Tuesday, November 28, 2017


A new apron for Gus - just like this one - made from her kindergarten fundraiser tea towel. It's very cute with each child's self-portrait printed on it.

And cranberry shortbread cookies. The recipe is available in Donna Hay's The christmas issue Dec/Jan 2018. Really good. I made them to take to a thanksgiving dinner at the across-the-road neighbours. A nice christmas gift too for family, friends, or neighbours.

Watching: Alias Grace on Netflix. This is based on Margaret Atwood's book of the same name. It's a fictionalised telling of the murders in 1843 of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada. Grace Marks was a servant in the Kinnear household and was only sixteen when she and James McDermott were accused of the murders. ****

Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


It's been three weeks since I posted but I'm sorry to say I don't have anything tremendous to share - I haven't been anywhere or done anything exciting. I just took an unplanned break from blogging and making things.

So... what's been happening?

Well, the cosmos is looking great. I planted some a couple of years ago and it brought some chaffinches to the garden. They seem to like eating the seeds from the flower heads. So I planted more cosmos this year but, sadly, no chaffinches yet.

I've "sandwiched" quilt #4 and started quilting it by hand - which takes me forever but its very enjoyable.

Everything is ready to begin sewing another dress for my granddaughter.

And I've started some new knitting. Free pattern here.

Other news is that we have a large orb spider living in the garden. It comes out of hiding at night to eat and to mend its web. Unfortunately a few bees have been caught in the web and I'm torn between trying to save them and wanting the spider to live in my garden. The web is huge and beautiful.

Also I've decided to rank books/films out of five - a brief summary doesn't really tell you much. What we really want to know is was it any good. Well, it'll just be my opinion but here we go ...

Aspergers are us - documentary about four friends on the autism spectrum who form a comedy troupe. ***

My beautiful broken brain - Netflix documentary about Lotje Sodderland who has a stroke at the age of 34 which leaves her unable to write and limits her ability to communicate effectively. Rather than let this hold her back Lotje remains positive and grateful for her new life. ** (Even though the story is uplifting and Lotje is amazing, there's just not enough to sustain a full length film, IMO)

Reading: Theft by finding by David Sedaris - his edited diary entries from 1977 to 2002. Entertaining and sometimes very funny.****

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

bears and mountains

Three things:
1. Sewing: At last I've done it - made something from a Japanese sewing book. It's dress "T" from Girls style book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. A summer dress in a cotton print for my granddaughter. It's a simple pattern. The only fussy bit was the bias binding around the armholes and neck that I stitched by hand. 

2. Yoga: I've been practicing yoga at home for a year now averaging one class a week. I'm not consistent. I have bursts of regular practice and then weeks with none but I benefit from my practice and always feel great afterwards. I keep a yoga diary - a small notebook where I jot down my thoughts about the poses or my mood or quotes from the teacher (Melissa West) that I find inspiring or helpful. I'd recommend the diary even if, like me, you're not really a diary kind of person.

3. Dancing: of the extraordinary variety by the tiny (5mm) peacock spider and the science behind it, if you're interested.

No ordinary Sheila - inspiring film about the life of New Zealand natural historian, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch. The pages above are from her book Wild fare for wilderness foragers (1979). She was a true adventurer and free spirit. There is a lovely interview with her on Radio New Zealand.

Maudie starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke about popular Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis. Brought me to tears.

Reading: Autumn by Ali Smith. Short listed for this year's Man Booker Prize. It's about Elisabeth, a 32-year-old lecturer in art history and Daniel Gluck, 101-years-old and dying in an assisted care facility. He was her neighbour and confidant when she was a child. He introduced her to “arty art” and taught her to always be reading a book. The story travels between the past and present and is, apparently, an exploration of how we experience time. I found much of this book really clever and amusing but other bits mystifying.