Saturday, December 07, 2019

Waiting, Wondering, Working

The Seven Deadly Sins and 
The Four Last Things
Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450 - 1516)
It's the Season of Advent...a time of waiting and wondering about the meaning of life; to whit, death, judgment, heaven and hell -- also referred to as "The Four Last Things".

Christian eschatology is pretty heady -- and heavy -- stuff!  And as the days in this hemisphere get shorter and darker (literally as well as figuratively!) I've decided that spending too much time contemplating such things is not a particularly good idea for me -- at least, not this year!

So I've turned to Fabric, Fibre and Floss Therapy.  It keeps my hands and mind occupied, and soothes my soul.  😊

My weeks are punctuated by hours of work at The Shop, and my days are filled with knitting, stitching and quilting -- mainly, but not exclusively, focused on Christmas gifts.

My son's socks are finished -- as I showed in my last post -- and my daughter's pair is 50% complete.  My neighbour John will soon have a pair of grey "How Quiet Mitts" to match the purple ones I knit for his wife.

And I stumbled upon 3 embroidery patterns a couple of weeks ago -- ones I'd put away years ago -- simple and fun, and not yet done!  So...I'm making them up as gifts for various friends.  Alas, Gentle Readers, some of them read this blog so...no photos!  No peeking till Christmas!  😉

What I can show you is what I've been playing with in the fabric department.  Since the quilts for the latest family of refugees have been finished and given away, I decided to try to sort out the remains of my scrap box, calling on  Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User's System for help. 

As a Born Organized Person, I tried to incorporate this some years ago, and got side-tracked by what were -- at the time -- Far More Interesting Things to Do.  So while I have a collection of zip-lock bags with some semblance of a Carefully Cut & Curated Collection of Scraps, the rest of my scraps have been gathered in a deep cardboard box that could have been called "Mount Scrap-More"! 

"Enough of this!" I told myself, and dumped it out on my studio floor:

"Mount Scrap-More"


Now...look at that carefully, eh?  See the sharp corner at the top right of the pile of scraps?  Let your eyes follow to the left and down to the right toward the floor.  Maybe you can even see the ridge along the top of the pile.  That's the sign those fabrics have been stuffed in that box for far too long! 😆

The remedy?  Well, for the past 10 days or so, almost every day, I've been taking a handful of those scraps and dealing with them: ironing them to get out the folds and wrinkles, and then cutting them into squares or rectangles in some of Bonnie's recommended sizes -- ones I know I can use for future charity quilts.  I stack them in Light/Medium and in Dark piles, and put them in labelled zip-lock bags.  Though I'm determined to keep as much as possible out of the land fill, anything that's too tiny or too narrow to sew with successfully has been tossed.  I resolve to keep this up till that pile has been eliminated!

In addition, Bonnie has announced her 2019 Quilt Mystery, this year entitled "Frolic!", with colours that are not only right up my alley, but also in my stash.  So...I am following along and have finished the first clue:




True to form, bit by bit this Fabric Therapy has calmed me...along with the aforementioned knitting and stitching.  All of this ironing, cutting and piecing gives my mind time to ponder art pieces to make in the New Year.  Earlier this week we had some of that powdery, sparkly snow.  When I went out to clear the walks and fill my bird feeders, I was struck by the beauty of it on the trees, just waiting to be captured in stitch:





And one more thing on the art quilt front: this week I received the photos from my daughter that she took last month -- beautiful shots of the quilt I planned to enter into the SAQA all-Canadian exhibit, "Colour With a 'U'".  The online entry process opened December 1, and on December 4, my entry was in.  Done and dusted!  Now to wait...notification is in mid-February.

While Gina was here to take the photos, we took a tour around my new lot and she tried to get photos of the birds -- who didn't cooperate.  She did manage to take some wonderful shots of my Miss Pookie, though, so I'll end this post with my favourite one...and a link to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend...







Monday, November 25, 2019

Christmas is Coming!

Part I: How'd that happen?!

I know; I know.  It happens on the same day every year.  It's just that with every passing year, the months seem to evaporate more quickly.  Here it is November 25, over 3 weeks since my last post -- and I was going to try to post more often.  Ah well.

It's not as if I've been idle all that time!  A full ten days was spent at home because we got a Bag of Nasty Mix from Mother Nature: rain, followed by freezing rain, followed by snow.  And not once, but twice!  The roads were turned into snow-covered skating rinks and the County's sanders and ploughs couldn't keep up.  As I write, we're experiencing milder-than-usual temperatures, and much of the snow has melted.  The main streets and highways are in good shape -- bare and dry -- but the side streets here in my wee hamlet are treacherous with ice, making going for my usual walks an interesting adventure, to say the least!

