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time to celebrate

June 21, 2021

summer is officially here –  it’s hot and sunny

I’ve been spending most of my time in the garden

everything is growing bigger and better

it’s time to dye with lady’s mantle ( alchemilla vulgaris)

it has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and the leaves can be used to make tea

but the real celebration is – today I got my second vaccination

first one was Pfizer and today it was Moderna

I have no plans to travel or attend any big parties but it is comforting

I worked vary hard to have the hexie quilt finished to celebrate this day

(’till 8 0’clock last night)

but it still needs the backing, a hanging sleeve (maybe!) and a label

it’s come a long way from the front window – 15 months

now it is back to the garden

Scrap Happy June

June 14, 2021

oh! I’m so-o tired of making hexies

I took a break to play with the teddies

summer is on the way and the bears needed a change of outfits

a family portrait

and a back view

Arthur wanted “big boy’s pants” with real pockets to hold stuff

made from my favorite pair of very old, raggey jeans

he is wearing his sweater because it is still a little cool

and demanding a tee shirt which means they will all want one

Gilbert’s overalls are made from old sheeting dyed with kakishibu (Japanese persimmon)

there is a pocket on the front for his hankieand bear lining on the bib

(from when a grandson was small)

he wants to know if he can fly away like Mary Poppinslast but not least – Little Bear has denim, drawstring shorts

it has the smallest handstitched buttonholes I have ever made (for the drawstring)

he had to have a pocket too

I have discovered that bears have very short legs – the reason for the roll ups

discussing the pros and cons of living in the city and cutting down trees

Little Bear liked playing in the wood chips

if you go down to the woods today—- you may find teddy bears having a picnic

if it doesn’t rain!

and now we are off to look for tee shirt scraps

oops! I forgot to add links to other happy scrappers – here is Kate’s list

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean (me), Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith


the death of a tree

June 10, 2021

sorry, this is off topic but I am at a loss for words

at a time when my province (British Columbia) is embroiled in yet another logging dispute

so far 185 protesters have been arrested – I admire their courage and dedication

the municipality has decided to remove more mature trees from the boulevard

one yesterday and this one this morning

does it look better or worse in colour?

it was planted in the 1940’s – years to grow

and only 1/2 hour to fell

and then on to the third one

there is only one saving grace – the municipality will plant new, immature trees

I’ll be dead before they cast any shadeI was brought up in a logging community

a mill town – the mill whistle blew at noon every day

and in emergencies or when someone was lost in the woods

once it blew every 1/2 hour for 4 days, day and night

 it left a lasting impression in my childish heart

the whine of chainsaws drives me crazy!

Update — the third tree only received a serious pruning and didn’t come down

small blessings


black and white

June 9, 2021

new book – Wheesht – by Kate Davies

I have followed her blog for several years

starting before her life changed drastically when she had a stroke at age 36

she had been an academic writer and lecturer – her writing reflects that background

I admire her courage and technical skill and her beautiful way with words

but she has re-invented herself and now designs wonderful knitting patterns

and also has started a company designing and selling a line of wool yarns

the first line in the book is – This is a book about enabling creative making.

 I ordered it from Scotland – and in these challenging times it arrived amazingly quickly

 each of the 12 chapters features an example of how one person meets the creative challenge

telling the stories of local Scottish celebrities and also well known artists

Frida Kahlo, Ella Fritzgerald, Alice Coltrane and Hokusai

and each ends with a creative assignment – something to make, write and/or knit

so where am I going with this??

one of the creative assignments is to take a black and white photograph every day for a week

of course I took dozens!

  it has changed how I see forever – I will continue

suddenly I am acutely aware of how colour affects our understanding of everything around us

that traffic light is red

so is the fire hydrant

and the Canadian flag

this transparency has hung in my dining room window for several years and now looks completely different

for someone who has been strongly influenced by colour in my creative work for many years this is stunning

a new way of seeing

I’ll be moving on to another creative challenge – will let you know how that works out

time for a walk, camera in hand

and by the way wheesht means  ” to pause, to step back, to listen, to be silent” and as they say in Scotland, to haud your wheesht.


back to weaving

June 2, 2021

it feels so-o good to be back, working in the studio

over the door “The President” clematis is a welcoming sight

I’ve been working on the warp for three days

using many tricks learned over 40+ years plus a couple new ones

was beginning to wonder if I’d forgotten how to weave – but it all came back

this morning I decided I couldn’t have tea and cookies until the weaving was back on track

bribery works!

