Life in an ancient town surrounded by grape vines and cyprus trees is wonderful.
Molly Peacock is one of my favourite writers. (www.mollypeacock.org). Check out her biography, Paradise Piece by Piece, and her How to Read a Poem. You won’t be disappointed. Her meditation on craft from her latest book The Paper Garden captures what I think is the magic of creating.
“Craft is engaging. It results in a product. The mind works in a state of meditation in craft, almost the way we half-meditate in physical exercise. There is a marvelously obsessive nature to craft that allows a person to dive down through the ocean of everyday life to a seafloor of meditative making. It is an antidote to what ails you…is a key to understanding one’s personal wealth–and acknowledging that wealth in others, too.” (p.288)
The lovely photo of my hooking basket was taken by my friend, Nora.
My son sent me this image, a double joke for me since I am so adamant about spelling and of course I have been ‘putting birds on things’ for years. These days there are lots of jokes about birds on handmade items, including this which you have no doubt seen. So, for the record, here are some much older bird images which have been in our house forever.
This bird was painted on the crock in Picton Canada West, pre-Confederation Ontario. This was a pre-marriage gift from my husband, 35 years ago. I have always loved the image of the jaunty robin, painted on with cobalt.
Here are the original labels which I used when I was weaving, again over 30 years ago. They are beautiful woven labels which I still use for special items.
And I am still at it–putting birds on things. It wasn’t until I wrote this post that I realized how much my polka dot bird had been influenced by the lovely cobalt birds those women in Picton painted over 150 years ago.
1. Elizabeth Hay’s luminous new novel, Alone in the Classroom. I was hoping to read the book and then give it to a friend for her birthday, but I find I am underlining passages and reading excerpts aloud. So I am about to order my second copy. I also have Emma Ruby-Sachs’ new book waiting. I heard her interview on Q and was entranced.
2. Heidi Swanson’s quinoa salad which you can find here. I had to make several substitutions as I didn’t have all the ingredients. It was still wonderful and got raves from my family.
3. Moo stickers. I’ve been meaning to post about these for a while. They are great fun to make and I’ve been using stickers of my hooking and drawing for labels, envelope closures etc.
4. A wonderful party to celebrate my son’s upcoming wedding. Family and old friends whom I haven’t seen for ages were there. Many thanks to my sister and her partner for That’s Amore!
This darling girl is our new daughter, Carissa. You see her here with another of the family’s treasures, my 91 year old mother, Morrison. We all feel so lucky to have this young woman in our lives. This afternoon I am going to a shower for Carissa. Below are her presents.
I made the apron and I’ve posted before about Heidi’s cookbook. (Btw, today’s blog recipe for quinoa, currant, dill and zuccchini looks amazing!) Also pictured is a peanut butter knife from Combermere and an icing spreader from Toyls of Labur, a small shop in Warkworth which sells goods from firms which have a long history. This icing spreader is made by a US firm, Lamson and Goodnow, which dates back to before the Civil War.
And here is how I wrapped everything up:
I have been making two sizes of new labels. I found a wonderful tutorial (just scroll down to August 13, 2o1o). I use white cotton for an inkjet printer by Jacquard that I purchased at Michael’s and Heat ‘nBond, which you can buy by the yard, for backing. The folded ones are for inserting into a seam. The larger ones are for sewing on to fabric or leather; the strip is ready to cut into individual labels as I need them. I find that the Heat’nBond keeps the cotton from fraying and is slightly sticky so helps them adhere. Once I come to terms with Adobe Illustrator, I will make some larger ones for my rugs — with all the required information. Stay tuned…
I was in this city for a day and a half. I’ll post later what I bought! Even though it was cold (people were still wearing warm hats and mitts) I walked everywhere I could. Maybe next time I will bike. Yesterday was the opening day for the Bixi in Toronto. Surely a pedal in the right direction!
I hope that the empty stand means that people are renting and riding!
I have always loved drawings of birds but it wasn’t until I read Jenna’s post on Tuesday that I discovered Charlie Harper. I had to order his book right away! It is a charming reprint by Todd Oldham of a 1972 book of Harper’s silk-screened images created for the Ford Times. You may recognize his cardinal and bluebird.
I also ordered a book I’ve been wanting for a while. I’ve followed Heidi Swanson’s incredible blog 101 Cookbooks for some time. Now I have her beautiful book, Super Natural Cooking as well. This may be my gift of choice for some up-coming occasions I have!