So while the weather remains top of mind in conversations at church, in the Post Office and at the Shop, I've tried to focus elsewhere.

This week my daughter came to drop off her artwork for the Under $100 Art Market that happened in Lacombe on Thursday evening and Friday.

She had a good market with her photography, selling a large framed print, a good-sized photo-on-canvas, a matted print and at least a dozen of her lovely photo-cards (with envelopes).

Autumn at Cranna - SOLD!
Me?  I didn't fare quite so well.  After the initial excitement of selling one of my matted minis early on the Thursday evening, well...the other nine were admired but ended up coming home with me.  Ah well.  As artists we must live in hope, eh?

While she was here, Gina took several shots of the piece I want to enter into "Colour with a 'U'", and I expect she'll have them off her camera (a real one, with lenses, and a timer, used with a tri-pod -- the whole nine yards!  😉) and in the e-mail to me in the next day or two.

We had a lovely afternoon!

I've also been working to finish the last two bed quilts for the Syrian family that arrived -- as far as I know -- in Toronto on Tuesday.  They were to fly to Edmonton on Wednesday to be met by a contingent from the five churches (including mine).  I spent several of the 'iced-in' days finishing the sashing on the second string quilt, while my long-arm quilter, Sylvia, did a beautiful job of the one top that wasn't "Quilt As You Go".  I picked it up last week and finished the binding on it yesterday.

A QAYG quilt is simple to create, and ideal if you don't have the space to quilt a throw-sized (or larger) top on your own sewing machine -- but it is a tad time-consuming, because each section must be attached together using sashing.  It can be machine-done on front and back, but I don't care for the look of a machine stitch line on the front sashing, so I choose to hand-stitch the sashing on the back.

The photo below shows my 8" blocks, and a stack of sashing arranged in pairs.  The front sash is cut to 8" long, and is 1" wide.  The back sash is 8" long and 1 3/4" wide, but has been folded over and pressed in half.



You layer the top sashing, the edge of a block and the back sashing -- with the raw edges aligned -- and sew them by machine.  Then you press the top sashing toward the edge, layer it with the next block in the row, and sew that by machine.  Once that's done, you turn the pair over, and press the back sashing from the first block toward the second.  You pin that down and hand stitch it.  This is done until all the rows are created.


Rows of blocks in various stages of assembly
on my "design bed".  😉

Then you use the same technique to attach the rows together, and finish off with binding in your usual fashion.  I've never added borders to these quilts, but you could -- layering and quilting them first and joining them with a "zinger" (narrow sashing) in the same way.  Here's the second string quilt -- intended for a 10-year-old girl, and measuring about 50" x 65".


Altogether now!

And here's her mom's quilt, beautifully quilted by Sylvia, my long-arm quilter.  
She even donated the batting for the project!


"Chain Rail Fence" - 63" x 72"

Quilting detail

Between the Wall-to-Bed Project and these three quilts, 
I think I've had my fill of piecing for a while!  


Part II: It shouldn't be this hard!!

Now it's time to begin the Christmas Knitting in earnest -- and this year it's been 'one step forward; two steps back'!  First, about socks...

The Shop carries 'Reinvent', a yarn composed of 'everything but the kitchen sink' -- and I was able to purchase two skeins from the "Meow" and "Woof" collections:

"Border Collie"
and

  
"Maine Coon Kali"

My son has two Tuxedo cats, so I cast on the Border Collie using my favourite 2.75 mm needles, and 72 stitches -- my usual for his feet.  AAAARGH!!  The first sock came out 'way too big:

Sock for an Abominable Snowman
who's part zebra... 😆

Clearly an adjustment was needed!  I didn't change my needles but I did reduce to 64 stitches, and the result was much better:

More like a Tuxedo Cat! 😌

I frogged (rip it, rip it, rip it) the Abominable Zebra sock and knit it over again with 64 stitches, finishing it up on Saturday.  I've washed the pair now...and they're still rather light-weight and could be a bit large.  We'll see.  For Gina's, in the "Maine Coon Kali" colourway (honouring her aged 'Princess'), I'm dropping to a 2.5 mm needle and 60 stitches.  Fingers crossed!