I love this pattern and have woven it many times

but it uses eleven harnesses and there are many places to make a mistake when designing and warping

it is sett at 22 ends per inch – epi – and is threaded in a 12 dent reed

in a repeating pattern of 2 threads, 2 threads, and 1 thread

during the weaving process the warp threads look streaky which makes it difficult to see mistakes

a good washing after finishing and it is o.k. but that is too late to catch the mistakes

looking along the width of the weaving is the best way to check for mistakes

the colour challenge for June – purple – is finishedside one

and side two – the texture from the stitching feels very nice

I found purple difficult to work with – what is a true, secondary colour purple?

it always seems to be too blue or too red – and I didn’t have a lot of any in the stash

in good company with “The President” – here is more purple in the garden Siberian irises are magnificent

this rhododendron grows above the roof

the bees can’t get enough of the French lavender

and the humble chives bloom on

now back to the studio



new/old beginnings

May 30, 2021

I’ve gone out to the studio

sat down on the loom bench

and given myself a good talking to

I haven’t woven in a very long time – months

well – the time has come to finish the tea towels

it starts with un-weaving 7 inches of a complicated pattern that has a significant threading mistake

all these months I’ve been trying to convince myself that it wasn’t necessary

what the heck!!

the weft is all natural dyed cotton from my 2020 dye challenge

– too much time invested to just through it away

so time to get on with it and then the loom is free to do something exciting

meanwhile – besides 2-3 hours of heavy garden work each day

I’ve been working on the colour study for June – purple

one flower cut from of a designer fabric sample and stitched

I have a collection of embroidery cottons – some of them my Mom’s and some I stitched with as a child

several skeins have a price marked as 15 cents!!

they are kept in the same box my Mom used – it is an old humidor

don’t know where it originally came from because my Dad smoked a pipe – maybe grandfather?

Mom wrapped all the small lengths of thread on bits of cardboard

 I inherited my scrap happy, recycling habits

and when I’m really too tired to think I sit and spin

now I’ve developed tendonitis in my thumb/wrist – silk is strong stuff

not sure if it is the spinning or all the work with the pruning shears

and the computer keyboard adds to the problem

hard to give it all a rest

it’s tea and cookie time – developed some new habits during covid

the great news is I’ve got a date booked for my second vaccination!



May 25, 2021


learning to knit was a challenge

weaving is easier

and birthdays are always worth celebrating

hugs and kisses

hexie flowers and garden flowers

May 22, 2021

the garden is alive with colour

most of my daytime is spent digging, weeding and pruning

soon it will be too hot and the ground too dry to dig

(son and granddaughter have just arrived with more leftover seedlings)

then I’ll get back to weaving

meanwhile, in the evenings — many stitches, many hexies

now they all need to fit together – a complicated jigsaw puzzle

after two days of “playing around” I decided not to stitch a border around all the 7 patch pieces

there are 30 individual hexies in each border – so now there are two orphans

and another problem! there were two different large shapes that didn’t fit together

how did that happen??

it seems that when stitching individual flowers around the center it is necessary to start at exactly the same place each time

so there are 6 that are the same and 3 different – which was just lucky

placing the 3 odd ones in the middle row and the others top and bottom

created a pattern of spaces that made some sense

worried that when I moved them to stitch the sequence would be lost

I pinned paper labels on critical points so they would go back together – worked well

now to make several flowers all from the same fabric to use as fillers

and then individual dark green hexies to fill the remaining spaces

not the end of my challenges – how to square the large piece and add a backing?

 won’t panic until I get there

meanwhile, back to the gardenlook at the lichen on the hawthorn tree

 happy, safe, long weekend to all those in Canada

time flies

May 20, 2021


17 today

 hugs and kisses

it will be great when we can celebrate together again

Scrap Happy May

May 14, 2021

the idea came at the last minute

when posting a short explanation of how I make the scrappy hexies

an example and photos were needed


because of all the overlapping fabric in seams they are thick enough to protect a surface

although a little hard on the fingers when stitching

the sample one is at the top

my first idea was to finish the back with felt

but that wouldn’t do for scrap happy

so I used the fabric from the outside strip of the hexie and then stitched around the outside

it was fun to play with colours

 inspired by all the garden blooms

irises are a favorite, frequently used in Japanese design

Mt. Saint Helen’s azalea is an explosion of colour

rhododendrons are splendid this year

they’ll make nice gifts

to visit other happy scrappers click on the links below

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean (me), Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, NancyDawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith