New Waxed Canvas Tote

This rugged tote is a one-of-a-kind. It combines my favourite fabric and leather. The handles are vintage, from a time when quality was high. They are still beautiful leather and combine well with the caramel leather on the bottom and sides of this tote.  The tote is designed for daily use or for travel with lots of compartments inside and out. It has two large exterior pockets where travel documents, phone etc can be slipped for convenience. Inside it is bright striped canvas from Ireland and there are four pockets, made of orange waxed canvas. one of them zippered. The side has leather tabs for extra strength. The waxed canvas is manufactured in the USA, can be wiped clean and has a great vintage look. In the on-line store today.Waxtote 1

waxtote 2

waxtote int 2

wax tote int 1


first view from the island

On my list for the summer is a series of hooked mats which capture the views from our small island.  This is the first, looking south west to the far shore with one lonely tree on a rocky outcropping. I used lots of textured yarn and really loved the feel and the sense of freedom that comes with it. I am already planning the next one, in a rectangular shape. I think I’ll do a watercolour sketch first so that I get a better sense of the big shapes. Sketching and rug hooking–perfect activities for a summer on the island.from the window

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book of 1960’s Toronto sketches

I recently found this great book of drawings of Toronto buildings published in 1969. I lived in Hamilton then, but made many trips to Toronto which was far more exciting. It’s been an inspiration to study John Richmond’s black and white sketches of the city. So much of the texture of the time is included–the fashion (bellbottoms!), the street details, even the facial expressions. I’ve scanned a few here but could not include the many wonderful double page drawings. I hope those of you who know Toronto or would like to know it will love  them. Don’t miss the wedding couple in the second to last sketch. And the last one which could be a bittersweet good-bye to the Toronto we knew then. I’m going to treasure this first edition which is even signed by the artist. richmond cover

richmond 2

richmond 3

richmond 4

richmond 5

sam the record man


designing a new traveller tote

I am working on a new lightweight large travelling tote. You can see below the start of it below, dark moss waxed canvas with lovely smooth caramel leather base and a brass heavy-duty zipper closure. The carry handles are repurposed from another bag and there will also be a canvas and leather shoulder strap. I’ve said before that a travel tote needs more than one carry option when it is full. This one has two big exterior pockets and then four more pockets inside, one of them a zipper pocket for security. The lining is a wonderful canvas stripe I bought in Ireland and the pockets are bright orange waxed canvas. I like a bag with a great interior.

This is the prototype and I plan to make some others using Marimekko coated cotton–in new patterns. Coming soon!traveller 1

traveller lining


sketching in Kingston

new palette june 2016

We were in Kingston yesterday and there was a little time to sketch. I have been changing my palette this week, removing colours–Potter’s Pink, Ivory Nlack, Bithume–and adding some different ones–Winsor &Newton Indanthrene Blue and Sennelier Sepia as well as the returning Naples Yellow. This link will take you to a great summary of blue pigments. I’ll work with these choices now, but it’s actually Indanthrone Blue which I’ll be looking to add. Thanks to Jane Blundell for the amazing resource which I will be studying more.

We had lunch on a patio and I could just see this weathervane peeking over the wall so I had fun scribbling and adding paint while waiting for our pizza. It was a beautiful day in Kingston and after lunch I found a shady spot at the side of the church and set up my stool. I had a time limit, but really wanted to capture the glorious late spring day. Lots I can see the improve here–but with the help of Shari Blaukopf’s excellent landscape tutorials which I am re-watching, I’m getting ready for summer sketching at the cottage.

st george's june 17


rug hooking progress: two crows

perfectly 2

Things have been very busy around here as our almost-three-year-old grandson has been staying with us for a few days. But after lights-out I found a little energy and time to hook the crows on Perfectly. If you read this blog regularly (thank you!) you know that this mat is for the Borders Class with Wendie Scott Davis in July. My last rug had the text as part of the border and for this mat the text is in the centre. So what will the borders be? I want to have an open mind going into the class and see what happens…but if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.


new rug hooking project

perfectly 1
I’m almost half-way through the whipping of Annie. I’ve promised myself I will not post any photos until the job is complete, in another month, I hope.

But anyway, it’s time to start a new project. I’m part of a show at a local gallery next fall, so I thought it would be fun to hook my slogan, Perfectly Imperfect, with a couple of crows looking on. I’m taking a course in borders at our local college in July and we were to hook the centre of a rug and come prepared to design borders. So this little runner fits the bill for that too.

I’ve piled some colours that I think will work for the birds. I love to use over-dyed Pendleton shirts to get a variety of  values and shades. I’m soon going to start on the crows whom I already know are smarter than I am!


I am a retired educator and recovered administrator. I have always been interested in fibre, first as a weaver, now as a rug hooker and screen printer. Over the last few years I have become passionate about giving a new life to cast-off wool and leather. This is my journal where I muse about my creative life.

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