In other knitting...I am making fingerless mittens for my neighbours this year, and chose "How Quiet Mitts", designed by Helen Stewart.  I'm using a yummy yarn -- "Finn" from Universal Yarns -- that was a shop sample passed on to me by my employer.  It's a Merino wool/Acrylic/Alpaca blend that is very soft and rather drapey, but it's proving to be lovely for this pattern.  And it's in this delicious colour:

Universal Yarns "Finn"
Colour #107 - "Jam"

Here's my sad story about this project:

I made one mitt and let the project sit for weeks and weeks while doing other things.  When I returned to it...I'd forgotten how to do the increases for the pattern on the back of the hand...Here's what I wrote about this on my Ravelry Projects page:
I’m finishing the second mitten of this pair -- having started it four times!!! First, I cast on the wrong number of sts (32 instead of 36). slightly_frowning_face Then I discovered I wasn’t doing the “m1r” correctly and had a pucker -- and it took me three (count ‘em!) tries to figure this out. Sigh.
I don’t know why the second mitten was so difficult, save to say that after I finished the first one, I tucked the project away for several weeks (I said I started it in October, but it could have been earlier) as I was busy with other things.
Now that I’ve figured it out, the “mantra” for the increases is becoming lodged in my brain and I should be able to make another pair easily. (I want to use the same pattern for my neighbour’s husband, using a grey DK.) Let’s hope!
Here's the first mitten, waiting for it's ends to be sewn in.  Note: it's hard to take a photo single-handed! 😣




Surely to goodness it will be all downhill sledding from here -- and all will be finished and wrapped in time for the holiday.   After Christmas...yes, there will be new art in the sewdio!

I'll leave you with a link (late as usual!!) to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" -- and another to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network -- as well as a wish to all my American readers for a Happy Thanksgiving.  

"...whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." -- Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1927.



Saturday, November 02, 2019

Onward

I begin with thanks to the Gentle Readers who thought my sample for "Colour With a 'U'" was...well, much better than I think it is!  As I mentioned in my last post, it looks better in the photo than it does in person.  The composition just isn't right, and so, despite your kind words, this piece won't be going anywhere soon!

That said, I learned several things from the exercise, and still have ideas about how I might want to express the theme -- just not that way!  Instead, I've selected a piece I made a bit less than a year ago now, that I think will fill the bill.  My Daughter the Photographer is coming for a short visit in a few weeks, and I'll have it ready for her to photograph then. 

She's coming because she's putting some of her work in the Under $100 Art Market, sponsored by the City of Lacombe to raise art awareness and some more funds for the Arts Endowment Fund.  This event runs the evening of November 21 and all the next day, in concert with the Light Up the Night Festival.  It's the first time the arts community has done such a sale, and we're hoping it works out well for all concerned.  I too am participating -- I'll have 10 minis in the sale, and will be working the cash register the evening of the 21st.  It's a delight to be showing my work in the same place as my daughter -- something we've not done for several years.  And I hope our pieces sell well and make lovely Christmas gifts!

While I'm allowing new ideas to percolate (I continue to take photos of the almost-winter countryside, with new work in mind), I'm steadily working on those quilts I mentioned for the family of Syrian refugees our church is co-sponsoring.  This -- as I know I've mentioned -- is a trio: mother, teen-aged son and ten-year-old daughter -- who are coming to join the family that's already here.  I've finished a 60" square string quilt-as-you-go throw for the boy:



Peeking out from under that one, you'll catch a glimpse of the top I've put together for the mother of the group.  It finished at 63" x 72" and so has gone to my favourite long-arm quilter to be quilted:



The pattern is straight out of my imagination -- born of the fact that I failed miserably at following the pattern I was going to use.  I blew it on not just one but two counts: I didn't check fabric amounts before assigning the colours to "A", "B" and "C"; and when I decided to "just do it", I then mis-read the pattern and sewed 16 strip pairs, 1 1/2" wide, Width Of Fabric (WOF) -- using the wrong colour combination!  Aaaaargh!  I hate it when that happens!  😕

What's a quilter to do?!  I took the lemons I had and made lemonade!

Now I'm working on the last of the trio -- another string QAYG -- using 8" blocks this time, to finish at 48" x 64" for a throw for the little girl.  As of this writing I have 2 rows finished.  Here they are on my design wall.  (Once I've finished 3 rows, they'll move to my "design bed" in the guest room! 😉)



In addition, of course, I am mindful that the Holiday Season is fast approaching.  I've got a pair of finger-less mittens started -- this is what I'm making J & E, my neighbours, this year, for all they do for me year 'round -- and a pair of socks started for my son.  Yes, it's Christmas Socks for each of my kids this year.

