first two days in Oaxaca

I am staying in an apartment in Oaxaca, Mexico, for a couple of weeks, five blocks from the old city centre. It has been warm and sunny and I have had two days to walk around the old city and begin to sketch. I have been sitting on low walls within sight of some lovely buildings,  But today I bought a child’s stool at a plastico store at the outrageous price of $1.80 so I plan to do some street scenes crouched down on my red teddy bear stool. I’ve worked out a way to attach it to my backpack.

This city is a Unesco World Hertage site and for good reason–the limestone colonial buildings with the wonderful ironwork abound. Below is the one wing of the state cathedral and below that a window of the science building at the university.  We are on our way to the coast for a few days, but hope to be back on Thursday for the Day of the Dead celebrations.  Will keep you posted and with some luck will have some sketches of the activities.




new leather bags — medium PTBP & Sherbrooke

slate pt backp 1

slate pt packp 2

slate ptbpI am leaving for a couple of weeks–but will stay in touch here. In the meantime I wanted to show you two more new bags which will be available when I come home. The first is another part-time backpack, this time in slate leather. The camera finds it hard to capture this lovely leather–it has a shimmer which lets you know it is not black, but its own neutral shade. This PTBP is larger than the first one: 12.5″ wide, 11″ tall and 4″ deep with a double leather bottom, wide leather strap, exterior zipper pocket and interior zip/slip pocket in birdbrain canvas and a leather phone pocket. This bag converts easily from cross-body to backpack and can be worn with the pocket against your back for added security.

The second bag is a Sherbrooke bag in tobacco leather. I have been using one like this and find it a great size. It has a zipper pocket outside and three repurposed leather pockets inside. Height 9.5″, width 9.5″ with a long adjustable strap. A perfect day bag which can easily slip inside a tote if you like. High quality zippers and hardware.sherbrooke 1

sherbrooke 2a


hooked in the mountains 3: some of my favourites

There were over 500 pieces in the Hooked in the Mountains rug show in Burlington Vermont this year and there were many, many exceptional pieces. I’ve included just a very small sample here. The first two pieces are designed and hooked by Diane Phillips. The interplay of patterns in each piece is complex and challenging, creating pieces I went back to again and again.diane


Colleen Faulkner describes her Poppies as ‘a labour of love to be certified for the Oxford School Certification class’. As well as wool, Colleen used felt strips, embroidery floss and ribbon. A stunning use of complementary colours. cf poppies

Sue Burton-Kelly created a dynamic rug using Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern, For All We Have Under the Sky.sbkelly

Dale Young-Wheeler used Karla Gerard’s Abstract Sheep to create a delightful piece. sheep

And again a dynamic interplay of colour and pattern in Genghis by Rae Harrell.genghis

And finally, a wonderful Sharp-shinned Hawk by Peg Irish. Peg is an inventive rug hooker who combines many techniques in her work. The hawk is hooked and shinned hawk


hooked in the mountains 2: featured artists

First, Peg Irish. This piece, Fall Mosaic, has over 2000 1″ squares, some recycled from other hooked pieces, glued on to a backing. I’ve included a close-up so you can see the textures and variety including embellishments. Below that is another fall scene. You need to stand back to truly appreciate these wonderful pieces. pi 1

pi 2

pi 4

Rachelle LeBlanc’s pieces are suberb portraits–but I love the backgrounds as much as the faces. You could study these pieces for ages and still not see it all, such skilled use of colour and texture.rl 1

rl 3

rl4And finally Roslyn Logsdon’s wonderful architectural pieces.rol 1

rol 2

rol 3

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Hooked in the Mountains 1


I have been  at Hooked in the Mountains in Burlington Vermont this week. This is a spectacular rug show in a spectacular part of the coutry. There are over 500 rugs in the show! Doing a post on the ipad is a tedious process, so for now I’ll just give you a taste.  This  is Davey DeGraff’s marvellous depiction of her grandaughter, Ava Blossom.



zinnias and alphabetThis is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. We were very fortunate to have most of our family with us to close up the cottage for the winter, to make and consume the traditional foods including GG’s turkey stuffing, and to enjoy the spectacular weather in southern Ontario. And GG was there at 95 to enjoy it all.

Carissa modelled some of the recent bags which have been on the blog. Here we are set to go for a walk and she is wearing her own green Part-time Backpack. Carissa tries out some of the new designs in her busy life and makes suggestions for changes. For this design we have added a clip to hold the straps together. But overall she reports that this bag converts easily from backpack to cross-body and is great to go from bicycle to board meeting. I have enough of this gorgeous leather for two more bags and the next will be slightly bigger than this one–a medium size. mod 5 gr ptHere is the Full-time Backpack and a pair of the new mittens:mod 3 bl ftAnd finally,  another Part-time Backpack worn both as a backpack and a cross-body bag. And notice the pink mittens with sheep skin cuffs!mod 2 br bk

mod 1 br

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the leather case

florian pouchesI’ve been making small cases with some leftover pieces. Normally I like lots of colour but I have fallen for these small neutral cases because of their understated elegance. They are the perfect size for throwing in a larger bag, but would easily take phone, keys, cards and more if you wanted to rely on them alone. Perfect for travel too. Each one is a slightly different leather, but all are lined with moss waxed canvas and have interior pockets for credit cards and licences. High quality metal zipper adds the perfect touch.

Large case: 8.5″ x 6″.  Medium case: 7.5″ x 5″.flor pouches 2

flor case 3

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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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