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celebrating six years

September 28, 2016

this is post number 890

I didn’t know anything about blogging 6 years ago

the most rewarding part is meeting new people with new or different ideas

some of them become friends – thank you

 taken hundreds of photos

woven yards and yards

spun even more yards of silk, flax, hemp, wool and paper

learned a little more about computers

and yes, even wasted quite a few hours

here is what is on the loom now

p1100592the hanten collar/band

handspun 2 ply silk warp and the same mohair weft

threaded in my old favorite, Dornik twill

p1100590slowly spinning muga silk on my tiny – 11 grams –  Kuchulu Turkish spindle

from Jenkins Woodworking

p1100595a fine singles

but mostly still working in the garden

take a stroll through a beautiful garden in Japan

p1080683the top of the fence post – braided rope

p1080698bridges across ponds and streams

p1080714the restaurant where we had a fantastic, multi-course lunch

p1080705served in antique ceramics and glassware



p1080694and of course, koi

they are so big – guess they don’t have to fight the raccoons

p1080726lanterns to light your way

p1080722and a colourful banner

p1080689a large, well maintained garden

serene and peaceful

zen and gardens

September 25, 2016

continuing on from the last post

p1100547 the prayer flags to date

April and May has one flag – I was in Japan and short on time

p1100364the cranes are hanging inside , out of the wind and rain

p1100548October’s flag, Abundance

the harvest basket idea comes from the work of Ayako Miyawaki

today, after a cloudy start the sun made an appearance

and grandson Iain and I went on a garden viewing excursion

he is working on a school project of his choosing

“Zen and Japanese gardens”

we were all a little surprised at his choice – but….

first we visited the Inazo Nitobe Memorial Garden at the Royal Jubilee Hospital

p1100560Nitobe was a Japanese statesman who died at the hospital in 1933

the small garden has a water harp chamber – sui-kin-kutsu

p1100558which we couldn’t find

but I’m going back to do some research

then it was on to the garden at Robin Hopper’s Pottery

p1100563and Hatley Park/ Royal Roads Japanese gardens

(my mother took me here as a child)

now designated a National Historic Site


construction of the Japanese gardens started in 1908

p1100576with a tea house on the small island in the man-made lake

p1100572and then one last stop at my favorite garden center

p1100580to see their tiny water feature

Iain is planning a tsubo niwa or courtyard garden

which traditionally measures 3.3 square metres or the size of two tatami mats

a good day of homework

now it is decision time and some hard work

at home, bravely growing in the sidewalk

p1100545my own mini garden


September 23, 2016

the first full day of Autumn

not much exciting at the market

p1100546but the colours are wonderful

and the theme for October’s flag is Abundance

an early start – the idea comes from

an exhibition catalogue

” Rag Art” from 1988

p1100549of applique work by Ayako Miyawaki  1905 – 1995

using recycled Japanese fabrics

p1100550her designs feature everyday items

mainly fish and vegetables and flowers

p1100553here is a great link to all you ever wanted to know about the Japanese love of octopus

NHK is the Japanese national broadcaster

there are many different 28 minute, made for T.V., documentaries

on the home page click on  “on demand”

and then “Trails to Tsukiji”

Tsukiji is the world’s largest food market

a truly amazing place

octopus in Japanese is tako

when I was visiting my friend in Itami

she had a tako yaki party with friends and neighbours

(there is a brief look at tako yaki on the NHK site)

p1090782Deko getting started – that’s an octopus

p1090790a little like a fondue party

cooked at the table, in a special electric pan

p1090789of course, there are lots of side dishes

p1090791everyone participates – even husbands!

p1090794did you know?

the Japanese love to party

what a memory – thanks everyone

time and the weather

September 19, 2016

it is surprising how much work gets done

when the computer is out of commission – even for a few days

garden clean-up between rain squalls

p1100522hitching a ride on the wheelbarrow

I always have a camera in my pocket – even when gardening

p1100523beauty is so brief

p1100535a night of rain

the fragile flower

lies broken in the dirt



the weaving is finished

and September’s prayer flag is almost done


time to do more stitching and bind the edges

p1100538and at the first guild meeting

p1100516prize winners from the Fall Fair

Sharon Broadley’s  nativity calendar

tiny socks and mitts and sweaters, all with loops to hang on a button

p1100518more winners

it is good to have the computer back

there is never enough time

good things

September 12, 2016

at the Gage Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue

p1100505only until September 24

a wonderful exhibition of washi work

by Heather Midori Yamada

collage on Japanese paper – the technique, papers and colours are exquisite

at Nubo Japanese Tapas on Pandora St.

a marvelous lunch, oishii desu (delicious)

I’ll be going back

p1100499thank you Mona

my latest cookbook, wonderful, tasty, simple recipes

p1100515that has inspired me

p1100322to make an effort

p1100514the hardy cyclamen is blooming in the shade

Summer is hanging on

an inspiration

September 7, 2016

in Japan, Ogata-san has just celebrated her 98th birthday

not only is that impressive

but she is  still actively involved in her communityp1090262

at the workshops she arrives with all her equipment and makings

and sets about rolling dough and making udon noodles

(I’ve always intended to try making noodles but it seems like so much work!)

p1090267she moves so quickly every picture is a blur

p1090271Bryan is allowed to cut the noodles but she is right there giving instructions

p1090276how many people are we feeding for lunch?p1090281then she is outside cooking the noodlesp1090237checking things in the kitchen

p1090311checking the indigo shibori drying outside

she wore my little red shoes – several sizes to big

I was afraid she would trip and fall

p1090309but she went inside and started stitching on her yukata

go to the Japanese Textile Workshops website

to see the dyed yukata fabric and birthday pictures


you are famous around the world

and an inspiration to us all

September song

September 6, 2016

P1100450something to crow about

Sunday was a beautiful day at the Saanich Fair

some folks got a little egg-cited about this year’s egg theme

(click on the picture to read)

P1100471really!  are you kidding?

P1100463says who?  we didn’t know that

P1100469some folks didn’t follow the signs and read to the finish

P1100470ha, ha, gotcha!

P1100424more eggs in the weaver’s tent

P1100438and at the children’s baking table

p1100431it is always encouraging to see how well textile crafts are represented

P1100427my favorite in the show – Anita Salmon’s eco dyed silk top

the picture doesn’t do it justice

p1100436the children’s tractor races were enjoyed by everyone

p1100461and sometimes the grass is just greener on the other side of the fence

meanwhile, at home, the grapes are waiting

P1100416life is a merry-go-round