As I write, my church's Annual Bake Sale, Tea & Bazaar has wound up.  I made 4 dozen oatmeal-raisin cookies for the Giant Cookie Sale section, plus a few knitted items which I do hope managed to sell.  One of my favourites was this lovely cowl which, if it didn't sell, I just might keep...



It's made from Debbie Bliss' "Alpaca Silk Aran" yarn (alas, now discontinued)...mmmmm.....soft and drapey!  It's very deep, but can unbutton to allow one part to lie flat -- per the pattern (Gothic Lace Cowl from Tin Can Knits).




And so it goes.

Economically, things in These Parts are tough these days.  I've had my part-time hours cut back in what should be The Shop's busiest time of year (it's a yarn shop, after all!).  One of the galleries in which I was showing has closed, and I picked up my art work yesterday.  Another -- several hours' drive north -- has had my work for 16 months without a sale.  The owner decided she had to surrender all artwork done "by out of town artists".  "No one is buying art right now," she explained to me on the 'phone earlier this week.  The four pieces came home yesterday.

I continue to live in hope; continue to share what I can with those in need...and with those who might buy; continue to make 'pretty' things that bring me joy and soul-satisfaction.  And maybe, just maybe can be shared with you, Gentle Readers.

Linking up (on time!!) with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and wishing you a weekend of hope, joy and creativity -- wherever you are.

(Praying for safety for those affected by the fires in California and the flooding in SW Quebec and Ontario.)


Monday, October 28, 2019

Stretched


Be patient
toward all that is unsolved 
in your heart.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Quoted by Sue Bender
in 
Stretching Lessons 

I see by the calendar that I've been absent from this page for the better part of this month.  Some of that was due to work, travel, and other Aspects of Daily Living...

and some was procrastination,
plain and simple.

In my last post I mentioned I was starting work on a new piece -- a sample (or maybe the Real Thing) -- for a Call for Entry to an all-Canadian exhibit entitled "Colour with a 'U'".  A great deal of my procrastinating and just not blogging has to do with that work, which absorbed a great deal of my time for at least two weeks.

 My vision for the piece was BIG -- inspired by the lyrics from Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railroad Trilogy.  In particular, these:

"There was a time in this great land when the railroad did not run,
when the wild, majestic mountains stood alone against the sun.
Long before the white man and long before the wheel,
when the green, dark forest was too silent to be real."


I figured out very early on that painting the scene on fabric was several stories higher than my abilities in that department.  After sulking about that for a bit, I rethought the idea.  What do I do well?  "You can paint skies", came the answer (from my muse).  So...I thought about that.  I found a long stretched canvas (36" x 12") and gave it a go.

I was trying to paint skies that changed in character from West (on the left) to East (on the right).  My first attempt was a bust, but thankfully, with acrylic paint, you can paint over it.

Then I began to work out the foreground.  I wanted to put in the landscape from those "wild majestic mountains" and the "green dark forests", across the western plains to the rocks, lakes and rivers of central Canada...with a nod to more cliffs in the Maritimes.  Just a nod?  Well, my vision seemed to exceed the space available on the canvas.  😟

I was taking inspiration from these iconic Canadian views:

Emily Carr's painting, Mountain Forest

An eagle totem pole from B.C.'s Haida Gwaii

Photo from Neys Provincial Park, Lake Superior, ON

Maples in Autumn - photo from Mont Tremblant, QC

Cliffs on the East Coast Trail, Newfoundland

Still, I persisted.  I created those mountains and forests, including snow, from the West Coast:



I added prairie grasslands, water and more rock, an impression of colourful maples in autumn, and more rock -- and over these I stitched in impressions of native habitat, from totems on the West coast to tipi on the plains, a native longhouse from central Canada and more tipi -- shorter and squatter -- from the Maritimes.


Mountains and forests with totems.


Plains with tipi.


Longhouse in Central Canada


And below, you see the entire piece, hanging on my guest room wall:



I'm just not sure about it -- though it seems to look better to me in the photo than it does on the wall in my home!

First I wonder about its perspective.  There's that changing sky which moves from the cloudy "wet coast" to the clearer sky -- with clouds building and a storm coming -- over the prairies...and then a mix of autumnal sky and cloud over the Lakes and moving east.

I worry that there's too much of the west and not enough 'centre and east' landscape, and that the chunk of grasslands in the centre is too central, when perhaps it should be smaller and more to the left, more off-set.

