How's Your Summer?
Mine has been very busy so far, with 3 guests between June 9 and July 9.
First, there was my cousin J from Scotland. I took him to see the Columbia Icefields near Jasper, where we walked on the Athabasca Glacier. I hadn't been there in years, so the Interpretive Centre, hotel and gift shop were all new experiences. We both learned a great deal, and were totally bowled over by the beauty of the fields. Now *this* is what is meant by "awesome"!
A week after J left -- he was touring north-central Alberta on a Rotary Friendship Exchange -- my friend, P, arrived from Montreal. Our friendship dates back to our university days, and she was one of the bride's maids at my wedding. Here we are in the beautiful butterfly garden at the Ellis Bird Farm, which is only a few miles from my home. My friend B joined us (she's taking the photo), and we enjoyed a delightful tea at the tea house there. Hint: The Saskatoon berry scones are to die for!
P was with me a week, during which we visited Sylvan Lake, Rochon Sands, the Bashaw
Farmers' Market (yummy tomatoes and B.C. cherries!), slept, read, walked and talked a lot. Although we e-mail and speak on the 'phone frequently, it isn't quite the same as having a face-to-face conversation with someone so dear. Between P and B, I'm truly blessed!
Another week flew by, and then I welcomed Sr. Jessica, SSJD, into my home. She is one of the Sisters of St. John the Divine, head-quartered in Toronto for 125 years -- but she's been living at St. John's House in B.C., and has become a dear friend and mentor. I took her to the bird farm too -- for a delicious lunch -- and she met some of the other critters there!
During her visit, she gave a talk at my church on the Sunday and the following day, led a Quiet Day that was very well attended. It was a gift to us all.
On July 9th, I took Sister up to Edmonton to visit Associates of the Order there, and got ready for the third annual dye-in weekend with my friends, the Free Spirit Artisans -- at C's farm west of Calgary. No photos to show you yet, but I'm pleased with my items over all, especially the parfait dyeing and rusted fabric.
In a similar vein, I finished my first commissioned piece -- a crazy quilt block designed to showcase a few of the hand-dyed silk ribbons available now at Addie's Creative Fabrics, designed by Annette of Nature's Colours in Red Deer.
Here's a wee bit of block detail. The ribbons were in 3 widths and 3 colours -- but just 1 of each. The
shop carries an absolute rainbow of them, in all three widths -- yummy! I do confess that the red ribbon -- only 2 mm wide -- was the toughest to work with. I managed to do some spider roses with it, though, and then some seed stitch. The laying tool was a must to work with it, as it was so narrow.
While I was dyeing fabric, my DD was returning from Nova Scotia, where she spent a week with close friends of hers who moved there last year from Edmonton (the former parents of my Diesel cat). During the visit, the gals got up to Shelburne to see the SAQA exhibit, "Synthesis", in which I have a piece. My DD was gracious enough to take photos. Here, she's indicating the size of the piece! I can't tell you the thrill of seeing my work actually on display in a gallery!!
I haven't done a great deal of knitting lately; we finally have heat this summer, and with 25C
to 30C days, it's been too hot to think about it -- spinning, too. I'm makeing my daughter the
"Sweet Tee" from Interweave Knits, Spring 2009, and am about ready to do the waist decrease. This is my second approach to the waist. The first time, I got about 6" finished (of 9" -- my daughter likes her tops longer than called f0r), and discovered I was knitting a mobius! AARGH!
This is due in large part to the fact that the garter stitch trim
at the bottom is knit back and forth before you join to knit the
body in the round. Sigh. To prevent a second occurance of this
problem, I got an idea. I pinned a pretty brooch -- one that had
belonged to my mother, I think -- on the garter stitch band to
hold the ends together and keep them from twisting while I
joined the round. Nice accent, don't you think? And useful, too!
I have now knit up past where I erred in the first place, and all
is well. If I can, I'll have the top finished so she can wear it back
to work in the fall.
Come October 1st, I'm going to be very busy with SAQA University's "Visioning Project", in which I am participating. It's a 12-month project designed to help SAQA members identify and accomplish specific goals. My goal is "to build a cohesive body of work that can be proposed to a gallery for a show". Consequently, I am currently trying to clear out of my studio all sorts of quilting and stitchery projects, to make way for this focus.
Another part of this process with be the development of a website, so watch this space for more about it in the coming weeks and months.