait a minute – I remember using 2 cans of spray starch on the last warp

and clearing each shed by hand

time to think again, use those lovely silks in the warp with the mohair as weft?

Monkey Mind – leave it until tomorrow

drying out

November 3, 2015

the start of a new month

there isn’t much textile-y going on hereP1070874this is the disaster that is my kitchen

P1070875and the office/guest bedroom

with the same in the living room

you don’t want to come for a visit right now

the noise and heat – it is like a sauna – has been going day and night for 4 days

no schedule for a start on the clean up yet

think I’m on the bottom of the list

there isn’t much money to be made from a little old lady in a little old house!

I’ve made endless trips to the dump/recycle, charity shop and consignment store

time for a BIG clear out

P1070866pleased with the new weaving

 as my studio tour is on Nov. 14th-15th and there won’t be time to warp the loom again

I’m trying not to escape to the loom

P1070871I’ve been finding comfort in the latest book, ordered from Japan

Robert Brady’s blog

is a delight

P1070872as are the short essays on life in rural japan

P1070864sunshine on the Japanese maple


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