Second, I'm troubled by my attempt to show the ghosts of what the land used to be when it was "long before the white man and long before the wheel".  Is it presumptuous for a Caucasian Canadian woman to try to replicate these symbols?

I don''t know.  I just don't know.  Thus it remains on the wall, and I carry on...albeit in a bit of a stale place creatively.  

Blessedly there remain Other Things to Do -- such as baking two bumbleberry pies for last week's Fall Supper at the church.  And making four dozen oatmeal raisin cookies for sale at the church's next event -- the Annual Bazaar & Bake Sale -- coming up this weekend.  Like joining my friend G. -- the knitter and relatively new quilter -- at the Joint Quilt Show put on by the Black Gold Quilt Guild of Leduc, AB, and the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild -- where I was inspired by this wee gem:

Catch Me If You Can!
Mariel Enders
Thread sketching, coloured - likely water-colour pencils.
Outlined by hand-quilting. Appears mounted on board.
 Apologies for the angle, but it was a small piece hanging high up in a narrow booth!

On Saturday of this past weekend, G. and I travelled again -- this time to Camrose to see the most wonderful production: Jake's Gift -- a touching, heart-warming, funny, poignant one-person, one-hour performance about an aged WW II veteran who travels to Juno Beach for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day.  It's a touring show, and the link I've shared has a section for tour details. If you live anywhere near any of the venues and can find your way to see it, please do.  It will capture your imagination and hold your heart close in its message.

Now to link this -- late as usual! -- to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, and head back into the sewdio to work on a second quilt for the Syrian family we're expecting soon.  Yesterday at church we found out they have a flight date at last -- November 19!! -- so I'd best get on it, eh?!  

If you've been stretched like I have lately -- especially creatively -- may the week ahead bring you blessed rest, refreshment and restoration of perspective.  Let's together learn patience "...toward all that's unresolved in [our] heart[s]".


"There was a time in this great land when the railroad did not run..."
-- Gordon Lightfoot











Friday, October 11, 2019

October -- Already?!

Yes, and we're well along.  We've had snow -- thankfully now gone -- but even though now the days are mainly clear and sunny, there's an edge, a sharpness, to the air.

I've put much of the garden to bed -- bringing in my geraniums (pellargonia) to over-winter, and transplanting my basil to a pot in my kitchen window, where it is growing new leaves and seems very happy.  I've cleared out the lettuce, cut back the mock orange and the rhubarb, put away the 'burner' and plan to put away the faux wicker bench this weekend, as it's far too cool to enjoy at any time.

On Wednesday, with my "every 8,000 km" maintenance service, I had the winter tires put on my car.  I've cleaned the car's interior and swapped the "spring/summer" mats for the "fall/winter" mats.  And I bought a small cordless electric snow blower because...well...I will have more sidewalk to clear once I get title to the lots next door.  A few days ago the lots looked like this (that's the east wall of my house in the centre-right of the photo):


I'm gratified by that sign every time I look at that sign!  

This morning, the young man charged with mowing etc. showed up for one last cut-and-mulch (paid for by the vendors), and we talked about what I might do with the trees -- especially the willow.  I am going to start to clear out 'sucker' branches in a couple of weeks (I take possession October 24) and will finish up in March before the sap starts to run again if I have to.

Meanwhile...I've been working on a variety of things.

  • I'm finishing up a batch of small knitted items -- cowls, hats, phone and tablet cases -- for my church's annual Bazaar & Bake Sale on Saturday, Nov. 2;
  • I've only 7 pattern sets to go before I finish the lace edging on the Shetland shawl I've been working on for several months. Each set is 28 rows -- over 13 stitches...;
  • I've assembled all 36 blocks of the string quilts into 3 panels, and now that my year-old Pfaff Performance 5.2 has returned from her "spa treatment" (she's had a busy year!) I will get them all together and bind them up for the first of 3 quilts for that Syrian family we continue to expect any week now.  Here's what the blocks looked like over time:
First few blocks completed

Rows sashed together, prepped for assembly!

In addition to the lovely phone message I received from my client about the Wall-to-Bed quilt (aka Prairie Quintet), I got this photo from her nephew:


Yes -- just as she wanted -- the 3 "main" trees and sky etc. are the focal point on the top of the bed; everything else hangs below.  I'm just happy that it fits and it was exactly what she wanted!

That said, the most gratifying thing I've done lately is something that completely came out of serendipity -- and out of history.

