Thursday, April 28, 2016

kept on walking

There is a pond, quite a large pond, right in the heart of a wooded park we love. It's the perfect place to watch Buffleheads and Mallards and look for painted turtles and giant frogs.
And hummingbirds
and Redwinged Blackbirds
and trout
and dragonflies
and owls
and mice.
As I stepped up to the weathered rail fence yesterday, and leaned over to admire the view, a slight movement caught my eye.
"Snake alert," I intoned.
A rather grand sized Garter snake was lying in and out of the sun on the grassy bank, just at our feet on the other side of the fence.
Hearing my voice, it launched itself with a splash into the cold water of the pond.
The very cold water apparently.
Poor thing.
Snakes are cold blooded. They need warmth like an arthritic pensioner needs Arizona. That super chilled snake quickly raised head and shoulders up out of the water and into the warmth of the sun, using a water reed for support.
As it hovered there, a small trout swam in for a closer look.
A very close look.
An eye ball to eye ball look.
The snake flicked its tongue.
The fish swam off.
We kept on breathing, and kept on walking.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

little sunshine girl

A finished quilt really deserves a little more fanfare than this.
There should be pictures aplenty.
Pictures that show the quilting marching off in different directions.
There should be close-ups of the binding.
And, pictures of the quilt draped casually over the couch or folded block upon deliciously colored block.
And there should be a picture of the backing.
There should definitely be a picture of the backing.
Not just a quick snap. Just a hasty goodbye picture out on the lawn in the sunshine like one of those photos taken of visiting relatives. You know the kind. Where goodbyes in the driveway are extended by cameras being brandished.
Well, it's better than nothing I guess.

The quilting really did march off at lovely right angles though.
And the binding was yellow/green. I had thought purple would be the way to go but against the yellow.....well. let's just say, complimentary colors can be too complimentary.
The yellow/green is lovely. It is spotted and dotted just like the flannel backing. It seemed an inspired match. I love polka dots.
The blocks had been lined up on the floor and pondered. They had been rearranged and considered. But in the end, I was as surprised as any one else with their placement. I'm not sure how that happens but there is a certain amount of mystery enshrouding the quilting arts.
I love the yellows together. Makes me think of dandelions and springtime daffodils and bumble bees....and a little sunshine girl.  

earth moving

Water color cards- a trio of toddler robins and a branch of bird babies.

Is it still spring?
We headed to Campbell Valley Park to feed the birds and found them preoccupied. On Mat Leave I guess.
Squirrels were here and there and high and low. And a chipmunk too.
Mallard ducklings were madly treading water and zipping in and out of the bull rushes. Little white butterflies fluttered by like scraps of paper on the wind.
I think I felt the earth moving from one season into the next.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

and it's spring

I've felt a bit confused about the seasons this year. Did we have winter? It's been dark and gray and drizzly. Does that count?
My garden isn't confused at all. It has an internal time table that it keeps every year regardless of my uncertainty. On the appointed day, a green shoot appears. Then another. A leaf stretches, a blossom shakes out its ruffled skirt. And it's spring.

Monday, February 29, 2016

dear old freinds

I'm finishing up a quilt for my youngest granddaughter.
Almost exactly four years ago, I made similar quilts for her sister and brother. Of course, that was before I 'knew.' Before she was a twinkle in my eye.
This quilt has a remarkable family resemblance to theirs.
Same sixteen patch blocks.
Same on-point setting.
Same triangle border.
Same scrappy sensibility.
Same feeling of a stained glass window when held up to the light.
Same polka dot flannel backing.
But this one reminds me of something.
I can't quite put my finger on it.
Maybe it's the color combination.
The bold yellow.
For some reason it feels very familiar....and retro.
Like I already know it and we're dear old friends.
I hope my granddaughter gets to feel the same way about it.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

in the spring

"In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love"
That might be true, but in the spring, my fancy lightly turns to thoughts of McDougall Cottage and have done so for several springs now. McDougall Cottage is a wee museum in Cambridge, Ontario and each spring, they host a Wee Quilt Challenge that I am unable to resist. This year's theme is The Myth and Majesty of Scotland and these are the words I sent along with my little quilt:  

 Fins and Scales and Mermaid Tails 

Selkies and kelpies and merfolk and monsters: it seems much of Scottish myth involves creatures of sea and loch. I suppose that isn’t surprising considering the fact that Scotland has thousands of miles of shoreline. My Wee Quilt celebrates the power of myth to enchant us all and includes two mermaids for my mermaid loving granddaughters and a very famous plesiosaur, the Loch Ness Monster, for my dinosaur expert grandson. I started with a vintage linen napkin and ‘sketched’ a picture with thread. Details were highlighted with plaid fabric applique, black, gold and cream colored thread, jewels, shells, sequins and glitter in this tribute to the majesty and myth of Scotland.

inaccessible solitudes

The Sound of the Sea- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,
And round the pebbly beaches far and wide
I heard the first wave of the rising tide
Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;
A voice out of the silence of the deep,
A sound mysteriously multiplied
As of a cataract from the mountain's side,
Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.

So comes to us at times, from the unknown
And inaccessible solitudes of being,
The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;
And inspirations, that we deem our own,
Are some divine of foreshadowing and foreseeing
Of things beyond our reason or control.