Here's the story:

This man was my father, John Gillies Rennie (November 14, 1904 - February 13, 1952 -- seven months before I was born):

Portrait by Wadim Dobrolige,
Heidenau, Germany, 1946.

Dad met the painter -- Wadim (or Vadim) Dobrolige, a Ukrainian -- in one of the three camps over which my father was employed by the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) to manage.  I believe that when they met, Dad was still a Captain -- a member of the Black Watch of Canada, Royal Highland Regiment, seconded to the British military government for most of his WW II service (1944 - 1946).  

Book on Dobrolige...
Anyhow, my father became a fan -- a patron, if you will -- of Mr. Dobrolige, who was then in his very early thirties.  Dad bought several of his paintings, and brought them home after his war service ended abruptly (through illness -- a reported heart attack -- in 1946).  I grew up with these paintings in our family home and in the home of my godmother, Georgina A. Davison (aka 'Nina').

When my mother and step-father retired to the Okanagan from Quebec and down-sized, I acquired some of these paintings -- and a couple more when Nina died in 2004.  When I lived in Calgary, there was one in our dining room one over the stairs to the lower level of our home, and one over our fireplace.  My sister has one in her home too.

When I moved to Mirror, I had far less wall space -- but one of the paintings hangs in my guest room:



And one is now in my living room here -- a small one of trees against the sky, which reminds me of what I see whenever I look up the street from my home.  In Mirror, all the streets seem to end in trees.

A few years ago, I tried to track down the artist.  I found out he'd emmigrated to Edmonton, Alberta in 1948 (aged 35), and had become somewhat celebrated.  Of the Ukrainian Orthodox faith, he'd created several religious paintings and iconostasis for Edmonton and area Orthodox churches.  I inquired of one -- located a mere 10 blocks from my daughter's home -- if I could make an appointment to see the work, but was rebuffed by total silence -- both from the clergy and the elders.  

Time passed.

A couple of months ago I tried again and found a link.

It turns out that in recent years, Drs. Peter and Doris Kule donated funds for the founding of the Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.  It's a research centre and link to the Ukrainian Canadian community in Alberta.  The current President of the Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre is Natalia Toroshenko (nee Dobrolige).  Yes; she is Wadim Dobrolige -- the painter's -- daughter.

And this year, the Centre is producing a short video featuring three Ukrainian Canadians who have impacted their communities and beyond -- and one of them is Wadim Dobrolige!

I made a connection -- and it excited those who received it.  I met with three associates of the Centre on Monday -- and gave them five of the eight paintings I have, all painted by Mr. Dobrolige.  I agreed to be interviewed and video-taped for the Project, which features those community contributors; the video is due out near the end of November.  I won't be seen much, but mine will be the voice-over for the Dobrolige paintings I've given to the Centre.

Here are the five I am leaving with them at the moment (two of which were wrapped by the restorer/cleaner and were of such a size that I left them that way for the photos):


"Lilacs" -- hung over my cousin/godmother Nina's couch
in Montreal and Ottawa - and later, for a short time, in my
dining room in Calgary, AB

"Peonies" - it hung over the stairs
from our main floor to the basement in our
raised bungalow in Calgary


Hung in my parents' home and later -- as I recall --
in our dining room in Calgary, but was supplanted
by the lilacs and transferred to a spot over our fire place
(or so I recall, but I might be mistaken)


The staff at the Centre affirmed that the brown wooden frames around several of the pieces appeared to be the original European frames.

Once the video is finished, I will be notified.  There are tentative plans for a reception for the release of the film, and with those plans, a hope that Natalia and I might meet.  I also hope I will have my children with me to share this occasion.  (It would be in Edmonton in early December; prayers to Mother Nature to cooperate for travel are appreciated!!)

And going forward? 

Well, Wednesday I bought two new canvases -- of a different shape than I've tried before.

And...today I mapped out on paper and on clear plastic (remnants from my daughter's office laminate machine) my sketch for my entry into "Colour with a 'U'" -- the (so-called) 'regional' All-Canadian exhibit destined to open at the March 2020 SAQA Conference in Toronto (first one outside the U.S.)

That subject (i.e. my process etc.) is an entirely different post...so...stay tuned.

Meanwhile I leave you with Happy Thanksgiving wishes -- for all Canadians celebrating here this weekend -- and prayerful thanks for not only my Canadian readers, but all those Gentle Readers in the U.S. and around the globe.  I am thankful for each and every one of you!  

Linking to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday"...and praying mightily for the U.S. -- my friends, my family there and the entire populace...